From brakes to spark plugs, getting your head around the different parts of a car can be confusing. Our labelled parts of a car will help you cut through the jargon when you take your car for its regular MOT or service.
Before you buy a used car you must also keep in mind other costs too such as MOT, servicing, and maintenance costs that may incur over the years. As buying a car can be expensive, we’ve included the average price of replacement car parts to help you get a feel for potential future repair costs.
Car Parts List
The alternator is an electrical generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy, it works by charging up the battery to power the starter motor, ignition and all other electrical components.
Price for alternator: Average cost ranges from £200 to £600 depending on the vehicle
The battery is rechargeable and supplies energy to the vehicles electrical system to start the engine, ignite the fuel, operate the lights, windshield wipers, heater,
air conditioner and radio.
Battery price for car: Average cost ranges from £120 to £250 depending on the vehicle
The starter motor is used to start the vehicles engine by drawing a heavy electrical current from the battery, it is turned on by using the ignition switch to energise it.
Starter motor cost: Average cost ranges from £230 to £498 depending on the vehicle
The disc brake is a shiny metal disc located behind the hub-cap of a car’s front wheels. When the brake pedal is pressed, a pad of hard-wearing material clamps onto the brake disc slowing it down by causing friction.
Cost of brake discs and pads: Average cost for brake pads ranges from £100 to £300 depending on the vehicle and the average cost for brake discs ranges from £120 to £290.
The distributor is a device in the engine which passes a high voltage electrical current from the ignition coil to each spark plug in the correct order and for the right amount of time.
Car distributor price: Average cost ranges from £250 to £500 depending on the vehicle
A spark plug ignites the (petrol) vehicles fuel and fits into the engine’s cylinder head. The plug is connected to the ignition coil which generates the high voltage needed to spark the fuel and create combustion in the engine. Diesel cars use glow plugs instead of spark plugs.
Cost of spark plugs: Average cost ranges from £40 to £300 depending on the vehicle
The ignition switch is the mechanism for bringing about ignition in the vehicles engine usually by switch or key. The starter system is the ignition system, battery , starter switch, starter solenoid and electric starter motor. It activates the main electrical systems for the vehicle.
Cost of car ignition switch repair: Average cost ranges from £80 to £140 depending on the vehicle
The radiator is used for cooling the vehicles engine. It is part of the cooling system and works by passing hot coolant through metal fins to conduct heat away from the liquid and into the air. When the coolant is the correct temperature it pumps back into the engine.
Cost of a new car radiator: Average cost ranges from £200 to £510 depending on the vehicle
The shock absorbers are devices that help control the movement of suspension and springs while keeping your tyres in contact with the road at all times and provide a comfortable ride.
Cost of replacing shock absorbers: Average cost ranges from £260 to £470 depending on the vehicle
This bonus section of the car parts explained infographic shows a diagram where common lights are positioned on the front and back of cars with their names:
Headlight (Low Beam), Headlight (High Beam), Fog Light, Indicator Light, Reverse Light, Brake Light, Indicator Light, Tail Light, Rear Reflector, Fog Light, and Registration Plate Light.
Cost of car bulbs: Average cost ranges from £35 to £125 depending on the vehicle
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