Few inventions of modern times have had so great an impact on the economy and social life of a wide area, both in terms of personal transportation and in the delivery of goods. An automobile is a four-wheeled, motorized vehicle that is propelled by an internal combustion engine. The modern automobile dates from the late 1800s and has influenced the design of cities, the development of industries, and the way people live and work.
An automobile is a complex machine consisting of thousands of parts that are arranged into several semi-independent systems. The most basic system is the chassis, which supports the engine, wheels and tires, suspension, and other components. The braking system is another major component that controls the speed and direction of the car. The engine is powered by a fuel that is burned and mixed with air to produce combustion. The combustion produces power that is transmitted to the wheels through the transmission, and the resulting force causes the car to move.
The suspension system allows the automobile to respond to variations in the surface of the road and to absorb shocks from turning and other driving conditions. The springs, which are part of the suspension system, are supported by the chassis. The shock absorbers, which are also a part of the system, dampen, or quiet, the movement of the springs using chambers and tubes filled with hydraulic fluid.
Automobiles are designed for many different uses, from commuter travel to family trips and sports cars. The arrangement, choice, and type of components vary depending on these needs. For example, an automobile that is designed for high speeds requires a powerful engine and sophisticated suspension systems.