The bonnet conceals a world of remarkable devices and parts made of steel, aluminium, and other materials that engineers everywhere have been fine-tuning for more than a century. Thanks to modern electronic systems, vehicles today can do amazing things; their design has also made them much safer than the cars of the past. Yet the technical basis of internal combustion engine vehicles has not changed that much. They still rely on the same components, although these are admittedly more efficient and sophisticated year after year. Nearly everyone knows their names, but we rarely have the opportunity to admire their unusual and intricate shapes and their unique mechanical magic.

Fabia-DSG

ŠKODA Storyboard gives you the chance to look at these parts up close. The photos were taken during the disassembly of a ŠKODA FABIA COMBI 1.2 TSI DSG after it had covered over 100,000 kilometres in a long-term test by the German magazine Auto Bild. Take a look at the disassembly here.

Air-conditioning compressor

Without a compressor, a car’s air-conditioning wouldn’t work. The black wheel is connected to the V-belt and, through an electromagnetic clutch, rotates the compressor inside. This in turn compresses the cooling medium, which then expands behind an expander valve to cool the air.

Air-conditioning-compressor

Pedal assembly

It’s crucial that the pedal assembly is firmly fitted on to the body frame, so the assembly has holes for sturdy bolts. Since the disassembled FABIA 1.2 TSI has an automatic DSG transmission, it only has two pedals, the accelerator and the brake.

pedals

Drive half-shafts

The drive half-shafts transmit the torque from the differential to the wheels of the driven axle, the front one in this case. As the transmission and the differential are located next to the engine and not directly in the middle of the car, each drive half-shaft has a different length.

Drive-half-shafts

Front part of the exhaust pipe with compensator and catalytic converter

The first part of the exhaust starts at the turbocharger and runs under the floor of the car to roughly the level of the gear lever. It contains two important components. The first is the compensator, a flexible part that looks like a caterpillar and which dampens the vibrations and shocks of the exhaust. Equally important is the catalytic converter, which breaks down the harmful substances in exhaust gases.

front-part-exhoust

Wiper motor

The front wipers are powered by an electric motor; in the photo, it’s in the black cylinder in the centre. The motor uses a lever to drive the two wipers. It’s a simple and, most importantly, durable design.

Wiper-motor-

Shock absorbers

Of the inseparable pair comprising shock absorbers and springs, you’re probably more familiar with the spiralling springs that are usually quite visible behind the wheel. The shock absorbers are equally important. Their role is to inhibit the oscillation of the spring, and hence the movement of the wheels as they bounce from the unevenness of the road. This ensures that the chassis doesn’t get bent.

Shock-absorbers-

Driver’s airbag

The central part of the steering wheel isn’t just the home for the horn control and the proud location of the ŠKODA logo. Most of all, it hides the driver’s airbag. This is a relatively small component, but it saves thousands of lives a year. The ŠKODA FABIA is equipped with six different airbags.

airbag

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