Learn English with pictures: Parts of a car

Learn English Words - Car Vocabulary
Learn the English words for the parts of a car – and drive carefully!

Steering wheel

Learn English Words - Steering Wheel
You use this to steer the car (control its direction).

In the middle of the steering wheel, we often find the horn. You press (or “honk”) the horn to make a loud sound used to alert other drivers.


Learn English Words - Speedometer
The speedometer shows how fast you are driving.

In this picture, the speedometer is in the middle. The big white numbers are miles per hour (MPH) – and there are also smaller numbers with kilometers per hour. On the right, we have the fuel gauge – this shows you how much gas you have in your tank. On the left, we have the temperature gauge – this shows you how hot the engine is.

Seat belt

Learn English Words - Seat Belt
Always wear your seat belt!

The car has two types of seats – the front seat and the back seat. When you put on your seat belt, you can use the verb fasten or buckle. Some people say “Buckle up!” to tell everyone in the car to put on their seat belts.

Gear shift

Learn English Words - Gear Shift
You use this to change the gears of the car’s engine.

There are two types of cars – manual transmission (usually called “stick shift”) and automatic transmission (or just “automatic”). You use the gear shift to change the power of the car’s engine.

Windshield / Windshield wipers

Learn English Words - Windshield
Use your windshield wipers on rainy days.

The big window in the front of the car is called the windshield. The things used to clean water, dirt, or snow off the windshield in bad weather are called windshield wipers.


Learn English Words - Headlights
The headlights are on the front of the car.

Turn on the headlights when driving at night or in the rain, snow, or fog.

Tail lights / Turn signal

Learn English Words - Tail Lights
The tail lights are on the back of the car.

The lights on the back of the car are called tail lights. The red light in the picture is a tail light. We also have an orange or yellow light called a turn signal. Some people call these “blinkers.” You use the turn signals when you are going to turn left or right.

Hood / Engine

Learn English Words - Hood
Open the hood to see the engine.

The front part of the car that opens is called the hood. Inside, you can see the engine. This woman had a problem with her car, so she pulled over (drove to the side of the road and stopped the car). In the picture, she is checking the oil.


Learn English Words - Trunk
You can put your luggage in the trunk.

The back part of the car that opens is called the trunk. It is an empty space used to hold equipment, luggage, etc.

License plate / Bumper stickers

Learn English Words - License Plate
This car has one license plate and many bumper stickers

The license plate in the picture is the blue and white sign with RCN 378. Every car must have a license plate for identification. This car also has many bumper stickers. These are decorations you can put on your car.

Wheel / Tire

Learn English Words - Wheel
Every car has four wheels.

Every car has four wheels. The black part of the wheel, which is made out of rubber with air inside, is called a tire.

Flat tire

Learn English Words - Flat Tires
Two flat tires

If you’re really unlucky, you might get a flat tire – when the air leaves the tire. In this case, you need to change the tire. Most cars have a spare (extra) tire in the trunk.

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