Take a deep look under the hood

Administrator posted this 04 August 2022

Buying a car obliges the owner to understand a little about its maintenance, but not about the repair. Of course, experience accumulates over the years. While drivers understand certain technical principles of running the car, it allows them to contact the gas station in time and not go bankrupt there. Therefore, by exchanging experiences, drivers help each other. Forms, and websites dedicated to automotive topics, including incardoc.com, help car owners in this matter.

The heart of the car is the engine, and it is usually located under the hood. Although there are exceptions, such as Tesla Model S (below), Renault Twingo 3, Porsche 911, Alpine A110, BMW i3s (Range Extender), Skoda 110R Coupe, Tatra T77, Tucker Torpedo, and Volkswagen Kaefer. Anyway, the driving force of the car is under its hood.  For a common understanding, let’s analyze what goes there:

  • radiator;
  • battery;
  • suction pipe;
  • thermostat;
  • mounting block of relays and fuses;
  • air filter;
  • oil filler neck plug; 
  • vacuum brake booster; 
  • brake system tank; 
  • hydraulic clutch exhaust tank;
  • expansion tank of the cooling system; 
  • washer tank; 
  • radiator cap (plug);
  • ignition coil;
  • electric fan;
  • upper radiator hose;
  • distributor breaker;
  • cylinder head cover.

The driver is not required to understand all aspects of his car, as there is a service station for this. But, there are important aspects that you should pay attention to.


The battery is one of the important aspects. It is designed to power electrical equipment in the event of an engine failure or at low rpm, and when the power supply to the generator is insufficient. Regular battery charge check is important for drivers. The battery charge rate depends on the capacity and type of charge (constant current or constant voltage). Read more about this in our article here.

We also wrote about the type of battery plate and its advantages. Calcium batteries still occupy a leading position, and some manufacturers add silver (0.3% of the total weight of the plate). The cost of such a battery is high, but they have increased wear resistance, and stability and require less maintenance. Carbon batteries make up a good competition: they are wear-resistant, charge twice as fast, and serve for a long time, but they hold a charge worse at the high current output. 

It is worth paying attention to the type of electrolyte. The new generation of batteries offers maintenance-free GEL and AGM types. That is, they do not need to refill distilled water (due to the process of recombination). Liquid batteries are leaving the market due to their shortcomings.  Do not neglect the replacement of the battery, this does not happen often and there are enough offers on the market at an affordable price.

Air filter

As a rule, it serves to process the air entering the engine cylinders.  Even the smallest particles in the air can worsen the engine three times.  Its assembly consists of a housing with a receiving pipe, a lid, and a filter paper element. The proper power supply of the engine depends on the condition of the filter element. It is important to understand that with a strong blockage, quite severe power losses are possible. Therefore, every motorist should monitor the air filter. Mileage and frequency of operations affect filter replacement. Therefore, even with mileage below 15,000 km, replacement is necessary 2 times a year. The recommended mileage for filter replacement is twice as low for drivers using cars on country roads.


The engine radiator acts as the main heat exchanger in the cooling system, and its task is to prevent the engine from overheating.  The cooling system itself is well thought out and does not require additional manipulations. The thermostat monitors the temperature, the distribution valve regulates the direction of coolant flow, and the expansion tank prevents air from entering the system. The radiator is located in the front of the body, just behind the radiator grille, where you can use the oncoming airflow when driving. It is important to change the antifreeze, and in case of its leakage, immediately contact the service station.

Ignition distributor

This is an important part of the ignition system of a standard gasoline internal combustion engine. This provides sparking. In addition, it supplies voltage to the spark plug wires when the piston of the corresponding cylinder completes the compression cycle of the fuel mixture. The main purpose of the distributor is to induce a current of significant voltage.

Petrol pump

The main task of the gasoline pump is to supply gasoline to the engine. You just can't do without it, because the gas tank and the engine are installed at different ends of the car. The gas pumps are started by an electric motor. When you turn the ignition key of the car to turn on, the onboard computer gives a start signal. At this moment, an electric charge is applied to the device. Therefore, regular inspection of the gas pump is very important. 

Expansion tank

This is a container in which a liquid can increase or decrease its volume. Its installation avoids increasing and decreasing the pressure of the coolant when its temperature changes. Replacement of the expansion tank becomes necessary when cracks or holes appear on the walls of the tank as a result of mechanical influences.


The central element under the hood is the engine. There are about 50 topics dedicated to it or its components on our website. Engine tuning, its amplification, the effect of turbocharging, and engine types — we discussed all this in the blog. 

Engine diagnostics is an important aspect today, which our readers are well aware of. This is a matter of safety and long-term operation of the car. Computer diagnostics of the car engine is carried out once every half a year / once a year at the service station. A thorough diagnosis is extremely important. However, inCarDoc offers to diagnose the engine for common errors - more often. Download the inCarDoc app https://incardoc.com/en-us/

Auto diagnostics using the app

Currently, many applications have been developed that independently diagnose cars (without service stations). But, do not forget about the service stations, as they perform their role, which is to fully check the car. 

inCarDoc is a unique solution for motorists that allows you to diagnose cars at any time. The application provides extensive opportunities for onboard vehicle diagnostics using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It provides the ability to: read the parameters of the car (speed, RPM, pressure, fuel consumption), read errors, stored parameters, as well as their cleaning.