An automobile, also called a car, is a motor vehicle used to transport people. Its name comes from the Greek words “auto” (self) and “mobilis” (moving). Automobiles are fueled by gasoline or another liquid petroleum-based fuel, usually referred to as oil, for propulsion. Other common automotive fuels include diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The term is used to distinguish these vehicles from trucks, which are designed primarily for the transport of goods, and buses, which carry large numbers of passengers in addition to cargo.
The invention of the automobile dramatically affected American life in the twentieth century. Although its basic technology was perfected by Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and other European inventors in the nineteenth century, it was Henry Ford who brought the useful gadget within reach of most middle-class Americans by utilizing modern mass production methods at his Highland Park, Michigan plant. His Model T runabout sold for less than a year’s wage at a time when most workers were bringing home only two dollars a day.
Automobiles come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of purposes. Some are designed for comfort, while others are built for speed and agility. Sportier convertibles are sometimes called roadsters. Some are equipped with removable roofs for open-air driving. Automobiles have brakes that work by friction to stop the vehicle quickly in an emergency or to keep them from rolling when parked, and many are equipped with a device that can automatically adjust their braking pressure to match varying road conditions.
Having an automobile allows you to get to places that are inaccessible by other means of transportation, such as mountainous areas or deserts. It also makes long distance travel much easier than it would be without a vehicle. It is often cheaper than relying on public transportation, and it gives you more control over your schedule than if you depended on someone else to take you to places.
You can buy a new or used automobile from local dealers, online auctions, and private sellers. New automobiles are manufactured by some of the world’s largest auto companies, and they are available in a wide range of styles and prices to suit every need and budget.
Used automobiles are usually less expensive and may be in good condition. Before buying a used automobile, be sure to inspect it carefully. Make sure the engine and drive train are working properly, and look for signs of wear and tear. You should also check the owner’s manual for maintenance instructions. Also, if the vehicle was involved in an accident or wreck, it’s best to have it repaired by a professional before you consider purchasing it. A mechanic can help you determine the value of your car and negotiate a fair price with the seller. He or she can also help you understand the various financing options available for an automobile purchase. It’s important to choose a reputable dealer with an excellent reputation for customer service.