List Of All The Engine External Parts:

For a car owner, it is important to have some basic information about the engine parts as this gives you a bit of understanding of how these engine parts work. This also gives you the confidence to comfortably drive the vehicle and taking it in for service and maintenance on timely basis. So wondering what are the external parts of your car engine? Here is a detailed blog where we’ll discover about the important external parts of the engine. This will benefit you when it comes to taking care of your car. So, let’s begin.

1.Air Filter.

2.Air Filter Housing.


4.Auxiliary Drive Belt.

5.Camshaft Synchronizer.



8.Direct Fuel Injection.


10.Distributor Cap.

11.Flex Plate.


13.Fuel Injectors.


Air filter:

Air filters

As the name suggests, car air filters are filters that are used to ensure delivering fresh air inside the cabin through AC vents. These filters are often mounted on an engine’s intake system and are made using fabric, paper, or other type of mesh assembly. The role they play is trapping dust and dirt while allowing air to flow into the engine freely.

Air Filter Housing :

Air filter housing

Also known as an “air box”, the Air Filter Housing is a plastic box that is used for the protection of air filters from contamination by outside elements. The goal is to prevent any kind of damage while the engine is in running condition as well as to ensure safe and fresh air inside the cabin. This housing serves as an inlet for fresh air to enter and on the other side, it works as an exit and point for the filtered air.

Alternator :


This is another very important external part of a vehicle’s engine, which is generally an electrical system that helps convert mechanical energy into electrical energy through a drive belt and pulley wheel. The goal of the alternator is to operate the ignition system, and electrical accessories, and charge the battery at the same time. Without this, you’d have to charge the battery every day.

Auxiliary Drive Belt :

Driver belts

This is just like a normal belt, but it’s made from rubber. The goal of this auxiliary belt is to transmit power from a crankshaft pulley to another pulley. As a result, it will work as a way to supply rotational power to an electrical part of the engine such as an alternator, pump, cooling fan, or other. This keeps the other parts functioning through enough power when the car engine is in working condition. Since they’re required to work under immense pressure, these belts are made using the same model as tires are made.

Camshaft Synchronizer :


Well, this is an external part of car engines that were usually found in the older models. So, if you have a modern car, it might not have a Camshaft Synchronizer. The goal of this part is to use conventional distributors, camshaft synchronizers replaced them. This part will have sensors that can track the position of the camshaft, thus allowing the electrical system of the vehicle to properly time the ignition spark.



Unlike the other moving parts, a Carburetor is an assembly that often sits on the top of an engine intake manifold, which will combine air and fuel to form a combustible mixture. Depending upon the conditions such as idling or starting, the carburetor will change the quantity of fuel and air. The goal is to make the maximum use of fuel and save it. There are various types of Carburetors such as downdraft carburetors, sidedraft carburetors, and updraft carburetors.



A compressor, as we all know, is part of an Air Conditioning system. In the car, it works as a part of its AC unit and is operated with the help of a pulley and belt running off the crankshaft. In most modern vehicles, the compressors are often bolted onto the engine block directly, or by way of a bracket piece. In simple words, a compressor is responsible to maintain the temperature inside the cabin.

Direct Fuel Injection:

Direct fuel injector

If you have ever seen an open engine during the repair work, you would have noticed that there are injectors inside the cylinder head. These are called direct fuel injectors, which will spray fuel directly into the engine cylinder. In modern vehicles these days, direct fuel injections are used because they are helpful for producing gains in horsepower and economy. The goal is to help ensure maximum performance as you drive the vehicle.



This is another common and useful part of the engine that comes with a rotating shaft, responsible for delivering an electrical spark to each of the cylinders in a gasoline engine. The distributor is typically mounted on the side of the engine block and is operated by a gear on the crankshaft or camshaft. Talking about the shaft; it is located in the middle of the distributor and has a rotor piece that will spin under a distributor cap. The role of the distributor is to deliver a spark to each cylinder exactly when it’s needed.

Distributor Cap:

Distributor cup

 On the top of the distributor, lies a replaceable section, which is known as a distributor cap and has a number of terminals around its circumference. The terminals are equal to the number of the engine’s cylinder count. When the rotor passes through each terminal, electricity will travel through the cap and reaches into the individual spark plug wires which leads to the spark plugs to create combustion.

Flex Plate:

Flex plate

As shown in the image, a flex plate is a metal disc that is mounted on the outer area of the engine. This flex plate serves the same functions as a flywheel and also has several teeth, which will engage an electric starter motor so that they can crank the engine. Designed specifically for automatic transmissions, a flex plate is often lighter and thinner than flywheels. The reason here is that the flex plates are made to flex as RPMs increase so that they can mate better with the curved surface of a torque converter.



This is another common and useful part of the vehicle engines, which is typically a heavy metal disc, unlike the Flex Plate which is relatively thinner. This Flywheel is mounted outside the ear of the engine on the crankshaft. The goal of this part is to ensure there is no vibration in the engine when operational as this works as a mating piece for a manual transmission clutch disc. This also comes with a small electric so that it can crank the engine until it begins firing on its own.

Fuel injectors :

Fuel injector

Typically located on the cylinder head, the fuel injectors are small mechanical devices that will spray fuel in a balanced amount into the intake manifold or cylinders. It is noteworthy that the fuel injectors are only used in fuel-injected engines, not all the modern engines, but since this is an important part of the fuel-injected engines, we’ve decided to make it a part of this list of engine external parts.



If you have seen your car engine open, you must have seen this big part that looks much similar to the radiator. The intercooler, as the name suggests, works as a heat exchanger and is often available only in cars having turbocharged or supercharged engines. The goal of this part is to reduce and control the temperature of the intake air delivered through the turbocharger. We can say that an intercooler ensures maintaining the temperature of the engine for maximum performance.

Oil Cooler:

Oil cooler

Engine oil is responsible for keeping the engine lubricated as well as maintaining its temperature, but one thing that not many people understand about engine oil is that it is also cooled with the help of a component, which is known as an oil cooler. This is a small heat exchanger that is aimed to reduce the temperature of engine oil or transmission fluid. This is often used in racing cars and sports cars having heavy engines and great speed capacity for better performance while keeping the engine oil as well as the engine cool.

Final Words :

The above-mentioned is a list of the common engine external parts, but it is important to understand that this is not the complete list. There are many other small and large components that are present in modern and old vehicles. While having a good understanding of these parts can help you diagnose the common problems that can happen with your vehicle, it is suggested to let a professional handle the job on your behalf. Remember the car engine is a complex system and only a professional can handle it.

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