DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS "A" [Home][A] [B][C] [D][E] [F][G] [H][I] [J][K] [L][M] [N][O] [P][Q] [R][S] [T][U] [V][W] [X][Y] [Z] [A] [Ab] [Ac] [Ad] [Ae] [Af] [Ag] [Ah] [Ai] [Al] [Am] [An] [Ap] [Aq] [Ar] [As] [At] [Au] [Av] [Aw] [Ax


A: Abbreviation or symbol for absolute temperature, absorption coefficient, acceleration, adenine, ampere, amplitude, angular acceleration, area, attenuation coefficient, fine-structure constant, helium nucleus, Helmhotz free energy, magnetic vector potential, relative atomic mass, a stereoisomer of a sugar, substitution on a carbon atom next to one common to two condensed aromatic nuclei, substitution on the carbon atom next to the hetero-atom in ahetero-cyclic compound, and substitution on the carbon atom of a chain next to the functional group

A-2 tire: A term used for tire sizes 16.00 and larger in nominal cross section. Also called "earthmover" or "off-the-road" tires AA: Abbreviation for "Automobile Association" a term used in Great Britain aa: A term of Hawaiian origin for lava flows with a rough, jagged surface AAA: Acronym for "American Automobile Association" or "Alberta Automobile Association." AABM: Acronym for "Association of American Battery Manufacturers, Inc." AAE: Acronym for "Association of Automotive Employers" (Poland). AAIA: Acronym for "Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association" AALA: Acronym for "American Automobile Labelling Act." Aalenian: The oldest stage of the Middle-Jurassic AAM: Acronym for "Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers" AAP: Acronym for "auxiliary acceleration pump"

A arm: See A-arm. A-arm: A suspensionlinkage formed in the shape of an "A" or "V" found commonly on the front suspension. The sides of the two legs of the A-arm are connected to the chassis by rubber bushings and the peak of the A-arm is attached to the wheel assembly. In this way, the wheel can freely move up and down. Sometimes there is an upper A-arm, a lower A-arm, or both upper and lower A-arms. The British call it a "wishbone." Also see twin A-arm suspension A-arm suspension: See twin A-arm suspension AAS: Acronym for "air aspirator system" abacus: [1] The uppermost part of a colurnn capital or pilaster, on which the architrave rests. [2] A bead frame. Used as an arithmetic calculating aid. abampere: A unit of electric current in the CGS electromagnetic system of units. One abampere equals 10A. abamurus: A supporting wall or buttress, built to add strength to another wall. abandonment: A voluntary surrender of legal rights or title to a mining claim. abatjour: An opening to admit light and generally to deflect it downwards; a skylight abaxial: Rays of light which do not coincide with the optical axis of a lens system. Abbe refractometer: An instrument for measuring directly the refractive index of liquids, minerals and gemstones. ABC: [1] Acronym for "aerial bunched conductors." [2] Acronym for "automatic beam control" ABDC: A term used in timing the relation of the spark and the crankshaft. It stands for after bottom dead center. Abegg's rule: Empirical rule that the solubility of salts of alkali metals with strong acids decreases from lithium to caesium, i.e., with increase of relative atomic mass, and those with weak acids follow the opposite order. Sodium Chloride is an exception to this rule, being less soluble than potassium chloride. Abegg's rule of eight: A rule that the sum of the maximum positive and negative valencies

of an element is eight, e.g., sulphur in SF6 and H2S. Abel flashpoint apparatus: A petroleum-testing apparatus for determining the flash-point Abelian group: A group in which the group operation is commutative. It is important in the study of rings and vector spaces. abelite: An explosive, composed mainly of ammonium nitrate and trinitrotoluene. aberration: [1] An apparent change of position of a heavenly body, due to the speed of light having a finite ratio to the relative velocity of the source and the observer. [2] In an image-forming system, e.g., an optical or electronic lens, failure to produce a true image, e.g., a point object as a point image. Geometrical aberrations include spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, curvature of the field and distortion. See chromatic aberration abhesive: A substance which prevents two materials sticking together, e.g., teflon on frying pans.

ability: See climbing ability cold cranking ability ABL: Acronym for "atmospheric boundary layer" panel ablation: [1] Any one of the processes by which snow and ice are lost from a glacier, mainly by melting and evaporation (sublimation). [2] Removal of surface layers of a meteorite and tektites during flight. ablative polymer: A material which degrades controlably in an aggressive environment, especially on re-entry space-craft. Extreme temperatures are reached on heat shield, so it is protected with ablation shield made of e.g., silicone polymer. The same principle is used in intumescent paints for fire resistance Abney law: A rule stating that if a spectral color is desaturated by the addition of white light, and if its wave length is less than 570 nm, its hue then moves towards the red end of the spectrum, while if the wavelength is more than 570 nm its hue moves towards the blue. Abney level: Hand-held instrument in which angles of steep sights are measured while simultaneously viewing a spirit-level bubble. Abney mounting: A form of mounting for a concave diffraction grating, in which the eyepiece (or photographic plate holder) is fixed at the center of curvature of the grating and the

slit can move around the circumference of the Rowland circle, to bring different orders of spectrum into view. abnormal glow discharge: A discharge carrying current in excess of that which is required to cover the cathode completely with visible radiation. Abnormal reflection: Reflection from the ionosphere of a radio wave whose frequency is greater than the critical frequency. aboard: See lighter aboard ship aboard ship: See lighter aboard ship A-bomb: See atomic bomb A bone: Model "A" Ford. abort: To terminate a vehicle's flight either by failure or deliberate action to prevent dangerous consequences; if manned, a predetermined sequence of events is followed to ensure the safety of the crew. ABPV: Acronym for "air bypass valve" abradant: A substance, usually in powdered form, used for grinding. See abrasive abrade: To scratch or tear away two surfaces in contact by relative motion. Abram's law: A rule that the ratio of water to cement for chemical action to impart strength to concrete is 0.85:1. abrasion: [1] Wearing or rubbing away some surface because of friction. [2] Mechanical wearing away of rocks by rubbing during movement. abrasion hardness: Resistance to abrasive wear, under specified conditions, of metal or mineraL abrasive: A hard grit used for sanding or grinding. It is usually in powdered form, used for the removal of material by scratching and grinding, e.g., silicon carbide powder (carborundum). Also see bonded abrasive coated abrasive non-woven abrasive abrasive blast cleaning: A method for preparing steel for painting whereby abrasive particles, e.g., copper slag, are projected under pressure through a nozzle. Very effective in

removing rust and mill scale, leaving an anchor pattern (a pattern of minute projections) on the substrate affording good paint adhesion. abrasive cleaner: A cleanser with some hard grit used to remove the grime and oils from a surface. abrasive disc: A circular plate (often made of plastic with hard grit embedded into it) used for grinding or sanding. abrasive paper: Sandpaper (a paper upon which sand or hard grit has been glued) used for sanding or grinding. abrasive wear: A mechanism of wear due to the presence in one or both surfaces of hard particles (e.g., carbide in steels), or to hard particles trapped between them. A/B roll editing: Video editing using two source players (A and B) enabling dubbing from both. Necessary if scenes are to be superimposed. A/B roll printing: A method of film printing with alternate scenes assembled in two rolls, each having black spacing equivalent in length to the omitted scene; double printing from the two allows the inclusion of fade and dissolve effects and avoids visible splice marks between scenes in 16 mm printing. ABS: [1] Acronym for "anti-lock brakes. [2] Acronym for "acylonitrile-butadiene-styrene." Also see copolymer abscissa: For rectilineal axes of coordinates, the distance of a point from the axis of ordinates measured in a direction parallel to the axis of abscissae, which is usually horizontal. The sign convention is that measurements to the right from the axis of ordinates are positive, measurements to the left negative. absolute: [1] A conic (a quadric in three dimensions) formed by the assemblage of the points at infinity on a line (in general two points). Its form determines the metrical properties of the geometrical system being operated. Thus in Euclidean geometry, the absolute is the degenerate conic comprising the line at infinity taken twice, while in nonEuclidean geometry, the absolute is either a real conic (hyperbolic geometry) or an imaginary conic (elliptic geometry). Also see manifold absolute pressure sensor pilot operated absolute absolute address: A computer code designation of a specific memory location as determined by the hardware.

absolute age: The geological age of a fossil, mineral, rock or event, generally given in years. absolute alcohol: Water-free ethanol; rel.d. 0.793 (15.5°C); bp 78.4°C; obtained from rectified spirit by adding benzene and refractionating. Very hygroscopic. absolute ampere: the standard MKS unit of electric current; replaced the international ampere in 1948

absolute ceiling: The height at which the rate of climb of an aircraft, in standard atmosphere, would be zero; the maximum height attainable under standard conditions

absolute configuration: the arrangement of groups about an asymmetric atom, especially a tetrahedrally bonded atom with four different substituents

absolute electrometer: A high-grade attracted-disk electrometer in which an absolute measurement of potential can be made by weighing the attraction between two charged disks against gravity

absolute filter: A filter which removes most particulate matter from gases

absolute humidity: the mass (actual amount) of water vapor present in a unit of volume of moist air

absolute instrument: An instrument which measures a quantity directly in absolute units, without the necessity for previous calibration

absolute permeability: See permeability

absolute potential: The theoretical true potential difference between an electrode and a solution of its ions, measured against a hypothetical reference electrode, having an absolute potential of zero, with reference to the same solution

absolute pressure: pressure measured from a starting point of zero in perfect vacuum. When measured by the absolute pressure scale, atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi or 29.92 inches of mercury (in-Hg). Also see manifold absolute pressure sensor absolute pressure sensor: See manifold absolute pressure sensor

absolute reaction rate: The reaction rate determined from statistical thermodynamics; uses the assumption of the theory of absolute reaction rates that the rate of a chemical reaction is governed by the rate of crossing an energy barrier or of forming an activated complex

absolute temperature: Temperature measured with respect to absolute zero, i.e., the zero of the kelvin thermodynamic scale of temperature, a scale which cannot take negative values

absolute temperature scale: also called the "absolute scale temperature" as measured on a scale in which the hypothetical lowest limit of physical temperature is assigned the value zero. The Kelvin scale is an example of the absolute temperature scale

absolute units: Units derived directly from the fundamental units of a system and not based on arbitrary numerical definitions. The differences between absolute and international units were small; both are now superseded by the definitions of SI units

absolute wavemeter: A wavemeter in which the frequency of the injected radio-frequency signal is by calculation of physical properties (circuit elements or dimensions) of a resonant circuit line or cavity

absolute weight:

The weight (or mass) of a body in a vacuum

absolute zero: The point at which there is a total absence of heat, minus 459.67°F (-273.15°C)

absorbance: [1] The logarithm of the ratio of the intensity of light incident on a sample to that transmitted by it. It is usually directly proportional to the concentration of the absorbing substance in a solution. [2] The capacity of materials such as textile fibers and paper to absorb liquids

absorbed dose: Quantity of energy imparted by ionizing radiation to a unit mass of biological tissue. Unit is the gray

absorber: Any material which converts energy of radiation or particles into another form, generally heat. Energy transmitted is not absorbed. Scattered energy is often classed with absorbed energy. Also see air shock absorber damper direct-actingshock absorber double-tube shock absorber friction shock absorber gas shock absorber impact absorber lever-type shock absorber monotube shock absorber self-levelling shock absorber shock absorber single-tube shock absorber telescopic shock absorber UV absorber absorber rod: See control rod

absorber tower:

See shock absorber tower

absorbing: See energy absorbing steering column energy absorbing bumper absorbing bumper: See energy absorbing bumper

absorbing material: any medium used for absorbing energy from radiation of any type

absorbing steering: See energy absorbing steering column

absorbing steering column: See energy absorbing steering column

absorptance: A measure of the ability of a body to absorb radiation; the ratio of the radiant flux absorbed by the body to that incident on the body

absorptiometer: An apparatus for determining the solubilities of gases in liquids or the absorption of light

absorption: The use of reagents to remove unwanted antibodies or antigens from a mixture. Also see sound absorption absorption band: A dark gap in the continuous spectrum of white light transmitted by a substance which exhibits selective absorption

absorption capacitor:

A capacitor connected across a spark gap to damp the discharge

absorption coefficient: [1] The volume of gas, measured at stp, dissolved by unit volume of a liquid under normal pressure (i.e., one atmosphere). [2] The fraction of the energy which is absorbed. [3] The reduction of amplitude, for a beam of radiation or other wave system incident on a discontinuity in the medium through which it is propagated, or in the path along which it is transmitted. [4] In a medium, the natural logarithm of the ratio of incident and emergent energy or amplitude for a beam of radiation passing through unit thickness of a medium.

absorption discontinuity: See absorption edge

absorption dynamometer: A dynamometer which absorbs and dissipates the power which it measures, e.g., the ordinary rope brake and the Froude hydraulic brake

absorption edge: The wavelength at which there is an abrupt discontinuity in the intensity of an absorption spectrum for electromagnetic waves, giving the appearance of a sharp edge in its photograph. The transition is due to one particular energy-dissipating process.

ABS override button: A button or switch which disengages the automatic anti-lock braking system so that the driver can operate the brakes himself.

ABS relay valve: An electrically controlled valve which modulates the air pressure in the ABS.

abut: The action of two gear teeth making contact.

abutment: [1] A part which stops the motion of another part from proceeding any farther. [2] A cement raised shoulder secured to the side of the road to prevent a vehicle from going over the edge.

[3] The contact made between opposing teeth of two gears.

abutting edge: The side or edge of a panel which joins another panel.

ABV: Acronym for "air bypass valve"

A/C: [1] An abbreviation for air conditioning or air conditioner. [2] An abbreviation for "across corners" which indicates the distance on a nut (for instance) from one corner to the opposite corner rather than the distance from one flat surface (A/F) to the opposite (which would be the size of wrench needed to install or remove the nut). The purpose of the A/C dimension is to know how large a hole might be needed to insert a recessed nut.

AC: [1] A vehicle brand of which the 1925-48 models are classic cars. [2] Acronym for "alternating current." [3] Acronym for "air conditioning" or "air conditioner."

AC Ace: A vehicle brand of which the 1954-61 Ace models are milestone cars.

AC Aceca: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-61 Aceca models are milestone cars.

ACAP: Acronym for "Associação do comércio automovóvel de Portugal"

AC Buckland: A vehicle brand of which the 1949 Buckland Open Tourer is a milestone car.

acc: Abbreviation for "accessories."


[1] Acronym for "Automatic Cruise Control." [2] A term found on a cruise control switch which indicates the direction the switch needs to be moved to increase the speed (accelerate) of the vehicle.

ACCC: Acronym for "air conditioner clutch compressor" signal

accelerate: To increase the speed of a vehicle. Opposite of decelerate.

accelerating-well ports: these ports prevent momentary leanness during the period that occurs between the opening of the air valve and the actual discharge of fuel from the secondary nozzles

acceleration: The rate of change of velocity or speed. Velocity is steady and is measured in distance per time (e.g., feet per second, miles per hour, kilometres per hour). Acceleration keeps increasing and is measured in velocity per time (e.g., feet per second per second or feet per second squared). Also see lateral acceleration sluggish acceleration yaw acceleration acceleration enrichment: The action of increasing the fuel/air mixture during acceleration in order to improve the vehicle's speed and its smooth response.

accelerator: [1] In automobiles, this is the "gas pedal" which is attached by linkage to the throttle in the carburetor or to the fuel injection system. It regulates the amount of fuel which is sent to the engine. In motorcycles, the accelerator is located on the right-hand twist grip or an actuating lever. [2] A chemical which is added to something to make a process happen more quickly. For example, a chemical may be added to paint to cause it to dry faster. The opposite is "retarder." Also see depress the accelerator

ease up on theaccelerator step on the accelerator take foot off the accelerator accelerator interlock: A connection between the gas pedal and the automatic transmission.

accelerator pedal: The accelerator, gas pedal, or throttle pedal.

accelerator pump: A small pump usually located inside the carburetor that sprays an extra amount of fuel into the engine during acceleration. It improves acceleration by giving more boost and reducing a momentary lag in power. It is actuated by depressing the pedal.

accelerometer: An instrument which measures the amount of acceleration.

acceptable quality level: (AQL) A manufactured good that may not be perfect but does reach a level of shape, size, and performance, etc. that will make it work and last as long as the manufacturer expects.

acceptance test: An examination of a part or its assembly to determine if it meets a prescribed standard.

access: A way of reaching something that is usually hidden or covered. Also see access panel access hole: An opening through which you can reach something. It is usually covered with a panel.


Items and packages of equipment which are beyond the standard equipment supplied in a new vehicle.

accessory: See accessories.

accessory package: A set of features or appointments which may be ordered at extra cost on a new vehicle.

access panel: The cover which conceals the engine on a mid-engine vehicle. Also called "engine cover." Also see hood accident: See car accident

accident damage: The destruction caused to a vehicle's bodywork when it is involved in an accident.

Accord: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Accord accumulator: [1] A storage battery for an electric car. [2] A pressurized container for an automatic levelling suspension system. [3] A part of the hydraulic system which is charged by the fluid pump, absorbs fluctuating fluid delivery, stores fluid at pressure, and can provide a rapid flow of fluid under pressure. Also see accumulator piston fuel accumulator hydraulic accumulator pressure accumulator accumulator battery:

A storage battery (i.e., the main battery in your vehicle).

accumulator drier: A device which is part of the air conditioning system. It is made up of a tank, filter, drying agent, and a vapor return tube. It is usually found on the evaporator outlet. It stores the excess refrigerant and removes the moisture from the refrigerant (thus the name "drier"). Also see receiver drier accumulator piston: A unit found in the automatic transmission to assist the servo to apply the brake band quickly and smoothly.

accumulator system: In an automatic transmission, it includes a hydraulic accumulator piston which is controlled by a valve.

accumulator valve: A device which operates the hydraulic accumulator piston in an automatic transmission.

Ace: An American trucker's colloquial term for someone with a class "A" licence. Also see AC Ace ACEA: Acronym for "Association des Constructeurs européens dAutomobiles" (i.e., European Automakers Association)

Aceca: See AC Aceca.

acetylene: A gas composed of two parts of carbon and two parts of hydrogen. When burned in an atmosphere of oxygen, it produces one of the highest flame temperatures obtainable for welding.

Also see oxygen acetylene cutting acetylene bottle: See acetylene cylinder

acetylene cutting: See oxygen acetylene cutting

acetylene cylinder: A specially built container manufactured according to I.C.C. Standards. Used to store and ship acetylene. Also called "acetylene tank" or "acetylene bottle"

acetylene hose: A flexible medium used to carry gases from regulators to the torch. It is made of fabric and rubber.

acetylene regulator: An automatic valve used to reduce acetylene cylinder pressures to torch pressures and to keep the pressures constant.

acetylene tank: acetylene cylinder

AC generator: A generator produces direct current (DC) while an alternator produces alternating current (AC). Because alternators were introduced to automobile electrical systems after generators had been in use for some time, some people referred to the new alternator as "AC generator."

ache: See head ache rack

ache rack: See head ache rack


Also see battery acid chromic acid oxalic acid acid rain: When the smoke created by factories and vehicle exhausts is taken by the wind and joined with rain clouds, the mixture is often acidic. As a result the rain that falls to the ground (and even on your car) may damage whatever it strikes.

AC Ignition System: See continuous AC Ignition System

Ackermann: See Ackermann steering.

Ackermann steering: A double-pivoting steering system where the outer ends of the steering arms are bent slightly inward so that when the vehicle is making a turn, the inside wheel will turn more sharply than the outer wheel. This is done to compensate for the greater distance the outside wheel must travel. Ackermann angle: The toe-out or toe-in of a vehicle with Ackermann steering when the wheels are positioned straight ahead.

Ackermann axle: In a vehicle with Ackermann steering (at the front of the vehicle), it is a nonrotating axle that is steerable and has two pivot points (one on each end of the axle) with vertical kingpins.

ACL BI-MET: Acronym for "air cleaner bi-metal sensor"

ACL DV: Acronym for "air cleaner duct and valve vacuum" motor

acquisition fee:

A charge for processing a lease and is probably not negotiable. On a shorter term lease, the acquisition fee can have a large impact on the cost of the lease.

across corners: (A/C) The distance on a nut (for instance) from one corner to the opposite corner rather than the distance from one flat surface (A/F) to the opposite (which would be the size of wrench needed to install or remove the nut). The purpose of the A/C dimension is to know how large a hole might be needed to insert a recessed nut.

across flats: (A/F) The distance on a nut (for instance) from one flat surface to the opposite flat surface, i.e., this is the size of the wrench needed to install or remove the nut. Also see across corners. acrylate: A polymer used to strengthen rubber (e.g., ethyl acrylate).

acrylic: A term relating to a type of paint made by polymerizing acrylonitrile.

acrylic finish: A final coating of paint which uses acrylic paint, often where the pigment and an acrylic paint are mixed together. Also see two-pack paint. acrylic paint: A type of paint made by polymerizing acrylonitrile.

acrylic resin: A thermoplastic synthetic polymer made by polymerizing an acrylic derivative such as acrylonitrile, acrylic acid, ethyl acrylate, and methacrylate. It is used for adhesives, protective coatings, and paint finishes.

AC Shelby Cobra: A vehicle brand of which the 1962-67 Shelby Cobra models are milestone cars.

ACT: Acronym for "air charge temperature."

Act: See motor Vehicle Safety Act

acting: Also see double-acting dual-acting single-acting action: Also see capillary action caster action mist action oscillating action parallel action locking pliers reciprocating action action brakes: See servo action brakes

action locking: See parallel action locking pliers

action locking pliers: See parallel action locking pliers

activated: See cable activated

activated carbon: A highly porous carbon which is able to absorb gases and fluids. It is usually found in small pellets so that the surface area is greater than a large chunk of it. Also it has a number of pores on each pellet to increase the surface area more. Thus the greater surface area means greater ability to absorb. Also called "activated charcoal."

activated carbon canister: An automotive filter in which activated carbon has been placed so that gas tank fuel vapors, which have accumulated when the vehicle is not running, are trapped in the filter. When the engine is running, hot air is forced into the filter and push out the vapors into the engine. In this way, pollution is reduced and conservation of the fuel is maintained. Also called "activated charcoal trap" or "charcoal canister."

activated charcoal: Also see activated carbon charcoal activated charcoal trap: See activated carbon canister.

activator: A substance which is used to speed up the process of curing a tire.

active braking time: The length of time (excluding the driver's reaction time) a vehicle takes to come to a complete stop after the brakes are applied.

active material: in a storage battery, peroxide of lead (brown) in positive plates and metallic lead (gray) in negative plates upon which sulphuric acid acts

active noise control system: See anti-noise system.

active safety: The opposite of passive safety. Passive safety involves seat belts, airbags, bumpers, etc. so that in the event of an accident the passengers are protected. Active safety involves factors which will assist the driver in avoiding an accident. They include brakes, steering, handling response, acceleration, etc.

active suspension:

While conventional suspension uses springs and shock absorbers to isolate the vehicle from the bouncing movement of the wheels when it contacts rough roads, active suspension uses power actuators which are controlled by a computer. These actuators place the wheels of the vehicle in the best position to accommodate rough roads as well as compensate for different load levels.

Activities: See Kaizen Activities

activity: See catalytic activity low temperature activity specific activity ACTS: Acronym for "air charge temperature sensor"

actual cash value: (ACV) The amount of money a dealer has invested in the purchase of a used vehicle and any additional costs to repair the unit in order to get it ready for resale.

actual throat: A welding term which describes the distance from the face of a weld to the root of the weld

actuate: The action of bringing a part or assembly into operation.

actuating lever: A triggering device used to bring a part or assembly into operation.

actuating switch: A triggering device used to bring a part or assembly into operation.


See variable valve actuation

actuator: A device which controls or operates another device. Also see hydraulic actuators actuator arm: An arm connecting the diaphragm to the contact breaker platform in an advance mechanism. Also called "diaphragm link."

Acura: A vehicle brand from the Honda manufacturers ACV: [1] Acronym for "actual cash value." [2] Acronym for "air control valve" Click for books on Acura

ad: See classified ad

adapter: (Also spelled "adaptor") A connector which links two items usually of dissimilar structure or size. Also see bit adapter carburetor adapter engine adapter increasing adapter ratchet adapter reducing adapter transmission adapter wheel adapter. adaptor carburetor: a device attached to a gasoline carburetor which permits an internal combustion engine to run either on gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas)

adapter plate:

(Also spelled "adaptor plate") A plate which is placed between two different parts in order to link them. Also see transfer plate additive: A substance (liquid or powder) which is added to gasoline or oil and is intended to improve the characteristics of the original product. Also see anti-knock additive fuel additive oil additive ADEFA: Acronym for "Asociacion de Fabricas de Automotores" (Argentina)

adhere: To stick or be glued to something.

adhesion: [1] The ability of paint, primer, or glue to stick to the surface to which it is applied. [2] The ability of a tire to grip the surface of the road. Also see intercoat adhesion failure limits of adhesion adhesion failure: See intercoat adhesion failure

adhesive: A substance (like glue) that is used to join two substances. Also see automotive adhesive impact adhesive separate-application adhesive adhesive tape: A tape with a sticky substance on one side. It usually comes in a roll of various widths. Sometimes used to insulate electrical wires (e.g., electrical tape) or to wrap a larger object (e.g., duct tape). Often the non-sticky side is shiny (but not always).

adhesive weight: Lead wheel weights which have a sticky backing. It comes in strips and is applied to a wheel rim. Also called "tape weight."

adiabatic: A property of being able to maintain heat evenly. It does not gain any heat or lose it. Also see thermal efficiency adiabatic engine: An engine which is very efficient in transferring combustion heat to those parts of the engine which are being cooled by the flow of anti-freeze coolant -- thus maintaining an even temperature of the engine. In this way the engine is warm enough for efficient running and it does not overheat.

adjust: The action of putting something into its proper alignment or position. It may involve one component (e.g., He adjusted the gasket to fit properly.) or a series of components (e.g., He adjusted the poor idle -- might mean he set the ignition timing, adjusted the carburetor screws, changed the choke setting, cleaned or replaced the spark plugs, etc.) Also see tweak adjustable: A characteristic of something that can be changed, removed, or give different properties. Also see height adjustable steering column adjustable cup: The left-hand cup in a bottom bracket of a bicycle, used in adjusting the bottom bracket bearings and removed during bottom bracketoverhaul. The other cup is the fixed cup.

adjustable off-idle air bleed: some emissions-era Rochester carburetors have a separate air passage to bleed air past an adjustment screw into the idle system. this screw is preset by the factory to produce precise off-idle air/fuel mixture ratios to meet emission-control


adjustable part throttle: (APT) a supplementary circuit on some carburetors that can be adjusted to control part-throttle mixtures more accurately than a fixed orifice. The APT detours around the main jet, going directly from the float bowl to the discharge nozzle feed well.

adjustable rocker arm: a type of rocker arm with an adjusting nut that can be tightened or loosened to adjust valve lash

adjustable shock: See adjustable shocks.

adjustable shock absorbers: shocks with adjustable jounce and rebound characteristics can be stiffened to compensate for wear or to fine tune a suspension for a particular application such as rough roads, heavy loads, or racing

adjustable shocks: Shock absorbers which can compensate for varying needs of stiffness or softness. Manual types require that you physically make the adjustment from one level to another. Automatic types are controlled by a computer as it senses particular changes in road condition.

adjustable spanner: British term for adjustable wrench.

adjustable steering: See height adjustable steering column

adjustable steering column: See height adjustable steering column

adjustable variable exhaust port: A device used on two-stroke engines which automatically alters or varies the exhaust port size.

adjustable wrench: A crescent wrench or pipe wrench. A tool which has a fixed jaw and a movable jaw which is controlled by a spiral gear. It is used to install or remove bolts and nuts of various sizes. The wrench itself comes in a variety of lengths and jaw sizes. A crescent wrench has smooth jaws while a pipe wrench has serrated jaws. British term is "adjustable spanner."

adjusted: See factory adjusted

adjuster: A device for moving something into the correct position or into a different position such as a seat adjuster. Also see automatic wear adjuster brake adjuster horizontal adjuster jet adjuster ride-height adjuster adjuster cam: A device for moving the shoes on drum brakes closer to the drum itself so that there is less travel when the brakes are applied.

adjusting: Also See electrode adjusting tool headlight adjusting screw self-adjusting adjusting gage: See adjusting gauge.

adjusting gauge: A tool used to determine the small distance between two parts so that they can be brought within specifications.

adjusting screw:

A small screw usually found on carburetors, brakes, or headlights which change the way something operates, such as increasing or decreasing the amount of fuel entering the engine; or changing the idle speed; or tightening up the brakes; or changing the setting on rocker arms; or the level of the headlights. Also see headlight adjusting screw tappet adjusting screw valve adjusting screw adjusting shim: A thin washer or plate which reduces or increases the clearance between two components (depending upon where they are placed). While some valves are adjusted by screws on the rocker arm, others are set by inserting a shim to make the same adjustment.

adjusting sleeve: A small cylinder on the end of the tie rod which shortens or lengthens the rod to make changes in the toe-in and toe-out.

adjusting spanner: See brake adjusting spanner

adjusting tool: See brake adjusting tool electrode adjusting tool adjusting wrench: See brake adjusting wrench

adjustment: [1] changing or modifying the position or alignment of two components. [2] the distance of travel that a component has. Also see fore and aft adjustment idle mixture adjustment screw idle speed adjustment adjustment screw:

See idle mixture adjustment screw

Adler: The brand name of a vehicle. With required application the 1925-48 models are classic cars.

a-dos: See dos-a-dos

A-drier: See a-dryer.

A-dryer: A paint dryer which has the heating elements below the paint drying line.

ADS: Acronym for "Association of Diesel Specialists"

adsorption: The bonding that takes place when a gas or vapor comes into contact with a solid. The opposite is desorption.

adsorption canister: See activated carbon canister.

advance: [1] The act of changing the ignition timing so that the spark occurs earlier in the cycle. The opposite is retard. [2] It may refer to the device which makes this adjustment. Also see automatic advance centrifugal advance electronic spark advance ignition advance mechanical advance ported vacuum advance spark advance

speed control vacuum advance vacuum advance advance capsule: See vacuum advance.

advance curve: As the speed of the engine increases the ignition advance also increases. On paper, a pattern is drawn as a curve to represent this relationship.

advanced: [1] A condition in which something occurs early. [2] A product which is on the cutting edge of technology and shows the latest in new ideas and concepts.

advanced rim taper: A rim where both bead seats are tapered 5°.

advance mechanism: See vacuum advance mechanism

advance unit: See vacuum advance unit

advance weight: One of two small weights located in a centrifugal advance assembly.

advertising: A colloquial term for a police car with its emergency lights flashing.

AEA: Acronym for "Automotive Electric Association" or "Automotive Electronic Association"


Acronym for "Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association."

aeration: A foaming of a liquid because air has been introduced into the fluid. When it occurs in certain liquids, it decreases the efficiency of the liquid.

aerial: British term for antenna. Also see retractable aerial whip aerial aerobic sealer: a substance (such as room temperature vulcanizing (RTV), a common silicone rubber sealing compound) that requires the presence of oxygen to hold parts together. See anaerobic sealer

aerodynamic: The efficient flow of air around an object.

aerodynamic drag: The resistance of the air to forward movement, sometimes called "air resistance." This is a factor of the shape of the vehicle (drag coefficient and frontal area), the objects which stick out (i.e., mirrors, mufflers, bumpers), the amount of turbulence at the rear of the vehicle, the nature of the vehicle's skin surface, and the amount of air going through the vehicle for cooling and ventilation. The faster you go, the greater the air friction (air friction = velocity x velocity). The faster you go, the greater the amount of power needed to overcome this drag (power = velocity x velocity x velocity).

aerodynamics: The study of the flow of air as it passes over and around a moving object as well as the forces which the air makes on the object. An airplane, for instance, needs positive lift to get it airborne and negative lift to help it land. Thus the shape of a land vehicle (car, bicycle, etc.) either promotes positive or negative lift. Race cars may use spoilers and wings (air foils) to control lift. In vehicle design, the airflow is monitored in a wind tunnel. As well, aerodynamics also studies the most efficient shapes for increased speed and fuel economy.

aerodynamic stance:

In order to create less drag, the vehicle is lowered closer to the ground. This improves the flow of air over the vehicle. A better aerodynamic stance helps the vehicle to go faster when it is going in a straight line as well as give better fuel economy. Also, when a vehicle sits lower to the ground, it has a low center of gravity which makes it more stable when going through turns and enables the driver to maintain a higher speed.

aerofoil: A body shaped like a wing so as to produce lift. See air foil.

A/F: [1] Abbreviation for "across flats" which is the distance on a nut (for instance) from one flat surface to the opposite flat surface, i.e., this is the size of the wrench needed to install or remove the nut. Also see across corners. [2] Abbreviation for "air/fuel." See air-fuel ratio.

AFB: Acronym for "Aluminum four-barrel," as in Carter AFB carburetor.

AFC: Acronym for "air flow controlled"

affected zone: See heat-affected zone

A-Frame: A chassis frame which is shaped like the letter "A" where the crossbar is often the axle. It is usually found as the frame of a trailer.

A/F ratio: See air-fuel ratio.

aft: The back of a vessel. Also see fore and aft adjustment aft adjustment:

See fore and aft adjustment

after bottom dead center: (ABDC) The position of the piston as it starts its way up.

afterburner: A device for burning excess carbon wastes produced by the engine so that air pollution is reduced.

aftercooler: A device in a diesel engine which removes the relatively warm air which enters the engine.

afterglow: the period during which the glow plugs of a diesel engine continue to operate after the engine is started

aftermarket: All products and services used in the repair and maintenance of vehicles after the vehicle has been sold.

aftermarket equipment: Accessories and replacement parts added to a vehicle after it has been sold.

aftermarket overdrive: An overdrive device which is not original equipment, but has been added after it has been sold.

aftermarket part: Goods not for use as original equipment in the production of light-duty vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles, i.e., products and services used in the repair and maintenance of these vehicles.

aftermarket rustproofing: Although most vehicles come from the manufacturer with some rustproofing, there is no guarantee that every part of the exposed chassis and frame will be protected from the elements and the possibility of rust. Therefore rustproofing is applied by the owner of the vehicle to reduce the possibility of rust. If this rustproofing is not

done when the vehicle is new, it might seal in the rust and create a greater problem.

afterpeak bulkhead: First main transverse bulkhead forward of the sternpost

after perpendiculars: A vertical line at the intersection of the summer load line and the after side of the rudder post or sternpost, or the centerline of the rudder stock if there is no rudder post or sternpost

after-start enrichment: When an engine is first started, it needs a little richer fuel-air mixture (i.e., more fuel, less air). In a carbureted engine, this is accomplished by the choke (which restricts the amount of air). In a fuel injected engine, the after-start enrichment device increases the amount of fuel. As the engine warms up, the device gradually reduces the amount of enrichment. Some devices just reduce the amount gradually over time without sensing the temperature of the engine.

after top dead center: (ATDC) A term used in timing the relation of the spark and the crankshaft. The position of the piston as it starts its way down.

AG: Acronym for "air-guard"

aged catalyst: A catalyst which has already been in service. Opposite to a fresh catalyst.

age-hardening: Aluminum and some metal alloys will become hard and even brittle with age which is an unwanted characteristic. On the other hand when paint or cement harden over time, this process may be a desirable characteristic.

ageing: See aging.


See driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency energy Protection Agency agent: An intermediary with legal authority to operate on behalf of the manufacturer. Also see aggressive agent anti-knock additive anti-knock agent bonding agent degreasing agent oxidizing agent reducing agent release agent rustproofing agent softening agent agent fee: Although you can register your vehicle and obtain your licence from a government office, some states and provinces permit an agent to perform that same service and allow the agent to collect an extra fee for the service. In this way the lineup at the government office is reduced.

aggressive: A French expression to indicate the reinforced front, rear, and side safety structures of a vehicle. If the strengthened structure causes more than normal damage to another vehicle, a pedestrian, or the occupants of the vehicle, then that structure is aggressive.

aggressive agent: A corrosive material or chemical which attacks metal to pit them. Also called "aggressive medium."

aggressive medium: A corrosive material or chemical which attacks metal to pit them.

aggressivity: See aggressive.

aging: [1] The deterioration of rubber properties by oxidation over a period of time. [2] A change in the properties of some metals after heat treatment or cold working (i.e., hammering or bending when metal is cold). See tire aging

agitation cup: A type of spray gun paint container which has an agitator.

agitator: A device for mixing paint by shaking the container.

Agreement: See Free Trade Agreement of the Americas General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade North American Free Trade Agreement Agreement of the Americas: See Free Trade Agreement of the Americas

Agreement on Tariffs: See General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: See General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

aground: See hard aground

AGVS: Acronym for "Automated Guided Vehicle System."

a.h.: Abbreviation for ampere-hour.


Acronym for "Association of the Hungarian Automotive Industry"

AHAP: Acronym for "As High As Possible."

AHARA: Acronym for "As High As Reasonably Achievable"

ahoogah: The sound of a particular kind of horn.

AHRA: Acronym for "American Hot Rod Association."

AH Rim: A wheel rim which is able to run even when the tire is flat and provides safety in case of a puncture.

AIADA: Acronym for "American International Automobile Dealers Association"

AIAM: Acronym for "Association of International Automobile Manufacturers"

AIA-SAP: Acronym for "Automotive Industry Association" (Czech Republic)

AIA-ZAP: Acronym for "Automotive Industry Association" (Slovakia).

aided: See computer-aided


See suspension aids

AIMA: Acronym for "Associação dos Industriais de Montagem de Automóveis" (Portugal).

aimer: A tool for aiming headlights.

aiming: Adjusting the direction of the headlight beams to shine without blinding oncoming traffic and yet providing the maximum illumination whether in low beam or high beam.

air: [1] Abbreviation for "air conditioner." [2] A gas containing approximately 80% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and a small portion of other gases. One of the essential factors in a combustion engine (fuel, air, proper proportion of mixture, compression, timing, and spark). Also see ambient air bath air charge air cold air driver air bag electric air control valve electric air switching valve AIR: An acronym for "Air Injection Reactor" system of reducing objectionable exhaust emissions. Also see air injection air and fuel: See proper proportion of air and fuel external mix air cap fuel air mixture fuel air ratio heater air pipe idle air bleed screw idle air jet internal mix air cap L-jetronic air flow meter lateral air passage low-profile air cleaner modular air strut oil bath air cleaner paper air cleaner passenger-side air bag

proper proportion of air and fuel pulse air principle pulse air system ram air secondary air

air aspirator system:

(AAS) A passive air injection system that uses a one-way valve instead of an air pump to introduce extra air into the exhaust stream

air bag: A device which is part of the passive safety system. In the event of an accident, sensors will cause the airbag to be deployed so that your head will be pillowed by the bag instead of hitting the dash. Also see driver air bag passenger-side air bag side impact air bag airbag: A device which is part of the passive safety system. In the event of an accident, sensors will cause the airbag to be deployed so that your head will be pillowed by the bag instead of hitting the dash. Also see driver air bag passenger-side air bag side impact air bag airbag module: All the components that make up the airbag system: Airbag, inflator, cover, and sensor. Also called "airbag unit."

airbag restraint system: A system which uses an airbag to restrain occupants in the event of a collision. They may be placed on the dash or doors or even in the shoulder strap. Also called "passive restraint system."

air-bag system: See supplemental restraint inflatable air-bag system

airbag unit: All the components that make up the airbag system: Airbag, inflator, cover, and sensor. Also called "airbag module."

air bellows: A rubber bladder or sleeve filled with compressed gas or air. Found on some suspension systems to provide cushioning. See air suspension.

air bleed: See compensating jet idle air bleed screw air bleed screw: See idle air bleed screw.

airbox: The container which holds the air filter.

air brake: A system of braking which is usually found on large truck in which compressed air pushes against a brake piston or diaphragm in order to apply the brakes to stop or slow the vehicle.

airbrush: [1] A paint spray gun used for precise detailing work and custom painting. [2] The act of using an airbrush.

air bypass valve: (ABPV or ABV) a backfire-suppressor valve used in air injection systems. During high engine vacuum conditions such as deceleration, it vents pressurized air from the air pump to the atmosphere in order to prevent backfiring. At other times, it sends air to the exhaust manifold. On vehicles with a three-way catalyst, it sends air to the oxidation catalyst only when the engine warms up. Also called an antibackfire valve, diverter valve, or gulp valve

air cap: See external mix air cap internal mix air cap air capacity: See breathing capacity.

air charge temperature:

(ACT) The temperature of the air being forced into the carburetor or fuel injection system. An ACT sensor measures this temperature

air charge temperature sensor: (ACTS) a thermistor sensor that inputs the temperature of the incoming air stream in the air filter or intake manifold to the computer. It can be located in the intake manifold (EFI systems) or the air cleaner. On carbureted vehicles, if the air is cold, it signals the choke to let off slowly. It then alters engine speed after the choke is off and below a certain temperature, dumps air from the air injection system to the atmosphere for catalyst protection

air cleaner: A device which filters the air entering the engine to remove dust, dirt, and bumblebees. Also called "air filter." Also see bath air cleaner low-profile air cleaner oil bath air cleaner paper air cleaner thermostatic air cleaner air cleaner bi-metal sensor: (ACL BI-MET) a component of a thermostatic air cleaner system. It senses the temperature of incoming fresh air and bleeds off vacuum when the air is warm. When the air is cold, the sensor directs vacuum to the air cleaner vacuum motor.

air cleaner duct and valve vacuum motor: (ACL DV) a component of thermostatic air cleaner systems. It opens and closes the air duct valve to provide heated or unheated air to the engine in accordance with the temperature of the incoming air

air cleaner element: The replaceable filter which prevents impurities from the air which enters the combustion chamber. Also called "air filter element."

air cleaner horn: Many air cleaner canisters have a spout or horn extending from the edge of the canister into which the air is taken in. See heated intake.

[Ba] [Bb] [Bc] [Bd] [Be] [Bh] [Bi] [Bl] [Bm] [Bo] [Bp] [Br] [Bs] [Bt] [Bu] [Bw] [By]

BA: An abbreviation for "British Association" which is a term used to describe a series of fine, small diameter threads for electrical and precision equipment

babbitt: An alloy of tin, copper, and antimony having good antifriction properties. Used as a facing for bearings.

babbitt metal: See babbitt

baby seat: A specially designed seating device (which is not generally standard equipment) to hold safely very young children (usually under the weight of 10 kilograms).

BAC: Acronym for "Blood Alcohol Content"

back: See blow back die-back die back kamm back popping back spine-back back axle: The rear axle

back axle ratio: See final drive ratio


See backbone frame.

backbone chassis: See backbone frame

backbone frame: A frame, having the cross-section of a rectangular box, that runs along the center of the vehicle and occupies the space between the seats. This box generally divides at the front, running along each side of the gearbox and engine up to a crossmember to which the front suspension pieces are attached. At the rear a similar triangular frame encloses the final-drive housing and provides attaching points for the rear suspension. Lightness combined with high torsional rigidity are features of this frame design, made famous by Colin Chapman with the Lotus Elan. Also see tubular backbone frame backfire: [1] Passage of unburned fuel mixture into the exhaust system where it is ignited and causes an explosion (backfire) prematurely. [2] Sometimes ignition takes place in the intake manifold by a flame from a cylinder because the intake valve leaks. Burning of the fuel mixture in the intake manifold may be caused by faulty timing, crossed plug wires, leaky intake valve, etc. [3] A welding term referring to a short "pop" of the torch flame followed by extinguishing of the flame or continued burning of the gasses

backfiring: Repeated backfires in the exhaust or the cylinders

backflow scavenging: See loop scavenging

backflushing: See flushing the cooling system.

backhand welding: Welding in the direction opposite to the direction that the gas flame is pointing. Also called "backward welding."

backing: Some material placed on the root side of a weld to aid control of penetration. Also see steel backing backing pad: A rubber disc which is secured to a spindle which in turn is attached to a drill or other tool which rotates the spindle. An abrasive disc or polishing disc is secured to the backing pad.

backing plate: See brake backing plate.

backlash: The amount of "play" or clearance between two parts. In the case of gears, it refers to how much one gear can be moved back and forth without moving the gear into which it is meshed.

backlight: The rear window of a vehicle.

backlight heater: Heated rear window

backlight defogging system: Heated rear window

back panel: The panel of the body shell set underneath the trunk lid. It is sometimes referred to as the rear valance if the area below the trunk lid consists of only a single panel that extends down to the bottom of the body; in many designs, however, the rear valance is a separate horizontal panel that extends from the rear bumper area downward. The British term is "rear panel"


British term for brake backing plate

back pressure: The resistance to the flow of exhaust gases through the exhaust system. By rerouting the exhaust gases for noise suppression, a muffler causes back pressure, but a straight pipe alone causes only minimal back pressure. Some engines require back pressure, so that removing the exhaust system will cause internal damage. Also see exhaust back pressure negative back pressure valve negative back pressure modulated valve back pressure modulated: See negative back pressure modulated valve

back pressure modulated valve: See negative back pressure modulated valve

back pressure valve: See negative back pressure valve

backpressure variable transducer: (BVT) a system combining a ported EGR valve and a backpressure variable transducer to control emissions of NOx

backrest: The back (upright) part of the seat against which your back reclines

back-seat: An air conditioning term which means to rotate a service valve counterclockwise all the way down until the valve is back-seated. When referring to a stem type service valve, the term has a more specific meaning-in the back-seated position, the valve outlet to the system is open and the service port in the valve is closed (its normal operating position)

back-step welding: Welding small sections of a joint in a direction opposite the direction that the weld as a whole is progressing.

back up: To go in reverse

back up alarm: An annoying loud beeping which is repeatedly sounded when a vehicle (usually a large truck) is placed in reverse. It is designed to warn pedestrians behind the vehicle. The British term is "reversing warning signal"

back up light: A light which is located at the rear of the vehicle and is illuminated when the transmission is placed in reverse. The British term is "reversing light"

back-voltage: Voltage which opposes the current when the current in an inductive circuit changes and the magnetic field cuts the conductors. Also see self-induction back-voltage backward welding: See backhand welding

BAC level: Blood Alcohol level

badge: An emblem with a manufacturer's name and/or logo on a plate to identify a model or component. Also see hood badge badge engineering: When a manufacturer sells two identical vehicles but the model names are different, he is badge engineering. For example, General Motors may sell a vehicle as a Chevrolet or a Pontiac where the only difference is the model name, logo, and more or less chrome or other minor alterations.


The tendency of a manufacturer to engage in badge engineering

baffle: An obstruction used to slow down or divert the flow of gases, liquids, sound, etc. They are found in the fuel tank, crankcase, muffler, and radiator. baffle plate: A metal plate that acts as a baffle.

bag: See air bag courier bag cruiser bag driver air bag passenger-side air bag shot bag side impact air bag tank bag bake: A process of drying or curing paint by using heat

Bakelite: The trademark for a synthetic thermosetting plastic resin used in electrical parts because it is a good insulator. The name comes from its inventor, L. H. Baekeland, 1863-1944.

baking finish: Paint that requires baking in order to dry

baking temperature: The temperature at which a varnish or paint must be baked to develop desired final properties of strength and hardness

balance: [1] The state in which weight is evenly distributed. [2] The action of applying weights or drilling holes in something to establish even weight distribution so that vibration is reduced.

Also see balance shaft counter balance crankshaft counter-balance dynamic balance harmonic balancer heat balance kinetic balance off-car balance on-car balance spool balance valve static balance steering wheel balance tire balance wheel balancer balance control: A switching device on a stereo radio which adjusts the amount of sound coming from the left and right speakers or from the front and rear speakers

balanced crankshaft: A crankshaft with extended reinforcements to form counterbalancing or act as a vibration damper

balance disc: A disc-shaped device in a centrifugal pump which is attached to the pump shaft. The disc lifts when a force is applied to the underside of the disc allowing pressure to leak past until the axial forces are balanced

balanced engine: An engine in which all the reciprocating parts such as pistons and connecting rods are adjusted to exactly the same weight

balance patch: A factory installed patch used to bring a new tire within quality control balance tolerances before distribution and sale. It is placed inside the tire casing and looks much like a nail hole repair patch.

balance pipe:

A tube which joins two or more carburetors to even out the flow difference.

balancer: See harmonic balancer wheel balancer balance shaft: An engine will normally vibrate because of the up-and-down motion of the pistons which turn a crankshaft in one direction. A balance shaft rotates (often in the opposite direction) so that its vibration cancels some of the vibration of the engine. Sometimes an engine will have two balance shafts turning in opposite directions located on either side of the crankshaft.

balance valve: See spool balance valve

balance weight: A lead weight attached to the rim of a wheel. See wheel weight.

balancing: [1] Dismantling engine and reassembling it to exact specifications and tolerances. This process may help to improve engine performance, smoothness, and reliability. Sometimes called "blueprinting." See balanced engine. [2] Keeping wheels in balance. Also see wheel balancing off-the-car balancing on-the-car balancing balancing machine: See wheel balancing machine

balancing weight: See wheel weight

bald tire: A tire on which the tread is all worn away. A slick also has no tread, but this is done deliberately for racing purposes

balk ring: A friction-regulated pawl or plunger used to make the engagement of gears easier. British spelling is "baulk ring" ball: A sphere usually made of metal when used in automotive applications. Also see ball and spring ball bearing ball joint ball joint rocker arm check ball detent ball and spring hitch ball impact swivel ball universal joint recirculating ball and nut steering recirculating ball steering recirculating ball worm and nut recirculating ball towing ball ball and nut: See recirculating ball and nut steering

ball-and-nut steering: See recirculating ball steering

ball and socket: See ball joint

ball and socket joint: See ball joint

ball and spring: See detent ball and spring.


Any liquid or solid weight placed in a ship to change the trim, increase the draft, or to regulate the stability. Also see dry ballast lead ballast liquid ballast ballast ignition system: An ignition system which uses a ballast resistor connected in series with the coil primary winding and which is bypassed when the starter is engaged so that the spark is more efficient under cold weather starting

ballast tank: Tanks at the bottom or sides of a ship which are filled with seawater for ballasting purpose.

ballasting: The addition of liquid or dry weight inside the tire to act as a counterbalance, to increase traction, reduce wheel spin, and dampen out bounce.

ballast resistor: (BAL RES) A resistor constructed of a special type wire, the properties of which tend to increase or decrease the voltage in direct proportion to the heat of the wire.

ball bearing: An antifriction bearing consisting of an inner and outer hardened steel race (or cage) separated by a series of hardened steel balls.

ball bearing puller: A tool for removing a ball bearing from a shaft or from a housing

ball cage: A circular frame which holds the balls in place in a ball bearing

ball end hexagon screwdriver: A tool that looks like an Allen wrench except it has a small ball at the very end. This arrangement allows it to work at various angles.

ball joint: A flexible joint using a ball and socket type of construction, used in steering linkage setups, steering knuckle pivot supports, etc. Their flexibility helps to compensate for the changes in the wheel and steering when turning or hitting a bump on the road. There are usually upper and lower ball joints attached to the upper and lower A-arms. ball joint rocker arm: A rocker arm that instead of being mounted on a shaft, is mounted upon a ballshaped device on the end of a stud.

ball joint separator: A tool for forcing out ball or tapered joints. One style is shaped like a two-prong fork with a wedge-shaped jaw which is struck with a hammer to separate the joint. Another style uses direct pressure from a screw or screw-activated lever action to split the joint.

ball joint steering knuckle: A steering knuckle that pivots on ball joints instead of on a kingpin.

balloon tire: A type of low pressure tire which was first introduced in the 1920s. Its width and height were the same which gave it a rounded shape. This style was used on bicycles as well as automobiles.

Ballot: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 model automobiles with required application are classic cars.

ball pien hammer: A hammer with two ends on the head. One is round and the other is flat. They are best used for hammering and shaping metal. Also spelled "ball peen"

ball peen hammer: A hammer with two ends on the head. One is round and the other is flat. They are best used for hammering and shaping metal. Also spelled "ball pien"

ball socket:

A recessed spherical well for receiving the ball in a ball joint

ball steering: See recirculating ball steering

ball universal: See impact swivel ball universal joint

ball universal joint: See impact swivel ball universal joint

ball valve: A check valve in which a ball in a tube is used to control the flow of liquid.

ball worm: See recirculating ball worm and nut

ball worm and nut: See recirculating ball worm and nut

BAL RES: Abbreviation for ballast resistor

band: Bands are like a metal belt which is in the shape of a circle where the two ends are close, but do not meet. They wrap around parts inside the transmission called "drums." The drums house the gears and clutches and freewheel until a certain gear needs to be applied. When first gear needs to be applied, the drum for first gear is locked up by the application of the band. By locking up the drum, the gears now drive the wheels rather than freewheel inside the drum. Also see brake band power band squish band band brake:

See brake band

band radio: See citizens band radio

bands: See band.

bandwidth: The range of audio frequencies that an audio component (radio) can handle

B & S: bore and stroke.

B & S gage: Abbreviation for "Brown and Sharpe." A standard measure of wire diameter.

B & S gauge: Abbreviation for "Brown and Sharpe." A standard measure of wire diameter.

banger: [1] A colloquial term used to express the cylinders in an engine. Often used with a number such as "six banger." Also see four banger [2] A British colloquial term for beater (an older, cheaper, well-worn car which is still usable). [3] One who fakes an accident. See car banger

banger racing: A competition of speed on small racing tracks where older cars are driven as fast as they can go and where bumping other racing cars is permitted (encouraged??)

banging: See car banging

banjo: [1] Besides being a musical instrument, this is a fitting which is shaped like a banjo. It has round end that is doughnut shaped with a tube coming out from one side. It is usually used to transfer fluid from the center hole of the round end and out the lateral tube. [2] A drum-shaped central part of an axle casing containing the differential. Also see rear axle housing, banjo type axle housing banjo bank: See cylinder bank

banking: The slope of a track from the wall to the apron, generally measured in the corners.

bar: [1] A unit of pressure. One bar equals 100 kilopascals or 14.5 psi. [2] A rod. Also see anti-roll bar anti-sway bar antiroll bar boring bar bull bar bumper bar busbar compensating bar compensator extension bar freeway bar gunwale bar header bar hi-way bar highway bar hood bar ladder bars landau bar landau bars levering bar locking bar clamp main bar nerf bar

nudge bar port bar push bar roo bar side impact bar sissy bar spring bar stabilizer bar stringer bar strut bar sway bar t-bar targa bar test bar tommy bar torsion bar track bar traction bar tread bar wear bars wheelie bar wheelie bars wobble extension bar Barach: The author and compiler of this dictionary at Motorera.com

bar clamp: A tool with a stationary head and a sliding foot for clamping purposes. Also see locking bar clamp

bare shell: The shell of a car body in which all parts have been removed including doors, hood, and trunk lid

barge: A flat-bottomed boat for carrying cargo or bunker oil, usually pulled by tugs. Also see tank-barge barge carriers:

Ships designed to carry barges.

BARO: [1] Acronym for barometric pressure sensor. [2] Acronym for barometric absolute pressure sensor

barometric absolute pressure sensor: (BARO or BP) sends a variable voltage signal to the computer which varies in accord with atmospheric pressure, allowing adjustment of the spark advance, EGR flow, and air/fuel ratio as a function of altitude. Also called a barometric pressure sensor

barometric and manifold absolute pressure sensor: (BMAP) a housing containing both BP and MAP sensors

barometric pressure sensor: (BARO or BP) A sensor found in the engine management system which detects the ambient barometric pressure so that precise fuel mixture can be maintained at different altitudes

barrel: [1] The air horn in the carburetor. In particular, it is that part where the throttle valve is located. If a carburetor has four openings with a throttle valve in each, it is called a "four-barrel carburetor." Also see carburetor barrel four barrel carburetor four barrel [2] Another name for the carburetor barrel cylinder, cylinder barrel, four barrel, polishing barrel, and single barrel. [3] To travel fast as in "We barrelled down the highway well above the speed limit."

barrel carburetor: See four barrel carburetor single barrel carburetor twin barrel carburetor barrel tappet:

A hollow rocker arm shaped like a barrel

barrier: See crash barrier

barrier cream: A special cream which is applied to your hands before working on a greasy engine. When the job is over, you can wash your hands and easily remove the grease stains. Also called "invisible glove" or "silicon glove"

barrier effect: The effect produced by coating metal to shield it from corrosion

barrier paint: A primer which is used on bare metal to prevent corrosion.

bar roof: See t bar roof

bars: See ladder bars landau bars wear bars wheelie bars bar suspension: See torsion bar suspension

base: [1] The lowest supporting part of an upright member. [2] The bottom layer or coating in a series of paint coats. Also see bead base edison base flat base rim taper flat base rim lithium base grease

load base negative load base rim well base base and clear system: Paint finish which is made up of a colored base coat (usually a metallic finish) and clear lacquer coat

base circle: As applied to the camshaft the lowest spot on the cam, the area of the cam directly opposite the lobe or nose. No lift is produced by the base circle. Also called cam heel

base coat: The first coat in a paint system. It is either the undercoat or primer or a colored coat which is covered by clear lacquer

base gasket: The gasket directly below the cylinder and between the cylinder and crankcase. Also called "cylinder gasket."

base grease: See lithium base grease

base idle: The idle speed determined by the throttle lever setting on the carburetor or throttle body while the idle speed control (ISC) motor, or any other computer-controlled idle speed control device, is fully retracted and disconnected.

base interest rate: The interest paid on the usage of the vehicle during a lease. It is the "cost" of a lease before factoring in discounts, fees, and penalties and is not directly comparable to the APR for a loan. Lowering the base interest rate is one of the methods manufacturers use to subsidize leases. The phrase "money factor" measures the same cost and can be converted into a base interest rate. For example, to convert a money factor of 0.00276 into an approximate base interest rate would multiply the money factor by 24. The result would be 0.0662 or 6.6%.


A fore-and-aft reference line at the upper surface of the flat plate keel at the centerline for flush shell plated vessels. Vertical dimensions are measured from a horizontal plane through the baseline, often called the molded baseline.

base material: Any material (metal or plastic) which needs to be coated

base metal: [1] Metal that is under a coating or that needs to be coated. [2] Metal to be welded, cut, or brazed.

base model: The least expensive vehicle with the least amount of features as standard equipment. It has the smallest engine and often manual transmission as well as few power equipment. Base models constitute only a small percentage of the cars sold. Sometimes called a "stripper" or "stripped down" unit.

baseplate: A strong metal plate which is the main support for something. See distributor baseplate

base rim: See flat base rim flat base rim taper base rim taper: See flat base rim taper

basic ignition setting: The ignition setting on a non-running engine according to the specifications. After the engine is running, the timing can be set more accurately

basic ignition timing: The ignition timing on a non-running engine according to the specifications. After the engine is running, the timing can be set more accurately

basic price:

The price of a vehicle without including any optional accessories, taxes, delivery charges, etc.

basic timing: The ignition timing on a non-running engine according to the specifications. After the engine is running, the timing can be set more accurately

basin: See building basin

basket case: An old car which probably does not run. Often many engine and transmission parts have been removed and are either missing or stored in the trunk or a "basket"

bastard: A file (a tool) which has a coarse cut

bastard file: A file with a coarse cut

bat: A lump or collection of something. Also see fibreglass batch: [1] A number of things which are produced as a group. [2] A mixture of natural and synthetic rubber with other material such as fillers, chemicals, and vulcanizing agents in the production of tires

batch number: A number which may be added to a serial number to identify when the product was manufactured. In this way, when a problem occurs to some products of the same batch, action can be taken to correct or replace others from the same batch.

bath: A tub into which something is immersed.

Also see anodizing bath galvanizing bath oil bath air cleaner primer bath sealing bath zinc bath bath air: See oil bath air cleaner

bath air cleaner: See oil bath air cleaner

bathtub: Bodywork resembling an upside-down bathtub used on the rear of some Triumph motorcycles. It was introduced in 1957 and dropped in the early 1960s

battens: See cargo battens hatch battens battery: An electrochemical device for producing electricity by converting chemical energy. The typical automotive lead-acid battery supplies the source of power for cranking the engine and also provides the necessary electrical energy for the ignition system. In addition, it can (for a limited time) furnish current when the electrical demands of the vehicle exceed the alternator or generator output. Also called the "storage battery." Also see accumulator battery alkaline battery booster battery charged battery check the battery dead battery discharged battery disconnect the battery dry battery dry charged battery

flat battery gel cell battery high energy battery isolate the battery lead-acid battery low-maintenance battery low battery maintenance-free battery primary battery rechargeable battery secondary battery sodium-sulphur battery storage battery top up the battery battery acid: Electrolyte (usually sulphuric acid) in each of the battery cells

battery cap: Small caps which seal each battery cell

battery capacity: The amp-hour capacity

battery cell: Individual compartments in a battery which is filled with electrolyte. Six-volt batteries have three cells, 12-volt batteries have six cells

battery case: The box made of polypropylene holding several chambers (cells) which have lead plates and filled with electrolyte.

battery charge: The condition or state of the amount of electricity in a battery

battery charge indicator: An instrument which shows the state of charge in a battery

battery charger:

An electric device which is plugged into an electrical outlet (e.g., 110 volt AC) and connected to the two terminals of the battery to restore the state of charge in the battery. One of leads coming from the charger is red and the other is black. The red lead is clamped on the positive post of the battery while the other is clamped on the frame of the vehicle.

battery charging: The process of renewing the battery by passing an electric current through the battery in a reverse direction.

battery charging station: With the advent of electric cars, there needs to be places where their batteries can be recharged periodically -- thus is born the battery charging station. Also called a "charging point."

battery clamp: A hold down device which secures the battery from moving around

battery compartment: A place in the vehicle where the battery is located. In cars and trucks it may be found under the hood (usually toward the front), under one of the seats, or in the trunk. In motorcycles it is found in the middle of the bike, under the seat

battery condition: See battery charge

battery connector: A plug on battery-powered vehicles to connect the batteries to the charging station

Battery Council International: A group which makes decisions related to battery composition and disposal.

battery cover: The top of the battery case. It has several holes (covered with caps) for access to the battery cells.

battery discharge controller:

A device on a vehicle which is driven by an electrical motor. It triggers a warning indicator when the battery power drops below a certain level.

battery discharge indicator: An instrument on a vehicle which is driven by an electrical motor which indicates the percentage of the maximum charge of the battery

battery earth: British term for battery strap or ground strap

battery filler: A device with a long hollow tube with a rubber bulb at one end. It is used for inserting into a container of battery acid and sucking up the acid, then inserting into the battery cell to fill it. However, motorcycle batteries arrive from the manufacturer with no electrolyte (battery acid). Battery acid comes in a large plastic container with a rubber hose to which a metering clamp is attached. The container is usually placed on a higher shelf so that it is fed into the battery by gravity and regulated by the metering clamp

battery fill line: A horizontal line on the side of a translucent battery case which indicates the level to which you fill it with electrolyte. Usually there are two lines indicating a minimum level and maximum level.

battery fluid: See battery acid

battery hold down clamp: See battery clamp

battery ignition: Any system where the battery supplies the initial voltage to power the starter motor and fire the spark plugs

battery ignition system: See battery ignition

battery is flat:

The battery does not have enough electrical power to start the car

battery is flat: The battery does not have enough electrical power to start the car

battery master switch: A control which disconnects the battery power from all the electrical components

battery post: The terminal on a battery to which the cable is attached. Older automobile batteries used a round post which stood up from the top of the battery. To avoid confusion, the positive post has a larger diameter than the negative. On newer batteries the post may or may not be abandoned in favor of a terminal on the side of the battery. On motorcycle batteries, the posts are usually flat with a hole for bolting the cables to them.

battery state indicator: See battery charge indicator

battery strap: [1] A wire cable or braided wire strap to transfer electricity. It can be found between the engine block and the chassis because the engine is isolated from the chassis by rubber mounts. Also called ground strap. See ground wire. [2] A rubber strap with metal hooks at each end and is used to secure a battery in place, especially on motorcycles

battery terminal: [1] A battery post on the top of the battery or a lug with a hole on the side of the battery. [2] The clamp at the end of a battery cable

battery tester: [1] A voltage meter or hydrometer for checking the state of charge of a battery. [2] An instrument for checking the condition of the battery cells

battery tray: A metal or plastic on which the battery sits.

baulk ring: British spelling for balk ring

bay: See engine bay

bayonet bulb: See bayonet cap

bayonet cap: A cylindrical base of an electric bulb, usually with two pins projecting on either side, which engage in J-shaped slots to lock the bulb securely in its socket.

bayonet fitting: See bayonet socket

bayonet socket: A socket for receiving a bayonet cap. It has two slots on either side (usually Jshaped) to accommodate the bulb's pins.

BBDC: Acronym for "before bottom dead center."

bbl: Abbreviation for "barrel," as in 4-bbl carburetor.

BCDD: Acronym for boost-controlled deceleration device

BCI: Acronym for "Battery Council International."

BCM: Acronym for body computer module


Acronym for "bottom dead center."

bead: [1] The portion of a tire which fits onto the rim of the wheel. On a tubeless tire, the contact of the bead with the rim seals the air into the tire. Bead heel, bead sole, and bead toe form a foot-like shape. Also see tire bead. [2] A small ball-like particle used in bead blasting or in some catalytic converters. [3] In welding, it is the appearance of the finished weld. It describes the neatness of the ripples formed by the metal while it was in a semi liquid state. Also see dual bead tire rim bead seat taper rim bead seat rolled bead single bead bead base: The part of the tire bead which is in contact with the rim bead seat

bead blaster: A cleaning device for removing paint and contaminants from an object. See bead blasting

bead blasting: A cleaning process which uses glass beads which are forced by air pressure against the object to be cleaned. This system removes paint and contaminants from objects which are awkwardly shaped.

bead breaker: A device used to remove a tire from its rim by releasing the tension the bead has upon the rim.

bead core: The ring of steel wires in the tire's bead. Also called bead wires

beaded edge: The edge of a body panel or upholstery panel wrapped around a wire or other stiffening item

beaded edge tire: An older form of high-pressure tire with projecting beads

beader: A power tool for forming beads on the edges of body panels

bead expander: A device used in the mounting of tubeless tires to prevent inflation air from escaping and bring the tire beads against the tapered bead seat area (rim).

bead heel: The portion of the tire bead in contact with the rim flange

beading: The action of forming a step in the middle of a panel (not at the edge) which creates a shallow indentation to reinforce the panel. Also see fender beading bead lock: See tire bead lock

bead movement: Movement of the bead on the rim caused by improper inflation, excessive loading, improper design, improper seating, or improper rim or tire size. Also called "bead rocking." See bead unseating

bead point: A feathered rubber extension of the bead toe used where a flap is not required; protects the tube from chafing between bead toes and rim base.

beads: See lubricate beads

bead seat: The portion of the wheel rim below the rim flange providing radial support to the bead of the tire.

See also rim bead seat taper rim bead seat safety bead seat bead seat mat: A seat cover made of a network of wood beads

bead seats: See contre pente on both bead seats

bead seat taper: See rim bead seat taper

bead seat diameter: The measurement of tire diameter, at the bead heel, where it seats on the rim. It is marked on the tire sidewall following section width.

bead separation: A situation where the bead comes off the wheel rim

bead tire: See dual bead tire

bead toe: The bottom portion of the tire bead in contact with the rim bead seat

bead unseating: Shifting of the tire bead from its seat on the wheel rim which often leads to the removal of the tire. See bead movement

bead wires: Steel wires wound around the circumference and placed in the beads. Their tension prevents the beads from lifting over the rim flanges. Also called bead core

beam: [1] A projection of light.

Also see dipped beam headlight beam setting high beam high beam indicator low beam main beam main beam indicator sealed beam [2] A supporting bar. Also see asymmetrical beam cant beam deck beam door beam hatch beam I-beam knee, beam molded beam pulling beam side impact intrusion beam transom beam [3] The width of a ship. Also called breadth.

beam axle: A rigid or dead axle which supports the non-driven wheels. See axle.

beam indicator: A light on the instrument panel which comes on when the high beams are activated. Also called high beam indicator

beam headlight: See sealed beam headlight

beam indicator: See high beam indicator main beam indicator beam knee:

Bracket between a deck beam and frame

beam setting: See headlight beam setting

beam unit: See sealed beam unit

bear: To turn as in the expression, When you get to the corner, bear right.

bearing: [1] The area of a unit in which the contacting surface of a revolving part rests in order to minimize wear and friction between two surfaces. [2] An antifriction reducing device that is usually found between two moving parts. The babbitt bearings found between the connecting rod and the crankshaft are lubricated and cushioned with oil, and the front wheel bearings must be repacked with grease at regular intervals. Bearings can be ball or roller type. Also see antifriction bearing ball bearing big-end bearing camshaft bearing carrier bearings clutch pilot bearing clutch release bearing clutch throwout bearing clutch thrust bearing connecting rod bearing con rod bearing friction bearing insert bearing jet bearing main bearing support main bearing needle bearing pilot bearing plain bearing precision insert bearing quill-type bearing quill bearing radial bearing

re-metalling the bearings release bearing rod bearing roller bearing rolling bearing sealed bearing shell bearing sleeve bearing small end bearing spigot bearing split bearing tapered roller bearing throw-out bearing throwout bearing thrust bearing timken bearing timken roller bearing wheel bearings bearing assembly: When more than one load needs to be supported, several bearings are used making up the bearing assembly. For instance, a crankshaft may have two bearings (one at each end) as well as a few more in the middle

bearing attachment: See split bearing attachment

bearing block: The two halves of metal which encase a bearing.

bearing cage: See ball cage

bearing cap: A rigid, semicircular part which encloses and holds the outer shell of a shell bearing

bearing clearance: The amount of space left between a shaft and the bearing surface, this space is for lubricating oil to enter.

bearing cone: [1] taper roller bearing. [2] The inner race in an adjustable axial or radial ball bearing

bearing crush: The additional height which is purposely manufactured into each bearing half to ensure complete contact of the bearing back with the housing bore when the engine is assembled

bearing cup: [1] Retainers, held in place by bolts and nuts, that hold the bearings in place. Also called bearing shell. [2] The bearing race that curves around the outside of a ring of ball bearings and works in conjunction with a cone.

bearing face: The bottom part of a nut or bolt head which clamps down on the surface of the part it is securing.

bearing housing: The cavity into which the bearing fits

bearing knock: The noise created by movement of a part in a loose or worn bearing

bearing material: The metal layer which forms the surface of the wear part of the bearing

bearing puller: A tool used to remove bearings from a shaft by pulling them off. It has two or more arms which circle around the back side of the bearing and a center post which butts up against the end of the shaft. As the center post is screwed down, the arms pull the bearing toward the end of the shaft. Also see ball bearing puller bearing race: In ball or roller bearings, it is one of the two steel rings on either side of the ball or roller

bearing scraper: A small, triangular tool that looks like a file without teeth. Used for deburring and chamfering the edges of camshaft bearings

bearing separator: A tool used to separate double bearings or close-fitting gears when a conventional bearing puller cannot be used

bearing shell: One of a pair of thin semicircular steel cups lined with an alloy such as coper-lead or lead-indium, which together enclose a shaft or other rotating member, and are held in a circular housing which can be divided into two halves.

bearing spin: A type of bearing failure in which a lack of lubrication overheats the bearing until it seizes on the shaft, shears its locking lip, and rotates in the housing or block

bearing spread: A purposely manufactured small extra distance across the parting faces of the bearing half, in excess of the actual diameter of the housing bore. Thus the diameter is slightly greater than the housing into which a shell bearing is being placed. Thus the bearing is forced into place to reduce its movement. See interference fit

bearing support: See main bearing support

bearing surface: The area of the bearing that is in actual contact with the shaft or other supporting member

bearing tang: A notch or lip on a bearing shell used to correctly locate the bearing during assembly


A vehicle which performs very well.

beater: [1] An old or collectible vehicle that is in drivable condition, but looks terrible inside and out, and probably is missing many original parts. Often used to describe a vehicle that is past the easy restoration stage but still contains many good driving miles. It is also a term for "urban combat car" and is usually used in conjunction with the word winter, as in winter beater, which is a vehicle that is so far gone, it is sacrificed to the salt covered roads of winter. It is a disposable collectible that is driven until it disintegrates. In other words, it looks as if someone had been beating it for quite a while. British term is banger. [2] Also see panel beater beating: See off-the-dolly panel beating on-the-dolly panel beating panel beating spring beating beating spoon: See spring beating spoon

bed: Any flat surface used as a support. Also see catalyst bed low bed test-bed bedding-in oil: British term for break-in oil

bed in: British term for break-in

beefed-up: [1] Colloquial term for making something stronger.

[2] Colloquial term for modifying or improving something so it will work faster or more efficiently. Similar to souped up

Beema: Colloquial term for BMW

Beemer: Colloquial term for BMW

Beetle: Colloquial term for the original rear-engined volkswagen. Also see split-window Beetle before bottom dead center: (BBDC) As the crankshaft rotates, it brings the piston down to a place just before it reaches bottom dead center.

before top dead center: (BTDC) As the crankshaft rotates, it pushes the piston up to a place just before the top of its movement.

before upper dead center: (BUDC) As the crankshaft rotates, it pushes the piston up to a place just before the top of its movement.

bell: See spray bell

bell housing: Sometimes called "clutch housing." The metal covering around the flywheel and clutch (of a manual transmission) or torque converter assembly (of an automatic transmission).

bell mouth: Bell-shaped air intake attached to some carburetors

bellows: See air bellows

belt: [1] A reinforcing band, normally textile, fiberglass, or steel, which runs around the circumference of a tire and strengthens the tread area. Also see cog belt [2] A circular band which is used to transfer power from one component to another. For instance, a fan belt is used to transfer power from the engine to the alternator, water pump, and air conditioner compressor. Also see cam belt camshaft drive belt cog belt cogged belt diagonal belt drive belt fan belt ring belt serpentine belt stabilizer belt static belt steel thrust belt timing belt toothed belt v-belt vee-belt [3] See automatic seat belt hip belt inertia reel seat belt integrated safety belts lap belt rear seat belt safety belt seat belt shoulder belt three-point seat belt Y-belt belt anchor:

The point where the end of the seat belt is attached

belt anchorage: The point where the end of the seat belt is attached. See seat belt anchorage

belt drive: In order to transmit power from a source to a destination, some kind of connection is needed. A bicycle, for instance, uses a chain drive to transmit the power from pedalling action to the rear wheel. A belt drive uses a leather or rubber belt to transfer power from one pulley to another thus increasing or decreasing the speed of rotation of the driven pulley through mechanical advantage. For instance the alternator is rotated by a belt (sometimes called the "fan belt") which is driven by a shaft which is directly attached to the crankshaft. Some motorcycle models (like Harley Davidson and Honda) have a belt drive to transmit power to the rear wheels. Since a belt drive requires no lubrication (in contrast with chain drive) it is one of the cleanest final drive systems.

belted bias tire: A tire which uses both cross-ply and radial-ply patterns with added belts (such as used on radial-ply tires) on diagonal body plies (as in cross-ply tires). As a result the tire has stiffer sidewalls than tires with just straight radial plies.

belted piston: A piston with a continuous steel band cast into the skirt below the rings for controlling skirt expansion.

belted radial tire: See steel belted radial tire

belted tire: A tire with a stabilizing belt of two or more plies of steel, fiberglass, etc., running circumferentially around the tire between the carcass and the tread rubber. The carcass can be either radial or bias ply. See bias belted tire.

belt end: The part of the seat belt which has the bracket which is attached to the floor pan. Some cars attach this end to the car seat itself.

belt line:

The horizontal line that runs around the body of the vehicle just below the bottom of the glass panels (greenhouse). The British term is "waistline"

belt mounting: See belt anchor

belt pulley: See timing belt pulley

belt retractor: A device which automatically pulls the seat belt back into its reel

belts: See integrated safety belts

belt sander: A power sanding tool with a rotating belt of sandpaper

belt slack: The looseness of a belt (either the drive type belt or a seat belt)

belt slip: When a drive belt is not as tight as it should be, it will slip on the pulley and thus will not transmit power. If a driven pulley is seized, the belt will also slip.

belt system: See seat-integrated belt system seat-integrated seat belt system belt tensioner: A device consisting of an idler pulley which is usually located between the drive and driven pulleys. It can be adjusted to increase the tension on the belt. See seat belt tensioner timing belt tensioner

belt transmission: See belt drive variable belt transmission belt up: A British term for buckle up

belt warning light: See seat belt warning light

belt webbing: Strong fabric material used for seat belts

bench: [1] A workbench. [2] A test bed for studying or repairing an engine. Also see bench test straightening bench bench grinder: A power tool mounted on a workbench with one or two grinding wheels

bench seat: A front seat which runs from the left door to the right door. The alternative is bucket seats. Also see split bench seat bench test: A determination of the power output of an engine when it is mounted on a test bed. Also it can be checked for oil leaks, fuel consumption, emission levels, etc.

bench vise: A vise which is mounted on a workbench


See free bend test

bender: See fender bender tube bender bending: See lower bending die

bending die: See lower bending die

bending pliers: Pliers with flat, smooth jaws used to hold sheet metal in place

bending strength: The ability of metal to resist bending

Bendix: See Bendix type starter drive pre-engaged Bendix starter Bendix drive: See Bendix type starter drive.

Bendix screw: A helical screw on the shaft of a starter motor

Bendix starter: A starter motor with a Bendix drive. Also see pre-engaged Bendix starter Bendix type starter drive:

A self-engaging starter drive gear, the gear moves into engagement when the starter starts spinning and automatically disengages when the starter stops. Also called inertia drive

bend test: See free bend test

benefits: See employee benefits

Bentley: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1945 models are classic cars. The 1946-67 models are milestone cars. Benz:

Click here for books on Bentley

A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars. Also see Mercedes-Benz benzene: (C6H6) A constituent of gasoline benzol: A by-product of manufacture of coke. Sometimes it is used as an engine fuel

berline: A term used during World War I which describes a closed luxury vehicle with small windows. The passengers were able to see out; but their privacy was maintained because it was difficult to see in.

between duals: See kissing between duals

between perpendiculars: See length between perpendiculars

between wheel spacer: An obsolete circular metal plate having a bolt hole circle and center bore and fitting between the faces of disc wheels to provide additional dual clearance.

bevel: The angle that one surface makes with another when they are not at right angles. Also see gutter bevel bevel differential: A differential which has bevel gears for its main elements. This allows the input and output shafts to be at right angles to one another. Also see spur differential bevel drive shaft: A shaft with a bevel gear at one end or both ends. It is used primarily for driving an overhead camshaft

bevel gear: A gear shaped like the wide end (frustum) of a cone, used to transmit motion through an angle. They are found in differentials. Also see spiral bevel gear. bevel gear drive: A transmission which is used to drive one or more shafts which do not line up with the output shaft. Also called bevel gear transmission

bevel gear transmission: A transmission which is used to drive one or more shafts which do not line up with the output shaft. Also called bevel gear drive

bevel joint: A piston ring gap in which the two ends of the ring are tapered.

beverage holder: A circular clip located on the center console, door panel, or dashboard which is designed to hold a cup or bottle. Also called cup holder

bezel: The crimped edge of metal that secures the glass face to an instrument. A bezel can be either decorative or functional. Some bezels are threaded and secure switches and control buttons to the dash, console, or steering column. B-flange: A type of passenger car wheel

bhp: Abbreviation for brake horsepower. Also see SAE gross bhp BHS: Acronym for bimetal heat sensor

bias: The acute angle at which the cords in the tire fabric intersect the circumferential centerline of the finished tire. Also see brake bias. bias belted tire: A type of tire construction in which there are bias plies as well as a belt of steel or synthetic (rayon, nylon, or fiberglass) cords between the carcass and the tread. The belt overlaps the bias plies and wraps around the circumference. The cords and belt cross each other at bias angles. biased: See spring-biased

bias ply tire: A tire having two or more carcass plies arranged in a criss-cross manner and diagonally to the beads and travels approximately 1/3 the distance around the circumference before attaching to the other bead. Each cord in the next ply is arranged in the same manner, but in the opposite direction. Also called a "conventional tire" or "cross-ply tire"

bias tire: A type of tire construction in which the tire cords or plies run diagonally from bead to bead. Generally in passenger cars, there are two plies of fabric. In a P185/80D13 tire, the "D" indicates a bias-ply tire. Sometimes called a "conventional" tire. Also see belted bias tire bib: A leather or vinyl covering for the front of a vehicle. See tank bib

bicycle: A two-wheel non-motorized vehicle in which the two wheels are not side-by-side but in line. Also called "bike." Also see all terrain bike coaster girl's bike loaded tourer mixte frame mountain bike penny-farthing quadricycle randonneuring sports tourer tandem tourist tricycle unicycle velocipede. bicycle carrier: A device which is attached to the rear bumper or to the roof of a vehicle to carry a bicycle

big-block: See big-block engine

big-block engine: A large V-8 engine produced in the '60s and '70s. It typically has a cast-iron block and head and is fed by a carburetor. Contrasts with small-block engine. Although both engines were of the same displacement, the big-block engine was larger in

overall size than the small-block engine. Thus, as vehicles grew smaller and more equipment was stuffed into the engine bay, the small-block engine was favored over its larger brother.

big end: The end of the connecting rod which fits around the crankpin

big-end bearing: See big-end bearing big-end bearing: The bearing in the end of the connecting rod that attaches to the crankshaft. big-end bolt: One of the bolts attaching the big-end cap to the connecting rod

big-end cap: The detachable end of the connecting rod which fits on the crankpin

Big Jim: A colloquial term for a device for opening door locks. It is a flexible metal strip about an inch wide and very thin and has a J-shaped end. It is inserted between the door window and the door frame to trigger the latch

big rig: A large truck -- usually a tractor-trailer unit

big three: General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.

bihexagon: A twelve-sided figure. Some nuts and bolt heads have twelve sides.

bihexagonal: Having 12 sides

bihexagon socket:

A tool socket which fits 12-sided nuts and bolts

bike: A two-wheel vehicle -- either a bicycle or a motorcycle. Also see all-terrain bike girl's bike mountain bike street bike touring bike BIL: Acronym for "Bilimportorenes Landsforening" (Norway). Also Acronym for "Bilindustrief”reningen" (Sweden)

bilge: A recess area fitted at the curved section between the bottom and the side into which water drains from holds or other spaces.

bilge bracket: A vertical transverse flat plate welded to the tank top or margin plate and to the frame in the area of the bilge.

bilge keel: A long longitudinal fin fitted on the curved of a ship at the turn of the bilge to reduce rolling

bilge strake: Shell plates at the bilge area

billet: [1] A section of a log split lengthwise as you would make firewood. [2] A small bar of iron or steel

bill of lading: The cost or the paperwork describing the cost of a vehicle's load or freight.


Two types of metal bonded into a strip and formed into a coil. Each type of metal has different thermal expansion characteristics, so the coil straightens when heated and coils up when cold. Bimetals are used mainly to open and close choke plates on carbureted vehicle

bimetal heat sensor: (BHS) a strip (usually coiled) consisting of two metals with different expansion characteristics. Bimetal strips are used in thermostatically controlled devices because they move or bend toward the metal that expands least when heat is applied

bimetallic corrosion: When two different metals are attached to each other, some electrons tend to move from one metal to the other. This action happens especially when there is a little moisture between the two pieces. Also see galvanic corrosion bimetallic sensor: Consists of thermocouple, an arm made of two dissimilar metals with different rates of thermal expansion, that flexes in accordance with temperature changes. Used as a temperature sensor. Also called bimetal sensor

bimetal sensor: Consists of a thermocouple, an arm made of two dissimilar metals with different rates of thermal expansion, that flexes in accordance with temperature changes. Used as a temperature sensor. Also called bimetallic sensor

Bimmer: Colloquial term for BMW

binder: The ingredient in a paint that holds or suspends the pigment particles together. Also see binders. binder bolt: On a bicycle, the bolt used to fasten a stem inside a steerer tube or a seatpost inside a seat tube.

binders: Vehicle brakes.

binding: [1] The rubbing of brake shoes against the drum or of brake pads against the disc. [2] The strip material turned over along the edge of a carpet or mat. Also see edge binding binnacle: The cluster of instruments and switches mounted in a circular casing on or near the steering column

biocide: A product which kills any fungus or microbes that may have contaminated diesel fuel.

biodegradable: A product which is capable of being decomposed by bacteria into harmless elements without danger to the environment.

biodiesel: Diesel fuel made from animal or vegetable fats

bit: [1] A tool for boring or cutting which fits into a drill. See drill bit. [2] The tip of a screwdriver. Also see hexagon bit hex bit screwdriver bit socket bit twisty bits bit adapter: A tool (like a screwdriver) with a hollow socket (instead of the blade) to accept a variety of bits


[1] A vehicle's ability to adhere to the road (especially to a racing track). [2] The ability of a tool to secure itself to a fastener as in I want my wrench to get a good bite on that bolt.

bits: See twisty bits

bitter end: The inboard end of a ship's anchor chain that is secured in the chain locker

bituminous paint: Black or dark colored tarry paint which contains bitumen. Used for the protection of exposed metal parts.

BL: Acronym for "British Leyland"

black: See carbon black

black and white checkered flag: A flag which is waved at the finishing line in races to indicate the winner.

black box: [1] A recording device which reveals conditions just prior to a crash. [2] A control unit

black chromium plating: An electroplating deposit of a black chromium layer for decorative purposes

blackening: See bulb blackening lamp blackening black flag:

A flag which is colored black and is waved at a race. It indicates that the driver must return to his pit for consultation. It means that the driver has violated a serious racing rule such as spilling fluid on the track or was speeding on the pit road.

Blackhawk: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

blacksmith hammer: A special hammer for hitting and shaping heated iron.

black smoke: Incompletely burned fuel in the exhaust indicating the fuel mixture is too rich

blackwall: Tires which do not have any white or red coloring. See whitewall red line bladder: A hollow bag which can be inflated. In some instances, fuel tanks will become rusty inside. A possible cure is to install a bladder. This is done by flushing out the rust chips, applying an acid solution to remove any oil/gas residue, and coating the inside with a plastic compound. When done correctly, this plastic coating does not dissolve when it comes in contact with gasoline.

blade: [1] A straight narrow flat part like the end of a screwdriver or knife. [2] The part of a windshield wiper (blade rubber) which contacts the windshield. [3] One of the vanes of a rotor or impeller. Also see bumper blade bumping blade fan blade feeler blade fork blade blade connector:

A plain metal tongue for forming electrical connections

bladed impeller: A rotating part of a centrifugal pump that has blades or vanes

blade rubber: The rubber strip that fits into the arm of a windshield wiper

blades: See fork blades

blank: See sheet metal blank

blanking piece: A flat piece of metal which closes off a tube. Also called a "blanking plate"

blanking plate: A flat piece of metal which closes off a tube. Also called a "blanking piece"

blanking plug: A rubber stopper for filling in the holes of sheetmetal such as drain holes in the floorpan

blast: See ocean liner blast horn sand blast blast cleaning: The removal of corrosion, dirt, paint, etc. by a blast of abrasive particles. Also see bead blasting sand blasting blaster:

See bead blaster

blast horn: See ocean liner blast horn

blasting: See bead blasting grit blasting shot blasting bleed: [1] To remove air bubbles from hydraulic lines and components of a system. Also see air bleed air bleed screw idle air bleed screw compensating jet . [2] To reduce the air pressure in tires that have been run, warmed up, and thus increased from their starting pressure -- an action which should be avoided.

bleed down: The collapse of a hydraulic lifter as oil drains out

bleeder: The valve or screw used to vent the air out of a liquid-filled system. See brake bleeder pressure bleeder bleeder nipple: See bleeder screw

bleeder screw: A screw used to release the air from a system like the brake system. Also see idle air bleed screw

bleeder valve: The device which vents air from the brake system.

bleeding: See brake bleeding

bleed screw: A screw used to release the air from a system like the brake system. Also see idle air bleed screw bleed valve: The device which vents air from the brake system.

bleeding: [1] A lower (older) color coming through a fresh coat of paint. [2] The action of venting air from a liquid-filled (hydraulic) system. [3] Reducing the air pressure in tires that have been run, warmed up, and thus increased from their starting pressure -- an action which should be avoided.

bleeding a system: Remove air bubbles from a brake system, a fuel injection system, or a cooling system so that they won't impede the flow of liquid through that system.

bleeding the brakes: This refers to the removal of air from the hydraulic system, bleeder screws are loosened at each wheel cylinder, (one at a time) and brake fluid is forced from the master cylinder through the lines until all air is expelled.

blem: An abbreviation for blemish.

blemish: A tire with a slight imperfection in appearance that will not affect tire life or safety. Also called a "blem."


See car blind

blind quarter: An unusually wide C-pillar enclosing the rear seat area

blind rivet: A pop rivet

blind spot: An area not visible from the driver's seat. It is usually the area behind the rear quarter and not visible in the mirrors. When approaching another vehicle in a lane beside you, avoid being in its blind spot. Also do a shoulder check before switching lanes to check for vehicles in the blind spot

blister: [1] A bubble on a paint surface. [2] A localized bubble on the surface of a tire, normally caused by a separation between plies or between surface rubber and a ply.

blistering: The formation of bubbles on the paint surface.

BLM: Acronym for the "Bureau of Land Management."

BLMC: Acronym for "British Leyland Motor Corporation"

block: That part of the engine containing the cylinders. Also see bearing block big-block block heater brake block brake pad cylinder block die

EN-block en block engine block heater engine block hollowing block hydraulic control block long block long block engine monoblock rubbing block sanding block short block tread block valve block keel blocks block coefficient: The ratio of the underwater volume of a ship to the volume of a rectangular block with the same effective lengths, draft and beam

block deck: The cylinder head gasket surface

block engine: See long block engine short block engine block heater: A devices which, during very cold weather, keeps the engine warm when the vehicle is not being used -- thus making cold starts easier. The free end is plugged into 110 volt AC wall socket. It is especially important for starting diesel engines at very low temperatures. Also see cylinder block heater engine block heater blocking ring: See balk ring


See keel blocks

block sanding: The process of using a wooden block wrapped in sandpaper to sand the material.

blood alcohol content: The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream as a result of drinking liquor

blood alcohol level: The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream as a result of drinking liquor

bloom: A surface film on rubber, caused by the migration to the surface of sulphur, wax, or other unreacted ingredients of the compound. It may be protective to the tire and detrimental only if appearance is a major factor.

blooming: A formation of an undesired thin surface film or a milky white haze or mist on paintwork. It is caused when paint is applied during humid, cold conditions as moisture is trapped in the wet film

blow: To become defective either by leaking or burning through. Also see arc blow striking blow blow back: Because of a sticky valve or the intake valve closing late, some of the air-fuel mixture is blown back through the carburetor

blowby: The mixture of fuel-air which is lost past the piston rings and causes fumes that form acid and sludge in the crankcase and smoking from the oil filer hole. Generally there is a loss of engine power. Most are removed through the PCV system.


The mixture of fuel-air which is lost past the piston rings and causes fumes that form acid and sludge in the crankcase and smoking from the oil filer hole. Generally there is a loss of engine power. Most are removed through the PCV system.

blowdown: The escape of gases between the opening of the exhaust valve and the piston reaching bottom dead center, or in a two-stroke engine between exhaust port opening and transfer port opening.

blowdown period: In a two-stroke engine, it is the time between the exhaust port opening and the transfer port opening which should be sufficiently long enough to allow time for the cylinder pressure to drop below the crankcase pressure, so that the exhaust gases can be expelled more easily

blower: [1] Also called a "supercharger" or "turbocharger." This is a pump which forces air into the cylinders at higher than atmospheric pressure. The increased pressure forces more air into the cylinders than what would be drawn in normally. In this way the engine can burn more fuel and thus produce more power. There are two main types of blowers: the turbocharger, which uses some of the waste heat energy in the exhaust gases to drive a compressor and pump the air; and the belt-driven or shaftdriven supercharger which uses engine power to pump air. [2] A fan for an interior heating and ventilating system or even for an air-cooled engine. Also see heater blower blow gun: A paint spray gun with a wide nozzle which is fed by air pressure. It is used to blow out crevices in material that is otherwise hard to reach.

blowlamp: A British term for blow torch

blown: [1] An engine equipped with a turbocharger or supercharger. [2] An engine which is ruined. Usually the piston is seized. Also see blown head gasket.

blown head gasket: A gasket that has a break between the opening for the cylinder and an opening for the coolant. The coolant will leak into the combustion chamber. This condition can be diagnosed by a loss in coolant and white smoke out the exhaust.

blowoff valve: A one-way valve that opens to the atmosphere above a certain set pressure to relieve excessive internal pressure buildup; often used with a turbocharger installation to limit boost pressure to the engine. Also called pressure-relief valve. Also see wastegate blow-off valve: See blowoff valve

blow out: To clean a dirty or blocked pipe by blowing compressed air through it

blowout: A sudden rupturing of tire body, causing complete loss of air pressure which flattens the tire.

blow-out: A sudden rupturing of tire body, causing complete loss of air pressure which flattens the tire.

blow-over: A respray of doubtful quality, often poorly prepared and carelessly masked.

blowpipe: Another term applied to the oxyacetylene torch

blow through: A turbocharger system in which the turbocharger blows air through the carburetor(s) or fuel injector(s), i.e., the air and fuel mixing occurs downstream from the turbocharger

blow torch: A tool which is attached to a bottle of flammable gas. The gas is ignited to give an intense flame for brazing and soldering. The British term is "blowlamp"

blue book: A listing of the current prices for used cars, based on age, condition, and optional equipment. Available at banks, loan offices, libraries, and insurance companies.

blueing: The blue color that appears on chrome pipes when subject to intense heat. In some cases, it can be removed; but most often it is permanent.

blueprinting: Dismantling engine and reassembling it to exact specifications and tolerances. This process may help to improve engine performance, smoothness, and reliability. Sometimes called "balancing."

blue smoke: The color of the exhaust which indicates that oil is escaping into the combustion chamber and abeing burned. It is probably due to worn rings, valve seals, etc.

blushing: The formation of a whitish or misty appearance on the finish color of the paint surface.

BMAP: Acronym for barometric and manifold absolute pressure sensor

BMC: Acronym for "British Motor Corporation"

BMEP: Acronym for brake mean effective pressure


Acronym for "Bayerische Motoren Werke." A vehicle brand of which the 1925-48 models 327, 328, 327/328, and 335 are classic cars. The 507 models for 1957-59 are milestone cars. BMW roundel: The little black, blue, and white BMW checkerboard logo.

Click here for books on BMW

board: A printed circuit board. Also see circuit board dash board on board diagnostics printed circuit board running board shifting board board diagnostics: See on board diagnostics

board test: A test of a printed circuit board

boat chock: A cradle or support for a lifeboat.

boat trailer: A trailer for carrying a boat

BOB: Acronym for break-out box

bodge: A British term to describe work that is done poorly or with defective materials

bodily harm:

Physical injury to a person caused by an accident

bodily injury: Physical injury to a person caused by an accident

body: [1] The main portion of an automobile. Often it refers just to the outside shell. [2] The main part of a housing. [3] The shank of a bolt. [4] In welding, it refers to the main structural part of a regulator. Also see all-aluminum body all-enveloping body all-steel body aluminum body coachbuilt body distributor body dump body fabric body fibreglass body fully galvanized body half-round body file headlight body integral body and frame construction parallel middle body spark plug body special body stressed body throttle body tire body torpedo body unit body valve body body and frame: See integral body and frame construction

body and frame construction: See integral body and frame construction

body assembly:

The building up of the automobile body from its various components

body builder: A person who builds automobile bodies, i.e., coachbuilder.

body-colored: Something that is painted the same color as the body. Also see color-coded body component: Any structural part that makes up the body of a vehicle.

body computer module: (BCM) Key element of self-diagnostic system used to control vehicle functions based on monitored inputs

body construction: The manufacturer of a vehicle body

body file: When patching hole in a body panel and filling it with body putty, a body file which is a hand tool) is used for smoothing the putty to conform to the contour of the body. Also see half-round body file body filler: A substance (often with the name Bondo) which is a paste used to fill minor imperfections in a body panel. It hardens and is shaped to fit. It can also be painted to match the rest of the vehicle.

body flange: A point on the body where two panels overlap, forming a small step

body framing:

An assembly of the body components

body fuel injection: See throttle body fuel injection

body glass: The windshield, backlight (rear window), and side windows of a vehicle

body hammer: A hammer with a large flat pounding surface for removing dents

body housing: See valve body housing

body-in-white: In the process of building a vehicle, this is a body shell after everything is welded but before it is painted

body injection: See throttle body injection

body jack: A hydraulic tool for pushing or pulling body panels into shape

body lead: An alloy of lead and tin which is used to fill dents and seems in a body panel to establish a smooth surface. When heated it flows easily to fill the imperfections

body panel: The sheet metal that forms the outside body pieces.

body plan: A drawing showing the forms of the various cross sections, the curvature of the deck lines at the side, and the projections, as straight lines of the waterlines, the buttock lines, transverse elevations and the diagonal lines

body putty: A malleable material designed to smooth on dented body areas, upon hardening, the putty is dressed down and the area painted. Also called "bondo."

body rattle: A noise in the bodywork usually cased by loose parts, badly fitting doors, hood, or trunk lid

body repair: After a vehicle has suffered an accident or has corroded panels, the body needs to be repaired to bring it back to like-new condition

body roll: The rocking or tilting motion of a vehicle when it goes around the corner

body sealer: A tar-like substance which is used to seal body joints

body separator plate: See valve body separator plate

body shell: The bare skeleton of a vehicle with all the wheels, doors, hood, trunk lid, etc. removed

body shop: A service outlet specializing in vehicle body repair work.

body side molding: A protective stripe along each side of the vehicle running from the leading edge of the front fender, along the door panel(s) to the rear end of the back fender. It may be solid plastic or rubber attached directly to the panels while others are attached to a metal strip which in turn is attached to the panels.

body spoon: A tool with a flat contoured working surface like a spoon. It is used to slap out dents and is sometimes used in place of a dolly when it is too difficult to reach behind the panel

body stripe: A decorative stripe applied to a motorcycle fuel tank or the outside of a car to enhance the appearance. Sometimes model names are also part of the stripes.

body styling kit: An additional set of bolt-on parts (like spoilers, air dams, fender skirts, laker pipes, wings) which are intended to improve the looks, performance, and efficiency

body tub: The bare body shell (minus the doors, trunk lid, hood, fenders) which is lowered onto the chassis at the time of assembly

bodywork: The complete body structure mounted on the chassis of a vehicle with a separate chassis, and the complete sheet metal panel for unibody vehicles.

bog: A hesitation usually experienced when starting out.

bogie: An assembly of four wheels on two axles with common suspension, usually on heavy commercial vehicles, trailers, and older Ski-Doos

bogie wheel: One of the suspension wheels on an older Ski-Doo

boil: The process of change from a liquid to a gas through the application of heat.

boiling point: The exact temperature at which a liquid begins to boil or changes to a gas (i.e., vaporizes). The boiling point of a liquid decreases with increasing altitude, and increases with pressurization. The coolant in a modern radiator/coolant system can be as high as 260°F (127°C). Also see dry boiling point

wet boiling point bold-up: The application of retread or repair rubber.

bolster: [1] A supporting brace. [2] The act of supporting. Also see hexagonal bolster bolt: A securing device upon which a nut is threaded. It usually has a nut-type head. It is usually measured not so much by the size of the wrench required to secure the bolt; but by the diameter of the threads, the thread pitch, the length of the bolt under the head, and the strength of the bolt. Also see anchor bolt big-end bolt binder bolt carriage bolt coach bolt countersunk bolt crankarm fixing bolt cylinder head bolt eccentric bolt fixing bolt flange bolt four bolt mains hexagon bolt hex bolt locking lug bolt lug bolt mounting bolt octagonal bolt octagonal head bolt pivot bolt round head bolt shear bolt stirrup bolt through bolt u-bolt wheel bolt

wheel lug bolt bolt and nut: A pair of objects with matching screw threads. When either the bolt or the nut is turned, it moves with great force. Often used as fixing devices. The nut is the circular piece that looks like a ring with threads on the inside hole. The bolt is the shaft with threads. Also see pivot bolt. bolt hole: The hole in metal through which a bolt must be inserted or screwed in place. Also see wheel bolt hole. bolt hole circle: See wheel bolt hole circle.

bolt mains: See four bolt mains

bolt-on: Accessories which are easily secured to an automobile with just a few bolts rather than having to be welded in place. Usually done by the owner.

bolt-on fender: A fender which is secured with bolts rather than being welded in place

bolt-on goodies: Accessories which are easily secured to an automobile, but are often for show rather than function

bolt-on kit: A group of parts available in one package which the owner can attach himself.

bolt-on wing:

British term for bolt-on fender

bomb: A vehicle which is in very poor shape, "The car is a bomb and not worth a nickel." In contrast, it can mean a vehicle which has great acceleration, "The car flew down the track like a bomb."

bond: [1] A state of adhesion. [2] The act of connecting two components by means of a glue or adhesive [3] The junction of the weld metal and the base metal

bonded abrasive: A grinding part which is made of very hard particles which have been glued together to form a wheel, bar, rod, or cone used to wear down or smooth metal.

bonded brake lining: brake lining that is attached to the brake shoe by an adhesive rather than by rivets.

bonded lining: Brake lining cemented to shoes or bands which eliminates need for rivets

bonding: See adhesive bonding panel bonding bonding agent: A material which provides adhesion

bonding method: A procedure of joining two components with adhesive

bondo: See body putty.


See A bone T-Bone backbone frame herringbone gears wishbone. boned: See T-boned

bonnet: British term for vehicle hood. Also see auto bonnet bonnet badge: British term for hood badge

bonnet bump rubber: British term for hood bump rubber

bonnet bumper: British term for "hood bumper" or hood bump rubber

bonnet landing panel: British term for hood landing panel

bonnet liner: British term for hood liner

bonnet lock: British term for hood lock

Bonnet pin: British term for hood pin

bonnet pin kit:

British term for hood pin kit

bonnet release: British term for hood release

bonnet stay: British term for hood rod

bonnet support: British term for hood rod

bonnet tape: British term for hood tape

bonus: See no-claims bonus

book: See blue book paint chip book booming: [1] A noise caused by interruptions to the flow of air such as an open windows. [2] Low pitched resonance, especially in the exhaust. [3] Thumping sound coming from large stereo woofers

boost: [1] The amount of positive pressure created in an intake system above normal atmospheric pressure by a turbocharger or supercharger. Normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi. A blower providing 10 psi boost increases the pressure to 24.7 psi. Boost is sometimes measured in atmospheres where one atmosphere equals 14.7 psi. Thus 24.7 psi is about 1.7 atmospheres. Also see on boost off-boost [2] The action of jump starting one battery from another.

[3] To increase power, charge, or pressure, etc.; or to amplify volume, audio sound, etc.

boost-activated ignition retard: On a turbocharged engine, a system which retards the ignition timing when the intake manifold is under pressure, in order to reduce the chance of detonation

boost-controlled deceleration device: (BCDD) a valve that, during deceleration, is triggered into action by high intake manifold vacuum the BCDD valve allows an additional source of air and fuel to enter the intake manifold during deceleration to obtain a more burnable mixture

boost control valve: See blowoff valve

booster: [1] A radio device which amplifies the signal or the audio output to the speakers. Because of its size it is mounted in the glovebox, under the dash, in the center console, under the seat, or in the trunk. [2] A device incorporated in vehicle system (such as brakes and steering), to increase the pressure output or decrease amount of effort required to operate, or both. Also see brake booster hydraulic brake booster power booster spring booster vacuum booster vacuum brake booster booster battery: A second battery used in commercial vehicles to give a little more power when starting.

booster cable: See jumper cables

booster coil:

A secondary ignition coil which increases the intensity of the spark

booster venturi: A small venturi located immediately above and concentric with the main venturi in a carburetor. Boosters are designed to amplify the weak venturi vacuum signal that occurs during low airflow conditions

boost gauge: An instrument or meter which indicates boost pressure

boosting: See start boosting

boost pressure: Pressure in the intake system of a supercharged engine when the supercharger operates. See the first definition of boost.

boost sensor: A sensing device in a supercharger. It is located in the choke tube which sends a signal to the ignition control unit according to pressure conditions. In turn, the control unit adjusts the ignition timing for the best performance.

boost valve: A valve in a hydraulic system which increases the pressure

boot: [1] British term for a trunk. [2] The rubber or plastic cover located at either end of the spark plug cable to insulate the connections between the cable ends and the spark plug and distributor terminal. Always grasp the cable by the boot when removing it. See spark plug boot. [3] The protective cover of the ball joint that holds the grease. Also see dust boot CV joint boot [4] The covering around the CV joint. [5] A simple protective device (sometimes a piece of tube, tire, etc., cut to size) placed between the casing and tube. It offers temporary protection for the tube

against pinching by an injury in the casing. It is not a repair of the injury and is unsafe to use. [6] A denver boot, which is a device which clamps on the wheels of a parked car to immobilize it. Also called a heavy yellow boot. [7] A colloquial term for the action of going very fast as in, We were booting along as fast as the snowmobile would go.

booted: A vehicle which has been disabled by a denver boot is said to be "booted."

booted version: British term for trunk model

booth: See low-bake booth paint booth spray booth boot handle: British term for trunk handle

bootlid: British term for trunk lid

boot puller: See spark plug boot puller

boots: See boot.

boot spoiler: British term for trunk spoiler

border shopping: See Canadian cross border shopping

bore: [1] The cylinder hole itself. Also see piston bore. [2] The diameter or width of the cylinder. [3] As a verb, it means to cut a circular hole. [4] With the word "full" it means to go fast. Also see full bore center bore cylinder bore wheel center bore bored: To increase the diameter of the cylinder. Also see stroked. bore diameter: The diameter of the cylinders. It is usually measured in either inches or millimetres. When a cylinder is bored out because of scored walls, it is increased by "ten thou" of an inch (0.01") or 0.25 mm.

bore-stroke ratio: The relation between the diameter of the cylinder bore and the length of the stroke of the piston. If the stroke is longer than the cylinder bore diameter then the engine is called a long stroke engine. If the stroke is shorter than the cylinder bore diameter then the engine is called a short stroke engine. If the stroke is the same as the distance of the cylinder bore diameter then the engine is called a square engine

Borgward: A German automobile manufacturer which began by Carl F. Click for books on W. Borgward in 1921. Borgward boring bar: A machine with a stiff bar that has multiple cutting bits used to cut engine cylinders to a specific size. As used in garages, to cut worn cylinders to a new diameter or bearing bores in proper alignment with each other.


Renewing the cylinders by cutting them out to a specified size, a boring bar is used to make the cut.

boss: An extension or strengthened section that holds the end of a pin or shaft. For example, the holes in the piston through which the piston pin is placed would easily break the thin walls of the piston when under pressure. The area around the hole (on the inner side of the piston) are strengthened to prevent breakage. This area is the piston boss. Also see gudgeon pin boss horn boss piston pin boss. bossing mallet: A hammer with a pear-shaped wooden head used for shaping and stretching metal over a sandbag or wooden block.

botch: [1] A repair job which is very poorly done. [2] To do a repair job poorly

botched-up job: A colloquial term for a poor repair which will not be permanent.

bottle: See acetylene bottle

bottled gas: (LPG) (liquefied petroleum gas or propane) gas compressed into strong metal portable tanks. The gas, when confined in the tank, under pressure, is in liquid form.

bottle jack: A hydraulic lifting device which is in the shape of a bottle

bottleneck: A traffic situation where the road narrows to the point where traffic is excessively slowed

bottom: [1] The lowest point. See door bottom. [2] To lower something. [3] To reach the end of its travel (i.e., bottom out). [4] To make contact with the road. Also see double bottom bottom bracket: The cylindrical part of a bicycle frame that holds the crank axle, two sets of ball bearing, a fixed cup, and an adjustable cup.

bottom dead center: (BDC) The lowest point of the piston and connecting rod travel in a cylinder. In a horizontally opposed engine, it is sometimes called the outer dead center. Opposite to top dead center. Also see after bottom dead center before bottom dead center bottom dumps: Trailers that unload through bottom grates.

bottom end: [1] All the moving parts in the crankcase and their bearings. [2] The lower range of engine revolutions

bottom end gasket kit: All the gaskets below the base gasket (crankcase gaskets and inspection cover gaskets) and all the O-rings and replaceable spacers in the bottom end of an engine. Also see top end gasket kit. bottom gear: The lowest gear in a transmission.

bottoming: [1] A situation where the suspension reaches the end of its travel.

[2] A situation where the lowest part of the chassis touches the ground, especially on a bump

bottom out: To reach the end of its travel.

bottom tank: In a thermosyphon water-cooling system, this is the bottom radiator tank. Also see header tank radiator tank bounce: [1] When referring to valves, it indicates a condition where the valve is not held tightly closed in the seat even though the camshaft has not opened it. Also called "flutter" or valve bounce [2] When referring to a distributor, it indicates a condition where the points make erratic contact when they should remain closed. See contact bounce. [3] When referring to suspension, it indicates an up-and-down motion called "jounce" and "rebound." You can test it by pushing down and releasing a corner of a vehicle

bound electron: See b.

bound electrons: Electrons in the inner orbits around the nucleus of the atom, they are difficult to move out of orbit.

bourdon tube: A circular, hollow piece of metal that is used in some instruments, pressure on the hollow section causes it to attempt to straighten, the free end then moves a needle on the gauge face.

bow: See header bow hinge bow hood bow

main bow spring bow bowed: A bent shape.

bowden cable: A wire control cable within a metal or rubber sheath and used for activating a valve, clutch, choke, or accelerator

bowl: See float bowl.

bowl vent: (BV) connects the float bowl to the carburetor's air inlet. Depressurizes the fuel being pumped into the float bowl by the fuel pump and acts as a vapor separator by allowing vapors in the float bowl to escape into the carburetor air inlet. Bowl vents are cut at a 45-deg angle and face incoming air so that reference pressure remains the same regardless of airflow

bowl vent port: (BVP) the port in the carburetor which vents fumes and excess pressure from the float bowl to maintain atmospheric pressure

bowser: A tanker used for refuelling military ground vehicles or airplanes

bow thrusters: A propeller at the bow of the ship, used during maneuvering to provide transverse thrust

bow wow: A vehicle in very bad shape. A dog.

bow-wow: A vehicle in very bad shape. A dog.

box: [1] Colloquial term for a transmission. Also see crash gearbox [2] A term for an electrical or electronic device. Also see E-box control box control unit crash recorder fuse box [3] A silencer. Also see black box cdi box crash box panhard rod mounting box rocker box roof box slush box squirt box steering box stuffing box tail light box transfer box trigger box boxed rod: connecting rod in which the I-beam section has been stiffened by welding plates on each side of the rod.

boxer engine: A horizontally opposed engine.

box member: A structural part made as a box section

box section: A closed panel structure of square cross section which is used to strengthen a vehicle's underbody

box spanner: A British term for a hollow tube with a socket at each end and two holes through which a bar can be inserted to turn the wrench. The bar is called a T-bar; but the British call it a tommy bar

box van: A British term for a cube van with a large cargo box behind the driver's cab.

box wrench: A tool designed to secure or remove a bolt or nut. Each end of the wrench fits around the bolt head or nut. British term for "ring spanner." In contrast, see open end wrench.

boxy: A derogatory description of a car that has square angles instead of smooth curved lines.

boy: See low boy

boy racer: A low-cost car without much sophistication or performance; but it does have a very sleek and sporty appearance.

BP: Acronym for barometric absolute pressure sensor or barometric pressure sensor

BPA: Acronym for bypass air solenoid

B-pillar: The center body pillar on sedans. It connect the sills and provides roof support. Sometimes referred to as simply post, as in 1957 Chevy two-door post. On a true hardtop design these pillars are missing, leaving uninterrupted glass area along the sides of the car. Also called "B-post."

B pillar: See B-post.

B post: B-post. B-post: The center body post on sedans. It connect the sills and provides roof support. Sometimes referred to as simply post, as in 1957 Chevy two-door post. On a true hardtop design these pillars are missing, leaving uninterrupted glass area along the sides of the car. Also called "B-pillar." BPS: Acronym for exhaust back pressure transducer valve

BPV: [1] Acronym for bypass valve. [2] Acronym for exhaust back pressure transducer valve

Bra: A protective cover, usually of leather or vinyl, which is mounted to the front of a vehicle to protect the finish from stones. Also see stealth Bra brace: A support beam to give reinforcement between two objects. Also see roof brace speed brace bracing: [1] To stiffen something by using a brace. [2] A brace. See cross bracing

bracket: a support device which is often a right-angled shape. Also see bilge bracket bottom bracket bumper bracket

drive end bracket end bracket fender support bracket margin bracket slip-ring end bracket spring bracket towing bracket tripping bracket wing support bracket bracket set: See chassis bracket set

braided hose: A rubber hose which is covered in a woven material or braided wire. Used for various hoses under the hood.

brake: [1] To slow down a vehicle. [2] The mechanism that converts motion (kinetic energy) into heat energy through friction. The most common instance is found in the wheels of cars where the brake shoes or disc pads are designed to press against the brake drum or brake disc. Also see air brake anti-lock brakes anti-lock brake system armature brake assisted brakes band brake bleeding the brakes bonded brake lining cable brake caliper disc brake cantilever brakes clutch brake coaster brake disc brake disc brake gauge disc brake rotor disc brakes double leading brake shoe drum brake dual brakes

duo-servo brake E-brake emergency brake engine brake fixed-caliper disc brake fixed-cam brake flexible brake pipe floating caliper disc brake flushing the brakes foot brake forward brake shoe four wheel disc brakes high-mounted brake light hinged-caliper disc brake hub brake hydraulically-activated brakes hydraulically-assisted brakes hydraulic assisted brakes hydraulic brake booster hydraulic brakes inboard brake jake brake jam on the brakes jam the brakes juice brake leading brake shoe low brake pedal master brake cylinder maximum brake power mechanical brakes non-servo brake park brake park brake extension parking brake console parking brake lever strut parking brake lever parking brake pedal parking brake pin slider caliper disc brake power assisted brakes power brake press brake primary brake shoe primary forward brake shoe prony brake pumping the gas brakes

pump the brakes reverse brake shoe rim brake riveted brake lining rollercam brake self-energizing brake shoe service brake servo action brake servo brake shooting brake single-anchor self-energizing brake sliding-caliper disc brake sprag brake spring brake U-brake uni-servo brake vacuum assisted brake ventilated brakes brake adjuster: A device which moves the drum shoes closer to or further apart from the drum.

brake adjusting spanner: A British term for brake wrench

brake adjusting wrench: A wrench which is used to adjust the brake shoes

brake anchor: A steel stud or pin upon which one end of the brake shoes is either attached to or rests against. The anchor is firmly affixed to the backing plate.

brake, anti-lock: See anti-lock brakes.

brake antiroll device: See brake anti-roll device.

brake anti-roll device:

A unit installed in the brake system to hold brake line pressure when the vehicle is stopped on an upgrade, when the vehicle is stopped on the upgrade and the brake pedal released, the anti-roll device will keep the brakes applied until either the clutch is released or as on some models, the accelerator is depressed.

brake backing plate: A rigid metal (steel) plate, located inside the brake drum, on which the wheel cylinder, brake shoes, and other brake parts are mounted. The braking force applied to the shoes is absorbed by the backing plate. brake band: A band, faced with brake lining, that encircles a brake drum, it is used on several parking brake installations. It differs from brake shoes in that brake shoes squeezes against the inside surface of a drum while a brake band squeezes against the outside surface of a drum.

brake bias: The front/rear distribution of a vehicle's braking power. For the shortest stopping distance, brake bias should match the vehicle's traction at each end during hard braking brake modulation -- the process of varying pedal pressure to hold a vehicle's brakes on the verge of lockup. Ideally, the brakes will unlock with only a slight reduction in the pressure needed to lock them. Typically, however, a considerable pressure reduction is required.

brake bleeder: A valve attached to each wheel brake. This valve can be opened and closed to allow air to be removed or bled from the brake lines.

brake bleeding: See bleeding the brakes.

brake block: See brake pad.

brake booster: A mechanical device which attaches to the brake system to multiply the force the driver applies with his foot (or hand as in the case of a motorcycle). The device uses air, vacuum, or hydraulic fluid to accomplish this purpose. Sometimes called "power assisted brakes," "vacuum assisted brakes," "hydraulically assisted brakes," or just "power brakes." In most cars, the boost

comes from engine intake vacuum. In motorcycles it comes from hydraulic fluid. Also See hydraulic brake booster vacuum brake booster brake cable: A wire cable which activates the brakes. Used on motorcycles, trailers, and for the parkbrake

brake caliper: See calipers.

brake console: See parking brake console computer brake control brake cylinder: A cylinder containing a movable piston actuated by hydraulic pressure to push fluid through the lines and wheel cylinders and force the brake lining or pads against a drum or disc. Also see wheel cylinder master brake cylinder brake disc: A British term for brake rotor.

brake disc type: A braking system that instead of using the conventional brake drum with internal brake shoes, uses a steel disc with caliper type lining application, when the brakes are applied, a section of lining on each side of the spinning disc is forced against the disc thus imparting a braking force. This type of brake is very resistant to brake fade. Also see disc brake. brake dive:

The action of the front end of a vehicle as it dips down when the brakes are applied. Opposite to squat. Also see anti-dive system anti-lift anti-squat system brake drum: A cast iron or aluminum housing bolted to the wheel, that rotates around the brake shoes. When the shoes are expanded, they rub against the machined inner surface of the brake drum and exert a braking effect upon the wheel to slow or stop the vehicle. brake drum lathe: A machine to refinish the inside of a brake drum.

brake dust: The dust created as the brake linings wear down in normal use. Brake dust usually contains dangerous amounts of asbestos

brake extension: See park brake extension

brake fade: Reduction or loss in braking force due to loss of friction between brake shoes and drum (or brake pads and disc). Caused by heat buildup through repeated or prolonged brake application.

brake failure: The total inability of the brakes to function. May be caused by worn out pads or shoes, broken hydraulic lines, broken cable or other linkage, non-functioning master cylinder, low or empty brake fluid reservoir, etc.

brake feel: A discernible, to the driver, relationship between the amount of brake pedal pressure and the actual braking force being exerted. A special device is incorporated in power brake installations to give the driver this feel.

brake fluid:

A special fluid used in hydraulic brake systems to stop or slow the vehicle. Never use something else in place of regular fluid. There are four types of brake fluid on the market. DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5, and DOT 5.1. Also see silicone brake fluid brake fluid reservoir: In an automobile, it is a translucent tank located in front of the master cylinder. It usually has two chambers containing brake fluid. In a motorcycle, it may be found on the handlebar (for the front brake) or near the back of the bike (for the rear brake).

brake flushing: Cleaning the brake system by flushing with alcohol or brake fluid. This is done to remove water, dirt, or any other contaminant, flushing fluid is placed in the master cylinder and forced through the lines and wheel cylinders where it exits at the cylinder bleed screws.

brake gauge: See disc brake gauge

brake horsepower: (bhp) A measurement of the actual usable power (not calculated power) measured at the output shaft (usually the crankshaft) rather than at the driveshaft or the wheels. Thus none of the auxiliaries (gearbox, generator, alternator, differential, water pump, etc.) are attached. It is called the brake horsepower because the shaft power is usually measured by an absorption dynamometer or "brake." This is not the brake on the vehicle's wheels but a testing device applied to the shaft. This instrument is applied to stop or absorb the rotation of the output shaft and returns a value. Compare SAE gross horsepower and SAE net horsepower. Also see horsepower brake hose: A flexible high-pressure hose that is reinforced. It connects between the brake pipes and the brake assembly. It needs to be flexible because of the constant movement of the suspension

brake lathe:

The machine used to resurface the friction surfaces of brake discs or drums

brake lever: [1] A blade attached to the right side of the handlebars of a motorcycle which usually activates the front brake. [2] A device for activating the park brake. Also see parking brake lever brake lever strut: See parking brake lever strut

brake light: A red light at the rear of the vehicle which is activated when the brakes are applied. Also called "stop light." Also see high-mounted brake light auxilliary brake lights brake line: See brake lines.

brake lines: A system of hoses and metal tubes through which the brake fluid flows from the master cylinder to the brake calipers at each wheel. Cracks or breaks in these lines will cause the fluid to leak out and result in loss of brakes.

brake lining: A heat-resistant friction material (usually asbestos) that is attached to the brake shoe. When the shoe is pressed against the brake drum, the lining grabs the inside of the drum, which stops the vehicle and also prevents the drum and the shoe from wearing each other away. Also see bonded brake lining riveted brake lining brake lock: See steering wheel and brake lock

brake master cylinder: The part of the hydraulic brake system which stores the brake fluid. As the brake pedal is applied pressure is forced against a small movable piston in the master cylinder to push hydraulic fluid through the lines to the wheel cylinders and force the brake linings against the drum (in the case of drum brakes) or force the brake pads against the disc (in the case of disc brakes). brake mean effective pressure: (BMEP) The average pressure in the cylinders of an engine divided by its mechanical efficiency, i.e., the ratio of the power actually delivered at an output shaft to the power developed in the cylinders. It is used as an indication of torque.

brake pad: The friction material or lining which is secured to metal plates. They press against the brake disc or rotor to enable the wheel to stop. They are to be distinguished from brake shoes which press against the inside of a drum. On a bicycle, brake pads are blocks of rubber-like material fastened to the end of the brake caliper; they press against the wheel rim when the brakes are applied. Also called "brake block." Sometimes the term "brake pad" refers to both the pad and the metal backing. Also see ceramic brake pad sintered metal brake pad brake pads: See brake pad.

brake pad wear indicator: A device which detects the thickness of the brake pad by using an L-shaped strap which will scrape against the disc when the pad thickness is below tolerance. Others use an electrical circuit in which a worn pad closes an electrical circuit that illuminates a light on the dash panel.

brake pedal: A foot operated device which engages the brakes to stop or slow the rotation of the wheels. Also see low brake pedal parking brake pedal spongy brake pedal

brake pipe: A steel pipe used to transmit the brake fluid. See flexible brake pipe

brake piston: On a motorcycle, pressure from the brake lever (when squeezed) forces the brake fluid to flow from the master cylinder down through the brake line and into the caliper. The pressure of the brake fluid causes the piston to push the brake pad to rub against the disc, thus stopping movement of the motorcycle.

brake, power: See power brakes maximum brake power brake puck: See brake pads.

brake pucks: See brake pads.

brake pulling: A situation where the vehicle moves to one side when the brakes are applied. It is usually due to uneven application of the brakes from side to side.

brake, parking: See parking brake emergency brake brake proportioning valve: A valve that limits braking force to the front or rear wheels, usually as a function of pedal effort or line pressure, loading of the vehicle or front-rear weight transfer, to prevent wheel locking and provide the most effective braking. brake rod: A long rod which connects between the brake pedal and the brake actuating lever.

brake rotor:

The brake disc which is attached to the wheel and is surrounded by a brake caliper. Also see disc brake rotor brakes, antilock: See anti-lock brakes.

brakes, anti-lock: See anti-lock brakes.

brake servo: A device which multiplies the driver's physical effort in applying the brakes by using manifold vacuum

brake servo unit: See brake servo

brake shoe: That part of the brake system, located at the wheels, upon which the brake lining is attached. There are usually two shoes (curved or arc-shaped pieces) in each wheel. When the wheel cylinders are actuated by hydraulic pressure they force the brake shoes apart and bring the lining into contact with the brake drum. In this way the vehicle is slowed or stopped. On a bicycle, it is the metal part that holds a brake pad and is bolted to the end of a brake caliper. Also see double leading brake shoe forward brake shoe leading brake shoe primary brake shoe primary forward brake shoe reverse brake shoe secondary brake shoe self-energizing brake shoe single leading brake shoe trailing brake shoe. brake shoe grinder: A grinder used to grind brake shoe lining so that it will be square to and concentric with the brake drum.

brake shoe heel: That end of the brake shoe closest to the anchor bolt or pin.

brake shoe return spring: A spring which is attached to the two brake shoes. After the brake is applied, this spring pulls the shoes away from the drum

brake shoe toe: The free end of the shoe, it is not attached to or resting against an anchor pin.

brakes, power: See power brakes.

brake system: A system that uses hydraulic pressure to enable your vehicle to slow and stop safely. Consists of the master cylinder, brake lines, and disc or drum brakes at each wheel. Also see anti-lock brake system brake system cleaner: A type of solvent designed exclusively for cleaning brake system components. It will not destroy plastic, rubber, or synthetic rubber components and it dries quickly, without leaving a residue

brake test: A testing procedure which determines the efficiency of a vehicle's brakes in order to pass safety tests

brake torquing: A procedure generally used in performance tests to improve the off-the-line acceleration of a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. It is executed by firmly depressing the brake with the left foot, applying the throttle with the vehicle in gear to increase engine rpm, then releasing the brakes. Brake torquing is particularly effective with turbocharged cars because it helps overcome turbo lag.

brake warning light: An indicator light on the dash which indicates problems such as low fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir, a malfunction in any of the hydraulic brake circuits, or

excessive wear of the brake pads or shoes. It also illuminates when the parkbrake is applied. When the ignition is first started, the light will illuminate momentarily to show that the light is working.

brake wrench: A wrench which is used to adjust the brake shoes. The British call it a "brake adjusting spanner."

braking: The action of operating the devices for slowing the motion of a vehicle. Also see active braking time all-out braking cadence braking diagonal split braking system dual-circuit braking system dual-line braking system dual braking system engine braking effect heavy braking hydraulic braking system late braking light braking regenerative braking stab braking trail braking braking distance: A measurement of the distance that a vehicle will travel from the time the brakes are first applied to the actual moment it stops. Also see stopping distance braking effect: See engine braking effect

braking efficiency: braking effort as a percentage of the weight of the vehicle

braking effort:

The amount of strength needed by the operator to bring a vehicle to a stop or the amount of resistance in the brake system

braking force: The amount of strength needed by the operator to bring a vehicle to a stop or the amount of resistance in the brake system

braking ratio: The distribution of braking effort between the front and rear wheels

braking system: All the components that contribute to stopping the vehicle. Also see anti-lock braking system diagonal split braking system dual-circuit braking system dual-line braking system dual braking system hydraulic braking system secondary braking system single-circuit braking system single-line braking system braking time: See active braking time

brand number: A series of identifying numbers and letters which some companies burn into the sidewall rubber of a truck tire to show their initials, mounting date, etc.

brass hammer: A hammer with a brass head. Because the head is softer than steel it is used for hitting a steel object without damaging that object

brass punch: A drift or punch made of brass which is used to remove bushings and bearing races because brass does not score or mark steel.

brass hammer:

A hammer with a brass head which is used to pound steel pins etc. into place without damaging them.

braze: To join two pieces of metal together by heating the edges to be joined and then melting drops of brass or bronze on the area. Unlike welding, this operation is similar to soldering, except a higher melting point material is used.

braze on: See braze-ons.

braze-on: See braze-ons.

braze-ons: Parts for mounting shift levers, derailleurs, water bottle cages, and racks, which are fastened to a bicycle frame through a type of soldering process known as brazing.

braze welding: Making an adhesion groove, fillet, or plug connection with a brazing alloy

brazing: Making an adhesion groove, fillet, or plug connection with a brazing alloy

breadth: See beam

break: [1] The action of an item when it no longer holds integrity -- usually resulting in unusable pieces. See impact break circumferential break [2] To dismantle a vehicle for parts. [3] To separate as when a switch breaks contact when it is shut off

break away:

See breakaway

breakaway: The action of a wheel when it turns very rapidly and loses traction so that there is no contact with the ground. Bias-belted tires and radial tires resist the breakaway action better than a bias ply tire. Also see spark breakaway

breakbulk vessel: A general, multipurpose, cargo ship that carriers cargoes of nonuniform sizes

break down: [1] To cease to operate as in our car broke down on the highway. [2] To lose its insulating effectiveness

breakdown: [1] A failure of a mechanism or vehicle as in we had a breakdown on the highway. [2] A loss of insulating effectiveness

breakdown recovery: Rescue of a vehicle that has suffered a breakdown by towing it to a service station, etc.

breakdown service: A service provided by a tow-truck in providing repairs at the place where the breakdown occurred

breakdown truck: A tow-truck

breaker: [1] A person who dismantles a vehicle for parts. Also called a dismantler. [2] A cushioning layer between the belt layers and the tread in radial tires. [3] A device for removing contact. Also see bead breaker chain breaker circuit breaker contact breaker

dual breaker points glaze breaker breaker arm: The movable part of a pair of contact points in a distributor or magneto.

breaker cam: The lobed cam rotating in the ignition system which interrupts the primary circuit to induce a high tension spark for ignition. breaker gap: See contact breaker gap

breaker plate: The movable plate inside the distributor to which the points and the condenser are attached. Also see contact breaker plate breaker point: See breaker points contact breaker point breaker points: A mechanical switch in the distributor with two metal contact points (usually made of silver, platinum, or tungsten) that open and close. When the points are closed, energy is stored in the primary windings of the coil. When the breaker points open, this energy is transferred to the secondary windings of the coil and stepped up, resulting in a high voltage to fire the plugs. The air gap between the breaker-point surfaces is critical. If the gap is too small, the timing is retarded, if too wide advanced. Also called "points," "contact points," and "ignition points." Also see dual breaker points contact breaker point. breakerless: A distributor or ignition system where the mechanical switching device (such as points or contacts) are replaced by an electronic switching device through the use of transistors. They are also called "contactless" or "all-electronic ignitions."

breaker's yard:

A British term for a salvage yard

breaker-triggered transistorized ignition: A transistorized ignition system whose distributor is the same as that of a coil ignition system, but whose contact breaker switches only the control current of the transistor, not the primary current. Usually not fitted as original equipment.

break in: See break-in.

break-in: Period of operation between the installation of new or rebuilt parts and the time in which the parts are worn to the correct fit, driving at a reduced and varying speed for a specified mileage to permit parts to wear to the correct fit. British term is "runin."

break-in oil: Special formulated oil used in a new engine for a specified amount of time so that all bearing surfaces, etc. are properly seated.

break-out box: (BOB) a service tool that tees-in between the computer and the multi-pin harness connector. Once connected in series with the computer and the harness, this test device permits measurements of computer inputs and outputs

breakover: The area of a dent in a panel where the sheet metal is actually buckled into the opposite direction of its normal shape

break time: The length of time the contact breaker points remain open. Opposite to dwell

break up: British term for dismantling a vehicle and selling the parts. Similar to part out

breakwater: Plates fitted on a forward weather deck to form a V-shaped shield against water that is shipped over the bow

breasthook: A triangular plate bracket joining port and starboard side stringers at the stem.

breathalyze: To administer a breathalyzer test

breathalyzer: A device into which a driver blows to determine the amount of alcohol in his breath (and thus in his blood)

breathalyzer test: A test given by the police to determine if a driver has exceeded the allowable alcohol content in his system.

breather: A vent in the crankcase for relieving internal pressure or admitting air. Also see crankcase breather oil breather pipe oil breather breather pipe: A pipe opening into the interior of the engine. It is used to assist ventilation the pipe usually extends downward to a point just below the engine so that the passing air stream will form a partial vacuum thus assisting in venting the engine. Also see oil breather pipe breather port: See replenishing port

breathing: The action of taking in air for combining with fuel for burning as energy and then exhausting it. See breathing capacity.

breathing capacity:

The volume of air that enters the cylinder during each intake stroke. Volumetric efficiency is determined by comparing the actual volume of air with the maximum possible amount. Also called "air capacity."

breath test: See breathalyzer test

brevet: Literally, the word means "certificate," "patent," or "diploma" in French. In randonneuring, it means two things: certification of having successfully done a randonné, and the long-distance bicycle event itself of at least 200 kilometers. Brevet and randonnée are often interchangeable terms, but a randonnée might be considered to be less structured or less formal than a brevet.

Brewster: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.

BRG: Acronym for British Racing Green

bricklayer hammer: A special hammer for chipping cement blocks and bricks

bridge: A metal support which is installed in the valve slot of a wheel rim and prevents the flap and tube from bulging through the slot under high pressure and high heat conditions. Also called "lemna." Also see flying bridge house bridge navigating bridge port bridge bridge bolts: High-strength bolts used to fasten together the halves of a split brake caliper


See diode.

bridge igniter: A device for detonating the air bag

bridge washer: A protective thin metal washer installed at the valve stem between the flap and rim base to prevent the tube and flap from protruding through the valve slot as a result of high pressure and high temperature.

bridging: A characteristic of undercoats that occurs when a scratch or other imperfection in the surface isn't completely filled. Usually due to under-reducing the primer or using a solvent that dries too fast. Also see gap bridging bright: A lustrous, shiny finish. Opposite to matt

brightening: See chemical brightening

Brinell hardness: A test of a metal's hardness by hydraulically pressing a hard ball into the metal

Bristol: See Arnolt Bristol.

British Association: (BA) A term used to describe a series of fine, small diameter threads for electrical and precision equipment

British Leyland: (BL) A former manufacturer of British automobiles, now called the Rover Group

British Motor Corporation:

(BMC) A former manufacturer of British automobiles which changed its name to British Leyland and then to the Rover Group

British Racing Green: (BRC) A dark green color which used to be the official racing color for British cars

British Standard Fine: (BSF) The fine screw thread used on most British vehicles before metrication. The coarse thread was British Standard Whitworth

British Standards Institution: (BSI) An organization which prepares and issues British standard specifications

British Standard Whitworth: A coarse screw thread used on British vehicles before metrication

British thermal unit: (BTU) A measurement of the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water, one degree Fahrenheit.

brittle point: A low extreme temperature at which a substance (like rubber) fractures on sudden impact.

broach: Bringing a metal surface to the desired shape by forcing (pushing or pulling) a multiple-edged cutting tool across the surface.

broken-in: A condition in which a new engine has overcome any wear-in problems.

broken storage: The spaces between and around cargo packages, including dunnage, and spaces not usable because of structural interference.


an intermediary with legal authority to operate on behalf of the manufacturer.

bronze: An alloy of copper and tin. See phosphor-bronze sintered bronze bronze welding: See braze welding

Brough: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 Superior with required application are classic cars.

Brougham: See Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

BROW: A small inclined ramp to allow passage of trucks over a hatch coaming or bulkhead door sills etc

bruise: Any tire injury which weakens, breaks, or separates the carcass cords without damaging the visible rubber surface.

brush: [1] A paintbrush. See airbrush. [2] The pieces of carbon, or copper, that rub against the commutator on the generator or starter motor or against the slip rings on an alternator. As they wear down, they need to be replaced. Also see carbon brush card brush cup-shaped wire brush file card brush spark plug brush third brush wire brush

brushes: See brush.

brush holder: A device which keeps the carbon brushes in an electric motor in contact with the commutator or slip ring

brush spring: A spring which pushes against the back end of a carbon brush in an electric motor to force it against the commutator or slip ring. Also see carbon brush spring BSF: Acronym for British Standard Fine

BSI: Acronym for British Standards Institution

BSW: Acronym for British Standard Whitworth

BTDC: before top dead center. Spark occurs on the compression stroke, before the piston reaches top dead center.

B thread: See internal thread class B thread BTU: Acronym for "British thermal unit." The amount of heat that must be added to one pound of water to raise its temperature one Fahrenheit degree.


A small blister in the finish of paint

bubble car: A type of small car which was popular in the 1950s. It had a bulbous-shaped glass front to provide maximum interior room in spite of its small size. The door opened to the front of the driver. Examples are the BMW Isetta and Heinkel Trojan

Bucciali: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.

bucket: See headlight bucket rust bucket shim under bucket bucket seat: An individual seat which is found in pairs in the front of a vehicle. Named because the curvature of the backrest and cushion resembles a cut-out bucket.

bucket tappet: valve lifters that are hollow, cylindrical, and closed at one end and used with some overhead camshafts. The flat, closed end of the tappet (bottom of the bucket) rests against the camshaft lobe with part of the valve spring and valve stem enclosed by the cylinder. Called "bucket tappets" because they are shaped like upside-down buckets. Buckland: See AC Buckland Open Tourer.

buckle: [1] A locking clasp usually found on seat belts and tie-down straps. [2] To crumple up, especially when metal bends in a vehicle accident

buckled plates: Battery plates that have been bent or warped out of a flat plane

buckler: A portable cover secured over the deck opening of the hawsepipes and the chain pipes to restrict the flow of water through the openings

buckle up: To put your seat belt on. British term is "belt up"

BUDC: before upper dead center. Same as BTDC.

budd mounting: See double cap nut.

buff: As a verb it means to polish. As a noun it indicates an expert in a field or a person greatly interested in the field as in Jim is a car buff. Also see nut buff contour: The specked shape of a buffed retread tire.

buffer: A machine used to rasp the old tread from the tire. Also see jounce buffer buffered radius: A dimension that ensures the proper contour of the buffed surface according to tire size and type and matrix dimensions.

buffeting: Severe, pulsating force of wind. When you drive in a convertible with the top down, you will often experience this buffeting action of the wind. It is also noticeable when a vehicle is driven quickly with the windows down.


[1] Smoothing and polishing a surface by using a buffing wheel and polishing paste or liquid. [2] Grinding or rasping off remaining tread rubber to give the casing proper texture to accept new retread stock and proper dimensions to fit the matrix.

buffing template: A machined device of a specific shape used to obtain the required buffed contour.

buffing wheel: A disc which is covered in soft cloth or lambswool. It is powered by a tool like a drill which spins the disc to give a high gloss shine to the surface of a vehicle.

buff line: The dividing line in the cross section of a tire between the buffed surface of the original tire and the new retread rubber.

bug and tar remover: A solution which will dissolve bugs and tar residue. After application, it needs to be washed off or it will also remove the paint.

bug deflector: A length of clear plastic which is attached to the front of the hood to prevent bugs from hitting the windshield.

Bugatti: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars. Click for books on The 1951 Type 101 model is a milestone car. Bugatti Buick: A vehicle brand of which the Riviera for 1949 and 1963-70 are milestone cars. The 1931-32 series 90 with required application are classic cars. The 1953-54 Skylark are milestone cars. Click for books on Buick

Buick Century: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick Click for books on Buick Century

Buick Electra: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Electra

Buick Grand National: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Grand National

Buick Park Avenue: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Park Avenue

Buick Regal: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Regal

Buick Riviera: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Riviera

Buick Skylark: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick build:

Click for books on Buick Skylark

The thickness of the paint film deposited on the body during spraying (measured in mils). Also see heavy film build build date code: A code which tells you what day, month, and year the engine was made. Expressed alpha-numerically and stamped somewhere on the block

builder: In retreading a tire, a machine used to apply tread rubber to a casing. Also see body builder Builders and Repairers Association:

See vehicle Builders and Repairers Association

building basin: A structure in which one or more ships may be built and floated by flooding the basin.

build quality: The quality of workmanship and material composition in the construction of a vehicle.

build up: [1] To increase the surface level of metal by welding more material on it (and later grinding it to shape) or by adding filler to it. [2] To assemble or put something together. [3] To add material to something. See carbon build-up pressure buildup buildup: [1] The amount a weld face is extended above the surface of the metals being joined. [2] An excess of some material as in, "There was a buildup of carbon on the top of the piston." Also see carbon build-up built-up crankshaft: A crankshaft which is not cast or forged as one piece, but made of several different parts.

bulb: An electronic device which gives off light by the heating of an element contained with a glass enclosure. The metal base which conducts the electricity may be a barrel with locating pins, or it may have small filament wires protruding from the base. In some cases it is a tube with contacts at either end. When replacing bulbs, especially high intensity bulbs like halogen, be sure to avoid touching the glass. The oil from your fingers will cause the bulb to overheat and burn out quickly. If you do touch the glass, you need to clean it with air dry it. Also see

alcohol bayonet bulb double filament bulb festoon bulb halogen bulb light bulb outer bulb quartz-halogen bulb quartz halogen bulb tungsten-halogen bulb bulk cargo: Cargo such as oil, coal, ore, woodchips, etc. not shipped in bags or containers

bulk carrier: Ship designed to carry cargo such as grain, woodchips, ore, coal, etc. in bulk

bulk charging: Using large containers of refrigerant to charge the system. Commonly employed with charging stations to perform complete system charges

bulkhead: [1] A structural partition that separates compartments. This is generally a metal wall that extends from one side of a vehicle to the other. In the engine compartment, you would find a radiator bulkhead near the front and a firewall near the back. Another bulkhead separates the passengers from the trunk. The dashpanel is also a bulkhead. Also see rear bulkhead. [2] Vertical partition walls which separates the interior of a ship into compartments or rooms. Also see afterpeak bulkhead collision bulkhead forepeak bulkhead screen bulkhead swash bulkhead bulkhead connector: An OEM device used to connect wiring inside the vehicle body with wiring outside the body. Usually located at the bulkhead or firewall

bulkhead deck: The uppermost deck to which the transverse watertight bulkheads are carried

bulk refrigerant drum: A large (e.g., 10 lbs, 25 lbs, 30 lbs) container of refrigerant generally used in professional air conditioning service shops which employ charging stations to perform complete system charges

bull bar: The upward extension of a bumper to protect lights and the grille. Also see nerf bar bullet-point pick hammer: See pick hammer

bull horn: A warning horn that sounds like the bellow of a bull or the moo of a cow

bull low: The lowest gear in a transmission. Some older transmissions listed their gears as bull low (used for getting out of a stuck condition or climbing a very steep hill), low or first (used for starting out from a stop or for climbing a moderate hill), second (used for town driving or slight hills), third (used for highway cruising).

bulwark: Fore-and-aft vertical plating immediately above the upper edge of the sheer strake

bump: The upward movement of the wheels and suspension. Also called "jounce." Also see hood bump rubber bump and rebound: The two stages of suspension movement requiring damping. Also see

bump rebound bumper: Originally a bumper was a separate metal bar or blade at each end of a vehicle to prevent damaging the main part of the vehicle from damage occurred by a slight bump into an obstruction or another vehicle. Also see bumper system energy-absorbing bumper energy absorbing bumper front bumper hood bumper jounce bumper quarter bumper rear bumper skirt absorbing bumper bonnet bumper bumper to bumper wrapround bumper bumper bar: A tubular bar or series of bars which are designed to protect the front of a vehicle

bumper blade: A flat bar which is designed to protect the front or rear of a vehicle.

bumper bracket: A device to which the bumper is attached to the frame, body, or chassis

bumper filler: A small panel usually made of plastic which fits between the bumper and the body of the vehicle.

bumper horn: A short bumper extension which is mounted vertically (i.e., perpendicular to the main bumper), usually one on each side of the bumper. The British term is "overrider."

bumper insert:

A rubber or plastic strip fitted to the width of a bumper to prevent scoring of the bumper.

bumper iron: A bumper bracket

bumper jack: A device for lifting one corner of a vehicle to change a tire. Older cars used a long bar which fitted into a base. A device on the long bar had a hook which was placed in a strategic place on the vehicle. A lug wrench was inserted into the other end of the device and used to move the device up the long bar thus lifting the vehicle.

bumper panels: See side bumper panels

bumpers: See jounce bumpers

bumper skirt: See rear bumper skirt

bumper system: An energy-absorbing system with some type of deformable material including hydraulic cylinders which enable the bumpers to protect the vehicle from damage in low-speed impacts.

bumper to bumper: [1] A traffic condition in which a line of vehicles are stopped one after the other or are moving very slowly. [2] A way of expressing the entire vehicle from one bumper to the other.

bumping blade: An autobody tool used for slapping out slight dents (sometimes without a supporting dolly). It has slight serrations which hold the metal to avoid stretching. Also called a "bumping file."

bumping file:

An autobody tool used for slapping out slight dents (sometimes without a supporting dolly). It has slight serrations which hold the metal to avoid stretching. Also called a "bumping blade."

bumping hammer: An autobody hammer used with a dolly for restoring a panel's shape. Also see fender bumping hammer bumping out: An autobody term in which a damaged panel is hit with a hammer until it is nearly the correct shape.

bumping spoon: See spring beating spoon

bump rubber: See hood bump rubber

bump start: [1] A method of starting a manual transmission (not for automatics) vehicle by pushing it (especially down a hill) and letting in the clutch while in second gear and the ignition set to the "on" position. [2] To start a car using a bump start

bump steer: When an uneven road surface causes a vehicle to steer or lose directional stability, this is called "bump steer." At the front, bump steer is associated with the tie-rod and linkage-arm relationship. It is caused by the method of locating the rear suspension, the type of rear suspension, and the geometry of the various linkages. In race cars, bump steer is designed out of the suspension so that the handling is as precise as possible. In most cars it is present to some degree. In fact, it can be useful to allow engineers to design a small amount of understeer or oversteer into the chassis.

bump stop: A cushioning device, usually rubber, that limits the upward movement of the wheels and suspension to prevent metal-to-metal contact that could lead to suspension damage or failure. Also called "jounce bumpers."

bungee cord: A rubber tie down strap of various lengths (usually 10 mm diameter) with a metal hook on each end. Most are covered with fabric. The hooks are often plastic coated to minimize scratching. Some have an extra hook attached in the middle. Others are linked with a second cord to produce an X-shape. They are used to secure objects to a luggage rack. See bungee net.

bungee net: A specialized bungee cord shaped in the pattern of 25 squares with plastic covered hooks on two opposite sides of the net. It is used to secure objects to a luggage rack. See bungee cord and cargo net.

bunk: A built-in bed on a ship

bunkers: Fuel consumed by the engines of a ship

buoyancy: See center of buoyancy

Bureau of land management: (BLM) The United States government agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior which has divided trails into four classes: Type I is at least 7 feet (213 cm) wide (enough for a family vehicle), paved, easy to traverse. Type II is also at least 7 feet (213 cm) wide, not paved, but is usually improved. However it may be rough or rutted and contain washboards. It is best travelled by high-clearance 4WD vehicles. Type III is a narrow unimproved dirt road, often with rocks, steep hills, and mud over which only 4WD should use. Type IV trails are for mountain bikes, dirt bikes, and ATVs. 2WD or 4WD vehicles are not allowed.

burglar: See car burglar

burned metal: A term occasionally applied to the metal which has been combined with oxygen to the end that some of the carbon has been changed into carbon dioxide and some of the iron into iron oxide.

burned valves: Valves that have become pitted so that they do not close properly

burner: A device which tends to consume a lot of material. Also see fuel burner gas burner lead burning oil burner burning: [1] The violent combination of oxygen with any substance to produce heat. [2] The action of consuming something to produce heat, i.e., combustion. Also see lead burning. [3] The action of erosion or eating away. Electrical contacts are burning when they wear away; exhaust valves are burning when they pit and don't close properly. [4] flame cutting. Also see afterburning lead burning burnish: To bring a surface to a high shine by rubbing with a hard, smooth object.

burn rate: See cbr process controlled burn rate burn rubber: The action of rapid acceleration where the wheels make rapid rotation, but there is only very little momentum. As a result, the driving wheels leave some rubber behind on the pavement. Also see peel rubber.

burnt valves: See burned valves

burr: A roughness left on a cut or punched metal. A rough edge or ridge.

burred wheel: A wheel which has metal slivers or roughness around the edge of the rim.

burr walnut: A wood veneer used for dashboards and door trim on some cars. Also see zebrawood burst: To explode and suddenly lose all the air in a tire.

bury the needle: Going beyond the displayed maximum speed. For example, a digital speedometer may show speeds from zero to 137 kph (85 mph) on its display. When the needle goes beyond the maximum displayed point, it may go beyond the line of sight and is considered buried.

bus: [1] A large public or private passenger vehicle used for transporting many (at least 10) passengers. Also see articulated bus single-decker bus double-decker bus. [2] A busbar which is a heavy conductor used to carry or make a mutual connection between several circuits.

busbar: A heavy conductor used to carry or make a mutual connection between several circuits. Also called a "bus."


British term for bushing.

bushing: [1] A protective liner or sleeve that cushions noise, friction, or movement. Suspension bushings are often made from two pipes (one inside the other) with a sleeve of rubber in the space between the two pipes. [2] Rubber bushings on the suspension system should be lubricated regularly. [3] A bearing for a shaft, spring shackle, piston pin, etc., of one piece construction which may be removed from the part. Also see valve bushing buster: See lock buster

busy intersection: A road junction where there is a lot of traffic and may be controlled by signal lights or not. Usually a place where accidents are more likely to occur.

butane: A petroleum gas that is a liquid, when under pressure. Often used as engine fuel in trucks. Also see LPG. butt: [1] The end joint between two plates or other members which meet end to end. [2] The square ends of a piston ring

butt connector: A solderless wire connector used to permanently join two wire ends together

butted tubing: Tubing whose outside diameter remains constant but whose thickness is reduced in midsection where less strength is needed.

butterfly: See

butterfly valve throttle butterfly butterfly valve: A nut with wings to be turned by thumb and finger. Sometimes called a "wing nut."

butterfly valve: A small metal disc located in the carburetor that controls the flow of air into the carburetor. It is so named due to its resemblance to the insect of the same name.

butt joint: [1] A piston ring gap in which the two ends of the ring are squared off. [2] A weld where the two panels are not overlapped but fit against each other end to end.

button: A small disk or knob which activates something electrical when it is pressed such as a starter button. Also see abs override button eject button frequency scan button horn button memory button override button preset station button push button release button reset button scan button button head: A bolt with a round head

buttons: See button.

buttress: A thick rubber reinforcement in the shoulder of a tire. It provides support at the edge of the tread, limits shoulder area flexing, and protects the shoulder of off-road

tires. See fender strengthening buttress

buttressed thread: A screw thread with one vertical and one inclined flank

butt strap: A strap that overlaps the butt between two plates, serving as a connecting strength strap between the butted ends of the plating

butyl: A non-porous synthetic rubber used in making inner tubes and tubeless tire liners.

buy at end-of term interest rate: The effective net interest rate for the lease if, at the end of the lease, the car is purchased at the end-of-lease purchase price.

buying decisions: the act of determining whether or not a product purchase or repair, will be made, and/or which product or service will be purchased.

BV: Acronym for bowl vent

BVP: Acronym for bowl vent port

BVT: Acronym for backpressure variable transducer

B/W: Black and white, usually referring to photographs.

BW: Acronym for "blackwall," as in BW tires.


[1] A road which avoids the congested area of a city traffic. [2] An alternate route for a flowing substance. [3] To go around something to avoid it. Also see oil cooler bypass valve oil filter oil filter bypass valve start bypass bypass air screw: A screw located on the airflow sensor of a fuel injection system. It adjusts the amount of air allowed into the air-fuel mixture.

bypass air solenoid: (BPA) a device used to control the idle speed on some fuel-injected vehicles

bypass filter: An oil filter that constantly filters a portion of the oil flowing through the engine.

bypass valve: (BPV) A valve that can open and allow fluid or gas to pass through in other than its normal channel. Also see oil cooler bypass valve oil filter oil filter bypass valve

DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS "C" [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [C] [Ca] [Cb] [Cc] [Cd] [Ce] [Cf] [Cg] [Ch] [Ci] [Ck] [Cl] [Cn] [Co] [Cp] [Cr] [Cs] [Ct] [Cu] [Cv] [Cw] [Cy]

C: [1] Abbreviation for Celsius or centigrade. [2] Abbreviation for coulomb. [3] Abbreviation for comfort.

C-3: Acronym for a computer command control system

C3I: Acronym for computer controlled coil ignition

C-4: Acronym for computer command control system

C-4 system: See computer-controlled catalytic converter

CA: API classification for diesel engine oil widely used in the late '40s and '50s.

CAAM: Acronym for "China Association of Automobile Manufacturers."

cab: [1] A taxi or car for hire. [2] The closed part of a truck (or even a car) where the driver sits. Also see

chassis cab cab chassis: A truck chassis which includes the driver compartment.

cab-forward design: A car design in which the front end is short and the footwells extended to the front axle. This design gave more passenger space and pushed the windshield further from the passengers

cabin: A passenger compartment. Also see rear cabin pillar cabin forward: See cab-forward design

cabin-forward design: See cab-forward design

cabin pillar: See rear cabin pillar

cable: A cord generally made of strands of thin wire. Electrical cables are covered with a protective non-conducting material. Control cables are housed within an outer sleeve. Also see booster cable bowden cable brake cable clutch cable control cable gearchange cables heavy cable ignition cable jumper cables light cable,

shift cables, spark plug cable, speedo cable, speedometer cable, speedometer drive cable, starter switch control cable, stirrup cable, straddle cable, transverse cable cable activated: A device which is controlled by a cable. As a lever or pedal is engaged, the device is correspondingly moved. The longer the cable the less efficient is the system. Cables tend to stretch and fray with use.

cable brake: A braking device which is activated by a cable

cable clamp: [1] A device for securing a cable end to the point where it connects. [2] A device which secures the outer sheath of a cable

cable cover strip: See spark plug cable cover strip

cable guide: A tube which is secured in place to channel the cable which runs through it

cable lock: A thick cable with a lock at one end and which can be wrapped around a bicycle frame and a post to protect the bike from being stolen.

cable loom: See spark plug cable loom

cable marker: See spark plug cable marker

cable operated: An item which is controlled by a cable

cables: See cable.

cable separator: See spark plug cable separator

cabriolet: Similar to the sport coupé, it has a provision for converting to an open-type body (i.e., convertible). A rumble seat is a common on older vehicles, but not mandatory feature. Mercedes-Benz distinguishes the cabriolet from the roadster in that the former has a soft-top which folds up while the roadster has a hard-top which is stored in the trunk. Also called a "drophead coupé."

CACIS: Acronym for "Continuous AC Ignition System"

CAD: Acronym for "computer aided design"

Caddy: An euphemistic name for Cadillac Also see plug caddy cadence braking: A braking method in which the driver rapidly depresses and releases the brake pedal to bring a vehicle to an emergency stop

Cadillac: The following Cadillacs are classic cars:
• • • •

All 1925-35 models All 12-cylinder models All 16 cylinder models All 1938-41 60 Special models

Click for books on Cadillac

All 1936-48 series #67, #70, #72, #75, #80, #85, #90

For a history of Cadillac, see Cadillac History. Cadillac Eldorado: A vehicle brand of which the 1953-58, 67-70 Eldorado models are milestone cars. Also see the history of Cadillac Eldorado.

Click for books on Cadillac Eldorado

Cadillac Eldorado Brougham: A vehicle brand of which the 1957-58 models are milestone cars. Also see history of Cadillac Eldorado.

Cadillac 60 Special: A vehicle brand of which the 1948-49 models are milestone cars. Also see history of Cadillac.

Cadillac 61 Coupe Fastback: A vehicle brand of which the 1948-49 models are milestone cars. Also see history of Cadillac.

Cadillac 62: A vehicle brand of which the Sedanet and Convertible DeVille for 1948-49 are milestone cars. Also see history of Cadillac.

Cadillac 75: A vehicle brand of which the Sedan/Limo for 1946-70 are milestone cars. Also see history of Cadillac.

Cadillac Seville: A model of automobile manufactured by General Motors

Click for books on Cadillac Seville

cadmium-plated: Something that is covered with a coating of cadmium. It is usually used to protect aluminum and steel nuts and bolts


Acronym for Computer Aided Engineering

CAFE: Acronym for "Corporate Average Fuel Economy."

cafe racer: An early sportbike motorcycle which originated in Europe. They had a low windshield and the rider was bent forward to optimize the flow of air. Its name came from those who raced from one restaurant (cafe) to another.

cage: [1] On a front derailleur of a bicycle, it is a pair of parallel plates that push the chain from side to side; on a rear derailleur, it is a set of plates in which pulleys are mounted to hold and guide the chain from cog to cog. [2] Any device for holding or securing something, e.g., a bottle cage on a bicycle. [3] When referring to bearings, it is the part which holds the balls or rollers in place. Usually called ball cage. Also see bearing cage needle cage roller cage [4] When referring to a vehicle, it is the safety enclosure called a "roll cage." [5] Any enclosure. See differential cage integrated roll cage multi-reed cage CAJAD: Acronym for "Canadian Association of Japanese Automobile Dealers"

CAL: Acronym for Computer Aided Lighting

calcium chloride: A chemical (salt) which is added to water in a liquid ballast.


See load distribution calculation

calendering: A thin layer of rubber inside the tire casing which covers the carcass cords to protect them from moisture and to protect the tube from chafing by the cord body. In tubeless tires, calendering consists of a layer of air proof butyl rubber.

calibrate: As applied to test instruments it is the procedure of adjusting the dial needle to the correct zero or load setting.

calibration: Marking the measuring units on an instrument or checking their accuracy

calibration oil: Oil which is used in a tester for checking injection nozzles, meeting SAE J967D specifications

California wheel: A name given to a spoked wheel produced by particular manufacturer. Although the wheel is popular in the East and Midwest of United States, it is not common in California or other Western states.

caliper: [1] The apparatus on disc brakes which hold the disc pads and straddles the disc. When actuated the pads press against the disc to stop or slow the vehicle. Also see brake caliper floating caliper disc brake pin slider caliper disc brake swinging caliper [2] On bicycles, the brake arms that reach around the sides of a wheel to press brake pads against the wheel rim. [3] An adjustable measuring tool that is placed around (outside caliper) or within (inside caliper) an object and adjusted until it just contacts. It is then withdrawn and the distance measured between the contacting points. Also see dial caliper

digital caliper inside spring caliper machinists' caliper outside spring caliper pocket caliper pocket slide caliper vernier caliper caliper disc: See floating caliper disc brake pin slider caliper disc brake caliper disc brake: See floating caliper disc brake pin slider caliper disc brake caliper gauge: A caliper (definition #3)

calk: To fill seams in a wood deck with oakum or hammer the adjoining edges of metal together to stop leaks. Also spelled "caulk"

call: See close call

calliper: Alternate spelling for caliper

Cal-look: A style modification of small vehicles which first started in California. Most of the chrome is removed and the vehicle is painted a bright color like yellow, light blue, and red.

calorie: A metric measurement of the amount of heat required to raise 1 gram of water from 0° to 1° Celsius

calorific value: A measure of heating value of fuel

calorimeter: An instrument to measure amount of heat given off by a substance when burned

CAM: Acronym for "Computer Aided Manufacturing"

cam: [1] A designed bump on a shaft or disc which causes a rocking motion in an adjacent part. [2] A metal disc with irregularly shaped lobes used in the camshaft to activate the opening and closing of the valves and in the distributor, to force the points to open. [3] A colloquial name for the camshaft. [4] A name for the breaker cam. Also see adjuster cam closing cam distributor cam double overhead cam dual overhead cam engine exhaust cam fast idle cam floating cam inlet cam intake cam overhead cam single-overhead cam cam-and-lever steering: A steering system in which a conical peg mounted on a lever engages in a helically cut groove on a cylindrical drum. Also called "cam-and-peg steering"

cam-and-peg steering: See cam-and-lever steering

cam-and-roller steering:

A steering system in which a tapered disc or a set of discs or rollers engage with a helically cut, tapered groove on a cylindrical drum

cam angle: See dwell.

Camaro: A series of pony cars from the Chevrolet division of General Motors. It is often misspelled as "Camero" because of a mispronunciation. The Click for books on 1967-69 SS/RS V-8 and Z-28 models are milestone cars. Also see Camaro Chevrolet Camaro cam belt: See timing belt

camber: [1] A wheel alignment adjustment of the inward or outward tilt on the top of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Tipping the top of the wheel center line outward produces positive camber. Tipping the wheel center line inward at the top produces negative camber. When the camber is positive, the tops of the tires are further apart than the bottom. Correct camber improves handling and cuts tire wear. Camber is measured in degrees. See wheel camber. [2] The rise of a deck of a ship, athwartship

cambered axle: An axle that has a slight arch which curves upward at the center so that the wheels can tilt outward at the top. In this way it is better than an axle which might sag under load.

camber thrust: The side force generated when a tire rolls with camber. Camber thrust can add to or subtract from the side force a tire generates.

cam chain: A timing chain which controls the overhead camshaft.

cam design:

See cam profile

camel: A padded fender to keep a vessel away from a pier or quay to prevent damage to the hull or pier

camelback: Uncured retread rubber in crescent shape, available in various widths and depths according to size and type of tire being retreaded. Also see die size Camel Grand Touring Prototype: (GTP) An International Motorsports Assocation's (IMSA) premier racing category until 1993 when it was replaced by the controlled cars World Sports Car Championship. GTP cars were the most powerful and the fastest on most road racing circuits in North America at that time. Over the years, many automakers fielded factory teams in this series including Ford, Toyota, Jaguar, Nissan, and Porsche.

cam engine: See dual overhead cam engine twin cam engine cam face: The surface of a cam lobe

cam follower: The unit that contacts the end of the valve stem and the camshaft. The follower rides on the camshaft and when the cam lobes move it upward, it opens the valve. Also called "valve lifter" or "tappet." cam ground piston: See cam-ground piston.

cam-ground piston: A piston with a skirt that is ground slightly egg-shaped or oval-shaped. The widest diameter of the skirt is at right angles to the piston-pin axis. When it is heated, it becomes round. The design allows for a closer fit in the cylinder so that there is a

reduction of blowby gas, cylinder scuffing, and piston slap.

cam heel: The lowest point of a cam opposite the lobe. Also called base circle

cam lobe: See cam lobes.

cam lobes: The bumps on a cam that contact and activate such devices as the lifters, which operate the valves, and the rubbing block, which causes the points to open and close, as the cam spins with the distributor shaft.

cam lubricator: A device, often in the form of a wick, for lubricating the contact breaker cam in the distributor

campaigning: Racing a particular vehicle for an entire season.

camper: A structure which fits into a truck bed for camping purposes. It usually has beds and possibly cooking and washing facilities. Also called a "truck camper." Also see van camper camping: See folding camping trailer

camping trailer: A trailer containing camping equipment. Also see folding camping trailer soft-top trailer hard-top trailer trailer

cam profile: The shape of each lobe on a camshaft. These shapes determine when the valves open or close.

cam/rocker: See opening cam/rocker

cam/rocker: See opening cam/rocker

cam roller: Rotating wheel acting as a cam follower

Camry: A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

Click for books on Camry

camshaft: A shaft with cam lobes (bumps) which is driven by gears, a belt, or a chain from the crankshaft. The lobes push on the valve lifters to cause the valves to open and close. The camshaft turns at half the speed of the crankshaft. Also see double-overhead cam double overhead camshaft exhaust camshaft inlet camshaft intake camshaft overhead cam overhead camshaft race camshaft three-quarter race camshaft single-overhead camshaft twin camshaft twin overhead camshaft camshaft bearing: Usually a plain bearing which supports the camshaft

camshaft drive:

A connection between the crankshaft and camshaft by means of gears, chain, drive belt, shaft, or eccentric shaft to maintain the ratio of 1:2.

camshaft drive belt: A timing belt

camshaft drive sprocket: A sprocket attached to a crankshaft (either at one end or somewhere in the middle) which drives the camshaft with the use of a chain

camshaft end play: The amount of lateral movement of the camshaft once it is installed

camshaft engine: See twin camshaft engine

camshaft gear: A gear that is used to drive the camshaft.

camshaft housing: That part of the engine which encloses the camshaft and often other parts of the valve train.

camshaft journal: That part of the camshaft that runs in one of its bearings

camshaft pulley: The pulley on the end of the camshaft for the camshaft drive belt

camshaft sprocket: The sprocket on the camshaft which (through a chain) is driven by the camshaft drive sprocket

can: [1] A tube in a canned motor pump which insulates the motor winding. [2] A muffler. [3] A container for liquid or other substances.

Also see oil can Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement: (FTA) Implemented in January 1989 to eliminate all tariffs on U.S. and Canadian goods by January 1998 and to reduce or eliminate many non-tariff barriers.

Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council: (CARS) A not-for-profit organization established to serve the human resource and training needs of the Canadian car and truck repair and service industry.

Canadian cross border shopping: cross border shopping describes the purchasing by Canadian consumers of products in the United States. Of particular interest is the decision by these buyers to obtain their products in the U.S., even though similar products are available in the Canadian market.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act: (CEPA) act where the goal is pollution prevention and protection of Canadians from toxic substances.

cancellation: See noise cancellation

candela: (cd) A basic unit of luminous intensity. If, in a given direction, a source emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 1012 Hz, and the radiant intensity in that direction is 1/683 watt per steradian, then the luminous intensity of the source is 1 candela.

candle: See candle power.

candle power: A measurement of the light producing ability of a light bulb.

candy apple paint:

A bright color (usually red) paint (often with metal flakes) with a transparent clear coat

candy paint: A bright color (usually red) paint (often with metal flakes) with a transparent clear coat

canibalize: The action of removing good parts from one vehicle in order to put them into another vehicle.

canister: A small metal box or can. Also see activated carbon canister adsorption canister charcoal canister vapor canister canister air filter: A centrifugal force air filter

canister purge shut-off valve: (CPSOV) a vacuum-operated valve that shuts off canister purge when the air injection diverter valve dumps air downstream

canister purge solenoid: An electrical solenoid that opens the canister purge valve between the fuel vapor canister line and the intake manifold when energized

canister purge valve: Valve used to regulate the flow of vapors from the evaporative canister to the engine

canned motor pump: A glandless pump with a special type of submersible or "canned" motor, whose stator winding is insulated from the fluid pumped by a tube, the so-called can

cannibalize: To take parts from a vehicle to fit to another vehicle

canning: The insertion of the catalyst element into the converter shell of a catalytic converter

cant beam: Beams supporting the deck plating in the overhanging portion of the stern.

cant frame: A frame connected at the upper end to the cant beams

cantilever: An arm that projects from a source and supports cables. Also see cantilever brake cantilever brake: rim brake on bicycles with pivoting arms mounted on fork blades or seatstays at or below rim level.

cantilever brakes: See cantilever brake.

cantilever spring: [1] A leaf spring which is mounted upside down and attached to the vehicle at its mid-point. This system is no longer in use in modern vehicles. [2] A quarter-elliptic leaf spring

cantrail: The roof rail

canvas top: The convertible top.

cap: [1] A protective round cover which is secured to something.

[2] The base of a light bulb which fits into a socket. [3] Cleaner air package system of reducing the amount of unburned hydrocarbons in the automobile exhaust. Also see air cap battery cap bayonet cap bearing cap big-end cap car cap cold cap distributor cap double cap nut dust cap end cap external mix air cap filler cap flip-top filler cap fuel cap full cap hot cap hubcap inner cap nut insulating cap internal mix air cap net cap cost oil filler cap outer cap nut plug cap pressure cap pressure radiator cap radiator cap radiator pressure cap roto cap safety pressure cap spark plug cap spindle cap top cap valve cap valve spring cap capacitance: The property which opposes any change in voltage in an electrical circuit. The property of a nonconductor by which it stores electrical energy when separated surfaces of the nonconductor are maintained at a difference of potential. Capacitance is measured by the ratio of the charge induced to the potential difference and is proportional to the area of the conducting plates and the dielectric

constant of the nonconducting material, and inversely proportional to the separation of the plates (mks unit: farad).

capacities: See fluid capacities

capacitive discharge: (CD) A type of ignition system. It can be either all-electronic or breaker point controlled. The primary power is drawn from the engine's battery and put into the CD power supply, where it is changed from 12 volts direct current to about 300 volts of pulsating direct current that is stored in a capacitor (condenser). The release of this energy through the coil is governed by a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR). When the SCR switch is closed, the voltage stored in the capacitor is supplied to the coil, which acts as a voltage step-up transformer boosting firing voltage to around 30,000 volts to fire the plugs.

capacitor: A device which gives capacitance, usually consisting of conducting plates or foil separated by layers of a dielectric. A potential difference applied across the plates induces a separation of charge centers in the dielectric, thus storing electrical energy. Also see condenser ignition capacitor capacitor controlled electronic ignition: See electronic ignition system capacitive discharge capacitor discharge ignition: (CDI) See capacitive discharge

capacity: [1] The ability to contain or hold something. [2] Maximum production attainable under normal conditions. With regard to normal conditions, the company's operating practices are to be followed with respect to the use of production facilities, overtime, workshifts, holidays, etc. [3] The output of an electric motor or other electrical equipment. [4] The volume of fluid which a pump can handle.

Also see air capacity ampere hour capacity battery capacity breathing capacity carrying capacity cubic capacity energy engine capacity fuse fuse capacity load capacity net capacity nominal capacity passenger capacity ply rating rated capacity reserve capacity seating capacity top off work capacity capacity plan: A plan outlining the spaces available for fuel, cargo, ballast, fresh water, etc, with guides on weight and volume for spaces at various drafts and displacements

capacity rating: See rated capacity

cap cost: See capitalized cost net cap cost cap cost reduction: See capitalized cost reduction

cape chisel: A metal cutting chisel shaped to cut or work in channels or grooves


A tube with a very small bore used for temperature gauges

capillary action: The property of a liquid to move into small spaces if it has the ability to "wet" these surfaces

capillary tube: A tube usually gas-filled, with a precisely calibrated length and inside diameter, used to connect the remote bulb or coil to the expansion valve or thermostat. A tube with a very small bore used for temperature gauges. Also called pressure sensing line

capitalized: See net capitalized cost

capitalized cost: The total price of the vehicle, in effect, its purchase price. In theory, the cap cost should equal the amount you would pay for the vehicle if you were purchasing the vehicle. When a lease is made, the dealer sells that vehicle to the leasing company (for the cap cost), which then leases the the vehicle to you. Also see net capitalized cost capitalized cost reduction: A fancy name for a cash down payment, money you pay up front that is applied to the final purchase price of a lease. A large cap cost reduction will, of course reduce the monthly payments, but it will also negate one of the big advantages of leasing. However, if you own your present car, you may be able to use it, as a trade-in, to satisfy the cap cost reduction to start the lease. Remember, you must pay sales tax on any cap cost reduction you make. Another source of capital cost reduction may be dealer or manufacturer participation. Dealers and manufacturers will sometimes lower the cap cost or offer a rebate that reduces the cap cost. A dealer or manufacturer cap cost reduction does lower your total out-of-pocket dollars, unlike a cap cost reduction that you must pay.

capital expenditures: expenditures to acquire or add to capital assets that will yield benefits over several accounting periods. Included are cost of procuring, construction, installing new durable plants, machinery and equipment where for replacement, addition or for lease or rent to other companies including subsidies.

cap nut: A nut that is closed at the threaded end often with a dome. Also see double cap nut inner cap nut outer cap nut capping: [1] Installing a new tread on a tire carcass. Also see retreading. [2] Door molding or capping

capstan: A stump with a vertical axis used for handling mooring and other lines

capstan screw: A screw or bolt with a round head and one or more holes through it into which a bar may be inserted for securing or removing it

capstat: A wax-type thermostat at the base of the jet of a SU carburetor, which expands and reduces fuel flow when the underhood temperature rises. Also see temperature compensator capsule: See advance capsule vacuum capsule captive: Something that is permanently located in the desired position

captive finance company: A leasing or finance company which is affiliated with an automobile manufacturer or distributor.

captive import: an imported motor vehicle or part manufactured by another automaker usually for sale under the brand name of the importer.

captive nut: A nut which fits into a cage and is welded in place. This is done where the nut is not easily accessible.

car: A wheeled vehicle such as an automobile, a section of a train, or a streetcar. The word is an abbreviation of "carriage" -- a device to carry people or goods. Also see 49-state car bubble car champ car city car classic car collector car compact car company car competition car concept car cult car cycle car donor car dream car edwardian car electric car estate car executive car family car fleet car forty-nine state car full-size car funny car hybrid car intermediate car kit car luxury car mass-produced car mid-size car milestone Car Society

milestone cars motor car multi-storey car park new car dealer open car pace car parts car passenger car wheel passenger car pony car production car program cars recycling car shopping car solar car spares car sports car stock car street car sun car super car touring car town car veteran car vintage car volume car car accident: A collision between two or more vehicles (or between a vehicle and a stationary object), whether the vehicles are cars or trucks. Some are minor like a fender bender while others are totalled. Also see written off caravan: [1] A group of vehicles (belonging to one organization) which follows after one another. [2] A British term for camping trailer or a mobile home.

caravanning: A British term for travelling with a camping trailer


An abbreviation for "carburetor."

car banger: A British term for a person or organization which fakes a car accident in order to defraud an insurance company

car banging: The act of faking a car accident in order to defraud an insurance company

carbide: See silicon carbide

car blind: A curtain or pull-down covering for the backlight (i.e., rear window) to obscure the bright headlights of a following vehicle. Some are also used for side windows for privacy. It is generally illegal to use them on the driver's side window or the windshield.

carbon: [1] The hard or soft, black deposits found in the combustion chamber, on the plugs, under the rings, on and under the valve heads, etc. Although it is not a metal, it is a good conductor of electricity. [2] An element which forms various kinds of steel when combined with iron. In steel, it is the changing carbon content which changes the physical properties of the steel. [3] Carbon is used in a solid form as an electrode for arc welding, as a mold to hold weld metal, or for motor brushes. Also see activated carbon high carbon steel low carbon steel medium carbon carbon black: A by-product of the petroleum industry used as a pigment and to give body in the manufacture of rubber products, both natural and synthetic. Carbon is the black residue from burning petroleum.

carbon brush:

A block of carbon to which a copper wire (or braided cable) is attached at one end and the other end rubs against a commutator, collector ring, or slip ring to transmit electricity

carbon brush spring: See brush spring

carbon build-up: A deposit of burned oil which collects in the combustion chamber on the top of the piston and the head. Too much carbon build-up can lead to an inefficient engine and sticky valves.

carbon canister: See activated carbon canister

carbon-core leads: High tension wire going from the distributor to the coil or the spark plugs. Each wire has a core of carbon or graphite rather than copper wire to conduct the electricity. Carbon-core wire is not recommended for most small engines such as motorcycle engines.

carbon dioxide: (CO2) A colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas which is a product of breathing and the combustion process.

carboned up: covered with a thick deposit of carbon. In Britain it is called "coked up"

carbon fiber: Threadlike strands of pure carbon that are strong and flexible. Carbon fiber can be bound in a plastic resin matrix to form a strong composite. It is light-weight and stronger than steel. Can also be spelled "carbon fibre."

carbon fibre: See carbon fiber.

carbon fouling:

The situation that occurs when the two electrical terminals of the spark plug are coated with carbon causing a reduction in efficiency leading to intermittent firing or complete failure.

carbonize: Building up of carbon on objects such as spark plugs, pistons, heads, etc.

carbonizing: Another term for carburizing or reducing

carbon knock: When there is a build-up of carbon in the combustion chamber, uncontrolled ignition will take place causing a knocking noise.

carbon monoxide: (CO) A deadly, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas found in the engine exhaust. Toxic even in relatively small concentrations. Formed by incomplete burning of hydrocarbons. Thus at its greatest with a rich mixture.

carbon pin: A thin cylinder of carbon located in the distributor cap to transfer high tension electricity from the coil to the rotor to the high tension leads going to the spark plugs.

carbon steel: See high carbon steel low carbon steel carbon tetrachloride: A liquid often used in fire extinguishers. The fumes are toxic -- avoid inhaling.

carbon tracking: A trace of carbon found inside the distributor cap which leads away some electricity, thus causing the engine to misfire.

carbs: Abbreviation for carburetors.

Also see dual carbs carburation: British term for carburetion

carburetion: The mixture of vaporized fuel and air in the proper proportions for combustion in an engine

carburetor: Optionally spelled carburetter or carburettor. A device that vaporizes fuel and mixes it with air in proper quantities and proportions to suit the varying needs of the engine. A filter screens the air which is drawn into the carburetor. Here the gasoline mixes with the air and this fuel vapor enters the combustion chamber through the intake valve where it is compressed and burned. Also see air-valve carburetor air valve carburetor barrel carburetor compound carburetor cross-draft carburetor double-barrel carburetor downdraft carburetor dual carbs dual carburetors feedback carburetor fixed-choke carburetor fixed-jet carburetor flood the carburetor four-barrel carburetor four barrel carburetor hif carburetor horizontal draft carburetor progressive carburetor sidedraft carburetor single-barrel carburetor slide carburetor starting carburetor stromberg carburetor su carburetor tamperproof carburetor

twin-choke carburetor twin barrel carburetor twin carburetors two-stage carburetor updraft carburetor variable-choke carburetor variable-venturi carburetor vv carburetor carburetor adapter: An adapter that is used to fit or place one type of carburetor on an intake manifold that may not be originally designed for it. Also used to adapt four-barrel carburetors to two-barrel manifolds.

carburetor barrel: The tube-like part of the vehicle through which air flows and is mixed with vaporized fuel. The choke butterfly valve is located at the top of the carburetor barrel, and the throttle valve is located at the bottom. Midway through, the barrel narrows, and this part is called the "venturi." Carburetors can have one, two, or four barrels.

carburetor circuit: A series of passageways and units designed to perform a specific function idle circuit, full power circuit, etc.

carburetor circuits: See carburetor circuit.

carburetor engine: A combustion engine which uses a carburetor instead of fuel injection.

carburetor icing: The formation of ice on the throttle plate or valve during certain atmospheric conditions. As the fuel nozzles feed fuel into the air horn it turns to a vapor. This robs heat from the air and when weather conditions are just right (fairly cool and quite humid) ice may form. Also see icing carburetor throat:

See venturi

carburetor venturi: See venturi

carburetter: British spelling for carburetor.

carburettor: See carburetor.

car burglar: A person who steals object from a car, but does not steal the car itself. Also see car thief carburization: The process of creating carbon steel by increasing the carbon content of steel to reach the desired degree of hardness

carburizing: A carburizing flame in welding terms is an oxygen-fuel gas flame with a slight excess of the fuel gas

car cap: A waterproof cover which encloses just the greenhouse (i.e., the roof, windshield, side glass, and backlight)

car care product: One of several items for taking care of the outward finish of the car (i.e., cleaners, polish, wax, preservers) as well as the interior pieces (e.g., dash cleaners, upholstery cleaners and sealers)

carcass: The primary structure of a tire body with its cords, plies, rim wires, etc. apart from the tread itself. Structurally the carcass should hold air and provide strength to the tire, but would not wear well without the tread.

Car Club of America: See Classic Car Club of America

car cover: A cover which encloses the entire vehicle to protect the finish from the elements.

car crash: A car accident

card: See file card brush

cardan: See cardan joint.

cardan joint: A type of universal joint named after the Italian Cardan who developed the concept in the 16th century. In the 17th century, Robert Hooke of England developed and patented the conventional universal joint. Sometimes it is called the "Cardan universal" or the "Hooke universal." It has two yokes at right angles to each other. cardan shaft: A shaft with universal joints at each end

cardan universal: See cardan joint.

card brush: See file card brush

car dealer: See new car dealer

care product:

See car care product

cargo: See bulk cargo general cargo cargo area: The space within a station wagon or van for carrying goods or the bed of a pickup truck for carrying goods

cargo battens: Strips of wood fitted inside the frames to keep cargo away from hull steelwork. Also called sparring

cargo net: A type of bungee net usually found in the trunk of a car to secure packages from moving around.

cargo port: Opening in a ship's side for loading and unloading cargo.

cargo shifting: Movements or changing positions of cargo from one place to another which can easily endanger the seaworthiness of the ship

cargo ship: See dry cargo ship

Carina: A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

Click for books on Carina

car insurance: An insurance policy (mandatory in most states and all of Canada) to cover possible damage to the vehicle or property or passengers, etc. Sometimes basic insurance is abbreviated PL&PD (public liability and property damage). Also called "motor insurance"

car jacker: A person who steals a car at gunpoint.

car jacking: A process of stealing a car while the driver is still in it. The car may be stopped at a traffic light when a car jacker appears with a gun and demands that the driver get out, then he drives away with the car. If it happens to you, give him the car -- your life is worth more than the vehicle.

car key: An unlocking device for the ignition switch, doors, trunk, gas cap, etc.

car lot: A place where vehicles are sold by an independent dealer

car mechanic: See mechanic

car park: A parking area usually located within a building. Also see multi-storey car park carpeting: The action of covering the passenger compartment floor (and sometimes the trunk floor) with a form-fitting rug or carpet.

car phone: A telephone that is installed in a vehicle, but has recently been replaced by personal cell phones. Also see cellular phone car polish: A product which enhances the shine of the paintwork of a vehicle

car radio: A radio receiver which is installed (usually in the dash) in a vehicle

carriage: [1] A horse-drawn vehicle for people to ride in. [2] A railroad vehicle for passengers.

carriage bolt: A bolt that has a smooth dome head (like a mushroom) so that no screwdriver or wrench can remove it from the dome-side.

carriageway: See dual carriageway

carrier: See barge carriers bicycle carrier bulk carrier carrier bearing contract carrier differential carrier hub carrier jet carrier lng carrier luggage carrier ore-bulk-oil carrier ore carrier pinion carrier planet carrier product carrier spare tire carrier carrier bearing: The bearings upon which the differential case is mounted.

carrier bearings: See carrier bearing.

carrier, pinion:

See pinion carrier.

carrier, planet: See planet carrier.

carriers: See barge carriers top carriers carrosserie: French term for coachwork.

carrozzeria: Italian term for coachwork.

carrying capacity: The maximum load that a tire is allowed to carry with a particular wheel and rim. Also called "load capacity."

CARS: Acronym for "Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council"

car society: See milestone Car Society

car sponge: A large sponge for washing the exterior of a vehicle

car stereo: A listening device in an automobile which usually has an AM/FM radio and often a cassette player, CD player, and/or CD changer. It also includes at least a pair of speakers.

car tax: A government imposed tax which is added to the price of a new car. Some governments charge a road-use tax and call it a car tax.

car test: A test of a vehicle's roadworthiness, reliability, and performance.

car theft: Unauthorized removal (i.e., stealing) of a car or the items in or on a car. Also see car jacking car thief: A person who steals a car. If someone steals just the objects from a car, he is a car burglar. Also see car jacker car tire: An automotive tire which is used exclusively on a passenger car, not a light truck, etc.

cartridge: See filter cartridge oil filter cartridge cart spring: A leaf spring used in small trailers.

carvac: A small, hand-held vacuum cleaner which is either battery-operated or which is plugged into the accessory outlet or cigarette lighter socket.

car wash: [1] A place where you can get your car cleaned. Some are automatic (you drive through and large brushes clean the car) while others provide a bay with spray wands and brushes for you to do the labor. Also see automatic car wash

[2] A product like soap which is added to water for the purpose of cleaning a vehicle.

car wax: A polish which may be in a paste or a cream and used in protecting the finish of a car.

car wheel: See passenger car wheel

CAS: Acronym for "cleaner air system"

case: See basket case battery case chain case converter case differential case top case transfer case

case harden: The action of hardening the surface of steel.

case-hardened: A piece of steel that has had the outer surface hardened while the inner portion remains relatively soft.

casehardening: The action of adding carbon to the surface of a mild steel object and heat treating to produce a hard surface.

cash value: See actual cash value

casing: [1] The outside shell of something such as the shell of an alternator or starter motor. Also see axle casing differential casing spiral casing turbine casing volute casing [2] The tire casing.

casing factor: That portion of the load supported by tire casing stiffness instead of air pressure.

casing head gasoline: A term used to describe the lighter parts of petroleum products, which were obtained from natural gasoline by condensing natural gas from an oil well

cassette compartment: A storage place for cassettes

cassette player: A unit which plays (but does not record) cassettes and is often linked with a stereo unit in an automobile

cast: [1] To shape molten metal by pouring it into a mold. [2] A model or result made by pouring metal into a mold. See cast iron casting die cast castellate: Formed to resemble a castle battlement: e.g., a castellated nut

castellated: See castellated nut.

castellated nut: A nut with several lugs protruding from one end making it look like the turrets on the top of the wall of a castle. This nut is used on a shaft with a hole drilled in it. It is secured to the shaft by passing a cotter pin through an opening in the nut and through the shaft hole.

caster: A wheel alignment adjustment that positions the wheels like the casters on a chair or shopping cart, so the tires follow naturally in a forward straight line. In a truck or older car, the top of the kingpin is either forward (negative) or toward the rear of the vehicle (positive). On a turn, the wheels will tend to straighten out when the steering wheel is released. If the car has independent front suspension, the upper ball joint is set forward or rearward in relation to the lower ball joint. Caster is measured in degrees. Also see trail distance caster action: The self-centering action which causes a caster wheel to move into a straight-ahead position.

caster angle: The inclination or angle that a wheel makes when measuring the distance between the vertical post and the offset of the wheel placement.

caster offset: The distance on the ground between where the vertical post would touch the ground if it were extended and the point where the wheel touches the ground. Also called caster trail

caster trail: The distance on the ground between where the vertical post would touch the ground if it were extended and the point where the wheel touches the ground. Also called caster offset

caster wobble: A condition generally produced in the front wheels when they are attached to the ends of a beam axle. It is particularly noticeable on rough roads and the shimmy at the steering wheel makes it difficult to control the vehicle. You have probably seen

this condition in a shopping cart that has caster wheels that wiggle or fluctuate back and forth and will not roll in a straight line.

casting: [1] A process technology that delivers a liquid molten metal into a purpose-built mold. After cooling, the solid metal surface has the shape of the mold cavity. [2] Pouring metal into a mold to form an object. Also see die casting lost-foam casting process malleable castings monobloc casting sand casting thin-wall casting casting number: The number cast into a block, head, or other component when the part is cast. Casting numbers can be helpful when identifying an engine or its parts, but they are not completely accurate, because castings are sometimes machined differently

casting process: See lost-foam casting process

castings: Metallic forms which are produced by pouring molten metal into a shaped container or mold. Also see malleable castings cast iron: An alloy of iron and more than 2% carbon. It is used for engine blocks and transmission and differential cases because it is relatively cheap and easy to mold into complex shapes.

castle: See castellated nut.

castle nut:

British term for castellated nut.

castle section: A panel with humps or ribs which strengthen the panel. They are called "castle" because from the end they look like the turrets of a castle

castor: British spelling of caster.

cast spoke assembly: That part of the vehicle consisting of the brake drum and wheel spider, having 3, 5 or 6 spokes.

cast spoke type: A type of dual mounting wheels where two demountable rims are mounted directly on the spoke wheel and drum assembly held apart by a spacer band and locked in place by clamps and nuts which attach to studs in the spoke face.

cat: An abbreviation for catalytic converter

catalog: See parts catalog

catalyst: [1] A substance that changes the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being used up. [2] A special agent which is added to a plastic body filler or resin or paint to speed up the hardening process. Also see aged catalyst fresh catalyst metal catalyst oxidizing catalyst particulate catalyst pellet catalyst reducing catalyst three-way catalyst two-way catalyst

catalyst bed: A layer of catalyst-coated material such as pellets or ceramic in a catalytic converter through which the gases pass.

catalyst charge: A catalyst-coated material such as pellets or ceramic in a catalytic converter.

catalyst coating: A catalytic layer

catalyst container: A housing of a catalytic converter. Also called a "converter shell"

catalyst contamination: A reduction of efficiency because of impurity deposits

catalyst degradation: A reduction of efficiency because of impurities or overheating. Also called catalyst deterioration

catalyst deterioration: A reduction of efficiency because of impurities or overheating. Also called catalyst degradation

catalyst efficiency: See catalytic efficiency

catalyst indicator: A light on the instrument panel which glows when a prescribed distance has passed in order to remind the driver to have the catalytic converter replaced.

catalyst substrate: A base material which carries the catalytic layer or coating. Also called catalyst support

catalyst support:

A base material which carries the catalytic layer or coating. Also called catalyst substrate

catalytic: See catalytic converter dual-bed catalytic converter mini catalytic converter open-loop catalytic converter pellet-type catalytic converter primary catalytic converter three-way catalytic converter catalytic activity: The rate a catalytic converter purifies the exhaust system

catalytic converter: A pollution-control device found on the exhaust system of all cars since its introduction in 1974 which acts like an afterburner to reburn unburned gas in the tail pipe. It looks like a small muffler and is usually made of stainless steel. It contains platinum, rhodium, or palladium which is a catalyst for the chemical reaction needed to burn off any unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by turning them into water vapor, carbon dioxide and other less toxic gases. Also see dual-bed catalytic converter mini catalytic converter open-loop catalytic converter pellet-type catalytic converter primary catalytic converter single-bed 3-way catalytic converter three-way catalytic converter two-way catalytic converter catalytic efficiency: The effectiveness of a catalyst in purifying exhaust gases

catalytic layer: A thin layer of catalyst such as platinum and supported by a ceramic or metal carrier material


A double hulled vessel

cataphoretic painting: A process of applying the first coat of paint to the body of a car by positively charging the paint particles and then dunking the metal into the paint. A current is turned on so that the positively charged paint is attracted to the negative metal panel. Also called cathodic electropainting

catback: A performance exhaust system upgrade which consists of new pipes from the catalytic converter to the tail pipe which increases horsepower. These new pipes are larger, thus, more exhaust can exit the system. The faster the exhaust can exit, the more horsepower you gain.

catch: See safety catch

category: See speed category

cathode: In an electric circuit, the negative terminal.

cathode ray tube: A sealed tube on which graphs or pictures are displayed like a TV screen

cathodic electropainting: A process of applying the first coat of paint to the body of a car by positively charging the paint particles and then dunking the metal into the paint. A current is turned on so that the positively charged paint is attracted to the negative metal panel. Also called cataphoretic painting

cathodic protection: The action of protecting metal from electrochemical corrosion by using it as the cathode of a cell with a sacrificial anode

catwalk: [1] A raised walkway running fore and aft from the midship.

[2] An obsolete term for the section between the fender and the hood. On modern cars, this section does not exist at all. But on older cars (like the 1939 Cadillac), the fender was spaced a little way apart from the hood. The headlights were mounted toward the front of the catwalk.

caulk: To fill seams in a wood deck with oakum or hammer the adjoining edges of metal together to stop leaks. Also spelled "calk"

caustic etching: The removal of metal by dipping aluminum parts in caustic soda

caution: A period in racing in which track conditions are too hazardous for racing due to an accident or debris on the racing surface. The cars remain in their racing positions behind the pace car until it is determined that it is safe to resume the race.

caved: Dented inward as in When the car hit me, it caved in the door.

cavitation: A condition in which a partial vacuum forms around the blades or impeller wheels of a pump, reducing the pump's output because part of the pump blades lose contact with the liquid. It can be a problem in fuel and water pump, fluid couplings, torque converters. When severe, it can result in the erosion of the pump blades and other internal surfaces.

cavity: [1] An empty space in a body structure, either in a box section or a double-skinned area. [2] A holder and contact for fuses

cavity sealant: A product made of oil, wax, and rust inhibitors which is painted or sprayed into a cavity to prevent rust and corrosion.

CB: [1] diesel engine oil introduced in 1949. [2] An acronym for Contact Breaker.

[3] An acronym for Citizens' Band. Also see CB radio CB radio: A two-way radio which is limited to specific frequencies. Initially used by truck drivers and later by both mobile vehicles and stationary sites; but more recently it has declined in use with the advent of cell phones.

CBR process: Acronym for Controlled Burn Rate process. It is a method of improving fuel economy by increasing or decreasing the rate which the fuel burns

CBU: Acronym for "Completely Built-Up."

CC: [1] Cruise control. [2] A type of diesel engine oil introduced in 1961. [3] (cc) Cubic centimeter.

CCC: Acronym for computer command control

CCCA: Acronym for "Classic Car Club of America."

CCEC: Acronym for "constant current electronic circuit"

CCEGR: Acronym for coolant controlled exhaust gas recirculation

CCFA: Acronym for "Comité Des Constructeurs Français d'Automobiles"


A tool which is in the shape of the letter "C". A screw at one end of the clamp forces the end of the screw against the object to be secured. Also see long-reach C-clamp CCOT: Acronym for "cycling clutch orifice tube system" or "Cycling clutch orifice tube air conditioning system"

CCP: Acronym for controlled canister purge

CCS: Acronym for "controlled combustion system" of reducing unburned hydrocarbon emission from the engine exhaust.

CCT: Acronym for computer controlled timing

Cd: Abbreviation for "Drag Coeffient," a measurement of air resistance (drag). The lower the number, the less drag that a vehicle or shape has.

CD: [1] Diesel engine oil introduced in 1955. [2] See capacitive discharge. [3] (Cd) A measurement of drag coefficient.

CD changer: A device which is connected to a stereo system and allows several music CDs to be played.

CDI: Acronym for "Capacitor discharge ignition"; Also see CDI box CDI box:

Acronym for "capacitive discharge Ignition" device sometimes controlled by a computer. It is designed to help the spark plug fire at a rate consistent with the rpms of the engine.

CD player: A device which plays music compact discs. Usually combined with a stereo radio receiver and sometimes with a CD changer.

CDR: Acronym for crankcase depression regulator

CDV: Acronym for "Car-Derived Van" (e.g., Renault Kangoo).

Cd value: a number representing the coefficient of drag which is the amount of resistance that a moving vehicle makes in a wind tunnel

CEC: Acronym for "combination emission control"

ceiling: See hold ceiling joiner work ceiling Celebrity: A model of small car produced by Chevrolet

Click for books on Celebrity

Celica: A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota cell: [1] A compartment or chamber in a battery which contain positive and negative plates suspended in electrolyte. A six-volt battery has three cells, a twelve-volt battery six cells. [2] The combustion chamber in a rotary engine. Click for books on Celica

Also see battery cell: Seedry cell electrolytic cell fuel cell galvanic cell local cell microgalvanic cell passenger cell primary cell roller cell pump seam sealing cell secondary cell storage cell cell battery: See gel cell battery

cell connector: The lead bar or strap connecting battery cell groups.

cell phone: See cellular phone

cell pump: See roller cell pump

cellular phone: A portable, wireless telephone which was first introduced in 1983 in the US. Currently it is used both as a car phone and a personal phone. Commonly called "cell phone."

cellular telephone: A portable, wireless telephone which was first introduced in 1983 in the US. Currently it is used both as a car phone and a personal phone. Commonly called "cell phone."

cellulose: A popular term for nitrocellulose -- a universal automotive finish, which is thin and therefore suitable for spraying, fast drying, and gives a hard and brilliant finish

cellulose putty: A filler used to cover minor body imperfections.

Celsius: Thermometer on which the boiling point of water is 100 deg and the freezing point is 0 deg. The term replaces the word "centigrade." To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 then multiply the result by 5 and divide by 9. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 9, then divide by 5. Now add 32 to the result.

CEMA: Acronym for "Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association."

cement: An adhesive rubber compound dissolved in solvent used to provide building tack and cured adhesion for tires. May be brushed or sprayed on the buffed surface. Also called contact cement

cementite: FE3C Iron carbide. A hard substance found in cast iron. census value added: residual representing the difference between the value of goods and industrial services produced and the direct material costs associated with the production of goods.

center: To place something in a central place in relation to other items. Also see after bottom dead center after top dead center before bottom dead center before top dead center before upper dead center bottom dead center dead center diagnostic center Driver and Vehicle Licensing Center drop center rim taper

drop center rim gravity, center high center rim inner dead center lower dead center message center outer dead center roll center top dead center upper dead center center bore: See wheel center bore.

center console: A section of the dash which is mounted between the driver and passenger sections. It often houses the shifter, cup holders, storage space, and possibly the stereo.

center differential: A differential which is used in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to distribute the power to both the front and rear differentials. Also see variable limited-slip axle/center differential center drive: Most engines have the power take-off at the end of the crankshaft. A center drive has the power take-off between the cylinders.

center drive plate: The disc between the driven plates in a twin plate clutch.

centered: See high-centered

center electrode: [1] Electrode which protrudes out of the insulator nose of a spark plug. [2] A center terminal. Also see compound center electrode

center gear: The sun gear of a planetary gearset.

center girder: A vertical plate on the ship's centerline between the flat keel and inner bottom extending the length of the ship. Also called center vertical keel.

center-hung float: This type of carburetor float pivots on an axis that's parallel with the vehicle axles. It's a better float design than a side-hung float during high speed cornering because the float isn't affected by centrifugal force, so it won't pull the inlet valve open in the middle of a corner

centering: See self-centering steering wheel centering center keelson: See center girder

centerline: [1] An imaginary line which passes from the front to the rear of a vehicle, half way between the distance between the left and right side of the vehicle. [2] The middle line of the ship, extending from stem to stern at any level.

center locking disc: A hub cap which is secured in place with a bolt or other locking device.

center lock nut: A spinner which secures the wheel to the hub.

center median: On a divided highway, the area between the two directions of traffic. The British call it the "central reserve."

center of buoyancy:

The position in a floating object where the upthrust appears to act.

center of gravity: (CG) That point in an object, if through which an imaginary pivot line were drawn, would leave the object in balance. In the vehicle, the closer the weight to the ground, the lower the center of gravity. Cornering, acceleration, and other forces act upon the vehicle's center of gravity, thus affecting body roll and other handling characteristics.

center of pressure: An aerodynamically determined point at which wind force on the side of a vehicle is assumed to be concentrated for analytical purposes. It is a function of the shape and aerodynamic drag (resistance) of an automobile's body shell, determines the effect of side winds on a vehicle's direction of travel, and is a concept similar to the center of gravity.

center pillar: The supporting post which is located in the middle of the car and holds up the roof. It is also called the "B-post" or "B-pillar"

center point steering: A steering geometry where the steering axis cuts the wheel axis in the wheel center plane, with no offset at the road surface.

center punch: A metal tool that is shaped like a pencil where you can hit the blunt end with a hammer so that the sharp point makes an indentation in some metal. In this way the drill-bit can fit into the indentation when you want to make a hole.

center rim: See drop center rim taper drop center rim high center rim semi-drop center rim center rim taper: See drop center rim taper

semi-drop center rim taper center section damage: A description of a vehicle after it is involved in an accident when it has been hit on the side somewhere between the front and rear wheels. The frame and body are bashed in at the center, but the front and rear of the vehicle may not have sustained any damage.

center steering linkage: A steering system using two tie rods connected to the steering arms and to a central idler arm, the idler arm is operated by a drag link that connects the idler arm to the pitman arm.

center terminal: A high tension distributor has a rotor which spins around a center post and transfers electrical energy from the center post or terminal to each of the surrounding terminals located in the distributor cap. In this way the energy from the coil is transferred to the high tension leads going to each spark plug.

center the clutch: To align the center holes in the clutch plates so that they fit easily on the splines of the crankshaft.

center tunnel: The hump which runs from front to rear between the left and right passenger (i.e., driver and passenger). It often accommodates the transmission and/or drive shaft. In front wheel drive vehicles it covers the wiring leading to the rear of the vehicle. Also see transmission tunnel center vertical keel: See center girder

centigrade: Thermometer on which the boiling point of water is 100° and the freezing point is 0°. The term is no longer in use and is replaced by the word Celsius.


See cubic centimeter

central fuel injection: (CFI) a computer-controlled fuel metering system which sprays atomized fuel into a throttle body mounted on the intake manifold

central gearchange: The usual arrangement with the gear lever in the center of the floor.

central chassis lubrication: A configuration of the engine and chassis where an oil change and the greasing of grease (zerk) fittings can be made from one spot -- generally underneath the vehicle.

central locking: The locking or unlocking of all the doors by locking from one location. This may be done by turning a key in a door lock or using an electronic device. Also see central locking hub central locking hub: A wheel with splines in the center which match up with the splines on the outside of the hub. This system is usually found on wheels that are attached to the hub with a center attaching nut on older cars -- especially sports cars -- rather than the type that is attached with several studs or bolts in a circular pattern.

central reservation: A British term for the median which divides the north and southbound lanes (or east and westbound lanes) of a divided highway.

central reserve: A British term for the median which divides the north and southbound lanes (or east and westbound lanes) of a divided highway.

centre: See center.

centrifugal advance:

A device found on the distributor which, through the action of centrifugal force on two weights, advances or retards the ignition spark to correspond with changes in engine speed and load. Also see vacuum advance centrifugal clutch: A clutch that uses centrifugal force to expand a friction device on the driving shaft until it is locked to a drum on the driven shaft.

centrifugal force: That force which tends to keep moving objects travelling in a straight line, when a moving vehicle is forced to make a turn, centrifugal force attempts to keep it moving in a straight line, if the vehicle is turning at too high a speed, centrifugal force will be greater than the frictional force between the tires and the road and the vehicle will slide off the road.

centrifugal force air filter: A type of canister air filter used on the engines of semi-tractor-trailer units which removes the dust before it reaches the filter element.

centrifugal governor: A device which controls the speed by using centrifugal force. As the speed of a shaft increases, weights are moved outward. When the weights reach a predetermined place, the shaft can no longer increase in speed. This governor may be found in automatic transmissions

centrifugal oil filter: A filter in the lubrication system which pushes any impurities to the outside of the filter as it rapidly rotates.

centrifugal pump: A pump which forces liquid from one location to another by the rotation of an impeller.

centrifugal weight: The movable part in a centrifugal clutch or centrifugal advance. The weight (sometimes called a "finger") moves outward as a result of centrifugal force.

Changing the mass of the weight will cause the weight to move outward sooner or later. The heavier the weight the later the movement.

centrifuge brake drums: To combine the strength of steel with the desirable friction characteristics of cast iron, a lining of cast iron is sprayed on the inside of a steel drum. Both metals are handled while hot to encourage the fusion of the two metals

centripetal force: A force which acts towards a central point, such as Earth's gravity. In a sense it is the opposite of centrifugal force.

century: A bicycle ride of 100 miles (160.9 km). Also see metric century Buick Century CEPA: Acronym for "Canadian Environmental Protection Act."

ceramic: A product made from clay or glass. Currently some manufacturers are trying to develop ceramic cylinders because of its ability to retain its shape when heated in contrast with metal which expands when heated. Also see ceramic filter ceramic brake pad: A brake pad constructed with ceramics to reduce wear and heat.

ceramic filter: A filtering device using a porous ceramic as the filtering agent.

ceramic honeycomb: The interior of a monolithic converter which supports the catalyst.


See ceramic.

certificate: See international load line certificate international tonnage certificate mot certificate seaworthiness certificate type approval certificate certificate of registry: A document specifying the country the vessel is registered.

Certification Label: See safety Compliance Certification Label

cetane number: A method of rating diesel oil or fuel by measuring the time lapse between fuel injection and ignition to determine how easy it is to ignite and how fast it will burn. The lower the cetane number, the higher the temperature required to burn the oil.

cetane rating: A method of rating diesel oil or fuel by measuring the time lapse between fuel injection and ignition to determine how easy it is to ignite and how fast it will burn. The lower the cetane number, the higher the temperature required to burn the oil.

ceton filter: A sock-type filter in the fuel tank capable of wicking diesel fuel, but not water; keeps water from the rest of the fuel system until the sock is 90% submerged in water

CFC: Acronym for chlorofluorocarbon.

CFC gases: Chlorofluorocarbon gases.


Acronym for central fuel injection. A Ford fuel injection system that uses an injector mounted throttle body assembly

CFM: Acronym for "Cubic Feet per Minute." This is the rating of the volume of air moved.

CG: Acronym for center of gravity.

chafer: The area between the bead and sidewall of a tire.

chafer strip: The area between the bead and sidewall of a tire.

chafing plate: A bent plate for minimizing chafing of ropes

chain: Linked, flexible metal "rope" that connects two sprockets (e.g., the chainwheel to the back wheel, sized differently for different types of bikes.) The teeth of the sprockets fit inside the spaces between the links. Also called a roller chain. Also see cam chain derailleur chain, narrow width derailleur chains double roller chain drive chain duplex chain O-ring chains primary chain safety chains silent chain simplex chain single roller chain snow chains timing chain tire chains triplex chain

chain breaker: A tool for removing the pins in a roller chain so that the links can be removed.

chaincase: An enclosed metal covering which encircles the drive and driven sprockets as well as the chain.

chain case: See chaincase.

chain drive: A system of transferring power from one shaft to another by means of sprockets and an endless chain. This is the system used on a bicycle; but it is also used on an engine to control the timing of valve opening (called "timing chain" or "cam chain").

chain filter wrench: A chain wrench which encircles the oil filter to assist in its removal.

chain guard: A metal or plastic covering for the top run of a chain. It is most often found on bicycle chains where the guard keeps your clothing from being caught in the chain or even from getting greasy.

chain hoist: A lifting device which uses a chain and block and tackle to lift large objects like engines.

chain locker: A compartment for the stowage of anchor chain

chain pipe: A pipe for passage of chain from windlass to chain locker

chain pipe wrench: A chain wrench which circles around a pipe and grips it so that the pipe can be tightened or removed.

chainring: A sprocket attached to the right crankarm of a bicycle to drive the chain. Also called "chainwheel."

chainring nut spanner: A special bicycle tool used to loosen the slotted nuts that fasten a chainring to a crankarm.

chain run: The distance between the front and rear sprockets.

chains: See chain

chain scrubber: A device attached to a chain which rubs away the grime while the chain is moving.

chainstay: One of the two tubes of a bicycle frame that run from the bottom bracket back to the rear dropouts.

chainstays: The two tubes of a bicycle frame that run from the bottom bracket back to the rear dropouts.

chain stopper: A device used to secure the chain cable when riding at anchor, thereby relieving the strain on the windlass

chain switch: See snow chain switch

chain tensioner: A device which takes up the slack in a chain. Some use an idler wheel which can be adjusted (manually or automatically), others use a flat slide which pushes against the chain to keep it from bouncing around. Most modern units are spring loaded so

that the tensioner automatically takes up the slack. Some require that you need to undo a locking nut to allow the spring to push against the chain. Afterward the lock nut needs to be secured again.

chainwheel: A sprocket attached to the right crankarm of a bicycle to drive the chain. Also called "chainring."

chain whip: A tool consisting of a metal bar and two sections of chain, used in changing cogs on a freewheel. Sometimes called "chain wrench."

chain wrench: A locking pliers which employs a chain to wrap around an object such as a pipe to secure or remove it. Also see chain whip chair: Motorcycle sidecar

chalking: The appearance of a white powder on a paint surface as it weathers and ages.

chamber: [1] A pressure chamber used to vulcanize pre-cured tread stock to the buffed casing. [2] A compartment which is basically empty or hollow. Also see climatic chamber combustion chamber exhaust chamber fireball combustion chamber float chamber gas chamber hemispherical combustion chamber humidity chamber main combustion chamber mixing chamber pent-roof combustion chamber plenum chamber

pre-chamber pre-combustion chamber pre-compression chamber pumping chamber salt spray chamber spherical combustion chamber suction chamber swirl chamber twin swirl combustion chamber vacuum chamber wedge combustion chamber chamber recess: See combustion chamber recess

chamber volume: See combustion chamber volume

chamfer: To bevel or taper the edge of an object especially the sides of a hole or a sharp corner

chamfered: a chamfered object is one that has a symmetrically bevelled edge.

chamois: Pronounced SHAM-mee. A soft piece of animal skin (from a deer, sheep, goat, etc.) used to absorb water after washing the surface of a vehicle. Also called a chamois leather or shammy leather.

chamois leather: See chamois.

champ car: When Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) was co-sponsored by FedEx, the series became known as the FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup. The cars in this series, previously known as Indy Cars, are called Champ Cars.


To remove something and replace it with something else. Also see climate change downward change floor change oil change range-change upward change change down: A British expression meaning to shift to a lower gear.

change gear: The action of selecting a different gear. This expression is used more in Britain than in North America where the expression is "shift gear."

change into: A British term for the action of shifting into another gear, such as "change into second" (shift into second gear) or "change into top" (shift into high gear)

change of state: Rearrangement of the molecular structure of matter as it changes between any two of the three physical states: solid, liquid, or gas

changeover: [1] The refitting of equipment to either neutralize the effects of the just completed production or to prepare equipment for production of the next scheduled item, or both. [2] The removing of new original equipment tires in exchange for a different make, size, or type.

changer: See CD changer column changer column gear changer change-speed gearbox: A transmission which houses a set of gears which move into various configurations of engagement in order to produce different output ratios.

change the oil: The act of draining out the old or dirty oil from an engine and replacing it with fresh oil.

change up: A British term meaning to shift up to another gear

change valve: A British term for a valve in an automatic transmission which raises the oil pressure as the vehicle speed increases. In North America it is called the shift valve.

changing: See charge changing wheel changing channel: [1] To lower the vehicle body around the frame. [2] A route or groove through which anything passes. Also see chassis channel distribution channel glass channel grip channel runabout run channel run channel window channel channelled: Vehicle body lowered down around the frame.

channel section: A long metal U-shaped member used in the chassis.

chap: See tank chap

Chapman: Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman (1928-1982), the founder of Lotus. One of the most innovative engineer in automotive racing history.

Chapman strut: A type of rear suspension using a lower lateral link and a long spring-shock strut to determine wheel geometry. The basic principle is the same as that of the front MacPherson strut and it is so named because Colin Chapman first used it on the original Elite; it is also used on the Elan models, the new Elite, and the Datsun (Nissan) Z-car. characteristic map: A three-dimensional picture showing the relationship between various components of a vehicle. With the help of a computer, engineers can modify one component to see the effect it has on the whole operation of the vehicle.

characteristics of materials: See performance characteristics of materials

character line: The design line or bend in the side of the vehicle that separates the upper and lower sections of the fenders and doors

charcoal: The amorphous form of carbon obtained by the destructive distillation of animal or vegetable matter in a limited supply of air. In automotive use, it is used to purify air or exhaust gases. Also see activated carbon activated charcoal charcoal canister: Another name for activated carbon canister

charcoal filter: A filtration system using activated carbon to remove impurities.

charcoal trap:

See activated charcoal trap

charge: [1] The action of passing an electric current through a battery to restore it to the active (charged) state. Normally the vehicle's generator or alternator takes care of this. If the vehicle is not used much, an external charger is needed to charge the battery. [2] The definite quantity of electricity usually found in a storage battery. [3] Refers to the mass of air and fuel that enters a cylinder during the intake stroke. [4] A refund amount of money. See core charge. Also see air charge temperature battery charge catalyst charge core charge cylinder charge electric charge fuel charge intake charge state of charge stratified charge trickle charge charge air: The air/fuel mixture.

charge air cooling: An intercooler

charge-air recycling: A device on a turbocharger which maintains the speed of the compressor when there is no boost so that the boost is more instantly available on demand.

charge changing: In a two-stroke engine, the removal of exhaust gases through the exhaust port in order to introduce a new load of fuel-air into the transfer port. Also called "charge exchange process."

chargecooler: A radiator that cools and therefore recondenses the intake air that has been compressed and heated by the turbocharger thus allowing a greater amount of air

into the engine. With more air in the combustion chamber, the ECM can deliver more fuel and make more power. This radiator can be either cooled by air or by water. Also called intercooler

charged: See dry charged battery

charged battery: See dry charged battery

charge engine: See stratified charge engine

charge exchange process: Another name for charge changing

charge indicator: See battery charge indicator

charge losses: In a two-stroke engine, the exhaust gases are expelled out the exhaust port and the fresh charge is brought in through the transfer port. Sometimes some of the fresh charge is also forced out with the exhaust gases. There is therefore a loss of some of the fresh air-fuel charge. Also see scavenging losses charger: Common name for a battery charger. Also see fast charger trickle charger turbo charger charges: See on-the-road charges

charge temperature:

See air charge temperature

charging: See battery charging piston charging pump slow charging charging characteristic: When a battery is being charged, the charger will reveal how much voltage and/or amperage is being required to bring the battery up to full charge.

charging circuit: See charging system.

charging current: The amount of electric current being supplied to the battery from the alternator or from a battery charger.

charging efficiency: [1] In a vehicle's electrical charging system, its efficiency is the ratio of energy output to energy input, i.e., how well does the alternator work to supply voltage to the electrical components and still charge the battery. [2] In a two-stroke engine, it is the ratio of the amount of the fresh charge that remains in the cylinder after the two ports are closed and the actual volume.

charging hose: A small diameter hose constructed to withstand high pressures. It is connected between the air conditioning system and the manifold set

charging piston: In a two-stroke engine, this is a secondary piston which precompresses the fresh charge and sends it into the cylinders

charging point: A place where a battery can be charged -- especially for battery-powered electrical vehicles. Also called battery charging station

charging pressure: See boost pressure.

charging pump: See piston charging pump

charging rate: The amount of electrical current which is delivered by the charging system. It is usually measured in amperes.

charging station: See battery charging station

charging stroke: See induction stroke.

charging system: A system that, using a fan belt driven by the engine, enables the alternator (or generator) to generate electrical current, which is stored in the battery and delivered to the electrically operated pars of the vehicle chassis: The parts of the vehicle which are left when the body and fenders are removed.

Charpy test: An impact resistance test in which the specimen is supported as a horizontal beam and broken by a single swing of a pendulum with the impact line midway between the supports and directly opposite the notch for notched specimens.

chart: See color chart

chase: To repair damaged threads on a bolt or nut with a tap or die

chassis: Generally, chassis refers to the frame, engine, front and rear axles, springs, steering system, fuel tank. In short, everything but the body or cab and fenders. Because most modern automobiles (apart from trucks) do not have a separate chassis, the body is sometimes called the chassis.

Also see backbone chassis cab chassis cowl chassis ladder chassis mid-engine chassis configuration punt chassis separate chassis chassis bracket set: when the sill panel does not have a jointing flange, a set of securing pieces are welded under the sill before straightening a bent or damaged sill.

chassis cab: A truck with a cab but no bed. To this system various bodies (ambulance, moving van, flat beds, etc.) can be added by aftermarket suppliers.

chassis channel: A channel section which makes up a member of the chassis.

chassis configuration: See mid-engine chassis configuration

chassis dynamometer: A test stand for a vehicle to determine its power output or emission levels, etc. when the vehicle is placed under a variety of driving conditions. Also see dynamometer chassis frame: A frame (found on large trucks) which is made up of two long side members which are joined by several crossmembers. The suspension and axles are attached to this frame.

chassis leg: The short channel or box section which runs along the vehicle's main axle. It is an auxiliary member, not the main side member.

chassis lubrication:

See central chassis lubrication

chassis number: The serial number of an older vehicle which was originally stamped on a chassis member. Later it became known as a vehicle identification number (VIN)

chassis section: One of the chassis channels or boxes, whether bolted or welded to the whole.

chatter: [1] A noise which is caused by an irregular movement of rattling parts. [2] The jerky movement of two components which may have moved in a systematic way under low speed; but as the speed increases, the components make irregular contact. Also see contact bounce contact chatter check: [1] An inspection to determine if everything is functional. [2] A slight slash or marking which may appear in a tire or upholstery. Also see checking compression check door check arm door check strap optical check check arm: See door check arm

check ball: A small ball (like a ball bearing) often made of metal or plastic, found in a check valve to halt the progress of fluid in a certain direction.

check engine light: A light on the instrument panel that lets the driver know of any detectable engine management system malfunctions. Also used as an emission maintenance reminder light on some vehicles. Often when this light is on, a trouble code is stored in the computer

check engine warning light: An light on the dash which is illuminated when one of the engine sensors or components does not function properly.

checkered flag: The black and white flag to signal the end of the race.

checking: [1] Short, very fine crack lines that appear in the paint film. [2] Small cracks in the surface of rubber (e.g., tires) caused by aging and oxidation. Also see ozone checking check point: [1] A designated spot on a component where it is possible to determine if there is a malfunction. [2] A place on the road where vehicles are stopped during a rally.

check routine: A series items in an inspection which traces a fault or problem or which determines if all the components of a new vehicle meets the required specifications.

check stop: An action taken by the police to stop vehicles in order to determine if the drivers have been drinking, wearing seat belts, and conforming to the other requirements of operating a vehicle.

check strap: See door check strap

check the battery: Determine if the electrolyte is at the correct level and add distilled water to bring it up if necessary

check the oil:

Using a dipstick, determine if there is sufficient oil in the crankcase

checkup: The process of discovering the reliability of a vehicle or its components. "Give my engine a checkup." Sometimes it means "tune-up."

check valve: A one-way valve that opens to permit the passage of fluid or air in one direction and closes to prevent passage in the opposite direction. Also see residual check valve cheese head: A cylindrical head for a screw with a straight slot and straight sides.

chemical brightening: The improvement of the smoothness of the surface of metal by immersing it into a solution designed to remove any roughness. Also called "chemical polishing."

chemical cure: Vulcanization at room temperature or above, activated by chemical agents without the application of heat from an outside source.

chemical polishing: See chemical brightening.

chemical staining: Spotty discoloration of the paint caused by air pollution in industrial areas

chemical toilet: A portable toilet which is used in campers and motorhomes. They contain chemicals to deal with the feces and its smell until the contents are dumped.

Chenard-Walcker: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.

cherry: A colloquial term for a vehicle that has been kept in, or restored to, perfect condition. Also called "mint" or "like new."

cherry condition: A colloquial term for a vehicle that has been kept in, or restored to, perfect condition. Also called "mint condition."

chest: See sea chest

Chevelle: An intermediate model automobile produced by Chevrolet

Click for books on Chevelle

Chevrolet: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-57 Bel Air V-8 Hardtop and Convertible are milestone cars.

Click for books on Chevrolet

Chevrolet Camaro: A vehicle brand of which the 1967-69 SS/RS V-8 and Z-28 models are milestone cars. Chevrolet Celebrity: See Celebrity

Click for books on Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Chevelle: See Chevelle

Chevrolet Corvair: A vehicle brand of which the 1960-64 Monza models are milestone cars. The 1962-64 Monza Spyder models are milestone cars. The 1965-69 Monza/Corsa models are milestone cars. Chevrolet Corvette: A vehicle brand of which the 1953-70 models are milestone cars. See also a history of the Corvette

Click for books on Corvair

Click for books on

Corvette Chevrolet Monte Carlo: See Monte Carlo

Chevrolet Nomad: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-57 models are milestone cars.

Chevrolet Nova: See Nova

Chevrolet type: A dual mounting wheel type consists of one cone locking nut on each stud that holds both wheels in place against the hub.

childproof lock: On the rear doors of a car, a specially designed locking device can be set to normal or to childproof. When set to childproof, the door cannot be opened from the inside.

child restraint system: A term for a number of items which are designed to protect children from injury during an accident (such as child seats).

child safety: See integrated child safety seat

child safety seat: See integrated child safety seat

child seat: A small safety seat which is mounted on a regular car seat and is held in place by the seat belt. Also see integrated child seat chilled iron:

cast iron possessing a hardened outer skin.

chimney: See coil tower coil chimney chip: [1] Small pits in the glass (windshield or headlight) or in the paint caused by small flying stones. [2] To cut with a chisel. [3] A collection of sample paint. Also see paint chip book chip book: See paint chip book

chip damage: See stone chip damage

chipping: The action of tearing away small bits or flakes of paint or of rubber from the tread of a tire. When larger pieces of rubber tear away, it is called chunking.

chipping hammer: A hammer used to remove the slag from weld seams.

chisel: A thick pencil shaped tool with a sharp flat end like a blade screwdriver. When you hit the blunt end with a hammer, it forces the blade end into metal to mark it or even cut through it. Also see splitting chisel chloride: See calcium chloride

polyvinyl chloride chlorofluorocarbons: (CFCs) A gas compound which was used as a propellant in aerosol cans and in refrigerants.

chock: [1] A wedge used to prevent a wheel from rolling -- especially when replacing a tire/wheel. Also called a "wheel chock." [2] A heavy smooth-surfaced fitting usually located near the edge of the weather deck through which wire ropes or fiber hawsers may be led, usually to piers. Also see boat chock choke: A butterfly valve or plate located near the top of the carburetor that limits or restricts the amount of air allowed to enter the carburetor, thus enriching the fuel-air mixture and enabling the vehicle to start and run more easily when cold. Automatic chokes have a thermostatic coil or thermostatic spring that activates a butterfly valve at the top of the carburetor barrel. Older cars have manually operated chokes. Some vehicles use an enrichner instead of a choke. Also see manual choke radio choke choke stove: A flapper near the top of the carburetor which regulates the amount of air entering the carburetor. Also see choke choke control: A device or system for operating a non-automatic choke. It is usually a cable attached at one end to the choke butterfly and a knob on the dash at the other end.

choke index: Automatic chokes have index marks. The factory setting closes the choke when the bimetal is about 70° F. If you want less or more choke at this temperature, move the choke index one mark in the direction indicated by the arrows designating a leaner or richer mixture. You will seldom need to move the choke more than one mark

choke kick: A preset position for the choke valve set by manifold vacuum that is routed through a carburetor body passage to the choke diaphragm

choke knob: A knob on the dash fascia which is part of the choke control system.

choke stove: A heating compartment in or on the exhaust manifold from which hot air is drawn to the automatic choke device.

choke thermal vacuum switch: (CTVS) a switch used on some GM vehicle to deny vacuum to either the front or the auxiliary choke vacuum breaks. Its purpose is to slow the opening of the choke and to provide better driveability when the engine is cold

choke tube: The part of the carburetor air horn where the choke butterfly is positioned. Also called a carburetor venturi.

choke valve: In a carburetor, it is the choke butterfly.

chop: Lowering the height of some area of the vehicle roof, hood, top, etc.

chopped wheel: Lightened flywheel.

chopper: [1] A motorcycle which has been modified so that it has lengthened and raked front forks and a lowered seat. Often the original fuel tank is changed to a smaller size. The handlebars are also lengthened. [2] To travel by motorcycle.

chop shop: [1] A garage which specializes in turning a two-door car into a convertible by removing the steel top.

[2] An illegal garage which processes stolen cars by removing valued parts and selling them privately or by changing the serial numbers for illegal resale.

Christmas tree: A device, using a series of lights, to start cars on the timed 1/4 mile drag run.

chromate: [1] A salt or ester of chromic acid which is often used as a paint pigment. [2] The action of treating metal with a solution of chromium compound to produce a protective metal chromate coating. Also called "chromatize."

chromate coating: A conversion coating produced by chromating.

chromate treatment: A solution of chromium compound is applied to metal to produce a protective coating of metal chromate.

chromatize: The action of treating metal with a solution of chromium compound to produce a protective metal chromate coating. Also called "chromate."

chrome: [1] A short form for chromium. [2] The chromium plating of metal on a vehicle. [3] To plate with chromium. Also see piston ring, chrome ring, chrome chrome-hardened: Steel that has been made harder by adding chromium.

chrome-plated: In order to prevent iron from rusting and showing bright and shiny, the iron is coated with a layer of chromium by process of electroplating (or electrodeposition).

chrome ring:

A piston ring with a chrome face. Also see piston ring, chrome chrome steel: in order to improve rust resistance and increase hardness, chrome is added to steel. Also called "chromium steel."

chrome work: All the metal on a vehicle which has been plated with chrome.

chromic acid: electrolyte which is used in anodizing processes for producing non-transparent, nonmetallic oxide layers.

chromium: A very hard grey metal used in electroplating and the production of very hard steel compounds that are also resistant to rust. Also see hard chromium plating chromium-plated: A coating of metal with chromium to protect the metal from rust.

chromium plating: The process of coating metal with a layer of chromium to prevent rust. Also see black chromium plating hard chromium plating chromium steel: In order to improve rust resistance and increase hardness, chrome is added to steel. Also called "chrome steel."

Chrysler: A vehicle brand of which the 1926-30 Imperial 80, 1931 Imperial 8 Click for Series CG, 1932 CG and CH, 1933 CL, 1934-6 CW with required books on application are classic cars. The 1970 300 Hurst is a milestone car. The 1955-65 300 Letter Series are milestone cars. The 1946-50 Town Chrysler

and Country models are milestone cars. chubby screwdriver: A British term for a screwdriver with a short handle and blade for reaching into confined spaces. In North America it is called a "stubby screwdriver."

chug: [1] The short explosive sound of an engine going steadily and rather slowly. [2] To make the sound of chug. [3] To drive slowly and steadily.

chunking: The action which occurs when large pieces of rubber from the tread of tire breaks away. When small pieces break away, it is called chipping.

CI: [1] Acronym for "compression ignition." [2] Acronym for "coil ignition."

Ciera: A model of automobile manufactured by General Motors Click for books on Ciera CIH: Acronym for "camshaft in head"

CIH engine: A type of overhead valve engine (OHV) where the camshaft is enclosed within the cylinder head not placed on top of it. It is not the same as an overhead camshaft (OHC).

CID: Acronym for "cubic inch displacement."

cigar lighter: A device which heats up an element when engaged. In turn, the lighter can ignite something flammable like a cigarette. The socket can also be used to power other electrical components requiring 12 volts.

cigar lighter: A device which heats up an element when engaged. In turn, the lighter can ignite something flammable like a cigarette. The socket can also be used to power other electrical components requiring 12 volts.

CIM: Acronym for "computer-integrated manufacturing."

circle: See base circle bolt hole circle cam heel hole circle pitch circle diameter pitch circle traffic circle turning circle wheel bolt hole circle circle diameter: See pitch circle diameter

circlip: A flat retaining ring in the shape of an incomplete circle where the ends at the gap may have small holes for inserting special pliers to spread the circlip apart. Also called a snap ring. Also see internal circlip pliers piston pin circlip wrist pin circlip circlip pliers: See internal circlip pliers

circuit: [1] A source of electricity (battery), a resistance unit (headlight, etc.) and wires that form a path for the flow of electricity from the source through the unit and back to

the source. The path of electrical current through an electrical system. See starting system. [2] The path of the fuel in the carburetor. See carburetor circuits. [3] The course over which vehicles are raced particularly if it is somewhat circular. Also see carburetor circuit charging circuit cranking circuit high-tension circuit HT circuit idle circuit idling circuit ignition circuits low-speed circuit low speed circuit low voltage circuit LT circuit open circuit parallel circuit primary circuit printed circuit board printed circuit secondary circuit series-parallel circuit series circuit series parallel circuit short circuit circuit board: See printed circuit board

circuit breaker: A protective device that will make and break the flow of current when current draw becomes excessive. Unlike the fuse, it does not blow out but vibrates on and off thus giving the driver some light to stop by. Also see cutout circuit diagram: A wiring diagram showing the path of the electrical connections and the various colors of the wires. circuiting:

See short circuiting

circuitry: See phase-locked loop circuitry pll circuitry circuit tester: A tool which looks like a screwdriver with a light at the end of the handle as well as a long wire with an allegator clip. The pointed end touches the hot wire while the allegator end touches or clips to the ground. If there is continuity and power, the light in the handle will glow.

circular headlamp: The older type of headlight which may be the larger one (7 inch) with both high and low beam or the smaller one (5.75 inch) dedicated to either low or high beam.

circular mil: Unit of area equal to the area of a circle one mil in diameter

circulating pump: A centrifugal pump, like an automotive water pump, which moves the liquid in a closed system.

circulation: See forced circulation oil circulation circumference: See rolling circumference

circumferential break: An injury to the tread or sidewall of a tire which encircles the tire.

circumferential crack:

A crack in the grooves of the tread which may be evident around the whole tire.

CIS: Acronym for "continuous injection system." A Bosch fuel injection system which injects a steady stream of pressurized fuel into each intake port. CIS was once widely used throughout the industry

CIS-E: A CIS system with electronic controls

CIS-Lambda: A CIS system with an oxygen sensor

CIS with Lambda: See K-Jetronic with Lambda

Cisitalia: A vehicle brand of which the 1946-49 GT (Pininfarina) models are milestone cars.

citizens band radio: A CB radio which is used to communicate over a specified frequency. It was particular the domain of truck drivers.

Citroen: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-64 models D8 and ID 19 Click for books on are milestone cars. Citroen city car: A compact vehicle used for driving within a city rather than on the highway. It is usually only 10 to 12 feet (300 to 360 cm) long.

city cycle: An adult bicycle or tricycle used for riding within the city. Also called an urban cycle.

Civic: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda CKD: Acronym for "Completely-Knocked Down." Click for books on Honda Civic

CL: Acronym for "Comfort Luxe" as a designation for a vehicle which is more luxurious than an "L" but not quite as luxurious as a "GL"

cladding: [1] a process of covering one material with another and gluing them together under high pressure and temperature. [2] The outer body panels which are attached to the vehicle's frame. [3] Excessive decorative elements applied to a vehicle.

Claire: See wills Sainte Claire

clamp: A fastening device which secures something within its jaws without constant human pressure. Also see bar clamp battery clamp battery hold down clamp C-clamp cable clamp distributor clamp distributor hold-down clamp G-clamp hold-down clamp hose clamp hose clamp installer hose clamp pliers hose clamps locking bar clamp locking clamp long-reach C-clamp piston ring clamp sheet metal clamp

triple clamp v-band clamp welding clamp wheel clamp clamping load: In a clutch, the amount of pressure on the plates.

clamp installer: See hose clamp installer

clamp pliers: See hose clamp pliers

clamshell: A shape which has a bottom and top but is hinged at one end so that it can be opened to expose its interior.

clapboard: A narrow board which is thicker at one edge than the other edge and used to protect from the weather.

Clark: Clark, Jim -- Winner of 3 Formula One Championships, 25 Grand Prix races and of the 1965 Indianapolis 500

class A thread: A British term for external thread.

class B thread: A British term for internal thread.

classic car: A vehicle that is generally considered to be one of the finest models ever built. Unlike antique cars, classic cars do not have to be extremely old. Mustangs and VW bugs built in the late 1960s are considered to be classics by many people; however, they are really milestone cars. Classic cars are defined by the Classic Car Club of

America and are considered to be certain models during the years 1925-1948. They include the following built during those years:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A.C.; Adler* Alfa-Romeo Alvis Speed 20, 25, and 4.3 litre Amilcar* Armstrong-Siddeley* Aston-Martin* Auburn Austro-Daimler Ballot* Bentley Benz* Blackhawk BMW (327, 328, 327/328, 335) Brewster* Brough Superior* Bucciali* Bugatti Buick (1931-32 series 90)* Cadillac (1925-35, all 12-cyl and 16-cyl, 1938-41 60 Special, 1936-48 all series 67, 70, 72, 75, 80, 85, 90) Chenard-Walcker* Chrysler (1926-30 Imperial 80, 1931 Imperial 8 Series CG, 1932 CG and CH, 1933 CL, 1934-6 CW)* Cord Cunningham Dagmar (25-70 model only) Daimler* Darracq (8-cyl. cars and 4-litre, 6-cyl. cars only) Delage (Model D-8, not 4-cyl.)* Delahaye (Series 135, 145, 165 not 4-cyl.)* Delaunay Belleville (6-cyl. cars only) Doble Dorris Duesenberg DuPont Excelsior* Farman* Fiat* FN* Franklin (All models except 1933-34 Olympic Six) Frazer Nash* Graham-Paige (Custom body only)* Hispano Suiza Horch

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

Hotchkiss* Hudson (1929 Series L) Humber* Invicta Isotta-Fraschini Itala Jaguar (1946-48 2.5 Litre, 3.5 Litre Mark IV, not 4-cyl.) Jensen* Jordan (Speedway Series 'Z' only) Julian* Kissel (1925-26 all models, 1927 8-75, 1928 8-90 and 8-90 White Eagle, 1929 8-125 and 8-90 White Eagle, 1930 8-125) Lagonda (all except Rapier) Lanchester* Lancia* LaSalle (1927-1933) Lincoln (All L, K, KA, and KB, 1941 168H, 1942 268H) Lincoln Continental Locomobile (All models 48 and 90; 1927 8-80; 1928 8-80; 1929 8-80) Marmon (All 16-cyl.; 1925 74; 1926 74; 1927 75; 1928 E75; 1930 Big 8; 1931 88 and Big 8) Maserati* Maybach McFarlan Mercedes* Mercedes-Benz (All 230 and up, and K, S, SS, SSK, SSKL, Grosser and Mannheim)* Mercer MG (1935-39 SA, 1938-39 WA)* Minerva (All except 4-cyl) Moon (Custom bodies only)* N.A.G.* Nash (1930 Twin Ignition 8, 1931 Series 900, 1932 Series 990, Advanced 8, Ambassador 8)* Packard (All sixes and eights 1925-34, all 12-cyl. models, 1935 Models 1200-1208, 1936 Models 1400-1408, 1937 Models 1500-1508, 1938 Models 1603-1608, 1939 Models 1703-1708, 1940 Models 1803-1808, 1941 Models 1903-1908, 1942 Models 2004-2008 plus 2023, 1946-47 Models 2106 and 2126, all Darrin-bodied)* Peerless (1926-28 Series 69 1930-31 Custom 8 1932 Deluxe Custom 8) Peugeot* Pierce-Arrow Railton* Raymond-Mays* Renault (45 HP)*

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Reo (1931-33 Royale 8-31, Royale 8-35, Royale 8-52, and Royale Custom 8 and 1934 N1, N2, and 8-52) ReVere Riley* Roamer (1925 8-88, 6-54e, 4-75; 1926 4-75e and 8-88; 1927; 1928; 1929 888; 1929 8-125; 1930 8:125) Rochet-Schneider* Rohr Rolls-Royce Ruxton Squire SS and SS Jaguar (1932-1940 except 4-cyl.) Stearns-Knight Stevens Duryea Steyr* Studebaker (1929-33 President) Stutz Sunbeam (8-cyl. and 3-litre twin-cam only) Talbot (all 105C and 110C) Talbot Lago (all 150C) Tatra* Triumph (Dolomite 8 and Gloria 6 models only) Vauxhall (25/70 and 30/98 only) Voisin Wills Sainte Claire Willys-Knight (Series 66)*.

The items marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that these models require application to be a classic car.

Classic Car Club of America: P.O. Box 443, Madison, NJ 07940. Organization which defines which cars are true classics.

Classification: See American Industrial Classification

classification society: Independent and reputable organizations which verifies and inspects vessels for seaworthiness. As technical experts, they serve to provide the necessary basis for adjusting insurance rates for the vessel.

Classification System:

See North American Industrial Classification System

claw hammer: a hammer with a forked end on the head which is used for removing nails.

Claxton horn: A horn which makes a particular sound "Ah-oo-gah." Also see horn clay model: When the design department is creating a new model, it will be built in clay to full size to determine its looks etc.

clean: See steam clean

cleaner: A product to purify or remove unwanted substances. Also see abrasive cleaner air cleaner horn air cleaner air filter bath air cleaner low-profile air cleaner oil bath air cleaner paper air cleaner piston ring groove cleaner thermostatic air cleaner cleaner element: See air cleaner element

cleaner horn: See air cleaner horn


See blast cleaning self-cleaning cleaning unit: See spray gun nozzle cleaning unit

clean oil: Fresh oil that has not been used in a vehicle before.

clean oil lubrication: A lubrication system where fresh oil is supplied to the engine as needed -- such as in a two-stroke engine.

clearance: A given amount of space between two parts such as between piston and cylinder, bearing and journal , etc. Also see bearing clearance front wheel tire clearance ground clearance control ground clearance lateral clearance lateral tire clearance longitudinal tire clearance pedal clearance piston clearance piston ring side clearance radial clearance ring side clearance tire clearance valve clearance vertical tire clearance clearance control: See ground clearance control

clearance depression: See valve clearance depression

clearance fit: Parts that are assembled so that there is clearance between them so that one part can slide in or on the other. Also called "sliding fit"

clearance height: [1] The distance between the ground and the lowest portion of the bottom of a vehicle (not counting the wheels). Also called ground clearance. [2] The distance between the top of a vehicle and the bottom of a bridge or tunnel which determines whether the vehicle can pass under it.

clearance lamp: A light which is mounted on the extreme edges of the roof of a truck to show the maximum height and width of a vehicle. Also called "marker lamp."

clearance sensor: See ground clearance sensor

clearance volume: The space above a piston when it is at the top dead center.

clear coat: A clear paint covering used on modern vehicle bodies. It is the top coat.

clear system: See base and clear system

clearwater stern: A stern with a "shoeless" stern frame

cleat: Clips at intervals on the horizontal stiffeners of hatch coamings to secure the hatch covers

CLEPA: Acronym for "Comité de Liaison de la Construction d'Equipements et de Pièces d'Automobiles" (i.e., European Association of Automotive Suppliers).

clevis: A U-shaped metal piece with holes in each end through which a pin or bolt is run, used for attaching the brake pedal to the power brake booster pushrod, the clutch pedal to the clutch cable or master cylinder pushrod and for various other connections on an automobile

click: See kilometer

click-type torque wrench: A torque wrench which gives out an audible click when the preset torque is reached.

climate change: the international concern that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere are changing the climate in ways detrimental to our social and economic well-being.

climate control: A lever or button which you can move to change the temperature in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. It controls the heater, vent, and/or air conditioner.

climatic chamber: A test area into which an automobile can be placed to see if it will meet the extremes of temperature and humidity.

climbing ability: While some vehicles may have a high top end speed on a road with no incline, the real test of a vehicle in mountainous terrain is its ability to go up a hill at an adequate speed (i.e., its climbing ability).

clincher: A tire whose edges hook under the curved-in hooked edge of a special rim, not commonly found anymore on bicycles and often confused with the common wiredon tire.

clincher rims: Type of wheel rim used with early beaded-edge tires

clincher tire: A tire whose edges hook under the curved-in hooked edge of a special rim, not commonly found anymore on bicycles and often confused with the common wiredon tire.

clinometer: An instrument which measures the steepness of a hill.

clip: See alligator clip crocodile clip hose clip hose clip installer hose clip pliers jubilee clip rebound clip spring clip clip installer: See hose clip installer

clipless pedal: See clipless pedals.

clipless pedals: Road bike pedals that use a releasable mechanism like that of a ski binding to lock onto cleated shoes and do not use toe clips or straps.

clip-on engine: An engine that is attached to a conventional bicycle frame

clip-ons: Low racing handlebars that clamp directly onto the fork legs

clip-on weight: A wheel weight that is clipped on the rim between the rim and the tire. It is used to balance a wheel.

clip pliers: See hose clip pliers

clock: [1] An instrument showing the time. [2] An odometer as in the statement I want to buy this car, but it has too many miles on the clock. [3] To record the speed or time that vehicle makes.

clocking: [1] The action of recording the speed of a vehicle. [2] In Britain, it is the action of turning the odometer back.

C/locking: Abbreviation for "central locking."

clockwise: Rotation to the right like the direction of clock hands. In most cases it is the direction to secure a nut to a bolt. It is the opposite to counterclockwise.

clog: To obstruct a passageway or track so that the normal flow or operation of something is hindered.

close call: In driving it is the near possibility of an accident.

close coils: The coils or loops of a spring which are tightly together.

close coupled sedan: See close-coupled sedan.

close-coupled sedan: Similar to the sedan, this body style is shorter and thus usually accommodates only five passengers. The rear quarter windows were eliminated.

closed cooling system: See coolant recovery system.

closed crankcase ventilation: A system in which crankcase vapors are discharged into the engine intake system (usually through the intake manifold) and pass through the engine cylinders rather than being discharged into the atmosphere.

closed-end connector: Solderless connector shaped like a hat. Used to join two, three, or more wires together. Similar to wire connectors used in home wiring, but installed by crimping instead of twisting

closed end lease: Most leases offered today are close-end leases, meaning that the residual value is fixed and stated in the lease contract. The lessee's financial obligations are unaffected by what the vehicle is actually worth when the lease ends. In other words, the lessee assumes no risk for the depreciation of the vehicle.

closed loop: An operating condition or mode which enables modification of programmed instructions based on a feedback system

closed loop system: A self-adjusting system which keeps conditions stable and is controlled by negative feedback from a sensor.

close-ratio gearbox: A transmission in which there is very little difference between one gear ratio and the next. This kind of transmission makes it easy for fast shifting.

closes: See exhaust valve closes intake valve closes closing:

See power closing

closing cam: A cam or rocker which closes a valve in a mechanically operated valve system. Other types close the valve through the operation of the valve spring. Also called "closing rocker."

closing force: The force needed for the spring to close a valve.

closing panel: A panel which covers a hole in the body, interior panels, or frame.

closing rocker: A cam or rocker which closes a valve in a mechanically operated valve system. Other types close the valve through the operation of the valve spring. Also called "closing cam."

closing system: See automatic closing system

closure: See road closure

cloth: See emery cloth tack cloth cloth upholstery: The fabric of the seats made of cloth rather than leather or vinyl.

cloud point: The temperature at which diesel oil tends to thicken and cloud up (i.e., become cloudy).


A highway overpass system which has four basic loops for getting on the highway or leaving it.

club: See automobile club Royal Automobile Club club coupe: The club coupe designation seems to come from club car, describing the lounge (or parlor car) in a railroad train. The early postwar club coupe combined a shorter-than-sedan body structure with the convenience of a full back seat, unlike the single-seat business coupe. That name has been used less frequently in the 1976-86 period, as most notchback two-door models (with trunk rather than hatch) have been referred to as just "coupes." Moreover, the distinction between two-door coupes and two-door sedans has grown fuzzy. Also see two-door club coupe club hammer: A hammer with a short handle but a large, heavy head. It is used to hit the back end of a chisel or drift.

clunker: A vehicle which might run but is rusty and in need of a lot of repair work.

cluster: See analog cluster analogue cluster electronic cluster footpedal cluster instrument cluster lamp cluster rear lamp cluster seat cluster cluster gear: The cluster of gears that are all cut on one long gear blank. The cluster gears ride in the bottom of the transmission. The cluster provides a connection between the

transmission input shaft and the output shaft. Also called "counter gear."

cluster panel: The reverse side of the instrument panel or dash where all the wiring or circuit board is located.

clutch: A device that disconnects the engine from the transmission, to allow the vehicle to change gears, and then allows the engine and transmission to resume contact and turn together at a new speed. Also see center the clutch centrifugal clutch clutch diaphragm spring clutch disc clutch explosion clutch housing clutch lever clutch pedal free travel clutch pedal clutch pilot bearing clutch pressure plate clutch release bearing clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers clutch shaft clutch solenoid clutch throwout fork coil spring clutch cone clutch diaphragm spring clutch diaphram clutch disengage the clutch dog clutch double clutch double clutching dry clutch electromagnetic clutch fan clutch fluid clutch freewheeling friction clutch heavy clutch

hydraulically-activated clutch hydraulically-assisted clutch hydrodynamic clutch light clutch lock-up clutch magnetic clutch multi-plate clutch multiple-plate clutch multiple disc clutch oil-immersed clutch one-way clutch one way clutch overrunning clutch starter drive overrunning clutch starter overrunning clutch positive clutch pull-type clutch push-type clutch reactor one-way clutch reverse clutch riding the clutch roller clutch self-operating clutch single-plate clutch slip the clutch sprag clutch stator roller clutch sticky clutch torque converter lock-up clutch twin-plate clutch wet clutch clutch aligning set: A group of tools used to align the clutch plates with the flywheel. Usually there is a shaft, pilot bearing adapters, and tapered universal sleeves clutch aligning tool: A tool which looks like a bar or a disc which can be used to line up the clutch plates with the flywheel.

clutch brake: A device for slowing down the clutch discs (and thus the gears themselves) so that shifting is smoother and quieter.

clutch cable:

A cable (usually a cluster of thin strands within a plastic sheath) which operates the movement of the clutch plates. At the other end is a pedal (in automobiles) or a handlebar lever (left side).

clutch cover: A metal cover which encases the clutch plates.

clutch diaphragm spring: A round dish-shaped piece of flat spring steel. It is used to force the pressure plate against the clutch disc in some clutches.

clutch disc: A spinning plate located at the end of the driveshaft facing the engine flywheel and covered with a friction material such as asbestos. When the clutch is engaged, the disc is squeezed between the flywheel and the clutch pressure plate, causing the engine and the transmission to turn at the same speed. British term is called "clutch plate."

clutch drag: When the clutch discs do not disengage completely after the clutch pedal is depressed or the clutch lever is pulled in, there is excessive friction so that it is difficult to shift gears because both the driven discs and the input shaft are both rotating.

clutch explosion: clutches have literally flown apart (exploded) when subjected to high rpm, a scatter shield is used on competition cars to protect the driver and spectators from flying parts in the event the clutch explodes.

clutch facing: The asbestos-type lining on a clutch plate.

clutch field: A clutch part on an air condition compressor, consisting of hundreds of windings of wire, that creates a magnetic field when current is applied, pulling in the armature to engage the clutch

clutch fork:

When the clutch pedal (or lever) is depressed, it pulls on a cable which moves the clutch fork which in turn pushes on the release bearing and disengages the clutch discs.

clutch housing: A cast iron or aluminum housing that surrounds the flywheel and clutch mechanism. Also called "bell housing."

clutching: See double clutching

clutch interlock switch: A switch that prevents the vehicle from starting unless the clutch pedal/lever is pressed.

clutch judder: A British term for "clutch shudder."

clutch lever: A hand-operated blade located on the left side of the handlebar of a motorcycle. When the clutch lever is pulled in, it disengages the clutch so the engine and the crankshaft can turn independently of the transmission and the rider can change gears. Also see clutch release finger clutch lining: The friction material on the face of the clutch discs.

clutch pedal: A foot-operated pedal located on the floor of the vehicle to the left of the brake pedal on cars with manual transmission. When the clutch pedal is depressed, it disengages the clutch so the engine and the crankshaft can turn independently of the transmission and the driver can change gears.

clutch pedal free travel: The specified distance that the clutch pedal may be depressed before the throwout bearing actually contacts the clutch release fingers.

clutch pilot bearing: A small bronze bushing, or in some cases a ball bearing, placed in the end of the crankshaft or in the center of the flywheel depending on the vehicle, that is used to support the outboard end of the transmission input shaft.

clutch plate: The clutch discs.

clutch pressure plate: That part of a clutch assembly that through spring pressure, squeezes the clutch disc against the flywheel thereby transmitting a driving force through the assembly. To disengage the clutch, the pressure plate is drawn away from the flywheel via linkage. clutch release bearing: See throwout bearing.

clutch release finger: A flat piece of metal shaped like a curved finger. Through the movement of the throwout fork, the throwout bearing pushes against the clutch release fingers or levers to release pressure against the pressure plate. Also called "clutch release lever."

clutch release lever: See clutch release finger.

clutch semi-centrifugal release finger: See clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers.

clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers: Clutch release fingers that have a weight attached to them so that at high rpm the release fingers place additional pressure on the clutch pressure plate.

clutch shaft: The shaft that takes power from the clutch into the gearbox. Also called the "drive pinion."

clutch shudder: When the clutch tries to engage (when the pedal or lever is released), but the discs do not mate securely, the discs engage intermittently and slip past each other making a noise like a shudder. In Britain, it is called "clutch judder."

clutch slip: Clutch slip occurs when the clutch tries to engage (when the pedal or lever is released), but the discs do not mate securely.

clutch solenoid: In some automotive air conditioners, a solenoid that operates a clutch on the compressor drive pulley. When the clutch is engaged, the compressor is driven and cooling takes place.

clutch spring: The clutch cover will have several posts over which the clutch spring (shaped like a cylinder) fits and pushes the pressure discs against the driven clutch discs to transmit power.

clutch starter: See overrunning clutch starter overrunning clutch starter drive clutch starter drive: See overrunning clutch starter drive

clutch starter interlock: A device which disengages the starter once the engine has started.

clutch stop: A clutch brake

clutch throwout bearing: The clutch release bearing.

clutch throwout fork: The device or fork that straddles the throwout bearing and that is used to force the throwout bearing against the clutch release fingers.

clutch thrust bearing: The clutch release bearing.

cluttered engine compartment: An engine compartment or bay in which all the available space around the engine is occupied by other objects (alternator, pumps, air intake system, battery, wiper motor, heater motor, windshield washer motor, starter, radiator, air conditioner, hoses, pipes, wiring, electronic boxes, etc.)

C-matic transmission: Citroen's name for a semi-automatic transmission

C motorhome: See type C motorhome

CNG: Acronym for "Compressed Natural Gas"

CO: Acronym for "carbon monoxide." A deadly, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas found in the engine exhaust. Toxic even in relatively small concentrations. Formed by incomplete burning of hydrocarbons. Thus at its greatest with a rich mixture.

coach: [1] An enclosed two-door type body with permanent back panels and top, it is similar to the coupe, but the seating is different. A full width cross seat in the rear accommodates three passengers. Two separate seats in the front fold out of the way to admit rear passengers. There is no trunk, but trunk racks are frequently provided. [2] A luxurious bus, a tour bus.

coach bolt: A bolt with a mushroom head, but just below the head there is a square neck and then the threads. The square neck fits into a matching square hole to keep the bolt from moving.

coachbuilder: A person or company which manufactures special bodies for automobiles.

coachbuilt body: A separate body which is not integral with the chassis.

coachbuilt construction: The process of building an automobile so that the body is separate from the chassis. Often the bodies are built to customer specifications and may differ from one another even though they are built upon the same chassis design. Also see skeleton construction unitary construction coachlining: Pinstriping along the side of a vehicle or along the side of the fuel tank of a motorcycle.

coach paint: A slow-drying, high-gloss paint used on cars in the early 1900s. It was painted on car bodies with a brush.

coachwork: Although it is strictly the body of an automobile, it is particularly the comfort and luxury appointments as distinguished from the operational chassis thus it would include the interior, seats, upholstery, dashes, fenders, etc. -- everything but the mechanicals and the chassis. The French call it Carrosserie, the Germans call it Karosserie, and the Italians call it Carrozzeria. Also called "bodywork."

coalescing action: The process of smaller water droplets merging together into larger droplets which takes place in a water separator

coaming: See hatch coaming


See national coarse thread

coarse-cut file: A file with deep grooves for removing a lot of metal quickly. It leaves rough edges which will need to be cleaned up with a smooth-cut file

coarse file: A file with deep grooves for removing a lot of metal quickly. It leaves rough edges which will need to be cleaned up with a smooth-cut file

coarsening: See grain coarsening

coarse pitch: Gears or screw threads which have wide gaps between each tooth or thread.

coarse thread: The threads of a screw are wider apart. Opposite to fine thread. Also see national coarse thread coast: [1] To proceed, usually downhill, on a bicycle without pedalling; or in a motor vehicle without the aid of the engine. Also see freewheel. [2] A designation on a cruise control switch which (when activated) will cause the vehicle to slow down to a lower cruise controlled speed.

coastal: Domestic shipping routes along the coast.

coaster: A vehicle, usually a bicycle, which has no means of propulsion (you can't pedal it and it is without any engine).

coaster brake:

A braking system on a bicycle in which the rider stops pedalling forward (thus coasting) and pedals backward to engage the brake within the hub of the rear wheel.

coat: [1] A covering of paint or similar substance. Also see anodize base coat clear coat color coat cross-hatch coat cross coat finish coat fog coat gel coat guide coat intermediate coat mist coat prime coat protective coat single coat tack coat top coat undercoat [2] To apply a covering of paint, etc.

coat drier: See top coat drier

coated abrasive: Sandpaper or grinding wheel where an abrasive material such as sand or diamond grit is glued to a backing material and used to reduce or smooth a surface.

coated electrode: See covered electrode

coating: A protective covering usually of paint. Also see anodic coating

anti-chip coating catalytic layer chromate coating coil-coating conversion coating electrostatic powder coating galvanized coating hard anodic coating manganese phosphate coating phosphate coating polymer coating protective coating pvc underseal coating roll coating spray coating underbody coating undercoating zinc phosphate coating coat oven: See top coat oven

cobble: To put something together in a rough or clumsy manner. This is usually done as a temporary measure until more permanent repairs can be made.

cobbled: The action of putting something together in a rough or clumsy manner. This is usually done as a temporary measure until more permanent repairs can be made.

Cobra: See AC Shelby Cobra

COC: Acronym for conventional oxidation catalyst

cock: A tap or shut-off valve which controls the flow of liquid. Also see fuel cock

radiator drain cock cockpit: The area, usually in racing cars, in which the driver sits and the instruments in front of him.

code: A system of symbols (as letters, numbers, or words) used to represent meaning of information. Also see highway Code Nordic Anti-Corrosion Code coded: See color-coded

code hopping: A technology which prevents thieves with scanners from either picking up your encoded remote-control signal or from randomly firing numerous codes at your vehicle in order to stumble upon the one that will disarm your security system.

coefficient: See block coefficient drag coefficient coefficient of drag: See drag coefficient.

coefficient of friction: A measurement of the amount of friction developed between two objects or surfaces in physical contact when one of the objects is drawn across the other. If a book were placed on a table and a measuring scale used to pull the book, the amount of weight or pull registered on the scale would be the coefficient of friction. This coefficient of friction is dependent upon both surfaces in contact. It is large if the surfaces are rough and small if they are smooth.


Narrow void space between two bulkheads or floors

cog: Any toothed gear. A sprocket attached directly to the rear wheel hub on a singlespeed bike and mounted on a freewheel on a multi-speed bike.

cog belt: A toothed belt normally of fibreglass-reinforced rubber for driving the camshaft from the crankshaft. In cars, cog belts are primarily used with overhead camshafts but are sometimes used to drive pumps. cogged belt: See cog belt

coil: [1] Metal bands or strands of wire wrapped in a circular fashion. [2] A pulse-type transformer for increasing the voltage to fire the spark plugs. Also see booster coil close coils exciter coil field coil four-spark ignition coil glow coil high energy coil hold-in coil holding coil ignition coil resistor ignition coil induction coil multi-spark coil multi-spark ignition coil multiple-spark coil multiple-spark ignition coil open coil glow plug pick-up coil pickup coil pulser coil single-spark ignition coil thermostatic coil choke

coil binding: Compressing a valve spring to the point at which each coil touches the adjacent coil coil chimney: The top of the ignition coil where the high tension leads are attached.

coil choke: See thermostatic coil choke

coil glow plug: See open coil glow plug

coil ignition: The standard ignition system which uses an ignition coil which stores the power from the battery and steps it up. Then the high voltage is sent to the spark plugs. Also see transistorized coil ignition coil ignition with Hall sensor: See transistorized coil ignition with Hall sensor

coil lead: A British term for the high tension wire going from the coil to the distributor. In America, it is called the "coil wire."

coil resistor: See ignition coil resistor

coils: See close coils

coil spring: A section of spring steel rod wound in a spiral pattern or shape. Widely used in both front and rear suspension systems. Like large metal bed springs, these coils cushion and absorb the shocks and bumps as the vehicle is driven. They are usually found near the front wheels, but some cars have them in the rear as well. Often the shock absorbers run up the center of the coil springs. coil spring clutch:

A clutch which has a ring of coil springs which hold the pressure plate in position.

coil spring compressor: See spring compressor

coil tester: See spark gap coil tester

coil tower: The top of the ignition coil where the high tension leads are attached.

coil wire: The high tension wire going from the coil to the distributor or spark plug.

coin holder: A device which retains coins for easy access.

coked up: A British term for "carboned up" to indicate something covered in carbon.

cold: The relative absence of heat

cold air: Air that is below the prevailing ambient temperature.

cold air induction: The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is more dense than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.

cold air intake: The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is more dense than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.

cold cap: A process in retreading a tire where the tire is placed in a pressure chamber in a temperature range of 195°-212° until bonding of the pre-cured tread rubber is achieved. Also see hot cap cold-condensate corrosion: The corrosion of the inside of an exhaust system by direct chemical attack resulting from an acidic, aqueous solution that condenses from the exhaust gas at relatively low temperatures and collects at the cooler rear portions of the exhaust system.

cold cranking ability: A measurement in amps of a battery's ability to start a vehicle under cold temperatures. A higher number is better than a lower one. Basic automobile batteries begin around 400 cold-cranking amps (which is only marginally acceptable in most vehicles). The best batteries are around 1000 cold-cranking amps.

cold cranking amps: See cold cranking ability

cold-cranking rating: The minimum number of amperes a fully charged 12-volt battery can deliver for 30 seconds at 0° F without falling below 7.2 battery volts

cold galvanizing: The application of zinc to prevent rusting. It can be applied by a paint with lots of zinc or by electroplating with zinc.

cold lash: The valve lash clearance, measured between the rocker arm and valve tip, when the engine is cold

cold manifold: An intake manifold not heated by exhaust gas

cold plug: A spark plug which has a short insulator nose which absorbs less heat and dissipates heat quickly. A colder plug is used in a hot engine while a hot plug is used in a cold

engine. Thus if the plugs are fouling too much, try a hotter plug. If the plugs are coming out white, try a colder plug. The ideal color of the center insulator nose should be a light chocolate brown.

cold solder joint: A poor soldering technique where the solder has not quite melted enough to produce a good electrical contact.

cold spark plug: See cold plug

cold spraying: A method of paint spraying where the paint is excessively diluted with solvent. This process makes spraying easy, but the coats are very light.

cold start: Getting a vehicle started which has been sitting for some time and cooled down to ambient temperature. When temperatures reach -40°, a vehicle may require three or four times as much battery power as it would during the summer. As well, the carburetor or fuel injection system needs to be much richer (more gasoline than air). Because condensation has a tendency to build up in the gas tank during the winter, the liquid going to the carburetor or fuel injectors may be diluted with water -- thus making starting more difficult. The application of isopropyl alcohol (marketed as "gasline antifreeze") removes the water from the tank.

cold starting: See cold start

cold start enrichment: A method of providing a higher ratio of fuel to air for starting a cold engine. In some cases, more fuel is fed into the engine with a cold start injector; in other cases, the amount of air is restricted through the use of a choke.

cold start injector: A device in a fuel injection system which shoots an extra amount of fuel into the cylinder to increase the ratio of fuel to air.

cold weather modulator:

(CWM) a vacuum modulator located in the air cleaner on some models. The modulator prevents the air cleaner duct door from opening to non-heated intake air when outside air is below 55° F. Similar to a temperature vacuum switch

collapse: See piston collapse

collapsed piston: A piston whose skirt diameter has been reduced due to heat and the forces imposed upon it during service in the engine. Also see piston collapse collapsible spare tire: A space-saver spare wheel.

collapsible steering column: When a vehicle is involved in an accident, the driver's chest is forced into the steering wheel. In older cars, the immovable steering column meant that the driver could sustain chest damage. The collapsible steering column telescopes or folds (articulate) so that chest damage is reduced.

collar: A sleeve that fits over a shaft. Also see hexagonal collar split collar underhead collar valve spring collar collector: See solar collector

collector car: An older car which may not fit into the category of a classic car or a milestone car, but it has nostalgic appeal.


A removable ring or collar which fits into a groove to hold something in place.

collier: Vessel used for transporting coal.

collision: See head-on collision

collision avoidance system: Electronic system used to prevent collisions in inland navigable waterways.

collision bulkhead: The foremost main transverse watertight bulkhead designed to keep water out of the forward hold in case of bow collision damage. Also called forepeak bulkhead

collision insurance: Insurance coverage that pays to repair damages to your vehicle when it is involved in an accident.

colonnade hardtop: In architecture, the term colonnade describes a series of columns, set at regular intervals, usually supporting an entablature, roof, or series of arches. To meet US federal rollover standards in 1974 (standards that never emerged), General Motors introduced two-door and four-door pillared body types with arch-like quarter windows and sandwich type roof construction. They looked like a cross between true hardtops and miniature limousines. Both styles proved popular (especially the coupe with louvered coach windows and canopy top) and the term colonnade was applied. As their "true" hardtops disappeared, other manufacturers produced similar bodies with a variety of quarter-window shapes and sizes. These were known by such terms as hardtop coupe, pillard hardtop, or opera-window coupe.

color: See four color identification color integral color anodizing off color paint color matching

color anodizing: See integral color anodizing

color chart: A listing of paint samples of available exterior paint for a vehicle.

color coat: A coat of paint with the final color. Sometimes a clear coat is applied over it.

color-coded: [1] Something that is colored the same as the main part of the bodywork. Also called "color-keyed" or "color-matched." [2] A series of similar things in which each one is a different color to distinguish one from the other, such as the wiring (e.g., the red wire goes from the battery to the fuse box, the blue wire goes from ... to the ...).

colored: See body-colored

color-keyed: See color-coded.

color-matched: See color-coded.

color matching: See paint color matching

color scheme: The combination of exterior colors which harmonize, e.g., A maroon body and a white roof.

column: See absorbing steering column adjustable steering column collapsible steering column

energy absorbing steering column height adjustable steering column safety steering column steering column telescopic steering column tilt column column changer: See column shifter

column controls: See steering column controls

column gearchange: See steering column gearchange

column gear changer: See column shifter

column shifter: A gear changer lever and mechanism which is located on the steering column below the steering wheel. In Britain it is called a "column changer" or "column gear changer."

combi: Vessel designed for a combination of passengers, and different types of cargo.

combination: A vehicle like a motorcycle and sidecar or a tractor and trailer.

combination lamp: A light or group of lights which serves two or more purposes. For example, the rear combination lamp illumines the running lights (i.e., the ones that are turned on when the headlight is turned on) and brake light and/or the signal light

combination pliers:

A British term for a Lineman's pliers or slip-joint pliers

combination spanner: A British term for combination wrench

combination valve: A brake system hydraulic control device includes a pressure differential valve, metering valve, and proportioning valve

combination weight: See gross combination weight

combination wrench: A flat wrench with a hex ring at one end and an open end at the other.

combination valve: A pressure-regulating valve in braking systems incorporating a failure warning switch and comprising two or more of the following valves: pressure-differential valve, metering valve, and proportioning valve.

combined weight rating: See gross Combined Weight Rating

combiner: See holographic combiner

combustion: The intense burning of the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. Some used to think that the fuel-air mixture exploded; but further investigation has shown that it rapidly burns. Also see combustion chamber volume combustion chamber combustion space compression ignition controlled combustion system external combustion engine fireball combustion chamber

hemispherical combustion chamber internal combustion engine main combustion chamber pent-roof combustion chamber pre-combustion chamber wedge combustion chamber combustion chamber: The volume of the space in the cylinder above the piston with the piston at top dead center (TDC) in the compression stroke. The head of the piston, the cylinder walls, and the head form the chamber. Combustion of the fuel-air mixture begins here when ignited by a spark plug. The design and shape of the combustion chamber can affect power, fuel efficiency, and emissions of an engine. Also see fireball combustion chamber hemispherical combustion chamber main combustion chamber pent-roof combustion chamber spherical combustion chamber twin swirl combustion chamber wedge combustion chamber combustion chamber recess: The area where combustion occurs in a rotary piston engine combustion chamber volume: volume of combustion chamber (space above piston with piston on TDC) measured in cc (cubic centimetres).

combustion engine: See external combustion engine internal combustion engine combustion pressure: The pressure created during the combustion of the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, measured in pounds per square inch.

combustion residue:

Carbon and other deposits resulting from combustion.

combustion space: See combustion chamber.

combustion system: See controlled combustion system

CO meter: A device for checking exhaust gases for carbon monoxide, a high level indicates an over-rich mixture as well as causing pollution.

Comet head: A cylinder head with a swirl chamber for indirect injection diesel engines.

Comfort: A designation of some automobiles as a basic or standard line usually abbreviated as "C"

Comfort Luxe: An automobile designation (abbreviated as CL) which has more luxury appointments than a "Comfort" but less than a Grand Luxe (GL).

commercial tire: A tire which is designed for truck and industrial use.

commercial vehicle: A vehicle (like a truck or bus) used for carrying goods or large numbers of passengers for money.

commutator: A series or ring of copper bars that are connected to the armature windings. The bars are insulated from each other and from the armature. The brushes (as in the generator or starter) rub against the whirling commutator.


See compact car sub-compact compact car: A designation no longer used because even "full-size cars" are now about the size of what was the compact car. In 1970, for instance, a Chevrolet Impala was a full-size car, a Chevelle was an intermediate, a Nova was a compact. When cars smaller than the Nova came out (i.e., Chevette), they were called sub-compacts.

companionway: An access way in a deck, with a ladder leading below, for the use of the crew

company logo: An emblem which represents all or part of a company's trademark.

comparison and identification: See program comparison and identification

compartment: See battery compartment cassette compartment cluttered engine compartment crowded engine compartment engine compartment glove compartment passenger compartment compartmentation: The subdividing of the hull by transverse watertight bulkheads so that the ship may remain afloat under certain flooding conditions

compass: An instrument with a magnetic needle which is mounted on the dash to give the driver an idea of where magnetic north might be.

compensating bar:

See compensator

compensating jet: A fuel tube or pipe in the carburetor, into which air is admitted through one or more holes to compensate for a tendency of the main nozzle to deliver too rich a mixture as the air velocity through the carburetor increases. Also called "air bleed." compensating port: A small hole in a brake master cylinder to permit fluid to return to the reservoir.

compensator: A horizontal bar which is pulled forward when the parkbrake is applied at its central point, which is pivoted, while it is connected at each end to the parkbrake cable, enabling equal force to be exerted on each rear brake. Also see temperature compensator compensator valve: A valve in automatic transmissions designed to increase the pressure on the brake band during heavy acceleration.

competition: See interchannel competition

competition car: A vehicle which is designed to compete in races, hill climbs, and rallies.

compliance: A slight resiliency, or "give," designed into suspension bushings to help absorb bumps. Good compliance allows the wheels to move toward the rear a little as they hit bumps but does not allow them to move laterally (sideways) during cornering.

Compliance Certification Label: See safety Compliance Certification Label


[1] One of the parts that make up the whole system or device, as in The brake pad is a component of the brake system. [2] A raw material, ingredient, part or subassembly that goes into a higher level assembly, compound, or other item. Also see body component primary structure component shared component component assembly: A combination of two or more parts or sub-components to form an assembly.

component design: the activity for the design of specific components including responsibility for material, cost, weight, reliability, durability, function, appearance, and serviceability.

components: The various parts that make up the whole system or device.

component sharing: The use of the same basic parts used in different models -- even in models from different manufacturers.

composite: Any material that consists of two or more substances where one or more of them are high strength fibers and another is an adhesive binder. The most common composite is fiberglass, which consists of thin glass fibers bonded together in a plastic matrix. The structural properties of composites can be altered by controlling the orientation and configuration of the high-strength components.

composite headlamps: Reflector and lens system designed for specific vehicle model

composite headlight: A headlight system which is unlike the sealed beam headlight. When the bulb fails, you can replace just the bulb, not the whole unit. Because the lens is contoured to the shape of the vehicle, there are many different shapes. Thus each lens is low production and can be very costly to replace.

composite propeller shaft: A single-piece propeller shaft made of fibre-reinforced epoxy in which the fibres are usually glass and/or carbon.

compound: [1] Two or more ingredients mixed together. [2] An abrasive paste or liquid that smooths and polishes the painted surface. Also see anti-drum compound anti-ozone compound cutting compound intermetallic compound ozone compound rubbing compound sealing compound sheet molding compound underbody sealing compound valve grinding compound valve lapping compound compound carburetor: A carburetor with more than one choke. Usually there are two: one for the large throttle opening and one for the small throttle opening, but they fit to a single port

compound center electrode: Also called compound electrode

compound electrode: A spark plug with a copper core and a jacket of a nickel-based alloy.

compound gauge: A gauge that can indicate both pressure and vacuum. Also called a low side gauge

compound glass: See laminated glass


See pre-compounding

compound motor: A direct current electric motor with two separate field windings, one in parallel and the other in series with the armature circuit; used as a starter motor

comprehensive insurance: Insurance coverage that pays for damages to your car, its accessories, spare parts against loss or damage caused by an accidental collision, fire, theft, vandalism, typhoon, earthquake, and flooding. It will also pay expenses to have the disabled vehicle towed to the repair shop and expenses to return the vehicle back to you when the repairs are completed. It also covers for the death and bodily injury of the insured or driver; loss or damage to someone else's property as a result of the accident; legal liabilities to the death or bodily injury of the third party arising from the accident; legal liabilities to the damage to property of the third party arising from the accident; loss or damage to the property of the spouse(s) or the child(ren) of the insured or driver; and medical expenses of the insured or driver's injury caused by the accident.

compress: To place under pressure or to squeeze into a small space. Also see pre-compress compressed-air spray gun: A paint gun which makes a fine spray of paint for coating the surface.

compressed natural gas: Abbreviated CNG. See natural gas

compression: [1] Applying pressure to a spring, or any springy substance, thus causing it to reduce its length in the direction of the compressing force. [2] Applying pressure to a gas, thus causing a reduction in volume. [3] One of the essential factors in a internal combustion engine (fuel, air, proper proportion of mixture, compression, timing, spark). It is the squeezing of the fuelair mixture in the cylinder of a spark-ignition engine or the squeezing of the air in a diesel engine. Compression makes the process of combustion more effective and increases engine efficiency. Also see

crankcase compression grooved compression ring high compression head piston ring, compression primary compression ratio primary compression ring, compression secondary compression compression check: Testing the compression in all the cylinders at cranking speed. All plugs are removed, the compression gauge placed in one plug hole, the throttle cracked wide open and the engine cranked until the gauge no longer climbs. The compression check is a good way in which to determine the condition of the valves, rings, and cylinders.

compression gage: See compression gauge.

compression gauge: A gauge used to test the compression in the cylinders. A poor compression reading can indicate that there is leakage through the valves or the piston rings. In two stroke engines, it could indicate that there is poor primary compression because of a leak in the crankshaft seals.

compression head: See high compression head

compression ignition: combustion of a fuel-air mixture without spark. In the diesel engine, air is drawn into the cylinder and compressed to a temperature sufficiently high that fuel oil injected at the end of the compression stroke burns in the cylinder without a spark to initiate combustion. A prank played on new employees is to send them on a search for the spark plugs for a diesel engine -- they don't exist.

compression leakage: In an engine, when some gases escape past the piston because the rings or cylinder walls are worn, the compression is reduced so that there is less efficiency.

compression molding:

The shaping of molding material by softening it under pressure and the action of heat, and forcing it through a hole into a hollow space which it completely fills. Also see molding compression moulding: British term for compression molding

compression ratio: When the piston is at the bottom of its travel (BDC), the volume of cylinder is measured (suppose the volume is X). Then the piston is placed at the top of its travel (TDC) and the volume of the cylinder is measured (suppose this volume is Y). The compression ratio is a comparison of these two values expressed as X:Y. Then the values are mathematically changed so that the second number is always 1. Thus you hear of ratios like 10.5:1 or 9.5:1 or 8:1. The higher the compression ratio, the more mechanical energy an engine can squeeze from its air-fuel mixture. Higher compression ratios, however, also make detonation more likely. Also see primary compression ratio compression ring: A ring which surrounds the piston and fits in a grove in the piston. It is designed to seal the burning fuel charge above the piston. Generally there are two compression rings per piston and they are located in the two top ring grooves. They also help to transfer heat from the piston into the cylinder walls and subsequently to the water jacket surrounding the cylinder. Also see grooved compression ring stepped compression ring tapered compression ring compression spring: An open-coil, helical spring that offers resistance to a compressive form.

compression stroke: The second stroke of the four-stroke cycle, in which the piston moves upward from bottom dead center to top dead center, compressing the fuel-air mixture. compression tester: A device which is screwed or pushed into the spark plug hole so that when the engine is turned over, it measures the amount of compression in that cylinder.

compressor: [1] A mechanism in a refrigerator or air conditioner that pumps vaporized refrigerant out of the evaporator, compresses it to a relatively high pressure and then delivers it to the condenser. [2] A tool for compressing a coil spring, such as a valve spring. Also see air compressor coil spring compressor piston-type compressor piston compressor positive displacement compressor reciprocating compressor roots compressor spring compressor valve spring compressor compressor cut-off switch: A device used by some manufacturers to prevent compressor operation. Such as the wide open throttle (WOT) cut-off switch, low pressure switch, and high pressure switch

compressor discharge switch: A device that shuts off the compressor when refrigerant pressure is low. The switch is wired in series between the compressor clutch and the control panel switch

compressor impeller: An impeller of a turbocharger driven by the turbine at speeds up to 160,000 rpm, which accelerates by centrifugal force the charge air which enter axially and leaves radially at a very high velocity.

compressor pressure ratio: In a turbocharger system, the ratio between the absolute pressure at the compressor outlet and the compressor inlet

compressor ratio: In a turbocharger system, the ratio between the volume in the cylinder when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke and the volume in the cylinder when the piston is at the top of its stroke

compressor shaft seal: A seal in an air conditioner compressor, surrounding the compressor shaft, that permits the shaft to turn without the loss of refrigerant or oil

Comprex supercharger: A supercharger using the pressure waves created by the expanding exhaust gases to compress the inlet charge. Also called "pressure wave supercharger."

computer: A device which calculates information and sends the results to a specific destination. In automobiles, computers are used to regulate fuel flow, control the air conditioner, display speed, time, ETA, etc. Also see diagnostic computer fuel computer on-board computer spark control computer trip computer computer-aided: Something which has been helped or designed by a computer.

computer brake control: See anti-skid.

computer command control: (CCC) an electronically-controlled fuel metering system used on GM vehicle. Uses an oxygen sensor, a throttle position sensor and other information sensors to provide a computer with the data it needs to alter the air/fuel ratio via mixture control solenoid in the carburetor

computer command control system: (C-3) an earlier engine management system used on GM vehicles. (C-4) A later engine management system used on GM vehicles

computer-controlled: Something which is monitored by a computer

computer controlled coil ignition:

(C3I) GM's computerized ignition coil system, used on many different engine applications

computer controlled timing: (CCT) a system that feeds input from various engine sensors into a computer. The computer then matches spark timing exactly to engine requirements throughout its full range of operations

con: See forked con rod master con rod concave weld face: A weld having the center of its face below the weld edges

concealed headlamps: Headlamp doors close to resent a flush fitting sheet metal to reduce air resistance in headlamp area

concealed headlights: Headlight which (when not lit) are hidden behind a panel. When the headlight switch is turned on vacuum is applied to a controller which opens the panel exposing the light. Also called "hide-away headlights" or "pop-up headlights."

concentration: See stress concentration

concentric: Two or more circles so placed as to share a common center but different diameters.

concept car: A vehicle that is not currently in production, but is still in the design stage. Some are merely paper drawings, but others are clay mock-ups. The ideas in the concept cars sometimes appears in production models. Also see prototype

concept vehicle: a current production vehicle modified for installation of new design concepts for evaluation of environmental functional feasibility.

concho: A chrome trim disk for saddlebags and leathers.

concours: Also called "concours d'elegance." This is the term used to describe a show where cars in superb condition are judged against a standard of excellence established by the sponsors, with awards given to winners. Show cars compete in a concours.

concours d'elegance: See concours.

cond: Abbreviation for "condition," as in excellent cond.

condensate: See cold-condensate corrosion

condensate corrosion: See cold-condensate corrosion

condensation: Moisture, from the air, deposited on a cool surface. The reverse of evaporation.

condense: Turning a vapor back into a liquid.

condenser: [1] A small metal cylinder which is usually located in the distributor. It is installed between the breaker points and coil to prevent arcing at the breaker points by absorbing or storing the excess current. A condenser (also called a "capacitor") has the ability to absorb and retain surges of electricity. It is constructed of two metal plates separated by an insulator. [2] The unit in an air conditioning system that cools the hot compressed refrigerant and turns it from a vapor into a liquid. It is the opposite of an evaporator.

Also see steam engine condition: See air conditioner battery charge battery condition cherry condition conditioner mint condition original condition spark plug condition conditioned: See air-conditioned

conditioner: See air conditioner.

conditioning: See air-conditioning

conditions: See driving conditions

conductance: A measure of the ease with which a conductor allows electron flow. In DC circuits, conductance is the reciprocal of resistance

conduction: The transfer of heat from one object to another by having the objects in physical contact. Also see thermal conduction conductive:

The ability of something to conduct electricity.

conductivity: The ability of something to conduct electricity. Opposite of resistivity. Also see electrical conductivity heat conductivity conductor: A material forming a path for the flow of current, such as silver, copper, and carbon. Also see semiconductor cone: [1] A bearing race that curves to the inside of a circle of ball bearings and works in conjunction with a cup. [2] In welding, it is the inner visible flame shape of a neutral or near neutral flame. Also see bearing cone inner cone cone clutch: A clutch using a cone-shaped member that is forced into a cone-shaped depression in the flywheel, or other driving unit, thus locking the two together, although no longer used on cars, the cone clutch finds some applications in small riding tractors, heavy power mowers, etc.

configuration: The particular arrangement of the parts in relation to each other. Also see chassis configuration delta configuration mid-engine chassis configuration Y-configuration conformation: The ability of a precision insert bearing to match the shape and contour of a shaft surface even after it has been in use for some time.


something in the shape of a cone. It is usually tapered.

conical seat: A circular, tapered place that something rests. For instance, a spark plug may fit into a tapered hole.

connecting rod: The connecting link or arm between the piston and the crankshaft. It converts the up-and-down (reciprocating) motion of the piston into the circular (rotary) motion of the spinning crankshaft. Often called "con rod." Also see big-end bearing boxed rod forked con rod master con rod slave con rod throwing a rod connecting rod bearing: A precision insert bearing. Also called "big end bearing"

connecting rod shank: A longitudinal part of the connecting rod

connection: the joining of two or more parts which generally conduct electricity. Also see axle connection earth connection ground connection rigid axle connection negative connections positive connections connections: See negative connections positive connections connector:

A device which joins two items. Also see adapter battery connector blade connector cell connector engine diagnostic connector eyelet connector helmet connector multicon connector system T-connector Y-connector connector system: See multicon connector system

con rod: See connecting rod.

con rod bearing: See connecting rod bearing.

conscious: See environment-conscious

console: A small storage space or fascia between the two front seats in a car with bucket seats. Often it houses the shifter, some instruments, coffee holders, coin holders, etc. Also see brake console center console parking brake console seat rail console constantan: An alloy made of nickel and copper which is used in resistance wire and in thermocouplers.

constant depression:

See air-valve carburetor.

constant-depression: See air-valve carburetor.

constant idle system: An electronically-controlled air bypass around the throttle. Also called idle speed actuator or idle-speed stabilizer

constant mesh gearbox: A type of transmission in which all or most of the gears are always in mesh with one another, as opposed to a sliding-gear transmission, in which engagement is obtained by sliding some of the gears along a shaft into mesh. In a constant-mesh manual gearbox, gear ratios are selected by small clutches that connect the various gearsets to their shafts so that power is transmitted through them. Also see sliding mesh gearbox constant mesh gear: One of the gears that is always in mesh with another -- whether it is driving or not (i.e., just idling).

constant mesh gears: Gears that are always in mesh with each other -- whether it is driving or not (i.e., just idling).

constant vacuum: See air-valve carburetor.

constant-vacuum: See air-valve carburetor.

constant velocity joint: (CV joint) A type of universal joint so designed as to create a smooth transfer of torque from the driven shaft to the driving shaft without any fluctuations in the speed of the driven shaft. constant velocity universal joint:

See constant velocity joint.

constant voltage regulator: (CVR) a device used to maintain a constant voltage level in a circuit, despite fluctuations in system voltage. CVRs are wired into some gauge circuits so voltage fluctuations won't affect accuracy of the gauge readings

constant volume sampling: See constant-volume sampling.

constant-volume sampling: An exhaust-emissions measuring technique in which the exhaust gases produced by a vehicle's engine are collected as it is driven through a test sequence of accelerations, decelerations, and cruise modes on a chassis dynamometer. A quantity of air is added to the exhaust gases until a specific volume (the same for all cars) is obtained. Concentrations of pollutants in the total sample are then analyzed for determination of their actual mass.

construction: See body and frame construction body construction coachbuilt construction frameless construction integral body and frame construction monobloc construction palletized construction sandwich construction skeleton construction unibody construction unitary construction unitized construction consumer factors: demographic characteristics of consumers including age, gender, income and geographic location, affordability.

consumption: The act of using up an amount of fuel. Actually the fuel is joined with air and merely changed into other substances (Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, etc. and energy).

Also see fuel consumption indicator fuel consumption oil consumption specific fuel consumption consumption indicator: See fuel consumption indicator

contact: [1] The touching of two or more parts. [2] The parts that actually touch each other when making electrical connection whether permanently or intermittently. Also see fixed contact ground contact area moving contact sliding contacts contact area: The part of the tire that actually touches the ground at any particular moment. Also see ground contact area tire contact area contact arm: The movable segment of the points which is moved by the lobe of the distributor.

contact bounce: The rapid movement of the breaker arm as it opens and closes

contact breaker: See breaker points.

contact breaker gap: The distance between the contact points at their furthest opening.

contact breaker plate:

The plate on which the breaker points are mounted. When adjusting the points, the plate and the points are moved apart in relation to each other.

contact breaker point: The individual contact of the breaker points.

contact cement: See cement.

contact chatter: The rapid movement of the breaker arm as it opens and closes

contact controlled electronic ignition: See electronic ignition system.

contact gap: See point gap.

contactless electronic ignition: See breakerless transistorized ignition

contactless ignition: See breakerless.

contact patch: The area of a tire's tread that touches the ground.

contact pattern: The visible wear pattern created by two parts which touch each other

contact point: See contact points.

contact points: Two movable points or areas that when pressed together, complete a circuit. These points are usually made of tungsten, platinum, or silver.

Also see breaker points contact set: Replacement parts consisting of breaker points and possibly breaker plate and condenser.

contact spring: A spring which pushes on a contact which holds something in place and maintains contact.

contact zone: See tire contact zone

container: A strong steel box of standard dimensions of 8 feet square and length of 20 feet or 40 feet, in which cargo is preloaded. Also see catalyst container reefer container containerization: A shipping system where cargo is loaded into a large container at the factory and shipped from truck to train to ship, etc. without rehandling of contents within the container.

container ship: A ship designed to carry containers as cargo.

contamination: See catalyst contamination

contaminant: Some impurity in gasoline or oil or anything else.


See blood alcohol content

Continental: A vehicle brand of Ford cars of which the 1956-57 Mark II Click for books on models are milestone cars. Continental Also see Lincoln Continental continental tire: The bulge in the rear portion of the trunk which resembles a tire or a rear mounted tire Continental-type fuse: A ceramic fuse with conical end caps. They are color coded for different values.

Continuous AC Ignition System: Abbreviated CACIS. An ignition system where a high-energy alternating current arc burns for the entire power stroke. In this system, the spark plugs don't erode as quickly and the air/fuel mixture is more completely burned. Thus there is no need for a catalytic converter.

continuous injection system: (CIS) A mechanical fuel injection system designed and manufactured by Bosch, used on many German vehicles. In a CIS system, the fuel injectors are always open (i.e., they emit a continuous spray of fuel into the intake ports). The amount of fuel sprayed is determined by the fuel pressure in the system, which in turn is determined by the position of the throttle. Also see K-jetronic continuously variable transmission: Abbreviated CVT. See infinitely variable transmission.

continuous weld: Completing a weld in one operation

Conti tire system: Abbreviated CTS. A run flat tire and wheel combination which allows the tire to be run for up to 400 km (250 miles) at a speed of up to 80 kph (50 mph)

contour: See buff contour panel contour

contract carrier: A shipping company which is transporting goods because of a contract with another shipping company.

contracting-band brake: A brake in which a band is tightened around a rotating drum

contraction: A thermal action where the size (mass or dimension) of an object is reduced when cooled; the opposite of expansion.

contre: See outboard contre pente

contre pente: Abbreviated CP. A French designed wheel where the raised portion of one of the rim bead seat is designed to hold the tire bead of a nearly flat tire without breaking the bead (i.e., becoming unseated). Also see outboard contre pente contre pente on both bead seats: Abbreviated CP2. A safety rim contour with a contre pente on both rim bead seats

control: [1] A device or mechanism for adjusting a component. See cruise control. [2] The ability of the driver to make a vehicle perform as required. [3] To regulate. Also see air control

automatic frequency control automatic level control automatic speed control automatic temperature control automatic volume control balance control choke control clearance control climate control computer brake control corrosion control cruise control digital frequency control dimmer control dwell-angle control electric air control valve electronic control module electronic control unit electronic engine control electronic ride control electronic spark control electronic traction control electronic transmission control emission control engine control system evaporation control system evaporative emission control system exhaust emission control feedback control finance and control flow control ground clearance control headlight leveling control heat control valve height hamper pitch control hydraulic control block ignition control unit illumination control inflation control seam infrared remote control intermittent wiper control IR remote control knock control level control limit cycle control low-speed traction control

low speed traction control manifold heat control valve mirror control mixture control knob mixture control screw mixture control unit multi-function control stalk oil control ring overrun control valve piston ring, oil control remote control running-on control valve speed control temperature control vacuum control vacuum ignition-timing control vacuum timing control control arm: A metal strut on the suspension which is located at the top and bottom of the wheel spindle. The upper and lower control arms allow the front wheels to change direction. Also called a "wishbone" or "A-arm." Also see suspension system track control arm control arms: See control arm.

control block: See hydraulic control block

control box: A container which houses electrical components which regulate the action of something.

control cable: A wire cable which runs from a knob or lever to a device which operates or regulates. Also called a "control wire." Also see starter switch control cable

control computer: See spark control computer

contrôle: A checkpoint where randonneur bicycle riders must stop to have their route cards signed and stamped to prove they have kept to the course within the time limits.

control element: See temperature control element

control head: The dashboard mounted assembly which houses the mode selector, the blower switch and the temperature control lever of the heating, air conditioner, and ventilation system

Control Information: See Vehicle Emission Control Information

control knob: See mixture control knob

controlled burn rate: See CBR process

controlled canister purge: (CCP) ECM-controlled solenoid valve that permits manifold vacuum to purge the evaporative emissions from the charcoal canister

controlled combustion system: An emission control term used by General Motors to include the following:
• • • • • • •

modified combustion chamber design high-temperature coolant systems thermostatically controlled air cleaners very lean air/fuel mixtures high idle speeds severely retarded ignition timing TCS (transmission controlled spark) and TVS (thermal vacuum switch)

controlled electronic: See magnetically controlled electronic ignition

controlled electronic ignition: See contact controlled electronic ignition magnetically controlled electronic ignition capacitor controlled electronic ignition controlled intersection: A road junction which is controlled by traffic lights (signal lights)

controlled spark: See transmission controlled spark

controlled vehicle: A vehicle with a reduced emission system consisting of a catalytic converter, EGR, air injection, fuel evaporative emission control, etc. Also called a "detoxed vehicle."

controller: See battery discharge controller solid state controller control link: See toe control link

control module: See electronic control module transmission control module control orifice valve: See oil control orifice valve

control plunger: [1] A device in a fuel injection system which moves up and down to provide the correct amount of fuel to each cylinder. [2] One of several names for a solid state device which monitors engine conditions and controls certain engine functions, i.e., fuel injection, ignition timing, glow plug system in a diesels engine, etc

control pressure: [1] The pressure in a fuel injection system. [2] the pressure coming from line pressure or throttle pressure in the automatic transmission which pushes on the command valves. [3] In a Bosch CIS, the pressurized fuel used as a hydraulic control fluid to apply a counterforce to the control plunger in Bosch CIS. Control pressure alters the air-fuel ratio through the operation of the control-pressure regulator

control ring: See oil control ring.

controls: See dual controls emission controls exhaust emission controls instruments and controls steering column controls control screw: See mixture control screw volume control screw control seam: See inflation control seam

control stalk: A shaft which projects from the steering column just below the steering wheel. It may control lights, cruise control, wipers, windshield washer, signal lights, horn, etc. Also see multi-function control stalk

control switch: See vacuum control switch

control system: See active noise control system anti-spin regulation traction control system engine control system evaporation control system evaporative emission control system exhaust emission control system traction control system transmission control system control unit: See electronic control unit ignition control unit mixture control unit vacuum control unit warm-up control unit control vacuum advance: See speed control vacuum advance

control valve: A valve which regulates or operates a system, especially a hydraulic or vacuum control system. Also see air control valve boost control valve electric air control valve heat control valve manifold heat control valve oil control orifice valve overrun control valve running-on control valve control valve assembly: A casting located in the sump of the automatic transmission. It contains most of the valves for the hydraulic control system.

control wire: A wire cable which runs from a knob or lever to a device which operates or regulates. Also called a "control cable."

controlled combustion system: (CCS) A system of reducing unburned hydrocarbon emission from the engine exhaust.

conv: Abbreviation for "convertible."

convection: The transfer of heat from one object to another when the hotter object heats the surrounding air and the air in turn heats the other object. Also see thermal convection conventional oxidation catalyst: (COC) a catalyst which acts on the two major pollutants: HC and CO

convenience: See flags of convenience

conventional cross ply: A tire having two or more carcass plies arranged in a criss-cross manner and diagonally to the beads and travels approximately 1/3 the distance around the circumference before attaching to the other bead. Each cord in the next ply is arranged in the same manner, but in the opposite direction.

conventional ignition: The transfer of heat from one object to another when the hotter object heats the surrounding air and the air in turn heats the other object.

conventional ignition system: An ignition system consisting of the battery, ignition switch, ballast resistor, ignition coil, distributor, contact breaker points, condenser, centrifugal or vacuum advance unit, spark plugs, and high tension wires.

conventional spare tire: A spare tire & rim which is the same size as the other four wheels. Most cars do not have them because they take up too much space in the trunk.

conventional theory: The direction of current flow was arbitrarily chosen to be from the positive terminal of the voltage source, through the external circuit, then back to the negative terminal of the source

conventional tire: A bias ply tire.

conversion: [1] The change from one state to another, e.g., harmful gases into harmless gases. [2] altered state of a particular system, or set of parts needed to achieve it. Also see manual choke conversion energy conversion tractive conversion conversion coating: A coating of some metal which uses the same kind of metal in the coating compound and improves paint adhesion and corrosion resistance

conversion rate: The rate at which a given catalytic converter purifies the exhaust gas stream, governed by various parameters such as operating conditions and converter design

converter: [1] When used with LPG (propane), it is a device which turns LPG (propane) from liquid to vapor for use in the engine. [2] Referring to a transmission it is the device that transfers engine torque to the transmission. Also see catalytic converter dual-bed catalytic converter hydrodynamic torque converter lock-up torque converter

lockup torque converter mini catalytic converter monolithic converter open-loop catalytic converter oxidizing converter pellet-type catalytic converter primary catalytic converter rust converter single-bed 3-way catalytic converter single-bed oxidizing converter three-way catalytic converter three way catalytic converter torque converter two-way catalytic converter converter case: An assembly in the automatic transmission encasing the impeller with the converter cover welded to it. It contains the converter fluid and vane wheels and connected to the crankshaft by means of the drive plate and revolving at engine speed.

converter, catalytic: See catalytic converter three-way catalytic converter converter cover: A part in the automatic transmission that is welded to the pump and makes up the converter case

converter drive plate: See torque converter drive plate

converter housing: [1] A stationary outer part of the automatic transmission which encloses the converter case. Also see torque converter housing [2] The housing of a catalytic converter. Also called "converter shell."

converter lock-up clutch:

See torque converter lock-up clutch

converter preheating: An emission control device which increases catalytic action in cold starts when HC and CO are their highest. Although not in use in current cars, it may become necessary in the future. Thus it may mean the following: Take longer to start a vehicle in the morning, require a larger battery, necessitate plugging a vehicle into household circuit, need for frequent replacement of the catalytic converter. Also see preheating converter shell: See the second definition of converter housing

convertible: Generally this is a two-door automobile without a fixed roof. Instead, the roof folds up or is removed in some way so that the passenger compartment is exposed to the open air. Some roofs are made of flexible fabric or plastic which folds up behind the passenger compartment. Other roofs are not flexible and retract into the trunk. Some retract automatically while others must be manually removed and placed in the trunk. The term was introduced in the 1930s. In the 1950s, a hardtop convertible was introduced to look like a convertible with its top up; but its fixed roof did not fold or retract. It was also called a "drophead coupé" or "open car." Also see hardtop convertible convertible sedan: This is similar to the sedan body type, but with provisions of lowering both the allweather side windows and the fabric top to create a four-door convertible.

convertible top: The soft foldable canvas or vinyl top of a convertible. It usually has a clear plastic rear window.

convex weld: A weld with the face above the eld edges

coolant: Liquid in the cooling system. Usually a mixture of water and antifreeze (ethylene glycol). This mixture lowers the freezing point of the water in the cooling system,

prevents rust and corrosion, lubricates the water pump, and picks up heat from the engine and transfers it to the air passing through the radiator. Also see engine coolant coolant controlled exhaust gas recirculation: (CCEGR) a system that prevents exhaust gas recirculation until engine coolant temperature reaches a specific value

coolant level warning light: A small light on the dash which is illuminated when the radiator is low on coolant

coolant pump: See water pump

coolant recovery system: A small bottle that acts as a reservoir for liquid expelled from the cooling system through the overflow pipe and returns the liquid to the system when it cools down. A special radiator pressure cap is also part of the kit. It is also called a "Closed Cooling System" when it is part of the original equipment.

coolant temperature override switch: CTO A switch that prevents vacuum from reaching a component until coolant temperature reaches a certain value

coolant temperature sensor: A sensor located at the bottom of the radiator which is connected to the temperature gauge.

cooled: See air-cooled air cooled liquid-cooled water-cooled cooled engine:

See air cooled engine

cooled valve: See sodium cooled valve

cooler: A device for cooling hot liquid or air by passing air through the vanes of a heat sink. Also see aftercooler oil cooler cooler bypass: See oil cooler bypass valve

cooler bypass valve: See oil cooler bypass valve

cooling: See charge air cooling fan cooling flushing the cooling system intercooling thermosyphon cooling cooling fan: [1] A large fan designed to suck relatively cool air and force it onto a warm object like an engine. [2] A large fan designed to pull away the radiant warm air surrounding a hot object.

cooling fins: The greater the surface area that needs to be cooled, the better you will be able to cool off a hot object, like an engine. By putting a number of fins on a surface, you increase the overall area. On air cooled engines, for instance, you will see a series of closely formed ridges or fins in parallel. As the air passes by them, the engine heat is dissipated.

cooling jacket:

See water jacket

cooling system: The system that removes heat from the engine. In a water-cooled engine it includes radiator, pressure cap, fan, water pump, thermostat, water jackets; in an air-cooled engine it consists of a fan, cooling fins, and ducting. Also see closed cooling system flushing the cooling system water cooling system copolymer: A polymer produced from two different monomers. Also see graft copolymer copper core: The center electrode of a spark plug or the center wires of a high tension wire which is made of copper.

copper-faced hammer: A hammer with a round head made of copper or brass. It is used to hit objects without damaging them where hitting them with a steel hammer might.

copper plating: The application of a thin layer of copper by a process of electrolysis. Primarily it is done to electrical contacts and terminals to give excellent conduction of electricity.

Cord: [1] A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 model cars are classic cars. [2] A strand of fabric or steel cable used in the ply of a tire. [3] A rope. Also see bungee cord cordura: The brand name for a heavy-duty, synthetic material made by DuPont that feels like canvas. It is often used in the manufacture of lightweight clothing, backpacks, and camping gear.

core: [1] When referring to casting -- a sand unit placed inside of a mold so that when the metal is poured, the core will leave a hollow shape. [2] The magnetic center of a coil usually made of iron. [3] The primary part (engine block, alternator, starter, radiator, etc.) which has malfunctioned, but is still suitable for rebuilding or remanufacturing. You can exchange it for a new or rebuilt part. Thus, instead of paying full price for a new alternator, you can submit your old alternator as a core and pay a lower amount for the new alternator. "CORE" is an acronym for "cash on return." Also see bead core copper core laminated iron core timer core valve core core charge: The word "core" is short for "cash on return." When you purchase a part which is rebuildable, you can return your old part and receive a core charge. Generally a core charge is collected for engines, crankshafts, alternators, radiators, brake shoes. If the part is beyond repair, there may be no core charge.

core hole plug: See core plug freeze plug core hole plugs: See core plug.

core/insulator: See projected core/insulator nose

core/insulator nose: See projected core/insulator nose

core leads:

See carbon-core leads

core plug: A metal plug located in the sides of the engine block which can pop out because of excessive pressure or freezing and prevent the engine block from cracking. These plugs are located in the water jacket and can sometimes leak and should then be replaced. Block heaters are installed by removing a core plug and inserting a heating element. Core plugs are also called "freeze plugs" or "expansion plugs."

core plugs: See core plug.

core support: The framework that supports the radiator and air conditioner condenser assembly and also serves as the attaching point for the front fenders, grille assembly, hood latch, etc.

corncob: A bicycle term used to describe a cluster of cogs on a racing freewheel because of the small variation in number of teeth on adjacent cogs.

corner: See inside corner weld outside corner weld rear corner valance rear corner panel cornering: The negotiation of a curve, bend, or corner of a road. Good cornering ability allows the vehicle to go around a curve at a reasonable speed without body roll and breakaway.

cornering force: The forces exerted on a tire by the slip angle when moving around a curve. Also see ultimate cornering force cornering limit:

The maximum speed that a vehicle can travel around a particular curve.

cornering speed: The speed that a vehicle makes when turning. It is relative to the sharpness of the curve and the ability of the vehicle to stay on the road under control.

corner joint: A junction formed by edges of two pieces of metal touching each other at an angle of about 90°

corner panel: A panel used to fill a gap between larger panels or frame members meeting at an angle and to serve as a stiffener, such as those at the intersection of sidemembers and crossmembers and the rear corner panels of rear fenders. Also see rear corner panel windshield corner panel corners: See across corners

corner steady: A British term for a jack stand used to support and level the corner of a parked travel trailer.

corner valance: See rear corner valance

corner weld: See inside corner weld outside corner weld Corolla: A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

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A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

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corporate Average Fuel Economy: (CAFE) Regulation enacted in 1975 which requires a motor vehicle manufacturer to classify its U.S. vehicle fleet sales as either domestic or import for the purpose of fuel economy averaging.

corporation: Business association endowed by law with the rights and liabilities of an individual

correction jet: See air correction jet

corrector: See height corrector

corrode: To eat away, gradually, the surface material from an object by chemical action, such as rust.

corrosion: The chemical process in which a metal is eaten away (i.e., rusting). Also see anti-corrosion atmospheric corrosion bimetallic corrosion cold-condensate corrosion electrochemical corrosion electrolytic corrosion fretting corrosion galvanic corrosion general corrosion graphitic corrosion intercrystalline corrosion intergranular corrosion localized corrosion microbial corrosion oxygen corrosion pitting corrosion scab corrosion

selective corrosion underfilm corrosion uniform corrosion corrosion control: The minimizing of corrosion by coating with a protective metal, an oxide, or similar substance, or with protective paint, or by making the metal passive.

corrosion cracking: See stress corrosion cracking

corrosion inhibitor: A substance which reduces or prevents corrosion in oils, anti-freeze, paints, etc.

corrosion prevention: The minimizing of corrosion by coating with a protective metal, an oxide, or similar substance, or with protective paint, or by making the metal passive.

corrosion product: A substance formed as a result of corrosion (i.e., the rust itself)

corrosion protection: The minimizing of corrosion by coating with a protective metal, an oxide, or similar substance, or with protective paint, or by making the metal passive.

corrosion resistance: The ability of metal not to corrode. For example, nickel has a high corrosion resistance while iron does not.

corrosion warranty: See anti-corrosion warranty

corrosive: Causing corrosion, e.g., acid is corrosive because it eats away the substance on which it is applied. That's why acid rain is so harmful to the surface of automobiles. Also see anti-corrosive

Ford Cortina: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford of England

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Corvair: A vehicle brand of which the 1960-64 Monza models are milestone cars. The 1962-64 Monza Spyder models are milestone cars. The 1965-69 Monza/Corsa models are milestone cars.

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Corvette: A vehicle brand of which the 1953-70 models are milestone cars. See also a history of the Corvette cost:

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The price that a shop charges for a vehicle or one of its components. To the shop, it is the price they pay for the component (i.e., the net price) to which they add an amount or percentage to arrive at the selling price. Also see cap cost capitalized cost net cap cost net capitalized cost opportunity cost total Out-Of-Pocket Cost operating costs cost-effective: worthwhile. Usually a determination of whether repairing a vehicle is worth the expense in comparison with junking or selling it in favor of purchasing a newer vehicle. If you spend a $1000 to repair a vehicle worth $20,000, that is cost effective. If you spend a $1000 to repair a vehicle worth $200, it probably is not. The exception would be a vehicle which has nostalgic or historic value.

cost of production: actual cost to the manufacturer of producing a vehicle (does not include mark-up).

cost option: An optional item for a new vehicle for which extra money must be paid to obtain it.

cost per kilometer: A ratio which is obtained by dividing the total cost of the tire by the distance the tire has gone. The total cost involves adding up the initial price of the tire, price of retreading, repairs, rotation of tires, balancing tires, and other services. From this total any credits such as warranty, rebates, and trade-in value is subtracted. It must be remembered that when calculating the cost per kilometer of summer tires if winter tires were installed for a few months that only the number of kilometers that the summer tires were actually in use should be determined for this ratio. When purchasing tires, it may be helpful to divide the retail cost by the number of expected kilometers in order to compare one brand or one series against another.

cost per mile: A ratio which is obtained by dividing the total cost of the tire by the distance the tire has gone. The total cost involves adding up the initial price of the tire, price of retreading, repairs, rotation of tires, balancing tires, and other services. From this total any credits such as warranty, rebates, and trade-in value is subtracted. It must be remembered that when calculating the cost per mile of summer tires if winter tires were installed for a few months that only the number of miles that the summer tires were actually in use should be determined for this ratio. When purchasing tires, it may be helpful to divide the retail cost by the number of expected miles in order to compare one brand or one series against another.

cost reduction: See cap cost reduction capitalized cost reduction cost reduction effort: See supplier cost reduction effort

Cotal gearbox: A semi-automatic electrically controlled transmission made in France just after WWII

cotter: A tapered pin or wedge which is inserted into holes in two parts to secure them. Older bicycles used a cotter to secure the crank arm to the crank spindle. Also see cottered crank cotter pin:

A fastener shaped like a pin, but split up the center. After it is inserted, the legs are bent around the item containing the hole. A length of wire which is folded almost in half and the bend forms an eye. Also called a "split pin."

cottered crank: A bicycle crankset in which the crankarms are fastened to the axle by means of threaded cotter pins and nuts.

cotterless crank: A bicycle crankset in which the crankarms are fastened to the axle by means of nuts or bolts instead of cotter pins.

cotterless crankset: A bicycle crankset in which the crankarms are fastened to the axle by means of nuts or bolts instead of cotter pins.

coulomb: Abbreviated: C. A unit of electric charge. It is the amount of electricity conveyed in one second by a current of one ampere.

Council for Automotive Research: See United States Council for Automotive Research

counter: See rev counter revolution counter trip mileage counter counter balance: A weight attached to some moving part so that the part will be in balance. Also see crankshaft counter-balance counterbore: Enlarging a hole to a certain depth.


Rotation to the left as if the hands of a clock were going backwards. In most cases it is the direction to remove a nut from a bolt. It is the opposite to clockwise.

counterforce: In Bosch CIS, the force of the fuel-pressure applied to the top of the control plunger to balance the force of the airflow pushing against the sensor plate

counter gear: See cluster gear.

countershaft: The shaft in a manual gearbox that carries power by means of gears from the clutch shaft to the driveshaft, turning opposite to them. The British term is "layshaft"

countersink: To make a counterbore so that the head of a screw may set flush, or below the surface.

countersunk bolt: A bolt with a special head. The underside of the head is tapered to fit into a hole that has tapered sides (countersunk hole) so that when the bolt is screwed in all the way, the top of the bolt is flush with the surface

countersunk hole: A hole with sloping sides where the top of the hole is larger than the bottom of the hole as in the shape of the letter "V"

countersunk screw: A screw with a special head. The underside of the head is tapered to fit into a hole that has tapered sides (countersunk hole) so that when the screw is screwed in all the way, the top of the screw is flush with the surface

counterweight: [1] Weight added to a rotating shaft or wheel to balance normal loads on the part and offset vibration. Counterweights are used on the crankshaft and are often found on the flywheel and driveshaft. [2] A balance weight

coupe: An enclosed single-compartment body with two doors and varying passenger capacity depending on seat arrangements. The SAE standard J1100 defines it as having less than 33 cubic feet (934 liters) of interior volume. Larger coupes have rear quarter windows. Coupes have fixed permanent back panels and top, as well as a luggage compartment in the rear deck. Originally it meant a vehicle which was "cut" (thus the French "coupé") by a glass partition behind the front seats so that the driver was exposed to the air while those in the back were enclosed. Also see club coupe drophead coupé hatchback coupe sport coupe three-door hatchback coupe two-door club coupe two-door coupe two-door hatchback coupe coupé: See coupe

coupled sedan: See close coupled sedan

coupler: A device which links two other components.

coupling: A connecting device used between two objects so motion of one will be imparted to the other; it may be mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical. Also see doughnut coupling föttinger coupling flexible coupling fluid coupling foettinger coupling guibo coupling layrub coupling rotoflex coupling rubber coupling rubber doughnut coupling

shaft-to-cage coupling shaft-to-shaft coupling viscous coupling coupling differential: See viscous coupling differential

coupling point: This refers to the point at which both the pump and the turbine in a torque converter are travelling at the same speed, the drive is almost direct at this point.

coupling sleeve: A collar or sleeve which is moved along the main shaft of a transmission by a selector fork engaging in a groove on its center and having dog clutches at either end.

courier bag: A flat rectangular-shaped bag with a long strap. They are slung over the head and one shoulder. Called a courier bag because they were originally made for motorcycle and bicycle couriers.

course: See road course

courtesy light: A light in the cab of a vehicle which is illuminated when the door is opened.

cover: [1] A protective panel designed to protect or hide components. Also see arm cover battery cover car cover clutch cover converter cover dust cover end cover end cover plate engine cover

headlight cover nut cover rocker arm cover rocker cover gasket rocker cover sill cover tonneau cover transfer port cover transmission cover valve cover wheel cover [2] The tire itself as opposed to the inner tube.

coverage: The surface area that a given quantity of paint will cover adequately

covered electrode: A metal rod used in arc welding which has a covering of materials to aid in the arc welding process

cover gasket: See rocker cover gasket valve cover gasket cover plate: See end cover plate

cowl: [1] The part of the vehicle body between the engine firewall and the front of the dash panel. It usually houses the instruments and the plenum chamber for the heater-ventilation system. The British term is "scuttle." [2] The part of the bodywork which protects and/or provides streamlining for a usually projecting component.

cowl chassis: A truck chassis with front fenders and hood as well as the instrument panel. It is used for companies want their own custom body and cab.

cowling: The part of the bodywork which protects and/or provides streamlining for a usually projecting component.

cowl panel: A British term for cowl

cowl section: A subassembly of the body shell that includes the bulkhead, cowl, and windscreen pillars; it is preassembled in the factory and spot-welded with the other subassemblies to form the body shell

cowl shake: This is a vibration or shake of a vehicle, usually a convertible type, in the cowl area due to lack of torsional rigidity of the frame and body. A certain amount is almost unavoidable in convertibles unless frame-strengthening weight penalties are of no concern.

cowl side panel: A vertical panel at either end of the cowl

CP: Acronym for contre pente

CP2: Acronym for contre pente on both bead seats

cpe: Abbreviation for "coupe."

C pillar: See C-post.

C-pillar: The body post that supports the rear of the roof and to which the left and right sides of the back glass are attached. Also called "C-post."

C post: See C-post.

C-post: The body post that supports the rear of the roof and to which the left and right sides of the back glass are attached. Also called "C-pillar."

CPSOV: Acronym for canister purge shut-off valve

CR: Acronym for "compression ratio."

crab: The action of a vehicle where the rear wheels are offset from the track of the front wheels.

crab-tracked: A situation where the front wheels are wider apart than the rear.

crack: [1] To open something just a little. [2] A fracture in something which does not split it open. A hairline crack is a very narrow fracture which is often barely visible with the naked eye. Also see circumferential crack groove cracks incipient crack cracker: A non-American colloquial term for something that is very enjoyable, e.g., "My car's a cracker." Also see nut cracker cracking: [1] The action of opening a valve slightly and then closing the valve immediately. [2] forming of cracks for instance in the sidewalls of a tire because of the hardening of the rubber or in paintwork because of weathering.

Also see heat cracking radial cracking stress corrosion cracking stress cracking weather cracking cracking groove: A split in the grooves of the tread caused by excessive strain.

cracking tread: A split in the grooves of the tread caused by excessive strain.

cradle frame: A motorcycle frame with two tubes passing under the engine. Also see open cradle frame crank: [1] An arm set at right angles to a shaft or axle, used for converting reciprocal (toand-fro) motion into circular motion. Also see cottered crank cotterless crank flat crank hand crank [2] The action of trying to start a vehicle engine or an electrical motor by means of a crank handle or by an electrical starter.

crankarm: [1] A part, one end of which is attached to the bottom bracket axle and the other holds a pedal, whose forward rotation provides the leverage needed to power the bicycle. [2] An arm set at right angles to a shaft or axle, used for converting reciprocal (toand-fro) motion into circular motion.

crankarm fixing bolt: The bolt that holds a crankarm on the end of the axle in a cotterless crankset of a bicycle.

crankcase: The lower part of the engine that surrounds the crankshaft. It contains the crankshaft, piston cylinders, connecting rods and other moving parts of the engine. As well, in non-air-cooled engines, it has a number of internal passages for the coolant and oil transfer. In air-cooled engines, it has internal passages for oil transfer; but usually it has fins on the exterior to dissipate the heat. The crankcase is not to be confused with the pan which is a thin steel cover that is bolted to the bottom of the crankcase. Also see positive crankcase ventilation system positive crankcase ventilation crankcase breather: A vent which allows fumes and blow-by gases to escape. It reduces condensation. This breather is usually connected to the air intake of the carburetor so that the fumes can be burned in the combustion chamber

crankcase compression: The primary compression in a two-stroke engine located below the pistons and enables a more fresh charge to be fed into the cylinder. Also called "crankcase precompression."

crankcase depression regulator: (CDR) a device which aids in the control of crankcase gases by maintaining a specific amount of vacuum in the crankcase

crankcase dilution: An accumulation of unburned gasoline in the crankcase, an excessively rich fuel mixture or poor combustion will allow a certain amount of gasoline to pass down between the pistons and cylinder walls and dilute the engine oil.

crankcase emissions: Pollutants allowed to escape into the atmosphere from the crankcase

crankcase half: One side of a crankcase usually split down the middle. Usually found in motorcycle engine.

crankcase pre-compression: See crankcase compression

crankcase scavenging: A system in a two-stroke engine where the fresh charge is induced into the cylinder by way of the crankcase and the transfer ports

crankcase ventilation: circulation of air through the crankcase of a running engine to remove water, blowby, and other gases in order to prevent oil dilution and contamination, sludge formation, and pressure build-up. Also see closed crankcase ventilation positive crankcase ventilation positive crankcase ventilation system crankcase ventilation system: See positive crankcase ventilation system

cranked: something which has an elbow or right-angle shape.

cranking: The act of engaging the starter by turning the key in the ignition switch which makes the engine turn over. In the old days, a hand crank was used to do this, thus the term "cranking." Also see cold cranking ability cranking ability: See cold cranking ability

cranking amps: See cold cranking amps

cranking circuit: See starting system.

cranking motor: See starter.

cranking On The Throttle: The action of moving a twist grip so that more fuel enters the engine and thus increases the speed of the vehicle.

cranking speed: The speed at which the starter turns the engine.

crank kit: A reground or reconditioned crankshaft and new main and connecting rod bearings

crankpin: The bearing surface on a crank of the crankshaft to which the connecting rod is attached. Also called the "journal" or "crank throw." Also see splayed crankpins crankset: A group of components on a bicycle that includes the bottom bracket removable parts, two crankarms, and one or more chainrings. Also see cotterless crankset crankshaft: A main rotating shaft running the length of the engine. The crankshaft is supported by main bearings. Portions of the shaft are offset to form throws to which the connecting rods are attached. As the pistons move up and down, the connecting rods move the crankshaft around. The turning motion of the crankshaft is transmitted to the transmission and eventually to the driving wheels. Also see assembled crankshaft balanced crankshaft built-up crankshaft offset crankshaft stroked crankshaft

crankshaft counter-balance: A series of weights attached to or forged integrally with the crankshaft so placed as to offset the reciprocating weight of each piston and rod assembly crankshaft counterbalance: Series of weights attached to or forged integrally with crankshaft & placed to offset reciprocating weight of each piston and rod assembly

crankshaft gear: A gear mounted on the front of the crankshaft. It is used to drive the camshaft gear.

crankshaft journal: The journals running in the main bearings as opposed to those for the big-end bearings.

crankshaft position sensor: A sensor which sends information concerning the precise position of the crankshaft so that accurate ignition timing can be achieved.

crankshaft pulley: A wheel attached to the front end of the crankshaft which is connected by fan belts to the fan, the alternator, and other devices so that the rotating crankshaft can drive these other parts as well. The crankshaft pulley usually has timing marks located on it, and these are necessary for checking and adjusting timing with a timing light. Also called a "harmonic balance wheel."

crankshaft runout: A term used to describe how much a crankshaft is bent

crankshaft sprocket: A chain-sprocket mounted on the nose of the crankshaft which drives the camshaft by means of a timing chain

crank throw: [1] The part of the crankshaft that the connecting rod fastens to. See crankpin. [2] The distance between the crankpin and the axis of rotation or centerline of the crankshaft, which is equal to half the stroke

crank web:

One of the pair of arms which carry the big-end journal

crash: A vehicle collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. Also see car crash frontal crash head-on crash oblique crash test crash barrier: A longitudinal railing usually found on the edge of the road especially around a curve to help prevent vehicles from leaving the road.

crash box: An informal term for a non-synchromesh transmission. Short term for "crash gearbox."

crash gearbox: An informal term for a non-synchromesh transmission.

crash recorder: An electronic device which measures and records a number of characteristics of a vehicle for 60 seconds before a crash: the speed, direction, braking, etc. so that the cause of a crash can be determined.

crash sensor: A sensor which deploys an air bag when a crash is determined -- usually because of excessive deceleration

crash test: A controlled test of a vehicle in which it is propelled into a wall or another vehicle at a given speed in order to determine the effect on its structure and the effectiveness of its safety devices. Also see oblique crash test crash test dummy:

A specially designed manikin which records the effects in the event of a crash

crate: [1] A framework of wooden boards for protecting something during transport. [2] A vehicle which appears to be unreliable and ready to fall apart.

crater: A depression in the face of a weld, usually at the termination of an arc weld

cratering: The formation of holes in the paint coat due to surface contaminants.

crawler: A British term for a slow-moving vehicle

crawler gear: A British term for a very low gear used especially in off-road application

crawler lane: A British term for a truck lane for slow moving trucks, especially going up a hill.

crazing: Many fine cracks in the paint surface, resembling crow's feet. It is similar to checking, but more sever, where fine lines or cracks appear in the paint

cream: [1] To hit another vehicle. [2] A soft paste. Also see barrier cream crease: A wrinkle or ridge in metal as a result of design or accident damage.


[1] The tendency of a vehicle with automatic transmission to edge forward when idling when the transmission is in Drive and the brake is not engaged. Also called "idling drag." [2] When a crankshaft has slightly excessive runout (is slightly bent), it can sometimes be corrected by laying the crank in its saddles, installing the center main bearing cap (with its bearing insert) and leaving it for a day or two. Sometimes the crank will creep or bend enough to put it within the specified runout range

creepage: The slow spreading of rust under the paint which usually first appears as a blister and then flaking

creeper: A platform on four small caster wheels that allows you to move around easily while lying on your back under your vehicle. Also see mechanic's creeper crescent: The part between the inner and outer gears of an internal gear pump

crescent wrench: An adjustable wrench with smooth jaws.

Cressida: A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota crest:

Click for books on Cressida

The highest point of a screw thread. The opposite is called a "root." Also see thread crest crew cab: A pickup truck with a larger passenger compartment usually with four doors.

crimper tool: See wire stripper/crimper tool

crimping: The creation of corrugations in two thin metal parts as they are pressed tightly together in order to join them. This is often the method used to attach fittings to the end of an electrical wire -- thus avoiding the necessity of soldering

crimping pliers: A tool which looks like pliers with serrated jaws which are used to attach fittings to the end of an electrical wire.

crimping tool: A tool which looks like pliers with serrated jaws which are used to attach fittings to the end of an electrical wire.

critical speed: The top speed of an engine or shaft at which unwanted vibration begins.

crocodile clip: British term for alligator clip

Crosley: A vehicle brand of which the 1950-52 Hotshot/SS models are milestone cars.

crossbar: [1] any transverse bar, especially a tie rod across the chassis. [2] The top tube of a bicycle or motorcycle frame. [3] A short bar used to assist a combination wrench in providing extra torque. The British term is "Tommy bar"

cross-bolt: A system of securing the main bearing caps with four bolts per cap by which two bolts support the bearing cap from below, in the conventional manner, and two other bolts enter the bearing from the side, passing through the sides of the engine block. The cross-bolts are visible from the outside of the engine. This system of securing the main bearing caps ensures good side-to-side, as well as up-and-down rigidity

cross border shopping:

See Canadian cross border shopping

cross bracing: strengthening ribs or other members which connect two sides of a frame

cross coat: Paint spraying technique in which consecutive coats are sprayed at right angles to one another

cross-country vehicle: An off road vehicle

cross-draft carburetor: A sidedraft carburetor

cross-draught carburetor: A sidedraft carburetor

crossflow cylinder head: A cylinder head design (especially in an OHC engine) with the inlet manifold on one side and the exhaust manifold on the other side of the head, so that inlet and exhaust valves are arranged on opposite sides of the combustion chamber, giving a wider engine but better gas flow.

crossflow head: A cylinder head with the intake valves) on one side of the combustion chamber and the exhaust valve(s) on the other. Also called T-head

crossflow radiator: A radiator in which the water flows sideways instead of vertically, and which is therefore wider than it is high, permitting a lower hood line

cross hatch: See cross-hatch.


The desired checkerboard design of the inner surface of cylinder after it is honed.

cross-hatch coat: Checkerboard application of paint to be sure of a continuous paint film. One medium coat is usually followed by a second medium coat in a perpendicular direction.

cross-head screw: A screw with a slot which looks like an X or + into which the tip of the blade of a Phillips or Reed and Prince screwdriver can be inserted

cross-head screwdriver: A Phillips or Reed and Prince screwdriver where the tip forms an X or +

cross-jetting: Rejetting the carburetor jets from left-to-right to compensate for a left-to right variation in performance. These tests are usually conducted using an engine dynamometer

cross member: A brace or strut which provides structural stability for the sides of a frame -- often in the shape of an "X". Also see axle crossmember rear axle crossmember rubber-isolated crossmember crossover: See heat crossover.

crossover gearing: A bicycle gearing system whose shift sequence involves moving from the lowest to the midrange of gears on the smaller chainring, then crossing over to the larger chainring for the remainder of the gears.

cross ply: See conventional cross ply

cross-ply tire: See bias ply tire

cross-point screwdriver: A Phillips or Reed and Prince screwdriver where the tip forms an X or +

cross scavenging: Scavenging in a two-stroke engine with flow across the cylinder assisted by a wedge-shaped piston crown

cross section: A view of an object when cut transversely at right angles across its center. Also see section width cross-shaft: [1] Any transverse shaft. [2] The outgoing shaft of the steering gearbox, to which the pitman arm is connected. The British term is "rocker shaft"

cross-shaft lug wrench: See lug wrench.

cross-shaft lug wrench: See lug wrench.

cross shaft: The shaft in the steering gearbox that engages the steering shaft worm, the cross shaft is splined to the pitman arm.

cross-spoke wheel: Modern design of alloy wheel which imitates the appearance of the classical wire wheel

cross-threaded: The characteristic of a bolt or nut in which the bolt is inserted at an angle so that the original threads are damaged

cross three: A spoking pattern in which a spoke passes over two and under a third spoke before being attached to the rim.

crosswind: Wind blowing at the side of a vehicle

crotch rocket: See sportbike.

crowbar: A iron bar tool with a crook at one end with a forking device for removing nails, etc. The other end has a wedge shape.

crowded engine compartment: An engine compartment or bay in which all the available space around the engine is occupied by other objects (alternator, pumps, air intake system, battery, wiper motor, heater motor, windshield washer motor, starter, radiator, air conditioner, hoses, pipes, wiring, electronic boxes, etc.)

crown: [1] The tread area of a tire. [2] The top part of the head of a piston. [3] The outward curvature of an apparently flat sheet metal Click for books on panel. Crown [4] The curve or convex surface of a properly finished weld. [5] A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota Also see fork crown high crown spoon low crown panel pent crown piston piston crown valve crown crown panel: See

high crown panel low crown panel crown piston: See pent crown piston

crown radius: The measurement of the curvature of a tire tread between the shoulders of the tire. Expressed as a percentage, it indicates the relative flatness of the tire tread area.

crown spoon: See high crown spoon

Crown Victoria: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

Click for books on Ford Crown Victoria

crown wheel: The larger of two gears in a bevel gear drive with teeth around its periphery facing sideways

crown wheel and pinion: A pair of gears in the final drive of a vehicle, always found in the back axle of a rear-wheel drive layout where the pinion is on the end of the propeller shaft driving the crown wheel mounted on the differential at right angles to it, and also in frontwheel drives where the engine is not transversely mounted

crown width: The distance of a tire tread shoulder to shoulder measured along the buffed contour.

CRT: Acronym for cathode ray tube

cruciform frame: A frame with an X-shaped bracing either as a chassis frame, or in a monocoque as strengthening for the floor

crude oil: Unrefined petroleum as it comes out of the ground. It forms the basis of gasoline, engine oil, diesel oil, kerosene, etc.

cruise: To drive at a constant speed, often at highway speed.

cruise control: A feature that keeps your vehicle moving at a set speed. Old cruise controls were mere throttle control units which kept the engine speed the same. When the vehicle approached a hill, the vehicle slowed down noticeable going up and speeded up going down. Later models used vacuum controls to push or pull on the accelerator rod. Newer models use electronic controls to accomplish this task. It can be turned off by hitting the off button or touching the brake pedal. The resume switch allows you to return to the pre-set speed after brake disengagement. The coast switch slows the speed down and the accelerate switch increases it.

cruiser: [1] Any motorcycle designed to be ridden long distances. [2] Motorcycle riders who ride long distances.

cruiser bag: A leather bag which is mounted on the top surface of the fuel tank or possibly other parts of a motorcycle. Although it can be filled with anything for a trip, usually it contains items that you want to access quickly (e.g., camera, road map).

cruiser stern: A spoon-shaped stern used on most merchant ships designed to give maximum immersed length

cruising circuit: The main carburetor metering system

cruising speed: constant speed at which a vehicle can be driven on the highway

crumple zone: An area of a vehicle that is designed to compress during an accident to absorb the energy from the impact.

crush: A slight distortion of the bearing shell that holds it in place as the engine operates

crusher: A machine which crushes scrapped cars into small blocks.

crush height: The precision insert bearing must fit the bottom end of the connecting rod in order to transfer friction heat to the connecting rod. The insert will protrude a small amount above the rod bore parting surface. This distance is called the crush height. When the rod halves are drawn together, the inserts touch before the halves, thus forcing the inserts tightly into place.

crush washer: A disc with a hole in the center. It is placed around the threads of a bolt and secured with a nut or screwed into a hole. When the head of the bolt is forced against it, the washer is squashed. Crush washers are used on some spark plugs to provide a better seal when installed.

CRX: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda CRX

cryogenics: The study of physical phenomena at a temperature below -50°F (46°C)

c spanner: See C-spanner.

c-spanner: A wrench whose end is shaped like a C, used to loosen the lockring on a bottom bracket of a bicycle.

CSSA: Acronym for "Chambre Syndicale Suisse de L'Automobile et Branches Annexes" (Switzerland).

CTC: Acronym for "Chrysler Technology Centre."

CTO: Acronym for coolant temperature override switch

CTS: Acronym for Conti Tire System

CTVS: Acronym for choke thermal vacuum switch

cubby hole: A glove compartment on older cars, often without a lid.

cubes: A colloquial term for cubic inches, or cubic inch displacement of an engine.

cube van: A truck with a large compartment behind the driver's cab and used for moving various products.

cubic capacity: See displacement.

cubic centimeter: (cc) Metric measurement of engine displacement. 1000 cc = 1 liter (litre) which is about 61 cubic inches (61.02374409). Thus a 428 cubic inch engine is 7 liters (428/61) and a 2 liter engine is 122 cubic inches (2 x 61).

cubic inch: a measurement of volume equal to 16.387 cc

cubic inch displacement: See displacement.

cubic inch engine: An engine which is measured in cubic inches rather than cubic centimeters.

cu. ft.: Abbreviation for "cubic feet."

cu. in.: Abbreviation for "cubic inch" (also C.I.).

cult car: A car which has many enthusiastic owners, but may not necessarily be a classic or milestone car.

Cunningham: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars. The 1951-55 models are milestone cars.

cuno filter: A filter made up of a series of fine discs or plates pressed together in a manner that leaves a very minute space between the discs. Liquid is forced through these openings to produce a straining action.

cup: A type of lip seal used on hydraulic pistons. Also see adjustable cup agitation cup bearing cup bearing shell cup washer fixed cup vacuum suction cup viscosity cup cup dent puller: See suction cup dent puller

cup holder:

A device to hold a coffee cup or pop bottle. Also called beverage holder

cup seal: Synthetic rubber seal with a single lip used for sealing hydraulic and pneumatic pistons

cup-shaped wire brush: circular wire brush on an arbor for use with an electric drill

cup washer: A washer that is dished.

curb: A stone or cement ridge between the road and the sidewalk. In Britain it is called "kerb"

curber: [1] A person who buys cars needing a lot of work and fixes them, then sells them privately from his own residence. [2] A person who steals a car, falsifies the registration information, and sells it from a place not near his own home. You need to contact him on his cell phone where he informs you that you need to meet him at some parking lot or on the curb of a residential area.

curb idle: Normal idle rpm. Computer controlled on many modern vehicle

curb-idle port: See idle discharge hole

curb-idle stop screw: A screw which provides an adjustable stop for the throttle lever

curb weight: The weight of a vehicle without passengers or payload, but including all fluids (oil, gas, coolant, etc.) and other equipment specified as standard.

cure: A process of vulcanizing raw rubber through the application of heat, pressure, and time to permanently shape and set the rubber at the degree of hardness desired to protect it from the effects of normal operating temperatures and wear. Also see chemical cure cure time: The time required at a reference temperature for a compound to reach optimum physical properties.

curing: [1] Process of heating or otherwise treating a rubber or plastic compound to convert it from a thermoplastic or fluid material into the solid, relatively heat-sensitive state desired in the commercial product. When heating is employed, the process is called vulcanization. [2] The final drying stage where the paint reaches maximum strength.

curing gum: A soft, tacky rubber compound used in retreading and repair to facilitate bonding between different rubber compounds and between plies, etc. Also see cushion gum curing rim: When retreading a tire, a special rim that supports the inflated tire during the curing process.

curing time: The length of time required for paint or plastic to harden.

curing tube: In retreading a tire, a heavy tube within the tire that provides pressure to force the casing against the matrix during the curing process.

current: [1] The movement of free electrons through a conductor. Also see alternating current

charging current direct current discharging current electric current spark current [2] The most recent model vehicle (i.e., made in the same year as the present calendar).

current for low temperatures: See test current for low temperatures

current regulator: A device for controlling the current output of a generator (which increases with engine speed) by opening a switch when the current exceeds a certain value, thus protecting the generator from damage due to excess current.

curtain: See side curtain

curve: [1] A gradual bend in the road. A sharp bend is a corner. Also see advance curve and torque curve cush drive: A motorcycle transmission shock absorber, usually a rubber cushion in the rear hub

cushion: See air bag air cushion impact cushion seat cushion

cushion gum: A soft, tacky rubber compound used in retreading and repair to facilitate bonding between different rubber compounds and between plies, etc.

custom: [1] A restyled or modified vehicle. [2] A new body mounted on an existing chassis.

customer: A person who is at least potentially able to purchase something. Good customer service involves providing the customer with the best answers to his questions and the best choices to meet his needs or wants.

customize: [1] To restyle or modify a vehicle. [2] To mount a new body on an existing chassis.

customs duties: Customs duties levied on imported goods under the Customs Tariff.

custom wheel: A special wheel with attractive styling, usually alloy, available as an aftermarket accessory, designed to make a car look more sporty

cut: See T-cut

cut-and-shut: A British term for a process of shortening a vehicle by cutting out a section of the chassis and/or bodywork.

cutaway: A drawing which shows some of the exterior part and at the cutaway the interior parts and their workings are shown.

cut gears: See straight cut gears

cut in front:

The action of an overtaking (passing) vehicle which pulls back into the lane of the overtaken (passed) vehicle. Usually it is a derogatory expression of a vehicle's action which does not allow for much distance between the two vehicles. Also called, "cut off" as in "He cut me off so I had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting him." Proper driving etiquette states that you should not pull in until you see the front of the overtaken vehicle in your rear-view mirror.

cut-in speed: The speed at which the generator has to rotate to produce a voltage which is greater than that across the battery terminals

cut off: See cut in front deceleration fuel cut-off fuel cut-off switch inertia fuel cut-off switch power cut-off switch power cut-off cut-off/shut-off: See overrun cut-off/shut-off

cut-off switch: See fuel cut-off switch power cut-off switch inertia fuel cut-off switch power cut-off switch fuel cut-off switch inertia fuel cut-off switch cutout: [1] A form of bypass valve, located in the exhaust line, that can be used to divert the flow of exhaust from one pipe to another. Often used to bypass the muffler into a straight pipe. See exhaust cutout. [2] A device to connect or disconnect the generator from the battery circuit. When the generator is charging, cutout makes circuit, when generator stops, cutout breaks circuit. Also referred to as "cutout relay," and "circuit breaker." [3] A portion of a panel which has been removed so that a cover can be inserted.

[4] A circuit-breaker, especially one in the charging circuit of a generator output is less than the battery voltage, so that the battery does not drain into the generator. Also called a "cutout relay." Also see exhaust cutout low-pressure cut-out valve cut-out wheel cutout cutout relay: A device to connect or disconnect the generator from the battery circuit. When the generator is charging, cutout makes circuit, when generator stops, cutout breaks circuit. Also referred to as "circuit breaker." Also see cutout cutter: A small pincer with sharp jaws for cuning and stripping wires, etc. The British term is "end cutters" or "end cutting pliers." Also see end cutters manual panel cutter metal cutter milling cutter mini tube cutter monodex-type cutter panel cutter sheet metal cutter side cutters taper cutter tube cutter valve seat cutter variable hole cutter cutters: See end cutters side cutters cut thread: A thread produced by removing material from the surface with a form cutting tool. This method keeps the unthreaded portion of the shank equal to the major diameter of the thread.

cutting: See acetylene cutting arc cutting end cutting pliers flame cutting heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers heavy-duty end cutting pliers high leverage diagonal cutting pliers high leverage end cutting pliers hole cutting snips oxygen acetylene cutting cutting compound: An abrasive paste which is used to remove oxidation in the surface of paint in order to bring back the shine.

cutting disc: An abrasive wheel of an angle grinder

cutting flame: A process in welding where cutting takes place by a rapid oxidation at a high temperature produced by a gas flame accompanied by a jet action which blows the oxides away from the cut.

cutting line: A line established by the factory along which welded-up assemblies must be cut when replacing a sheet metal part, in order to maintain structural strength in the finished repair

cutting pliers: See end cutting pliers heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers heavy-duty end cutting pliers high leverage diagonal cutting pliers high leverage end cutting pliers cutting snips:

See hole cutting snips

cutting torch: An oxyacetylene torch for cutting through metal, used by welders.

CV joint: Abbreviation for "constant velocity joint."

CV joint boot: A rubber cover over the CV joint. It usually has accordian folds.

CVK: Acronym for center vertical keel. Also see center girder CVMA: Acronym for "Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer's Association"

CVR: Acronym for constant voltage regulator

CVT: Acronym for "Continuously Variable Transmission." See infinitely variable transmission.

CWM: Acronym for cold weather modulator

cwt: Abbreviation for "hundredweight."

cycle: [1] A vehicle with one or more wheels (usually spoked) where the rider/driver straddles the vehicle as a bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, etc. It also includes other vehicles adapted from a traditional cycle where the rider/driver no longer straddles

the vehicle (recumbent cycle, four-wheel side-by-side pedal powered vehicle). Obviously the distinction blurs with automobiles -- are they a cycle? [2] A sequence of changes of state after which the system is in its original state again. Also see city cycle diesel cycle ece test cycle four-stroke cycle engine four-stroke power cycle four cycle engine four stroke power cycle four stroke cycle engine ftp test cycle limit cycle control miller cycle otto cycle refrigeration cycle two-stroke cycle two stroke cycle urban test cycle working cycle cycle car: A term used to describe the very light production automobile made prior to 1922. It was usually made from motorcycle parts and generally powered by single-cylinder or twin-cylinder engine. They disappeared when genuine light cars appeared.

cycle control: See limit cycle control

cycle engine: See four-stroke cycle engine four cycle engine four stroke cycle engine two-stroke cycle engine two stroke cycle engine cycling clutch orifice tube system: (CCOT) the GM system that utilizes an accumulator (instead of a receiver-drier). The system uses a fixed orifice tube located at the evaporator outlet, instead of an expansion valve. A thermostatic switch or a pressure sensing switch cycles

compressor operation off and on in accordance with system status.

cycling clutch system: Any system that controls compressor clutch operation as a means of temperature control

cyl: Abbreviation for "cylinder," as in 12-cyl. engine.

cylinder: [1] The round chamber or hole in the cylinder block that houses the pistons and where combustion takes place. Also called "bore" or "barrel." [2] Any tube-like device. Also see acetylene cylinder brake cylinder brake master cylinder cylinder bore cylinder head cylinder sequence cylinder sleeve dual-piston master cylinder inner cylinder lock cylinder master brake cylinder master cylinder oxygen cylinder slave cylinder split-system master cylinder tandem master cylinder wheel cylinder working cylinder cylinder bank: One half of a V-6, V-8, V-12, and V-16 engines along one side. cylinder barrel: An external casing of a cylinder forming a separate unit, especially of an air-cooled engine

cylinder block: The basic framework of the engine to which other engine parts are attached. It is usually a casting and includes the engine cylinders and the upper part of the crankcase. Also see engine block cylinder block heater: An electric heater element in the water jacket connected at the other end to house current. The element warms the coolant so that in very cold weather the block will not crack and the car will start easier. Often just called "block heater."

cylinder bore: The cylinder holes.

cylinder charge: A quantity of fresh mixture fed into the combustion chamber prior to combustion

cylinder head: The detachable metal (aluminum or iron) section that is bolted to the top of the cylinder block. It is used to cover the tops of the cylinders, in many cases the cylinder head contains the valves, it also forms part of the combustion chamber. It has water and oil passages for cooling and lubrication. It also holds the spark plugs. On most engines a valve cover or rocker arm cover is located on top of the cylinder head. Some engines have just one cylinder head covering several cylinders, while others have separate heads for each cylinder. In some motorcycle engines and small engines, the cylinder head is not detachable -- it is cast with the cylinder which forms a blind hole. Also see crossflow cylinder head x-flow cylinder head cylinder head bolt: One of several bolts which hold the cylinder head in place

cylinder head gasket:

See head gasket

cylinder head nut: One of several nuts which hold the cylinder head in place.

cylinder head tester: A device used to detect cylinder head leakages which cause combustion gases to appear in the cooling system

cylinder hone: A tool that uses an abrasive to smooth out (hone) and bring to exact measurements such things as engine cylinders, wheel cylinders, bushings, etc.

cylinder liner: [1] A cylinder sleeve. [2] A hard metal block forming the cylinder wall and in which the piston runs

cylinder sequence: The order in which the cylinders are located on a vehicle. It is important to locate the number one cylinder to check and adjust timing. In some cars it may be at the front of an engine on U.S. built cars and at the rear of some foreign cars. Also see firing order cylinder sleeve: A replaceable cylinder liner or tube, it is made of a pipe-like section that is either pressed or pushed into the block. If the cylinder cannot be re-bored to an oversize or if the liner has been damaged beyond repair, the cylinder may be re-sleeved.

cylinder surfacing hone: Puts a cross-hatch pattern on the cylinder walls, after they have been bored, to help seat the new rings properly

cylinder wall: The inner surface of a cylinder.

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [D] [Da] [Db] [Dc] [De] [Df] [Dg] [Di] [Dl] [Dn] [Do] [Dr] [Ds] [Du] [Dv] [Dw] [Dy]

D: [1] Abbreviation for "diesel." [2] Abbreviation for "drive." [3] A mark on the output (live) terminal on a generator (contrasts with "F")

DAB: Acronym for "Digital Audio Broadcast."

dagmar: [1] Large bullet-shaped protrusion on bumpers of cars in the 1950s. It was named after the nickname of a buxom television star, Virginia Ruth Egnor (1921-2001). [2] Dagmar is an automobile of which only the 25-70 models of 1925-1948 are classic cars.

Daimler: Also called Austro-Daimler. A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars. The 1949-53 DE-36 Custom Built models are milestone cars. The 1949-53 2.5 Special Sport Convertible models are milestone cars.

dam: See air dam heat dam damage: See accident damage center section damage direct damage ecological damage

engine damage frame damage impact damage indirect damage internal damage secondary damage stone chip damage damp: [1] To reduce the oscillations of spring, carburetor piston, etc. [2] To reduce the vibration in a crankshaft

damper: [1] A friction device sometimes called a "shock absorber." Used for controlling and damping spring oscillations. The springs actually absorb road shocks; the dampers convert the energy imparted to the springs into thermal energy (by friction), which is dissipated to the atmosphere or the vehicle's chassis. Dampers are distinguishable by the type of friction involved, mechanical or hydraulic but most modern cars used tubular-shaped hydraulic shock absorbers. Because they affect up and down wheel motions, dampers are an important link in tuning a vehicle's ride and handling. [2] A moveable plate which permits or restricts the flow of liquids or gasses. Also see friction damper gas damper harmonic balancer mass damper monotube damper piston damper pulsation damper steering damper steering wheel damper torsional vibration damper torsion damper twin-tube damper vibration damper damper piston: A piston in a cylinder whose movement is restricted by a liquid or gas, which thus also restricts the movement of another member to which it is connected.

damper settings:

See spring and damper settings

damper springs: Springs in a clutch plate providing a cushion against sudden loads due to abrupt engagement

damper strut: A suspension strut whose hub carrier is attached to the spring element rather than to the damper tube. Compare Macpherson strut

damping: Cushioning of force.

damping force: The amount of cushioning applied by a shock absorber

damping rate: The amount of cushioning applied by a shock absorber

Darracq: A vehicle manufacturer in which only the 8-cyl. cars and 4-litre, 6-cyl. cars of 19251948 are classic cars.

dash: See dashboard.

dash board: See dashboard

dashboard: That part of the body containing the driving instruments, switches, etc. Also called the "instrument panel" or "dash panel" or just "dash."

dashboard gearchange: British term for dash shifter

dashboard plaque: [1] A metal or plastic plate which is mounted to the dash to indicate the brand, model, or series of vehicle. [2] A metal plate which is mounted to the dash to indicate an award for attending or winning a rally or other automotive event.

dash design: See wrapround dash design

dash panel: [1] A structural panel with bracing across the width of the car on the inside of the bulkhead below the windshield that provides the mounting locations of the dashboard. [2] The bulkhead

dash plaque: [1] A metal or plastic plate which is mounted to the dash to indicate the brand, model, or series of vehicle. [2] A metal plate which is mounted to the dash to indicate an award for attending or winning a rally or other automotive event.

dashpot: A unit using a cylinder and piston or a cylinder and diaphragm with a small vent hole, to retard or slow down the movement of some part.

dash-pot: (DP) a diaphragm that controls the rate at which the throttle closes

dash shifter: A shift lever and indicator which is located on the instrument panel either as a short lever or push buttons

Data: See radio Data System

Data System: See radio Data System

Datsun: A model of automobile manufactured by Nissan

Click for books on Datsun

Datsun Truck: A model of truck manufactured by Nissan

Click for books on Datsun Trucks

Datsun Z: A model of automobile manufactured by Nissan davit: A crane arm for handling lifeboats, stores, etc.

Click for books on Datsun Z

day-night mirror: A mirror which adjusts to prevent the glare from the headlights of following cars. The British term is "dipping mirror."

days' supply: number of days needed to sell all vehicles in inventory, based on the previous month's sales rate.

daytime running lights: A safety-oriented lighting system in which the headlights or other front lights are constantly on even during the day. They help to prevent possible accidents because oncoming traffic can be seen.

dazzle: The glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic which can momentarily blind a driver.

dazzle mirror: See dimming mirror

dBA: A unit of measure for decibels, the measure of sound intensity or pressure named after Alexander Graham Bell. It is a logarithmic measurement; every 3dB increase represents a doubling of the sound pressure. The "A" in dBA indicates that the measurement was taken with an A-weighted scale; sound pressure varies across the

audible spectrum, and the A-weighted scale approximates the human ear's sensitivity to various frequencies.

DBI: Acronym for "De Danske Bilimport rer" (Denmark)

dbl: Abbreviation for "double," as in dbl.-wide rear wheels.

DC: [1] As an electrical term, it is an acronym for "direct current." [2] As a piston position, DC is an acronym for "dead center" where the piston at the extreme top or bottom of its stroke.

DC generator: See generator

DC rim: Abbreviation for Drop-Center rim

dead: See inner dead center lower dead center outer dead center dead axle: An axle that does not rotate nor is driven but merely forms a base upon which to attach the wheels. Also see beam axle. It contrasts with a live axle. dead battery: A battery that registers almost no electrical charge. Sometimes it can be brought back to life with a charger. The British call it a "flat battery"

dead center: The point at which the piston reaches its uppermost or lowermost position in the cylinder the rod crank journal would be at 11 o'clock UDC or 6 o'clock LDC. Also see

after bottom dead center after top dead center before bottom dead center before top dead center before upper dead center bottom dead center inner dead center lower dead center outer dead center top dead center upper dead center deadfreight factor: The amount of a ship's carrying capacity that is not utilized.

dead-head pressure: A fuel pressure reading taken directly at the fuel pump outlet. Many systems use a fuel pressure regulator; dead-head pressure is an unregulated measurement

dead pedal: A footrest located to the far left of the driver so that he can brace his left leg during hard cornering or to balance the position of the right foot on the throttle pedal during normal driving.

dead rear axle: A rear axle that does not turn. E.g., rear axle of front wheel drive car

dead rise: Athwartship vertical rise between the keel and the bilge

dead space: The space below the piston availaable for pre-compression of the incoming fresh charge of the two-stroke engine.

deadweight: The total weight in tons (2240 lb.) that a ship carries on a specified draft including fuel, water in tanks, cargo, stores, passengers, baggage, crew and their effects, but excluding the water in the boilers. It is the difference in weight between a vessel when it is fully loaded and when it is empty measured by the water it displaces. Also see

tonnage deadweight dealer: [1] a firm that buys and sells, adding some value for the consumer in the process. Dealer often means a firm which operates closer in the distribution channel to the consumer than a distributor or wholesaler and may add more value for consumers than either of the above-mentioned terms. Also called "dealership." [2] A person whose business is buying and selling cars and trucks or motorcycles. Also see authorized dealer auto dealer car dealer franchised dealer new car dealer scrap dealer used car dealer dealer invoice: The price the dealer pays for a vehicle.

dealer participation: The amount contributed by the dealer to reduce the final purchase price in the lease contract. Dealer participation can take the form of a rebate or simply a discount. The dealer participation is reflected in the lease contract as a capitalized cost reduction.

dealer principal: The individual or corporation that owns and controls one or a number of auto dealerships.

dealership: A firm that buys and sells, adding some value for the consumer in the process. A dealership often means a firm which operates closer in the distribution channel to the consumer than a distributor or wholesaler and may add more value for consumers than either of the above-mentioned terms.

death rattle: An informal term for a noise from an engine which indicates that it is likely to break down at any moment


The process of locating and correcting faults in a system

deburr: To remove burrs from a metal surface

deburring: Removing burrs from a metal surface or bearing

decal: A sticker or transfer which is applied to a smooth surface to identify a particular product. Pronounced dee-KALL in the United States, but DECK-ull in Canada.

decarbon: The action of removing carbon buildup from the surface of the cylinder head and the dome of the piston. The accumulation of carbon indicates poor combustion and will result in loss of performance.

decarbonize: See decarbon

decelerate: The action of slowing down. The opposite of accelerate

deceleration: Negative acceleration; the rate of change in velocity as a vehicle slows down during braking.

deceleration fuel cut-off: A device which stops the flow of fuel to the carburetor or injectors when the vehicle rapidly decelerates in the event of a crash thus preventing the possibility of a fire or explosion.

decelerometer: An instrument for measuring deceleration.

deck: [1] The bed of a half-ton truck.

[2] The floor of a commercial vehicle like a bus. [3] The trunk lid of a car. Also called "rear deck." [4] In an engine, top face of the cylinder block on which the cylinder head mounts. [5] A platform in a ship corresponding to a floor in a building. Also see bulkhead deck freeboard deck main deck radio/cassette deck rear deck rear deck panel shelter deck strength deck tween deck weather deck deck beam: An athwartship horizontal structural member supporting a flat or deck

decker: See double-decker

deck house: Small superstructure on the top deck which contains the steering wheel and other navigational instruments.

decking: See shaving

deck lid: The panel which covers the engine in a vehicle with the engine in the rear of the car. Also see hood deck panel: The sheet metal panel extending from the bottom of the rear window to the rear panel and enclosing the cutout for the trunk lid, extending sideways to the top of both rear fenders. In some cases, this panel covers only the area between the bottom of the rear window and the front edge of the trunk lid. Also see

rear deck panel deck ship: See flush deck ship

deck stringer: The strake of deck plating that runs along the outboard edge of a deck

declutch: The action of disengaging the clutch (i.e. releasing the clutch pedal or lever). Also see double-declutch decoke: To decarbon

decompressor: A valve which is manually operated to release compression in a cylinder by allowing air to escape in order to facilitate manual starting of an old engine or a diesel engine. Some motorcycles also used a decompressor to assist in kick-starting.

dedicated: Something that is designed for a specific use or for a specific vehicle.

de Dion axle: A rear axle setup developed by Count de Dion in the 19th century in which the driving wheels are attached to curved dead axle that is attached to the frame by a central pivot, the differential unit is bolted to the frame and is connected to the driving wheels by drive axles using universal joints. The De Dion system keeps the wheels upright (the same as a live axle does), but unsprung weight is reduced because the differential is out of the axle. De Dion suspension also leaves room around the differential for inboard brakes, which can further reduce unsprung weight. deep cycling: The process of discharging a battery almost completely before recharging

deep tank:

Tanks extending from the bottom or inner bottom up to or higher than the lowest deck of a ship

deer alert: A device which is mounted on the outside of a vehicle and which makes a highpitched sound to warn deer and other animals away. Whether it really works or not is debatable.

defect: A fault in a system or a flaw in materials or a finish

defective: A description of a component which is faulty or flawed.

defensive driving: A driving technique in which the driver prepares for and watches for the mistakes of other drivers around him so that he can avoid an accident.

deflated: An air chamber (like a tire or lumbar support chamber) which has lost all its air.

deflation: The loss of air from a tire or other air chamber

deflation warning system: (DWS) developed by Dunlop for on-line detection of tire pressure loss. When tire pressure is reduced, the tire circumference is also reduced resulting in increased wheel rpm. The system uses the wheel speed sensors of an existing ABS system to continuously monitor wheel speed and tire condition, and triggers a warning signal upon detecting a problem.

deflection: The movement of a suspension piece when subjected to a load. Also see effective deflection deflection rate:

The distance that a spring squeezes together (deflects) in relation to the pressure applied. E.g., 5 inches per 1000 lb load.

deflection under load: See temperature of deflection under load

deflector: [1] A device which causes bugs, tar, and grime from hitting other components. [2] A special piston profile used to achieve cross scavenging in earlier two-stroke engines. Also see air deflector air shield bug deflector stone deflector wind deflector deflector piston: A piston design which had a crown designed to direct the incoming fresh mixture upwards to expel the burnt exhaust gas from the cylinder. This design is no longer used today.

deflector shield: See sunroof deflector shield

defog: The action of removing mist or condensation from the inside of a window or the outside of a mirror by means of blowing air or heated wires imbedded in the glass. The British term is "demist." See defogger.

defogger: An electric or hot air device to remove the fog or ice from both the inside and outside of the windshield, backlight (i.e., rear window) or even mirrors. Some are designed to remove fog from the side windows.

defogging system: See backlight defogging system


An alteration of shape or dimension which is caused by stress, expansion, or contraction because of temperature, humidity, or metallurgical changes. Also see plastic deformation deformation zone: A crumple zone

defrost: The action of removing frost from the inside of a window or the outside of a mirror by means of blowing air or heated wires imbedded in the glass.

defroster: The apparatus (either a fan connected to the heating system or electrical wires imbedded in the glass) which removes frost or fog from a window. Also called a "demister."

deglaze: The action of removing the smooth finish on cylinder walls so that a new set of rings will seat.

deglazer: An abrasive tool used to remove the glaze from cylinder walls so that a new set of rings will seat. Also see glaze breaker degradable: See bio-degradable

degradation: The deterioration in the condition of something. Also see catalyst degradation degrease: [1] To remove oil and grease from the surface of a parat. [2] Wiping the surface to be painted with a clean cloth saturated in a solvent. This is essential to good paint adhesion.

degreaser: A substance which removes dirt and grease from a mechanic's hands. Also called "hand cleaner."

degreasing: The removing of grease or oil from a surface. Also see alkaline degreasing and vapor degreasing degreasing agent: A solvent or alkaline solution which is used for removing oil and grease

degree: 1/360 part of a circle.

degree wheel: A wheel-like disc divided into 360 equal parts that is attached to the engine crankshaft it is used to time the valves to a high degree of accuracy.

dehumidifier: A device which absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. It can be a unit dedicated for this purpose, or even an air conditioner.

de-ice: To remove the ice from the outside of the windshield.

de-icer: A liquid or spray which is applied to the windshield to assist in removing ice. Also see door lock de-icer lock de-icer de-ionized water: Water from which impurities have been removed by a special process and used for topping up batteries.

Delage: An old brand of automobile of which the 1925-1948 Model D-8 (but not the 4-cyl.) with required application is a classic car. The 1946-49 D-6 Sedans are milestone cars.

Delahaye: An old brand of automobile of which the 1925-1948 Series 135, 145, 165 (but not the 4-cyl.) with required application are classic car. The Type 135, 175, 180 (194651) are milestone cars.

Delaunay: An old brand of automobile of which the 1925-1948 6-cyl Belleville are classic cars.

delay: See headlight on/off delay system ignition delay delay relay: See time delay relay

delay system: See headlight on/off delay system

delay vacuum bypass system: (DVB) an optional system used by Ford that bypasses the spark delay valve during cold operation to improve driveability

delay valve: A valve used in a vacuum or hydraulic system in which the valve's opening or closing is delayed. Also called vacuum delay valve

delay wiper: A windshield scraper which can be set to activate at various times and pauses between each swipe. It is useful when there is a mist or light rain. Also called "intermittent wiper."

d'elegance: See concours.

d'elegance: See concours d'elegance

deliver: [1] To pump or discharge a liquid. [2] To drive a new car from the factory to the distributor or dealer. Or to drive it to the customer.

delivery: [1] The discharging of a liquid from a pump. [2] Driving a new car from the factory to the distributor or dealer

delivery lines: Fuel lines used to carry fuel from the fuel injection pump to the injector nozzles

delivery mileage only: The odometer reading reflects only the distance from the factory to the selling dealer.

delivery valve: [1] The valve on the outlet side of a pump. [2] A fuel injection pump valve that rapidly decreases injection line pressure to achieve an abrupt fuel cutoff at the injector

Delorean: A model of automobile manufactured by John Z. DeLorean

Click for books on Delorean

Del Sol: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Del Sol delta configuration: A triangular connection of the three stator windings of an alternator. Also see

Y-configuration deluxe: Abbreviated (DL). A term used to indicate a series of vehicle which is just above the basic version.

delugger: A machine used to cut the lugs from tires prior to buffing.

demagnetize: Removing residual magnetism from an object which had been previously magnetized

demist: A British term to clear fog or frost from the windshield or rear window. In the US and Canada, the term is defog.

demister: A British term for a defogger or defroster

demonstrator: A vehicle used by a dealer for test drives and sold later at a reduced price. Also see ex-demonstrator demountable flange: A side ring or side and lock ring combination that retains the tire on the rim. It is removable to permit tire mounting or removal.

demountable rim: A two piece rim found on trucks. The main part of the rim remains on the axle while a side piece and a locking ring is removable. In this way the whole rim is not removed from the vehicle like a passenger car's rim and wheel. Also called a "detachable rim"

denatured alcohol:

Ethyl alcohol to which a denaturant has been added

Denovo tire: A special tire (fitted to a special rim) which used to be made by Dunlop, and which can be run flat for up to 160 km (100 miles) at up to 80 kph (50 mph)

density: Compactness; relative mass of matter in a given volume.

dent: [1] A hollow or dip in a body panel caused by a sharp blow or impact. [2] To cause a dent in a body panel

dent puller: A tool with a strong suction cup to pull out dents in body panels. Also see panel puller suction cup dent puller Denver boot: A locking device which wraps around the wheel of a vehicle to immobilize its movement

départ: The starting line of a randonnée or brevet

departure angle: The most sharply angled incline the vehicle can leave without its rear hitting the ground. As with approach angles, it's formed on one side by the horizontal axis, and on the other by a straight line connecting the rear edge of the rear tire and the most prominent point at the rear of the vehicle, usually the bumper or exhaust pipe.

depolarize: Removal of residual magnetism thereby destroying or removing the magnetic. To remove polarity

deposit: A coating of unwanted mineral or layer of sediment at the bottom of a tank.

[2] To apply a coating of something (often metal by electrolysis). Also see gum deposit lead deposit refundable deposit deposition: See electrolytic deposition vapor deposition zinc vapor deposition depreciation: The loss of value of a vehicle because of age or deterioration

depression: [1] An indentation or dent in the surface of a sheet of metal whether through deliberate design or accident. [2] A restriction of airflow which causes low pressure and a partial vacuum. Also see constant-depression constant depression engine depression valve clearance depression depressor: See valve spring depressor

depress the accelerator: The action of pressing down on the gas pedal (accelerator) to cause more fuel to enter the engine thus making the vehicle go faster. Opposite to "ease up on the accelerator."

depress the gas pedal: The action of pressing down on the gas pedal (accelerator) to cause more fuel to enter the engine thus making the vehicle go faster. Opposite to "ease up on the gas pedal."

depress the throttle pedal:

The action of pressing down on the throttle pedal (accelerator) to cause more fuel to enter the engine thus making the vehicle go faster. Opposite to "ease up on the throttle pedal."

depth: See molded depth profile depth skid depth throat depth tread depth well depth depth gauge: A measuring tool for determining the depth of something. Also see tread depth gauge depth micrometer: A measuring device (micrometer) used for precise measurement of a hole depth, recesses, keyways, etc.

depth of thread: The distance from the thread crest to root measured perpendicular to the axis of the thread

derailleur: A lever-activated mechanism that pushes the chain off one sprocket of a bicycle and onto another, thus changing the gear ratio.

derailleur chain, narrow width: A bicycle chain made especially for use on an "ultra" or narrow freewheel often recognized by bulging inner link plates and flush chain pins.

derailleur chain, standard width: A bicycle chain designed to fit a freewheel of standard width, usually characterized by straight-edged plates and chain pins that protrude slightly beyond the outer link plates.

derrick: A device for hoisting and lowering heavy weights, cargo, stores, etc

derust: To remove rust from a metal part

derv: Diesel oil when used as a fuel for road vehicles. Acronym for "diesel-engined road vehicle"

descaling: The removal of scale or metallic oxide from metallic surfaces by pickling

desiccant: A drying agent (silica gel or a similar substance) used in refrigeration or air conditioning systems to remove excess moisture from refrigerant vapour

design: [1] The arrangement of parts or the form of construction. [2] To arrange parts or construction of a vehicle or major component. Also see cab-forward design cabin-forward design cam design cam profile component design open-deck design product design wrapround dash design designation: See model designation one-piece rim designation rim designation type designation desmodromic: something (like valves) which is opened and closed by a mechanical device. In most 4-stroke engines the valves are opened by the cam, but closed by the action of the

valve springs. In a desmodromic system, the valves are opened by a cam and closed by a cam or a cable. A desmodromic system is more costly and more difficult to manufacture, but the advantage is more precise control of the valves and less valve bounce which is seen in a normal engine at high speed.

desorption: The removal of material which has been adsorbed. It is the opposite of adsorption.

DeSoto: A vehicle brand of which the 1956-58 Adventurer models are milestone cars.

Click for books on DeSoto

detachable rim: A wheel rim which is bolted to the wheel center or spider and can be disassembled for replacing the rubber tire. It is found on trucks and some quads. It is also called a demountable rim

detachment: See flow detachment

detail: The action of correcting all appearance flaws in a vehicle.

detailitis: A term coined by Art Treta to indicate a compulsive disorder which compels a vehicle owner to correct its every flaw to the extent that he searches for even the most hidden flaw. Also see restorationitis detector: See glass tampering detector radar detector detent ball and spring: A spring loaded ball that snaps into a groove or notch to hold some sliding object in position.

detergent: A soap-like chemical added to the engine oil (particularly MS oil) or gasoline to improve its characteristics and keep the engine clean by controlling the formation of sludge and gum as well as controlling foaming.

detergent oil: An MS oil which keeps the engine clean by preventing the formation of sludge and gum.

deterioration: See catalyst deterioration thermal deterioration DeTomasoPantera: A model of automobile manufactured in Italy

Click for books on Pantera

detonation: The action of the fuel charge firing or burning too violently, almost exploding. It sometimes results in a noise called "pinging." Detonation is caused by autoignition of the "end gas" i.e., that part of the charge not yet consumed in the normal flamefront reaction. Detonation occurs because piston motion and compression of the end gas raise its temperature and pressure to the point where the end gas autoignites. The pinging or knocking noise is the result of intense pressure waves in the charge which cause the cylinder walls to vibrate. Also called "fuel knock."

detonation-activated ignition retard: A system which retards the ignition timing when the detonation sensor picks up vibration at frequencies typical of denotation

detonation sensor: A sensor, , usually piezoelectric, mounted near the cylinders which can detect engine knocking or frequencies of detonation so that it will send a message to retard the ignition timing to prevent damage to the engine.

detour: An alternative route which traffic has to follow due to closure of a stretch of road for repairs, etc. A diversion.

detoxed vehicle: A vehicle with a reduced emission system consisting of a catalytic converter, EGR, air injection, fuel evaporative emission control, etc. Also called a "controlled vehicle"

detuned: The intentional adjustment of an engine to reduce its power in an attempt to reduce emissions, reduce top-end speed, increase fuel economy, or meet specific governmental standards.

deuce: Hot rod built around a 1932 Ford coupe body.

deutsche Industrie Normen: See DIN.

development: See research & development

deviation angle: See tire deviation angle

device: A piece of equipment or a mechanism designed for a specific purpose or function. See anti-roll device antiroll device economy device electronic sensing device enrichment device sensing device triggering device Devon: A vehicle brand of which the 1958-62 S/S models are milestone cars.


To remove a coating of wax from the body of a vehicle usually in preparation for painting.

dew point: The temperature at which vapor begins to condense.

DFC: Acronym for digital frequency control

dhc: Acronym for drophead coupe

DG: Acronym for "Diesel General" oil for use under ordinary conditions in diesel engines.

diagnosis: Refers to use of instruments to determine cause of improper function of parts or system of a vehicle See fault diagnosis self-diagnosis diagnostic: See engine diagnostic connector on-board diagnostic system diagnostic center: A garage or part of a garage where problems with a vehicle or part of a vehicle are determined.

diagnostic code: [1] Code displayed on instrument panel which can be used to determine area in system where malfunction may be located. [2] Code numbers obtained by accessing the diagnostic mode of the engine management computer. This code can be used to determine the area in the system where a malfunction may be located

diagnostic computer: A computer terminal or engine analyzer which is hooked up to the car's electronic box and reveals the condition of the engine and various sensors.

diagnostic connector: See engine diagnostic connector

diagnostic link: The electric cord which connects the computer terminal to the socket on the vehicle.

diagnostics: The process of identifying the cause or nature of a condition, situation, or problem to determine the appropriate corrective action to take in the repair of an automotive system. See on board diagnostics

diagnostic socket: A socket on the vehicle (usually found in the engine compartment) which is part of the onboard electronic sensor system.

diagnostic system: The various sensors and electronic devices which record the operation of a number of functions within the vehicle. Also see on-board diagnostic system diagnostic testing: The analysis of the various functions of the components of a vehicle to determine if they are operating properly or have recorded faults which need to be corrected.

diagonal: See heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers high leverage diagonal cutting pliers diagonal belt:

Another term for shoulder belt

diagonal cutting: See heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers high leverage diagonal cutting pliers diagonal cutting pliers: See high leverage diagonal cutting pliers heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers high leverage diagonal cutting pliers heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers diagonal split braking system: A dual-circuit braking system in which each circuit brakes one front wheel and the diagonally opposite rear wheel, so that in the case of failure of one circuit reasonably balanced braking can be achieved. See dual brakes -- especially the picture.

diagonally split system: A dual-circuit braking system in which each circuit brakes one front wheel and the diagonally opposite rear wheel, so that in the case of failure of one circuit reasonably balanced braking can be achieved. See dual brakes -- especially the picture.

diagram: See circuit diagram indicator diagram timing diagram wiring diagram dial: The face (usually circular) of an instrument like a speedometer, tachometer, vacuum gauge, etc.

dial caliper:

A slide-type caliper which registers on a dial the distance between two points

dialed in: The action of fine tuning an engine or component to its peak capacity.

dial gage: See dial gauge.

dial gauge: A precision micrometer type instrument that indicates the reading via a needle moving across a dial face.

dial indicator: A precision measuring instrument that indicates movement to a thousandth of an inch with a needle sweeping around a dial face. See dial gauge.

dial torque wrench: A wrench usually with a socket end and which measures the torque of a nut-bolt fastener. It registers the value on a dial.

diameter: The distance between one edge of a circular object to the other edge and passing through the center. Also see bead seat diameter bore diameter circle diameter external diameter inside diameter internal diameter major diameter minor diameter nominal diameter nominal rim diameter nominal thread diameter outer diameter outside diameter overall rim diameter pitch circle diameter pitch diameter

rim diameter thread diameter valve diameter diamond frame: [1] The traditional men's bicycle frame the principal parts of which form a diamond shape. [2] Tubular-frame design for motorcycles common until WW II and derived from the bicycle layout. The engine cases often form part of the structure. In profile it resembles a diamond shape

diamond star: The name of Chrysler Corporation which comes from the pattern of its emblem.

diaphragm: [1] A flexible cloth-rubber sheet that is stretched across an area thereby separating two different compartments. A diaphragm is used in pumps to create a pressure differential that causes a fluid to be pushed or pulled from one point to another. Some carburetors have no float bowl (i.e., Tillotsen), but use a series of diaphragms to pump gasoline into the engine. [2] A flexible partition used to separate two chambers or elements. [3] In air-conditioning system, a rubber-like piston or bellows assembly which divides the inner and outer chambers of backpressure regulated air conditioning devices. [4] In fuel system, a thin dividing sheet or partition which separates a housing into two chambers, one of which is usually vented to vacuum while the other is not; used in vacuum-controlled secondaries, anti-stall dashpots, and other carburetor control devices. Also see piston diaphragm

diaphram clutch: Another term for a diaphragm spring clutch

diaphram link: The arm which transmits the movement of the diaphram and the distributor baseplate in a vacuum advance mechanism.

diaphragm pump: A device which has a flexible diaphragm which moves forward and backward by a solenoid or other mechanical device to transfer fluid. Also see

twin diaphragm pump diaphragm spring: A type of spring shaped like a disc with tapering fingers pointed inward or like a wavy disc, used in some clutches. In an automotive clutch the diaphragm spring is part of the clutch pressure plate. When the clutch is engaged, this spring forces the pressure plate against the clutch disc; driver effort through the clutch linkage overcomes the spring pressure to disengage it. A type of spring, shaped like a disc with tapering fingers pointed inward or like a wavy disc, used in some clutches. In auto application, the diaphragm spring is part of the clutch pressure plate. When the clutch is engaged this spring forces the pressure plate against the clutch disc. Also see clutch diaphragm spring diaphragm spring clutch: A common clutch used in most vehicles with manual transmission where a diaphragm spring keeps the pressure plate in contact with the friction plate dickey: British term for rumble seat.

die: [1] One of a matched pair of hardened steel blocks that are used to form (by stamping, pressing, extruding, drawing or threading) metal into a desired shape. Also see bending die lower bending die [2] A tool for cutting threads. See tap and die set.

die back: See die-back.

die-back: In a lacquer finish the loss of gloss after compounding, caused by continued evaporation of thinner.

die cast: Manufactured by forcing molten metal into a die. Especially used of aluminum or an alloy.

die casting: Formation of an accurate and smooth object by forcing molten metal, plastic, etc., into a die under pressure. See cast.

dielectric: A material which is an electrical insulator or in which an electric field can be sustained with a minimum loss of power.

dielectric grease: A special grease which is applied to the ends of electric terminals to inhibit corrosion between the terminals or to be sure that there is good electrical contact between the terminals.

diesel: A type of engine or fuel or oil used for that engine. Also see diesel engine dieselFuel diesel oil turbo-diesel diesel cycle: A four-stroke cycle where the air is sucked into the cylinder and compressed at a ratio of up to 24:1. At the end of the compression stroke the fuel is injected. Because of the high compression and resulting increase in temperature, the fuel is ignited leading to the power stroke and followed by the exhaust stroke where the combustion products are removed.

diesel engine: An internal combustion engine that uses diesel oil for fuel. The true diesel does not use a carburetor or an ignition system (i.e., spark plugs) but injects diesel oil into the cylinders when the piston has compressed the air so tightly that it is hot enough to ignite the diesel fuel without a spark. Because a cold engine cannot ignite the diesel fuel, glow plugs are used to heat the mixture, but they do not provide a spark. Named after Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913), the inventor. Also see compression ignition diesel fuel:

A light oil fuel which has a relatively low ignition temperature

dieseling: A form of autoignition in which a gasoline engine continues to fire after the ignition has been shut off. In late-model emission-controlled engines, dieseling or run-on is caused by heat and the unusually high manifold pressure that result from retarding the spark at idle.

diesel knock: The noise caused by the rapid rise in pressure in a diesel engine especially when the engine is cold or running at a low speed. Also called "diesel rattle."

dieselling: See dieseling

diesel oil: Fuel for cars with diesel engines. This is not a form of lubricating oil. See cetane rating.

diesel particulate filter: A filter which removes small particles from a diesel exhaust. It looks like a honeycomb catalytic converter but acts as a mechanical separator.

diesel rattle: Another term for diesel knock

die set: See tap and die set

die stock: A tool used to hold and operate dies when cutting outside threads.

die size: Retread rubber is designated by its crescent shaped dimensions in inches and eighths, and its thickness in 32nds of an inch; (e.g., 66-72-16; the crown would measure 6 and 6 eighths, the base 7 and 2 eighths wide; and the thickness 16/32 of an inch, or gauge of the stock rubber.)

diff: A colloquial term for a differential

differential: A unit that takes the power of the rotating driveshaft at right angles to the rear axle and passes it to the axle. It will not only drive both rear axles at the same time, but will also allow them to turn at different speeds when negotiating turns. In this way the tires do not scuff or skid. Also see automatic slip-control differential axle differential bevel differential center differential front differential helical differential inter-axle differential limited-slip differential limited slip differential lockable differential locking differential lockup differential multiple-disc limited-slip differential no-spin differential open differential planetary gear differential pressure differential switch rear axle differential rear differential spur differential torque sensitive limited slip differential torsen differential traction differential variable limited-slip axle/center differential visco-differential differential cage: The rotating metal fram which encloses the differential side gears and pinion gears inside the axle casing. Also called the "differential carrier"

differential carrier:

See differential cage

differential case: The steel unit to which the ring gear is attached. The case drives the spider gears and forms an inner bearing surface for the axle and gears.

differential casing: The differential housing

differential gear: See differential gears.

differential gears: The gears that transmit engine power to the driving axles and are arranged so as to permit the rear wheels to turn at different speeds as required when the vehicle is negotiating a turn.

differential grease: See gear grease.

differential housing: The enclosure which contains the differential gears.

differential lock: A mechanism which eliminates the action of the differential so that both wheels can be driven for better adhesion on slippery surfaces.

differentially: See galvanize differentially

differential pinion: The bevel pinion in the differential.

differential pressure: The pressure difference between two regions, such as between the intake manifold and the atmospheric pressures. In Bosch KE-Jetronic systems, the difference

between actuator fuel pressure in the lower chambers of the differential-pressure valves and the system pressure entering the pressure actuator. Also see pressure drop differential-pressure regulator: A pressure actuator

differential-pressure valve: Inside the Bosch CIS fuel distributor, these valves (there is one for each cylinder) maintain a constant pressure drop at each of the control-plunger slits, regardless of changes in the quantity of fuel flow

differential side gear: The bevel gear on either side of the differential into the center of which the axle shaft fits

differential switch: See pressure differential switch

diffusing lens: The lens in the headlight glass which helps to focus the beam

diffusion: [1] The way in which innovations spread through market or non-market channels. [2] Mixing the molecules of two gases by thermal agitation

digifant: VW collaborated with Bosch to develop this electronic injection system. Digifant is similar to a Motronic system, except that its timing control map is less complicated than the Motronic map. And it does not have a knock sensor

digifant II: A refined version of VW 's digifant. This system has some control improvements and uses a knock sensor for improved timing control

digital caliper:

A slide-type caliper which gives a digital readout.

digital frequency control: (DFC) A system which automatically stabilizes or tunes the frequency of a selected radio station.

digital fuel injection: (DFI) a GM system, similar to earlier electronic fuel injection system, but with digital microprocessors. Analog inputs from various engine sensors are converted to digital signals before processing. The system is self-monitoring and self-diagnosing. It also has the capabilities of compensating for failed components and remembering intermittent failures

digital speedometer: A speedometer which shows the speed in digital numbers rather than a needle on a dial gauge (which is called an analog speedometer).

digital volt-ohm multimeter: (DVOM) a digital electronic meter that displays voltage and resistance

dig out: To accelerate at top power.

diluent: A fluid which thins or weakens another fluid.

dilution: See crankcase dilution.

dimmer: A switch used to lower or dip the headlights from high beam to low beam and back again. Also see headlight dimmer switch dimmer control: A rotary control switch which will increase or decrease the intensity of the instrument lights. Also called interior dimmer light switch.

dimmer switch: A device used to lower or increase the brightness and focus of the headlights (i.e., from high-beam to low-beam). The British term is "dipswitch." Also called headlight dimmer switch

DIN: Acronym for "Deutsche Industrie Normen" (German industrial standards). DIN horsepower is similar to the SAE net horsepower. It is measured at the output shaft of an engine fully equipped with normal accessories.

dinging: The action of straightening a damaged panel by using a hammer and dolly to bring it back into shape.

DIN mounting: The standard hole in the dash through which a DIN radio can be installed

Dino: A model of automobile manufactured by Ferrari Click for books on Ferrari Dino

DIN radio: An aftermarket radio which fits into a thinner hole than most American radios. When installing a repacement radio, special faceplates are necessary

diode: An electrical component having the ability to pass electric current readily in one direction but resisting current flow in the other. When four diodes are connected in a certain way (i.e., "bridged") they will convert AC to DC, thus becoming a rectifier. Also see rectifier diode zener diode Dion axle: See de Dion axle


See carbon dioxide

dip: [1] A British term for dimming the headlights. [2] A low horizontal indentation of the pavement which may cause a speeding vehicle to lose control. [3] To immerse. See full dip treatment hot dip dipped beam: A British term for low beam

dipper: A British term for the dimmer switch

dipper switch: A British term for the dimmer switch

dipping mirror: A British term for day-night mirror

dipstick: The metal rod that passes into the oil sump it is used to determine the quantity of oil in the engine. The oil level is marked on the rod and matches level indicators on the rod. Dipsticks are used to check engine oil and transmission fluid. In most instances, the dipstick is inserted as far as it will go and then removed to check the level. In motorcycle engines, the dipstick is placed on the top of the threads (i.e., not screwed down) to check the level. oil dipstick

dipswitch: A British term for the dimmer switch

dip treatment: See full dip treatment

direct-acting shock absorber:

A telescopic shock absorber.

direct current: (DC) An electric current that flows steadily in one direction only. This is the type of current found in a battery and throughout the lighting and accessory system of a vehicle. Contrasts with alternating current (AC).

direct damage: A vehicle damage caused directly by an impact with an object. In contrast with an indirect damage.

direct drive: When the gearing is such that the crankshaft and driveshaft revolve at the same speed, the vehicle is in direct drive. Usually this occurs in high gear (except for those with overdrive). It is represented as 1.00:1 ratio.

direct drive powertrain: A system of propulsion where the speed of the engine, transmission, and propeller shaft rotate the same.

direct ignition system: (DIS) An ignition system which does not used a distributor but carries high voltage from the ignition coils directly to the spark plugs. Also see integrated Direct Ignition System direct injection: A fuel injection system which is generally used in diesel engines and forces fuel directly into the combustion chamber. It requires very high injection system pressure to overcome the pressure within the combustion chamber. Also see high speed direct injection directional baffle plate: Installed in a Quadrajet carburetor's secondary bores to help direct the airflow for improved distribution in the intake manifold

directional stability:

Ability of a vehicle to move forward in a straight line with a minimum of driver control. A vehicle with good directional stability will not be unduly affected by side wind, road irregularities, etc.

directional tire: Directional designs are recognized by the grooves in the tread that swipe away in a backward angle from the center of the tread face and rotate in only one direction. A direction of rotation arrow is located on both sidewalls of the tire. Directional tires enhance straight-line acceleration, provide maximum dry traction, better wet performance which helps to reduce rolling resistance as well as providing shorter stopping distances. See asymmetrical tread directional tread Symmetrical directional tread: An arrangement of bars, grooves, and ribs on a tire's tread in any manner that gives most effective traction when the tire revolves in only one direction. Also see directional tire direction indicator: The signal lights which blink on either side of the front of the vehicle and either side of the rear of the vehicle. Some early cars (like the Austin and Flying Standard) had small illuminated arms that flipped out from the B-post instead. The purpose of signal lights is to warn other drivers of a change in direction when turning a corner or changing lanes.

direction indicator warning light: A light on the instrument panel which flashes when the signal lights are operating. Usually this light is in the shape of a green arrow. On some cars, like Cadillac, a secondary light is mounted in a pod on the upper edge of each front fender and in a pod inside the cab above the backlight (i.e., back window)

direction of rotation: The direction in which a wheel or shaft turns or is supposed to turn.

direction of travel:

The direction in which an object (e.g., a vehicle) is moving.

direct polarity: Direct current flowing from anode (base metal) to cathode (electrode). The electrode is negative and the base metal is positive.

DIS: An acronym for direct ignition system or a distributorless ignition system similar to the C3I system, using two coils on four-cylinder engines

disabled: [1] the condition of a vehicle which is not able to be driven because of a failure of some component (e.g., bad battery, flat tire, engine seized) or because of an accident. [2] A driver who lacks the use of a limb.

disabler: See ignition disabler

disassemble: To take a vehicle or major component (e.g., the engine) apart in order to repair or restore the vehicle or component or to sell or recycle them. Also called "dismantle."

disc: May be spelled "disk." A flat dish-shaped item which may or may not have a center hole. Also see abrasive disc balance disc brake disc brake disc type caliper disc center locking disc clutch disc cutting disc disc brake fixed-caliper disc brake floating caliper disc brake four wheel disc brakes friction disc

grinding disc hardy disc hinged-caliper disc brake multi-disc multiple disc clutch multiple disc padding disc parking disc pin slider caliper disc brake plain disc wheel rotary disc valve tax disc ventilated discs wheel disc discard diameter: The diameter at which a worn brake drum should be replaced

discard thickness: The thickness at which a brake disc should be replaced

disc brake: A type of brake that has two basic components: a flat rotor (disc) that turns with the wheel and a caliper that is stationary. When the brake pedal is depressed, linkage (mechanical or hydraulic) causes the caliper to force its heat-resistant brake pads against both sides of the rotating disc thus slowing or stopping the wheel. Almost all new cars have disc brakes on the front wheels with drum brakes on the rear. More expensive cars have four wheel disc brakes. Because of the need for greater pressure to activate disc brakes, most cars so equipped also have a power booster. Wear takes place in the pads and the rotors. The pads are usually replaced while the rotors can sometimes be reground else they too must be replaced. If the rotors are not tightened correctly when installed, they can warp and cause a jerking motion when stopping. Also see brake, disc type caliper disc brake fixed-caliper disc brake floating caliper disc brake four wheel disc brakes hinged-caliper disc brake pin slider caliper disc brake sliding-caliper disc brake

disc brake gauge: A tool for measuring the thickness, wear, and score depth on brake discs

disc brake rotor: See brake rotor

disc brakes: See disc brake.

disc clutch: See multiple disc clutch

discharge: [1] The action of drawing electric current from the battery. The opposite action to charging. [2] to pour out liquid from a pump. [3] the product (e.g., the liquid) that is poured out of a pump. Also see battery discharge controller capacitive discharge gas discharge headlight gas discharge lamp gas discharge light gaseous discharge headlight gaseous discharge lamp main mixture discharge nozzle discharge air: Air conditioning air forced through the vents (ducts) into the passenger compartment

discharge check ball: In a carburetor, a small check ball that lifts off its seat when the pump well is pressurized by the accelerator pump, which allows fuel to be discharged into the venturi through the shooter nozzle

discharge controller: See battery discharge controller

discharged battery: A battery that cannot produce sufficient power.

discharge headlight: See gas discharge headlight gaseous discharge headlight discharge ignition: See capacitor discharge ignition system

discharge indicator: See battery discharge indicator

discharge lamp: See gas discharge lamp gaseous discharge lamp discharge light: See gas discharge light

discharge line: In an air conditioning system, the line which connects the compressor outlet to the condenser inlet

discharge nozzle: In a carburetor, the end of the main delivery tube that discharges fuel into the venturi area. See main mixture discharge nozzle

discharge pipe: The outlet pipe from a pump

discharge plug: See surface discharge plug

discharge pressure:

[1] The pressure exerted in a liquid pumped, expressed in psi. [2] The (high side) pressure of the refrigerant being discharged from the air conditioner compressor

discharge rate: Amount of current discharged from a battery, expressed in amps

discharge side: [1] Outlet side. [2] The part of the air conditioner system under high pressure, extending from the compressor outlet to the thermostatic expansion valve/tube inlet

discharge valve: [1] Valve on the outlet side of a reciprocating pump. The opposite is suction valve. [2] In an air conditioner system, a device used to check high side pressures, usually referred to as the high side service valve

discharge voltage: See spark discharge voltage

discharging current: Current supplied by a storage cell or battery, whose direction is opposite to that of the charging current

discolor: To alter the color of (a finish, metal, etc.) to a color which is not wanted. This fading may be caused by sitting in the sun, drops of contaminants (tree sap, bird dropping, spilled gasoline), poor paintwork, etc.

disconnect: To remove the terminal from a mechanical or electrical device or from the other side of the terminal. While some may be simply pulled apart, others have catches which must first be released.

disconnect terminal: Solderless connectors in male and female forms, intended to be easily disconnected and connected. Typically, a blade or pin (male connector) fits into a matching receptacle or socket (female connector). Many components have built-in (blade) terminals that require a specialized female connector

disconnect the battery: The action of removing the high tension electrical cables from the battery terminals. Also called "isolate the battery"

discount: See residual discount manufacturer discounts disc sander: A round, rubber disc powered by an electric drill and covered with abrasive paper for rough sanding work. also see orbital sander disc type: See brake disc type

disc valve: A type of rotary valve that allows the passage of fluid through an arc-shaped slot. Also see rotary disc valve disc wheel: [1] A wheel constructed of stamped steel. [2] A rim and metal disc that have been welded together. The disc is usually offset from the centerline of the rim to allow for dual tire mounting and to provide sufficient clearance between the duals. Disc wheels are attached to the hub with either single nuts or double cap nuts. Also see plain disc wheel solid disc wheel disc wheel type: A type of dual mounting wheels where the discs are offset from the centerline of the rim to provide clearance between the tires. They are held in place by double cap nuts, inner cap nuts, and outer cap nuts.

disengage: To move (a gear, dog clutch, etc.) so that it no longer meshes with another matching part

disengage the clutch: During normal driving, the power of the engine is being transferred to the gears of a manual transmission because the clutch plates are pressed together. When you press down on the clutch pedal (or pull in the clutch lever on a motorcycle), you are releasing that contact (i.e., disengaging the clutch) so that there is no connection between the engine and the transmission. You engage the clutch when you release the pedal or lever.

dish: [1] A depression in the top of a piston. [2] Offsetting of the hub on a rear wheel on a derailleur bike to make room for the freewheel and still allow the wheel to be centered within the frame. Also see negative wheel dish offset dish dished: A plate, washer, or disc is dished when the center is recessed from the rim like a shallow bowl.

dished brake disc: A disc that has worn thinner at the inner part of its friction surface. This is an abnormal form of wear

dishing: See negative wheel dishing

dish washer: A washer is a flat disc with a hole in the center. The disc in a dish washer is dished or bent in a concave fashion.

disk: More commonly spelled "disc."


To take a vehicle or major component (e.g., the engine) apart in order to repair or restore the vehicle or component or to sell or recycle them. Also called "disassemble."

dispersant: Dispersing or scattering in various directions; a state of matter in which finely divided particles of one substance (disperse phase) are suspended in another (dispersion medium) substance

displacement: The total volume of air displaced by all the pistons in travelling from BDC to TDC, i.e., the total volume of air and fuel the cylinder can hold before compression occurs. Also called "piston displacement." Also see cubic inch displacement engine displacement light displacement loaded displacement piston displacement positive displacement compressor displacement compressor: See positive displacement compressor

displacement taxes: A vehicle taxation system which determines the amount of taxes based on the engine displacement of the vehicle.

displacement volume: That part of the cylinder capacity that is swept by the pistons on their up and down strokes (i.e., the volume through which a piston moves in one stroke) formed by the bore diameter and the piston stroke. Also called "swept volume."

display: Any device that conveys information. In a vehicle, displays are either lights, gauges, or buzzers. Gauges may be analog or digita also l. See compass display graphic display unit heads up display

display unit: See graphic display unit

disposition fee: A fee you pay at the end of the lease, to the lessor, that covers the lessor's cost of getting the vehicle ready for sale after you have returned the vehicle. It is often applied against any deposit you made at lease inception.

dissipate: Scattered in various directions

distance: See braking distance reaction distance stopping distance trail distance distance piece: A collar or spacer which is placed between two parts to keep them the correct distance apart.

distance to the sun: See mean distance to the sun

distillation: Heating a liquid and then catching and condensing the vapors given off by the heating process.

distilled water: Pure water that through distillation has had all other chemicals (salts, suspended solids, and organisms) removed. It is recommended for topping up batteries and radiators.

distortion: A warpage, bendng, twisting, or change in form from the original shape.

distribution: See asymmetic power distribution asymmetrical power distribution constant power distribution equal power distribution load-controlled power distribution load distribution calculation load distribution power distribution static high-voltage distribution distribution calculation: See load distribution calculation

distribution channel: The path goods take as their title transfers from producer to consumer. The title transfer for consumer goods is usually accompanied by transfer of the physical goods, as well.

distribution tube: See distribution tubes.

distribution tubes: Tubes used in the engine cooling area to guide and direct the flow of coolant to vital areas.

distributor: [1] A unit in the ignition system designed to make and break the ignition primary circuit and to distribute the resultant high voltage to the proper cylinder at the correct time. The high voltage comes from the coil to the center terminal of the distributor cap and passes down the rotor. As the rotor turns, contact is made with each successive terminal on the circumference of the distributor cap. From there, the voltage goes into the spark plug wires and to the spark plug. Generally when your vehicle has its timing adjusted, it is the distributor that is adjusted. Also called "ignition distributor." [2] A distributor performs many of the same functions as wholesalers such as selling, physical distribution, credit, etc.; but is between the dealer and the wholesaler. Some industries use the term distributor instead of wholesaler. Also see breakerless distributor

fuel distributor high-tension distributor HT distributor ignition distributor shaft distributor short-type distributor distributor baseplate: The fixed plate in the body of the distributor on which the contact breaker or triggering device is mounted, and through the centre of which the distributor shaft passes distributor body: The bowl-like part containing the distributor shaft with the rotor arm at its top end, and, in the conventional version, the centrifugal advance mechanism and the contact breaker

distributor cam: The cam at the top of the distributor shaft with as many lobes as there are cylinders, acting on the heel of the contact breaker arm

distributor cap: An insulated cover containing a central terminal or tower with a series (one per cylinder) of terminals or towers that are evenly spaced in a circular pattern around the central terminal or tower, the secondary voltage travels to the central terminal or tower where it is then channelled to one of the outer terminals or towers by the rotor. The cap also keeps dirt and moisture out of the distributor.

distributor clamp: See distributor hold-down clamp

distributor hold-down clamp: A metal bracket at the base of the distributor that has a nut or bolt which can be loosened to allow the distributor to be moved on its shaft to readjust ignition timing or to open the points for gapping.

distributor injection pump: A fuel injection pump using pistons which pressurizes fuel for injection in the proper cylinder based on the relative port position of the rotating shaft in the hydraulic head

distributorless ignition system: (DIS or DLS) An electronic ignition system that does not have a conventional rotating distributor. Instead, it uses multi-spark ignition coils or one ignition coil for each spark plug.

distributor pipe: A pipe or tube through which the fuel travels from the fuel distributor to the injection nozzle

distributor rotor: A rotating part of the distributor which transfers high voltage to each spark plug. In a distributors with points, it is oblong-shaped; but in a distributors without points, it is usually a disc. Also called a "rotor" or "rotor arm."

distributor shaft: The metal shaft inside the distributor that has a cam wheel which revolves with the shaft and forces the points to open. A spring causes the points to close. The distributor rotor is mounted on the top of this shaft.

distributor tower: The terminals at the top of the distributor cap into which the spark plug wires fit. Also called "terminal tower"

distributor weight: One of two flat pieces of metal found inside the distributor's centrifugal advance mechanism on the baseplate. They swing out as speed increases and consequently advances the timing of the spark.

distributor wrench: A special tool used to tighten or loosen the distributor hold down clamp when installing or removing a distributor

dive: The action of the front of the vehicle to point downward (or dip) during braking. The opposite is squat. Also see anti-dive system anti-lift anti-squat system

anti-dive brake dive nose dive diversification: In today's market, especially in smaller centers, a dealership cannot make a profit on just one brand of vehicle -- especially foreign imports. Thus the dealership will diversify by having several brands (e.g., Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Mazda). A car manufacturer diversifies by making several different kinds of vehicles (trucks, vans, luxury cars, family-size cars, commuter cars, compacts, convertibles, sports cars, etc.) in an attempt to reach every segment of the population. Some dealers or manufacturers may diversify by offering lawnmowers, boat motors, and motorcycles as well as automobiles (e.g., Honda) or even musical instruments (e.g., Yamaha).

diversion: An alternative route which traffic has to follow due to closure of a stretch of road for repairs, etc. A detour.

divert: To cause (air, a liquid, traffic, etc.) to follow a different course. For example, air is diverted to the air cleaner; traffic has been diverted around the accident site.

diverter valve: [1] A valve which adds an amount of air to the rich air-fuel mixture entering the intake manifold during deceleration. [2] Used in air injection system to channel airflow to either the exhaust manifold or oxidation catalyst under different operating conditions. See air gulp valve air bypass valve divided propeller shaft: A propeller shaft, usually in long chassis rear-wheel drive vehicles, which is divided into two sections with a bearing and CV joint mounted on a chassis crossmember at the central point. Also called "divided propshaft"

divided propshaft: A propeller shaft, usually in long chassis rear-wheel drive vehicles, which is divided into two sections with a bearing and CV joint mounted on a chassis crossmember at the central point. Also called "divided propeller shaft"

divider: A measuring tool with two straight pointed arms used to mark off and transfer measurements, e.g., on sheet metal or other metal components. Also see spring divider divorced choke: Vacuum diaphragm is mounted on the carburetor, but the bimetal spring is mounted either on a pad on the intake manifold or in a heat well in the exhaust man. Choke lever is operated by a mechanical linkage rod from the bimetal spring. Also called a remote choke

DIY: An acronym for "Do-it-yourself." Also see do-it-yourself market DIY mechanic: A person, whether qualified or not, who does his own repairs on his own vehicle.

D-Jetronic: Term used by Bosch to describe a fuel injection system controlled by manifold pressure. The D is short for "druck," the German word for "pressure." Manifold pressure is measured to indicate engine load (how much air the engine is using.) This pressure is an input signal to the control unit (ECU) for calculation of the correct amount of fuel delivery

DKW: In 1904 Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen set up on his own as a manufacturer of boiler fittings. In 1906 he purchased a textile mill in Zschopau, Saxony. Production started there in 1907. During the First World War Rasmussen worked on a steam-driven vehicle (Dampfkraftwagen), from which the three letters DKW were derived. In 1922 the company Zschopauer Motorenwerke started manufacturing its own motorcycles. The sporting successes of the lightweight motorcycles with 2.25 hp two-stroke engine were remarkable. Victories in the Berlin Avus race in 1922 and the triple victory by the DKW team in the ADAC Reichsfahrt the same year made people sit up and take notice. The first DKW motorcycle was consequently called the Reichsfahrt. Over the next six years Zschopauer Motorenwerke/DKW established itself as the world's biggest motorcycle manufacturer. Rasmussen finally had access to a powerful engine for the DKW car (600 cc, 15 hp) in the form of the

two-cylinder motorcycle unit (1927). The vehicle, which had a load-bearing body covered in imitation leather, had rear-wheel drive. It was produced in the Spandau district of Berlin from 1928.

DL: An abbreviation for deluxe which is usually applied to a series of vehicles which is one step up from "custom"

DLI: Acronym for "distributorless ignition"

dlr: Abbreviation for "dealer"

dnf: A racing term for "Did not finish"

Doble: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

DOC: Acronym for "double overhead camshafts"

dock: See dry dock

document: See registration document vehicle registration document Dodge: A vehicle brand of which the 1967-70 Coronet R/T models are milestone dog: [1] Man's best friend.

Click for books on Dodge

[2] A vehicle in very bad shape, which may not be man's best friend. [3] A lug or protrusion on an object.

dog clutch: [1] A simple coupling with two halves called "dogs," with square projections in one that engage in square slots in the other to transmit drive, but can also be disengaged to break the drive. [2] Mating collars, flanges, or lugs which can be moved as desired to engage or disengage similar collars, flanges, or lugs in order to transmit rotary motion

dog guard: A grid made of tubular bars or wire mesh to keep a dog in the back part of a vehicle

dogleg pillar: The C-post or C-pillar.

dogleg section: An irregular shaped part of the leading edge of the rear quarter panel of a four-door sedan along the wheel cutout and up to the waistline

DOHC: Acronym for "double-overhead camshaft." Refers to an engine with two overhead camshafts. Also see double overhead cam engine type do-it-yourself market: (DIY) The vehicle maintenance and repairs conducted by the vehicle owner or friend/relative who purchase auto parts from a retail outlet.

do-it-yourself mechanic: A person, whether qualified or not, who does his own repairs on his own vehicle.

dolly: [1] A metalworking tool, available in a variety of shapes and sizes, comprising a curved polished block of cast iron or forged steel, used to assist in forming three-

dimensional shapes and in straightening dented panels, usually by holding the dolly behind the metal to be shaped and hammering the metal. See heel dolly. [2] A small two-wheeled trolley for moving heavy objects. [3] A trolley that supports the front wheels or back wheels of a disabled vehicle for towing it. Also see grid dolly heel dolly kidney dolly mushroom-shaped dolly shrinking dolly toe dolly wheel dolly domains: Groups of atoms that have same magnetic polarity

dome: See pop-up piston dome dome lamp: A dome-shaped interior light. Also called a "dome light."

dome light: A dome-shaped interior light. Also called a "dome light."

domestic: A vehicle produced in Canada, United States, or Mexico. The opposite is "foreign."

donor car: A car from which parts are used to repair another one of the same type or to build a special or kit car

door: The hinged side panels of a vehicle which permit the occupants to enter or leave the passenger compartment. In most cases the doors open so that the hinge is toward the front of the vehicle. When the hinge is toward the back of the vehicle, they are called "suicide doors."

Also see filler door five-door four-door gull-wing door pull-out door handle rear-hinged door sagging door suicide door three-door two-door door alignment: Accuracy or fitting of the door in the door aperture

door aperture: opening into which the door fits

door beam: A longitudinal reinforcing bar which fits between the inner and outer shell of the door. It is designed to withstand side impacts. Also called a side impact bar.

door bottom: The lower door area, both of the door skin and of the door frame, also the narrow horizontal lower panel of the door frame that has the drain holes

door capping: the molding between the door trim panel and the window glass

door check arm: A metal part near the hinge which has several notches which allows the door to remain partially or fully open

door check strap: A leather strap near the hinge which prevents the door from opening too far.

door face: The edges of a door which are not visible from the outside or inside when the door is shut. Also called "door shut."

door frame: [1] the bare skeleton of the door to which the door skin and door trim are added. [2] the door aperture.

door gap: The distance around the door between the edge of the door and the aperture

door glass: The glass pane filling the top half of a door, which can usually be lowered or raised

door handle: The interior or exterior handle for opening a door. Also see pull-out door handle door hinge: The pivoting part which is attached to the door fram and the door pillar. It allows the door to swing open or shut.

door hold-open spring: A spring attached to the door hinge to provide a spring load to keep the door in an open position

door latch: That part of the door lock which contacts the striker plate as the door is closed, and springs back when the door is fully shut to hold it in the closed position

door lock: A mechanism for allowing a door to be opened either by the operation of a key on the outside of the door or by releasing a mechanical switch on the inside of the door.

door lock de-icer: A fluid which is inserted into the key-hole to melt the ice which has bound the tumblers in a door lock.

door mirror:

An exterior, door mounted, rear-view mirror. On trucks and older vehicles the mirror is manually adjusted; but on many cars they are adjuste either by a cable inside the cab or by an electric motor with the switch inside the cab. The control device is located on the door, on the dash, or on the console between the driver and passenger.

door pad: The door inner trim panel

door panel: A panel covered in vinyl or other material and mounted to the inside of the door

door pillar: One of the vertical members of the body shell ahead of and behind the doors, which also support the roof structure and reinforce the body as a whole

door pillar switch: A small switch, typically in the lower portion of the A-pillar, whose main function is to turn on the courtesy lights when the door is opened and to indicate that the door is open especially if the key is left in the door.

door pocket: A container or pouch located on the lower inside portion of the door. It can be used to store maps and other small items

door post: One of the vertical members of the body shell ahead of and behind the doors, which also support the roof structure and reinforce the body as a whole

door protector: A strip of rubber, plastic, or chrome which fits over the edge of the door to protect it from damage when opened carelessly

door pull: A handle on the inside of a vehicle door which allows the driver/passenger to pull his door shut

door rates:

The hourly rates charged by dealers on standardized units of service work. Hourly rates may or may not correspond to an actual hour of work.

door seal: A weatherstrip surrounding the door to form a seal when the door is closed

door shut: The edges of a door which are not visible from the outside or inside when the door is shut. Also called "door face."

door sill: The bottom part of the door frame (i.e., the pat under the door when it is closed).

door skin: The large sheet metal panel of the door visible from the outside. Available to body shops as a replacement panel for most cars

door speaker: Radio/stereo speakers mounted in the door panel

door stay: A device incorporated in door hinges that keeps the door in an open position and prevents it from closing under its own weight

door step: Top part of the outer sill, visible when the door is opened

door surround: The faces of the door step, door pillars, and roof section which makes up the door aperture

door trim: A panel covered in vinyl or other material and mounted to the inside of the door

door well: A cavity enclosed by the door frame, door skin, and trim panel containing the window winding mechanism and into which the window glass is lowered

doosy: See Duesy.

dope: Highly combustible alcohol/methanol-based fuel mixture

Dorris: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

dos-a-dos: Back to back seating on older cars where the driver and front passenger faced forward; but the two rear passengers faced rearward.

DOT: Acronym for "Department of Transportation" -- an American federal agency or "Department of Transport" -- a British agency

DOT 3: This brake fluid has a glycol base. It is clear or light amber in color. Its dry boiling point is 401° minimum and wet boiling point of 284° minimum. It will absorb 1 to 2 percent of water per year depending on climate and operating conditions. It is used in most domestic cars and light trucks in normal driving. It does not require cleaning the system and it can be mixed with DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 without damage to the system. The problem with it is that it absorbs moisture out of the air and thereby reduces its boiling point. It can also damage the paint on a vehicle.

DOT 4: This brake fluid has a borate ester base. It is clear or light amber in color. Its dry boiling point is 446° minimum and wet boiling point of 311° minimum. It is used in many European cars; also for vehicles in high-altitude, towing, or high-speed braking situations, or ABS systems. It does not require cleaning the system and it can be mixed with DOT 3 without damage to the system. The problem with it is that it absorbs moisture out of the air and thereby reduces its boiling point. It can also damage the paint on a vehicle.

DOT 5: This brake fluid generally has a silicone base. It is violet in color. Its dry boiling point is 500° minimum and has no wet boiling point in federal DOT 5

specifications. It is used in heavy brake applications, and good for weekend, antique, or collector cars that sit for long periods and are never driven far. It does not mix with DOT 3, DOT 4, or DOT 5.1. It will not absorb water and will not damage the paint on a vehicle. It is also compatible with most rubber formulations. The problem with it is that it may easily get air bubbles into the system which are nearly impossible to remove, giving poor pedal feel. It is unsuitable for racing due to compressibility under high temperatures. If as little as one drop of water enters the fluid, severe localized corrosion, freezing, or gassing may occur. This can happen because water is heavier and not mixable with silicone fluids. It is unsuitable for ABS.

DOT 5.1: This brake fluid has a borate ester base. It is clear or light amber in color. Its dry boiling point is 500° minimum and wet boiling point of 356° minimum. It is used in severe-duty vehicles such as fleets and delivery trucks; towing vehicles, and race cars. It can be mixed with DOT 3 or DOT 4 without damage to the system. It maintains higher boiling point than DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluids due to its higher borate ester content. It is excellent for severe duty applications. The problem with it is that it costs more than other fluids and there is limited availability. It also absorbs moisture out of the air and thereby reduces its boiling point. It can also damage the paint on a vehicle.

DOT number: The symbol DOT on a tire means it meets or exceeds Department of Transportation safety standards. Following DOT are a maximum of eleven numbers. E.g., "DOT FT TW A2NX 092." ("DOT" = meets or exceeds federal standards; "FT" = identifies manufacturing plant; "TW" = the code for tire size; "A2N" or "A2NX-3" or optional 4 digits = manufacturer's code to identify the characteristics of the tire; "092" = Week of mfg., in this case, 9th week of 1972. Prior to May 22, 1971 the manufacturer's plant was identified by only three numbers (Example DOT 129). Retreaded tires must also have a new serial number and can be determined by the letter "R" following DOT letters.

double-acting: (of a shock absorber or pump) having a piston with fluid on both sides so that in a pump one piston end performs the suction stroke while the other discharges the liquid, and in a shock absorber both upward and downward movements are damped

double-barrel carburetor: Two throttle openings or barrels from the carburetor to the intake manifold. Also called "twin-choke carburetor." Also see

four-barrel carburetor single-barrel carburetor double bottom: Compartments at the bottom of a ship between inner bottom and the shell plating, used for fresh water, ballast water, fuel oil, etc

double cap nut: (Budd mounting) A type of securing device which consists of an inner cap nut (sleeve nut) and an outer cap nut. It is the most common method for mounting disc wheels in dual.

double century: A bicycle ride of 200 miles.

double clutch: See double clutching.

double clutching: Vehicles with manual transmission and no synchromesh have difficulty shifting from one gear to another. With synchromesh, shifting is accomplished by depressing the clutch pedal and moving the gearshift selector from one gear to the next. Without synchromesh, shifting is not smooth unless you double clutch. Here you depress the clutch pedal shift to neutral lift up on the clutch pedal blip the throttle (accelerator), then depress the clutch pedal again and shift to the next gear. While this action seems complicated, you can get used to doing it to avoid the grinding noise heard in non-synchromesh transmissions.

double coat: Two single coats of primer or paint applied with little or no flash time between them. Also see single coat double-decker: A passenger bus with a set of seats on a floor above a lower set.

double-decker bus:

A passenger bus with a set of seats on a floor above a lower set.

double-declutch: A British term for double clutch

double-ended spanner: British term for double-ended wrench

double-ended wrench: A tool which has a hexagon ring at each end.

double filament bulb: A light bulb with two filaments. For example a headlamp bulb with one for the high beam and another for the low beam; or a bulb with one filament for the stop light and another for the taillight.

double flare: The end of the tubing, especially brake tubing, has a flare made so that the flare area uses two wall thicknesses. This makes a much stronger and safer joint in bicycle tubing.

double helical gear: A gear with two rows of inclined teeth, each forming an open "V" or chevron. Also called "herringbone gear"

double hexagon socket: A socket with 12 points rather than the normal 6 points.

double leading brake shoe: A system of braking where two hydraulic plungers and separate pivots create better braking when the vehicle is going forward; however it is not very effective when the vehicle goes in reverse. Also see single leading brake shoe double overhead cam: (DOHC) An engine with two camshafts located above the cylinders. One

drives the intake valves and the other operates the exhaust valve. In a single overhead cam engine (SOHC), one cam has enough lobes to drive both the intake and exhaust valves. The DOHC engine is considered to be a very sophisticated and more efficient engine; but is sometimes more difficult to adjust the valves. Also called "twin overhead camshaft." See engine type. double overhead camshaft: See double overhead cam

double-pivot steering: Steering in which the steered wheels are pivoted on kingpins, which is the usual arrangement on motor vehicles. Also see ackermann steering single-pivot steering double reduction axle: A drive axle construction in which two sets of reduction gears are used for extreme reduction of gear ratio

double reduction gearing: Gearing in which the ratio is reduced in two stages, used especially in heavy trucks

double roller chain: See duplex chain

double-tube shock absorber: An older design of hydraulic shock absorber using two concentric tubes, one serving as the working cylinder, the other as the reservoir. Also see single-tube shock absorber double wishbone: A form of independent suspension used on the front of a vehicle where both the upper and lower wishbones are of equal length.

double wishbone suspension: See double wishbone

doughnut: See rubber doughnut coupling

doughnut coupling: A flexible joint made of rubber and shaped like a ring doughnut. It is used, for example, between the front of the propeller shaft and the gearbox. Also called "doughnut joint." Also see rubber doughnut coupling doughnut joint: A flexible coupling made of rubber and shaped like a ring doughnut. It is used, for example, between the front of the propeller shaft and the gearbox. Also called "doughnut coupling."

dowel: A pin projecting from one of two mating surfaces which fits into a correspondng hole in the other thus lining up the two pieces accurately during assembly. Also see locating dowel dowel pin: A pin (steel or wood), passed through or partly through, two parts to provide proper alignment and to prevent movement between them. Sometimes called "locating pin."

downdraft carburetor: A carburetor in which the air passes downward through the carburetor into the intake manifold. Contrasts with sidedraft carburetor.

downdraught carburetor: British spelling for downdraft carburetor

downflow radiator: A traditional type of vertical radiator, with header tank and bottom tank and a system of small tubes and cooling fins in-between, the hot water entering at the top and exiting at the bottom. This type of radiator has been replaced by a crossflow radiator.

downforce: A vertical force directed downward, produced by airflow around an object such as the body of a vehicle.

downgearing: See downshifting.

downhand welding: See flat position welding

downpipe: The pipe that joins the entire exhaust system to the exhaust manifold.

downshift: The act of selecting a lower gear. In Britain it is called "downward change." Also see forced downshift downshifting: Manually shifting to a lower gear in order to use the engine compression to assist in reducing the vehicle's speed. Also called "downgearing."

downstroke: The downward movement of the piston, either the intake stroke or the power stroke in a four-cycle engine.

downtime: Downtime occurs when a vehicle is being repaired (esp. a commercial vehicle), it cannot fulfil its function. There is a loss in both potential proceeds from its use as well as the salary of its operators.

down tube: The tube running from the headset to the bottom bracket one part of the main triangle on a bicycle frame.

downward change: A British expression of shifting the transmission to a lower gear. The North American term is downshift.

dozer: A portable frame straightening machine

DP: Acronym for "dash-pot"

D-pillar: The fourth vertical post in a van or station wagon. Also called D-post

D-post: The fourth vertical pillar in a van or station wagon. Also called D-pillar

dr: Abbreviation for "door," as in 2-dr. Sedan."

draft: [1] An unpleasant current of air intruding into the interior of a car. [2] The depth of the ship below the waterline measured vertically to the lowest part of the hull. Also see horizontal draft carburetor drafting: The action of following closely behind a faster vehicle so as to take advantage of the aerodynamic effect which causes both the vehicles behind and the one in front to move faster. See slip stream.

draft marks: The numbers which are placed on each side of a ship at the bow and stern from the lower edge of the number to the bottom of the keel

drag: [1] To accelerate a vehicle from a standing start, over a course one-fourth mile in length. Also called "drag racing." [2] Used by some drivers when referring to challenging another driver to an acceleration race. [3] Air resistance. See aerodynamic drag.

[4] The condition of a clutch when it fails to fully disengage. The plates still rub against each other and causes intermittent contact between the engine output and the transmission gears. Called "clutch drag." [5] The condition of brakes when the pads or shoes still rub the disc or drum. Called "brake drag." Also see aerodynamic drag clutch drag coefficient of drag idling drag wind drag drag coefficient: (Cd) A number used in calculating the aerodynamic drag acting on a vehicle. The drag coefficient is a function of factors like the shape of the vehicle, airflow through the vehicle for ventilation and cooling. The number is determined in a wind-tunnel or by coasting tests performed on the vehicle. The lower the drag coefficient the less drag on the vehicle and the more aerodynamic is the vehicle. A sleek vehicle has a drag coefficient, or "Cd," of about 0.30; a square, flat plate's is 1.98. Also signified by Cx.

drag link: A steel rod connecting the pitman arm to one of the steering knuckles. On some installations the drag link connects the pitman arm to a center idler arm.

drag race: A competitive match between two vehicles in which they race over a 1/4 mile course.

dragster: A specially constructed car for drag racing, typically with a huge supercharged V-8 engine mounted well back in the chassis and extremely wide rear tires

dragstrip: A quarter-mile stretch of track for drag racing

drag wheel: Special steering wheel used on some dragsters. Often consists of a crossbar spoke and a portion of rim on each end.

drain: [1] To empty a container usually from the bottom. [2] A tube or channel which allows water to run to another place. Also see magnetic drain plug oil drain plug oil drain valve radiator drain cock radiator drain plug draincock: A petcock or drain tap. Also see radiator drain cock drain hole: A hole drilled in the bottom of a box section or a door, to allow water that has accumulated to escape so as to prevent or delay rusting

draining tray: A container used to catch oil when draining the sump, transmission, etc.

drain plug: Usually a threaded plug at the lowest point of the sump, gearbox, cooling system, etc., which is removed in order to drain the oil or coolant, and typically has a recessed hexagon head. Also see magnetic drain plug oil drain plug oil pan drain plug radiator drain plug sump drain plug drain plug key: A tool for removing and tightening drain plugs, e.g., on transmissions and engine sumps, either as a multi-purpose tool with a number of different drives in the form of hexagonal or square projections at either end for different drain plugs, or as a special tool for one specific size of drain plug. Also called a "drain plug wrench."

drain plug spanner:

A British term for a drain plug wrench

drain tap: A device which controls the flow of fluid (oil or coolant) out of the bottom of the cylinder block or the bottom of the radiator.

drain plug wrench: A tool for removing and tightening drain plugs, e.g., on transmissions and engine sumps, either as a multi-purpose tool with a number of different drives in the form of hexagonal or square projections at either end for different drain plugs, or as a special tool for one specific size of drain plug. Also called a "drain plug key."

drain valve: See oil drain valve

draught: British spelling for "draft"

draught excluder: A British term for "weatherstrip"

draw: [1] To form wires by pulling the wire stock through a series of hardened dies. [2] The process of removing the hardness from a piece of metal. [3] The amount of electrical load or electrical requirement.

drawback: See duty drawback

drawbar: Two converging bars forming a V-frame or an A-frame at the front of a trailer or motorhome, which carry the coupling for attaching to the towing vehicle

draw filing: A file is drawn across work at right angles. See draw-filing.


Filing by passing the file, at right angles, up and down the length of the work.

draw-through: A tubocharger system in which the turbocharger sucks the air/fuel mixture through the carburetor or fuel in, i.e., the air and fuel mixing occurs upstream from the turbocharger

dream car: A one-of-a-kind futuristic, experimental automobile usually appearing at auto shows to stimulate interest in the manufacturer's products. Much design benefit spurs from dream cars and many reach the production stage.

dress: [1] to give (a rough surface, flanges, etc.) the right shape by grinding or a similar process. [2] To prepare ore for smelting by removing impurities.

dressing: See tire dressing

dribble: Insufficiently atomized fuel issuing from the fuel injection nozzle at or immediately following the end of the main injection phase

drier: [1] A dehumidifier. [2] A drying oven. Also see A-drier accumulator-drier accumulator drier gelling drier infrared radiant drier receiver-drier top coat drier tunnel drier drift: [1] A short bar or punch used with a hammer to drive a component in or out of place for removal or installation.

[2] To deviate from the normal direction. See four-wheel Drift tire deviation angle drift punch: A tapered tool which is hit with a hammer and used to remove or install pins, shafts, rivets, etc. or to align holes when inserting screws and bolts.

drill: [1] A tool used to bore holes. [2] The action of using a drill to make a hole. Also see hammer drill hand drill letter drills number drills press, drill spot-weld drill twist drill drill bit: A piece of rod with spiral recesses cut in it and a hardened steel tip, made in different sizes for drilling different sized holes, and inserted in the chuck of a drill

drilled: An expression used to describe a hole which has been cut into a crankshaft to allow oil to be fed to the main bearings on the connecting rod throws.

drill press: A nonportable machine used for drilling.

d ring: See D-ring.

d-ring: A D-shaped ring found on many models of bicycle shift levers, used to adjust the level of tension on the inner parts of the lever.

drip molding: The curved metal molding around the edge of the roof that directs water away from the side windows. Also called "drip rail"

drip moulding: British term for "drip rail"

drip rail: A gutter running along either side of the roof to take water to the front or rear of the car, and prevent it from dripping into the car when the door is opened. The British term is "drip moulding"

drivable: The condition of a vehicle which may have many mechanical and appearance problems, but it has an engine which runs and wheels that turn, etc. so that it can be operated and driven.

drivability: The general qualitative evaluation of a powertrain's operating qualities, including idle smoothness, cold and hot starting, throttle response, power delivery, and tolerance for altitude changes.

drive: [1] to travel in a car as in the expression, "We drove to Chicago." [2] to operate a vehicle as in the expression, "Martha drove to New York by herself." [3] to cause a wheel, shaft, etc. to turn or rotate. [4] to propel a vehicle. [5] a journey in a car as in "The drive to Chicago was uneventful." [6] to go for a drive as in, "We went for a drive last Sunday." [7] A stretch of private road leading to a house (i.e., driveway). [8] A means of transmitting power or motion as in "The drive is controlled by a servo switch." [9] A tool which has a square end (1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, or 1/2 inch) which fits into a recess in a corresponding socket for the installation or removal of nuts and bolts. [10] a die position. [11] One of the forward gears marked on the gear selector of an automatic transmission. Also see all-wheel drive all wheel drive

automatic four-wheel drive axle drive belt drive bendix drive bendix type starter drive bevel gear drive camshaft drive sprocket camshaft drive center drive chain drive clutch starter drive direct drive powertrain direct drive dual drive eccentric drive Ferguson four-wheel drive final drive gear final drive ratio final drive fixed drive flexible drive handle flexible drive four-wheel drive friction drive front-wheel drive front wheel drive full-time four-wheel drive hotchkiss drive hydrostatic drive inertia drive intermediate drive plate left-hand drive meshing drive metallic drive screw overrunning clutch starter drive part-time four-wheel drive permanent four-wheel drive real-time four-wheel drive rear-wheel drive rear-wheel drive transaxle right-hand drive shaft drive starter drive strap drive tandem drive test-drive

test drive torque tube drive torsen four-wheel drive tri-drive two-wheel drive v-belt drive drive belt: A flat belt which connects two or more pulleys so as to transmit motion from one pulley to the other. Also see camshaft drive belt drive cable: See speedometer drive cable

drive chain: An endless chain which encircles two or more sprockets so as to transmit motion from one sprocket to the other

drive end: The end of an alternator, generator, etc., where the drive pulley or gear is located.

drive end bracket: The cover which houses the drive end of an alternator or generator

drive fit: A condition of fit (contact) between two parts that requires pressure to force the parts together. Usually the shaft is slightly larger than the hole so that they must be pounded or forced or driven together. Also called "force fit," "press fit," or "interference fit."

drive gear: The gear which transmits the power to a driven gear. Also see final drive gear drive handle:

A tool, typically in the form of a bar, for turning sockets to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts, with a male square drive to be inserted into the female square drive of sockets for the turning operation. They include ratchets, jointed handles, speed brace, T-handles, torque wrenches, speeeder handle, and breaker bar. Also see flexible drive handle drive layout: The arrangement of the order of the engine, transmission, and driven axles, e.g., Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, mid-engine drive, four-wheel drive, two-wheel drive

drive line: See driveline

driveline: All the individual components beyond the engine up to the wheels (e.g., clutch, drive shaft, differential, driven axles); but not the engine or transmission. Also called "drivetrain" or "powertrain"

drive module: interchangeable unit providing motive power, either in the form of an electric motor and ancillaries, or an internal combustion engine with all necessary components, for alternative use in the same vehicle according to needs and conditions

drive motor: electric motor providing motive power in an electric vehicle

driven: Something made to rotate by the engine or some other source of motive power. Also see two-wheel driven driven axle: The axle to which power is transmitted to drive the vehicle

driven gear: An engine needs to transmit power to the wheels by the use of sprockets and chain (as in a motorcycle) or by a drive gear which meshes with a driven gear to propel

the vehicle.

driven plate: The central clutch plate carrying clutch linings and held under pressure between the flywheel and the pressure plate when the clutch pedal is released, and transmitting power to the gearbox input shaft via splines

driven pulley: A pulley which is surrounded by a belt to receive power from the drive pulley

driven sprocket: On a vehicle which uses a chain (like a bicycle and some motorcycles), there are two important sprockets: the drive sprocket is connected to the power source (the engine or your pedals) and the driven sprocket is usually connected to your rear wheel.

driven wheel: The wheel (or wheels) to which power is transmitted to drive the vehicle

drive pinion: The shaft that takes power from the clutch into the gearbox. Also see clutch shaft hypoid gear drive plate: A light plate bolted to the crankshaft to which the torque converter is attached in a vehicle with automatic transmission. Also see center drive plate intermediate drive plate torque converter drive plate drive powertrain: See direct drive powertrain

drive pulley:

A pulley which is surrounded by a belt to transmit power to the driven pulley

driver: [1] A collectible vehicle which is too good to treat as a beater and not quite good enough to show. It is a presentable old car or truck that is used for everyday purposes. It is maintained as though it were a late-model vehicle. With care, it could be easily restored to show car condition. [2] A person who operates the controls of a vehicle to regulate its speed and direction. [3] A tool used to insert something like a fastening device (e.g., screwdriver). [4] Also see drivers impact driver nut driver rim drivers socket driver tubular nut driver valve guide driver driver air bag: original type of air bag, designed to protect the driver from being hurled into the steering wheel and instrument panel

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: (DVLA) A section of the British Department of Transport which is responsible for keeping records of all registered vehicles and issuing registrations and licences for vehicles as well as licences for drivers. The center is located in Swansea.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Center: The location for the British Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency located in Swansea.

drive ratio: See final drive ratio

driver error: A mistake made by the operator of a vehicle particularly when there is an accident. An accident may be caused by a vehicle failure (e.g., a tire blowout), unsafe road conditions (e.g., snow, ice, fallen rock or tree), the inattention of a pedestrian, or the fault of a driver (e.g., drunkenness, inattention, intentional damage, disobedience to

rules of the road).

driver evaluation: A test of a driver's ability to handle a vehicle. May be used to grant a driver's licence for a particular type of vehicle (i.e., motorcycle, passenger car, truck, bus, taxi)

drivers: Colloquial term for "drive axle tires." Also see rim drivers drive screw: See metallic drive screw

driveshaft: The shaft connecting the transmission output shaft to the differential pinion shaft. It transmits power from the transmission to the differential. It is found primarily on rear-drive vehicles. There is usually a universal joint on either end. Also called "propeller shaft." Also see auxilliar drive shaft bevel drive shaft drive shaft: See driveshaft driveshaft safety strap: A metal strap or straps, surrounding the driveshaft to prevent the shaft from falling to the ground in the event of a universal joint or shaft failure.

drive sprocket: On a vehicle which uses a chain (like a bicycle and some motorcycles), there are two important sprockets: the drive sprocket is connected to the power source (the engine or your pedals) and the driven sprocket is usually connected to your rear wheel. Also see camshaft drive sprocket drive tool:

Any accessory for use with a socket wrench, including the drive handle

drive train: [1] This term refers to the entire moving part of the car: Engine, clutch, transmission, driveshaft, differential, axles, and sometimes the wheels. Also see strain in the drive train [2] The derailleurs, chain, freewheel, and crankset of a bicycle.

drivetrain: [1] This term refers to the entire moving part of the car: Engine, clutch, transmission, driveshaft, differential, axles, and sometimes the wheels. [2] The derailleurs, chain, freewheel, and crankset of a bicycle.

drive transaxle: See rear-wheel drive transaxle

driveway: A short drive, often leading to a garage

driving: [1] providing motive power, making a gear, shaft, etc. rotate. [2] Controlling the movement and direction of a vehicle. Also see al fresco driving defensive driving metro driving urban driving driving axle: The axle which is driven by the engine through the drivetrain. Used to hold, align, and drive rear wheels and support weight of vehicle on rear wheel drive cars, or half shafts on front wheel drive cars that provide torque force to front wheels. Also called the "drive axle" or "driven axle"

driving conditions: The situation created by the amount of traffic, the weather, and state of the roads

driving gear: The gear which is driven by the engine. Also called the "driven gear"

driving habits: The personal behaviour of the driver when controlling the vehicle, including the speeds he travels, how and when he shifts gears, how he uses the brakes, when and if he uses his signal lights, how he changes lanes, how he turns corners, etc.

driving lamp: A British term for "driving light" or "spot light." Also see auxilliar driving lamp driving licence: A British term for "driver's licence" or "operator's licence." A document which allows the holder to drive a certain type or types of vehicle, and is the only document required to be carried by the driver in Britain

driving light: An auxiliary light used at night to illuminate the side of the road and increase the viewing distance. Also see auxiliary driving light driving mirror: A British term for either the interior rear-view mirror or the mirrors mounted on the outside of the front doors or the front fenders

driving position: The position in which the driver grasps the steering wheel and adjusts the location of the seat in relation to the pedals.

driving style: The manner in which the driver handles a vehicle. See sporty driving style

driving wheel: The wheel(s) which is driven by the engine through the drivetrain. Also called the "driven wheel"

drop: [1] A sudden reduction of pressure or voltage, etc. See voltage drop. [2] The vertical distance from the horizontal line connecting the two wheel axles and the bottom bracket, one way of determining the location of the bottom bracket in relation to the rest of the bicycle frame. Also see drops drop arm: A British term for the pitman arm

drop-center axle: A beam axle in which the main central portion of the beam is lower than the wheel centers, which was the usual layout for front axles until independent front suspension became almost universal

drop-center rim: See drop center rim

drop center rim: A one-piece rim with a deep center section which is lower than the two outer edges, this allows the bead of the tire to be pushed into the low area on one side while the other side is pulled over and off the flange. The British term is "well-base rim"

drop center rim taper: A passenger rim where both bead seats are tapered 5° or a tubeless truck rim where both bead seats are tapered 15°.

drop-centre rim: See drop center rim

drop centre rim: See drop center rim

drop forged: A part that has been formed by heating the steel blank red hot and pounding it into shape with a powerful drop hammer.

drop forging: A piece of steel shaped between dies while hot

drophead: [1] A British term for a convertible. The word "head" refers to the roof. [2] Having a folding top which can be raised or lowered over the passenger compartment. See drophead coupé Jaguar Drophead Lagonda Drophead drophead coupe: (DHC) This is a two-door automobile which has the appearance of a convertible, but the roof is fixed in place. Abbreviated: dhc. In Europe, it is called a "cabriolet."

drophead coupé: This is a two-door automobile which has the appearance of a convertible, but the roof is fixed in place. Abbreviated: dhc. In Europe, it is called a "cabriolet."

dropout: A slot in the frame into which the rear wheel axle fits. Also see fork tips dropout hanger: A threaded metal piece that extends below the right rear dropout of a bicycle used as a mount for the rear derailleur.

dropped axle: A front axle that has been altered so as to lower the frame of the vehicle, consists of bending the axle downward at the outer ends.

dropped valve: A situation where the rising piston hits a valve which has become dislodged or open at the wrong time.

drops: The lower, straight portion of a turned-down-type handlebar set.

droptop: A colloquial term for "convertible."

Druid forks: Side-sprung girder forks on a motorcycle. Druid was the original maker

drum: [1] A cylindrical container. [2] A housing for transmission gears where the bands are located. [3] To make a "whump, whump" sound. Also see brake drum brake drum lathe drum brake drum brake: A type of brake using a shallow drum-shaped metal cylinder that attaches to the inner surface of the wheel and rotates with it. When you press down on the brake pedal, curved brake shoes with friction linings press against the inner circumference of the drum to slow or stop the vehicle. Also see brake drum drum brakes: See drum brake.

drum compound: See anti-drum compound

drum lathe: See brake drum lathe

dry: [1] For paint, to lose its wetness often to the place where the surface is not even tacky. [2] For bearings, to lack grease or other lubricant.

Also see air-dry air dry hard-dry surface dry touch-dry dry ballast: A form of ballasting where a fine powder of barium sulphate is inserted inside the tire. It is sometimes referred to incorrectly as "Lead" ballast because of one brand name, "Ledballast."

dry battery: See dry cell.

dry boiling point: The temperature at which fresh brake fluid from a new container will boil. See wet boiling point, and DOT 3.

dry cargo ship: Vessel which carries all dry cargo

dry cell: A battery (like a flashlight battery) that uses no liquid electrolyte.

dry charged battery: A battery with the plates charged but lacking electrolyte when ready to be placed in service, the electrolyte is added.

dry clutch: A clutch with only one plate.

dry dock: An enclosed basin used to place a ship on dry land so that all the submerged parts and fittings can be repaired.


See a-dryer

dry friction: Dry friction exists when the rubbing parts have no other substance between them and are clean of other materials (i.e., no grease or oil). Opposite to wet friction.

dry galvanizing: A hot-dip galvanizing method in which the metal components are first immersed in a solution of flux and then dried, so that they become pre-coated with a thin film of flux, which melts in the zinc bath, to which certain metals, such as tin and aluminum, may be added to give fluidity, and in the case of tin, brightness. The opposite is wet galvanizing

drying oven: An enclosure where painted vehicle bodies are subjected to heat in order to dry and/or bake on the paint

dry joint: A faulty electrical joint which does not give proper contact

dry liner: When a cylinder sleeve is pressed into a bore and the cooling fluid does not contact the outside of the sleeve, the engine has a dry liner. Also see liner dry manifold: An intake manifold with no integral coolant passages cast into it

dry setting: The adjustment of the float with a graduated rule or drill bit while the carburetor is disassembled on the bench. Usually consists of setting a prescribed clearance between the top of the float and the air horn

dry sleeve: A cylinder sleeve application in which the sleeve is supported in the block metal over its entire length, the coolant does not touch the sleeve itself. Also see

wet sleeve dry spray: See dry-spray.

dry-spray: A paint fault where the paint pigment is not being held properly by the binder, or where the binder evaporates before the paint reaches the surface. Atomized paint that does not dissolve into the material being sprayed. It is caused by holding the gun too far from the work, too much air pressure or a solvent that evaporates too fast.

dry sump: A lubrication system in which the engine's supply of oil is not contained in the crankcase (sump) but is pumped to the engine from an external container. This system allows the crankcase to be reduced in size and the engine to be installed lower in the chassis, and eliminates the oil starvation most conventional oiling systems suffer when subjected to the accelerative, braking, and cornering forces generated by a racing car.

dry sump lubrication: See dry sump

dry weight: The weight of a vehicle without any fuel, oil, or coolant. Also see curb weight gross vehicle weight DS: Acronym for "Diesel Severe" oil for use in under adverse conditions in diesel engines.

dual: [1] a combination of two nearly identical parts (e.g., a truck with dual tires has two tires at each end of the axle). [2] In Britain, dual is a verb meaning to twin a highway or railroad.


See double-acting

dual axles: See tandem axles.

dual bead tire: Heavy service and large truck tires using two or more sets of bead wires in each bead rather than one.

dual-bed catalytic converter: A catalytic converter which combines two converters (with different catalysts) in a single housing

dual brake: See dual brakes.

dual brakes: A brake system that uses a tandem or dual master cylinder to provide separate brake system for both front and rear of vehicle. In the event of a loss of hydraulic fluid, one system may still work because it is independent of the other system. Often the front left brake is linked with the right rear brake. Likewise the right front brake is linked with the left rear brake. Some cars like the Rolls-Royce, link the two front brakes with the right rear brake, and the two front brakes with the left rear brake. Also called "dual-circuit braking system." dual braking system: See dual brakes.

dual breaker points: A distributor, using two sets of breaker points, to increase the cam angle so that at high engine speeds, sufficient spark will be produced to fire the plugs.

dual carbs: Two carburetors on the same engine.

dual carburetors:

Two carburetors on the same engine.

dual carriageway: A British term for a divided highway (i.e., a road that has four lanes -- two in one direction and two in the other -- separated by a median).

dual-circuit braking system: See dual brakes

dual controls: A second set of controls for use by a driving instructor when teaching someone to drive

dual drive: [1] Tandem axles, both powered directly by the engine. [2] Colloquial term for twin screw.

dual exhaust system: See twin exhausts

dual fuel engine: An engine equipped to operate on two different fuels such as gasoline and LP-Gas

Dual Ghia: A vehicle brand of which the 1956-58 models are milestone cars.

dual ignition system: See twin ignition system

dual-line braking system: A braking system in which a towing vehicle and trailer are connected by two or more brake lines

dual mounting: Two tires mounted together on each side of an axle of several types: cast spoke type, disc wheel type (held on by double cap nuts or inner cap nuts and outer cap nuts), Chevrolet type, and motor wheel type

dual overhead cam engine: See double overhead cam engine.

dual-piston engine: See twin-piston engine

dual-piston master cylinder: See tandem master cylinder

dual purpose ship: Specially designed ship for carrying different types of cargoes such as ore and/or oil.

dual-range gearbox: See dual-range transmission

dual-range transmission: A transmission in a four-wheel drive vehicle and some motorcycles with two sets of ratios, usually a higher set for road use and a lower set for off-road use.

dual reduction axle: A drive axle construction with two sets of pinions and gears, either of which can be used

duals: [1] Two sets of exhaust pipes and mufflers -- one for each bank of cylinders. [2] Two tires on each end of an axle. Also see between duals kissing between duals dual spacing: A measurement in inches (or millimeters) from the center of the tread of one tire, to the center tread of the other tire in dual, which provides clearance between duals for air circulation.

dual-tone horn: See two-tone horn

Dubonnet suspension: An independent front suspension and steering arrangement used in the 1930s and '40s, in which the axle beam is rigidly attached to the vehicle frame, and the kingpins carry sprung steering and suspension arms, from which the wheels are mounted on stub axles

duct: A tube through which air, gas, or liquid is conducted. See NACA duct. Also see air duct naca duct oil duct ductile: Metal which can be bent, hammered, or drawn out into wire or sheet without fracturing

ductility: The ability of a material to undergo stretching or bending without fracturing

Duesenberg: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars. duesy:

Click for books on Duesenberg

Expression to indicate quality, as "It's a duesy." The word is derived from the high quality Duesenberg automobiles.

dull: [1] A finish that is not shiny. [2] A blade, saw, or drill bit that is not sharp. Also see go dull dumbirons:

The front extensions of the side members of a chassis frarne in older designs, to which were fitted the front ends of the leaf springs carrying the front axle.

dummy: A stuffed figure made to look like a human being, used, for instance, when crash testing cars. Also called a crash test dummy. Also see crash test dummy side impact dummy dummy lights: [1] Exterior lights which do not work, but may enhance the appearance of a vehicle. [2] The idiot lights that indicate a condition, but does not give details as a gauge would do, e.g., an oil light that indicates low pressure. By the time it comes on, you may have damaged your engine.

dump: See end dump

dump body: A large truck's metal body which is generally hinged at rear and dumped by hydraulic means. The size is generally given in cubic yard water level capacity.

dumps: See bottom dumps

dump truck: [1] A large truck with a bed designed to be tilted at its front to unload its contents usually through a gate in the rear. [2] In Britain it is a small truck with a tipping container in front of the driver, used in construction, like a front-end loader

dump valve: A valve for relieving pressure, such as that between the turbocharger and the carburetor in some systems


Cushioning material placed among cargo to prevent their motion

duo-servo brake: A servo brake with one double-end wheel cylinder and two linked self-energizing brake shoes

duplex: Double, having two parts. Applies to motorcycle frames with two downtubes, and chains with double rows of rollers

duplex chain: A chain with two rows of rollers, used especially for timing chains. Also see simplex chain triplex chain DuPont: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

durability: [1] The ability of a component or entire vehicle to last a long time. [2] The expected lifespan of a paint film

durable: The ability of something to be serviceable for a long time before being replaced

Duraspark system: Ford electronic ignitions system

duration: The length of time that an action is allowed to operate or that something is supposed to last. Also see spark duration valve duration durometer:

A device to indicate the hardness of rubber.

Duryea: See Stevens Duryea

dust boot: A covering (often shaped like an accordian) usually made of rubber or plastic to cover over a shaft, CV joint, etc.

dust cap: [1] A metal or plastic covering that fits into a hub shell to keep contaminants out of hub bearings. [2] A metal or plastic end cover for a spindle in a pedal or a cotterless crankset.

dust cover: A soft, flexible valve cap to protect the valve assembly from dust while in shipment and storage. It is not capable of sealing the air pressure and should not be used in service.

dust-free paint: A condition of paint which has hardened beyond being tacky so that any air-borne dust particles will not be imbedded in the paint.

dust sheet: A sheet for covering a car when in a garage and not in use. Also see car cover dust shield: Sheet metal disc or plate placed on the brake assembly to keep debris from brake assembly. Also called "splash shield."

duties: See customs duties

duty: See

heavy-duty light-duty duty cycle: Many solenoid-operated metering devices cycle on and off. The duty cycle is a measurement of the amount of time a device is energized, or turned on, expressed as a percentage of the complete on-off cycle of that device, in other words, the duty cycle is the ratio of the pulse width to the complete cycle width

duty-cycle solenoid: The duty-cycle solenoid is a computer-controlled device in a feedback carburetor that alters the mixture adjustment. Also called a mixture control solenoid

duty drawback: Import duties or taxes repaid by a government in whole or in part, when the imported goods are re-exported or used in the manufacture of exported goods.

duty paid value: In respect to imported goods, is the aggregate value for duty on imported goods.

duty waiver: forgiveness, in whole or in part, of import duties when certain conditions are met.

DVB: Acronym for delay vacuum bypass system

DVLA: Acronym for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

DVLC: Acronym for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Center

DVOM: Acronym for digital volt-ohm multimeter


[1] In a contact breaker ignition system, the number of degrees the breaker cam rotates from the time the breaker points close until they open again. Also called the "dwell angle" or "dwell period." [2] In a breakerless ignition system, the time during which the electronic control unit allows current to flow through the primary winding of the coil, which in ignition systems with a Hall generator is determined by the width of the vanes. Also see variable dwell dwell angle: See dwell.

dwell-angle control: A system which makes sure that the dwell is sufficient for all engine conditions

dwell-angle map: The pattern described by the electronic dwell-angle control, dependent on engine speed and battery voltage

dwell meter: An instrument which determines the number of degrees the breaker cam rotates while the breaker points are closed. Changing the point gap affects the dwell angle. When the breaker points are correctly gapped, the distributor can give the proper amount and duration of spark to the spark plugs.

dwell period: The time during which the primary circuit is closed and primary current flows through the ignition coil, given in crankshaft or distributor shaft degrees and therefore also called dwell angle. See dwell.

DWS: Acronym for deflation warning system

dwt: Deadweight ton(s)

Dykem-type metal bluing: A special blue dye used to check a valve job. When applied to the valve set to show up as a dark ring contrasted against the brightly finished top & bottom cuts, making

the seat easier to see and measure

dykes ring: A compression piston ring which is L-shaped when viewed from the end. When installed in the piston the horizontal part fits more deeply in the piston groove while the vertical side rubs against the cylinder wall. This style of ring gives good sealing and prevents piston-ring flutter during acceleration and deceleration of the piston. dynamic balance: When the center line of the weight mass of a revolving object is in the same plane as the center line of the object, that object would be in dynamic balance. For example, the weight mass of the tire must be in the same plane as the center line of the wheel. Static balance is made off the vehicle and determined with the tire stationary. Dynamic balance is made with the tire in rotation.

dynamic ignition timing: Before the introduction of a strobe light, ignition timing was done statically in that the distributor was moved a certain measured amount. With modern engines, a timing light or strobe light is used. It is connected, generally, with the spark plug of the number one cylinder. As power is provided to that cylinder from the coil, the timing light flashes. When the light is projected to the flywheel, the timing marks are illuminated. Moving the distributor will make the timing mark move closer to a fixed mark (retarded) or further away (advanced). Also called stroboscopic ignition timing. The opposite is static ignition timing

dynamic imbalance: Lack of balance in a rotating part such as a wheel, which can cause vibration and shudder

dynamic seal: oil seal between a moving and a stationary part. Opposite to static seal

dynamic supercharging: The pressurizing of the air/fuel mixture using the natural dynamic behaviour of the aspirated air, and not some mechanical device to compress it

dynamic timing meter: A GM diesel tool used for measuring timing while the engine is running by using a quartz sensor in the combustion chamber that measures the point of combustion and

converts this to timing in degrees of crankshaft flotation through the use of a magnetic crankshaft pickup and microprocessor

dynamo: A British term for a generator producing direct current. Also see alternator dynamometer: An electric or hydraulic machine used to measure the actual engine horsepower output and torque. An engine dynamometer measures horsepower at the crankshaft and a chassis dynamometer measures horsepower output at the wheels. Also see roller dynamometer dynastart: A combined generator and starter used on some cars in the 1920s and '30s, and more recently on two-stroke motorcycles

dynastarter: A combined generator and starter used on some cars in the 1920s and '30s, and more recently on two-stroke motorcycles

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [E] [Ea] [Eb] [Ec] [Ed] [Ee] [Ef] [Eg] [Ei] [Ej] [El] [Em] [En] [Ep] [Eq] [Er] [Es] [Et] [Eu] [Ev] [Ew] [Ex] [Ey]

E: Abbreviation for Economy Gear

EACV: Acronym for "electronic air control valve." A valve used in fuel-injection system, usually computer controlled, that controls the amount of air bypassing the throttle during idle. The more air that bypasses the throttle, the higher the idle speed

EAC Valve: electric air control valve. This is the GM version of a diverter air gulp valve, providing three functions in a single valve: 1. the normal diverter valve function, i.e., it diverts air on rapid increase in manifold vacuum; 2. it relieves pressure by diverting air to the air cleaner when the air injection system pressure exceeds a certain set level; 3. being solenoid-controlled, it allows air to be diverted under any desired operating mode Also see EAS valve EAMA: Acronym for "Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association."

ear: A projection in the shape of an ear, usually as a lug or support for other components such as the brackets which are part of the fork cover and to which the headlight is mounted on a motorcycle. It is also a spoiler behind the rear windows to improve stability in side winds. Also see

fork ear Earles forks: Long leading-link motorcycle forks, i.e., front suspension has a pivoting fork controlled by twin shock absorbers. Designed by Ernie Earles, they were used by many manufactures of motorcycles in the 1950s

early fuel evaporation system: (EFE) A system that heats the inlet manifold to provide a warm air/fuel mixture, reducing condensation and improving fuel evaporation, thus improving cold engine operation and reducing exhaust emissions. An EFE system operated by engine exhaust gas responds quicker to engine heat-up than systems heated by engine coolant; some EFE systems use an electric heater in the intake duct

early termination: A vehicle's depreciation is highest in the first few months after it leaves the dealer's lot. Since a lessee pays for depreciation in equal monthly payments, lessees who end a lease early have almost always used up more of a car's value than they've paid for. Therefore, lease contracts generally include penalties for early termination. Be aware of these penalties before you sign the lease contract and consider your ability to fulfill the contract.

earnings: See average weekly earnings

earth: British term for ground

earth connection: British term for ground connection

earth electrode: British term for ground electrode

earthmover: See A-2 tire.

earth return:

British term for ground return

earth strap: British term for ground strap

earth wire: British term for ground wire.

ease up on the accelerator: The action of releasing the accelerator partially or completely in order to reduce the amount of fuel entering the engine and thus slow down the speed of the vehicle. Opposite of depress the accelerator or step on the accelerator.

ease up on the gas pedal: The action of releasing the gas pedal partially or completely in order to reduce the amount of fuel entering the engine and thus slow down the speed of the vehicle. Opposite of depress the gas pedal or step on the gas pedal..

ease up on the throttle: The action of releasing the twist-grip or throttle lever partially or completely in order to reduce the amount of fuel entering the engine and thus slow down the speed of the vehicle. Opposite of engaging the throttle or cranking on the throttle..

ease up on the throttle pedal: The action of releasing the throttle pedal partially or completely in order to reduce the amount of fuel entering the engine and thus slow down the speed of the vehicle. Opposite of depress the throttle pedal or step on the throttle pedal..

easing fluid: Penetrating oil

east-west layout: transverse positioning of the engine across the car from left to right, found in many front-wheel drive designs. Also called transverse engine. The opposite is northsouth layout

EAS Valve:

The valve in an emission control system governing the airflow from the air pump in connection with the EAC valve. When its solenoid is energized, air is directed into the exhaust ports to increase oxidation and accelerate catalytic converter heat-up to operating temperature, and when its solenoid is de-energized, it switches airflow between the converter beds to help the oxidizing catalyst to decrease the CO and HC levels

easy out: A brand name for a screw extractor.

easy-out: A brand name for a screw extractor.

eat: to corrode and remove the metal from the front fender has been eaten away by rust

eat away: to corrode and remove the metal from the front fender has been eaten away by rust

eater: See rust eater

ebonite: hard black rubber compound especially one containing no filler

e box: Any electronic box including capacitive discharge ignition and computer controlled devices.

e-box: Any electronic box including capacitive discharge ignition and computer controlled devices. E-brake : See emergency brake


Acronym for electronic climate control

eccentric: [1] Two circles, one within the other, neither sharing the same center, i.e., they are off-center. [2] A protrusion on a shaft that rubs against or is connected to another part, such as a cam on a camshaft. [3] A part transmitting an eccentric drive, such as a disc with a provision for a drive from its outer part, or an eccentric shaft

eccentric bolt: A bolt with centers of head and body on different axis so that one is off-center in relation to the other.

eccentric drive: A drive from a point not on the axis of the driving shaft, e.g., from the outer part of a disc, so that a reciprocating or up and down motion is transmitted; used in pumps or for a camshaft drive

eccentric rotor pump: rotor-type pump

eccentric shaft: A shaft transmitting eccentric motion

ECE test cycle: A 13 minute, three-part test of automotive emissions for compliance with emission standards, adopted by most European countries, simulating urban driving conditions, i.e., involving relatively long idling periods and speeds below 35 mph, emission characteristics at cruising speeds not being considered

echelon parking: A British term for angle parking

ECI: Acronym for electronically controlled injection


A 2+2 Coupe produced by Lotus from 1975 to 1982. This vehicle was the basis for the current Lotus Excel.

ECM: Acronym for "electronic Control Module" which is the master computer responsible for interpreting electrical signals sent by engine sensors and for activating automated engine components and processes accordingly in order to produce optimum performance.

ecological damage: damage to the environment, usually in the form of pollution, such as that caused by vehicle emissions

ecologically harmful: damaging to the environment automotive exhaust gases are ecologically harmful

economical: The determination of how much money or fuel is required to cover a particular distance. Good economy involves driving at a steady rate, avoiding rapid starts and stops, driving in the highest possible gear, avoiding using power- robbing components (e.g., air conditioning), proper tire inflation, etc.

Economic Cooperation: See Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

economizer: A device for making a vehicle use less fuel, either by regulating the flow of fuel, or by admitting extra air to the air/fuel mixture -- especially when cruising

economizer valve: A fuel flow control device within the carburetor.

economy: The ratio between a product or service and its value. Also see corporate Average Fuel Economy epa fuel economy fuel economy

tuned for economy economy device: See economizer

economy gear: High gear designed for economical cruising often better than 1:1 ratio like an overdrive.

economy jet: An additional jet in a carburettor admitting extra air to the air/fuel mixture -especially when cruising

economy ratio: An overdrive gear ratio better then 1:1 for economical cruising

ECS: [1] Acronym for electronically controlled suspension. [2] Acronym for evaporation control system

ECT: Acronym for "engine coolant temperature sensor"

ECU: Acronym for "electronic Control Unit"

edge: See abutting edge beaded edge feather-edge feather edge leading edge trailing edge wiring an edge edge binding:

tape for securing the edges of carpets

edge guard: rubber or plastic, U-section strip fitted to panel edges to protect them against chipping, etc.

edge joint: A joint formed when two pieces of metal are lapped with at least one edge of each at an edge of the other.

edge protection: protection of edges against corrosion, e.g.. by weatherstrips

edge-ride: The tendency of crankshaft main bearings to ride up the radius (rather than seat on the journal) when the radius is too large

edge tire: See beaded edge tire

edge trim: rubber or plastic, U-section strip fitted to panel edges to protect them against chipping, etc.

Edison base: A light bulb base that is threaded.

Edison screw: A light bulb base that is threaded

Edsel: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford Edwardian car: A car built in Great Britain between 1905 and 1918 Click for books on Edsel

EEC: [1] Acronym for electronic engine control system. [2] Acronym for evaporative emission control system

EECS: Acronym for "evaporative emissions control system"

EESS: Acronym for evaporative emission shed system

EEVIR: Acronym for evaporator equalized valve in receiver

EFE: Acronym for early fuel evaporation system

EFE system: Acronym for Early Fuel Evaporation System

effect: See alteration effect barrier effect braking effect engine braking effect ground effect hall effect kadenacy effect liftoff effect load alteration effect roll steer effect self-centering effect synergetic effect synergistic effect effective: [1] actual rather than theoretical or potential. [2] producing an effect. Also see

cost-effective indicated mean effective pressure mean effective pressure effective deflection: deflection of a suspension system under a particular load

effective pressure: See brake mean effective pressure indicated mean effective pressure mean effective pressure effective stroke: working or power stroke in a two-stroke engine

efficiency: The accomplishment of something with the least amount of effort, energy, or fuel. See braking efficiency catalyst efficiency catalytic efficiency charging efficiency fuel efficiency mechanical efficiency thermal efficiency trapping efficiency volumetric efficiency effort: The force which is doing work on an object. Also see braking effort EFI: (EFi) Acronym for electronic Fuel Injection

EGC: Acronym for exhaust gas check valve

egg-crate grille: A radiator grille with crisscrossing bars forming gaps which are more or less square. One of the distinctive characteristics of Cadillac cars

EGI: Acronym for electronic gasoline injection

EGO: Acronym for exhaust gas oxygen sensor

EGR: Acronym for "Exhaust-gas recirculation." Also see negative transducer EGR valve vacuum modulated EGR EGRC: Acronym for EGR control solenoid

EGR control solenoid: (EGRC) energizes to allow manifold vacuum to the EGR gas temperature

EGRV: Acronym for EGR vent solenoid

EGR vacuum: A vacuum source above the closed throttle plate; used for control of ported EGR valves. Vacuum is zero at closed throttle

EGR valve: [1] A part of an EGR system mounted on or near the inlet manifold and controlled by inlet manifold vacuum, which is usually closed at idle and low speeds, but opens during acceleration, admitting exhaust gas to the inlet manifold. Most EGR valves are of the single diaphragm type, some are dual diaphragm valves connected to two separate vacuum sources to more closely match EGR function to engine loads; for the same purpose, EGR valves are frequently governed by additional regulating devices. [2] A valve used to introduce exhaust gases into the intake air stream. There are several types.

Also see integral backpressure transducer EGR valve ported EGR valve electronic EGR valve valve and Transducer assembly negative transducer EGR valve EGR valve position sensor: (EVP) A potentiometric sensor used in electronically controlled EGR system. Sensor wiper position is proportional to EGR valve pintle position, which allows electronic control assembly to determine actual EGR flow at any point in time

EGR vent solenoid: (EGRV) electrical solenoid that normally vents EGRC vacuum line. When EGRV is energized, EGRC can open the EGR valve

EGR venturi vacuum amplifier: A device that uses a relatively weak venturi vacuum to control a manifold vacuum signal to operate the EGR valve. Contains a check valve and relief valve that open whenever the venturi vacuum signal is equal to or greater than manifold vacuum

EIA: Acronym for "Electronics Industries Association."

eight: eight-cylinder engine, or a vehicle fitted with one; the cylinders may be in-line (a straight eight) or in a V-layout (a V-8). Also see flat eight straight eight V-eight 8 trk: Abbreviation for "eight-track" tape player found in many '60s and some '70s cars.

8-trk: Abbreviation for "eight-track" tape player found in many '60s and some '70s cars.

eight track:

See eight-track.

eight-track: An 8-track tape player found in many '60s and some '70s cars.

EIN: Engine Identification Number

eject: To push or throw out

eject button: button on a cassette player or CD player for taking out the cassette or CD

Elan: A two-seater roadster produced by Lotus from 1964 to 1974.

elapsed time: (ET) The length of time it takes a dragster to complete the one-fourth mile run.

elasticity: The ability to recover the original size and shape after being deformed, especially stretched, forces are released

elastomer: [1] A term which includes natural rubber and the many synthetic materials that possess rubber-like properties. [2] An elastic macromolecular material that at room temperature returns rapidly to approximately its initial dimensions and shape after substantial deformation by a weak stress and release of the stress. thermoplastic elastomers

elbow: A pipe or rod with a bend, usually at right angles. Also see mechanic's elbow ELC:

Electronic level control

Eldorado: A Cadillac vehicle brand of which the 1953-58, 67-70 Eldorado models are milestone cars. Also see the history of Cadillac Eldorado. Eldorado Brougham: See Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Click for books on Cadillac Eldorado

Electra: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick electric: operated by or derived from electricity

Click for books on Buick Electra

electric air control valve: The EAC valve

electric air switching valve: EAS valve

electrical: relating to electricity

electrical balance: An atom or an object in which positive and negative charges are equal

electrical conductivity: The ability of a material to conduct electricity. The opposite is resistivity or resistance.

electrical screwdriver: A British term for an electric screwdriver

electrical spanner:

A British term for an ignition wrench

electrical system: The system that generates, stores, and distributes electrical current to crank the engine for starting and to keep it running by providing high voltage to the spark plugs; and to give power to the lights, the heater motor, radio, and other accessories. It is made up of the ignition system starter motor, battery alternator voltage regulator lights, electrical accessories and all the wiring, switches, and relays.

electric car: A car whose only power source is an electric motor and a number of batteries.

electric charge: A definite quantity of electricity, which-may be positive, as with protons, or negative, as with electrons. Also see coulomb electric current: The flow of electricity passing through a conductor

electric fuel pump: electrically powered gasoline or diesel pump which draws fuel from the tank and delivers it to the carburetor or fuel injection system

electric grid: The electrical system

electrician: See automotive electrician

electricity: See static electricity

electric mirror: An external door mirror which is controlled by an electric motor and operated by a switch inside the car

electric motor: A device which changes electrical energy into rotational motion. In addition to the starter and windshield wiper motors, which were the first electric motors to be added to the automotive electrical system, modern cars include a large number of small motors for driving such items as the electric windows, aerials, sunroofs, mirrors and seat adjustment, central locking and power hoods; electric-powered cars use large motors for their drive.

electric screwdriver: A tool which resembles a pistol which can accept screwdriver bits. It is similar to an electric drill.

electric top: A power convertible roof. The British term is "power hood"

electric vehicle: Cars, buses, vans or trucks which use dedicated or hybrid electric systems as their power source.

electric welding: Welding by using an electric current to melt both metal (work) and welding rod, or electrode

electric windows: Side windows which are raised and lowered by an electric motor which is operated by a switch.

electrochemical: Chemical (battery) production of electricity.

electrochemical corrosion: corrosion involving at least one electrode reaction

electrocoating: electrophoretic painting

electrode: [1] In a spark plug one electrode (the center electrode) is the center rod passing through the insulator. The side electrode is a rod welded to the shell of the spark plug. The distance between them is the spark gap. [2] In welding it is the metal rod that is used in arc welding. A substance which brings electricity up to the point where the arc is to be formed; in other words it is the material immediately adjacent to the arc proper and the one which carries the current to this point. In electric arc welding the electrode is usually melted and becomes a part of the weld. Also see center electrode coated electrode compound center electrode compound electrode covered electrode earth electrode ground electrode negative electrode outer electrode platinum electrode positive electrode side electrode spark plug electrode top electrode triangular ground electrode electrode adjusting tool: A British term for a spark plug gap gauge electrode gap: Spark plug gap

electrodeposition: A generic term for electrolytic processes in which a metal is deposited at the cathode from a solution of its ions, such as electroplating, or in which paint is deposited in an immersion process by means of electric current

electrode spark plug: See split electrode spark plug


An electroplating coating of zinc on metal that will rust (i.e., iron or steel).

electro-hydraulic pump: An electrically powered hydraulic pump used to create pressure in certain portions of the brake system. Typically found in GM Powermaster brake boosters and in ABS hydraulic control units

electrolysis: A method by which chemical reactions are carried out by passage of electric current through a solution of an electrolyte or through a molten salt

electrolyte: In automotive batteries, it is a sulphuric acid and water solution. It can be any solution (usually an acid) that will conduct electric current. The acid reacts with the battery plates (usually made of lead) to produce direct current (DC) electricity.

electrolytic: relating to electrolysis or an electrolyte

electrolytic cell: A cell consisting of electrodes immersed in an electrolyte solution for carrying out electrolysis

electrolytic corrosion: electrochemical corrosion causing the electrolytic removal of metal

electrolytic deposition: electroplating

electrolytic galvanizing: electrogalvanizing

electrolytic protection: cathodic protection


A magnet produced by placing a coil of wire around a steel or iron bar. When current flows through the coil the bar becomes magnetized and will remain so as long as the current continues to flow.

electromagnetic: Magnetic (generator) production of electricity.

electromagnetic clutch: any clutch in which a magnetic force is used to hold the drive in engagement, such as that in the compressor drive of an air-conditioning system

electromagnetic induction: Voltage is induced in a coil of wire by moving coil through a magnetic field or by keeping coil stationary and moving magnetic field.

electromotive force: (EMF) A source of electrical energy required to produce an electric current, produced by devices such as batteries or generators and measured in volts. See voltage.

electron: A negatively charged particle that makes up part of the atom. Also see bound electrons free electrons electron flow: A current produced by the motion of free electrons towards a positive terminal, whose direction is the opposite to that of the current

electronic: Featuring semiconductors (usually transistors) as an operating medium. Also see fully electronic ignition high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing magnetically controlled electronic ignition electronic air control valve:

(EACV) A valve used in fuel-injection system, usually computer controlled, that controls the amount of air bypassing the throttle during idle. The more air that bypasses the throttle, the higher the idle speed

electronically controlled: Most items can be controlled by a mechanical means (squeeze a lever to move something) or by hydraulics (a lever pushes fluid which applies movement to something) or electronically (move a switch and a servo motor moves something)

electronically controlled transmission: A transmission that relies on sensors, an electronic control unit (ECU), and solenoids to control torque convertor lockup and shift points

electronically-controlled wastegate: A turbo-charger wastegate that is activated by an electric signal from a computer

electronic climate control: (ECC) An air conditioning system control which determines and maintains the preset temperature in the passenger compartment.

electronic cluster: A display showing various functions, including speedometer, tachometer, gauges, etc., using LEDs or LCD technology displaying symbols and bar graphs instead of numbers. The opposite is an analog cluster

Electronic control Assembly: ECA: A Ford vehicle computer consisting of a calibration assembly containing the computer memory, its control program, and processor assembly (the computer hardware)

electronic control module: (ECM) [1] The master computer responsible for interpreting electrical signals sent by engine sensors and for activating automated engine components and processes accordingly in order to produce optimum performance. [2] A GM term and also a generic term referring to the computer. The ECM is the brain of the engine control system receiving information from various sensors in the engine compartment. The ECM calculates what is required for proper engine operation and controls the different actuators to achieve it Also called "electronic control unit"

electronic control unit: (ECU) [1] A microprocessor and memory with electronic maps, forming the central part of an engine management system or of subsystems such as a fuel injection or ignition system. [2] The "brain" of an ABS system. The ECU reads impulses from the wheel speed sensors to determine if anti-lock braking needs to take place. If so, the ECU controls the cycling of the solenoid valves in the hydraulic control unit. Also called "Electronic Control Module"

electronic EGR valve: The EGR valve used in engine management system in which the EGR flow is controlled by the computer (usually by means of an EGR valve position sensor attached to the EGR valve). Operating vacuum is supplied by EGR solenoid valve(s)

electronic engine control: (EEC) [1] The engine management system which controls the ignition system and various other systems, including the exhaust gas recirculation and air-injection systems. [2] Ford's computerized engine control system. There are four versions: EEC-I controls engine timing. EEC-II controls engine timing and fuel (on engines with an FBC system). EEC-III-FBC is a refined version of EEC-II. EEC-III-CFI controls engine timing and fuel (on engine with an EFI system). EEC-IV is a refined version of the EEC-III system

electronic fuel injection: (EFI or EFi) A system that injects fuel into the engine and includes an electronic control unit to time and meter the flow. Fuel is delivered in intermittent pulses by the opening and closing of solenoid-controlled injectors. Also called pulsed injection

electronic gasoline injection: (EGI) Mazda's fuel injection system for the RX-7, RX-7 Turbo, 323, and 626

electronic ignition: See electronic ignition system all electronic ignition

capacitor controlled electronic ignition contact controlled electronic ignition contactless electronic ignition fully electronic ignition magnetically controlled electronic ignition electronic ignition system: An ignition system using electronic switching devices to assist or eliminate the mechanical breaker points. There are three basic electronic ignitions: contact controlled (the breaker points are retained but merely serve to trigger a transistor which switches the heavy primary current), magnetically controlled (transistors are used as the switching device for the primary current and the points are eliminated -also called "contactless" or "all-electronic"), and capacitor controlled (also called "capacitive-discharge system" and can be either all-electronic or breaker-point controlled).

electronic navigator: A trip computer which gives estimated time of arrival (ETA), amount of fuel left, average fuel consumption, etc.

electronic ride control: A suspension control system made up of a microprocessor-controlled, electronically adjustable air shock absorbers for automatic selection of the optimum damping characteristics depending on road surface and load conditions

electronics: See automotive electronics

electronic sensing device: An electronic device for vehicles with fuel injection. It detects changes in speed and driving conditions and determines the amount of fuel to be injected into the combustion chamber thus eliminating the need for carburetors.

electronic spark: See high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing

electronic spark advance: (ESA) the part of an ECU that controls ignition timing and dwell angle

electronic spark control: (ESC) The timing of the ignition by means of an ignition map, either integrated into the mapped ignition systems or available as a separate module to enhance transistorized ignition systems. Also called "electronic spark timing."

electronic spark timing: (EST) The timing of the ignition by means of an ignition map, either integrated into the mapped ignition systems or available as a separate module to enhance transistorized ignition systems. Also called "electronic spark control." Also see high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing electronic spark timing system: (EST) An ECM-controlled timing of ignition spark. This replaces the vacuum or centrifugal mechanism in the distributor and uses the computer to advance or retard the spark timing

electronic traction control: (ETC) A system for reducing wheelspin, incorporating wheel sensors. Also see antispin regulation electronic transmission: A system of controlling the shifting of gears in the transmission by means of electrical pulses sent to solenoids and relays. In mechanical transmissions, the operator moves levers which makes the transmission shift gears.

electronic transmission control: A system or module for controlling an automatic transmission

electronic voltage regulator: (EVR) a type of regulator that uses all solid state devices to perform the regulatory functions

electrons: See bound electrons free electrons

electropainting: Electrophoretic painting.

Also see cathodic electropainting electropaint tank: A tank in which items are immersed for electrophoretic paint application

electrophoretic painting: A process used to apply the first coat of paint (primer) to car bodies. The process involves using negatively charged paint particles (anodic electropainting) or positively charged paint particles (cathodic electropainting). The cleaned metal parts to be coated are immersed in a tank of electrodeposition paint, and the current is turned on, so that the paint particles are attracted by the positively charged paint particles

electrophoretic primer: Paint used to prime car bodies by the electrophoretic process

electro picker: A device which is electrically operated and is used to open locked car doors. It is available only to automotive locksmiths and the police. It consists basically of a vibrator with an attached steel blade. When the vibrating blade is inserted into a lock, it finds its way past the locating pins which would normally block anything but the original key

electroplate: The process of depositing gold, silver, chrome, nickel, etc., upon an object by placing the object in a special solution and then passing an electric current through the solution. The object forms one terminal, a special electrode the other. Direct current is used.

electroplating: The process of electrodeposition of metal or alloys from suitable electrolyte solutions. The articles to be plated are connected to the cathode in an electrolyte solution, and direct current is introduced through the anode of the metal to be deposited. Also see zinc electroplating electrostatic painting:

A painting method using the particle- attracting property of electrostatic charges, in which a direct current of approximately 100,000 volts is applied to a grid of wires through which the paint is sprayed to charge each particle, and the metal objects to be sprayed are connected to the opposite terminal of the high-voltage circuit, so as to attract the paint particles. Also called "Electrostatic Spraying"

electrostatic powder coating: (EPC) A painting process in which the outer parts of the body shell are coated with a powder dispersion by means of cathodic immersion, and in which the cavities are coated with cathodic electropaint

electrostatic spraying: A painting method using the particle-attracting property of electrostatic charges, in which a direct current of approximately 100,000 volts is applied to a grid of wires through which the paint is sprayed to charge each particle, and the metal objects to be sprayed are connected to the opposite terminal of the high-voltage circuit, so as to attract the paint particles. Also called "Electrostatic Painting"

electro vacuum relay EVR: A combination solenoid vacuum valve and electrical relay which locks out blower operation and closes the fresh air door in cold weather, and switches the system to the recirculating air mode during maximum system use

electrovalve: A solenoid valve

element: A group of plates in a battery. Three elements for a six volt and six elements for the twelve volt battery. The elements are connected in series. Also see air cleaner element air filter element filter element hall element hot-wire element open element glow plug temperature control element element glow:

See open element glow plug

element glow plug: See open element glow plug

Elliot: See Elliot axle reversed Elliot axle

Elliot axle: A solid bar front axle on which the ends span or straddle the steering knuckle. Also see reversed Elliot axle Elliott steering knuckle: Type of axle in which ends of axle beam straddle spindle

Elliot type axle: See elliot axle ellipsoidal headlight: A headlight with a reflector which is wider than it is high, and not circular; has replaced the parabolic reflector

elongation: The percentage increase in the length of a specimen when stressed to its yield strength.

ELV: Acronym for "End-of-Life Vehicles."

emblem: See wheel trim emblem

embrittlement: A reduced toughness in plastic or metal caused by age, heat or rough use. Also see hydrogen embrittlement

emergency: A sudden, unexpected occurrence, such as a breakdown or the failure of some part, which may be dangerous and demands immediate action.

emergency brake: A braking system which is independent of the main hydraulic system. It can be used to slow or stop the vehicle if the primary brakes fail, or to hold the vehicle stationary though the brake pedal is not depressed. It usually consists of a foot pedal or hand lever that actuates either front or rear brakes mechanically through a series of cables and linkages. It is also called the "parking brake" or E-brake.

emergency inflator: An aerosol can which inflates a punctured tire and injects sealing compound to provide at least a temporary repair

emergency transmitter: A transmitter no larger than a car radio, fitted inside the vehicle which enables a driver to radio for help from the security of his own car

emergency windshield: A sheet of clear plastic fitted in place of a broken windshield

emery cloth: A cloth coated in emery crystals like fine sandpaper for use as an abrasive on metals

EMF: Acronym for "electromotive force" See voltage.

Emily: An affectionate name for the RollsRoyce radiator mascot, the "Spirit of Ecstasy"

emission: The passing of gases and other toxic substances into the atmosphere. Also see automotive emissions crankcase emissions evaporative emission control system evaporative emissions

exhaust emission controls exhaust emissions low-emission low Emission Vehicle Standards particulate emission limit particulate emission emission control: A system for restricting the amount of noxious emissions. There are two standards for emission controls: level E for Europe and the more stringent level U for the United States. See exhaust emission control evaporative emission control system

Emission Control Information: See Vehicle Emission Control Information

emission controls: See exhaust emission control.

emission control system: See evaporative emission control system exhaust emission control system emission levels: amounts of toxic substances passed into the atmosphere by motor vehicles

emission limit: See particulate emission limit

emissions: Gases and other pollutants coming from a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. See emission

emission standards: specified maximum emission levels permitted from different classes of motor vehicle in different countries

Emission Vehicle:

See Low Emission Vehicle Standards

Emission Vehicle Standards: See Low Emission Vehicle Standards ultra Low Emission Vehicle Standards employment: total employment in each manufacturing facility, including total manufacturing employees, total support staff, and total engineering/R&D staff. Average number of workers employed by an establishment during the year. Production workers relate to the average number actually engaged in the manufacturing process. Administrative and non-manufacturing includes employees at head offices and sales offices.

employee benefits: the provision of direct (salary, bonuses, etc.) indirect (vacation leave, medical and dental plans, etc.) and deferred employee compensation (pensions, etc.).

EMS: Acronym for Engine Management System

emulsification: The process of making an emulsion

emulsion: A mixture of two liquids which do not fully mix, such as oil and water, or specifically of gasoline and air in a carburetor before it is discharged and fully atomized

emulsion tube: part of a fixed jet carburetor, in which air is introduced into the mixture through holes to help atomize it and correct excessive richness at higher engine speeds. A perforated tube which extends from an air bleed in the top of the air horn down into the main well. Admits air from the air bleed into the main well to emulsify the fuel in the main well. Improves idle response and stability when the engine is hot and prevents fuel percolation and general hot-starting problems. Also improves response in the main metering circuit during part throttle conditions. Also called main-well tube

enable: A microcomputer decision that results in an engine management system being activated and permitted to operate

enamel: Type of paint that dries to a smooth, glossy finish. It is easier to apply than cellulose. If cellulose is applied over it, the cellulose will lift (i.e., peel off). Also see finishing enamel porcelain enamel vitreous enamel enamelling: See vitreous enamelling

EN block: See EN-block.

EN-block: One piece -- such as an engine cylinder block cast in one piece.

enclosure: See speaker enclosure

end: See belt end big end bitter end bottom end drive end drive end bracket female end firing end front end front end alignment gudgeon pin end heavy-duty end cutting pliers high leverage end cutting pliers little end male end

nut end open end lease piston pin end piston ring end gap rear end rear end lift ring end gap small end stud end tie rod end top end wedge end end alignment: See front end alignment

end bearing: See small end bearing

end bracket: The cover containing a bearing at each end of a generator or alternator. Also called "end cover" or "end cover plate." Also see drive end bracket slip-ring end bracket end cap: The cap covering the end of a piece of trim or of a barrel fuse

end cover: The cover containing a bearing at each end of a generator or alternator. Also called "end bracket" or "end cover plate"

end cover plate: The cover containing a bearing at each end of a generator or alternator. Also called "end cover" or "end bracket"

end cutters:

British term for a "side cutter"

end cutting: See heavy-duty end cutting pliers high leverage end cutting pliers end cutting pliers: British term for "side cutter" Also see heavy-duty end cutting pliers high leverage end cutting pliers end dump: A term used to describe various dump trucks or trailers that tilt to unload at the rear.

end float: End play

end form: Any type of connector at the end of a hose or pipe.

end gap: See piston ring end gap ring end gap end gas: The last part of the fuel-air mixture that has been introduced into the cylinder but has not yet been consumed in the normal flame-front reaction.

end gear: See axle end gears.

end gears: See axle end gears.

end hexagon screwdriver: See ball end hexagon screwdriver

end lease: See closed end lease open end lease end lift: See rear end lift

end-of-lease purchase price: If there is a purchase option in the lease contract or agreement, this will be the agreed upon price for the purchase of the vehicle at the end of the lease-the stated residual value. This price may also include additional fees.

end-of term interest rate: See buy at end-of term interest rate

endoscope: An instrument used to see into the interior of hollow cavities such as box sections

end piece: See sill end piece

end play: The looseness in bearing clearance in an axial direction. Also see camshaft end play end speed: See top end speed

endurance test: A test of a material or system over a long period to determine when it will fail


Off-road competition against the clock and usually over long distances

energize: To activate (a solenoid, relay, etc.) by providing sufficient energy

energizing: See self-energizing

energy: Capacity for doing work. It is measured in joules or kilowatt-hours. See high energy battery high energy coil high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing high energy ignition system kinetic energy potential energy energy-absorbing: The ability to absorb impact forces

energy absorbing bumper: See bumper system.

energy-absorbing bumper: See bumper system.

energy absorbing steering column: A steering column which collapses when the vehicle is involved in an accident.

energy battery: See high energy battery

energy coil: See high energy coil

energy conversion:

The changing of one form of energy into another or into work, such as that in the combustion process, the heat of which is used to turn the engine and thus create motion

energy ignition: See high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing high energy ignition system energy ignition system: See high energy ignition system high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing energy ignition system with electronic spark timing: See high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing

Energy Protection Agency: See EPA estimates.

energy retarder: See engine brake.

engage: [1] to come into contact and be locked together (with another part). [2] to bring (a part) into contact with another so that it is locked to it

engagement: The result of bringing into locking contact (e.g. of the clutch), or selection of a gear

engaging the throttle: The action of causing the throttle linkage to move so that more fuel enters the engine to increase the speed of the vehicle.

engine: A device for changing fuel energy to mechanical energy. The term applies to the primary source of power generation. In Britain there is a desire to make a clear distinction between "engine" and "motor" so that "motor" refers only to electric

power units (i.e., starter motor) and "engine" for gasoline or diesel powered units. However, in the U.S.A. the term "motor" can apply to both types. Yet, even in Britain, combustion driven vehicles are called "motor cars" and "motorcycles." Also see adiabatic engine air cooled engine all-alloy engine alloy engine aspirated engine balanced engine big-block engine boxer engine cam engine carburetor engine cih engine combustion engine cubic inch engine diesel engine dual-piston engine dual overhead cam engine electronic engine control engine types exchange engine external combustion engine F-head engine federal engine F head engine fire engine flat engine flooded engine four-cycle engine four-cylinder engine four-stroke cycle engine four cycle engine four stroke cycle engine front engine fuel-injected engine fuel injection engine HC engine high-camshaft engine horizontally opposed engine hydrocarbon engine I-head engine IC engine I head engine in-line engine

inclined engine indirect injection engine injected engine inlet over exhaust engine inline engine intake over exhaust engine internal combustion engine ioe engine L-head engine lean-burn engine L head engine long block engine longitudinal engine long stroke engine mid-engine naturally aspirated engine nominal engine speed normally aspirated engine OHV engine opposed engine over square engine pancake engine piston-valve engine piston engine plastic engine pre-combustion engine pushrod engine push rod engine quad-cam engine radial engine rear engine rebuilt engine reciprocating engine reconditioned engine rotary engine short block engine short engine short stroke engine side-valve engine SI engine single-cylinder engine six-cylinder engine sixteen valve engine slant engine small-block engine spark ignition engine

square-four engine square engine steam engine stirling engine straight engine stratified charge engine supercharged Engine SV engine T-head engine T head engine three-port engine three-valve engine traction engine transverse engine turbine engine turbocharged engine twelve-cylinder engine twelve-valve engine twin-piston engine twin cam engine twin camshaft engine two-cycle engine two-stroke cycle engine two-valve engine two stroke cycle engine U-cylinder engine under-square engine undersquare engine under square engine unit engine V-eight engine V-engine V-four engine V-six engine V-sixteen engine V-ten engine V-twelve engine V-type engine V-X engine valve-in-head engine vee engine V engine VR engine V type engine W-engine wankel engine

winding the engine X-engine X-type engine x. Liter Engine X engine engine adapter: A unit that allows a different engine to be installed in a vehicle and still bolt up to the original transmission.

engine analyzer: An electronic engine testing device which (because of its size) used to be placed in a cabinet or a movable stand. The modern units are often hand-held and are connected to the vehicle's diagnostic socket (as in the case of the diagnostic read-out box), which provides data on all aspects of the engine's state of tune

engine bay: The engine compartment.

engine block: The cylinder block.

engine block heater: See block heater

engine brake: (Energy Retarder or jake brake) A system that allows for slowing of a vehicle that is independent of the conventional braking systems. A driver would normally downshift to slow his descent of a hill, using engine compression. The engine brake increases the effectiveness of this regarding force.

engine braking effect: A retarding effect of an engine when the vehicle is in gear with the throttle closed. Also called a "jake brake"

engine calibration unit: An electronic component which can be specifically programmed to the design of each car model to control the M/C solenoid. Plugs into the Electronic Control Module (ECM). Also called a programmable read only memory (PROM)

engine capacity: The swept volume of an engine

engine compartment: The space where the engine is mounted. Also called the "engine bay." Also see cluttered engine compartment crowded engine compartment engine control: See electronic engine control engine control module

engine control module: (ECM) An advanced electronic computer which monitors engine conditions and then controls engine settings to optimize the combustion of the air/fuel mixture.

engine control system: See engine-control system.

engine-control system: A computer that regulates the operation of the engine by monitoring certain engine characteristics (rpm, coolant temperature, intake airflow, etc.) through a network of sensors and then controlling key variables (fuel metering, spark timing EGR, etc.) according to pre-programmed schedules.

engine coolant: Antifreeze liquid used in the engine's cooling system

engine coolant temperature sensor: (ECT) the thermistor sensor that provides coolant temperature information to the computer. Used to alter spark advance and EGR flow during warm-up or an overheating condition

engine cover: The panel which conceals the engine in a mid-engine car. Also called "access panel." Also see hood (British "bonnet") which covers the engine only in a frontmounted engine.

engine damage: Breakage, deformation, or scoring of the internal parts of an engine due to running at very high rpms for an extended period of time or with insufficient lubrication. A rod could break off and drive a hole into the cases; a valve could break off or imbed itself into the top of a piston; the piston could heat and expand and thus seize against the cylinder walls; or other types of damage could occur.

engine depression: Low pressure on the engine side of the throttle caused by piston suction in the inlet manifold

engine diagnostic connector: The electrical connector for plugging in the engine analyzer, forming an interface between the engine electronic controls and diagnostic unit, and used to read the engine data as well as any fault codes stored in the memory of the engine controller

engine displacement: To determine, multiply the volume of the space through which the head of the piston moves in the full length of its stroke by the number of cylinders in the engine. The result is given in cubic inches.

engineering: See automotive engineering badge engineering production engineering engine flywheel: A spinning plate located at the end of the crankshaft. See flywheel.

engine hoist: small crane for lifting an engine out of a motor vehicle, formerly incorporating a block and tackle, but now usually hydraulically operated. Also see gantry engine identification number:

(EIN) A number stamped on the engine which may or may not match the number on the vehicle identification plate. Also called "engine number"

engine knock: When the engine is operating, an audible noise may be heard when the fuel in the cylinders is ignited too early and/or spontaneously, resulting in colliding flame fronts and shock waves which cause high thermal and mechanical stress, and can severely damage the engine.

engine layout: [1] The type of engine, with reference to the arrangement of its cylinders and their number (as in a flat four, V-twin, or straight eight). [2] The location of the engine in the vehicle (as in a front mount, mid-mount, or rear engine. [3] The placement of the engine in the engine compartment: e.g., a transverse or inline engine

engine management system: (EMS) An electronic engine control system which covers at least the functioning of the fuel injection and ignition, but may also include emission controls and selfdiagnostics

engine map: See characteristic map. As an engine speeds up, the timing needs to be advanced. On older vehicles, this is accomplished mechanically with a counterweight advance in the distributor. In modern vehicles, the timing can be advanced progressively by means of a computer chip which is programmed to provide the ideal timing. It also provides other factors in some engines such as the opening and closing of valves, etc.

engine misfire: See misfire

engine modifications: Alterations to the specification of the engine to increase power output, improve economy, reduce emissions, etc.

engine mounting: A flexible support for the engine in which an elastic medium, usually rubber, is interposed between the lugs on the engine and the frame of the vehicle

engine noise: The amount of noise produced by the engine when it is running. Engine noise is more noticeable with a diesel at lower speeds

engine number: (EIN) A number stamped on the engine which may or may not match the number on the vehicle identification plate. Also called "engine identification number"

engine oil: Oil within the engine used to lubricate the moving components. At one time the oil was a single grade, but modern engines use a multigrade oil. Also see straight weight engine oil synthetic engine oil engine oil pan: See oil pan.

engine oil level warning light: A light on the instrument panel which comes on when the oil in the sump falls below a certain level

engine overhaul: When an old engine burns too much oil and loses power, it is dismantled and restored to the manufacturer's original tolerances by replacement of worn parts, reboring the cylinders, regrinding the crankshaft, etc.

engine parameters: A term used in the context of emission controls for those engine characteristics sensitive to engine performance, such as power/bhp, general engine performance, and fuel economy

engine performance tester: An engine analyzer

engine sequence test:

The test which determines how well oil will prevent engine rusting, corrosion, scuffing, wear, and the formation of sludge and varnish.

engine size: The engine displacement or capacity

engine speed: The number of revolutions per minute (rpm) at which the engine crankshaft turns. The vehicle itself may be stationary or in motion. Also see nominal engine speed engine speed limiter: A device which acts as a governor which cuts the power when a certain number of rpm is reached

engine speed sensor: In most cases, a magnetic pick-up that scans the flywheel teeth and produces one output signal per scanned tooth, or a hall generator in the distributor, whose signals are passed to the electronic control unit

engine subframe: A separate frame in which the engine is mounted

engine temperature sensor: A sensor used to monitor the temperature of the engine

engine timing: [1] The point of time when the spark ignites the air/fuel mixture (ignition timing) [2] The setting of the valves when they open or close (valve timing)

engine type: Over the years of engine development, several types or configurations have been made. All of them relate to the position of the valves and the camshaft (s) that operates them.

air cooled engine -- An engine which is not cooled by antifreeze but by passing air past external fins.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

diesel engine -- An engine with high compression that pressurizes the diesel oil fuel and fires the charge through compression not by a spark plug. DOHC -- double overhead camshafts F-head -- Side exhaust valve and overhead intake valve. flat engine four-stroke cycle engine hemi or hemi-head -- Engine using hemispherical-shaped (half of a globe or sphere) combustion chambers. horizontally opposed engine hydrocarbon engine I-head -- Both valves located directly over the piston. Also called valve-inhead or overhead valve engine. in-line engine internal combustion engine L-head -- Both valves on one side of the cylinder oversquare engine pancake engine radial engine rotary engine slant engine SOHC -- Single overhead camshaft. square engine steam engine stirling engine stratified charge engine straight engine T-head -- exhaust valve on one side and inlet valve on the other side of the cylinder and found on twin-camshaft engines. traction engine transverse engine turbine engine two-stoke cycle engine undersquare engine V-type -- Two sets of cylinders set apart in a V-formation like a V-8 or V-6 valve-in-head engine wankel engine X-type

engine warning light: See check engine warning light

enrichment: making the air/fuel mixture richer, i.e., increasing the fuel content.

Also see acceleration enrichment after-start enrichment cold start enrichment cranking enrichment full load enrichment full throttle enrichment hot start enrichment warm-up enrichment enrichment device: A circuit in a carburetor providing a richer mixture, operated by engine vacuum

enrichment unit: A circuit in a carburetor providing a richer mixture, operated by engine vacuum

enrichner: A fuel plunger which is used in a carburetor in place of a choke. By activating the plunger more gas is permitted into the intake area to enrichen the fuel-air mixture for easier starting. Also see choke entertainment: See in-car entertainment

entrepreneur: One who undertakes ownership of a business or enterprise

entrepreneurship: A person's ability to organize, manage, and assume risks of operating a business

entry: See illuminated entry system keyless entry system multi-entry remote keyless entry

entry-level version: basic model suitable as someone's first car

entry model: basic model suitable as someone's first car

entry system: See illuminated entry system keyless entry system envelope: [1] A thin rubber wrapper that surrounds the tread, sidewall and is tucked inside the curing rim during the pre-cured cold process retreading. It protects bonding materials from humidity within the chamber. [2] A cover enclosing something entirely, such as the glass of a lamp bulb. Also see outer envelope envelope separator: A porous plastic separator used in maintenance-free batteries to enclose the individual plates completely

enveloping body: See all-enveloping body

environmentally aware: An awareness of the dangers and threats to the environment caused by vehicle use and the taking of appropriate action to avoid them

environmentally friendly: Something that is harmless to the environment, or causing as little harm as possible

Environmental Protection Act: See canadian Environmental Protection Act


An awareness of the dangers and threats to the environment caused by vehicle use and the taking of appropriate action to avoid them

EPA: [1] Acronym for "Energy Protection Agency." Also see EPA fuel economy. [2] Acronym for "Environmental Protection Agency" which is responsible fol recommending environmental legislation and in the automotive sphere produces test cycles and estimates fuel economy EPA estimate: An American organization (Energy Protection Agency) which determines the fuel consumption of various vehicles. It takes into account city and highway driving. These figures may be helpful in comparing one vehicle against another. Your vehicle can greatly exceed these estimates with sensible driving, the use of cruise control obeying the speed limits avoiding rapid starts, coasting long before a stop light or sign. Also see EPA fuel economy EPA estimates: An American organization (Energy Protection Agency) which determines the fuel consumption of various vehicles. It takes into account city and highway driving. These figures may be helpful in comparing one vehicle against another. Your vehicle can greatly exceed these estimates with sensible driving, the use of cruise control obeying the speed limits avoiding rapid starts, coasting long before a stop light or sign. Also see EPA fuel economy EPA fuel economy: Laboratory fuel economy tests administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) using simulated weight and drag to re-create real driving conditions. The city fuel-economy test, also used to test emissions compliance is based on a drive through typical Los Angeles urban traffic of about twenty years ago. Such conditions in LA are no longer present. The highway test uses a higher, steadier speed averaging 79.5 kph (49.4 mph).

EPC: Acronym for Electrostatic Powder Coating

EP gear oil: An extreme pressure gear oil preventing metal-to-metal contact, used mainly in gearboxes and final drive units. Also called "EP lubricant"

epicyclic: See epicyclic gearbox.

epicyclic gear: A gear that operates around the circumference of another

epicyclic gearbox: A form of gear used by Benz in which small pinions revolve around a central or sun gear and mesh with an outer ring gear called the annulus. Type used in the Ford Model T. Also called planetary gearset "planetary transmission" and "sun-andplanet gears."

epitrochoid: A geometric path followed by a specific point located in a generating circle which is rolled around the periphery of a base circle.

epitrochoidal: A part of a circle which is not on the circumference of another circle around which it turns

EP lubricant: See extreme pressure lubricant.

epoxy resin: A thermosetting resin based on ethylene oxide or similar materials or derivatives, used in adhesives, fillers, and primers and other finishes

EPR: [1] Acronym for evaporator pressure regulator valve. [2] Acronym for exhaust pressure regulator

EPS: Acronym for electronically controlled power steering. EPS is used in more expensive models, such as the BMW Servotronic system where the assistance provided alters according to the speed at which the car is travelling

equalizer: A bracket or cable connector which balances tension equally on the cables to the parking brakes. See graphic equalizer compensator equalizer line: In air conditioner system, a line or connection used to operate certain control valves. Little or no refrigerant flows through the line

equal length header: An exhaust manifold where the runners from each cylinder are of equal length. Such a system allows exhaust pulses to meet at the collector or single pipe in a controlled sequence, thus enhancing cylinder evacuation and gas flow.

equal power distribution: A system in four-wheel drive vehicles which ensures that an equal amount of power is passed to the front and rear wheels

equal power split: A system in four-wheel drive vehicles which ensures that an equal amount of power is passed to the front and rear wheels

equation: See nernst equation

equilibrium: See thermal equilibrium

equipment: devices and systems fitted to a vehicle which are either essential or optional, and either fitted by the manufacturer (original equipment) or subsequently by the owner (after market equipment). Also see aftermarket equipment integral equipment low-bake equipment optional equipment

original equipment standard equipment equipment package: A combination of equipment provided by the manufacturer

ergonomics: [lit: The law of work] Technically, it means the biotechnology study of how human beings relate to their surroundings and how efficiently they perform in that environment. However, the meaning has also come to be used in a qualitative sense so that a vehicle has good or bad ergonomics meaning that the controls, switches, instruments, seats, pedals, and steering wheel suit the human driver.

erode: to remove a surface layer (by chemical action or by rubbing)

erosion: A reduction in size of an object because of a liquid or gas impact on the object.

error: See driver error

ESA: Acronym for Electronic Spark Advance

ESC: Acronym for Electronic Spark Control

escape trunk: A vertical trunk fitted with a ladder to permit personnel to escape if trapped

Escort: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford escutcheon:

Click for books on Ford Escort

A panel or part used to hide another part

ESR: Acronym for electric sunroof

EST: Acronym for electronic spark timing system

establishment: smallest operating entity producing a homogenous set of goods and services and is capable of reporting full range of production account variables to calculate "value added."

estate car: A British term for a station wagon

estimate: See estimates.

estimates: A guess on the part of a service department with respect to the nature of a vehicle's problem and cost of repairing it. Although most shops will stand by their estimate, there is also the situation where the problem is caused by something which will be more expensive to repair or may be less expensive. In the case where other components are also faulty (but the estimate did not include them), the shop may contact the customer with a revised estimate saying, "We can repair what we thought was the faulty part, but we found another defective part which also contributed to the problem once we took things apart. Now the cost will be more. Do you want us to go ahead and repair that component too?" In the case where a lesser solution repaired the problem, good shops will give you a bill that is much less than the estimate with an explanation like, "We thought we had to replace the expensive control box, but we found that one of its plugs had come loose." Also see EPA estimates ESV: Acronym for Experimental Safety Vehicle


Acronym for "elapsed time." The length of time it takes a dragster to complete the one-fourth mile run.

ETA: Acronym for "expected time of arrival."

ETC: Acronym for Electronic Traction Control

etching: [1] A roughening or disintegration of the paint surface, which can occur on small patches or over a wide area, through attack from bird droppings, soap deposits, industrial fallout, etc. Also called "lifting." [2] The removal of soil or the natural oxide film from an aluminium surface, giving a roughened surface which improves adhesion of the subsequent paint layer, or removal of the actual metal. [3] A system of marking car windows with the registration number so as to deter thieves. Also see caustic etching window etching etching primer: A primer for aluminum which has an etching effect to improve adhesion

etch primer: A primer for aluminum which has an etching effect to improve adhesion

ethanol: ethyl alcohol which is added to gasoline, typically in a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline

ethyl acrylate: A polymer used in toughening rubber

ethylene glycol: A chemical solution added to the cooling system to protect against freezing. See antifreeze.

ethyl gasoline: Gasoline to which ethyl fluid (tetraethyl lead ethylene dibromide, ethylene dichloride, or another octane improver) has been added to improve the gasoline's resistance to knocking. It slows down the burning rate thereby creating a smooth pressure curve that will allow the gasoline to be used in high compression engines. It is a generic term describing premium or high-octane fuel. It was first sold in 1924.

ETRTO: Acronym for "European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation."

Euromix formula: The basis for a standard test cycle covering both town driving and driving on the open road. In North America a similar is called the "Town and Country Formula"

eutectic alloy: A mixture of metals which has a melting point lower than that of any of the metals in the mixture, or of any other mixture of these metals.

evacuate: [1] To remove by pushing out. [2] To create a vacuum in an air conditioning system to remove all traces of air and moisture. Also called pump down

evaluation: See driver evaluation

EVAP: Acronym for evaporative emission control system

evaporate: to turn into a vapour

evaporation: The process of changing from a liquid to a vapor, such as boiling water to produce steam; evaporation is the opposite of condensation. Also refers to solvents in the paint escaping to the air.

Also see early fuel evaporation system evaporation control system: (EVAP or ECS) [1] A system for reducing evaporative emissions by means of a sealed fuel tank, a vapour-liquid separator, a three-way valve, an activated carbon filter, and a network of interconnecting hoses. A system used to prevent the escape of gasoline vapors to the atmosphere from the fuel tank and carburetor. Also called "evaporative Emission Control system"

evaporation system: See early fuel evaporation system

evaporative emission control system: (EVAP pr EEC) A system for reducing evaporative emissions by means of a sealed fuel tank, a vapour-liquid separator, a three-way valve, an activated carbon filter, and a network of interconnecting hoses. Also called "evaporation control system"

evaporative emissions: Vapours or fumes not emitted by the exhaust system, but escaping from the fuel tank, carburetor and crankcase, and accounting for about 40% of hydrocarbon emissions released by a gasoline engine without emission controls

evaporative emission shed system: (EESS) a Ford evaporative emission control system introduced in 1978

evaporative losses: Vapours or fumes not emitted by the exhaust system, but escaping from the fuel tank, carburetor and crankcase, and accounting for about 40% of hydrocarbon emissions released by a gasoline engine without emission controls

evaporator: The unit in an air conditioning system used to transform refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. It is at this point that cooling takes place as heat is removed from the air. Opposite to "condenser"

evaporator equalized valve in receiver:

(EEVIR) A unit similar in design to a valve-in-receiver type, except that it has an equalizer port of the expansion valve that allows for faster reaction time

evaporator pressure regulator valve: (EPR) and evaporator tem control device regulated by back pressure. Used on older Chrysler corp. System. Located in the compressor inlet. A system using this device is referred to as an EPR system

Evaporator temperature regulator valve: (ETR) A temperatukre-regulated evaporator temperature control device used on some early model Chrysler corp. system

EVAP system: Acronym for Evaporative Emission Control System

EVC: Acronym for Exhaust Valve Closes

even keel: A ship at even keel is when the keel is horizontal

EVO: Acronym for Exhaust Valve Opens

EVP: Acronym for EGR valve position sensor

EVR: Acronym for electronic voltage regulator

EVRV: Electronic vacuum regulator valve

EVT: Acronym for "Electromagnetic Valve Train."

EW: acronym for "electric windows"

examination: See metallographic examination

exc: Abbreviation for "excellent," as in exc condition.

Excalibur: A vehicle brand of which the 1965-69 model II Series I are milestone cars.

exchange engine: A replacement engine which is provided in exchange for a worn engine while the original engine is being rebuilt

exchange process: See charge exchange process

exchanger: See heat exchanger.

Excelsior: The 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.

excitation winding: Field winding

excite: To pass an electric current through a unit such as the field coils in the generator.

exciter coil: A primary coil which provides stepped up voltage to a second coil.

exciter winding:

Field winding

excluder: See draught excluder

ex-demonstrator: A vehicle which had been used as a demonstrator and is now available for sale

exducer: The outermost section of a turbine wheel, used to purge the turbine of exhaust gases

executive car: A large, powerful luxury car considered suitable for a business executive

exhaust: [1] To expel spent fumes. [2] The spent fuel after combustion takes place in an internal combustion engine. Sometimes it refers to the exhaust system. Also see dual exhaust system intake over exhaust engine raw exhaust gas residual exhaust gases tuned exhaust tuning the exhaust exhaust back pressure: any pressure holding back the flow of the gases in an exhaust system. Pressure exerted in exhaust system in reverse direction. Also called back pressure exhaust back pressure transducer valve: (BPV or BPS) a device sued to sense exhaust pressure changes and control vacuum to the EGR valve in response to these changes

exhaust cam: A separate camshaft controlling the opening and closing of the exhaust valves used in twin overhead camshaft engines

exhaust camshaft:

A separate camshaft controlling the opening and closing of the exhaust valves used in twin overhead camshaft engines

exhaust chamber: part of the two-stroke exhaust system designed to maintain a specified back pressure

exhaust cutout: A Y-shaped device that is placed in the exhaust pipe ahead of the muffler. The driver may channel the exhaust through the muffler or out the other leg of the "Y" where the exhaust passes out without going through the muffler. Also see cutout exhaust donuts: The small rubber hangers used to suspend the exhaust system from the chassis pan

exhaust emission: See exhaust emissions.

exhaust emission control: See exhaust emission controls

exhaust emission controls: Systems or adjustments designed to limit noxious gases in an engine's exhaust. Such controls can be grouped into two broad categories: those designed to reduce or eliminate the formation of harmful pollutants in the engine itself (e.g., retarded spark setting) and those designed to destroy or otherwise alter the pollutants after they have been formed (e.g., air injection, thermal reactors, and catalytic converters). Evaporative emission controls prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere from the fuel tank and carburetor and crankcase controls recycle fumes from the crankcase through the engine. exhaust emission control system: A general term for any system that reduces the harmful exhaust emissions of a motor vehicle, including one or all of the following systems: catalytic converter (with or without oxygen sensor air/fuel control), exhaust gas recirculation, secondary air injection or induction, and positive crankcase ventilation

exhaust emissions:

The unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and other noxious gases emitted when gasoline is burned in an engine.

exhaust engine: See intake over exhaust engine

exhaust gas: gas which is the product of the combustion process and which is passed out of the cylinder through the exhaust valve or port into the exhaust system. Also see raw exhaust gas residual exhaust gases exhaust gas analyzer: An instrument for determining efficiency with which an engine is burning fuel. See exhaust-gas analyzer.

exhaust-gas analyzer: An instrument used to measure the exhaust gases (in parts per million, percent, grams per kilometer, or grams per mile) to determine both combustion efficiency and the amount of pollutants in the exhaust.

exhaust gas check valve: (EGC) a device that allows air injection system air to enter the exhaust manifold, but prevents a reverse flow in the event of improper operation of other components

exhaust gas oxygen sensor: (EGO) a device that changes its output voltage as the exhaust gas oxygen content changes when compared to the oxygen content of the atmosphere. This constantly changing voltage signal is sent to the processor for analysis and adjustment to the air/fuel ratio

exhaust gas purification system: An emission control system for diesel engines, which may consist of an exhaust scrubber, a diesel exhaust filter, and/or a catalytic converter

exhaust gas recirculation:

See exhaust-gas recirculation.

exhaust-gas recirculation: (EGR) An emission control system where some of the exhaust gases are rerouted from the exhaust manifold into the combustion chamber to make sure that all fuel is burned before entering the atmosphere. The process lowers the combustion temperature and reduces the formation of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the exhaust.

exhaust gas recirculation system: (EGR) a system used to control oxides of nitrogen (NOx) the exhaust gases are recirculated, lowering the engine combustion temperature, thereby reducing engine pollutants

exhaust gas: See exhaust gases.

exhaust gases: The burned and unburned gases which are expelled out of the exhaust system after combustion takes place. Also see exhaust emissions exhaust header: Steel tubing connecting pipes between the exhaust ports and the exhaust pipe. Usually a header has been polished to allow for better flow of the exhaust. Also see exhaust manifold exhaust heat control valve: (HCV) a valve which routes hot exhaust gases to the intake manifold heat riser during cold engine operation. Valve can be thermostatically controlled, vacuum operated or computer controlled

exhaust manifold: The connecting pipes between the exhaust ports of each cylinder and the exhaust pipe. It is usually made of cast iron. Sometimes called the "exhaust header " but it is usually made of steel tubing.

exhaust note:

The sound coming from the end of the exhaust pipe. It is usually described as pleasant, loud, throaty, or sporty.

exhaust oxygen sensor: Device that detects the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream and sends that information the ECM. Also called an oxygen sensor or an O2 sensor

exhaust pipe: Pipe connecting exhaust manifold or header to the muffler. exhaust pollutants: Exhaust emissions

exhaust port: [1] The passage in the cylinder head which connects the exhaust valve and the exhaust manifold. The exhaust gases pass through the port to the exhaust manifold or header. [2] On two-stroke engines the exhaust port is cut into the cylinder wall because it does not have valves. Also see adjustable variable exhaust port variable exhaust port exhaust pressure regulator: (EPR) a device for increasing exhaust backpressure at specific times to increase exhaust flow to the EGR valve exhaust scrubber: A diesel exhaust gas purification system which cools the exhaust and separates nitrogen oxide and oil vapours from the gas stream

exhaust side: The side of the engine where the exhaust valves and exhaust manifold are located

exhaust stroke: The fourth stroke of a four-stroke cycle where the piston moves upward from bottom dead center to top dead center and pushes the burned exhaust gases out of the cylinder. exhaust system: The pipes, resonators and mufflers that carry the exhaust gases from the

exhaust manifold out into the atmosphere. Also see dual exhaust system stainless-steel exhaust system twin exhaust system exhaust timing: exhaust control system developed especially for two-stroke motorcycle engines in order to enhance low and mid-range power exhaust treatment: any measures taken to reduce the pollutant concentrations in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine released into the atmosphere

exhaust tuning: Cutting the exhaust pipe to a length that provides maximum efficiency.

exhaust turbocharging: See turbocharging

exhaust valve: The valve through which the burned fuel charge passes on its way from the cylinder to the exhaust manifold. It is driven by the camshaft. When comparing an exhaust valve with an intake valve in the same engine, the part of the exhaust valve that seats into the head (i.e., not the stem) will have a smaller diameter than the intake valve. Also see sodium-cooled exhaust valve exhaust valve closes: (EVC) A mark on a valve-timing diagram exhaust valve opens: (EVO) A mark on a valve-timing diagram

expander: [1] A ring placed under a piston ring to increase ring pressure on the cylinder walls. For instance an oil control ring may have an expander ring to assist the oil-control ring to scrape oil off the cylinder wall and provide further sealing. See piston ring expander. [2] A device in a drum brake system (either hydraulic or mechanical) which forces the shoes apart into contact with the drum.

Also see bead expander piston skirt expander ring expander skirt expander tailpipe expander wedge expander expander spacer: See expander ring

expanding: See piston skirt expanding

expansion: An increase in size, for example: when a metal rod is heated, it increases in length and perhaps also in diameter. Expansion is the opposite of contraction. Also see piston expansion shell expansion expansion plug: A steel plug, slightly dished or cup-shaped. When driven into place it flattens to fit tightly in its seat. In an engine block, expansion plugs (also called freeze plugs or core-hole plugs) are inserted into the holes in the casting through which core was removed when casting was formed. They open into cooling passages and thus provide pressure relief should the engine coolant freeze and expand. See core plugs.

expansion stroke: See power stroke

expansion tank: When the engine is heated, the coolant expands to fill any available space (usually in the radiator). Before the introduction of coolant expansion tanks, the excess coolant was forced out of a vent tube and on the ground. The expansion tank collects the coolant so that when the engine cools off, the resultant vacuum sucks the coolant from the tank back into the radiator.

expansion tube:

A device that converts high pressure liquid refrigerant into low pressure liquid refrigerant (thus lowering its boiling point) before it passes through the evaporator. The expansion valve replaces the thermostatic expansion valve. It is also referred to as a fixed orifice tube

expansion valve: A part of an air-conditioning system, located between the condenser and the evaporator that regulates the flow of liquid refrigerant to the vaporator. If cooling needs are low, the valve is almost closed; as additional cooling is required, the valve opens wider so that more liquid refrigerant flows to the evaporator.

expected residual value: This is the projected or expected value of the vehicle at the end of the lease. Residual value is a measure of the vehicle's expected depreciation.

expenditures: See capital expenditures

experiment: See windsor experiment

Experimental Development Program: See scientific Research and Experimental Development Program

Experimental Safety Vehicle: (ESV) A special vehicle built for research into and testing of safety features; (compare SID)

exploded view: A drawing of a mechanism or structure which shows the parts separately but approximately in the position they occupy when assembled

explosion: A rapid disintegration of an object. See clutch explosion.

Export Restraint:

See Voluntary Export Restraint

expressway: A US multilane highway road with limited access to be used for rapid travel with few interchanges.

ext: Abbreviation for "exterior."

extension: A part which is inserted between a ratchet and a socket to provide access to nuts or bolts which are deeply inset or hard to reach. Also called "extension bar" or "extension piece." Also see brake extension fender extension load floor extension park brake extension piston extension screw valve extension wheel arch extension wing extension extension bar: See extension wobble extension bar extension housing: See transmission extension housing

extension piece: See extension

extension screw: See piston extension screw

extension spring:

A closed-coiled helical spring that offers resistance to a pulling force.

exterior mirror: The mirror that is usually mounted on the door. In Japan (and other countries) it was mounted on the front fenders. Also called "external mirror."

external combustion engine: An engine that burns its fuel outside the engine. A steam engine is an external combustion engine.

external diameter: The outside diameter of a cylinder, tube, or washer

external equalizer: See equalizer line

externally-balanced crankshaft: A crankshaft that requires external balancing weight, usually on the vibration damper of the flywheel, for balance

external micrometer: A micrometer for measuring external diameters

external mirror: The mirror that is usually mounted on the door. In Japan (and other countries) it was mounted on the front fenders. Also called "exterior mirror."

external mix air cap: A special type of air cap for spray guns. Air and fluid are mixed in the space outside the air cap, directly in front of the nozzle: the most common type of air cap. Also see internal mix air cap external thread: Thread consisting of projecting ridges on the outside of a part such as a bolt or screw (which fits into the corresponding internal thread of a nut). Also called male thread

external vane pump: A pump with either an elliptic rotating piston or an eccentrically mounted circular rotor

extinguisher: See fire extinguisher

extractor: A device for removing some object (e.g., bearing, bushing, sleeve, bolt, stud, etc.). See oil and water extractor screw extractor stud extractor extras: Optional items either supplied by the manufacturer at the buyer's request, or added later by the owner. Usually they are things like seat covers, floor mats, additional lights, sunroof, glass tinting, CD changers, etc.

extreme-pressure lubricant: (EP lubricant) A lubricant designed and compounded to withstand very heavy loads imposed on gear teeth.

extruder: A machine that shapes a rubber compound into a usable form. Uncured rubber is heated to soften and forced through dies having the desired shape and dimensions.

eye: A circular opening or hole, such as that at the end of a leaf spring or that formed at the end of a cable. Also see fish eye impeller eye spring eye towing eye eyebolt:

A bolt with an eye in place of a head, through which a cable can be passed, e.g. for lifting purposes

eyelet connector: A connector for electrical connections which is attached to a wire and has its ringshaped end pushed onto a round post or threaded terminal

eyelet pliers: Pliers for punching small holes, with a round stud in one jaw and a hole in the other

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [F] [Fa] [Fe] [Fh] [Fi] [Fl] [Fn] [Fo] [Fr] [Fu]

F: [1] Abbreviation for "Fahrenheit." [2] Acronym for "Field" or "Field terminal"

fabric: Material made from textile or man-made fibres

fabricate: To make, usually by a relatively complex process or from several parts

fabric body: A simple form of lightweight bodywork in which a waterproof, cloth-backed material is stretched over a wooden framework popular around 1930 and still used at a late, date by DKW and even postwar by Lloyd

fabric fatigue: A term used with tires in that the fabric degrades and results in tire cord breakdown due to repeated flexing and heat.

fabric hood: A British term for a fabric top of a convertible.

fabric top: A soft top for a convertible made from a textile (such as canvas) as opposed to vinyl

face: [1] To shave the outer edges of a bottom bracket shell or the upper and lower ends of a head tube to make them parallel with one another and square to the tube's centerline.

[2] A machinist's term that refers to removing metal from the end of a shaft or the face of a larger part, e.g., flywheel. [3] The front, visible, or working surface of a part (such as a valve) or a tool (such as a hammer). Also see attachment face bearing face cam face concave weld face door face full face helmet grille face panel inner attachment face inner mounting face mechanical face seal open face helmet valve face valve seat face weld face face cam: A cam system in which the eccentrics are situated on the face of a rotating disc

face hammer: See soft face hammer

face helmet: See full face helmet open face helmet facelift: Minor styling modifications made to a car model which may be approaching the end f its useful life, intended to improve the appearance and thus boost sales with minimum cost, including such features as restyled headlights, larger tail lights, added trim, and spoilers

Facel Vega: A vehicle brand of which the 1954-64 V-8 models are milestone cars.

face of weld:

The exposed surface of the weld.

face panel: See grille face panel

face seal: See mechanical face seal

facia: A front protective panel. Also spelled "fascia."

facing: See clutch facing hinge facing lock facing fact: Abbreviation for "factory."

factor: See casing factor consumer factors deadfreight factor horsepower weight factor horsepower-weight factor money factor pitting factor safety factor factory adjusted: Something that is set by the manufacturer when the vehicle was built and is not intended to be changed

factory options: Optional features which may be installed by the manufacturer upon request. Aftermarket options are those which are installed by a garage or consumer after the vehicle has been built and delivered to the selling dealership.

factory primer: A primer coat applied to new body panels in the factory for protection during storage, which in some cases has to be removed prior to painting because of paint compatibility problems

factory racers: Racing machines built and operated by the manufacturer

fade: A gradual reduction in efficiency. See brake fade.

fader: A device which adjusts the sound balance of front and rear speakers in a fourspeaker layout

fading: [1] A loss of brightness or colour in a paint finish. [2] Brake fade

failsafe system: A system which remains safe even when part of it fails, such as a dual-circuit brake system

failure: See adhesion failure brake failure intercoat adhesion failure secondary failure Fairlane: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

Click for books on Ford Fairlane

Fairmont: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

Click for books on Ford Fairmont

fahrenheit: Thermometer on which the boiling point of water is 212 deg. and the freezing point is 32 deg. above zero. To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 then multiply the result by 5 and divide by 9. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 9, then divide by 5. Now add 32 to the result.

fair: [1] to add a fairing to a body. [2] A vehicle in restorable condition needing only minor work to get all components working

fairing: A protective shell or enclosure at the front of a motorcycle which may house the headlights and signal lights. It is designed to improve the aerodynamic performance of the machine and/or provide rider comfort

Falcon: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

Click for books on Ford Falcon

false air: Any air leak that introduces unmeasured air into the intake system between the airflow meter and the intake valves is false

family car: A car suitable for transporting a family, usually a four-door sedan, hatchback, or station wagon. It is becoming more popular for families to obtain a mini-van instead of a station wagon.

fan: [1] A fan is a rotating device with curved blades like a propeller. The primary fan in a vehicle is located behind the radiator. Some electric fans may be placed in front of the radiator. It draws air through the radiator so that the coolant looses its heat through the fins of the radiator. It is especially needed when the vehicle is idling or moving slowly. When the vehicle moves quickly, there may be no need for the fan. In some cases, the fan is automatically disengaged. The fan may be driven by a fan belt driven by the engine, or by electricity independent of the engine itself. [2] Other fans are located throughout the vehicle to push air from one location to another, especially for heating and ventilation. [3] The pattern emitted by a paint spray gun. Also see

cooling fan heater fan radiator fan motor radiator fan fan belt: A flexible rubber belt that connects various components in the engine compartment, i.e., alternator, water pump, emission controls, power steering pump, air conditioner compressor.

fan blade: A part of the fan projecting at an angle from the central hub, which draws the air through the radiator

fan clutch: A viscous (fluid) drive coupling device connected to the center of the fan to permit variable engine fan speeds in relation to engine speeds. The clutch engages and disengages the fan according to the engine temperature through a thermostat

fan cooling: A type of air cooling where a blower is responsible for transporting the amount of air required for the cooling of the engine past the cooling fins, which in turn dissipate the heat stored in them to the current of air flowing past them

fan motor: See radiator fan motor

fanning: The use of air pressure through a spray gun to speed up the drying of primer or paint--this is not recommended

fan pulley: A pulley on the hub of the radiator fan on which its driving belt runs

farewell tour: A year-long tribute or celecbration for a retiring driver and his racing fans.


A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic car.

farthing: See penny-farthing

fascia: Also spelled "facia." [1] A front protective panel usually located below the bumper. [2] In Britain it is the instrument panel.

fast: See light-fast

fastback: A design of car where the roof gently slopes to the rear end of the car. Any automobile with a long, moderately curving, downward slope to the rear of the roof. This body style relates to an interest in streamlining and aerodynamics and has gone in and out of fashion at various times. Some (Mustangs for one) have grown quite popular. Others have tended to turn customers off. Certain fastbacks are, technically, two-door sedans or pillared coupes. Four-door fastbacks have also been produced. Many of these (such as Buick's late 1970s four-door Century sedan) lacked sales appeal. Fastbacks may or may not have a rear-opening hatch. === carfast.jpg Also see two-door fastback fast charger: A battery charger which can charge a battery at a rate of 40 amps or more, used by garages and battery suppliers

fastener: See lift-the-dot fastener snap fastener fast idle: When the engine is cold, it needs to run faster to keep it from stalling. A cam on the carburetor forces the throttle open a little more when the choke is engaged.

fast idle cam: A cam in a carburetor which opens the throttle slightly when the choke is brought into operation, either automatically or mechanically

fast idle screw: A screw on a carburetor for adjusting the speed of the fast idle

fast idle solenoid: A solenoid operating in conjunction with an automatic choke to open the throttle slightly when the choke is in operation

fast lane: The outside lane (far left lane in North America, etc. or the far right lane in Britain, Australia, etc.). Also called the "passing lane"

fathom: A measure of length, equivalent to 6 linear feet, used for depths of water and lengths of anchor chain

fatigue: A condition of a material, especially a metal, causing loss of elasticity and tendency to fracture after long or repeated stress, even though the stress may be less than that which would cause failure under static conditions. Also see fabric fatigue metal fatigue fatigue limit: The maximum stress that a material can endure for an infinite number of stress cycles without breaking

fatigue resistance: The maximum stress that a material can endure for a given time without breaking

fatigue strength:

The maximum stress that a material can endure for a given time without breaking

fatigue test: A test on a material to determine the range of stress it will stand without failing, by subjecting it to rapidly varying stresses to establish its fatigue limit

fault: A defect which is either inherent in the vehicle as built (manufacturing fault) or which occurs during running. Also see intermittent fault no fault insurance fault diagnosis: The tracing of faults or error codes which can be determined by the in-built diagnostic system and an engine analyzer

fault insurance: See no fault insurance

fault memory: A part of the electronic control unit and of the diagnostic system that stores error codes to assist the mechanic in diagnosing problems.

fault reader: A device used in conjunction with the vehicle's diagnostic system, providing a readout of status of the various components

FBC: Acronym for Feedback Carburetor

FCAI: Acronym for "Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries" (Australia).

FCS: Acronym for feedback control system

FE analysis: Acronym for Finite-Element Analysis

featherbed frame: Famous Norton motorcycle frame design by the McCandless brothers. It was introduced in 1950 and was given its name by factory rider Harold Daniell

featheredge: See feather-edge.

feather edge: See feather-edge.

feather-edge: [1] The tapered edge of the paint where it meets the metal. The edges should be tapered or slanted so that no edge will be felt when a finger is passed over it. [2] To sand the edges of a repaired area until they merge into the surrounding paintwork.

feathering: [1] A type of tire wear in which the tread is worn down to a very thin edge [2] The application of gentle pressure on the throttle or brake pedal

feather key: A key with parallel faces whose ends may be round or square. It usually fits into a groove on a shaft and in a mating hole to secure the shaft in place.

feature: See kneeling feature passive safety features FEBIAC: Acronym for "Fédération Belge des Industries de L'Automobile et du Cycle 'réunies'" (Belgium)

Federal engine:

An American engine which meets US Federal emission standards and certified by the EPA for use in any state except California

federal side impact standard: Effective with the 1997 model year, all passenger cars are required to comply with Standard 214, side impact protection, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations. Simply put, the entire structure, floor to roof, of all cars must be now be reinforced according to strict regulations. Interestingly, this standard does not yet apply to light trucks (minivans, compact pickups, SUVs).

Federal Test Procedure: (FTP) An American method of testing automotive emissions by simulating typical driving conditions

federal version: A vehicle that complies with U.S. emission standards which are less restrictive than the standards in California. Also called a "49-state car."

Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile: (FIA) The international umbrella motoring organization to which national motoring organizations are affiliated and racing is sanctioned. This includes FIA Formula One World Championship (the world's premier racing series also called Formula One racing or F1), International Sports Car Championship (BPR), International Touring Car Championship, and through the Concorde Agreement (agreement to operate racing series under the FIA's guidelines and rules) for participating country's car clubs. Events take place worldwide. The current president is Max Mosley and the V.P. of Marketing is Bernie Eccelestone who controls the series.

Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile: (FISA) The intenational governing body of motor sport

fee: See acquisition fee agent fee disposition fee trauma fee feed: [1] To supply (fuel, oil, current, etc.)

[2] The supply of fuel, oil, current, etc. Also see foot feed gravity feed feedback: [1] The return of part of the output of a system to the input. Negative feedback causes self-adjustment of the system and therefore stability. Positive feedback causes instability. See closed loop system. [2] The information that a computer-controlled fuel system returns. The sensor measures the oxygen content of the engine's exhaust in order to keep the fuel-air ratio very close to the ideal proportion for combustion. Such tight control of the fuel-air ratio is required for the proper operation of three-way catalysts.

feedback carburetor: (FBC) A carburetor regulated by a closed loop system (an oxygen sensor, various other sensors, a computer, a duty-cycle solenoid or solenoid-controlled valve and a catalytic converter) providing and adjusting the air/fuel mixture quality to operate a catalytic converter

feedback carburetor actuator: A computer-controlled stepper motor that varies the carburetor air/fuel mixture

feedback control: A closed loop control

feedback control system: (FCS) a computer-controlled fuel system employing a stepper motor or a dithering solenoid that controls air-fuel mixture by bleeding precise amounts of air (determined by the computer) into the main and idle system of the carburetor

feedback potentiometer: A variable resistance device which monitors the position of the shaft to which it is affixed and reports the position to the control head

feeder: See wire feeder

feed gun:

See top feed gun

feed line: A pipe supplying liquid or gas.

feed pipe: A pipe supplying liquid or gas.

feed pump: A pump suppiymg, for example, fuel in regulated quantities

feel: The detection of the operation of a vehicle and its components. Brake feel involves detecting how effectively the brakes work; road feel conveys to the driver the way the suspension responds to the road. Also see brake feel on-center feel road feel steering feel feeler blade: A thin blade of spring steel of an exact thickness for measuring small gaps or clearances between parts, usually made in sets of various thicknesses pinned together at one end to form a feeler gauge

feeler gage: See feeler gauge.

feeler gauge: A thin strip or blade of hardened steel, ground to an exact thickness, that is used to check clearances between parts. Thicknesses increase by 0.001 inch. Also see step feeler gauge feeler strip: A metal strip of a specific thickness from which single feeler blades can be cut, appropriate when frequent measuring is required, to avoid using worn blades

FEI: Acronym for Fully Electronic Ignition

FEMA: Acronym for "The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations" on http://mag-uk.org/fema/.

female: A fitting inside another part. Usually where two parts form a connection of some kind, the female part is the socket or hole into which another piece is inserted.

female end: The receptical into which the male end is inserted.

female thread: Internal thread like that within a nut.

fender: [1] A covering over the wheels to prevent mud from splattering. The British term for this part is "wing." [2] British term for "bumper." Also see bolt-on fender front fender inner fender panels rear fender fender arch: A smoothly shaped, rounded widening of the wheel arch area to extend the wheel arch further from the body and allow wider tires to be installed. The British term is "wing arch"

fender beading: A strip used to cover the seams between fenders that are not normally detached and adjacent body panels. In most cases, this strip is chromed and permanently attached (i.e., it is destroyed when it is removed and cannot be reused)

fender bender: A car accident in which only minor damage is done to body panels.

fender bumping hammer: A body hammer with a one-sided, fairly long head that is lightly curt,ed and terminates in a rounded section; it is used to reach fender curves from the inside

fender extension: A smaller panel in the bottom front area of the front fender that extends the fender toward the front panel and the wheel housing

fender landing section: A horizontal flange at the top of the flitch plates that provides the seating for the fenders; in most cases, it also includes the mounting threads or spot-welds for attaching the fenders

fender mirror: A rear-view mirror mounted on the fender. It used to be a common placement, but now the outside mirror is mounted on the door.

fender mounting: The top flange of the sidewalls in the engine compartment and its vertical extensions at the front and rear; the fender is welded or bolted to this edge along its entire length

fender panels: See inner fender panels

fender punch: A hole punch with a specially shaped head to fit over awkward fender panels, rain gutters, and wheel arches

fender rail: A length of metal trim surrounding a motorcycle fender.

fender skirt: A plate designed to cover a portion of the rear fender wheel opening. It was available either as stock equipment, as an optional extra, or as an aftermarket item.

fender splash apron: A panel on the inside of the fender to prevent splashing water from reaching certain areas of the fender, wheel housing, and A-post; as opposed to wheel house panels, it is usually flat and mounted in an upright position behind the front wheels

fender strengthening buttress: A horizontally closed section of triangular shape in the upper rear edge of the inner fender area that adds rigidity to this area

fender support bracket: A sheet metal brace used to attach the bottom edge of the fender to the body, to keep it from flexing and vibrating

Ferguson four-wheel drive: A transmission system in which power is distributed through a special viscous coupling differential, 37% to the front wheels and 63% to the rear wheels

Ferrari: A vehicle brand of which the V-12 (All Front Engined) (1947- Click for books on 70) models are milestone cars. Ferrari Also see Dino and Testarosa

ferrous: Something containing iron

ferrous metal: Metal containing iron or steel. Non-ferrous metals are aluminum alloys, brass, copper, or magnesium.

ferrule: A cap (cylindrical metal piece with a hole at each end) attached to the end of the cable outer housing to protect the cable housing from fraying.


See ferrule.

festoon bulb: A light bulb in the form of a small glass tube with caps at each end providing the contacts

FF headlight: A free-form headlight using a free-shape reflector

FFÖ: Acronym for "Fachverband der Fahrzeugindustrie Österreichs" (Austria)

FEU: Acronym for "Forty Foot Equivalent Units" for containers on ships

FFOT: Acronym for ford fixed orifice tube system

F head: See F-head engine engine type F-head: See F-head engine engine type F head engine: See F-head engine.

F-head engine: An engine having one valve in the head and the other in the block. The position of the valves create an "F" shape in combination with the combustion chambers. Also see engine type

FHP: Acronym for "friction horsepower"

F.I.: Abbreviation for "fuel injection."

FI: Acronym for "fuel injection."

FIA: Acronym for "Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile" -- An international umbrella motoring organization to which national motoring organizations are affiliated

Fiat: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars. fiber: See carbon fiber glass fiber milled glass fiber fiberform: A patented process used in building composite automobile bodies. Click for books on Fiat

fiberglass: A mixture of glass fibres and resin that when cured (hardened) produces a very light and strong material. It is used to build boats, car bodies, repair damaged areas, etc. It can also be spelled "Fibreglass." Also called "glass reinforced plastic."

fibreglass: A mixture of glass fibres and resin that when cured (hardened) produces a very light and strong material. It is used to build boats, car bodies, repair damaged areas, etc. It can also be spelled "Fiberglass."

fibreglass body: A body shell which is molded in one piece from fiberglass and has the advantage of lightweight and freedom from corrosion

fibreglass mat: A layer of chopped but irregular individual fibreglass strands dressed with a chemical to hold them loosely together, which when a resin is applied hardens into a strong material for repairing holes, e.g. in car bodies

fiber optics: The transfer of light through glass fibers. Cadillac, for instance, transfers the light of the headlight or taillight through fiber optics showing that the lights are actually on; rather than just an electrical connection which shows that the indicator light works.

field: [1] A particular body of interest or expertise. [2] The area covered or filled with an electric, magnetic, or gravitational force. See magnetic field primary magnetic field field coil: Insulated wire wrapped around an iron or steel core. When current flows through the wire, a strong magnetic force field is built up.

field intensity: The force acting on a unit electric charge or unit magnetic pole placed at a given point.

field terminal: (F) The input terminal on a generator

field testing: The testing of a vehicle or component as it would appear under normal conditions

field trial: The testing of a vehicle or component as it would appear under normal conditions

field winding: That part which produces a constant-strength magnetic field in an electric motor or generator, the field core being on the stator or the rotor depending on the type of motor or generator

fierceness: The tendency of a clutch to engage suddenly so that it is difficult to procede smoothly from a stop

Fiero: A model of automobile manufactured by Pontiac division of General Motors FIEV: Acronym for "Fédération des Industries des Equipements pour Véhicules" (i.e., The French Vehicle Equipment Industries Association) Click for books on Fiero

fifth: The top gear in a five-speed transmission

fifth gear: The top gear in a five-speed transmission

fifth wheel: [1] A wheel that is temporarily attached to a vehicle to test the accuracy of the speedometer, etc. [2] A trailer which has its tongue attached to the bed of a truck.

fifth-wheel travel trailer: A trailer which is towed by a pickup truck. The tongue of the trailer fits into the bed of the truck. Like a travel trailer, it comes with all the amenities of home. The master bedroom is over the truck bed.

fifty-fifty power split: An arrangement in a four-wheel drive transmission where equal amounts of power are delivered to the front and rear wheels


A fine wire inside a light bulb that heats to incandescence when current passes through it. The filament produces the light. Also see double filament bulb filament bulb: See double filament bulb

file: [1] A flat or rounded tool with a rough surface of hardened steel. When it is rubbed against metal, it removes small bits of metal leading to a smaller amount of base metal. [2] The action of removing metal by using a file. Also see bastard file body file bumping file coarse-cut file coarse file flat file half-round body file hand file ignition file ignition point file key file magneto file millsaw file multi-cut file multi-purpose file panel file points file rat-tail file round file single-cut file thread file warding file file card brush: A brush with angled wire bristles for cleaning between the teeth on a file or the threads on a bolt.

file handle:

A wood or plastic handle, which it fitted to the back end of a file.

filing: See draw-filing

fill: See radiator fill hole

filler: [1] paste usually with a polyester base which, when mixed with a hardener, forms a surface which can be sanded smooth and is suitable for repairs to dented or rusted bodywork. Also called "filler paste." [2] A primer filler. [3] an inert material added to paper, resins, and other substances to modify their poroperties and improve quality. [4] An opening through which some liquid can be poured (i.e., oil or gasoline). Also see anti-chipping filler battery filler body filler bumper filler flip-top filler cap fuel filler tube fuel filler flap glass reinforced filler paste high-build filler oil filler cap plastic filler polyester filler primer filler quarter light filler panel quarter window filler panel two-pack filler filler cap: A cover which seals off a filler hole. Also see flip-top filler cap oil filler cap filler door:

A hinged door (usually less than six inches square and painted the body color) which covers the gas cap and filler neck on some models.

filler flap: See fuel filler flap

filler neck: A funnel shaped part which is connected to the main container (gas tank, radiator, windshield washer reservoir, etc.) and is usually covered with a cap. Also see fuel filler neck filler panel: See quarter light filler panel quarter window filler panel filler paste: See glass reinforced filler paste

filler rod: A metal wire that is melted and added to the welding puddle to produce the necessary increase in bead thickness. Also see welding rod filler strip: A free flowing rubber used under the tread when added thickness is needed.

filler tube: See fuel filler tube

fillet: [1] A round joint between two parts connected at an angle. [2] Weld metal in the internal vertex, or corner, of the angle formed by two pieces of metal, giving the joint additional strength to withstand unusual stresses. Also see leg of fillet weld

fillet weld: Metal fused into a comer formed by two pieces of metal whose welded surfaces are approximately 90° to each other. Also see leg of fillet weld throat of a fillet weld fill hole: See radiator fill hole

filling: Repairing of holes or dents in bodywork with filler paste or body lead

filling station: A British term for a gas station

fillister screw: A set screw with a deep rounded head

fill line: See battery fill line

fill plug: A small screw-in plug in the steering box or similar, which is removed for topping up with oil.

fill up: [1] To put in the full amount of fuel as in "Fill up the gas tank, I'm down to a quarter of a tank." Often said, "Fill 'er up" or "Fill her up." [2] The amount needed to make a full tank as in "I need a fill up."

film: A thin layer or coating of something. See anodic coating anodic film heavy film build

lubrication film natural oxide film paint film film build: See heavy film build

film strength: The ability of a liquid like oil to withstand pressure

filter: A device designed to remove foreign substances from air, oil, gasoline, water, etc. Also see air cleaner air filter bypass filter canister air filter centrifugal force air filter centrifugal oil filter ceramic filter charcoal filter cuno filter diesel particulate filter fuel filter full-flow filter full-flow oil filter full flow filter full flow oil filter gas filter in-line fuel filter inline fuel filter integral fuel filter micro oil filter oil filter oil filter cartridge oil filter hole oil filter housing oil filter oil filter bypass valve oil filter wrench partial flow filter pod filter sock filter surface-type filter

vacuum filter filter bypass: See oil filter oil filter bypass valve

filter bypass valve: See oil filter oil filter bypass valve oil filter bypass valve filter cartridge: The replaceable porous part of some oil filters and air filters; but often refers to the whole filter. Also called "filter element." Also see oil filter cartridge filter element: The replaceable porous part of some oil filters and air filters; but often refers to the whole filter. Also called "filter cartridge." Also see air filter element filter hole: See oil filter hole

filter housing: See oil filter housing

filter screen: A piece of wire mesh in a pipe or surrounding an air filter which is designed to collect dirt and foreign matter

filter wrench: An oil filter wrench for removing the oil filter. Also see chain filter wrench oil filter wrench filtration:

The removal of dirt or suspended particles from a liquid or the air with the aid of a filter. Also see air filtration filtration system: See air filtration system

FIM: Acronym for "Fédération Internationale Motorcylistes," the governing body of international motorcycle sports

fin: [1] A thin metal object projecting from a surface and is used to dissipate heat. It is found on radiators and air-cooled engines. [2] Wings and airfoils used to improve a vehicle's aerodynamics, stability, or possibly aesthetics. Also see tail fin final drive: This is the end of the drive train before power is transmitted to the wheels. In a typical car, the engine (or electric motor) transmits its power through some sort of clutch into a transmission. Then the power is transmitted to differential gears that adjust the engine speed to the most efficient use intended. These final drive differential gears are either at the front axle or rear axle, depending on the vehicle's layout. A typical family car or one intended for high speeds will have a low numerical ratio, to give it speed and good fuel efficiency. A truck or performance car is likely to have a high numerical ratio for better pulling power or for better acceleration

final drive gear: The last gear in a drivetrain before the driven wheels. Usually it is in the differential.

final drive ratio: This is the ratio that describes the difference between the number of times the driveshaft must turn before the axle shaft turns once. In a final drive ratio of 3.55:1, for example, the driveshaft must turn 3.55 times before the axle will turn once. The number of teeth on the ring and pinion gears determine the ratio. In most instances, the ratio is not a simple number like 3.00:1 because the same teeth on the drive and

driven gears would always meet and cause wear.

final purchase price: This price is equivalent to the amount you would pay for the vehicle if you were buying or financing rather than leasing. The final purchase price does not include any 'down' payment by the lessee.

finance and control: Ownership of company (i.e., Canadian, U.S., Japanese, German, etc.); public or private; capital investments: Buildings, machinery and equipment, tooling programs.

finance company: See captive finance company

fine: [1] Something that is made of very small particles. [2] The position of threads on a bolt or nut that are very close together. See national fine thread

fine thread: See national fine thread

finger: A protruding piece which engages or triggers something. Also see clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers clutch release finger release finger fingers: See clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers release fingers finger tight: The torque required when securing something without the use of a wrench; but using only one's fingers.

finish: [1] The final coat of paint applied to a vehicle. See original finish. [2] The overall look of a vehicle so that the paint, for instance, is evenly applied, there are no bare spots, etc. Usually this word is used in the expression "fit and finish." [3] Surface refinement as in smooth finish. Also see acrylic finish baking finish krinkle finish metallic finish one-coat finish original finish specular finish finish coat: The final color coat applied to a vehicle.

finish hammer: A pounding device used for detail work in shaping a panel after it has been brought approximately into the right shape.

finishing enamel: The paint used as the top coat of a painting system -- usually before a clear coat is applied. Also called "finishing paint."

finishing hammer: See pick and finishing hammer

finishing paint: The paint used as the top coat of a painting system -- usually before a clear coat is applied. Also called "finishing enamel."

finish restorer: A polish or rubbing compound with very slight abrasive which is used to remove an oxidized paint surface to bring back its original lustre.

finishing stone:

A fine grain stone used at the completion of the honing process to give a smooth surface.

finite-element analysis: A reduction of a complex structure to its basic component parts so that these can be studied in a computer, especially in a CAD process. Also called "FE analysis"

finning: An arrangement of fins on a surface to aid cooling by improving the heat transfer rate, typically found on air-cooled engines

fins: A series of blades such as are found in the internal design of the torque converter. To create mechanical torque from hydraulic pressure, oil is forced under pressure through the torque converter. The inside of the converter is made up of layers of steel fins which zigzag in direction and vary in size. First the fins are large but as the layers go on, the fins decrease in size. This design generates greater hydraulic pressure as the oil passes through the converter, the strong flow of oil creates a fluid coupling which operates like a clutch, driving the wheels. Also see cooling fins fire: [1] To start an engine as in "I will fire up this engine." [2] To ignite the air-fuel mixture. Also see backfire fire appliance: A British term for fire engine

fireball combustion chamber: A combustion chamber design developed by the Swiss engineer May and introduced on Jaguar's V-12 engine in 1981

Firebird: A model of automobile manufactured by Pontiac division of Click for books on General Motors Firebird

fire engine: A vehicle built on a special truck chassis equipped with fire-fighting items such as ladders, pumps, hoses, etc.

fire extinguisher: A cylinder filled with a powder, foam, or liquid which can be sprayed on a fire to put it out.

fire point: The temperature at which the vapor continues to burn. See flash point.

fire ring: The circle of metal in a head gasket just where the piston comes through

firewall: The metal partition between the driver's compartment and the engine compartment. On front engine vehicles, it is located below the windshield; but on rear engine vehicles, it is located below the backlight (i.e., back window). It protects the driver and passengers from engine fires, noise, and fumes. The British term is "bulkhead."

firing: The process of igniting the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Also see backfiring shunt firing firing end: Part of the spark plug which extends into the combustion chamber

firing order: The sequence or order in which cylinders must be fired: 1, 5, 3, 6, 2, 4, etc. It differs from the cylinder sequence which starts with cylinder number one and goes to the last cylinder: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

firing stroke: The power stroke


A business or institution comprising sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies and other forms of organizations.

first: The lowest gear in a transmission. In a bicycle, it is the gear ratio where the drive sprocket is the smallest and the driven sprocket is the largest. This gear is the best for starting from a stop or going up a hill.

first-aid kit: A box containing bandages, antiseptic ointment, and other basic medical requirements for treating injuries.

first gear: The lowest gear in a transmission. In a bicycle, it is the gear ratio where the drive sprocket is the smallest and the driven sprocket is the largest. This gear is the best for starting from a stop or going up a hill.

FISA: Acronym for "Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile" which is the governing body of motor sport

fish eye: A small pit that forms in the finish coat of paint, usually due to insufficient or improper cleaning of the old coat.

fish eyes: Small pits that form in the finish coat of paint, usually due to insufficient or improper cleaning of the old coat.

fit: [1] Contact area between two parts. [2] The way in which two parts come together. [3] To attach or put into place. Also see clearance fit drive fit force-fit force fit hubcentric fit interference fit

press fit running-fit shrink fit sliding-fit fit and finish: The evaluative standard of a vehicle's cosmetics. Good fit and finish means all the body panels and trim are evenly spaced, aligned, and secure. The paint is evenly applied with no bubbles or pit marks.

fitment: See twin fitment

fitting: A small part that is attached to a larger apparatus. Also see air hold fitting bayonet fitting grease fitting zerk fitting fittings: See fitting

five-door: Body design typical of station wagons and most hatchbacks, with four side doors and a tailgate.

five-door hatchback: Essentially unknown among domestic models in the mid-1970s, the four-door hatchback became a popular model as cars grew smaller and front-wheel-drive versions appeared. Styling was similar to the original two-door hatchback, except for two more doors. Luggage was carried in the back of the car itself, loaded through the hatch opening, not in a separate trunk. === car-4hatch.jpg

five-link rear suspension: Independent rear suspension layout also used on live rear axles, in which each wheel is guided by two trailing links, two transverse links and a common track rod

five speed transmission: See five-speed transmission.

five-speed transmission: A manual transmission with five forward gears. Generally the fifth gear is an overdrive to allow the wheels to turn faster than the engine. See overdrive.

five-valve head: A cylinder head which has five valves per cylinder, usually three intake valves and two exhaust valves

fix: [1] To attach something securely. [2] To repair something

fixed-caliper disc brake: A disc brake with a caliper which cannot move, the caliper consisting of two halves which are bolted together and contain at least one cylinder and piston each

fixed-cam brake: A drum brake in which the cam is rigidly mounted in the backplate

fixed-choke carburetor: A carburetor where the choke tube or venturi is of predetermined size

fixed contact: The stationary point in a set of contact breaker points -- the other point moves

fixed cup: The right-hand cup of the bottom bracket of a bicycle, ordinarily not loosened or removed during bottom bracket disassembly. Also see adjustable cup fixed drive: A power transmission without differential action at the driven axle or between the driven axles in a four-wheel drive layout

fixed gear: A cog attached to a hub without a freewheel; it always turns as fast as the bicycle's wheel so that you cannot coast.

fixed head: [1] A non-removable cylinder head cast in one piece with the cylinder block. These heads were used in early automobile engines and, more recently, in some motorcycle engines. [2] A British term for a solid non-removable roof, or coupe.

fixed idle-air bypass: Some Rochester Quadrajet carburetors have idle air passages from the air horn to a point just below the throttle plates. Extra air through these passages allows the throttle plates to be more closed at idle, reducing the signal applied to the discharge nozzles for the main metering circuit and eliminating nozzle drip at idle

fixed-jet carburetor: This is the most common type of carburetor in which the jets and choke are of a predetermined size. The opposite is a variable-jet carburetor

fixed orifice tube: A device that converts high pressure liquid refrigerant into low pressure liquid refrigerant (thus lowering its boiling point) before it passes through the evaporator. The expansion valve replaces the thermostatic expansion valve. Also called an expansion tube

fixed price selling: Published fixed price displayed on a new vehicle eliminating need for negotiation.

fixed wheel: Same as fixed gear, the kind of rear wheel found on track bikes.

fixing bolt: A bolt used to hold a crankarm on an axle in a cotterless crankset. Also see crankarm fixing bolt

fixture: Device for holding goods in process while working tools are in operation that does not contain any special arrangements for guiding the working tools.

flag: See black and white checkered flag black flag checkered flag green flag green flag with yellow diagonal stripe national flag red flag white flag yellow flag flag down: The action of a pedestrian to stop a vehicle by using a hand signals (usually waving the arms laterally above the head). This is usually a sign of an emergency

flagship model: The prestige model or top model of a manufacturer's line of vehicles, e.g., "Cadillac is the flagship model for GM and Lincoln is the flagship model for Ford."

flags of convenience: Flags of nations which offer favorable tax structures and regulations. Ships registering under the laws of these nations are not always required to establish their home location in that country.

flake: The action of paint when it starts to come off the surface in small, thin sections

flake off: The action of paint when it starts to come off the surface in small, thin sections

flaking: The tendency of paint to lift away from the surface because of poor adhesion.


See cutting flame neutral flame oxidizing flame oxygen-hydrogen flame oxygen-lp gas flame reducing flame sheath flame flame cutting: Cutting performed by an oxygen-fuel gas torch flame which has an oxygen jet.

flame front: The term used to describe certain aspects of the fuel explosion in the cylinders. The flame front should move in a controlled pattern across the cylinder, rather than simply exploding immediately. Also see pinging flame glow plug: A glow plug that preheats the intake air by burning a small quantity of precisely metered fuel

flame paint: A popular (during the 1950s) special paint design applied to the front of custom cars. Large flames in yellow, orange, and red were painted on the side of the car from the back of the front wheels toward the back

flame trap: A device consisting of a valve or similar, preventing the escape of ignited blowback gases, usually located in the hose or pipe leading from the crankcase to the intake tract

flange: [1] A projecting rim or collar on an object for keeping it in place. [2] The parts of a hub shell to which spokes are attached and which secure the tire on the rim base. [3] The circle of metal inside the teeth on a chainring. Also see B-flange

body flange demountable flange heater flange J-flange K-flange rim flange spot-welded flange windshield mounting flange flange bolt: A bolt with a fillet as part of the bolt head

flanged: Something that has a flange

flanged head: A bolt head which has a fillet (i.e., it looks as though it already has a washer under the head; but the "washer" is part of the head)

flange height: A measurement from the top of the flange to the bead seat, and is the difference between the overall diameter and nominal rim diameter, divided by two.

flange joint: A coupling between two shafts formed of two disc-shaped flanges on the ends of the shafts which are bolted to each other

flanger: A tool for making a flange. Also see panel flanger flange seal: An L-shaped rubber seal used in some earthmover tubeless tire mountings. It prevents air loss between the tire beads and both the flange and rim base, and the flange and loose taper seat.

flange-type puller:

A puller with legs that fit behind a flange on a hub

flanging: The action of putting on a flange

flanging tool: A tool (like pliers) for making a flange by bending the metal

flank: [1] The side of a screw thread, rising from the bottom of the groove to the top of the ridge [2] one of the two flat parts of the face of a cam

flap: [1] A rubber protector used in tube-type truck tires to prevent injury to the tube by the bead toes and at the valve slot of the rim. [2] A flat piece of material attached along one side, often by a hinge and forming a small door for shutting off an opening. Also see anti-spray flap fuel filler flap mud flap sensor flap ski flap flare: [1] A flange or a cone-shaped end applied to a piece of tubing to provide a means of sealing two similarly angled areas formed in fitting the body and the nut. [2] A sudden burst of flame. [3] The spreading out of the hull form from the central vertical plans, usually in the front, much like the end of a trumpet. [4] A gradual spreading or widening of a tube. Also see double flare flared wheel arch: A wheel arch bent outwards around its circumference, usually to accommodate wider wheels and/or tires

flare nut:

A nut fitting over the flared end of a brake or fuel pipe at a union

flare nut spanner: British term for flare nut wrench

flare nut wrench: A wrench which looks almost like an open end wrench except the end curls around the nut further. The opening allows the wrench to slide over a tube or pipe to which a nut is attached, but not directly over the nut. Thus you have to slide it over the pipe first and then bring it up to the nut. The wrench has more faces than an open end wrench thus giving better gripping.

flaring tool: A tool used to form flare connections on tubing.

flash: [1] The first stage of the drying process of paint where most of the solvents evaporates. [2] A sudden burst of energy. [3] When crude oil is heated the lighter or more volatile vapor is separated and travels to the top of the tank. This travelling is called flash. [4] The impact of electric arc rays against the human eye. [5] The fin of surplus metal formed at the seam of a resistance weld. [6] To use your signal lights as in "My car was flashing left." [7] To rapidly switch the headlights off and on -- usually to indicate a warning. If you are behind someone and you flash your headlights, it means that you want him to pull over so you can pass. If you see someone flashing his lights, it could mean that there is a police car ahead so slow down; or it could mean there is danger ahead (e.g., deer on the road, an accident ahead, etc.).

flashback: Another term for blowback

flasher: [1] A flashing signal light. [2] An electronic switch apparatus controlling the operation of the signal lights, including their rate of flash; self-cancelling when the steering wheel is returned to the straight-ahead position. [3] An electronic relay which regulates the signal lights and emits a clicking or chiming sound.

Also see hatchback hazard flasher switch headlight flasher side flasher flasher switch: See hatchback hazard flasher switch hazard flasher switch flashover: Tendency of electrical current to travel down the outside of a spark plug instead of through the center electrode.

flash point: The point in the temperature range at which a given oil (especially diesel oil) in vapor form will ignite and flash into flame. The higher the flash point, the better the lubricating quality of the oil. The temperature at which the vapor continues to burn is called the "fire point."

flash time: The time required for a coat of paint to lose most of its solvent through evaporation.

flat: [1] When a battery has completely discharged, so that it cannot turn over the engine then the battery is said to be flat. [2] To be completely deflated, especially as the result of a puncture or a leaky valve. See flat tire. [3] A flat tire. [4] An engine having horizontally opposed cylinders. [5] A level area on an otherwise rounded surface. [6] To give a final light rubbing down to (paintwork or filler) with fine grade sandpaper or similar, to prepare the surface for a top coat. Also see battery is flat go flat keel, flat plate outboard flat hump outboard flat pente run flat across flats

flat base rim: A truck rim with no center depression. A demountable flange (consisting of 1 or 2 piece side/lock ring) permits the removal of the tire and holds it in place after installation. Also see flat base rim taper flat base rim taper: An obsolete form of rim with no taper at either bead seat.

flat battery: A British term for a dead battery

flatbed trailer: A trailer with a flat deck (and no sides or top) so that any size or shape item can be loaded (within reason) regardless of height, length, or width

flatbed truck: A truck with a flat deck (and no sides or top) so that any size or shape item can be loaded (within reason) regardless of height, length, or width

flat-bladed screwdriver: A screwdriver which has a blade at its end to fit slotted screws. This type is the least desirable screw giving the least amount of torquing ability. If the screwdriver does not fit well, the screw is easily damaged.

flat crank: A crankshaft having one of the bearing journals out-of-round.

flat eight: An eight cylinder engine with four cylinders on each side. The "left" bank of four cylinders is directly opposite the right bank.

flat engine: An engine where opposite cylinders are 180 degrees apart. This engine type is found on the following: VW Beetle, Corvair, Porsche six-cylinder, Subaru "quadrazontal," and BMW motorcycle engines.

flat file: A long, thin rectangular bar (like a blade) with angled grooves cut into the top and bottom of the larger sides and used to shape metal

flat four: A four cylinder engine with two cylinders on each side. The "left" bank of two cylinders is directly opposite the right bank.

flathead: An engine with all the valves in the block on one side of the cylinder. Also called "L-head" because the combustion chamber is L-shaped. flat hump: A raised and flattened portion on the bead seat of some wheel rims which retains the beads of an insufficiently inflated tire on the bead seat, thereby preventing the tire beads from jumping into the rim well. Also see outboard flat hump flat key: A small bar of any length but its width is greater than its height.

flat-nose pliers: A common pair of pliers where the ends of the jaws do not extend to a point (like long-nose pliers); but are cut short. Also called "flat-nosed pliers."

flat-nosed pliers: A common pair of pliers where the ends of the jaws do not extend to a point (like long-nose pliers); but are cut short. Also called "flat-nose pliers."

flat pente: A raised portion on the bead seat of some wheel rims which retains the tire beads of an insufficiently inflated tire on the bead seat, thereby preventing the beads from jumping into the rim well. This is a compromise between the contre pente and the flat hump contours and is mainly used on passenger cars made in France. Also see outboard flat pente flat plate:

See keel, flat plate

flat plate keel: The horizontal, centerline, bottom shell strake constituting the lower flange of the keel

flat position: A horizontal weld on the upper side of a horizontal surface.

flat position welding: Creating a horizontal weld on the upper side of a horizontal surface. Also called "downhand welding"

flat rate: A pre-determined length of time set down by the manufacturer that a particular repair job will take and is listed in the flat rate manual. If the flat rate is two hours, but the mechanic completes the job in more or less time, you will be charged for two hours. For the shop, flat rate encourages mechanics to work harder to beat the prescribed time, thus earning more for the shop and the mechanic; but it also hurts the shop when the mechanic cannot complete the job because of other contributing factors (i.e., a bolt which should have taken 10 seconds to remove breaks off and requires 30 minutes to remove). For the customer, flat rate means fair pricing for the same job no matter how long it actually took. Thus both Sam's labor bill and my labor bill to do the same work is the same cost. It can be unfair if the mechanic worked faster on my vehicle (because I keep it in excellent shape) than on Sam's vehicle (because his involved a lot more cleaning, etc. to do the job). Also, there is the danger that a mechanic may take shortcuts in order to beat the flat rate, but which may cause mechanical problems later. Charging by the actual time the mechanic takes is called straight time.

flat rate manual: A listing of almost every job that can be done on a vehicle with the time required for a mechanic to do the work. It is used in service shops to determine labor charges. If a mechanic completes the job before the flat rate time, the customer is still charged the flat rate time. If he exceeds the flat rate time, the customer is not charged for straight time, but the lower flat rate time.

flat seat: The seat of a spark plug which is sealed by means of a gasket

flat six: A six cylinder engine with three cylinders on each side. The "left" bank of three cylinders is directly opposite the right bank.

flat spot: [1] Refers to a spot during an acceleration period where the engine seems to lose power for a moment and will then begin to pull again. [2] Irregular wear in an isolated spot or spots around the tire tread. It is usually caused by locking the brakes so that the tire skids on the ground.

flat spring: A long bar that is bent in the middle. When pressure is applied to the outside ends, the middle flexes.

flat tank: Fuel tank shape used on early motorcycles

flat tappet: A tappet with a flat contact surface towards the cam lobe

flat tire: A condition where an air-inflated tire is no longer pressured up with air. The problem may be a cut in the casing or tube; or may be caused by a bad valve. When you experience a flat tire, no doubt some wit will tell you that your tire is flat only on the bottom.

flat-tip screwdriver: See flat-bladed screwdriver

flat-topped piston: A piston with a flat not domed crown

flat-top piston: A piston with a flat not domed crown

flat twin: A two cylinder engine with one cylinder on each side. The "left" cylinder is directly opposite the right cylinder. See horizontally opposed

flat washer: A disc like a coin with a hole in the middle

flaw: A defect usually in the surface of the paint

fl`che vélocio: A 24-hour team bicycle ride covering at least 360 kilometers held over the Easter weekend in France.

fleet: All the vehicles owned by a company or other organization

fleet car: A company will purchase a number of cars at a low price, often basic models, from one manufacturer. When the company decides to sell these cars, it will advertise that it was a flee car. Fleet cars have the advantage of regular maintenance; but the disadvantage of high mileage.

fleet sales: The purchase of vehicles by a business that meet a minimum requirement of units sold.

flex arm suspension: Rear axle design with torsionally flexible axle beam in line with the rear wheels and trailing links

flexibility: [1] Elasticity of a material. [2] The ability of an engine to go down to low speeds in a high gear and pull away smoothly without gearing down, which is governed mainly by its torque characteristics

flexible: [1] The ability to bend without breaking. [2] The ability of an engine to go down to low speeds in a high gear and pull away smoothly

flexible brake pipe: A pipe connecting the wheel cylinder to the rest of the system, which has to flex to allow for the up and down movement of the wheel

flexible coupling: A simple shaft coupling used where only small angles of misalignment between the two shafts occur, as in a steering column, the drive being transmitted either by tension-stressed fabric discs or pressurized rubber blocks

flexible drive: A drive consisting of a cable in an outer sheath, used for mainly light applications such as speedometers, rev counters and windshield wipers

flexible drive handle: A socket drive tool with a pivoting head for use with sockets, its length gives good leverage and access to difficult locations because of its ability to bend

flexural: A word referring to bending

flexural shock: A sharp shock when bending, which can break plastics

flexure: Bending. Also see stiffness under flexure flickability: The ease with which the bike can be leaned to the right or left around turns. High flickability means it leans quickly and easily, acting like a sportbike. Low flickability is how a cruiser handles -- not really designed for fast riding through the canyons. Lighter, smaller bikes are generally more flickable through turns.

flipper strip:

See ply turnup.

flip-top filler cap: A quick-release filler cap, as fitted to some sports and racing cars

flitch plate: A reinforcing plate for chassis members or wheel arches

float: [1] A small hollow tank which is more buoyant than the liquid in which it is immersed. In a carburetor it operates the valve (needle and seat) which controls the amount of fuel entering the carburetor. In the fuel tank, it indicates the amount of fuel. Older floats were hollow and made of metal, but newer ones were made of a solid synthetic material. [2] The action of the breaker arm when it is pushed out as the cam strikes the rubbing block; and before the arm can return after the cam has passed, the next cam strikes the block and re-opens it. In other words, the breaker arm never has the time to fully close before being opened again. Also see end float valve float floatation: The ability to float generally referring to large low pressure tires (i.e., the ability of a tire, to pass over soft surfaces without sinking in.)

float bowl: That part of a carburetor that acts as a reservoir for gasoline and in which the float is placed. The float controls the amount of fuel moving through the fuel valve.

float bumper spring: A small spring installed under the float tang to minimize float bounce and vibration

float chamber: British term for float bowl

floating: See

full floating axle fully floating axle floating axle: See full floating axle fully floating axle three-quarter floating axle floating caliper disc brake: A disc brake with a single piston, in which the caliper itself can move to bring both pads into contact with the disc

floating piston pin: A piston pin which is not locked in the connecting rod or the piston, but is free to turn or oscillate in both the connecting rod and the piston.

floating frame: A frame which holds the cylinder assembly and is supported by the mounting frame, usually made of heavy-gauge sheet steel.

floating cam: brake cam or other type of expander which is not rigidly mounted in the brake backplate of a drum brake, so that it can exert equal pressure on the two shoes

floating piston: a secondary piston

float level: [1] Height of the fuel in the carburetor float bowl. [2] The specific float setting that will produce the correct fuel level. [3] The float position at which the float needle closes against its seat, shutting off the fuel inlet valve to prevent further deliver of fuel

float needle: A needle in the carburetor which is activated by the level of fuel in the float bowl. As the level drops, the needle lifts and allows more fuel to enter the bowl

flood: [1] To allow too much fuel to enter the carburetor or the engine. [2] A condition where the fuel mixture is overly rich or an excessive amount has reached the cylinders. Starting will be difficult and sometimes impossible until the condition is corrected.

floodable length: The length of ship which may be flooded without sinking below her safety or margin line. The floodable length of a vessel varies from point to point throughout her length and is usually greatest amidships

flooding: A condition where the fuel mixture is overly rich or an excessive amount has reached the cylinders. Starting will be difficult and sometimes impossible until the condition is corrected. hot-wax flooding and hot-wax flooding unit

flooding unit: See hot-wax flooding unit

flood the carburetor: [1] An undesirable condition which occurs when the float in the carburetor is set too high. [2] A desired condition which allows extra fuel into older or simpler carburetors by pushing down the float with an extra lever (called a tickler) to give a richer mixture for starting

flooded engine: An engine which has too much fuel into the cylinders. It can be caused from trying to repeatedly start a car which refuses to start. If this condition continues, the engine oil could become diluted and should be changed.

floor: [1] The flat base panel of a vehicle. [2] A verb meaning to push the accelerator as far as it will go (i.e., to the floor). [3] The vertical transverse plate immediately above the bottom shell plating, often located at every frame, extending from bilge to bilge. Also see four-on-the-floor four on the floor load floor

load floor extension floorboard: The flat base panel of a vehicle. Originally it was the collection of wood planks which made up the floor of vehicle. The floor of the vehicle under the instrument panel.

floor change: [1] A gear shifter on the floor -- usually on the center console. [2] Some coins left on the floor after being negligently dropped there.

floor extension: See load floor extension

floor gearchange: A gear shifter on the floor -- usually on the center console.

floor pan: The metal structure on the bottom of the car. Almost all cars are unit body (or unibody) construction, and the floor pan provides the foundation for chassis stiffness. Your feet usually rest on a floor pan when you are in a car.

floorpan: The large stamped metal part of the car's body over which the carpet is laid. Usually assembled from several smaller stampings, the floorpan forms the floor and fixes the dimensions for most of the car's external and structural panels. It is also the foundation for many of the car's mechanical parts.

floor shift: When the shifting lever is placed in a vehicle, it usually occupies one of three primary positions: the dash (usually a pushbutton arrangement); the steering column; and on the center column between the driver and front seat passenger. Also see gearshift floor shifter: A gear shifter on the floor -- usually on the center console.

flow: [1] The passing of liquid or current through something. [2] The amount of liquid or current conveyed. Also see airflow electron flow full flow filter full flow oil filter gas flow L-jetronic air flow meter partial flow filter rotary flow vortex flow flow control: The regulation of the amount of fluid passing through a pump, especially important under changing operating conditions

flow detachment: The deviation of the gas flow into the cylinder from its ideal path, thus losing its stability, caused by swirl and/or improper combustion chamber design etc.

flow filter: See full flow filter partial flow filter flowmeter: A meter indicating the amount of liquid passing through, used for instance to supply information to a fuel consumption indicator. Also see air flow meter L-jetronic air flow meter flow oil: See full flow oil filter

flow oil filter: See full flow oil filter

flow rate: The amount of liquid conveyed by a pump per unit of time

flow scavenging: See transverse flow scavenging unidirectional flow scavenging flow through ventilation: See flow-through ventilation.

flow-through ventilation: A system which allows (or even forces) outside air into the passenger compartment through the dash and leaves through openings in one of the pillars (usually the Cpost) or rear quarter panels.

fluid: A substance which flows, e.g., a liquid or a gas. Also see automatic transmission fluid battery fluid brake fluid easing fluid hydraulic fluid releasing fluid silicone brake fluid transmission fluid washer fluid windshield washer fluid fluid capacities: The full amount of oil in the crankcase; water in the radiator and cooling system; or fuel in the gas tank; washer fluid in the reservoir tank; etc.

fluid clutch: A hydraulically acting coupling by which power can be transmitted, used as an automatic clutch with a driving and a driven rotor revolving in oil which acts as the transmission medium

fluid coupling: On a manual transmission, there is a mechanical connection between the engine and transmission through the clutch. On an automatic transmission a fluid coupling provides a viscous fluid to connect the engine output and the transmission. It transfers engine torque to the transmission input shaft through the use of two units with vanes (called a "torus") operating very close together in a bath of oil. The engine drives one torus causing it to throw oil outward and into the other torus which then begins to turn the transmission input shaft. A fluid coupling cannot increase torque above that produced by the crankshaft. Buick's Dynaflow is an example of this kind of coupling. fluid flywheel: A kind of fluid coupling in which the flywheel is the driving rotor

fluid level warning indicator: A warning light on the instrument panel which is illuminated when the level of fluid in the a system is too low

fluid reservoir: See brake fluid reservoir

fluorescent: Having the property of giving off light when bombarded by electrons or radiant energy

flush: [1] To cleanse a system by sending water or other liquid through a system. [2] To align two items so that they fit evenly or level. Also see reverse flush flush deck ship: A ship constructed with upper deck extending throughout her entire length without a break or a superstructure, such as forecastle, bridge or poop

flushing: To cleanse a system by sending water or other liquid through a system. Also see brake flushing flushing the cooling system

brake flushing flushing the brakes: See brake flushing.

flushing the cooling system: The process of circulating water through the cooling system to remove old coolant along with any dirt or rust. Back flushing means circulating the water from the engine to the radiator (reversing the normal direction of flow) in order to clean the system more efficiently. Also see reverse flush flushing oil: A thin oil used to clean out the sump, oil passageways, etc.

flush mounted speaker: A radio or stereo speaker mounted in a cutout in the interior trim so that it does not project out. The opposite of surmounted speakers.

flute: A groove in a cutting tool that forms a passageway for the exit of chips removed during the cutting process.

flutter: The rapid movement of engine valves. Also see bounce piston ring flutter wheel flutter flux: [1] The lines of magnetic force moving through a magnetic field. [2] An ingredient placed on metal being soldered or brazed, to remove and prevent the formation of surface oxidization which would make soldering or brazing difficult. Flux promotes the fusion of metals during the welding process.


See shift on the fly

flyer: A fast lap

flying bridge: The platform forming the top of the pilot house

flylead: A short electrical wire with a terminal at each end connect to a component

fly nut: A wing nut.

flyweight: See flyweights.

flyweights: Special weights which react to centrifugal force to provide automatic control of other mechanisms such as accelerators or valves.

flywheel: A relatively large and heavy metal wheel that is attached to the back of the crankshaft to smooth out the firing impulses. It provides inertia to keep the crankshaft turning smoothly during the periods when no power is being applied. It also forms a base for the starter ring gear and, in manual transmission, for the clutch assembly. Also see engine flywheel fluid flywheel flywheel generator: A small alternator of the rotating magnet type attached to one end of the crankshaft and spinning with it, acting as an additional flywheel; now used only in mopeds or scooters

flywheel magneto:

A magneto mounted in the flywheel of a small engine, often a two-stroke

flywheel puller: A specially designed tool with three arms and a center stud usedto removing the flywheel. The three arms are attached to three mounting points (either on the rim of the flywheel or into three threaded holes in the flywheel). The center stud is screwed into the center of the flywheel and pushes against the end of the crankshaft. As the stud pushes in, the flywheel is forced away from the crankshaft.

flywheel ring gear: A gear on the outer circumference of the flywheel. The starter drive gear engages the ring gear and cranks the engine.

flywheel turner: A special tool used for hand cranking the engine while working on clutches, gearboxes, etc. or doing jobs that require that the crankshaft be in a specific position. It consists of a handle and lever to hook into the starter ring teeth

FM: Frequency modulation. A term used to describe a type of radio frequency in which the frequency of the wave changes rather than the amplitude. Also see AM/FM FN: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.

foaming: [1] The formation of bubbles in the oil of a transmission, differential, or shock absorber, etc. [2] The formation of bubbles in the oil and refrigerant of an air conditioning system caused by a rapid boiling out of the refrigerant dissolved in the oil when the pressure is suddenly reduced. If noted in the sight glass, this condition indicates a very low refrigerant level. Also see high pressure foaming low-pressure foaming FOB:

[1] Acronym for "Freight on Board." Used to describe when goods are loaded for free on a delivery vehicle at the seller's place of business, but the buyer has to pay transportation charges to the delivery destination. [2] When not an acronym, it refers to the device on a key chain which may contain your name or a company name, etc. See fob.

fob: A device to hold keys; sometimes called a "key fob." Also see key fob focal: See multi-focal

Foettinger coupling: A torque-converting fluid coupling.

fog: See rear fog light

fog coat: A fully reduced (thinned) paint that is sprayed at higher than normal air pressure or with the gun held at a greater distance than normal from the work. The object is to obtain a fast flash-off (evaporation) of thinner with minimum penetration of thinner into the old paint.

fog lamp: See fog light rear fog light fog light: [1] A light (usually in pairs) mounted at the front of a vehicle which is designed to give a wide low beam which penetrates fog and rain, etc. and illuminates the sides of the road [2] A red light mounted at the back of a vehicle which has the same intensity as a brake light to help following vehicles to see your vehicle. Also see rear fog light

fog testing: See salt fog testing

foil: A light, thin, blunt-edged sword from which an air foil is named. See air foil hydrofoil folder: See sheet metal folder

folding camping trailer: A lightweight unit used for camping. The ends fold out and the top is raised to reveal a camping unit. When being pulled, the ends fold down to make a compact unit. The lightweight allows it to be towed by most cars. The trailer can be unhitched from the car for easier parking or for leaving it at the campground while you go to town for supplies. The interior contains kitchen, dining room, and sleeping facilities. Often there is a stove and refrigerator.

folding rear seats: Rear seats in a hatchback, station wagon, or van which fold forward into the footwells to give a more or less flat loading area. Also see split folding rear seats folding top: The soft top of a convertible which can be folded away

follower: See cam follower valve follower follow-up spark: secondary spark occurring when a spark is extinguished and re-ignited in the course of the spark duration, especially if the mixture is turbulent

Fomoco: Abbreviation for "Ford Motor Co."

foot: See heavy foot pound foot roller foot lever foot brake: The main braking system operated by a foot pedal

footed: See light-footed

foot feed: A gas pedal operated by the foot

foot lever: See roller foot lever

foot pedal: One of four possible pedal located on the floor in front of the driver: gas pedal (accelerator), brake pedal, clutch pedal, or emergency brake pedal

footpedal cluster: The gas and brake pedals in a vehicle with automatic transmission and the gas, brake and clutch pedals in a manual.

footpeg: The metal post (usually covered in rubber) found on either side of a motorcycle upon which the rider or his passenger places his feet.

foot pound: See foot-pound.


(ft-lb) A measurement of the work involved in lifting one pound one foot. In tightening, it is one pound pull one foot from the center of an object. Torque, or the twisting motion of an engine, is expressed in terms of foot-pounds at a certain rpm.

footprint: The area of a tire that makes contact with the ground

foot pump: A tire pump which is operated by pushing down a lever with a foot.

footrest: A place to rest the left foot when driving. See dead pedal.

footwell: A recess in the floor below the feet of the rear seat occupants, but may also be used for the space used by the feet of people in the front seats

footwell intrusion: A situation where an engine, for instance, occupies some of the space normally allocated for the feet of the driver and his passengers.

force: A push or a pull, it causes objects to change their motion. It is a vector quantity, with a particular direction and forces must be combined with special vector rules. In the SI (international system of units), it is measured in newtons (N); but the older measurement recorded force in pounds, ounces, and feet. Also see braking force centrifugal force centripetal force closing force cornering force damping force electromotive force tensile force ultimate cornering force force air filter:

See centrifugal force air filter

forced circulation: A cooling system which uses a pump to circulate the coolant. Also see thermosyphon cooling forced downshift: An automatic transmission system that enables a driver to accelerate rapidly. When the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, the transmission engages a lower gear to give this extra boost. Also called, "passing gear." The British term is "kickdown."

forced-feed lubrication: A lubrication system used in all modern four-stroke engines, in which an enginedriven pump forces the oil through passages in the engine castings, or through external pipes, to the main areas of stress in the engine

forced-induction system: A system in which either a conventional supercharger or a turbocharger, or even a combination of both, is used to increase intake pressure and force the mixture into the cylinders. Compare naturally aspirated engine force dryThe accelerated drying of paint by heat or air movement

force-fit: See force fit.

force fit: A force fit occurs when two items are hammered together to make them secure. See drive fit interference fit press fit Ford: [1] The second largest car manufacturer after GM. [2] The 1954 Crestline Skyliner is a milestone car. Click for [3] The 1957-59 Skyliner Retractable models are milestone cars. [4] books on Ford The 1955-56 Crown Vic Skyliner models are milestone cars.

[5] The 1946-48 Sportsman models are milestone cars. [6] The 1955-57 and 1958-60 Thunderbird models are milestone cars. Ford Aspire: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Cortina: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford of England

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Ford Crown Victoria: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Escort: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Fairlane: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Fairmont: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Falcon: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford fixed orifice tube system: (FFOT) utilizes an accumulator instead of a receiver-drier and an orifice tube instead of an expansion valve. The accumulator is located at the evaporator outlet. A pressure sensing switch cycles compressor operation

Ford Galaxie: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford Fordism:

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The Encyclopedia Britannica first called the process of mass production by this name. However, mass production simply evolved in almost every industry at the beginning of the 20th century.

Ford Model A: An early model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Model T: An early model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Mustang: [1] A vehicle brand of which the 1965-67 GT/GTA V-8 models are milestone cars. [2] The 1969-70 Boss 302/Mach 1 models are milestone cars. fordor: A word coined by Ford for a 4-door sedan.

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Ford Probe: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Taurus: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Tempo: A model of automobile manufactured by Ford

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Ford Thunderbird: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-57 and 1958-60 models are milestone cars.

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Ford-type lug: A special type of battery connection consisting of a flat lug with nut and bolt between the battery cables and terminal posts. Also called "Ford-type terminal"

Ford-type terminal: A special type of battery connection consisting of a flat lug with nut and bolt between the battery cables and terminal posts. Also called "Ford-type lug"

fore and aft adjustment: The ability to move, for example, a seat forward and backward

fore-and-aft flat twin: A flat-twin motorcycle engine mounted with the cylinders positioned in-line with the frame

forecar: Early three-wheeled vehicle with two-front wheels attached to a motorcycle-based frame. Passengers sat above the front axle

forecast: Prediction of future production or sales in the automotive industry.

forecastle: The raised part of the forward end of a ship's deck. It is used for the storing paints, tackle, deck stores, tarpaulins, ropes, etc.

forepeak bulkhead: The foremost main transverse watertight bulkhead designed to keep water out of the forward hold in case of bow collision damage. Also called collision bulkhead

fore perpendiculars: A vertical line at the intersection of the fore side of the stem and the summer load waterline. (See length between perpendiculars)

forge: To force a piece of hot metal into the desired shape by hammering it. Also see drop forged forged:

See drop forged

forged alloy wheel: See two-piece forged alloy wheel

forged aluminum: An engine piston that is formed under tremendous pressure. Forging creates a denser material that is much stronger but more expensive to make.

forging: [1] A process (usually involving hammering or squeezing) that transforms solid metal into shapes of varying cross-sectional material thickness, often involving heating. [2] A piece of forged metal alloy

forgiving: A characteristic of a component or vehicle which overlooks problems or mistakes that a driver might make. For example, a vehicle's handling may be forgiving in that even if the driver makes small inadvertent steering wheel movements, the vehicle continues to go straight.

fork: [1] The part of the bicycle frame that fits inside the head tube and holds the front wheel. Generally called the front fork. [2] The part of the bicycle frame where chainstays and seatstays join to hold the rear axle. [3] A shifting device that is U-shaped and moves gears back and forth on the shaft. Also see clutch fork clutch throwout fork front forks quad fork selector fork shifter fork shift fork shift forks throw-out fork throwout fork withdrawal fork fork blade:

One of the two parallel curved tubes that hold the front wheel of a bicycle.

fork blades: The two parallel curved tubes that hold the front wheel of a bicycle.

fork crown: The horizontal piece on the upper part of the front fork to which the fork blades attach on a bicycle.

fork ear: A metal piece which surrounds the front forks of a motorcycle and acts as a fork protector. The headlight shell is mounted to the protrusions from each protector

forked: A device which has one end in the shape of a "Y"

forked con rod: A special split connecting rod to take two pistons for uniflow-scavenging twostroke engines with two pistons per cylinder

forked rocker: A rocker arm operating two valves with its forked end

forked rocker arm: A rocker arm operating two valves with its forked end

fork lift: (Lift truck) A vehicle having metal arms extended in front for picking up and moving pallets or skids.

fork-lift truck: A small vehicle used tor loading in factories, warehouses, docks, etc., with two arms at the front projecting forward which fit into pallets and can be raised and lowered

fork rake: On a bicycle, the shortest distance between the front axle and an imaginary line extending through the head tube downward toward the ground. See rake.

fork tip: One of the slotted ends of the fork blades into which the front wheel axle fits on a bicycle.

fork tips: The slotted ends of the fork blades into which the front wheel axle fits on a bicycle.

form: See end form

formal hardtop: The hardtop roofline was a long-lasting fashion hit of the postwar car era. The word "formal" can be applied to things that are stiffly conservative and follow the established rule. The limousine, being the popular choice of conservative buyers who belonged to the Establishment, was looked upon as a formal motorcar. So when designers combined the lines of these two body styles, the result was the Formal Hardtop. This style has been marketed with two or four doors, canopy and vinyl roofs (full or partial) and conventional or opera-type windows, under various trade names. The distinction between a formal hardtop and plain pillared-hardtop coupe hasn't always followed a strict rule. === car-formhard.jpg

former: A shaped wooden block for use in panel beating, on which a desired shape is produced by hammering. Also see pulse former forming: See metal forming

formula: A detailed specification, e.g., for a particular class of motor racing. Also see euromix formula formula car:

An single seat race car with exposed wheels

Formula I: A formula according to which racing cars are built for the major Grand Prix races counting for the World Championship

formula One: A formula according to which racing cars are built for the major Grand Prix races counting for the World Championship

49-state car: A car that complies with U.S. emission standards which are less restrictive than the standards in California. See federal version.

49 state car: A car that complies with U.S. emission standards which are less restrictive than the standards in California. See federal version.

forty-nine state car: A car that complies with U.S. emission standards which are less restrictive than the standards in California. See federal version.

forward: The front part of a ship. Also see cabin forward primary forward brake shoe forward bias: Conductive condition that exists when current flows through a diode

forward brake shoe: See primary forward brake shoe.

forward perpendiculars: A vertical line at the intersection of the fore side of the stem and the summer load waterline (See length between perpendiculars)

forward welding: Fusing metal in the same direction as the torch flame points.

Föttinger coupling: See Foettinger

foul: [1] to clog or cover (a spark plug) with oil or soot/carbon deposits which can cause a loss of performance and engine misfire. [2] to get in the way of another part or obstruct it.

fouling: See carbon fouling

four: See flat four V-four four banger: Four cylinder engine. low temperature fouling

four barrel: See four-barrel carburetor.

four barrel carburetor: See four-barrel carburetor.

four-barrel carburetor: A carburetor with four barrels that work like dual carburetors, with the second carburetor (third and fourth barrels) cutting in only at high speeds. Usually found on large V-8 engines. Also see double-barrel carburetor single-barrel carburetor

four bolt mains: A term referring to the number of bolts needed to secure the each cap to a crankshaft rod. Most engines come with two bolt main; but racing engines have four.

4/C: Abbreviation for "four-color," usually referring to color photographs or slides. A term used in classified advertisements to indicate the availability of pictures of a vehicle.

four color: (4/C) Usually referring to color photographs or slides. A term used in classified advertisements to indicate the availability of pictures of a vehicle.

four cycle engine: See four-stroke cycle engine.

four-cycle engine: See four-stroke cycle engine.

four-cylinder engine: An engine with four cylinders usually in line; but can also be V-type or horizontally opposed. The in-line type is the most common in most small cars and in larger motorcycles.

four-door: A vehicle which has two doors on each side. This is the typical layout for family sedans

four-door hardtop: This is a four-door car styled to resemble a convertible, but having a rigid top of metal or fiberglass. Buick introduced a totally pillarless design in 1955. A year later most automakers offered equivalent bodies. Four-door hardtops have also been labeled sports sedans and hardtop sedans. By 1976, potential rollover standards and waning popularity had taken their toll. Only a few makes still produced a four-door hard- top and those disappeared soon thereafter. === car-4hard.jpg

four-door hatchback:

Essentially unknown among domestic models in the mid-1970s, the four-door hatchback became a popular model as cars grew smaller and front-wheel-drive versions appeared. Styling was similar to the original two-door hatchback, except for two more doors. Luggage was carried in the back of the car itself, loaded through the hatch opening, not in a separate trunk. === car-4hatch.jpg

four-door pillared hardtop: Once the "true" four-door hardtop began to fade away, manufacturers needed another name for their luxury four-doors. Many were styled to look almost like the former pillarless models, with thin or unobtrusive pillars between the doors. Some, in fact, were called "thin-pillar hardtops." The distinction between certain pillared hardtops and ordinary (presumably humdrum) sedans occasionally grew hazy. === car-4pillar.jpg

four-door sedan: If you took the wheels off a car, mounted it on poles and hired two weightlifters (one in front and one in back) to carry you around in it, you'd have a true sedan. Since this idea isn't very practical, it's better to use the term for an automobile with a permanent top (affixed by solid pillars) that seats four or more persons, including the driver, on two full-width seats. === car-4sedan.jpg

four-door station wagon: Since functionality and adaptability are advantages of station wagons, four-door versions have traditionally been sales leaders. At least they were until cars began to grow smaller. This style usually has lowerable windows in all four doors and fixed rear side glass. The term "suburban" was almost synonymous with station wagon at one time, but is now more commonly applied to light trucks with similar styling. Station wagons have had many trade names, such as Country Squire (Ford) and Sport Suburban (Plymouth). Quite a few have retained simulated wood paneling, keeping alive the wagon's origin as a wood-bodied vehicle. === car-4wagon.jpg

four-gas analyzer: Equipment for testing exhaust gas for hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxygen

four-link rear suspension: An independent rear suspension layout, also used on live rear axles, in which each wheel is guided by two control arms, one mounted longitudinally, the other mounted transversely or almost transversely, thus providing lateral location for the axle. A suspension setup that uses 4 rods (or links) to locate an axle. Depending on the arrangement of the links, a panhard rod or watts link may be used to control side to side motion. This type of suspension was used in most American designed rear

wheel drive cars built from the 60's, 70's, and 80's.

four on the floor: A four-speed manual transmission with floor mounted shift.

four-on-the-floor: A four-speed manual transmission with floor mounted shift.

4-point racing harness: A safety hamess anchored at four points, worn by some racing drivers

four-spark ignition coil: An ignition coil with two primary windings and one secondary winding

4-spd: Abbreviation for "four-speed," either manual transmission or automatic transmission.

four speed: A transmission which has four forward gears.

four-speed: A transmission which has four forward gears.

four-speed gearbox: A British term for a four-speed transmission

four-speed transmission: A manual or automatic transmission which has four forward gears. In most instances, the top gear is an overdrive.

four stroke cycle engine: See four-stroke cycle engine.

four-stroke cycle engine:

An engine requiring two complete revolutions of the crankshaft to fire each piston once. The first stroke down (intake stroke) pulls fuel and air into the combustion chamber. The second stroke up (compression stroke) compresses the mixture. The third stroke down (power stroke) comes about through the rapid burning of the compressed fuel mixture. The fourth stroke up (exhaust stroke) expels the exhaust gases from the cylinder. It is also called the "Otto cycle."

four stroke power cycle: See four-stroke cycle engine.

four-stroke power cycle: See four-stroke cycle engine.

four-stroking: A two-stroke engine which is running faultily as it fires only on every second cycle

fourth: The highest gear in a four-speed transmission or the second highest in a five-speed transmission.

fourth gear: The highest gear in a four-speed transmission or the second highest in a five-speed transmission.

four valve: An engine which has four valves (two intake and two exhaust) for each cylinder. Multiple valve systems offer better breathing.

four-way wheel wrench: A lug wrench shaped in the form an "X" with a socket at each end. Also called a "wheel nut spider."

four-wheel ABS: An anti-lock brake system that operates on all four wheels

four wheel alignment:

See four-wheel alignment.

four-wheel alignment: In most rear-drive vehicles only the front wheels need to have their wheels aligned because the rear wheels are on a fixed axle. However with front-drive vehicles and rear-drive vehicles with independent suspension, all four wheels need to be aligned. See alignment.

four wheel disc brakes: Disc brakes fitted to both front and rear wheels

four-wheel drift: A term that describes a cornering situation in which all four tires are operating at large slip angles so that a car gets into a sideways slide.

4WD: Acronym for "four-wheel drive." This term should be distinguished from FWD which is front-wheel drive.

four-wheel drive: (4WD) A type of drive system in which both front wheels are connected to its own differential and axles, and both back wheels are connected to its own differential and axles. Between these two differentials there is a transfer case which allows you, in the case of part-time four wheel drive, to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. In full-time four-wheel drive power is sent to both differentials. Also see automatic four-wheel drive Ferguson four-wheel drive full-time four-wheel drive part-time four-wheel drive permanent four-wheel drive real-time four-wheel drive Torsen four-wheel drive four-wheel-drive high: (4WD Hi) A four-wheel drive, with the final drive ratio the same as when the vehicle is in two-wheel drive.

four-wheel-drive low: (4WD Lo) A separate low-ratio transfer case gear set designed for low-speed operation and maximum traction in difficult terrain. In virtually all systems, engaging 4WD Lo usually requires bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

4WS: Acronym for "four-wheel steering."

four wheel steering: See four-wheel steering.

four-wheel steering: A vehicle where the rear wheels also turn when the front wheels turn to give a sharper and more accurate turn.

FPS: An acronym for "foot-pound-second"

FPS system: An imperial system of units, superseded by the SI (metric) system

fracturing: See stress fracturing

frame: [1] A bridge-like structural load-carrying members of a vehicle that support the engine and body and are in turn supported by the wheels of the vehicle. [2] Transverse members that make up the riblike skeleton of a ship. Also see A-frame ash frame backbone frame body and frame caliper frame cant frame chassis frame cruciform frame diamond frame

door frame floating frame integral body and frame construction ladder frame ladies' frame license plate frame mixte frame mounting frame panting frame perimeter frame platform frame space frame spectacle frame stern frame sub frame transom frame tube frame tubular backbone frame tubular frame twisted frame underslung frame X-type frame frame construction: See body and frame construction integral body and frame construction frame damage: A type of damage to the body that involves damage to the structural members of the car, usually resulting from accident impact

frame gauge: A measuring instrument for determining the misalignment of a car's body.

frameless: A vehicle without a frame such as a unibody construction

frameless construction: A unibody or unitary construction

frameless window: A door window which does not have a frame around the three sides (left, right, and top).

frame member: Any one of the sections of the structural components of the vehicle chassis

frame structure: All parts of the vehicle which contribute to the rigidity of the body, both for unibody designs and for vehicles with a separate chassis

framing: See body framing

franchise: Establishment that has the right to exercise the powers of a corporation.

franchised dealer: An automotive dealer which sells a particular brand, e.g., Anytown Ford is a franchised dealer for Ford cars and is authorized to sell Ford parts as well as provide service for Ford vehicles.

Franklin: A vehicle brand of which all the 1925-48 models except the 1933-34 Olympic Six are classic cars.

Fraschini: See Isotta-Fraschini

Frazer: A vehicle brand of which the 1947-50 Manhattan models are milestone cars.

Frazer Nash: A vehicle brand of which the 1925-1948 models with required application are classic cars.


See asbestos-free hands-free lead free maintenance-free North American Free Trade Agreement pedal free play pedal free travel free bend test: Bending the specimen without using a fixture or guide.

freeboard: The distance from the waterline to the upper surface of the freeboard deck at side.

freeboard deck: Deck to which freeboard is measured

free electron: See free electrons.

free electrons: Electrons in the outer orbits around the nucleus of the atom. They can be moved out of orbit comparatively easy.

free height: The unloaded length or height of a spring

freeing port: An opening in the lower portion of a bulwark, which allows deck water to drain overboard

free length: The length of a spring, especially a valve spring, when no downward pressure is exerted on it

free pedal play:

The distance the clutch pedal can be depressed before it begins to disengage the clutch. Generally about 19-25 mm (0.5-1 inch) free pedal play is normal to be sure that slight resting of the foot on the pedal will not disengage the clutch. Without free pedal play, the throwout bearings and the clutch might wear out.

free play: [1] The amount of looseness in some component before it engages. [2] British term for lash. Also see pedal free play free radius: Measurement in inches (or millimeters) from the wheel axle centerline to the top of the tire when inflated. (The radius that is not under load.) Also called "unloaded radius."

free-revving: The ability of an engine to accelerate quickly to high engine speeds

free rolling wheel: A non-powered wheel position on a vehicle, such as steering axle, tag axle or trailer wheel positions.

free shape: A design shape of a component which is governed only by stylistic or functional requirements.

Free Trade: See North American Free Trade Agreement

Free Trade Agreement: See North American Free Trade Agreement Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Free Trade Agreement of the Americas: (FTAA) An effort to unite the economies of the Western Hemisphere into a single free trade arrangement. The Heads of State of the 34 democracies in the region agreed to construct a "Free Trade Area of the Americas" and to complete

negotiations for the agreement by 2005.

free travel: The distance a pedal moves before it operates the actuating mechanism. Also see clutch pedal free travel pedal free travel freeway: A multiple lane highway without toll charges. All exits and entrances are made through overpasses and cloverleafs. Because there is no direct cross traffic, speeds can be over 60 mph (100 kph)

freeway bar: A component on a motorcycle which is a rod with a footrest on each end. The rod is mounted ahead of the engine to provide an alternate place to position the rider's feet.

freewheel: [1] Usually refers to the action of a vehicle on a downgrade when the overdrive over-running clutch is slipping with a resultant loss of engine braking. This condition will occur only after the overdrive unit is engaged but before the balk ring has activated the planetary gearset. [2] The removable cluster of gears at the rear wheel of a bicycle. Usually there are five or more gears. It also contains a ratcheting mechanism inside that allows the wheel to rotate forward while the pedals, chain, and gear sprockets remain still or move in reverse. The rear derailleur moves the chain from one gear to the other to change the gear ratio. The other end of the chain wraps around the chainwheel.

freewheel hub: A type of hub fitted to the front axle of some four-wheel drive vehicles, in which the drive to the front wheels can be disconnected when the front axle is not being driven

freewheeling: In a motorized vehicle, the illegal coasting by putting the transmission in neutral or disengaging the clutch.

freewheeling hub: A type of hub fitted to the front axle of some four-wheel drive vehicles, in which the drive to the front wheels can be disconnected when the front axle is not being


freeze: [1] To reach a temperature in which a liquid turns into a solid. See antifreeze [2] To adhere firmly. [3] To stop. [4] An American (not Canadian) term for an engine which has seized. To an American, "My engine is frozen" means "seized" because it has run out of oil and overheated so that pistons expanded and won't move in the cylinder. To a Canadian, it means the coolant won't flow or the engine won't warm up.

freeze plug: A removable plug on the block which can pop out should the coolant in the block freezes and expands. See expansion plug. The British term is "core plug."

freeze-up: The failure of a unit to operate properly because of the formation of ice at the expansion valve orifice or on the evaporator coils or fins

freezing: When two parts that are rubbing together heat up and force the lubricant out of the area. As they create heat, they will expand and tear bits of metal from each other, then stick and refuse to move.

frenching: The customizing process of creating smooth curve shaping around the headlights, tail lights, licence plate frames, etc. so that the actual lights, etc. recede a little towards the interior of the panel opening and the chrome bezel or other surround looks as though it is part of the body panel. Also see tunnelling freon: A gas used as the cooling medium in older air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Usually called freon-12 or R-12. It has been replaced in automobiles with a new coolant designated 134A.

freon 12:

See freon-12.

freon-12: A gas used as the cooling medium in older air conditioning and refrigeration systems. It has been replaced in automobiles with a new coolant designated 134A.

frequency: [1] In relation to a radio station, number of cycles per second expressed in hertz at which it broadcasts. [2] The number of times a particular event is repeated. Also see digital frequency control natural frequency radio frequency interference frequency control: See automatic frequency control digital frequency control frequency interference: See radio frequency interference

Frequency Modulation: (FM) A term used to describe a type of radio frequency where the frequency of the wave changes rather than the amplitude. Also see AM/FM frequency scan button: A radio button which, when pressed, causes the tuner to scan the frequencies of stations with sufficient signal strength and plays that station for about 5 seconds before going to the next one. When the driver or passenger wants to listen to the currently played selection, he can press the same button (or a different one) to select that station. Often called a "scan button."

frequency valve: [1] A valve located in the fuel distributor of some vehicles with a continuous injection system and catalytic converter. This valve continually adjusts the air/fuel ratio to varying engine operating conditions, because it is controlled by a voltage

signal supplied by the oxygen sensor and by an ECM. [2] In Bosch CIS, a device that regulates pressure in the lower chamber of the differential-pressure valve, in response to a signal from the lambda (oxygen) sensor. Also called Lambda valve (Bosch's term) or a timing valve

fresco: See al fresco driving

fresco driving: See al fresco driving

fretting corrosion: corrosion occurring where two surfaces are in contact and friction results, e.g., at mechanical joints in vibrating structures

friction: The resistance to movement between any two objects when placed in contact with each other. Friction causes wear and heat. In an engine, it robs it of some of its potential power. Friction is not constant but depends on the materials, type of surface finish, amount of pressure holding the two objects together, and the relative amount of movement between the objects. Lubrication like oil, grease, and other materials like graphite reduce friction. Also see antifriction bearing coefficient of friction dry friction interleaf friction rolling friction slip friction static friction wet friction frictional: Caused by the friction between moving parts

friction bearing: A bearing made of babbitt, bronze, etc. There are no moving parts (like an antifriction bearing which has ball bearings). The smooth inner surface of the babbitt insert and the smooth surface of the shaft rub or slide against each other. To avoid disintegration, the bearing must use lubrication (i.e., wet friction). Friction bearings are less expensive and cheaper to service than antifriction bearings. Also

called "plain bearing."

friction clutch: A conventional clutch which transmits the power of the drive by mechanical friction, as opposed to a fluid coupling

friction damper: See friction shock absorber

friction disc: See clutch disc.

friction drive: A method of power transmission used on early cars where power is transmitted from a driving to a driven wheel by means of pressing one wheel against another at a right angle.

friction horsepower: (FHP) The amount of power consumed by an engine in driving itself. It includes the power absorbed in mechanical friction and in driving auxiliaries plus, in the case of four-stroke engines, some pumping power.

friction lining: wear-resistant friction material used for clutch and brake linings

friction losses: The loss of power due to friction between the moving parts of the engine

friction modifier: A substance which enhances the ability of oil to remain slippery. In most SH and SJ series oil, friction modifiers have been added to improve engine starting and prolong engine life. However, in engines with a wet clutch (i.e., the engine oil lubricates the clutch plates) such as motorcycle engines, oils with friction modifiers can cause the clutch to slip and may force the premature replacement of the clutch plates.

friction pad:

See brake pad

friction plate: A driven plate of a clutch to which the friction lining is attached

friction shifter: See friction shifters.

friction shifters: Conventional (non-index) levers of a bicycle that retain their position through the use of friction washers.

friction shock absorber: A shock absorber in which friction discs are inserted at the point where the two arms are joined, now no longer used in car suspensions

friction welding: The type of weld in which the necessary welding heat is generated by revolving one part against another part under very heavy pressure. When melting has occurred at the interface, pressure is maintained to consolidate the weld during cooling of the material

Friedrichshafen: See zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen

friendly: See environmentally friendly

frit: Partly fused, vitreous substance, ground up and used as the basis for glazes and enamels

frogeye: A nickname for the Series I Austin-Healey Sprite produced from 1958-1962, which had the headlights projecting above the hood line


[1] The forward end of a vehicle. [2] The seats closest to the front upon which the driver sits. Also see flame front independent front suspension lower front panel frontal crash: An accident in which the front end of a vehicle is damaged.

frontal impact: An accident in which the front end of a vehicle is damaged.

front apron: The panel behind and below the front bumper, joining the bottom ends of the front fenders

front axle: The axle to which the front wheels are attached

front-axle/rear-axle split: A dual-circuit braking system in which one circuit brakes only the front axle while the other circuit brakes only the rear axle.

front-axle and rear-axle split: A dual-circuit braking system in which each circuit brakes both the front axle and the rear axle

front bumper: A guard which protects the front of a vehicle. See bumper rear bumper front differential: differential in the front axle of a four-wheel drive vehicle

front end:

body area incorporating the leading edge of the fenders, the headlights, radiator grille and bumper, i.e., the full area that makes up the frontal appearance of the car

front end alignment: See front-end alignment.

front-end alignment: The adjustment of the camber and caster of the front wheels. See alignment.

front-end impact: An impact as the result of a head-on collision

front engine: A vehicle with its engine located at the front of a vehicle above the front suspension. This is the most common layout, which may be combined with either rear-wheel or front-wheel drive. Also see mid-engine car rear engine front fender: body section covering the front wheels, originally separate; but now in most cars faired in and part of the body shell

front fork: See fork.

front forks: See fork.

front nose section: The front section of a car's body that uses one single structure to make up the front end, i.e., including the radiator grille surrround, both fenders, front apron, etc. front panel: A panel joining the front fender and forming a mounting for the headlights, grille, and air ducts into the engine compartment, which is often identical with the front apron where no separate apron is fitted below the front panel. Also see

lower front panel front pillar: See A-pillar

front pipe: The first section of the exhaust system from the exhaust manifold to the silencer (or front silencer where there are two). Also see twin front pipe front-seat: The closed position of a stem type service valve to isolate the compressor. The system should never be operated with the valves in this position

front seat: seat in the front of passenger cabin for the front seat passenger

front seats: The front passenger's and driver's seats

front silencer: first and main silencer in an exhaust system where there are two

front spoiler: The air deflector on the front of a car, aerodynamically designed to cut the wind resistance around the car, for improved handling control, stability, traction, and better fuel economy

front suspension: The springs, shock absorbers, linkages, etc. which support the front wheels. See independent front suspension.

front triangle: Actually a quadrilateral with one short side, it is the section of a bicycle frame that consists of the head tube, the top tube, the seat tube, and the down tube. Also called "main triangle."

front wheel drive: See front-wheel drive.

front-wheel drive: (FWD) A vehicle that is pulled by its front wheels rather than being pushed by its rear wheels. The driveshaft and center floor hump is eliminated in front-wheel drive cars. The engine is located over the driving wheels so that it gains better traction in snow. Wear on the front tires can be severe.

front wheel tire clearance: The distance between the tire and the closest point on the vehicle laterally, longitudinally and vertically, checked lock to lock and all intermediate points.

front wing: British term for front fender

frost heaves: A condition of a roadway in which frost buildup beneath the surface causes the pavement to bulge

FRP: Acronym for "fiber reinforced plastic." Continuous mat or woven fibers impregnated with plastic resins to form a lightweight but extremely strong solid. These plastics are stronger per pound than steel. Commonly used fibers are aramid (kevlar), carbon fiber, nomex, and glass. These fibers are used alternatively to provide various levels of strength and weight.

frustum: The wide end of a bevel gear

fsh: An abbreviation used in classified advertisement indicating "full service history" is available.


Acronym for Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

FTAA: Acronym for Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

FTP: An acronym for "Federal Test Procedure."

FTP test cycle: An American method of testing automotive emissions for compliance with emission standards by simulating typical driving conditions. This system differs from other test cycles such as the European ECE test, so that the results cannot be compared

fuel: A combustible material used to produce energy. One of the essential factors in a combustion engine (Fuel, Air, Proper proportion of mixture, compression, timing, spark). Also see air-fuel ratio aviation fuel deceleration fuel cut-off diesel fuel early fuel evaporation system electric fuel pump electronic fuel injection EPA fuel economy in-line fuel filter inertia fuel cut-off switch integral fuel filter L-jetronic fuel injection system low fuel indicator port fuel injection proper proportion of air and fuel fuel accumulator: A device in the K-Jetronic fuel injection system which serves to absorb the initial pressure surge when a fuel pump starts

fuel additive:

A chemical preparation which is added to fuel to improve its properties

fuel advance system: Advances fuel delivery during cold starts on GM vehicle. Consists of a thermalsensitive solenoid on the intake manifold which sends a signal to the HPCA terminal, which opens a ball-check valve on top of the injection pump housing. With pump housing pressure reduced, the timing mechanism has less resistance to overcome and operates earlier, advancing fuel delivery 3 degrees

fuel air mixture: See fuel-air mixture.

fuel-air mixture: A combination of vaporized fuel and air which is brought into the cylinder through the carburetor or fuel injectors. When it is compressed and ignited, it produces the power needed to drive the engine.

fuel air ratio: See fuel-air ratio.

fuel-air ratio: The amount of fuel in comparison with the amount of air. This is the reciprocal of the air-fuel ratio.

fuel burner: Competition vehicle with an engine set up to burn alcohol, nitro, etc. mixture instead of standard pump gasoline. Also called "fueller."

fuel cap: A vented covering on the top of the tube leading to the fuel tank. Also called "gas cap."

fuel cell: A galvanic cell in which the oxidation of a fuel (e.g., methanol) is used to produce electricity.

fuel charge:

The air/fuel mixture delivered to the combustion chamber

fuel cock: A tap which can allow or restrict the flow of gasoline from the gas tank to the carburetor. An essential item on a motorcycle with gravity feed (i.e., no fuel pump) because if the fuel cock is left on after the engine is shut down, there is the possibility that gasoline could leak past the needle and seat in the carburetor so that the overflow in the float bowl will make its way into the cylinder and wash the walls and dilute the oil

fuel computer: A device which continuously displays the amount of fuel used over the distance since last set.

fuel consumption: The amount of fuel used, expressed in miles per gallon in Britain and the USA, whereas the international measure is litres per 100 kilometres. The US term is "fuel mileage." Also see average fuel consuption specific fuel consumption fuel consumption indicator: An instrument using a flowmeter to indicate mpg or liters/100 km at any given moment on a journey

fuel cut-off: See deceleration fuel cut-off inertia fuel cut-off switch fuel cut-off switch: A control device which manually or automatically turns off the flow of fuel. Also see inertia fuel cut-off switch fuel distributor: [1] A device constituting the mixture control unit together with the airflow sensor. [2] On Bosch CIS, the device that supplies the injection with pressurized fuel in proportion to air volume, measured by the airflow sensor plate. The fuel distributor

houses the control plunger and the differential-pressure valves. All fuel metering takes place inside the fuel distributor

fuel economy: The number of liters used per 100 kilometers of driving (a lower number is better); or the number of miles driven divided by the number of gallons used (a higher number is better). Also see EPA fuel economy Corporate Average Fuel Economy fuel efficiency: Although this factor is similar to fuel economy, it differs in that fuel efficiency involves getting the most amount of energy from an amount of fuel. It answers the question, "What percent of the fuel does this engine burn?"

fuel evaporation: See early fuel evaporation system

fuel filler flap: A piece of rubber about 4" square and very thin, which is located behind the filler door. When the door is opened, the flap falls down to protect the body from the fuel nozzle.

fuel filler neck: The upper end of the fuel filler tube leading down to the fuel tank, which accepts the fuel hose nozzle at the gas station

fuel filler tube: The tube leading down to the fuel tank

fuel filter: A device that removes impurities from the fuel before it gets to the carburetor. It is usually found near the carburetor in the fuel line that comes from the fuel pump (inline fuel filter), or inside the carburetor (integral fuel filter) or fuel pump (integral fuel filter). This unit must be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis, usually once a year or it will become clogged and restrict fuel to the carburetor. Without a filter, the jets and orifices in the carburetor will become clogged.

fuel gage: See fuel gauge.

fuel gauge: An instrument, usually located on the dashboard or center console, which indicates the amount of fuel in the fuel tank. Most gauges have a needle which fluctuates between "E" (empty) and "F" (full). Others show a digital readout of how many gallons or liters left in the tank. Also called "gas gauge."

fuel indicator: See low fuel indicator

fuel-injected engine: A gasoline engine with a fuel injection system rather than a carburetor.

fuel injection: (FI) A fuel system that uses no carburetor but sprays fuel either directly into the cylinders or into the intake manifold just ahead of the cylinders. It uses an electronic sensing device to deliver the correct amount into the combustion chamber. Throttle-body injection locates the injector(s) centrally in the throttle-body housing, while port injection allocates at least one injector for each cylinder near its intake port. Also see electronic fuel injection L-jetronic fuel injection system sequential fuel injection timed fuel injection fuel injection engine: A gasoline engine with a fuel injection system

fuel injection pump: A pump which receives fuel from the fuel tank (often through the fuel-feed pump in the case of diesel engines) and delivers it under pressure to the injectors

fuel-injection system test port: See pressure tap

fuel injector: [1] An injector in a fuel injection system which sprays gasoline into the inlet ports, or diesel either directly into the combustion chamber or into a pre-chamber. [2] In all fuel-injection system (except Bosch CIS, CIS/Lambda, and CIS-E systems), a spring loaded, solenoid (electromagnetic) valve which delivers fuel into the intake manifold, in response to electrical signals from the control module in the CIS, etc. System., the injector is simply a spring-loaded, pressure sensitive valve which opens at a preset value See fuel injector nozzle.

fuel injector nozzle: The device that works like a hypodermic needle to inject the proper amount of fuel into the combustion chamber in response to signals from an electronic sensing device on cars with fuel injection systems. It receive fuel at low pressure and shoot it into the engine cylinders at predetermined intervals under higher pressure. Also called "fuel injector valve" or just "fuel injector."

fuel injector valve: See fuel injector nozzle.

fuel knock: See detonation.

fuelie: Fuel-injected car.

fueller: See fuel burner.

fuel line: The metal, plastic, or rubber hose or pipe through which the fuel passes from the fuel tank to the fuel pump to the carburetor or fuel injector nozzle.

fuel mileage: A measurement or calculation of the number of miles per amount of fuel -- usually measured in miles per gallon.

fuel mixture: A mixture of gasoline and air. An average mixture, by weight, would contain 16 parts of air to one part of gasoline. See air-fuel mixture.

fuel pressure: The pressure under which fuel is delivered to the injectors by the fuel pump, governed by the pressure regulator

fuel pressure regulator: A pressure-activated diaphragm valve that maintains the pressure in a fuel system to a pre-set value above manifold pressure, particularly in a fuel injection system

fuel pump: A vacuum device, operated either mechanically or electrically, that is used to draw gasoline from the tank and sends it into the carburetor or fuel injector nozzles. Mechanical pumps have a rocker arm that is activated by a cam on the camshaft; the arm causes a diaphragm to move up and down, thus pulling the gas through the pump. Some electrical pumps have a rocker arm which is activated electrically and does the same thing as the mechanical pump. Other electrical pumps are located at the bottom of the fuel tank and push the fuel through the fuel lines. Also see electric fuel pump fuel pump shut-off switch: A switch which shuts off the electric fuel pump and fuel to the engine in the event of a major collision

fuel pump switch: A switch which shuts off the electric fuel pump and fuel to the engine in the event of a major collision

fuel rail: A manifold tube feeding the injectors in a fuel injection system. A special manifold designed to provide a large reservoir of pressurized fuel for the fuel injectors, which are attached between the rail and the intake runners or the cylinder head. The fuel rail also serves as a mounting place for the fuel damper (if equipped) and the fuel pressure regulator

fuel ratio: See air fuel ratio

fuel return line:

A pipe returning surplus fuel to the tank from the carburetor(s) or to the inlet side of the injector pump

fuel starvation: The failure of the fuel system to supply sufficient fuel to allow the engine to run properly, due to a blockage or vapour lock or malfunction of the fuel pump

fuel supply: The delivery of fuel to the carburetor or injection system

fuel system: A system that stores, cleans, and delivers the fuel to the engine in proper quantities to meet the varying needs that arise as you drive. It is made up of the fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pump, fuel filter, and carburetor or the fuel injection system.

fuel tank: The storage compartment, under the trunk in most cars, that holds the fuel for the vehicle. Also called the "gas tank."

fuel tank sender: A level sensor in the gas tank which sends information about the amount of remaining fuel.

fuel tank vapor valve: A valve mounted in the top of the fuel tank. Vents excess vapor and pressure from the fuel tank into the evaporative emission control system

fuel-vacuum separator: Used to filter waxy hydrocarbons from the carburetor ported vacuum to protect the vacuum delay and distributor vacuum controls

fuel vapor: [1] atomized air/fuel mixture heated in the engine, ready for combustion [2] fumes given off by gasoline

fuel vapor recirculation system: An emission system which traps the excess gasoline vapor, condenses it back to liquid form, and then sends it back to the gasoline tank. Also called evaporative

emission control system

fuel vapor recovery system: (FVR) a valve responsible for venting excess fuel vapor and pressure from the fuel system to the EEC system

fulcrum: The support (often wedge-shaped) on which a lever pivots in raising an object.

fulcrum pin: A pin which acts as a pivot, such as a kingpin

fulcrum ring: One of two rings on either side of a clutch diaphragm spring on which it pivots

full bore: A term expressing top speed or full throttle.

full cam: A type of camshaft for race car engines which increases lift of valve, speed of valve opening and closing, length of time valve is held open, etc. Also called race cam, three-quarter cam, or semi-race cam, depending upon design

full cap: A condition of retreading where new tread rubber is added to the buffed casing, and covers the crown and shoulder areas.

full dip treatment: A painting process in which the whole body shell is immersed, used for applying protective primers

full face helmet: A helmet which covers the whole head including the chin.

full floating axle:

See full-floating axle.

full-floating axle: A rear drive axle that does not hold the wheel on nor does it hold the wheel in line or support any weight. It merely drives the wheel. Used primarily on racing cars and trucks. Also see axle full flow filter: See full-flow oil filter.

full-flow filter: See full-flow oil filter.

full flow oil filter: See full-flow oil filter.

full-flow oil filter: An oil filter that filters all of the oil passing through the engine before it reaches the bearings.

full house: An engine that is fully modified and equipped for all-out performance.

full leather: A car interior in which the door trim, dash, seats are covered in leather

full leather upholstery: A car interior in which the door trim, dash, seats are covered in leather

full load: An engine operating conditions where the accelerator is fully depressed, i.e., the throttle is fully open, which does not necessarily mean high engine speed

full load enrichment:

The provision of a richer mixture when the throttle is fully opened. On some system, the computer goes open-loop during full-load enrichment

full lock: [1] A condition in which a detachable component (e.g., seat belt buckles) is securely attached. [2] The maximum angle attained by the wheels when the steering wheel is turned to its full extent

full panel: A body part that may be made up of several other subassemblies and is fairly complex and cumbersome, e.g., a complete bulkhead assembly incorporating the windshield pillars

full pressure: See oil full pressure system

full service history: (fsh) The documents which show all the work performed on a vehicle, especially the regular service required by the manufacturer

full-size car: The largest type of car according to the American system. It is a designation no longer used because even "full-size cars" are now about the size of what was the compact car. In 1970, for instance, a Chevrolet Impala was a full-size car, a Chevelle was an intermediate, and a Nova was a compact. When cars smaller than the Nova came out (i.e., Chevette), they were called sub-compacts.

full-size spare: A spare wheel and tire combination which is the same size as the rest of the wheels. Compare space saver spare

full-skirt piston: A former piston style which had a full-annulus skirt, without the cutaway section of modern slipper pistons

full throttle: The fully open position of the throttle. Also called "wide open throttle"

full throttle enrichment: See full load enrichment

full-time four-wheel drive: A condition where all four wheels are always being driven by the drivetrain. It may include the option of part-time (that is, shifting into 2WD for dry pavement) operation, and may or may not have Hi and Lo 4WD speed ranges. The British term is "permanent four-wheel drive."

full trailer: See trailer.

full wave rectifier: See rectifier.

full-wave rectifier: See rectifier.

fully electronic ignition: (FEI) A distributorless, mapped ignition system with cylinder-selective knock control, dwell-angle control, and digital idling speed stabilization

fully floating axle: A live rear axle assembly in which the axle shafts serve only to transmit torque to the wheel. The total vehicle weight and cornering loads are transferred directly from the wheel bearings to the axle housing. Also see semifloating axle fully galvanized body: A body shell which, except for aluminum and plastic parts, is produced entirely of double-sided galvanized steel and galvanized fasteners or which is immersed in galvanizing fluid

fumes: Foul-smelling vapors given off by a liquid or a gas, which may be poisonous


[1] Capable of working even if it is not working to its peak performance. [2] Practical, designed not for esthetics; but solely with a particular use in mind

fund licence: See road fund licence

funnel: A cup-shaped object tapering at the bottom to a small hole and a spout, used for pouring oil, fuel or water into relatively small openings

funny car: A car equipped with a powerful engine, used for drag racing. Usually has special body (such as fibreglass) mounted on special lightweight frame and suspension system.

furnace: See annealing furnace reducing furnace tunnel furnace fuse: [1] A protective device (usually enclosed in glass or plastic) which has a thin wire between two terminals. The wire will break or melt when the current draw exceeds the capacity of the fuse. In this way, the circuit is protected from overload. [2] The action of melting when a piece of metal turns to a liquid state and sometimes unites itself to a nearby component. [3] A failure of an electrical component because of a blown fuse. Also see continental-type fuse fuse box: A contaner with a removable cover that holds the fuses for the various electrical circuits, which are all routed through it

fuse capacity: See fuse.

fusible link:

Special length of smaller gauge wire designed to "blow" if heavy current flows in circuit

fusion: Two metals reaching the melting point and flowing or welding themselves together.

FVR: Acronym for fuel vapor recovery system

FWD: Acronym for "front- wheel drive"

FYI: Acronym for "For Your Information."

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [Ga] [Ge] [Gi] [Gl] [Go] [Gr] [Gu]

g: A unit of measurement for lateral acceleration, or "road-holding." One "g" is equivalent to 981 cm (32.2 feet) per second every second, the rate at which any object accelerates when dropped at sea level. If a car were cornering at 1.0 g -- a figure that very few production cars are able to approach -- the driver's body would be pushing equally hard against the side of the seat as against the bottom of it. Most fast sedans accelerate about 0.8 g.

G7: Seven industrial countries consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, whose leaders have met at annual economic summits since 1975 to coordinate economic policies.

gage: [1] A standard SAE designation of wire sizes, expressed in AWG (American Wire Gage). The larger the gage number, the smaller the wire. Metric wire sizes are expressed in cross-sectional area, which is expressed in square millimeters. Sometimes the spelling "gauge" is also used to designate wire size. However, it is becoming standard to use "gage" for wire size and "gauge" for instruments. Americans often use "gage" for instruments. Also see adjusting gage compression gage dial gage feeler gage fuel gage gas gage oil gage oil pressure gage plain gage tubing temperature gage tire gage vacuum gage

gage tubing: See plain gage tubing

gain: See steering gain

gaiter: A dust boot

gal.: Abbreviation for "gallon." A US gallon (3.785 liters) is 20% smaller than an Imperial gallon (4.546 liters).

GALFAN: A trademark for a special type o hot-dip galvanized steel sheet with a coating consisting of a zinc alloy containing 5% aluminum and rare earths

gallery: A channel or tube usually found within the engine block for the transfer of fluid or gas. See oil gallery.

gallon: A US gallon (3.785 liters) is 20% smaller than an Imperial gallon (4.546 liters).

Galvalume: trademark for a special type of hot-dip galvanized steel sheet with a coating consisting of 55% aluminum, 43.4% zinc and 1.6% silicon

galvanic: concerned with an electrical current

galvanic cell: cell which converts chemical energy into electrical energy by irreversible chemical reactions

galvanic corrosion:

Corrosion due to the action of a galvanic cell. Compare bimetallic corrosion

galvanize: The action of plating with zinc by hot dipping or electrodeposition to protect from rust. Also see hot-dip galvanize galvanized body: See fully galvanized body

galvanized coating: zinc or zinc based coating applied by galvanizing

galvanize differentially: The action of obtaining different coating thicknesses on the two sides of the sheet of iron.

galvanizing: The application of zinc coatings on the surface of a metal, by hot dipping or electrodeposition. Also see cold galvanizing dry galvanizing electrolytic galvanizing high-build galvanizing mechanical galvanizing rack galvanizing spin galvanizing wet galvanizing galvanizing bath: A bath for hot-dip galvanizing or electrogalvanizing

galvannealing: A thermal process which gives improved adhesion to hot-dip galvanized steel sheets


An instrument used to measure the pressure, amount of, and direction of an electric current.

gamma layer: part of the zinc-iron alloy layer on hot-dip galvanized iron and steel containing 2128% iron

gangway: A narrow hanging staircase used by persons entering or leaving a vessel from the pier or boat

gantry: A structure with an overhead beam, used for lifting out an engine. Compare engine hoist.

gap: [1] The distance between the center terminal (electrode) and the outer terminal (electrode) through which the spark must travel in a spark plug. Also see spark plug gap air gap. [2] The distance between the points in contact breaker points. See point gap. [3] The distance between two vehicles travelling down the road as they go in the same direction. Generally a safe distance is a minimum of two seconds behind the vehicle in front. [4] The distance between the two ends of piston rings. Also see air gap annular gap contact breaker gap contact gap door gap electrode gap end gap piston ring end gap piston ring gap plug gap point gap points gap ring end gap ring gap

spark air gap spark gap spark plug gap surface gap gap bridging: A formation of carbon or other deposits across the spark plug gap which shorts out the plug

gap coil tester: See spark gap coil tester

gap insurance: This covers you against additional losses not covered by your auto insurance in the case of an accident in which the vehicle is totaled. Most auto insurance will cover the actual cash value of the vehicle and what is owed on the lease contract, including early termination fees. Gap insurance is most important in the early years of a lease when the difference between the value of the car and what is owed are greatest. Some manufacturers now include Gap insurance in their leases.

gapping: See plug gapping

gap spark plug: See surface gap spark plug

gap style: The arrangement or shape of the spark plug electrodes

gapper: A device for determining the distance between two metal contacts. See feeler gauge.

gapping: Adjusting the distance between the electrodes of a spark plug or the points of contact breaker points. Also see plug gapping.

garage: [1] A building in which a motor vehicle is kept. [2] The premises on which motor vehicles are repaired or serviced and/or where fuel is sold. [3] To keep in a garage

garaged: A reference to a vehicle which is kept in a garage, as in My car is always garaged. The abbreviation in advertisements is gar'd.

garage jack: A powerful hydraulic jack used in garages

Garages: See Morris Garages

garboard strake: The strake of bottom shell plating adjacent to the keel plate.

gar'd: An abbreviation used in classified advertisements for "garaged"

garden gate: A nickname for the plunger-sprung frames used on Norton motorcycles from the late 1930s

garnish molding: The upper molding on a door panel used to retain the door trim panel to the door assembly

garter: See lip seal with garter spring

garter spring: A long, thin coil spring with ends joined to form a ring. Also see lip seal with garter spring

gas: [1] A non-solid material. It can be compressed. When heated, it will expand; and when cooled, it will contract (such as air.) [2] A common term for gasoline. The British term is "petrol." [3] A term for LPG or propane. Also see bottled gas [4] A term referring to the exhaust gases. See exhaust emissions. [5] To apply the throttle. Also see compressed natural gas depress the gas pedal ease up on the gas pedal end gas exhaust gas recirculation exhaust gas analyzer exhaust gas purification system exhaust gas hot gas welding inert gas system liquified natural gas liquified petroleum gas natural gas oxygen-LP gas flame oxyhydrogen gas pumping the gas pedal pump the gas pedal raw exhaust gas spent gas unleaded gas gas analyzer: See exhaust gas analyzer

gas-arc: See inert gas-arc welding

gas-arc welding: See inert gas-arc welding

gas brakes:

See pumping the gas brakes

gas burner: Competition vehicle with engine set up to operate on standard pump gasoline instead of an alcohol, nitro, etc., mixture. Also called "gasser."

gas chamber: A pressure chamber of a single-tube shock absorber

gas damper: A gas shock absorber

gas discharge headlight: A motor vehicle headlight with a gas discharge lamp

gas discharge lamp: A discharge lamp in which light is generated by gas discharge

gas discharge light: A discharge light in which light is generated by gas discharge

gas-driven generator: a generator which turned by a gas engine.

gaseous: Referring to gas

gaseous discharge lamp: A gas discharge lamp

gaseous discharge headlight: A A gas discharge light

gases: also See

CFC gases exhaust gases greenhouse gases residual exhaust gases gas filter: A device for screening the gasoline to remove the impurities. See fuel filter.

gas flame: See oxygen-lp gas flame

gas flow: The flow of the air/fuel mixture or the exhaust gases in an engine

gas gage: See gas gauge.

gas gauge: An instrument, usually located on the dashboard or center console, which indicates the amount of fuel in the fuel tank. Most gauges have a needle which fluctuates between "E" (empty) and "F" (full). Others show a digital readout of how many gallons or liters left in the tank. Also called "fuel gauge."

gas guzzler: A vehicle which uses a lot of gasoline per mile.

gasket: A material made of asbestos, cardboard, cork, paper, rubber, or soft metal placed between two metal parts to insure proper sealing. Also see base gasket blown head gasket cylinder head gasket head gasket liquid gasket oil pan gasket rocker cover gasket sump gasket tappet gasket

valve cover gasket gasket kit: also See bottom end gasket kit top end gasket kit gasket punch: A tool used to cut out holes in a sheet of gasket material to shape a gasket to size.

gasket scraper: A scraper with a sharp chisel edge for removing old gasket material from a surface before installing a new gasket

gas metal-arc welding: Welding using a continuously fed consumable electrode and a shielding gas. Also called "sigma welding."

gasohol: A blend of gasoline and ethanol alcohol that usually is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol. Ethanol is the alcohol found in intoxicating beverages. It may attack rubber and plastic parts of fuel systems not designed to handle alcohol-blended fuels, but it is not poisonous to human beings like wood alcohol or methanol.

gasoline: A hydrocarbon fuel used in the internal combustion engine. Gasoline is refined from crude oil which is made up of fossilized plant and animal remains. Also see ethyl gasoline lead-free gasoline leaded gasoline oxygenated gasolines premium gasoline pump gasoline reformulated gasoline regular gasoline unleaded gasoline gasoline pump:

A device which pulls fuel from an underground storage tank into a vehicle's gas tank.

gas pedal: The device actuated by the operator's foot for increasing or decreasing the amount of fuel entering the combustion chamber. Also called "throttle pedal." Also see accelerator depress the gas pedal ease up on the gas pedal pumping the gas pedal pump the gas pedal step on the gas pedal take foot off the gas pedal gas pockets: Cavities in weld metal caused by trapped gas.

gas prop: A gas-assisted strut like a hatch strut, hood strut, or tailgate strut

gas pump: A device at a service station which pulls gasoline from a storage tank (usually located underground) into the vehicle's gas tank. Commercial units also record the amount of fuel dispensed as well as the cost.

gas purification: See exhaust gas purification system

gas recirculation: See exhaust gas recirculation

gasser: A vehicle which uses gasoline in the engine to run. See gas burner.

gas shock: A gas-assisted shock absorber

gas shock absorber: A gas-assisted shock absorber

gassing: The small hydrogen bubbles rising to the top of the battery electrolyte during battery charging.

gas spring: A pressurized, nitrogen-filled sphere, used in Hydragas and hydropneumatic suspension systems

gas station: A place where gasoline is dispensed.

gas system: See inert gas system

gas tank: The container for holding or storing fuel. See fuel tank.

gas-tight: sealed to prevent the passage of gas

gas tungsten-arc welding: Welding using a tungsten electrode and a shielding gas.

gas turbine: An internal-combustion rotating engine with one main moving part: the rotor with pinwheel-like blades attached. Air is compressed by the first rows of blades and delivered to the combustion chambers, from which the exhaust is directed to pass the remaining blades and to generate the power. Power is extremely smooth due to the absence of explosions and reciprocating parts.

gas welding: A welding process widely used in body repair shops (now being gradually replaced by MIG welding). Also called oxyacetylene welding. Also see

hot gas welding gate: [1] The slotted guide for the gearshift of an internal combustion engine. [2] The slotted guides in a shift drum. [3] A tailgate. Also see J gate transmission shifter shift gate waste gate gate transmission: See J gate transmission shifter

gate transmission shifter: See J gate transmission shifter

GATT: Acronym for General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

gauge: This is the British and Canadian spelling while in the United States it is sometimes spelled without the "u" (gage). It is becoming standard to use "gage" for wire size and "gauge" for an instrument. [1] An instrument that registers the quantity of a substance, e.g., ammeter, boost gauge, fuel gauge, gas gauge, in-dash gauge, oil gauge, oil level gauge, oil pressure gauge, oil temperature gauge, outside temperature gauge, temperature gauge, tire gauge, tire pressure gauge, turbo gauge, vacuum gauge, voltmeter, and water temperature gauge. [2] A tool for measuring clearances, pressures, sizes, etc. also See adjusting gauge B & S gauge brake gauge caliper gauge compression gauge compression tester depth gauge dial gauge disc brake gauge feeler gauge

frame gauge ignition gauge screw pitch gauge sighting point gauge spark plug gauge thread gauge thread pitch gauge throttle gauge tire tread gauge tram gauge tread depth gauge vernier gauge wheel alignment gauge [3] A measurement of tubing. See plain gauge tubing

gauge manifold: The one essential diagnostic tool required for every air conditioner service procedure. A typical gauge set includes high and low side gauges and valves for checking, measuring and controlling pressure and vacuum, and a third valve for controlling discharging, evacuation and charging procedures. Also called "gauge set"

gauge set: See gauge manifold

gauge tubing: See plain gauge tubing

gauntlet: A long-sleeved leather glove used by motorcyclists to prevent wasps from flying up the sleeve, as one did to me.

GAWR: Acronym for "Gross Axle Weight Rating."

Gaylord: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-57 models are milestone cars.


A screw-activated clamping device in the shape of the letter "G"

GCW: Acronym for gross combination weight.

GCWR: Acronym for gross Combined Weight Rating

gear: Wheel-like part with teeth cut into the rim. When one gear meshes with another gear, it causes the second gear to drive the other and in this way transmits power. When the gears are different sizes (different number of teeth on each gear) the mechanical average is changed. Also see axle end gears bevel gear bottom gear camshaft gear center gear change gear cluster gear constant mesh gears counter gear crankshaft gear crawler gear differential gears differential side gear double helical gear drive gear driven gear driving gear economy gear end gear EP gear oil fifth gear final drive gear first gear fixed gear flywheel ring gear fourth gear granny gear helical gear herringbone gears

high gear hypoid oil hypoid gear idler gear intermediate gear internal gear pump internal gear left hand gear lever low gear mating gears member of the gear train overall gear ratio passing gear pinion gear planetary gear differential planetary gear set planetary gear planetary gears planet gear planet gears reverse gear reverse idler gear reversible gear puller ring gear running gear second gear shift gear side gear sliding gear spider gear spiral bevel gear spur gear starter ring gear steering gear stepped planet gear straight-cut gear sun-and-planet gears sun gear third gear timing gear top gear valve gear wide-step gearing worm gear gear arm:

See steering gear arm

gearbox: The device in the drivetrain consisting of an input shaft, a system of gears, and an output shaft that multiplies engine torque. A manual transmission consists of a clutch assembly plus a gearbox; and automatic transmission generally consists of a torque converter plus gearbox. Also see automatic gearbox auxiliary gearbox auxilliary gearbox change-speed gearbox close-ratio gearbox constant mesh gearbox cotal gearbox crash gearbox dual-range gearbox epicyclic gearbox four-speed gearbox high/low range gearbox manual gearbox mesh gearbox planetary gearset pre-selector gearbox preselector gearbox rack and pinion gearbox reduction gearbox sliding-mesh gearbox steering gearbox two-speed gearbox wilson gearbox gearbox input shaft: A shaft which transmits power from the clutch to the gearbox

gearbox output shaft: A shaft which transmits the drive out of the gearbox

gearchange: A British term for the process of changing gears or shifting gears. Also see central gearchange

column gearchange dashboard gearchange floor gearchange steering column gearchange gearchange cables: British term for shifting cables used to operate gears in some transmissions. In most vehicles rods and joints are used because cables tend to stretch.

gearchange linkage: A system of rods and joints used to operate the gearbox. British term for shifter linkage

gearchange mechanism: A system of rods and joints used to operate the gearbox. British term for shifter mechanism

gear changer: See column gear changer

gear differential: See planetary gear differential

gear drive: See bevel gear drive

geared: also See high-geared low geared gear grease: A heavy liquid grease that fills the differential and manual transmission to lubricate the gears. Also called "differential grease."

gear indicator:

A display which shows the particular transmission gear that has been selected.

gearing: [1] The combination or system of gears or sprockets designed to transmit power. [2] The ratio between the drive gear and the driven gear. also See alpine gearing crossover gearing double reduction gearing half-step gearing wide-step gearing wide range gearing wide step gearing gear knob: British term for the knob at the end of a lever, i.e., shifter knob

gear lever: A device which is attached to the side of a steering column or to the center console which will allow the operator to change the gears of the transmission. Also called "shift lever." Also see left hand gear lever. gear oil: A heavy oil which is rated at 80 to 100 weight viscosity used in enclosed units containing gears. This oil infrequently or rarely needs changing. Also see EP gear oil gear puller: A tool with two or more jaws and pressure screw for pulling off gears, bearings, pulleys, etc. Also see reversible gear puller gear pump: The simplest oil pump with two gear wheels. Also see internal gear pump

gear range: choice of gears in an automatic transmission. The typical gear ranges are: P - Park, R - Reverse, N - Neutral, D -Drive, L - Low

gear ratio: The relationship between the number of turns made by a driving gear to complete one full turn of the driven gear. If the driving gear turns four times to turn the driven gear once, the gear ratio would be 4 to 1. In most instances, the gear ratio is not even like 4:1 because the same teeth would be meshing with each other. Thus a ratio of 4.11:1, for instance, means that a particular tooth on one gear may eventually mesh with every one of the teeth on the other gear. Changing the tire size will change the effective gear ratio. Also see overall gear ratio gear selector: The device (e.g., lever or rod or pushbutton) for choosing the desired transmission gear. See gearshift.

gear selector indicator: An indicator positioned in the instrument cluster or on the centre console shift gate indicating which gear has been selected in an automatic transmission

gearset: A group of two or more gears used to transmit power. Also see planetary gear set ravigneaux planetary gear set simpson gear set simpson planetary gear set gear shaft: See steering gear shaft

gearshift: A device which allows the operator to move the transmission gears into various configurations. Most often the gearshift is located on a lever on the steering column or on a lever on the floor between the driver and front passenger. Some older Chryslers had pushbutton controls on the dash.

gearshifter: A device which allows the operator to move the transmission gears into various configurations. Most often the gearshift is located on a lever on the steering column or on a lever on the floor between the driver and front passenger. Some older Chryslers had pushbutton controls on the dash.

gearstick: A British term for the stick used by the driver to change gears. Also called a "shifter" or "shift lever."

gear tooth: The indentation on the edge of a gearwheel

gear train: A system of gears that transmits drive from one shaft to another. Also see member of the gear train gear transmission: See bevel gear transmission

gear-type oil pump: The simplest oil pump with two gear wheels

gearwheel: A gear

gel: [1] A substance like jelly. See silica gel. [2] to become like jelly

gel cell battery: A battery where the acid is in the form of a gel so that in the event of a spill, acid does not leak out -- especially recommended for electric scooters and power chairs

gel coat:

[1] A thin layer of plastic resin covering fiberglass panels. [2] An outer layer of GRP (glass reinforced plastic) moldings which gives a smooth surface that may be coloured

gel-coat resin: A resin similar to general lay-up resin but with an additive to make it thixotropic, i.e., it does not run down vertical surfaces; used to make the gel coat in moldings

gelling drier: A drier for PVC sealants

Gemmer steering: A cam-and-roller steering

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: (GATT) Signed in 1947, the GATT was a formal multilateral agreement aimed at expanding and liberalizing world trade. The World Trade Organization which is the successor to the GATT came into existence on January 1, 1995.

general cargo: Non-bulk cargo. The cargo may be of various kinds

general corrosion: In contrast to pitting, a type of corrosion which affects the entire surface of a metal

Generalized Preferential Tariff: (GPT) system of non-reciprocal tariff preferences for the benefit of developing countries. It grants duty-free or preferential entry to imports for eligible developing countries up to a certain dollar value or import percentage limit.

General Motors: (GM) or (GMC) The largest American vehicle manufacturer including Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Cadillac, GMC trucks, and HUMMER. It has subsidiaries and associates in Britain (Vauxhall), European continent (Opel, Fiat, and Saab), Australia (Holden), Asia (Subaru, Fuji, Suzuki)

general purpose lacquer thinner:

A type of thinner that may be used for both lacquers and synthetic enamels without causing lifting or other paint faults

general purpose pliers: Any kind of typical multi-purpose pliers.

generate: To produce.

generator: [1] A mechanism which generates or produces some substance, i.e., electric generator, acetylene generator. [2] An electromagnetic device for producing direct current electricity. It was replaced by an alternator in the early '60s. Its problem was that a generator recharged the battery only at high speeds. The British call it a "dynamo." Also see AC generator alternator DC generator flywheel generator gas-driven generator hall generator pulse generator solar generator third brush transistorized ignition with inductive pulse generator Geo: A model of automobile manufactured by Suzuki for GM geometry: The design, layout, or arrangement of parts. Also see steering geometry GHGs: Acronym for "Greenhouse Gases." Click for books on Geo


See dual Ghia

gib head key: See gib-head key.

gib-head key: A special bar of any length like a flat key or square key, but one end is specially shaped to prevent the key from going all the way through.

girder: A continuous member usually running fore and aft under a deck for the purpose of supporting the deck beams and deck. Also see center girder longitudinal girder girder forks: Type of forks common on early motorcycles, comprising rigid beams attached to the steering head by parallel links that allowed movement

girder spanner: A British term for an adjustable wrench with jaws at right angles to the handle.

girl's bike: A bicycle where the horizontal top bar (of a "boy's bike") is angled down from the steering tube down to the bottom bracket and is usually parallel with the down tube. See ladies' frame.

Giuletta: See Alfa Romeo.

Giulia: See Alfa Romeo.

GL: [1] A term referring to gold line tires marketed in the late '60s and early '70s. [2] (short for) Grand Luxe, meaning more luxurious than a standard model, L (= Luxe); (compare CL)

glad hands: A separable mechanical connector used to join air line hoses when combination vehicles are coupled together.

gland: A seal that stops fluid under pressure from leaking past a rotating or reciprocating shaft or rod. Also see packed gland glandless: Something without a seal

glare: [1] strong, bright light (e.g., from oncoming traffic) [2] to shine too brightly; to dazzle

glass: [1] A transparent, hard, amorphous, brittle substance which is made by fusing together one or more of the oxides of silicon, boron, or phosphorus, with certain basic oxides (e.g., sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium), and cooling the product rapidly to prevent crystallization or devitrification. The melting point varies between 800°C and 950°C but it is worked at higher temperatures. The tensile strength of glass resides almost entirely in the outer skin; if this is scratched or corroded, the glass is much more easily broken. [2] The transparent windows in a vehicle. Also see body glass compound glass door glass laminated glass laminated windshield glass milled glass fiber safety glass sight glass tempered glass tinted glass toughened glass glass area:

The window surface area of a vehicle body; may also refer to the whole area of the body above the waistline. Also called the greenhouse.

glass channel: A U-shape metal guide which holds the bottom edge of a roll-up automobile window and fits inside the door. The British term is "window channel."

glass fiber: A very thin glass thread, used loosely or in woven form as an acoustic, electrical, or thermal insulating material and as a reinforcing material in laminated plastics. Also see milled glass fiber glass fibre: A very thin glass thread, used loosely or in woven form as an acoustic, electrical, or thermal insulating material and as a reinforcing material in laminated plastics

glass holder: A tool with suction cup(s) to hold and carry a sheet of glass

glass pack muffler: A straight through (no baffles) muffler using fibreglass packing around a perforated pipe to deaden exhaust sound.

glasspaper: An abrasive paper coated with particles of glass, used for smoothing and polishing

glass reinforced filler paste: A polyester filler that has strands of fibreglass added into the filler paste to increase the rigidity of the repair

glass reinforced plastic: (GRP) The basic material for the manufacture of fibreglass body shells and panels; it is made up of several layers of fibreglass mat or cloth and various types of resins

glass seal: a conducting seal in the middle of some spark plug insulators connecting the top and bottom parts of the central electrode

Glass's Guide: A monthly publication of second-hand car prices

glass sphere: reinforcing filler in the form of particles as opposed to fibres

glass tampering detector: A part of a vehicle alarm system that detects glass being struck or broken

glaze: A highly smooth, glossy finish on the cylinder walls. As the piston rings rub up and down the cylinder, the rings polish the cylinder wall. Cylinder wall glazing reduces sealing efficiency. The only cure is to have the cylinder deglazed.

glaze breaker: An abrasive tool used to remove the glaze from cylinder walls prior to the installation of new piston rings. Also called "deglazer."

glazed: [1] Something that is fitted with glass. [2] Something with a smooth, polished surface

glaze lining: A brake lining that has been overheated and become smooth and glossy

glazing: [1] The use of special putty to fill minor imperfections when doing body repair [2] Glass fitted or about to be fitted in a window. Also see lead glazing spot glazing glazing strip: molded rubber strip for mounting windshields and other fixed glass


Gravitational loads, expressed in multiples of the force of gravity acting on an object. In a car, these can be felt in acceleration, braking or cornering. In most passenger cars, these loads seldom exceed 0.3 or 0.4 Gs in any direction, unless in an urgent situation. Race cars can achieve several Gs, due to excellent tires and prepared racing surfaces.

Global Positioning Satellite: The technology which allows a vehicle to be tracked anywhere in the world with near-perfect accuracy. The Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system was first used by the military, but has been adopted by companies such as General Motors for use with their OnStar communication system. Several after-market communication systems using GPS are also available

gloss: The ability of a paint to reflect images when polished. Also see high gloss specular gloss glove: See barrier cream invisible glove silicon glove glovebox: A small compartment (often with a lock) located in the dash in front of the passenger (not the driver) into which small items (owner's manual, maps, first aid kit, etc.) are placed.

glove compartment: British term for glovebox

glow: to burn without a flame. Also see flame glow plug open coil glow plug open element glow plug pencil-type glow plug

glow coil: filament in a glow plug

glow pencil: A pencil-like heating element of a sheathed-type glow plug

glow plug: An electrical element located in the combustion chamber of a diesel engine which helps to heat up the air in the chamber so that the diesel fuel will be ignited more quickly. Often they are connected in series so that when one becomes defective the others are inoperative. Also called a "heater plug." Also see coil glow plug flame glow plug open coil glow plug open element glow plug pencil-type glow plug self-regulating sheathed-type glow plug sheathed-type glow plug spiral-type glow plug sr sheathed glow plug wire glow plug glow plug indicator: A monitoring element in a preheater system, which changes the colour of its filament in line with the plug and indicating readiness for starting

glow plug starter switch: The key switch for turning on the preheating system of a diesel engine and starting the car.

glow time: The preheating time of a diesel engine

glow tube: See glow plug


also See ethylene glycol antifreeze. glycote: See poly-glycotes.

glycotes: See poly-glycotes.

GM: Acronym for "General Motors Corp."

GMC: Acronym for "General Motors Corporation."

GND: Abbreviation for "ground"

go dull: A condition of paint that has lost its luster

go flat: A condition of paint that has lost its luster.

goggles: protective spectacles against dust and glare. Also see safety goggles gold plating: The electrolytic deposition of gold

goodies: See bolt-on goodies

goods: See heavy goods vehicle

goods vehicle: See heavy goods vehicle

good will warranty: Normal warranty specifies that a product is covered for manufacturer's defects for a period of time or distance of use. If the item has gone beyond the normal warranty, the dealer may offer some warranty in order to keep your business. The dealer may pick up the costs for parts and labor, or just the labor, or 50% of the overall costs, or just a nominal sum.

go off: A British term for beginning to harden, the initial phase of the hardening process of plastic body fillers. The American term is "kick"

gooseneck map light: A flexible-stemmed map lamp

gouge: a flat, relatively large dent that has no hard contours so it can be reshaped by shrinking using heat or with a hammer and dolly

gouging: Cutting of a groove in the surface of a metal using a gas cutting torch of an arc-air cutting outfit.

governor: [1] A device designed to automatically control the speed or position of some part (i.e., engine speed or transmission speed). Governors are used to prevent an engine from exceeding its maximum rpms. They are also used on rental vehicles to prevent operators from speeding. [2] A governor on the output shaft of a hydraulically controlled transmission converts line pressure into governor pressure. In electro-hydraulically controlled transmissions, the governor is replaced by a sensor. Also see centrifugal governor transmission governor

governor plate: See contact breaker plate

governor pressure: Pressure in an automatic transmission control that varies in accordance with vehicle speed and acts on the command valves, where it opposes the control pressure

governor valve: (GV) An automatic transmission control valve which converts line pressure into vehicle-speed dependent governor pressure.

governor weight: A centrifugal advance mechanism or advance weight

GPM: Acronym for "gallons per minute."

GPS: Acronym for "Global Positioning (via) Satellite."

GPT: Acronym for "Generalized Preferential Tariff."

grab: [1] The action of brakes to seize the drum or disc suddenly when the brake pedal is pressed. [2] the action of a clutch to take up the drive suddenly when the clutch pedal is released. Also called "snatch." Also see fierceness grabber: See webbing grabber

grab handle: [1] A strap or part of a car door interior used to pull the door shut. Also called "door handle."

[2] An inside strap located above the door which is used to steady a passenger during sharp cornering. At one time this handle was found only on the passenger side; but in newer cars it is also on the driver's side. [3] A handle on the tongue of a trailer, used to move the trailer manually

grade: [1] The steepness of the road on a hill. [2] The composition of gravel and rock, etc. of a road surface (thus the vehicle used to smooth it is a grader). [3] The strength factor of a fastener (i.e., nuts and bolts). In US fasteners, grade 2 has a tensile strength of 60,000 psi; grade 5 = 120,000 psi; grade 7 = 133,000 psi; grade 8 = 150,000 psi; grade ASTM A574 = 170,000 psi. In metric fasteners, grade 4.8 = 60,900 psi; grade 8.8 = 120,350 psi; grade 9.8 = 130,500 psi; grade 10.9 = 150,800 psi; and grade 12.9 = 176,900 psi. [4] The quality of oil. See oil grade. [5] A British term for the degree of sandpaper coarseness. The US term is grit.

grader: A road construction vehicle with a large blade which scrapes gravel to smooth or level a surface. Graders are also used to remove snow from roads.

gradient: [1] the slope or inclination of a road; [2] a measure of the slope, expressed as the ratio of height (or drop) to horizontal distance; a steep hill might be 1 in 4, while a gradual slope might be 1 in 10

grading: See quality grading

graduated tint: The tinted stripe at the upper edge of a windshield

graft copolymer: A copolymer in which polymeric side chains have been attached to the main chain of a polymer of different structure

Graham-Paige: A vehicle brand of which only the Custom body of 1925-1948 with required application are classic cars.

grain alcohol: Ethanol

grain coarsening: roughening of the surface of a material

grain growth: roughening of the surface of a material

Grand Am: A model of automobile manufactured by Pontiac division of General Motors

Click for books on Grand Am

Grand Luxe: (GL) A model that is more luxurious model than a standard model

Grand National: A model of automobile manufactured by Buick

Click for books on Buick Grand National

Grand Prix: [1] An international car race from which points are scored towards the World Championship. [2] A model of automobile manufactured by Pontiac division of General Motors Grand Touring: (GT) A term used for a sportier car. See Gran Turismo.

Click for books on Pontiac Grand Prix

Grand Touring-injection: (GTi) A GT car with fuel injection.

Grand Touring Prototype: (GTP). Also see camel Grand Touring Prototype

granny gear: Colloquial term for the tiny inner chainring on a triple chainring crankset of a bicycle. Needed for climbing steep hills especially with a loaded bicycle.

Gran Turismo: (GT) A car which combines the features of both the sedan and sports car. It features excellent engineering and road handling with relative comfort. Made in two-seater and four-seater models with cramped rear seats.

graph: A diagram showing the relationship between certain numbers or quantities in the form of a line

graphic display unit: A dashboard panel displaying a plan of the car with illuminated parts representing doors left open, lights switched on, etc.

graphic equalizer: A unit in a car stereo system that adjusts the audio output signal strength separately for individual frequency ranges; individual frequencies can be emphasized to compensate for specific acoustic conditions

graphics: See splashed graphics

graphite: A form of carbon used in making brushes for motors and generators and as a lubricant

graphite grease: heavy-duty grease containing graphite, used for brake cables, etc.

graphitic corrosion: selective corrosion of grey cast iron, resulting in preferential removal of metallic constituents, leaving graphite

grass heat shield:

A metal shield fitted underneath a catalytic converter to reduce the risk of its heat starting an accidental grass fire

gravel: A mixture of rocks and sand where the rocks are usually less than 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter.

gravel gun: equipment used to hurl crushed stone at objects, such as test panels, to test them for chipping resistance

gravel road: A road which is covered with a layer of gravel. Also called a secondary road or an improved road.

graveyard: See auto graveyard

gravity: The attractive force exerted by one body on another. All bodies which have mass have this property. The pull of the earth upon objects so that they fall at the rate of 981 cm (32.2 feet) per second every second. Also see center of gravity g specific gravity gravity, center: The force which causes a body to fall to the earth. See center of gravity.

gravity feed: A fuel supply system where the gas tank is mounted higher than the carburetor. This system was used in some older cars where the gas tank was located in front of the windshield and in many motorcycles.

gravity-feed spray gun: A type of paint spray gun, in which paint flows downward from a container mounted on its top, thus reducing the amount of compressed air required

Gray Market Vehicles: Cars that have been imported into the country through unauthorized means. It is likely they won't meet American safety and emission standards. These cars have significantly lower values than vehicle imported through normal channels.

grease: [1] A lubricant (made from oil and metallic soaps) which reduces the friction between moving pieces of metal and also prevents moisture from causing metal to rust. [2] To lubricate or coat with grease. Also see base grease dielectric grease differential grease gear grease gear grease graphite grease lithium base grease lithium grease lube grease lube grease white lithium grease. grease fitting: A device that seals in and allows the addition of more grease, or some other type of lubricant, to cushion two moving parts, allow them to move freely, and prevent them from wearing each other away. Found on ball joints, steering knuckles, tie-rod ends. Also called "zerk fitting."

grease gun: A small, hand-operated pump that can be loaded with grease and used for lubricating the grease fittings on a vehicle. Adapters can be attached to the grease gun so that grease can be forced even into sealed bearings.

grease nipple: A small, one-way valve used for injecting grease into a bearing

grease pencil: A writing device which writes in grease or wax. It is used to mark tires because it can be easily rubbed off.

grease seal: A circular metal disk covered in rubber or plastic with a center hole, an edge on the outside circumference, and another edge on the center hole with a spring to retain tension on the shaft that fits into the hole. It is used to keep grease and oil from leaking out and protects bearings from dirt and water. Also called "oil seal."

Great Lakes ship: Cargo ship used to carry cargo on the Great Lakes. Most carry bulk cargoes of grain, iron ore or coal.

Green: See British Racing Green

green flag: A green flag is used to restart the race. The pace car will pull off the track into pit lane and the race resumes. Note: the race cars do not come to a stop on the track at anytime, unless a red flag is thrown.

green flag with yellow diagonal stripe: The green flag with a yellow diagonal stripe signals a slower driver to move over on the track and let the leaders proceed. This usually occurs near the end of a race when the slower car is many laps behind. This flag is to ensure safety for the cars still racing for the win.

greenhouse: The glass area of a car or truck.

greenhouse gases: (GHGs) Group of gases which individually act to trap solar energy near the earth. GHGs for which emission levels have been estimated are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), carbon tetrafluoride (CF4), carbon hexafluoride (C2F6) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). green stage: the initial hardening phase during which the resin or filler has hardened but has not yet set solid; this occurs immediately after the resin or filler has kicked (British: gone off).

green tire: The complete rubber/fabric/steel tire just before being cured.

grey market: the grey market describes the purchase by intermediaries of product which is not supplied to them by the "authorized" distribution channel of the supplier. Thus, a warehouse club in Canada that sells a stereo bought in the U.S. or elsewhere from other than the manufacturer is supplying grey market goods. While grey market products are frequently the same as would be available from conventional channels in Canada, the grey market assumes responsibility for service or repair where the manufacturer declines this support.

grid: The lead screen or plate to which the battery plate active material is attached. Also see electric grid lead-antimony grid plate grid grid-controlled ignition system: A microprocessor-controlled ignition system with electronic ignition timing by means of an ignition map stored in the control unit memory

grid dolly: A special shrinking dolly with a large, flat groove

grill: Alternate spelling of "Grille."

grille: A grating or crosswork of bars usually as an ornamental cover of the radiator which allows air to cool the engine. Also see speaker grill egg-crate grille radiator grille surround radiator grille slatted grille

grille face panel: A metallic grating which surrounds the radiator. Also called a "grille panel."

grille panel: A metallic grating which surrounds the radiator. Also called a "grille face panel."

grille surround: See radiator grille surround

grind: To remove metal from an object by means of a revolving abrasive wheel, disc, or belt. Also see valve grinding valve seat grinding. grinder: A device to remove metal from an object. Also see angle grinder bench grinder brake shoe grinder mini-grinder suction valve grinder valve grinder grinding: also See valve grinding valve seat grinding grinding compound: See valve grinding compound

grinding disc: An abrasive disc

grinding paste:

An abrasive paste used for reseating valves

grinding tool: See valve grinding tool

grinding wheel: An abrasive wheel used for grinding (usually a composite of hard particles in a resin filler)

grindstone: A rotating abrasive disc for rubbing away metal and for sharpening tools

grip: [1] The adhesion of a tire to the road surface; important for roadholding and safe braking. [2] A rubber or rubber-like tube which fits on the end of a pipe (i.e., handlebars or a tool). Also see hot grip lateral grip wet grip mole grips vice grips vise grips grip channel: A steel channel spot-welded to a vehicle body to keep rubber seals in place

grip in the wet: a vehicle's roadholding ability in the rain or on a wet surface

grip wrench: Locking pliers

grit: [1] A measure indicating the sizes of the abrasive particles in a grinding wheel, usually expressed by a figure denoting the number of meshes per linear inch in a sieve through which the particles will pass completely.

[2] Siliceous sediment, loose or indurated, the component grains being angular. Sometimes applied to a hard coarse-grained sandstone. [3] Hard particles, usually mineral, or natural or industrial origin, retained on a 200 mesh test sieve (76 μm). Also see P grit numbers grit blasting: [1] A sandblasting process where grit is used to clean the metal surfaces and is available in various grades for coarse or finer blasting on thin steel. [2] A cleaning of the spark plug electrodes by bombarding them with abrasive particles

grit number: A classification of sand paper by fineness of the grit particles. Also see P grit numbers GRND: Abbreviation for "ground"

grommet: A rubber or plastic ring around a hole in metal (to protect a cable or pipe)

groove: [1] A channel or gouge in metal (see piston ring groove) or in the tread of a tire. [2] Another name for a viable racing lane on the race track. [3] The space between the ridges of a bolt thread. Also see cracking groove oil groove piston ring groove piston ring groove cleaner ring groove tread groove groove cleaner: See piston ring groove cleaner

groove cracks:

Splitting or cracking of the rubber (undertread) at the base of the grooves, between tread ribs. Primarily caused by growth in textile casings.

grooved compression ring: A scraper-type piston ring

groove insert: See top ring groove insert.

groove weld: A welding rod fused into a joint which has the base metal removed to form a V, U, or J through at the edge of the metals to be joined.

grooving: The cutting of a tread design into tread rubber where a design does not already exist. Also altering an original design, i.e., cross-grooving to increase traction.

grooving hammer: A wide-nose peen hammer

gross: See tonnage gross

gross axle weight rating: (GAWR) A US maximum specified load capacity of an axle.

gross bhp: See SAE gross bhp

gross combination weight: (GCW) The weight of a truck and trailer combination and its entire contents.

Gross Combined Weight Rating: (GCWR) The maximum load rating -- including passengers, cargo, and trailer -- for a particular vehicle. A vehicle's GCWR will typically be higher than its GVWR, since gross vehicle weight ratings are determined by axle ratings, and a trailer has its own axles.

gross horsepower: See SAE gross horsepower

gross margin: The return an intermediary achieves on the selling price of the article. That is, if the intermediary buys a product for $1 and sells it for $1.50, the margin is calculated. For example, .50 divided by $1.50, or 33%.

gross registered tons: See tonnage

gross ton: 2240 pounds. Also called "long ton."

gross train weight: Same as gross combination weight.

gross vehicle weight: (GVW) Maximum legal weight at which a vehicle can be operated. The total weight of a fully equipped truck and payload.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: (GVWR) Curb weight plus the payload. The most the loaded vehicle can weigh, generally determined by suspension system, tire size, and brake capacity. A vehicle's GVWR is usually displayed on a label on the door or door-latch pillar.

ground: (GND or GRND) [1] Terminal of battery that is connected to the metal framework of the vehicle so that the frame acts as a conductor of electricity. In North America, the negative terminal is grounded. In British terms, it is called "Earth." Also see battery ground negative ground positive ground [2] A result of grinding.

Also see cam-ground piston. ground and polish: To cut and polish a crankshaft bearing surface to precision specifications.

ground clearance: The vertical distance between level ground and the lowest fixed item on a vehicle (usually one of the differentials).

ground clearance control: A small lever near the park brake of cars with hydropneumatic suspension that allows ground clearance to be increased for crossing rough terrain or when changing a wheel

ground clearance sensor: An instrument that senses the distance between the ground and car (for selflevelling air suspension)

ground connection: A wire or other metal strip for connecting a component to the vehicle chassis or body

ground contact area: the contact patch of a tire

ground effect: The phenomenon that occurs when the airflow between a moving object and the ground creates downforce.

ground electrode: The side electrode of a sparking plug. The opposite is the center electrode triangular ground electrode

grounding: The action of a vehicle when some part of its undercarriage touches the ground (e.g., when going over a curb). In some cases the vehicle can become high-centered

so that the vehicle is stationary because the driving wheels are no longer touching the ground. [2] Contact of the bottom of a ship with the sea floor

ground piston: See cam ground piston

ground return: The return path of an electrical circuit, provided by a ground connection

ground strap: A wire cable or braided wire strap to transfer electricity. It can be found between the engine block and the chassis because the engine is isolated from the chassis by rubber mounts. Also called battery strap. See ground wire.

ground wire: The wire which goes from the negative post of the battery to the frame on negative ground vehicles. Another ground wire may be a thick wire or braided wire cable which connects the engine to the frame. Since many engines are rubber mounted, there may be no metal contact between the engine and the frame apart from the ground wire which may also be called the ground strap. In British terms, it is called "earth wire."

group: See plate group

group of seven: (G7) seven industrial countries consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, whose leaders have met at annual economic summits since 1975 to coordinate economic policies.

growler: An instrument used in testing starters, generator, and armatures.

grown tire: A tire that, with use, has slightly increased in size


also See tire growth grain growth GRP: (fiber)glass reinforced plastic

GRRF: Acronym for "Groupe de travail en matière de Roulement et de Freinage" (i.e., Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear)

grub screw: A fully threaded, headless screw. Also see setscrew GT: Acronym for "Gran Turismo" or "Grand Touring."

GTi: Grand Touring-injection. A GT car model with fuel injection

GTO: [1] Acronym for "Gran Turismo Omologato." [2] A model of automobile manufactured by Pontiac division of General Motors GTP: Acronym for "Grand Touring Prototype." Also see Camel Grand Touring Prototype GTS: Acronym for "Global Tire Standard." Click for books on Pontiac GTO

GTW: Acronym for gross train weight.

guarantee: A promise by the manufacturer to fix or replace a specific part if it does not last for a specific time period or distance.

guard: also See chain guard dog guard edge guard oil pan guard side radiator guard splash guard stone guard sump guard gudgeon pin: British term for a piston pin or wrist pin.

gudgeon pin boss: British term for piston boss

gudgeon pin circlip: A British term for piston pin circlip

gudgeon pin end: British term for piston pin end

Guibo coupling: A doughnut-shaped type of flexible coupling

guide: A device which allows a long shaft to do its job without flexing. also See cable guide oversize valve guide valve guide glass's Guide guide coat:

A thin coat of paint designed to highlight imperfections

guide driver: also See valve guide driver guided send test: Bending a specimen in a definite way by using a fixture.

guided vehicle system: See automated guided vehicle system

guide reamer: See valve guide reamer

guide remover: See valve guide remover

guide seal: See valve guide seal

guillotine: A bench tool for cutting sheet metal. The sheet is pulled in by two adjustable rollers (one above and the other below) as the tool cuts the metal in either a straight line or a curve as desired.

gull-wing door: A roof-hinged door that opens upward. It was first used on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL in the early 1950s

gulp system: See air gulp system

gulp valve: A vacuum-controlled valve that admits fresh air to the inlet manifold during deceleration to prevent backfiring in the exhaust system; its vacuum signal is

governed by a thermovalve and a solenoid valve to ensure that the gulp valve action does not interfere with cold start enrichment. Also see air gulp valve air bypass valve gum: The oxidized portions of the fuel that form deposits in the fuel system or engine parts. Also see curing gum cushion gum repair gum gum deposit: A sticky deposit that occurs when gasoline remains unused in the tank for a period of time. The use of detergent in gasoline (or pouring in some fuel stabilizer) helps prevent its formation.

gum stock: Rubber compounds containing only the necessary ingredients for vulcanizing. Reinforcing fillers are not present in gum stock. Also see cushion gum. gun: [1] To press the accelerator hard to make the engine roar at top rpm. [2] A device for applying paint or grease. also See airless spray gun blow gun compressed-air spray gun gravel gun gravity-feed spray gun grease gun paint gun pressure-feed spray gun rivet gun spray gun suction-feed spray gun top feed gun

gun nozzle cleaning unit: See spray gun nozzle cleaning unit

gunwale bar: See stringer bar

gusset: A triangular plate secured across an angle to reinforce a joint

gusset plate: A triangular plate secured across an angle to reinforce a joint

gut: To strip the interior of the vehicle. May also refer to removing the internal baffles from a muffler.

gutted muffler: A muffler with no silencing baffles. Makes a very loud sound.

gutter: [1] The recessed part on a truck rim base that holds the lock ring in place. [2] A channel at the edge of a road to carry away rainwater

gutter bevel: Truck rims are bevelled to provide for the gutter and this bevel matches a 28° taper at the inside of the cast spokes, holding the rim in place.

GV: Acronym for governor valve

guzzler: See gas guzzler

GVW: Acronym for "Gross Vehicle Weight" -- the total weight of a fully equipped truck and payload.

GVWR: Acronym for "Gross Vehicle Weight Rating" -- the standard or rating of a vehicle's carrying capacity. It includes the weight of the vehicle, fuel, fluids, and full payload.

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [Ha] [He] [Hi] [Ho] [Hu] [Hy]

H: [1] A letter rating for tires to indicate that they are theoretically rated for speeds up to 210 kph (130 mph), as in P185HR13. The next higher rating is V and the one lower rating is T. [2] Système International (SI) symbol for henry

habits: See driving habits

hacksaw: handsaw for cutting metal, with a narrow blade attached to a frame

HAI: Acronym for heated air inlet system

hair: See helmet hair

hairline crack: A tiny stress crack which forms due to strains in the material or extreme temperature differences; as opposed to crazing, a single crack of this type will often occur alone

hair pin: A securing device shaped somewhat like a "U" in which one leg is straight, but the other has a series of waves or bends. Insert the straight leg into the hole of a rod so that the "bent" leg will encircle the rod.

hairpin valve spring:

A valve spring formed from a wire or metal strip bent to form two levers emanating from a half-loop or coil; used on some classic cars and bikes

half: See crankcase half

half link: Every chain has rollers which are connected by side plates or keepers. When counting the number of links in a length of chain, it is easiest to count the number of side plates on one side of the chain and multiplying the number by two. When a chain needs to be an odd number, a half link is included. The term "half link" is a misnomer. It should be called a single link. The side plate on a half link is not flat but has a step down shape.

half moon key: See half-moon key.

half-moon key: A driving key serving the same purpose as the regular key but it is shaped somewhat like a half circle. Also called a "woodruff key."

half-moon slip joint pliers: A multiple-slip joint pliers with groove joint

half-round body file: A body file with domed file surface for working reverse-crowned panels

half-round file: A special file that's flat on one side and convex on the other

half shaft: A rotating shaft that transmits power from the final drive unit to one side of the drive wheels, but usually refers to the two shafts that connect the road wheels to the final drive with independent rear suspension or front-wheel drive as opposed to the axle shafts of a live rear axle. Also called an axleshaft

half step gearing:

See half-step gearing.

half-step gearing: A gearing system of a bicycle in which a shift between chainrings in a double chainring set is equivalent to half a gear step on the freewheel.

halftrack: vehicle with caterpillar tracks over the rear wheels to provide motive power but steered by normal front wheels

half wave rectifier: See rectifier.

half-wave rectifier: See rectifier.

Hall effect: in electrical conductors where electric current flows perpendicular to a magnetic field, a so-called Hall voltage is produced perpendicular to the direction of current flow and to the magnetic field

Hall-effect ignition system: transistorized ignition with Hall generator

Hall-effect sensor: A hall generator

Hall-effect switch: A hall vane switch

Hall element: A pulse generator that makes use of the Hall effect and consists of a rotor with vanes, a conductive element with a permanent magnet and the Hall IC. Also called "Hall generator." When the air gap is unobstructed, a Hall voltage is generated; when a vane stands in the air gap, the magnetic flux cannot reach the Hall IC. Hall generators used as ignition pulse generators have as many vanes and Hall windows as the engine has cylinders, dwell being determined by the width of the vanes. Hall generators used in electronic-map ignition systems to provide the engine starting

signal have only one Hall window

Hall generator: A pulse generator that makes use of the Hall effect and consists of a rotor with vanes, a conductive element with a permanent magnet and the Hall IC. Also called "Hall element." Also see transistorized ignition with Hall generator Hall IC: A solid state device with the actual Hall generator and integrated circuits for voltage amplification and potential reversal, producing the pulses for the control unit

Hall module: A Hall IC

Hall sensor: A hall generator. Also see transistorized coil ignition with Hall sensor Hall vane switch: A "switch" that makes use of the Hall effect. When the air gap is free, a magnetic field acts on the Hall IC and the Hall voltage reaches its maximum (high). When a rotor vane obstructs the air gap, shielding the Hall IC from the magnetic flux, the Hall voltage reaches its minimum (low). The signal produced is a square wave

Hall voltage: See hall effect

halogen: One of the chemical elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, or astatine. Also see quartz halogen bulb halogen bulb: A bulb containing a trace of a halogen, such as iodine. A halogen bulb gives off a brighter light. Also see

quartz halogen bulb halogen headlamps: Tungsten-halogen bulb used in sealed beam unit or as separate bulb in composite headlamp

halogen headlight: high intensity reflector with inner halogen bulb, precision lens, and 3-prong attachment. Don't touch the glass of a halogen bulb with your fingers. The oil left on the glass will cause the glass to break or reduce the life of the bulb. If the glass is accidentally touched, it may be cleaned with methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth

Hamlin switch: a suspended-mass-type sensor used in new air bag systems; avoids the ecological problems associated with the earlier mercury-type switches

hammer: [1] A hand tool with a metal head and a handle. It is used to force one item against or through another. Several types of hammers are available: air hammer ball peen hammer ballpein hammer ball pien hammer blacksmith hammer body hammer brass hammer bricklayer hammer bumping hammer caulking hammer chipping hammer claw hammer club hammer copper-faced hammer deadblow hammer demolition hammer drilling hammer drywall hammer fender bumping hammer finish hammer framing hammer grooving hammer machinists' hammer nail hammer

nylon hammer panel hammer peen hammer pein hammer pick and finishing hammer pick hammer planishing hammer prospector's pick ripping hammer riveting hammer rotary hammer rubber mallet shingler's hammer shingler's hammer shrinking hammer sledge hammer slide hammer soft face hammer tack hammer tile setter hammer tinner's hammer tinner's hammer two-way hammer wide-nose peen hammer wing bumping hammer and wood mallet. [2] To hit with a hammer.

hammer drill: electric hand drill that hammers as well as rotates

hammerform: A shaped wooden block used in panel beating, on which a desired form is produced by hammering

hammer welding: metalworking technique that includes gas welding, preferably without the use of filler rod, followed by hammer and dolly work on the welded joint to smooth out any remaining imperfections


See height hamper pitch control

hamper pitch: See height hamper pitch control

hamper pitch control: See height hamper pitch control

hand: See left hand gear lever left hand monkey wrench left hand thread right hand thread right hand turn signal third hand handbook: A manual which gives instructions or information. Also see owner's handbook owner's manual handbrake: A brake operated by a hand lever. It may also refer to the park brake.

handbrake turn: 180° turn achieved by applying the handbrake (acting on the rear wheels) hard when the vehicle is starting to turn

handbrake warning light: A light on the instrument panel that illuminates when the handbrake is applied; on most new cars it has been superseded by a multifunction brake warning light

handcrafted: Something that is built by hand rather than in an assembly line (i.e., mass produced).

hand crank: Before Cadillac invented and produced electric starters, engines were started by means of a handle which was inserted into the front of the engine and rotated manually. After 1930 it became obsolete.

hand drill: A power-driven device for boring holes or (with the correct attachment) removing or securing screws and bolts

handed: Something that is made for a specific side of a unit. For example, left hand arm rests are not interchangeable with right hand arm rests. Also see left handed monkey wrench handed monkey: See left handed monkey wrench

handed monkey wrench: See left handed monkey wrench

hand file: A flat file for shaping metal, with a rectangular cross section, constant blade width and one smooth edge

hand gear: See left hand gear lever

hand gear lever: See left hand gear lever

hand lapped valves: A process of grinding valves by hand so that there is a perfect match between the valve and its seat.

handle: [1] The reaction of a vehicle under a particular circumstance, especially regarding cornering, roadholding, and maneuvring.

[2] to deal with or to cope with (e.g., "the tires can handle 50 psi" means the tires can withstand pressure up to 50 psi). [3] a CB user's code name. Also see boot handle door handle drive handle file handle flexible drive handle grab handle offset handle pull-out door handle ratchet handle spinner handle starting handle trunk handle handlebar: A steering device found on bicycles and motorcycles.

handlebar bag: a container, usually leather and nylon, which mounts on the front of a bicycle's handlebars.

handlebar riser: A bracket which lifts the base of the handlebar up higher.

handling: The relative ability of a vehicle to negotiate curves and respond to road conditions. It is a factor of the weight of the vehicle, the suspension, tires, air flow, etc. Also see neutral handling performance handling system handling system: See performance handling system

hand monkey: See left hand monkey wrench

hand monkey wrench: See left hand monkey wrench

hands: See glad hands

hands-free: A car cell phone that allows the driver to dial and talk on the phone without handling the phone.

handshaker: A passenger car with a manual transmission

hand shield: An eye and face protector held in the hand. It enables a person to look directly at the electric arc through a special lens without being harmed.

hand thread: See left hand thread right hand thread hand turn: See right hand turn signal

hand turn signal: See right hand turn signal

hanger: [1] A flexible ring or strap to hold a pipe, e.g., an exhaust pipe. [2] A mounting bracket, e.g., a spring hanger for a leaf spring. [3] A component of sighting point gauges, used to install the gauge at the vehicle chassis. Also see dropout hanger spring hanger hangover:

A modification of custom cars with separate chassis, e.g., pick-ups, which raises the floorpan and lowers the body, to give the impression that the body has been pulled down over the chassis right down to street level

hard aground: A ship which has gone aground and is not able to move under her own power.

hard anodic coating: hard, wear-resistant, oxide layer produced in an anodic oxidation process

hard anodizing: A special type of anodizing adapted to the production of thick, hard, abrasionresistant films

hardboard: A board-like building material made of compressed wood chip fibres and sawdust

hard chromium plating: An electrolytic deposition of a hard, wear-resistant, chromium layer

hard-dry: The condition of paint when it is hard enough to polish

harden: [1] The action of turning from a liquid to a solid. [2] To set or to cure. [3] The action of making the surface a metal tougher. See case harden.

hardened: See case-hardened chrome-hardened hardened pushrods: Specially treated pushrods designed for use with pushrod-guided rocker arms


Chemical added to plastic filler to induce hardening as used in auto body repair.

harness: A bundle of electrical wires. For convenience in handling and for neatness, all wires going to certain part of the vehicle are bundled together into a harness

harness ties: Self-tightening nylon straps used to bundle wires into harnesses. Once tightened, they can't be removed unless they are cut

harness wrap: One of several materials used to bundle wires into manageable harnesses: See loom split loom loom tape harness ties hardening: The process of paint, epoxy, or glue becoming hard. The drying or hardening of paint film goes through several stages. The first stage is called "dust-free"; at this stage, the paint has hardened sufficiently to prevent dust from becoming embedded in the paint film. The second stage is called "touch-dry"; at this point, the paint film can actually be touched with light finger pressure. The third and final stage is referred to as "hard-dry"; at this point, the paint film is hard enough to polish. Also see age-hardening hardness: The toughness of the surface of a metal. See brinell hardness indentation hardness rockwell hardness shore hardness hard pedal: A loss in braking efficiency so that an excessive amount of pressure is need to actuate brakes

hard rubber: See ebonite

hard-sided caravan: A British term for a trailer with foldable, hard wall panels

hard-sided trailer: A trailer with foldable, hard wall panels

hard solder: Uniting two pieces of metal with a material having a melting point higher than "soft" solder: e.g., silver soldering

hard spots: Shiny bluish/brown glazed areas on a brake drum or disc friction surface, caused by extreme heat. Hard spots can usually be removed by resurfacing

hard stop: Hard braking, but not necessarily with locked wheels

hardtop: A two-door or four-door vehicle without a center door post, i.e., no B-post. It gives the impression of uninterrupted glass along the side of the car. The term is derived from "hardtop convertible." Other generic names have included sports coupe, hardtop coupe, or pillarless coupe. In the face of proposed rollover standards, nearly all automakers turned away from the pillarless design to a pillared version by 1976-77. Also see colonnade Hardtop formal Hardtop four-door Hardtop four-door Pillared Hardtop two-door hardtop hardtop convertible: An automobile with a fixed roof that does not retract into the trunk, but gives the appearance of being a convertible hardtop stand:

A foldable stand that holds a detached hardtop in a vertical position when stored

hard-top trailer: A holiday trailer with a hard top and (most often) canvas sides.

hard trim: Instrument panel moldings, center consoles and similar plastic trim

Hardy disc: a disc-style flexible coupling

Hardy-Spicer joint: A type of universal joint commonly used with prop shafts

Hardy-Spicer universal joint: A type of universal joint commonly used with prop shafts

harm: See bodily harm

harmful: See ecologically harmful

harmonic balancer: Also called vibration damper. It usually is a solid crankshaft fan belt pulley that has a weight ring bonded by rubber to the inner crankshaft-mounted ring. The outer ring absorbs and cancels out crankshaft vibrations that otherwise might cause the crankshaft to break. Formerly, two gearwheels carrying an unbalanced weight, mounted in bearings below the middle main crankshaft bearing, driven at twice engine speed and rotating in opposite directions to counterbalance the secondary vibrations in a four-cylinder reciprocating engine. Also see crankshaft pulley damper harness: [1] A belt system used with child seats and in cars, consisting of two shoulder belts and two lap belt portions fastened by a central buckle.

[2] A wiring harness. Also see 4-point racing harness brinell hardness safety harness wiring harness hat: The portion of a detachable brake disc that comes in contact with the wheel hub

hatch: [1] The rear opening of a vehicle which allows passage into its cab. [2] A hatchback. [3] A tailgate. [4] An opening in a deck through which cargo and stores are loaded or unloaded. Also see cross-hatch cross hatch hot hatch hatchback: A car design in which the rear trunk and lid are replaced by a rear hatch that includes the backlight (i.e., rear window). Usually the rear seat folds down to accommodate more luggage. Originally a hatch was a small opening in the deck of a sailing ship. The term "hatch" was later applied to airplane doors and to passenger cars with rear liftgates. Various models appeared in the early 1950s, but weather-tightness was a problem. The concept emerged again in the early 1970s, when fuel economy factors began to signal the trend toward compact cars. Technology had remedied the sealing difficulties. By the 1980s, most manufacturers produced one or more hatchback models, though the question of whether to call them "two-door" or "three-door" never was resolved. Their main common feature was the lack of a separate trunk. "Liftback" coupes may have had a different rear-end shape, but the two terms often described essentially the same vehicle. Also see five-door hatchback four-door hatchback liftback station wagon hatchback coupe: Originally a small opening in the deck of a sailing ship, the term "hatch" was later applied to airplane doors and to passenger cars with rear liftgates. Various models appeared in the early 1950s, but weather-tightness was a problem. The concept

emerged again in the early 1970s, when fuel economy factors began to signal the trend toward compact cars. Technology had remedied the sealing difficulties. By the 1980s, most manufacturers produced one or more hatchback models, though the question of whether to call them "two-door" or "three-door" never was resolved. Their main common feature was the lack of a separate trunk. "Liftback" coupes may have had a different rear-end shape, but the two terms often described essentially the same vehicle. === car-2hatch.jpg Also see three-door hatchback coupe two-door hatchback coupe hatch battens: Flat bars which are wedged against hatch coamings to secure tarpaulin

hatch beam: Portable beam across a hatch to support hatch covers

hatch coaming: The vertical plating bounding a hatch for the purpose of stiffening the edges of the opening and resisting water entry

hatchway: An opening in a deck through which cargo and stores are loaded or unloaded

hat section: See top hat section

haul: See long-haul

hawse pipe: Tube through which anchor chain is led overboard from the windlass on the deck

hawser: Strong rope or steel cable used for securing or mooring ships


See road hazard

hazard flasher switch: A switch (usually located on the steering column below the steering wheel) which makes all the signal lights flash simultaneously, to warn other vehicles that your car is disabled or going very slowly down the road. Also called "4-way warning light switch."

hazardous wastes: Automotive wastes that are on the EPA's list of hazardous materials or that have one or more hazardous characteristics

hazard warning flasher: Actuates warning system of flashing front and rear turn signal lamps

hazard warning switch: A switch (usually located on the steering column below the steering wheel) which makes all the signal lights flash simultaneously, to warn other vehicles that your car is disabled or going very slowly down the road. Also called "4-way warning light switch."

HB: Acronym for "hatchback."

HC: Acronym for unburned hydrocarbons. They are at their worst with very rich or very lean mixtures. They combine with NOx in sunlight to form photochemical smog.

HC engine: A high-camshaft engine; the camshaft is located much higher than the crankshaft, (although not in the cylinder head), allowing for the use of shorter pushrods, thus improving the engine's revving ability.

HCV: [1] Acronym for "Heavy Commercial Vehicles." [2] Acronym for exhaust heat control valve


Acronym for "heavy duty."

HDPE: Acronym for "High-density polyethylene"

hdtp: Abbreviation for "hardtop."

head: [1] The upper part of something. [2] A term used to express the increase of energy content in a fluid pumped, expressed in units of energy per unit of mass, usually simply ft (feet). [3] A part of the engine which covers the piston and creates the combustion chamber. The proper name is cylinder head. Also see blown head gasket button head cheese head comet head composite headlight crossflow cylinder head cylinder head double-overhead cam exhaust header F-head F-head engine five-valve head fixed head flanged head flathead gib-head key headers head gasket headlight headliners head restraint headset heads up display head tube hemi head high compression head I-head I-head engine

interchangeable head torque wrench Jaguar Drophead jet head L-head L-head engine Lagonda Drophead mixing head negative suction head octagonal head bolt overhead cam overhead valves Phillips head screw piston head rear head restraints round head round head bolt sealed beam headlight spark head speedometer head steering head T-head test head thermal head two-valve head valve-in-head engine valve head X-flow cylinder head head ache rack: A colloquial term for the roll bar (safety bar) above the head of the driver

head bolt: See cylinder head bolt octagonal head bolt round head bolt head engine: See F head engine I head engine L head engine T head engine

header: [1] The action of diving or crashing into something. [2] An exhaust manifold. See headers. The British term is "headpipe." [3] A part at the top of another part. Also see exhaust header high-performance header tuned header twin header windshield header header bar: The front lateral bar of a roof which attaches to the top of the windshield frame; usually made of sheet steel shaped to match the top front edge to the curvature of the windshield

header bow: The front lateral bar of a roof which attaches to the top of the windshield frame; usually made of sheet steel shaped to match the top front edge to the curvature of the windshield

header panel: An exterior body panel located just ahead of the hood and surrounds the radiator. Also see windshield header panel headers: [1] The down pipe connecting the exhaust manifold to the front of the muffler or to the connector pipe. The British term is "headpipe." [2] A special exhaust manifold that replace the stock manifold. It is designed with smooth flowing lines to prevent back pressure caused by sharp bends, rough castings, etc. Also see exhaust manifold header tank: The top radiator tank in a thermosyphon water cooling system

head gasket:

The gasket at the top of the cylinder and sits between the cylinder and the head. It keeps the coolant out of the cylinders and retains compression in the cylinder. Also called cylinder head gasket. Also see blown head gasket

heading angle: The yaw angle.

head key: See gib head key

headlamp: In Britain, "headlamp" refers to the actual unit, whereas "headlight" is used for the unit as well as for its function and where emphasis is on the actual light produced by the lamp. In North America the terms are interchangeable. Also see circular headlamp headlamp delay system: Automatically controls headlamp ON-OFF operation after ignition & main lighting switch are turned OFF

head land: The uppermost piston land, subject to the highest thermal load

headlight: The main light on the front of a vehicle. In Britain, "headlamp" refers to the actual unit, whereas "headlight" is used for the unit as well as for its function and where emphasis is on the actual light produced by the lamp. In North America the terms are interchangeable. See composite headlight concealed headlights ellipsoidal headlight ff headlight gas discharge headlight gaseous discharge headlight halogen headlight hide-away headlights high beam homofocal headlight

inner headlight low beam mf headlight multi-focal headlight outer headlight pe headlight polyellipsoidal headlight pop-up headlights rectangular headlight retractable headlights sealed beam headlight sloping headlight twin headlight headlight adjusting screw: A screw which moves the headlight up or down, left or right to align the beam of light

headlight beam setting: British term for headlight adjusting screw

headlight body: A sheet metal pot welded or screwed to the front fender that provides the housing for the headlight and its bulbs and wiring

headlight bucket: The headlight housing of cars or motorcycles having separate headlights not integrated into the body line

headlight cover: [1] A rigid or flexible protection against dirt or stone damage when lights are not being used. On some vehicles, when the lights are turned on, the covers are flipped up by an electric or vacuum operated device. [2] A clear protective cover which is permanently mounted in front of the headlights to protect the headlight itself from damage.

headlight dimmer switch: A switch which changes the headlight from high beam to low beam or from low beam to high beam. In older vehicles, the switch was located on the floor to the left of the driver's left foot. In newer vehicles, it is found on a stalk projecting from the steering column beneath the steering wheel. In Britain it is called the "headlight

dipper switch." Also called, "dimmer switch."

headlight dipper switch: British term for headlight dimmer switch. Also called "dipswitch"

headlight flasher: On some vehicles, when you flick the direction indicator lever upwards against spring pressure, the headlights flash on and off quickly

headlight leveling: A system that compensates for a heavy load in the trunk which pushes the front of the car up and causes the headlights to project upward. The leveling system levels out the projection of the light. Some will do it automatically while others have a manual control.

headlight leveling control: usually a manual control with a vertical thumbwheel that adjusts the height of the headlight beam

headlight mounting panel: A sheet metal panel for rectangular headlights that is spot-welded to the front section of modern cars where the radiator grille and the headlights are mounted adjacent to each other; provides the mounting points for the headlight

headlight on/off delay system: A system with two functions: when activated, it can automatically turn ON the headlights during darkness and OFF during daylight; it can also be set to keep the headlights ON for up to approximately three minutes after leaving the parked vehicle; useful in dark, high-risk areas. The system is controlled by a photovoltaic cell on the dashboard

headlight retractor indicator lamp: A light on the dash that illuminates when the headlight covers are opening or closing

headlight visor: [1] A partial lid which encircles only the top part of the headlight.

[2] An attachment between headlight rim and lens, used only on some classic cars

headlight wash/wipe: A system that cleans the headlights with a jet of water and a small wiper blade

headliner: Fabric or vinyl upholstery on the interior of the roof of a vehicle. The British term is "headlining."

headliners: See headliner.

headlining: A British term for headliner: a soft lining on the inside of a car roof.

head nut: See cylinder head nut

head-on collision: An accident in which two cars hit each other's front end. Also called "head-on crash."

head-on crash: An accident in which two cars hit each other's front end. Also called "head-on collision."

headpipe: A British term for the header -- the down pipe connecting the exhaust manifold to the front of the muffler or to the connector pipe. Also see twin headpipe headrest: Another term for head restraint

head restraint:

An extension on the upper portion of the seatback. Some are permanently attached and other are adjustable. They are designed to reduce whiplash injuries caused by sudden stopping or collisions. They limit the rearward motion of the head and neck. Some head restraints contain radio speakers or even TV sets. Also see rear head restraints headroom: The distance between the top of a passenger's head and the inside of the vehicle roof

head screw: See phillips head screw

headset: On a bicycle, the combination of cups, cones, and ball bearings that creates the bearing mechanism that allows the fork column to rotate inside the head tube.

heads up display: (HUD) A system of mounting gauges so that the read-out is shown on the windshield. In this way the driver does not have to take his eyes off the road to see how his vehicle is performing.

head tester: See cylinder head tester

head torque: See interchangeable head torque wrench

head torque wrench: See interchangeable head torque wrench

head trim: The lining of the roof.

head tube: The shortest tube in the main triangle of a bicycle, the one inside of which the fork column rotates.

Healey: [1] See Austin Healey. [2] A brand of vehicle of which the 1949-50 Silverstone models are milestone cars.

heat: That which increases the internal energy of a body by changing the motion of the molecules. This causes a change in temperature, volume, or state of the body. Also see grass heat shield manifold heat control valve heat- affected zone: That part of the base metal which has been altered by the heat from the welding, brazing, or cutting operation.

heat balance: See thermal equilibrium.

heat checking: Small cracks on a brake disc or drum friction surface caused by heat. Heat check can usually be removed by resurfacing

heat checks: Cracks in the clutch pressure plate

heat conductivity: Speed and efficiency of heat energy movement through a substance.

heat control: See manifold heat control valve

heat control valve: See heat-control valve manifold heat control valve

heat-control valve: A valve which is controlled by temperature changes. When the ambient temperature is cold or the engine has not warmed up, it is closed so that some of the hot exhaust gases passes by the intake manifold to pre-heat the fuel mixture going to the cylinders. As the engine warms up, the valve opens up and no exhaust gases pass by the intake manifold. If the valve does not operate properly, the engine has difficulty in start up or the fuel may cause vapor locking.

heat cracking: A pattern of small, irregular cracks (e.g., on brake discs)

heat crossover: A passage from one exhaust manifold up, over, and under the carburetor and on to the other manifold. Usually found on V-8 or V-6 engines. This crossover provides heat to the carburetor during engine warmup.

heat dam: A thin groove cut into the head of a piston between the top ring groove and the top of the piston. The heat, instead of passing through the aluminum of the piston to the ring, encounters the heat dam. This helps to minimize heat transfer.

heated air inlet system: (HAI) a system that operates during cold weather and cold start. Brings warm, filtered air into the engine to control the volume of air entering the engine, vaporize the fuel better and reduce HC and CO emissions

heated exhaust gas oxygen sensor: (HEGO) an EGO sensor with a heating element

heated intake: A device that helps to vaporize the gasoline in a cold engine. The thermostat in the air cleaner horn is connected to the outside of the exhaust manifold. When the engine is cold, the thermostat closes a damper in the air cleaner horn so that air going to the carburetor does not come through the open end of the horn. Instead the air comes from above the hot exhaust manifold. As the engine warms up, the thermostat opens the damper so that air is taken in from the end of the horn.

heated rear window: A rear window with a heating element that demists (defogs) inside and defrosts (deices) the outside either by fine wires embedded or etched in the glass or by a heater

and fan.

heated tool welding: A welding process in which the parts to be welded are pressed against a heated plate and subsequently pressed together to produce a fusion weld

heated windshield: windshield with a heating element to facilitate defrosting (de-icing)

heater: A device which gives off heat. In automobiles, it heats the interior of the vehicle. In a water-cooled engine the coolant is channelled through the heater in the passenger compartment. Some cars used an electric or gasoline heater because they had no engine coolant (e.g., the Volkswagen Beetle). Also see backlight heater block heater cylinder block heater engine block heater inlet manifold heater intake manifold heater manifold heater parking heater rear window heater system heater air pipe: A channel section incorporated into the side member or other structural sections that is designed to provide a flow of warm air into the interior of the vehicle, above all into the footwells (e.g., as used on the VW Beetle)

heater blower: electric fan to boost heating and ventilation. Also called "heater fan"

heater fan: electric fan to boost heating and ventilation. Also called "heater blower"

heater flange: heating element for preheating the intake air in small diesel engines

heater plug: See glow plug

heater-plug indicator: See glow plug indicator

heater system: See rear window heater system

heat exchanger: A device, such as a radiator, used either to cool or heat by transferring heat from one object to another.

heat index: A number representing the effect of temperature and humidity on humans by combining the two variables into an apparent temperature. Introduced as a replacement for the temperature-humidity index. Later replaced by the Canadian introduced Humidex

heating: See rear window heating

heat of condensation: The heat liberated by a unit mass of gas at its boiling point as it condenses to a liquid. Equal to the heat of vaporization

heat of vaporization: The heat absorbed per unit mass of a given material at its boiling point that completely converts the material to a gas at the same temp. Equal to heat of condensation

heat path: The path along which heat passes from the spark plug tip to the water jacket

heat range: Refers to the operating temperature of a given style of spark plug. Plugs are made to operate at different temperatures depending upon the thickness and length of the porcelain insulator as measured from the sealing ring down to the tip. In this way it

transfers heat from the combustion chamber to the cylinder head. The speed at which it transfers heat is considered in terms of hot and cold plugs. A hot plug transfers heat slowly, causing the plug to operate at a higher temperature. A cold plug transfers heat more quickly, thus operating at a lower temperature. If a plug is too cold, it will foul. If it is too hot, it will cause preignition.

heat range reserve: the distance to the start of pre-ignition under further increasing thermal loading of the spark plug. This reserve is expressed in degrees crankshaft, the amount by which the factory-set ignition timing can be further advanced without preignition occurring

heat riser: [1] An area, surrounding a portion of the intake manifold, through which exhaust gases can pass to heat the fuel mixture during warmup. [2] The flapper in the exhaust manifold that is closed when the engine is cold, causing hot exhaust gases to heat the inlet manifold, thus providing better cold engine operation; a thermostatic spring opens the flapper when the engine warms up

heat shield: A sheet metal part, usually reflective, often asbestos-lined. It protects heat-sensitive components from heat radiation of the exhaust system. Also called "heat shroud." Also see grass heat shield heat shroud: See heat shield

heat shrinking: shrinking dents in panels using a gas welder to heat local areas of the dents

heat shrink tube: A thin, rubber-like hose through which bare an electrical wire is placed. When the tube is heated, it shrinks to fit the wire, thus protecting the wire from touching other wires, etc.

heat sink: heat removing component, such as the fins on an air-cooled cylinder

heat soak: heat from the engine warming the carburetor and other parts of the fuel system which can cause vapor lock and may make restarting difficult

heat transfer: The transfer of thermal energy from one material to another by means of thermal conduction, convection or radiation; heat transfer is possible only from a high to a low temperature level

heat treatment: A combination of heating and cooling operations timed and applied to a metal in a solid state in a way that will produce desired properties.

heaves: See frost heaves

heavy: See tail heavy

heavy braking: The action of applying the brakes fast and hard especially during an emergency stop. Opposite to light braking

heavy cable: Cable that is used for severe service where high strength is required. Opposite to light cable

heavy clutch: having a stiff operation, e.g., requiring considerable effort to push down the pedal on cars and trucks; or squeeze the lever on motorcycles. Opposite to light clutch

heavy-duty: (HD) Something that is built for heavy loads or severe use. Opposite to light-duty

heavy-duty diagonal cutting pliers: diagonal cutting pliers with a special joint and handle design for extra cutting power

heavy-duty end cutting pliers: end cutting pliers with a special joint and handle design for extra cutting power

heavy-duty ring wrench: A strong single end box wrench for use with a tubular handle. It can be used without the handle for quickly spinning on nuts or, with the handle slipped on, for final tightening or reaching otherwise inaccessible nuts

heavy-duty truck: vehicle weighing from 26,001 to 33,001 lbs. Also included off-highway trucks. Also see medium-duty truck light-duty truck heavy-duty wrench: A tool which can withstand severe use (and abuse) before breaking

heavy film build: excessive thickness of paint coating

heavy foot: To drive at full throttle or high speeds as though the driver's foot were very heavy so that the natural pressure of the foot against the throttle pedal caused high speeds

heavy goods vehicle: (HGV) A British term expressing a vehicle capable of carrying heavy loads and requiring a special licence to drive HGV licence

heavy paint: thickly coated. Opposite of light paint

heavy phosphating: application of extremely heavy phosphate coatings

heavy sheet metal: Thick sheet metal for severe use beyond the average. Opposite of light sheet metal

heavy side pattern: An oval spray pattern that is thicker toward the left or right hand side, i.e., it takes the shape of a crescent oriented towards the right or left. This is often caused by a clogged horn hole at the air cap of the spray gun

heavy steering: having a stiff operation, e.g., requiring considerable effort to turn the steering wheel. Opposite of light steering

heavy traffic: A road with a lot of moving vehicles. Opposite of light traffic

heavy yellow boot: A Denver boot

heel: [1] The end of the brake shoe which rests against the anchor pin. See brake shoe heel. [2] The wide end of a tapered gear tooth such as found in the differential gears. See tooth heel. [3] The rubbing block on the contact breaker lever. [4] A bead heel. [5] The inclination of a ship to one side. Also see cam heel heel and toe: A driving technique where the driver places the left side or the toes of his right foot on the brake pedal and the right side or the heel of his right foot on the throttle pedal so that he can simultaneously brake and blip the throttle for a downshift. This is done to lessen the strain on the gearbox and drivetrain and makes for smoother driving.

heel and toe wear: Uneven wear of tread blocks on a tire. The trailing edge of the block often tends to wear at a faster rate that the leading edge.

heelboard: The vertical transverse sheet metal panel running across the width of the car interior at the front edge of the rear seat well; this panel links the rear seat well to the

floorpan and provides rigidity for both panels. Also called "heel plate." Compare toeboard

heel dolly: A dolly in the form of a heel of a foot to shape and straighten dented panels, usually by holding the dolly behind the metal to be shaped and hammering the metal.

heel plate: The vertical transverse sheet metal panel running across the width of the car interior at the front edge of the rear seat well; this panel links the rear seat well to the floorpan and provides rigidity for both panels. Also called "heelboard." Compare toeboard

HEGO: Acronym for "heated exhaust gas oxygen." See HEGO sensor

HEGO sensor: A device which detects heated exhaust gas oxygen.

HEI: Acronym for "high energy ignition"

HEI-EST: Acronym for high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing

height: See clearance height crush height flange height installed height metacentric height ride height section height thread height height adjustable steering column: A steering column which can be lengthened or shortened to suit the individual driver

height corrector: An automatic leveling control in hydropneumatic suspension systems

height hamper pitch control: See bump stop

height regulator: An automatic leveling control in hydropneumatic suspension systems

heim joint: An extremely rigid articulating joint, commonly known as a "spherical rod-end," used in any precision linkage. Heim joints are often used in the suspension links of race cars because they locate wheels very precisely.

helical: A spiralling shape such as that made by a coil spring. In the shape of a helix. Also see double helical gear helical differential: Virtually all gears in modern cars are cut with a spiral helix angle rather than straight meshing. Straight gears are simpler to manufacture, but are extremely noisy.

helical gear: A gear that has the teeth cut at an angle to the center line of the gear. This kind of gear is useful because there is no chance of intermittent tooth-to-tooth operation because there are at least two teeth engaged at any time. Also helical gears tend to operate quieter than straight-cut gears. Also see double helical gear helical spring lock washer: A locking device for threaded fasteners

helical teeth:

curved gear teeth on the edge of a gearwheel, cut at an angle to its axis

Helicoil: A trade name for a coil-type thread insert, commonly used to replace a stripped spark plug thread

helium leak test: A pressure test using helium

helix: A spiral, like the thread on a screw or a coil spring in a suspension system

helm: Steering wheel installed on the bridge or wheelhouse of a ship to turn the rudder during manoeuvering and navigation

helmet: [1] A protective device for the head of bicycle and motorcycle riders as well as race car drivers. [2] A protecting hood which fits over the arc welder's head, provided with a lens of safety glass through which the operator may safely observe the electric arc. Also see full face helmet open face helmet helmet connector: A special type of lug for connecting a battery with tapered terminal posts. Also called "helmet lug."

helmet hair: The condition of a person's hair after wearing a helmet for a period of time. Short hair tends to stand on end while long hair tangles and/or becomes flat.

helmet lug: A special type of lug for connecting a battery with tapered terminal posts. Also called "helmet connector."

helper leaf:

An additional spring device (usually another leaf spring) which permits a greater load on the axle. Also called "helper leaf."

helper spring: An additional spring device (usually another leaf spring) which permits a greater load on the axle. Also called "helper leaf."

hemi: Engine using hemispherical -shaped (half of a globe or sphere) combustion chambers. The valves are cocked at 45 degrees from the piston top. Mopars, despite their fame, are not the only cars with hemi heads. See engine type.

hemi head: See hemi.

hemispherical combustion chamber: A round, dome-shaped combustion chamber. This shape permits larger valves and straighter intake and exhaust ports for improved breathing. Its small surface area in comparison to volume reduces the amount of heat loss. It is used in high performance cars and racing engines.

henry: (H) A unit of inductance, equal to the inductance of a circuit in which the variation of current at the rate of one ampere per second induces an electromotive force of one volt. The term was named after US physicist, J. Henry (1797-1878)

herringbone gear: See herringbone gears.

herringbone gears: Two helical gears operating together and so placed that the angle of the teeth form a "V" shape. See double helical gear

hesitation: The term used to describe a problem in drivability. The engine momentarily fails to respond to a push on the accelerator. The cause is usually a lean fuel-air mixture (i.e., more air than fuel) or retarded timing.

hexagon: See double hexagon socket

hexagonal: having six sides

hexagonal bolster: A tool that allows a screwdriver to be turned with a wrench for extra torque to loosen tight screws

hexagonal collar: A tool that allows a screwdriver to be turned with a wrench for extra torque to loosen tight screws

hexagon bit: A screwdriver bit with six sides

hexagon bolt: A bolt with a six-sided head

hexagon key: A key for hexagon recess screws, 90° offset at one end. Also called an Allen key

hexagon screwdriver: See ball end hexagon screwdriver

hexagon socket: See double hexagon socket

hex bit: A screwdriver bit with six sides

hex bolt: A bolt with a six-sided head

hex key:

A key for hexagon recess screws, 90° offset at one end. Also called an Allen key

hex wrench: See Allen Wrench.">

Hg: Chemical symbol for mercury

HGV: Acronym for heavy goods vehicle

h.f.s.: Abbreviation for "heated front seat" as found in advertisements

hidden wiper: A wiper system with a parking position below the normal visibility range

hide-away headlights: See concealed headlights

hideaway wiper: A wiper system with a parking position below the normal visibility range

hiding: The ability of a paint to obscure the surface to which it is applied.

HIF carburetor: type of SU carburetor with a horizontal integral float chamber

highball: A term used in car sales, the practice of stating a very high trade-in price to a customer who is known or expected to be shopping around, comparing prices. When the customer finds that other dealers cannot match the trade-in price, he will return to the original dealer, only to be told that the inflated figure was a mistake (e.g., based on wrong assumptions as to the trade-in's clutch condition, etc.). Many customers will then accept a new, lower price because they are tired of shopping around.

Also see lowball high beam: All cars have at least two levels of lighting for night driving. The low beam is used when there are other vehicles approaching or when you are following another vehicle. The high beam is used when driving on poorly lit roads where there is no visible traffic. The high beam light may be an integral part of the headlight assembly or is the inboard light when there are two lamps on each side of the vehicle. When the lamps are stacked vertically, the high beam is the upper one. When the high beam switch is activated, the low beam lights may or may not be switched off. In a system with factory installed day-time running lights, the high beam light is illuminated at a lower intensity. The British term for "high beam" is "main beam."

high beam indicator: A blue light on the instrument panel which comes on when the high beams are activated. Also called "beam indicator." The British term is "main beam indicator."

high-build filler: A spray primer that leaves a relatively thick coat on the panel surface to cover up minor imperfections that would otherwise show up very prominently in the final color coat

high-build galvanizing: A galvanizing process in which extremely heavy zinc coatings are applied

high-camshaft engine: See hc engine

high carbon steel: A very hard steel, as opposed to plain carbon steel. Hypereutectoid steels containing more than 0.8% carbon. Such steels consist of iron carbide (cementite) and pearlite when slow cooled. They are capable of being heat treated to high hardness, but tend to be brittle. Used for metal working formers and fine edge cutting tools (e.g., files)

High-centered: vehicle is stationary because the driving wheels are no longer touching the ground.

high center rim: A raised center rim design, used in the cts wheel

high compression head: A cylinder head with a smaller combustion chamber area thereby raising the compression. The head can be custom built or can be a stock head milled (cut) down.

high crown panel: A panel shape that curves rapidly in all directions, e.g., around the headlights of older cars. The opposite is low crown panel

high crown spoon: A spoon with a broad working surface and a heavily rounded tip that is ideal for using as a dolly or a lever in confined areas, such as headlight housings or rounded body sections above the waistline

high-density polyethylene: (HDPE) A very tough, chemically resistant thermoplastic, with a "soapy" touch; e.g., used for blow-molded parts such as fuel tanks or other moldings, such as bumpers

high energy battery: An innovative battery type developed for electric cars

high energy coil: A coil which generates higher ignition voltage and/or offers increased spark efficiency; ballasted

high energy ignition: (HEI) an electronic ignition system used by GM

high energy ignition system: (HEI) An ignition system which provides more ignition power (higher voltage at higher amperage) than normal systems; a typical HEI includes an electronic control unit and magnetic pick-up in combination with mechanical ignition timing

high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing:

(HEI-EST) A system consists of an electronic distributor, with the ignition coil mounted on the distributor cap on 6- and 8-cylinder models or externally on 4cylinder models; the ignition timing is performed electronically by the electronic control module. (Used on several GM models since 1983.)

high gear: The top gear or the cruising gear of a transmission. It is usually the highest number, i.e., fifth gear of a five-speed transmission.

high-geared: [1] A transmission (even like the chain system on a bicycle) where a large gear drives a small one. The larger the drive gear and the smaller the driven gear the higher the gear ratio. It will result in high speed, but is poor for getting started from a stop. [2] A vehicle's transmission system which has a higher than usual gearing, to improve fuel economy.

high gloss: very shiny, bright appearance

high impedance voltmeter: A voltmeter with high opposition to the flow of electrical current. Good for reading circuits with low current flow, such as found in the CCC system

high leverage diagonal cutting pliers: diagonal cutting pliers with special joint and handle design for extra cutting power

high leverage end cutting pliers: End cutting pliers with special joint and handle design for extra cutting power

high lift rocker arm: See high lift rocker arms.

high lift rocker arms: Custom rocker arms designed so that a standard lift of the push rod will depress or open the valve somewhat more than the stock lifter.

high load condition:

Occurs when the air conditioner system must operate continuously at maximum capacity to supply enough cold air

high/low range gearbox: See dual-range gearbox

high/low range transmission: See dual-range transmission

high-mounted brake light: Third brake light mounted in the middle of the rear window or on some cars integrated in the trailing edge of the rear deck spoiler

high-performance: producing better than average results

high-performance header: A special exhaust manifold, which is not made of cast iron as usual, but of specially designed, curved and welded steel tubes, to produce a smooth flow path for the exhaust gases, avoiding any sharp bends; less heavy, less sturdy and more expensive than an ordinary manifold; usually replaces the down pipe

high pressure: Operating under a lot of pressure e.g., braking systems or diesel fuel injection

high pressure foaming: A process in which plastics are foamed under high pressure (6-50 bar). The opposite is low-pressure foaming

high pressure line: The line carrying high pressure liquid and gas from the compressor outlet to the expansion valve inlet

high pressure relief valve: Located somewhere on the high side of the air conditioning system often next to the receiver drier this safety valve protects the system against excessive pressure

high revs: Towards the top end of the scale of engine revolutions

highrise manifold: See high-rise manifold.

high-rise manifold: An intake manifold designed to mount the carburetor or carburetors, considerably higher above the engine than is done in the standard manifold. This is done to improve the angle at which the fuel is delivered.

high side: In air conditioning systems, the high side (i.e., high pressure side or discharge side) is located between the compressor and expansion valve or orifice tube and includes the condenser. The opposite is low side

high-side service valve: A device, located on the discharge or high side of the compressor, at which high side pressure can be checked and other service operations can be performed

high-speed bleeds: Main air bleeds; located in the air horn

high-speed circuit: Main metering system

high speed direct injection: (HSDI) A system for rapid injection of fuel into a diesel engine

high spot: A raised area on a panel surface

high-tension: (HT) capable of operating at a relatively high voltage

high-tension circuit:

See secondary circuit

high-tension distributor: A distributor, in electronically controlled ignition systems, which has no controlling functions or advance mechanism

high tension lead: High voltage wire from the ignition coil. May also indicate the secondary wire from the ignition coil to the distributor and wires from the distributor to the spark plugs.

high tension leads: See high-tension leads.

high-tension leads: The wire which goes from the ignition coil to the distributor and the wires which go from the distributor to each of the spark plugs. See high tension lead.

high-tension winding: See secondary winding

high-voltage distribution: See static high-voltage distribution

high-voltage reserve: The difference between the available ignition voltage and the ignition voltage required at a given moment

highway: Any public road outside the cities with a foundation and a hard surface. Originally, the highway was a "way higher than the ground," e.g., as opposed to stage coach tracks. Since similar speed limits exist in the USA and Canada for all types of highways, both single or multilane (usually between 50 and 70 mph or 80 and 110 kph), the terms "highway driving speeds" and "highway driving" should not be associated with speeds higher than 70 mph (110 kph). Also see expressway freeway motorway

highway bar: An auxiliary lateral piece of metal (usually chromed for good appearance) fitted to the front down tubes or frame. Folding pegs may be found at each end. The bar allows the rider to position his feet straight ahead for variety in leg position when riding long distances. Also called "hi-way bar."

Highway Code: official British code of conduct for all road users

highway peg: A folding footrest which is mounted on the ends of a highway bar

hillholder: A mechanically or electromechanically engaged device for preventing accidental rearward movement of a vehicle prior to driving away; found mainly in automatic transmissions

Hillman: A model of automobile manufactured in England hinge: See door hinge

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hinge bow: See main bow

hinged-caliper disc brake: An old disc brake design formerly used on motor cycles; superseded by slidingcaliper disc brakes

hinged quarter window: A rear side window between the B-post and the C-post and/or in the case of station wagons, between the C-post and the D-post. It is provided with hinges to allow it to be opened

hinge facing:

A part of the door frame that includes the bracing and threaded plate for mounting the hinge to the door. It is not to be confused with the hinge panel that is part of the hinge pillar of the body shell.

hinge panel: sheet metal panel spot-welded to the A-post or rear of the front fender that accommodates the hinges for the front door

hinge pillar: The vertical structural element that carries the front door hinges; the upper end of the hinge pillar is usually the side of the windshield frame. Also called A-pillar

hinge pillar reinforcement: The vertical section behind the visible A-pillar

hinge plate: The reinforcing plate between the hinge and the door panel which distributes the forces acting on the hinge bolts over a larger area of the panel

hinge post: See hinge pillar

hinge tapping plate: The threaded plate housed in a sheet metal cage spot-welded to the hinge pillar or, in some cases, to the door frame; the door is bolted to this plate and may be adjusted within certain limits, as the plate can be moved about in its sheet metal cage

hip belt: See lap belt

hi perf: Abbreviation for "high performance," also called "hi-po" or "hi po."

hi po: See hi-po.


See hi perf.

Hispano Suiza: A brand of vehicle of which the 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

history: See full service history

hitch: [1] To connect or couple up a motorhome or trailer to a towing vehicle. [2] The bracket used to connect a vehicle to a trailer or motorhome. See towing hitch

hitch ball: A metal ball with a bolt attached to it. It is secured to a bracket on a vehicle in order to mount a trailer hitch. British term is "towball"

hitch pin: A heat-treated, hi-strength steel pin ranging from a diameter of 7/16" to 1-1/4" and a length from 3-1/2" to 7". A flange is at one end and a hole (through which a hair pin can be inserted) at the other end. The hitch pin secures the hitch to the receiver.

hi-way bar: An auxiliary lateral piece of metal (usually chromed for good appearance) fitted to the front down tubes or frame. Folding pegs may be found at each end. The bar allows the rider to position his feet straight ahead for variety in leg position when riding long distances. Also called "highway bar."

hog: [1] A colloquial term for a Harley Davidson motorcycle. [2] A person who persists in driving by using the full lane or both lanes at a slow speed so that it is impossible to pass him. See road hog

hogging: Straining of the ship that tends to make the bow and stern lower than the middle portion (See Sagging)


See chain hoist engine hoist hoisting rope: Flexible wire rope for lifting purposes, generally being of six strands with 19 wires in each strand and in most cases having a hemp rope at the center. Also called wire rope

hold: The large spaces below deck for the stowage of cargo. Also see intermediate hold holdback: A mark-up of a certain percentage that the dealer pays the manufacturer on each new car that is added to his stock; this amount is rebated to the dealer after the car is sold

hold ceiling: A covering usually of wood, placed over the tank top for its protection

hold down clamp: See battery hold down clamp distributor hold-down clamp hold-down clamp: See battery hold down clamp distributor hold-down clamp hold-down pin, spring and retainer: The most common method of retaining a brake shoe to the backing plate. The pin passes through the backing plate and brake shoe. The spring and retainer are fastened to the pin, which holds the shoe against the backing plate

holder: See

beverage holder bit holder brush holder bulb holder coin holder cup holder glass holder tap holder hold fitting: See air hold fitting

hold-in coil: A separate relay coil, such as the hold-in winding in a starter solenoid, which is energized by contacts that close when the relay pulls in, to hold the relay in its energized position after the original operating circuit has been broken. Also called "holding coil."

holding: See road holding

holding coil: A separate relay coil, such as the hold-in winding in a starter solenoid, which is energized by contacts that close when the relay pulls in, to hold the relay in its energized position after the original operating circuit has been broken. Also called "hold-in coil."

holding winding: A part of a relay designed to hold it in the on-position. Compare pull-in winding. Also called "hold-in winding."

hold-in winding: A part of a relay designed to hold it in the on-position. Compare pull-in winding. Also called "holding winding."

hold-off valve: See metering valve


See door hold-open spring

hold-open spring: See door hold-open spring

hold out: The ability of a surface to keep the top layer of paint from sinking in or being absorbed

hole: See access hole bolt hole countersunk hole cubby hole drain hole limber hole oil filter hole pilot hole radiator fill hole spurt hole squirt hole stud hole valve hole wheel bolt hole hole circle: See wheel bolt hole circle.

hole cutter: See variable hole cutter

hole cutting snips: Snips with pointed cutting blades for cutting holes in sheet metal material

hole plug: See core hole plug

hole punch:

[1] A tool like pliers used in autobody repair to form holes along the edge of a repair panel; the panel can then be plug-welded to the substructure at these holes [2] A tool for poking holes in leather and fabric

holesaw: A cylindrical-shaped saw for use with power tools, for cutting holes in sheet metal material, e.g., in car bodies for installation of aerials

hole theory: Assumption that movement of a free electron from atom to atom leaves a hole in the atom it left, which is filled by another free electron

hollowing: The action of forming a deeply crowned panel from a piece of sheet steel on a hollowing block or a shot bag, using special mallets and hammers

hollowing block: A shaped wooden block on which a desired shape is produced by hammering

holographic combiner: A semi-reflecting layer embedded in laminated windscreen glass; used for head-up displays

home: See limp home mobile home homofocal headlight: A type of headlight with two reflectors, the inner one has a shorter focal length than the main one

homokinetic joint: See constant velocity joint

homologation: An official recognition of a special version of a standard car as a production model, to make it eligible for racing

Honda: An automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in Japan

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Honda Accord: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Accord Honda Civic: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda

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Honda CRX: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda

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Honda Del Sol: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Del Sol Honda Passport: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Passport Honda Prelude: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda Click for books on Honda Prelude Honda S2000: A model of automobile manufactured by Honda hone: [1] To remove metal with a fine grit abrasive stone in order to meet precise tolerances. [2] The device or tool which is rotated in a cylinder to remove slight imperfections in the cylinder wall. See cylinder hone.

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honeycomb: A pattern of hexagonal shapes, like bees' cells. Also see ceramic honeycomb

honing: The precision machining process used to resurface bores and shafts

honing stone: A tool used for the final smoothing operation, e.g., when repairing a cylinder wall

hood: [1] The part of the vehicle body which covers the top of the engine in front engine vehicles. In mid-engine cars the panel which conceals the engine is called the "engine cover" or access panel. In rear-engine cars the panel which conceals the engine is called a "deck lid." [2] A British term for the roof of a convertible. Also see fabric hood hydraulic hood power hood hood badge: An emblem reflecting the name or logo of the car manufacturer and is secured to the front end of the hood. Some are bolted or pasted flat to the front, others stand upright on fixed or pivoting rods.

hood bar: A British term for one of at least four struts that support a roof. Usually made of tubular or sheet steel

hood bow: A British term for one of at least four struts that support a roof. Usually made of tubular or sheet steel

hood bump rubber: A thick rubber strip which is secured to the vertical panel on which the hood is lowered

hood bumper: See hood bump rubber

hood landing panel:

The panel on which the hood is lowered. It also houses the hood locking mechanism

hood liner: A material secured to the underside of the hood to provide sound insulation. It is usually made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, or a fabric of polyester

hood lock: A mechanism which is made of a peg on the front end of the underside of the hood and a sliding latch on the panel above the radiator. The sliding latch is released by a lever under the hood or by a lever under the dash in the passenger compartment. See hood release

hood pin: A pin designed to hold a hood closed.

hood pin kit: A pair of hood pins and brackets which secure the hood of competition cars and "would-be" competition cars

hood pins: Pins designed to hold a hood closed.

hood release: A device which releases the hood lock. The trigger, located under the dash in the passenger compartment, is attached to a cable which controls the hood lock.

hood rod: A bar or rod which keeps the hood in an open position. The rod is located under the hood. Once the hood is raised, the rod is swung upright and the free end is placed in a notch or hole in the hood to keep it in place

hood stick: An old British term for hood bar

hood tape: A fabric covered beading which keeps the hood on older cars from rubbing on the paint below them.

hooke joint: See cardan joint.

hooke universal: See cardan joint.

hook: The curved, dropped section of a set of turned-down handlebars of a bicycle.

hooks: The curved, dropped sections of a set of turned-down handlebars of a bicycle.

hook up: [1] To connect. [2] To meet with someone.

hooped: A colloquial expression meaning damaged or out of order as in Your engine is hooped.

hop: See wheel hop.

hopping: See code hopping

hopping up: Increasing engine performance through various modifications.

Horch: On 14 November 1899, August Horch (1868-1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie. in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne, Germany. Here he developed his first car, which was completed at the beginning of 1901. The company moved to Reichenbach in Saxony in March 1902 and converted to a share-issuing company two years later. On May 10, 1904, A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG was established in Zwickau. The 1925-1948 models are classic cars.

horizontal: Lying flat, not upright

horizontal adjuster: A screw for adjusting the lateral aim of the headlight beam

horizontal draft carburetor: See side draft carburetor

horizontal draught carburetor: See side draft carburetor

horizontal keiretsu: A keiretsu system where the keiretsu member companies have shareholdings in each other. The opposite is vertical keiretsu. The member companies own relatively small chunks of shares in one another and are each centered on a core bank; the keiretsu system helps insulate company managements from stock market fluctuations and take-over attempts, allowing long-term planning and engagement in innovative projects; it is a key element of the automotive industry in Japan

horizontally opposed engine: An engine possessing two banks of cylinders that are placed flat or 180 degrees apart. This configuration gives a lower center of gravity which improves handling. As well it has a lower hood height to improve aerodynamics. Also called a "boxer" engine. Also see flat engine horizontal position: A weld performed on a horizontal seam at least partially on a vertical surface.

horn: A device for sounding an alarm. On some entry level vehicles, a single horn makes a high pitch beep. On more expensive vehicles, the sound is made with two or more horns. The sound is made by an electrical charge which activates and deactivates a coil. The sound is then magnified by the shape of the horn. Large truck horns make a very loud noise because the sound is made by passing compressed air through the

sounding device. A Claxton horn makes a sound that resembles the word "A-hoogah." Also see air cleaner horn air horn blast horn bull horn bumper horn claxton horn dual-tone horn ocean liner blast horn overrider two-tone horn horn boss: A relatively large pad in the centre of the steering wheel which sounds the horn when depressed

horn button: A relatively small button on the steering wheel or the end of the signal light lever which sounds the horn when depressed

horn rim steering wheel: A steering wheel which had a thin metal strip on the inside of the rim. When it was pressed, the horn sounded.

horn ring: A thin chrome ring which was smaller than the steering wheel which sounded the horn when pressed. This style was found on older vehicles.

horn switch: An electrical device which engages the horn.

horsepower: (HP) A measurement of the engine's ability to perform work. One horsepower is defined as the ability to lift 33,000 pounds one foot in one minute. To find horsepower, the total rate of work in foot pounds accomplished is divided by 33,000. If a machine was lifting 100 pounds 660 feet per minute, its total rate of work would be 66,000 foot pounds per minute. Divide this by 33,000 foot pounds per minute to arrive at 2 horsepower. In metric terms, it is the ability to raise 250 kilograms a distance of 30 centimeters in one second. It is also equal to 745.7 watts.

See brake horsepower friction horsepower indicated horsepower net horsepower rated horsepower road load horsepower SAE gross horsepower SAE horsepower SAE net horsepower horsepower screw: A screw in the cover of adjustable wastegates to vary the spring height, which adjusts boost pressure; screwing down adds HP but may destroy the engine

horsepower weight factor: See horsepower-weight factor.

horsepower-weight factor: The relationship between the total weight of the vehicle and the horsepower available. By dividing the weight by the horsepower, the number of pounds to be moved by one horsepower is determined. This factor has a great effect on acceleration, gas mileage, and all around performance.

hose: A flexible tube used to convey liquid. In most automobiles, hoses connected independent components like the radiator, water pump, and heater. Also see acetylene hose braided hose brake hose overflow hose radiator hose shark tooth pliers radiator hose vacuum hose hose clamp: An adjustable metal ring, wire, or band placed around a hose where it connects to a metal pipe, to prevent leaks and to keep the hose in place. Hose clamps are tightened in one of three ways. In single wire clamps, it is tightened by spring tension of the clamp. In worm-gear clamps, by a worm screw. In strap-and-bolt clamps, by a screw. The British term is "hose clip."

hose clamp installer: A special tool for the installation of ear-type clamps, used e.g., on some types of CV joint boots, filters, cooling systems, and vacuum lines

hose clamp pliers: A special tool used to remove and install hose clamps

hose clamps: See hose clamp

hose clip: A British term for hose clamp

hose clip installer: British term for hose clamp installer

hose clip pliers: British term for hose clamp pliers

hose pinch-off pliers: A special tool to pinch off hoses when servicing the cooling system; pivoting jaws squeeze hoses shut so there is no need to drain the system

hot: Connected to the battery positive terminal, energized

hot cap: The conventional method of retreading in which uncured rubber is added to a buffed casing and cured in the mold at temperatures of approximately 290°-300°F. This temperature allows uncured rubber to flow in the matrix forming the tread design during vulcanization. Also see cold cap Hotchkiss:

A brand of vehicle of which the 1925-1948 models, with required application, are classic cars.

hotchkiss drive: The method of connecting the transmission output shaft to the differential pinion by using open driveshafts. The driving force of the rear wheels is transmitted to the frame through the rear springs or through link arms connecting the rear axle housing to of the vehicle. Combines both steering axis and camber angles. hotchkiss suspension: A live-axle rear suspension in which leaf springs handle both the axle's springing and its location. See hotchkiss drive.

hot dip: to coat metal parts by immersion in molten metal, such as tin or zinc

hot-dip aluminizing: The deposition of aluminium coatings by hot dipping

hot-dip galvanize: to apply a zinc coating by hot dipping

hot gas: The state of the refrigerant between the compressor and the condenser

hot gas welding: A welding process involving the joining of thermoplastic materials by softening with a jet of hot air, then joining them at the softened points

hot grip: Electrically heated handlebar grips used on snowmobiles

hot hatch: high-performance hatchback

hot idle compensator:

A small air valve that allows fresh air to enter the manifold and lean the mixture when the engine is hot

hot lash: The valve adjustment on a engine equipped with solid lifters

hot plug: A spark plug which has a long insulator nose which absorbs more heat and dissipates heat slowly. A colder plug is used in a hot engine while a hot plug is used in a cold engine. Thus if the plugs are fouling too much, try a hotter plug. If the plugs are coming out white, try a colder plug. The ideal color of the center insulator nose should be a light chocolate brown.

hot rod: A production car that has been modified by the owner in the attempt to increase acceleration and top end speed. Although the term can be applied to any modified car, it is usually reserved for vehicles produced from 1930 to 1940's. Typically the engine is modified, and some body panels removed. Many were painted with a design of flames behind the front wheels to give the appearance that this vehicle was "hot" -- thus the name.

hot soak: Occurs when the engine is topped during hot weather or after it has been run long enough to be fully warmed up; also the period during which the phenomenon known as percolation occurs

hot spark plug: See hot plug

hot spot: [1] Refers to a comparatively thin section or area of the wall between the intake and exhaust manifold of an engine, the purpose being to allow the hot exhaust gases to heat the comparatively cool incoming mixture. [2] Also used to designate local areas of the cooling system which have above average temperature.

hot spraying: A spray process in which paint is preheated in a paint container so that its viscosity is reduced and it can be atomized without being diluted with a solvent

hot start: The starting of a hot engine may be difficult if it has been stopped for a few minutes; the accumulation of gasoline vapor in the air filter and inlet manifold, caused by the rise in engine temperature when left standing when hot, can be dissipated by slowly pressing the accelerator right down and turning the engine over until it fires

hot start enrichment: A fuel mixture enrichment when starting a hot engine

hot starting: See hot start

hot-start pulse relay: A fuel injection component which operates the cold-start valve intermittently to improve starting when the engine is hot; installed in the cold-start valve circuit in some CIS-equipped engines

hot water vacuum valve: A vacuum actuated valve which controls the flow of coolant through the heater core

hot wax: wax-based material used for hot-wax flooding

hot-wax flooding: A special cavity-sealing process developed by Volkswagen, which uses a solventfree wax injected into the cavities of bodies preheated to 60°C

hot-wax flooding unit: A device for hot-wax flooding consisting of a preheating zone, a flooding zone and a drip-off zone

hot wire: [1] The positive wire coming from the battery or generating system. [2] As a verb, it indicates the starting procedure when by-passing the ignition key and normal starting procedure.

hot-wire airflow meter: A constant-temperature hot-wire sensing device, used in electronic fuel injection systems, which measures the rate of a mass airflow into the engine by measuring the current needed to keep the hot wire at the same temperature

hot-wire element: An element in a hot-wire air-flow meter

hot-wire sensor: See air mass sensor

hour capacity: See ampere hour capacity

house: See deck house full house pilot house wheel house house bridge: An erection fitted on the upper or superstructure deck of a ship. The officers' quarters, lounge are usually located in the bridge house

house panel: See wheel house panel

housing: A container or casing for mechanical components such as bearings, gears, etc. See axle casing axle housing bearing housing bell housing brake drum camshaft housing

clutch housing converter housing differential housing oil filter housing rear axle housing rear axle housing, banjo type rear axle housing, split type torque converter housing transmission extension housing transmission housing turbine housing valve body housing wheel housing housing banjo: See axle housing banjo rear axle housing, banjo type housing split: See axle housing split rear axle housing, split type hovercraft: A ground vehicle that is supported by a cushion of air to reduce friction. As well as travelling on the land, hovercraft can travel on the sea or swampy terrain.

HP: Acronym for "horsepower."

HPV: Acronym for "Human Powered Vehicle."

HSDI: Acronym for "high speed direct injection" for a diesel engine

HT: [1] Acronym for "hardtop."

[2] Acronym for high-tension

HT circuit: See secondary circuit

HT distributor: A distributor, in electronically controlled ignition systems, which has no controlling functions or advance mechanism

HT lead: See spark plug wire

HT outlet: See coil tower

hub: [1] On a bicycle, the center of a wheel consisting of a shell to which spokes attach and contains an axle along with two sets of bearings, bearing cones, lockwasher, locknuts, and parts for attaching the wheel to the frame. [2] The base of a wheel with studs protruding from its face upon which the wheel itself is mounted to an automotive vehicle. Also see central locking hub freewheel hub freewheeling hub safety hubs splined hub wheel hub hub brake: Any type of brake (disc, drum, or coaster) that operates through the wheel hub rather than the rim.

hubcap: The covering that fits over the end of the wheel spindle to keep dust and water away from the wheel bearings and brakes. It is often a styling feature, but it also acts as a good container for keeping the lug nuts from being lost when changing tires. When a vehicle becomes stuck in the snow, it can also be used as a temporary shovel. Also called wheel cover.

Also see moon hub cap: See hubcap

hub carrier: [1] A part of the suspension system which carries a rear wheel hub on a front-wheel drive vehicle, or on a rear-wheel drive vehicle with independent rear suspension. [2] Another term for steering swivel

hub-center steering: Steering system in which the wheel pivots about its center point; the axle is normally fixed

hubcentric fit: A spigot mounted wheel

hublock: In 4-wheel-drive vehicles, it is inefficient to have the front wheels connected when not needed. Most older vehicles required a person to get out and manually switch each front hub. Now these hubs can be changed remotely with a switch inside the vehicle. Also see pulse vacuum hublock hubodometer: A register mounted on the axle hub which shows the distance the vehicle travelled. It is popular to record mileage for leasing of vehicles or tires particularly on trailers, since there is no other odometer present.

hub plate: The central element of a clutch driven plate which carries the splined hub

hub puller: A special tool, of both jaw and slide hammer design, used to remove wheel hubs on vehicles by a pulling action

HUD: An acronym for "heads up display" which is a system of mounting gauges so that the read-out is shown on the windshield. In this way the driver does not have to take his eyes off the road to see how his vehicle is performing.

Hudson: A brand of vehicle of which the 1929 Series L is a classic car. All 1948-49 models are milestone cars. The 1951-54 Hornet models are milestone cars. hull: Body of a ship which floats on the water

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Humber: A brand of vehicle of which the 1925-1948 models, with required application, are classic cars.

humidifying tower: The air saturator tower in salt spray test chambers

humidity: See relative humidity

humidity chamber: A test chamber for simulating tropical and subtropical conditions

humidex: (short for humidity index) is a number which combines the air temperature in Celsius and the amount of humidity in order to give a single number to represent the perceived discomfort of weather that is hot and humid. It was devised by Canadian meteorologists and first used in 1965. The humidex is widely used in Canada and has been accepted in a number of other countries. Range of humidex Degree of comfort Less than 29 30 to 39 40 to 45 Above 45 No discomfort Some discomfort Great discomfort; avoid exertion Dangerous

Above 54 Heat stroke imminent The humidex is calculataed with the following formula: Humidex = (air temperature) + h where h = (0.5555)*(e - 10.0); e = 6.11 * exp(5417.7530 * ((1/273.16) - (1/dewpoint)))

hump: A raised portion on the rim bead seat of passenger car wheels, retaining the beads of an insufficiently inflated tubeless tire on the bead seats, thereby preventing the tire beads from jumping into the rim well. Also see flat hump hump rim outboard flat hump outboard round hump round hump safety bead seat safety rim hump mode: An operating condition where the transmitted torque in a viscous coupling rises to a value several times higher than the value produced in the so-called viscous mode, due to internal clamping, i.e., metal friction of the coupling discs

hump rim: designation for a rim featuring a safety contour (round hump, flat hump, combination hump) either on the outer or on both bead seats. This protection is particularly important with tubeless tires, where sudden deflation can occur if the tire beads leave the bead seats and drop into the well. Compare hump and safety bead seat

hundredweight: (cwt) An obsolete unit of weight measurement, used in some classic-car manuals. 1 British cwt = 5080 grams; 1 US cwt = 4535 grams

hunting: [1] The uneven running of an engine, due to air/fuel mixture being too rich. [2] The action of some automatic transmissions when a vehicle is climbing a hill. The transmission constantly shifts between fifth gear and fourth gear

hunting tooth: An extra, odd tooth on a gearwheel, designed to ensure the same teeth do not always mesh together, thus reducing wear

Hurst six-speed shifter: Upgraded shifter for manual transmissions which make the distance between gears shorter. The power band is more continuous from the bottom of first gear to the top of sixth. This means that when you shift, the amount of acceleration you experience will be more even throughout all the levels of the transmission. The result is that you can make the car accelerate faster and gain more control (through enhanced consistency) in turns or any application of power. Hurst also manufactures many other shifters with 2 to 6 gears for a variety of cars. Linda Vaughn has been their spokeswoman for many years.

HVAC: Acronym for "heating, ventilation, and air conditioning" system

H valve: A type of expansion valve used by Chrysler Corp

HVAN: Acronym for "Heavy Van" (e.g., Mitsubishi Canter).

hwy: Abbreviation for "highway."

hybrid car: A car with a hybrid propulsion system

hybrid propulsion: Two distinct but interdependent forms of propulsion, such as an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor with battery and fuel cells for energy storage

hybrid technology: Film circuits combined with integrated circuits, used especially for trigger boxes or electronic control units

Hydragas: See moulton Hydragas suspension

Hydragas suspension: See hydropneumatic suspension Moulton Hydragas suspension hydraulic: [1] When a quantity of water, oil, or other fluid is forced along one end of a line, it also forces against the other end of the line. Because these fluids (unlike a gas) cannot be compressed, when they are forced into a smaller cylinder they multiply the amount of force. Thus a driver can apply a small amount of force on the pedal or lever and a great amount of force is applied to the brake. Used in power steering, clutches, and brake systems. [2] When used as a verb, it means that oil or excessive gasoline has entered the combustion chamber so that when compression takes place, the fluid cannot be compressed. Something has to give and it is usually the connecting rod that bends. It is found in the expression, "the engine hydrauliced."

hydraulic accumulator: See accumulator (def. 3)

hydraulic actuator: Unit in an anti-lock brake system that can increase brake pressure, decrease brake pressure, or hold brake pressure steady based on signals it receives from the control module

hydraulic actuators: The hydraulically operated struts which control the movement of the wheels in an active ride suspension system

hydraulically-activated brakes: A motorcycle system where the brakes use hydraulic fluid instead of a cable. When the lever/pedal is squeezed/pressed, hydraulic fluid forces the pistons to put pressure on the brake pads which rub against the brake disc and cause enough friction to stop the bike. A master cylinder that contains the hydraulic fluid sits on the handlebar near the brake lever.

hydraulically-assisted brakes: See brake booster.

hydraulically-activated clutch: Found in a motorcycle, the clutch is engaged/disengaged via hydraulic fluid instead of a cable. When the lever is squeezed, hydraulic fluid forces the pushrod to disengage the clutch. A master cylinder that contains the hydraulic fluid sits on the handlebar near the clutch lever.

hydraulically-assisted clutch: A clutch operated by hydraulic pressure.

hydraulic assisted brakes: See brake booster.

hydraulic brakes: See brake booster.

hydraulic brake booster: hydraulic pressure supplied by the power steering pump, or a separate hydraulic pump, which is used to assist in applying the brakes; used on cars and on some trucks

hydraulic assisted brakes: Brakes operated by hydraulic pressure. See brake booster.

hydraulic braking system: Brakes operated by hydraulic pressure

hydraulic control block: A control valve assembly

hydraulic control unit: The portion of an anti-lock brake system that houses the solenoid valves and electro-hydraulic pump

hydraulic fluid: A special oil used in hydraulic systems, such as power steering, self-leveling suspension, to operate the system of master and slave cylinders. Also compare brake fluid and automatic transmission fluid

hydraulic hood: British term for hydraulic top

hydraulic jack: A device used to lift a vehicle by using hydraulic pressure.

hydraulic lift: A device used in a service garage to raise a vehicle so that a mechanic can look at or repair components under the vehicle.

hydraulic lifter: See hydraulic valve lifter.

hydraulic modulator: A device which regulates hydraulic fluid pressure in an ABS. Also see hydraulic control unit hydraulic pressure pump: An engine-driven pump which supplies oil under pressure to operate, e.g., power brakes or power-assisted steering

hydraulics: The study of pressure and flow in liquids. A hydraulic jack uses oil under high pressure to lift large objects more easily.

hydraulic tappet: British term for hydraulic valve lifter

hydraulic top:

A convertible top which is raised and lowered by a hydraulic system; depending on engineering, a hydraulic top can operate fast, silently, and with tremendous power. Also see power top tensile force hydraulic valve lifter: A lifter that uses hydraulic oil pressure to maintain no clearance between metal parts so that valve noise is reduced. Also it reduces wear on the valves and eliminates periodic valve adjustments.

hydraulic wedge: A hydraulic jack with ends designed to reach behind dented double panels and to press them back into shape by the hydraulic action of the wedge-shaped ends

Hydraulique Minerale: See liquide Hydraulique Minérale

hydroactive suspension: See hydropneumatic suspension

hydrocarbon: (HC) A compound made up of hydrogen and carbon (e.g., gasoline, petroleum products, etc.). Hydrocarbons are also found when gasoline is burned in an engine and thus produce visible smog even though hydrocarbons make up only 0.1% of emissions. Also see total hydrocarbons unburnt hydrocarbons hydrocarbon engine: An engine using petroleum products, such as gas, liquefied gas, gasoline, kerosene, or fuel oil as a fuel.

hydrocarbon plastics: Plastics based on resins made by the polymerization of monomers composed of carbon and hydrogen only


See hydrocarbon

hydrodynamic clutch: See fluid coupling

hydrodynamic torque converter: See torque converter

hydroelectric power: See hydro-electric power.

hydro-electric power: Electricity produced by using the kinetic energy of water.

hydrofoil: A vessel which skims the surface of the water and the shaped pieces on the bottom of the vessel which act like "water wings" to give it lift.

hydrogen: A gas formed of the single element hydrogen. It is considered one of the most active gases. When combined with oxygen, it forms a very clean flame which, however, does not produce a very high temperature or very much heat.

hydrogen embrittlement: A process which results in a decrease of the toughness or ductility of a metal due to absorption of hydrogen

Hydrolastic: See moulton Hydrolastic suspension

Hydrolastic suspension: A proprietary suspension system incorporating a conical rubber spring compressed by hydraulic pressure; this system also provides a hydraulic interconnection between front and rear wheels on one side of the vehicle. Also see moulton Hydrolastic suspension

hydrometer: A device to determine the weight of a liquid. It is used to test battery electrolyte and the percentage of coolant in the cooling system.

hydroplaning: A phenomenon of driving when water builds up under the tire tread, causing it to lose contact with the road. Caused by speed, water depth, tread depth, and inflation pressure. Slowing down will usually restore normal tire contact with the road. Also called aquaplaning.

hydropneumatic suspension: A suspension system which uses a gas and a liquid which are separated by a flexible bladder. The setup causes the suspension to maintain a preset height. Used in Citroën cars.

hydropulser: A hydraulically operated system that can excite vibrations of various frequencies in a car; serves to find and eliminate noise sources

hydrostatically inflate: To inflate with water instead of air. Also see liquid ballast hydrostatic drive: See hydrostatic transmission

hydrostatic gauge: Gauges, such as gas tank gauge, in which the depth of the gas in the tank controls the air in the connecting line to the instrument, which registers the depth on a scale or dial

hydrostatic steering: A power steering system without mechanical steering links, but is controlled entirely by hydraulics

hydrostatic test:

pressure test using water

hydrostatic transmission: A drive by means of hydraulic motors, particularly where the drive is to each wheel of an off-road vehicle

hygroscopic: Something that tends to absorb moisture

hypoid axle: A driving axle with a hypoid gear

hypoid gear: A type of spiral bevel gear in which the drive pinion shaft is located below the center of the ring gear. This setup is used to lower the height of the driveshaft and thus lower the floor of the vehicle. hypoid oil: A special lubricant for hypoid gears

hysteresis: The energy lost and not returned, when tire materials are subjected to stress in any direction. Lost energy is converted to heat through molecular interaction, and since rubber has poor thermal conductivity, internal temperatures of a tire can build up rapidly under repeated flexing.

Hyundai: An automobile manufactured in Korea

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DICTIONARY OF AUTOMOTIVE TERMS "I" [Home] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [Ic] [Id] [If] [Ig] [Ih] [Il] [Im] [In] [Ir] [Is] [It]

I: Short form for "injection" indicating that the engine is fuel-injected, e.g., GTi, EFi, 1.6i, SSEi

IAC: Acronym for idle air control valve

I&C systems: Acronym for "instrumentation and control systems"

IAR: Acronym for integral alternator/Regulator

IASCA: Acronym for "International Auto Sound Challenge Association."

I-beam: A steel beam that is shaped like the letter "I" when you look at the cross section

I-beam suspension: A suspension which uses an I-beam. The wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle are linked by a solid member, usually an I-beam but sometimes a tube. This minimizes the pieces needed for the suspension, but weighs slightly more, so is seldom used on high-performance vehicles. It was most common on older car front suspensions, but is now most commonly used on the rear of front-wheel-drive vehicles. Also see twin I-beam suspension I-beam axle:

See rigid axle

IC: See hall IC

ICE: Acronym for "in-car entertainment"

ice: See de-ice

ICEI: Acronym for "Internal Combustion Engine Institute, Inc."

IC engine: Acronym for "internal combustion engine"

icer: See de-icer

ice scraper: A small plastic hand-held implement for scraping frost and ice away from windshields and windows. A CD disc does the job even better because it always keeps its edge. Some ice scrapers are located at the end of a brush stick.

icing: A condition where ice forms at the edge of the carburetor throttle plate/butterfly. It restricts the flow of the fuel-air mixture when the throttle butterfly is at or near the idle position. It causes the engine to stall. Ice forms because of rapid vaporization of the fuel which lowers the temperature of the mixture and causes the moisture in the air to freeze. It can occur when the temperature is between -2 to 13°C (28 to 55° F) and the relative humidity is above 64%. It usually occurs after the engine is started and before it has reached operating temperature. Also see carburetor icing. icing switch:

A device that cuts off the compressor when the evaporator temperature drops below a predetermined level

ID: Acronym for "inside diameter."

identical part: See shared component

identification: See engine identification number program comparison and identification identification color: [1] A particular color for a specific amperage of fuse. [2] A color scheme for wiring

identification number: See engine identification number vehicle Identification Number IDI: Acronym for "integrated direct ignition" system

idiot light: See idiot lights.

idiot lights: A colloquial term for the indicator lights on the dashboard which are illuminated when the vehicle is experiencing some problem such as a lack of oil, overheating, failed brakes, low fuel, etc. The alternative is to install gauges which indicate the level of fluids and temperature. A combination of both gauges and lights is ideal.

idle: The engine speed when the vehicle is not moving. The engine's slowest practical speed.

Also see fast idle fast idle cam fast idle screw fast idle solenoid tick over idle air bleed screw: A screw found on some carburetors which allows air to enter the carburetor when the throttle is closed, so that the vehicle can idle. It also prevents the formation of deposits in the throttle area. The adjustment of this screw is part of a basic tune-up. Also see bleed screw idle air control valve: (IAC) on fuel injection vehicle, a valve that allows air to bypass the throttle plate(s), increasing idle speed. The valve is operated by an electric solenoid or motor. The vehicle computer controls the amount of opening to regulate idle speed for varying conditions such as cold string and air conditioner compressor load

idle air jet: A hole in a fixed-jet carburetor through which air is drawn into the idle system

idle cam: See fast idle cam

idle channel restriction: Used on carbureted vehicle. Does the same thing as the idle feed restriction, but is located in the idle passage just below the idle air bleed instead of the bottom of the idle tube. In the primary idle channel, the amount of fuel emitted by the idle discharge port is adjustable because there is a screw with a tapered tip extending into the port. On the secondary side, the idle discharge port uses a fixed idle channel restriction with no adjustment

idle circuit: At idle and low speeds, the carburetor system supplies enough fuel to the engine to keep it running. When the vehicle gets up to speed (usually about 24 kph or 15 mph) the idle circuit kicks out of operation so that fuel is supplied by the main metering system. Also called the "low-speed circuit."

idle discharge hole: Used on carbureted vehicle. The hole through which the idle mixture enters the airstream flowing past the throttle plate. Also called curb-idle port

idle feed restriction: Used on carbureted vehicle. A metering orifice that controls the amount of fuel that can enter the idle tube. Also called idle orifice or idle jet.

idle jet: A carburetor jet within the idle system which supplies a constant amount of fuel for the formation of the idle mixture

idle limiter: Any device that limits the maximum richness of the idle air/fuel mixture in the carburetor. Also aids in preventing overly rich idle adjustments. Limiters take either of the two following forms: And external plastic cap or a internal-needle type located in the idle passages of the carburetor

idle limiter cap: An external plastic cap on the head of the idle mixture adjustment screw to maintain preset emissions levels and prevent unauthorized tampering

idle mixture: The mixture of air and fuel (usually about 14:1) being fed to the cylinders.

idle mixture adjustment screw: See idle mixture screw

idle mixture screw: A tapered screw located on the outside of the carburetor which controls the proportion of the fuel-air mixture. It is now illegal to adjust these if limiter caps are present. If you turn the screw clockwise, the mixture will be leaner while turning it the other way results in a richer mixture.

idle orifice: The idle restriction tube or idle jet


[1] A gearwheel between a driving and a driven gear in a gear train which may serve to reverse the original direction of rotation of the driven wheel. [2] A free-turning pulley or wheel which serves to maintain tension in a belt drive. Also see reverse idler gear idler arm: In a parallel relay-type steering linkage, it is one of the connecting levers. The steering gearbox is attached to a pitman arm which converts rotary motion to lateral motion. The pitman arm connects to a transverse centerlink which connects to the idler arm attached to the frame side rail on the opposite side of the vehicle. The ends of the centerlink connect to two adjustable tie rods that transmit the lateral movement of the centerlink to the steering arms at each steering knuckle.

idler gear: A gear that is placed between two other gears to reverse the direction of rotation of the output gear. Also see reverse idler gear idler pulley: [1] The pulley in a rear derailleur that stays farthest from the freewheel cogs and functions to keep tension on the chain of a bicycle. [2] A small pulley located about half way from the front to back of a long chain such as found on a tandem bicycle. [3] A spring-loaded pulley designed to maintain the tension of the timing belt or a cam chain.

idle screw: See fast idle screw

idle solenoid: See fast idle solenoid

idle speed: This is the speed of the engine with the following conditions: The transmission is in neutral (or park in automatic transmissions), the engine is fully warmed up, the choke butterfly is fully open, and there is no extra accessories in operation (i.e., air conditioner, radio, lights). Also called "idling speed"

idle speed actuator: An electronically-controlled air bypass around the throttle. Also called idle-speed stabilizer or a constant idle system

idle speed adjustment: The alteration of the engine idle speed.

idle speed control: (ISC) maintains the idle speed of the engine at a minimum level. There are currently two types of computer controlled idle speed control: DC motor ISC and air bypass ISC

idle speed control motor: (ISC) and ECM controlled motor that extends or retracts a plunger that contacts the throttle level, which regulates the position of the throttle valve to compensate for an additional load, such as the air conditioner, power steering pump, etc. On the engine. Although it regulates idle speed, it is not used to adjust the curb idle speed. ISC motors are commonly used on carbureted and throttle body injected (TBI) vehicles

idle speed screw: A screw located at the bottom of the carburetor on the outside which keeps the throttle from closing completely when the vehicle is idling and thus controls the idle speed. This is adjusted as part of a basic tune-up.

idle speed stabilizer: A device which ensures steady engine rpm at idle speed. An electronicallycontrolled air bypass around the throttle. Also called idle speed actuator or a constant idle system

idle stop solenoid: A small cylinder located on the outside of the carburetor on some cars. It prevents the vehicle from continuing to idle after the ignition switch has been shut off (i.e., dieseling). The position of the striker rod in the cylinder can be adjusted in a tuneup to the correct specifications.

idle stop valve: A solenoid-operated valve which cuts off fuel in the idle system of a carburetor and so stops the engine from running-on when the ignition is switched off

idle system: At idle speed, the throttle valve is closed to such an extent that the airflow underneath the plunger no longer forms a sufficient vacuum; the fuel is then supplied via an auxiliary system, the idle system, which consists of the idle jet, the idle air jet, and the mixture control screw

idle tracking switch: (ITS) used on CFI vehicle to inform the EEC if the throttle is in contact with the DC motor

idle transfer port: A port drilled into the carburetor body slightly above the idle port to allow extra fuel/air emulsion into the airstream during the transition period when the throttle plate is opening from its idle (closed) position to a larger (cruising) opening angle. Also called idle transfer slot

idle transfer slot: A port drilled into the carburetor body slightly above the idle port to allow extra fuel/air emulsion into the airstream during the transition period when the throttle plate is opening from its idle (closed) position to a larger (cruising) opening angle. Also called idle transfer port

idle vacuum valve: (IVV) used in conjunction with other vacuum controls to dump air injection system air during extended periods of idle, to protect the catalyst

idling: The action of an engine as it turns over at low speed with minimum throttle. Also see sonic idling idling circuit: The passages, jets, etc. in a fixed-jet carburetor which provide idling mixture to the carburetor barrel

idling drag: The forward motion of a vehicle with automatic transmission, with engine at idle and selector lever in position "D" (Drive). Also called "creep"

idling speed: See idle speed

IFI: Acronym for "Industrial Fasteners Institute."

IFS: Acronym for "independent front suspension."

ignite: To set fire to; to catch fire

igniter: A bridge igniter with detonator in an air bag system.

ignition: A process which initiates the combustion of the compressed air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. In a spark-ignition engine, the mixture is ignited by an electric spark; in a diesel engine, the self-igniting mixture must be preheated by glow plugs when a cold start is performed. Also see autoignition battery ignition breaker-triggered transistorized ignition capacitor controlled electronic ignition capacitor discharge ignition system capacitor discharge ignition coil ignition compression ignition contact controlled electronic ignition contactless electronic ignition contactless ignition conventional ignition direct ignition system distributorless ignition system dual ignition system dynamic ignition timing electronic ignition system electronic ignition

four-spark ignition coil fully electronic ignition grid-controlled ignition system hall-effect ignition system high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing high energy ignition system inductive ignition system integrated Direct Ignition System magnetically controlled electronic ignition magneto ignition map-controlled ignition mapped ignition mechanical ignition timing multi-spark ignition coil multiple-spark ignition coil oscillating pick-up ignition system particulate ignition temperature piezoelectric ignition post-ignition reference ignition pattern required ignition voltage self-ignition single-coil twin ignition solid-state ignition spark ignition surface ignition thyristor ignition transistorized coil ignition transistor ignition transistorized ignition twin plug ignition twin spark ignition ignition advance: The extent to which the ignition spark is made to occur earlier. The opposite is ignition retard. Also see ignition timing ignition amplifier: A device used to increase the electrical signal in an electronic ignition system

ignition angle: The angle, measured in degrees crankshaft, by which the ignition is advanced.

Also see spark ignition angle ignition cable: A general term to designate the high-voltage cables of the ignition system, from the ignition coil to the distributor and from the distributor to the spark plugs. Also called "ignition leads"

ignition capacitor: The electrical part which interrupts the primary current with low loss and suppresses most of the arcing between the contact breaker points in conventional coil ignitions

ignition circuits: See primary circuit secondary circuit ignition coil: A pulse transformer which is a part of the ignition system. It receives a small amount of electrical voltage from the battery and steps up the low "primary" voltage and amplifies it into a big jolt of voltage of about 20,000 volts, and sends it to the spark plugs via the distributor. It is made of two windings and a core of iron. The primary coil has about 200 turns of relatively heavy wire. The secondary windings may have as much as 22,000 windings of fine wire. As electricity travels through the primary winding, it produces a magnetic field in the coil. When the points open, the magnetic field collapses and the movement of the magnetic field induces current in the secondary windings of the coil. The voltage is stepped up in proportion to the ratio of secondary to primary turns and the distributor directs this high voltage to the spark plug. Also called just "coil." Also see exciter coil field coil four-spark ignition coil multi-spark ignition coil multiple-spark ignition coil single-spark ignition coil ignition coil resistor: A ballast resistor

ignition control unit:

A general control unit of electronic ignition systems, usually with current and dwell angle control, driver and output stage, in some cases with electronic spark timing functions. Compare electronic control unit

ignition delay: The time lag between ignition triggering and the production of a spark

ignition disabler: A standard feature of car alarm systems

ignition distributor: See distributor.

ignition engine: See spark ignition engine

ignition file: A tool for filing ignition points and other small objects. Also called contact file, magneto file, points file, or point file

ignition gauge: A blade or wire-type feeler gauge used to check gaps on ignition systems, such as air gaps between permanent magnet and trigger wheel on electric ignitions

ignition key: A key which is inserted into an ignition lock located in the passenger compartment (usually on the steering column or on the dash) and is used to switch on the ignition

ignition lag: The time lag between fuel injection and combustion in a diesel engine

ignition lead: A general term to designate the high-voltage cables of the ignition system, from the ignition coil to the distributor and from the distributor to the spark plugs. Also called "ignition cable"

ignition map:

An electronic map stored in the electronic control unit of ignitions with electronic spark timing and containing the most favorable ignition angle/ignition point for every operating point of the engine. Spark timing is optimized on the basis of fuel type and consumption, torque, exhaust gas, knock limit, engine temperature, etc.

ignition module: See ignition control unit

ignition oscilloscope: An oscilloscope used especially for ignition tune-ups; usually integrated in an engine tester

ignition pattern: A display of the waveforms in the primary or secondary circuit of an ignition system in the firing order of the engine; optionally parade or display pattern and stacked or raster pattern. Also see reference ignition pattern ignition point: [1] The moment of spark firing. [2] breaker points.

ignition point file: See ignition file

ignition points: See breaker points.

ignition retard: Ignition which occurs after top dead center

ignition setting: See basic ignition setting

ignition switch: A control device that is generally operated with a key that closes and opens an electrical current to connect and disconnects the ignition system from the battery so

that the engine can be started and stopped as desired. The key should not be removable when the engine is running. It usually has various positions which, besides starting the engine, allow the user to operate the accessories without engaging the engine or to check the bulbs in the warning lights on the dashboard.

ignition system: The system that provides the electrical current or spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chambers. It includes the battery or magneto which sends electricity to the ignition coil if the ignition switch is on. The coil amplifies the electrical charge and sends it to the distributor where it goes through the points and is modified by the condenser. The distributor sends it along the high tension lines (spark plug wires) to the spark plugs where it ignites the air-fuel mixture. Also see ballast ignition system battery ignition system continuous AC Ignition System conventional ignition system direct ignition system distributorless ignition system dual ignition system electronic ignition system grid-controlled ignition system hall-effect ignition system high energy ignition system with electronic spark timing high energy ignition system ignition inductive ignition system integrated Direct Ignition System oscillating pick-up ignition system semiconductor ignition system twin ignition system ignition temperature: See flash point particulate ignition temperature ignition timing: It is important that the spark coming from the spark plugs ignites the air-fuel mixture at the correct moment determined by the manufacturer of the engine. Often this is a few degrees before top dead center (BTDC). Suppose the specs indicate that it should be set at 5 degrees BTDC, but in actuality it is set at 6 degrees. In that case, the timing is advanced. If it were set at 4 degrees, the timing is retarded.

Incorrect ignition timing may result in poor performance and excessive fuel consumption. Also see basic ignition setting basic ignition timing dynamic ignition timing mechanical ignition timing static ignition timing stroboscopic ignition timing ignition-timing control: See vacuum ignition-timing control

ignition toolkit: A set of small tools usually comprising 8 small open-ended wrenches (sizes: 3/16 7/16 in), a feeler gauge, a small screwdriver and a points file

ignition transformer: A unit that transforms the primary voltage resulting from the capacitor discharge to the required high voltage

ignition transistor: A transistor that switches the primary current of a transistorized ignition system

ignition voltage: The voltage at which the spark jumps across the electrodes; 30,000 volts are quite common today. Also see required ignition voltage ignition wrench: A small, open-ended wrench about 3 inches (75mm) long. It had two jaw openings set at different angles to the handle, e.g., 15° at one end and 60° or 75° at the other. (The British term is electrical spanner). The available jaw sizes were the following: 15° 7/32" 1/4" 75° 1/4" 7/32" Length 3" 3" 3"

13/64" 15/64"

9/32" 5/16" 3-1/2" 5/16" 9/32" 3-1/2" I head: An overhead valve engine. See I-head engine engine type I-head: An overhead valve engine. See I-head engine engine type I head engine: An engine where both intake and exhaust valves are placed directly over the piston. The cam is located in the block and the valves are activated by pushrods and rocker arms. Also called "overhead-valve engine" or "valve-in-head engine."

I-head engine: An engine where both intake and exhaust valves are placed directly over the piston. The cam is located in the block and the valves are activated by pushrods and rocker arms. Also called "overhead-valve engine" or "valve-in-head engine."

IHP: Acronym for "indicated horsepower." Indicated horsepower developed by an engine and a measure of pressure of explosion within cylinder express in pounds per square inch

IHRA: Acronym for "International Harmonized Research Activities."

IICC: Acronym for "Insurance Information Center of Canada."


Lit up

illuminated entry system: An additional courtesy lighting system which illuminates the door entry area when the door is ajar; consists usually of lights in the lower door panels and footwells

illumination control: A switch which dims the interior dash lights

imbalance: A lack of balance due to uneven weight distribution. Improper wheel balance due to uneven weight distribution on the tire and wheel assembly is one of the most common causes of vibration. When one side of the tire and wheel assembly is heavier than the other, centrifugal forces try to throw the heavy area outwards as the wheel turns. Also see dynamic imbalance spin imbalance wheel imbalance IMCO: Acronym for "improved combustion"

IMEP: Acronym for "indicated mean effective pressure"

IMI: Acronym for "institute of the Motor Industry", a British organization for managers in the motor industry

immerse: To dip into or submerge in a liquid

immersion treatment: See tin immersion treatment zinc immersion treatment

immobile: A vehicle that is unable to move

immobilize: To make immobile

immobilizer: A device that makes something immobile (such as a Denver boot)

impact: A sudden, hard, physical contact. Also see federal side impact standard front-end impact frontal impact impact screwdriver lateral impact pendulum impact test impact absorber: An impact-damping element located between the bumper and bumper mounting to keep impact energy from being transferred into the car body

impact adhesive: A contact glue that provides adhesion when two coated surfaces are pressed together

impact air bag: See side impact air bag

impact bar: See side impact bar

impact break: A rupture to a tire resulting from the shock of striking a chuck-hole, rock, curb, etc. and not caused by cutting.

impact cushion:

Some child seats secure the child by an impact cushion in addition to the seat belt or straps

impact damage: Damage that has been caused to the wall of a tire by contact with a curb or deep pothole, etc.

impact driver: See impact screwdriver

impact dummy: See side impact dummy

impact intrusion beam: See side impact intrusion beam

impact pipe: A simplified version of an impact absorber

impact resistance test: A determination of the resistance to breakage by flexural shock of plastics, as indicated by the energy extracted from "standardized" pendulum-type hammers, mounted in standard machines, in breaking standard specimens with one pendulum swing

impact-resistant: Something that is stiffened (to a certain degree) to resist the force of a collision

impact screwdriver: A tool which features a mechanism that converts the impact from a hammer into a powerful torque for loosening (or tightening) threaded fasteners. Also called "impact driver."

impact sensor: An open switch that is designed to close when an crash occurs that is severe enough to warrant air bag deployment. See crash sensor

impact socket: A heavy duty socket for use with air or electric power impact tools. Impact sockets are designed to stand up to the extreme stress of these tools and can be used in combination with special impact accessories such as extensions, universal joints, and adapters. These accessories are also designed to withstand the stress of air or electric power impact tools

impact standard: See federal side impact standard

impact strength: The ability of a material to resist shock loading strain

impact stress: The force per unit area imposed on a material by an abruptly applied force

impact swivel ball universal joint: The swivel ball type universal joint is the most common type for use with impact sockets

impact test: See pendulum impact test

impact wrench: A pneumatic or electric tool for use with impact sockets

impeller: [1] A rotating member of a centrifugal pump which is equipped with vanes to convert mechanical energy into fluid energy. A rotor or wheel with blades or vanes used in pumps to drive and circulate fluid. Also see volute [2] A fluid coupling or torque converter -- the driving member connected to the crankshaft via drive plate and converter cover which generates the fluid flow inside the converter. The driving torus in the fluid coupling or torque converter of an automatic transmission. Also see bladed impeller

compressor impeller mixed-flow impeller vane wheel impeller impeller eye: The inlet area of an impeller in a pump

impeller pump: A centrifugal and side-channel pump

Imperial: A vehicle brand of which the 1955-56 models are milestone cars.

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imperial gallon: A quantity of 4.546 liters. Also called "UK gallon." It is 20% larger than a US gallon

Imperial phaeton: See sport and Imperial phaeton

imperial sedan: A drop or sliding glass partition between the driver's compartment and the tonneau is the distinguishing feature between this type and the sedan, which it resembles in all other respects. Also see sport and Imperial phaeton impermeable: Not capable of leaking fluid

impervious: Not allowing gas to pass through

import: See captive import

importer: An organization that typically operates at arms length or under contractual agreement with manufacturers to bring products made in another country into Canada.

Import Measures Act: See special Import Measures Act

import nameplate: Vehicles sold by manufacturers primarily located outside North America whether assembled Overseas or in North America.

improver: See viscosity index improver

IMSA: Acronym for International Motorsports Association.

inbedability: The ability of a precision insert bearing to allow a small abrasive particle to imbed itself in the bearing material so it will not scratch the surface of the journal.

inboard: Located near the vehicle center rather than at the outside. Opposite of outboard

inboard brake: See inboard brakes.

inboard brakes: Most cars have the brakes associated with the wheel. Drum brakes, for instance, are located in the wheel hub itself. Disc brakes are found attached to the wheel. However, inboard brakes are not located within the wheel. Instead, they are found attached to the differential housing or axle shaft. Thus they are generally located only on the rear of the vehicle. Some racing cars (i.e., Formula 1) have them on the front as well. Inboard brakes mean a reduction in unsprung weight and usually better cooling.

inboard motor:

An engine which is located within a boat rather than being attached to the back (outboard motor).

inboard starter: A bendix starter

in-car entertainment: (ICE) A car audio system, typically consisting of a radio/cassette player and perhaps a CD player. The term also includes a CB radio, TV, VCR, DVD available on some models (e.g., limousines and sleepers on large trucks)

in-car sensor: A dual bimetal strip that samples passenger compartment air and controls a vacuum modulator. The vacuum modulator controls the heating or air conditioner blend door to maintain a constant temperature in the passenger compartment

incipient crack: A crack which has just started to form

incl: Abbreviation for "includes," as in price incl. tax.

inclination: A set angle. See kingpin inclination steering-swivel inclination steering axis inclination swivel axis inclination incline: [1] A slope [2] to slope

inclined engine: An in-line engine in which the cylinders are inclined to the vertical. Also called a "sloper" or "slant six" (e.g., Chrysler's 6-cylinder engine

inclined plane: A wedge used to raise a load more easily. The load moves, not the wedge.

inclinometer: See clinometer

included angle: The sum of the "Camber" and "Kingpin inclination" (or steering axis inclination) angles. This angle is designed into the steering knuckle and must remain constant.

inclusions: See slag inclusions

incomplete thread: A thread with incomplete thread profile

increased shank: A shank diameter greater than thread diameter

increasing adapter: An adapter whose male end for the socket is bigger than the female end for the drive handle. The opposite is a reducing adapter

in-dash gauge: A gauge mounted in the instrument panel

indentation: A concentrated panel damage or specific dent that may be caused when a car hits a relatively small obstacle, i.e., the hitch ball of another car

indentation hardness: The resistance of a metal (or plastic) surface to indentation when subjected to pressure by a hard pointed or rounded tool

independent front suspension: (IFS) A suspension system where the two front wheels are sprung independently from each other. It has the advantage over a beam axle suspension because it allows

the engine to be positioned further forward and lower between the wheels. In this way there is more room for the passengers, the position of the hood is lower, the vehicle has a lower center of gravity, and the unsprung weight is reduced. When the front wheels are not independently sprung, there is some caster wobble and shimmy that make it difficult to hold on to the steering wheel. Also see independent suspension independent lessor: Independent lessors are usually individual businesses that can provide for the lease of virtually any make or model of vehicle. Independent lessors, like dealers, can write custom leases, including those with different conditions and special mileage considerations.

independent rear suspension: (IRS) A suspension system where the two rear wheels are sprung independently from each other. It has the advantage over a beam axle suspension because the unsprung weight is reduced, the ride and handling over rough roads are improved, and a larger trunk with a lower floor can be placed between the wheels. Also see independent suspension multi-link independent rear suspension independent repair shop: A small service outlet offering specialized repair services. They usually do not sell gasoline.

independent suspension: A suspension system that allows each wheel to move up and down without undue influence on the other wheels. Thus independent suspension on the rear wheels means that if only the right rear wheel hits a bump, the left rear wheel is not affected by it. Generally it is more expensive to manufacture independent suspension.

index: See anti-knock index load index viscosity index index improver:

See viscosity index improver

index shifter: See index shifters.

index shifters: bicycle levers that "click" into distinct positions that correspond to certain freewheel cogs and don't require fine-tuning after each shift.

indicated horsepower: (IHP) A measure of the power developed by the burning fuel within the cylinders. The theoretical power of an engine calculated from the MEP in the cylinders rather than at the shaft. IHP includes BHP plus the power lost to friction, and pumping needed for the induction of the fuel and air charge into the engine and the expulsion of combustion gases

indicated mean effective pressure: (IMEP) The average pressure within an engine cylinder during a working cycle, calculated from an indicator diagram

indicated pressure: See mean indicated pressure

indicator: [1] An instrument which reveals the condition of a particular component. [2] A British term for a signal light. [3] An instrument for recording engine cylinder pressure. See battery charge indicator battery discharge indicator battery state indicator beam indicator brake pad wear indicator catalyst indicator dial gauge dial indicator direction indicator warning light direction indicator discharge indicator fluid level warning indicator

fuel consumption indicator gear indicator gear selector indicator glow plug indicator headlight retractor indicator lamp heater-plug indicator high beam indicator low fuel indicator low pressure indicator main beam indicator self-cancelling indicator semaphore indicator slow down indicator tread-wear indicator treadwear indicator turn signal indicator indicator diagram: A cylinder pressure chart, plotted against the working cycle of a piston or engine

indicator lamp: See headlight retractor indicator lamp

indicator light: A light on the instrument panel that lights up to show the operation of something, such as the illuminated arrow that indicates the direction in which a vehicle is about to turn, the high beam indicator, battery charge indicator, oil pressure light, cruise control light, etc.

indicator warning light: See direction indicator warning light

indirect‘bmage: A type of damage not caused by immediate impact but by the spread of the impact force into other areas of the body, e.g., bulging or dents at the rear of the front fender and the leading edge of the door in the case of direct accident damage to the front edge of the front fender. The opposite is direct damage

indirect injection: A type of fuel injection in which the air-fuel mixture does not go into the main combustion chamber but into some kind of prechamber; injection pressures are

lower than with direct injection and ignition lag is short

indirect injection engine: A British term for a pre-combustion engine, i.e., a diesel engine using indirect injection

indium: A metallic element with the symbol "In" and atomic number of 49. It is used in the manufacture of transistors and as a bonding material for acoustic transducers.

induce: To cause or to bring about

induce a voltage: To produce a voltage by electromagnetic induction

inducer: In a turbocharger, the section of the compressor wheel that draws air or air/fuel mixture into the compressor

inductance: See mutual inductance

induction: [1] The imparting of electricity into one object, not connected, to another by the influence of magnetic fields. Found in automobiles in coils and solenoids. [2] The intake of air and fuel through the carburetor, inlet manifold, and inlet ports into the combustion chamber. Also see ram induction air induction cold air induction ram induction reed valve induction timing self-induction third port induction induction coil:

See coil.

induction hardening: Method of heating cast iron (e.g., valve seats) to approx 1700° F which hardens it to a depth of 0.05 to 0.08 inches

induction manifold: See inlet manifold

induction noise: The noise caused by the intake of air by an engine at full throttle

induction period: The time during the charge changing process of the engine that allows for the intake of the fresh charge into the cylinder while the inlet control, i.e., the valve or port, remains open

induction pipe: The duct, typically an alloy manifold, between the throttle and cylinder head; the absolute pressure in the induction pipe, the so-called intake vacuum, is indicative of engine load and is used to control many engine-related functions

induction pod: The port in the cylinder wall of a two-stroke engine which is used for the admission of the fresh charge into the cylinder

induction stroke: A British term for the intake stroke, i.e., the phase of the 4-stroke cycle during which the intake valve is open and the piston descends from TDC to BDC, drawing air (in a diesel engine) or an air/fuel mixture (in a spark ignition engine) into the cylinder

induction system: [1] The system that brings the fuel-air mixture to the cylinders in a spark ignition engine. It includes the carburetor or fuel injection system, air cleaner, intake manifold, intake ports, and intake valves. [2] Air intake system used to cool the car.

induction system intake configuration: See variable volume induction system intake configuration

induction timing: See reed valve induction timing

inductive ignition system: An ignition system where the primary energy is stored in an inductor or an ignition coil

inductive pick-up: See transistorized ignition with inductive pick-up

inductive pulse generator: See transistorized ignition with inductive pulse generator

inductive pulse pick-up: See magnetic pick-up assembly

inductive winding: See pick-up coil

Industrial Classification: See North American Industrial Classification System and standard Industrial Classification

industrial tire: A heavy duty tire for use on forklifts, lowbed trailers, etc.

industrial solid: A non-pneumatic tire (either entirely rubber or a regular tire with a solid rubber core to replace the tube), used most often on forklifts where the possibility of a flat tire is a constant problem.

Industrie Normen:

See Deutsche Industrie Normen

industry: See automobile industry Institute of the Motor Industry inert: Something that lacks a chemical action; the property of the separators used between the plates of a battery

inert arc welding: A family of arc welding processes in the fusion welding category. The welding pool is surrounded by a layer of inert shielding gas to keep oxygen from the weld; TIG welding is a typical inert arc welding process and is mainly used for repair work

inert gas-arc welding: Surrounding the arc with a gas which does not react with the electrode and base metal and keeps the atmosphere away from the arc.

inert gas system: A system of filling the space above the cargo oil in tankers with carbon dioxide from the boiler exhaust so as to prevent explosion.

inertia: That force which tends to keep a stationary object from being moved, and tends to keep a moving object in motion. Some effort is needed to get the object moving if it is stopped, and to stop an object if it is moving. Also see moment of inertia polar moment of inertia inertia drive: A Bendix drive which has a heavy piston moving along the shaft under the momentum of its own weight or inertia when the shaft turns inside it

inertia fuel cut-off switch:

See fuel pump shut-off switch

inertia pinion: A pinion used in an inertia drive

inertia reel: Generally the seat and shoulder belts are loose so that the drive and passenger can have the freedom to move forward to adjusting the instruments on the dash, etc. However, when the vehicle decelerates quickly, as in a crash or panic stop situation, the occupants need to be restrained by the belts. The belts are locked by the inertia reel as it senses the rapid change of deceleration.

inertia reel seat belt: A 3-point seat belt with an automatic retractor reel. This type of seat belt allows the wearer to move while the vehicle is stationary or in steady motion but locks to restrain the wearer on sudden deceleration or impact

infant safety seat: See baby seat

infinitely variable transmission: (IVT or CVT) Most transmissions, whether manual or automatic have a fixed number of forward gears (from 2 to 10 or more). Belt driven vehicles (like snowmobiles) have an infinite number of positions of engagement. The infinitely variable transmission is sensitive to the changes in the throttle position and adjusts the gear ratio accordingly. In this way, the most efficient gear ratio is selected thus improving fuel economy. Also called "continuously variable transmission."

inflammable: Capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly

inflatable air-bag system: See supplemental restraint inflatable air-bag system

inflatable restraint: See supplementary inflatable restraint


To fill with air. Also see hydrostatically inflate inflation: See load and inflation table over inflation inflation control seam: A system of inflation control seams on advanced air bags to control the inflation speed and inflation characteristics. Also called "tear seam," whose negative connotations are perhaps inappropriate in a safety-related context

inflation pressure: See tire pressure

inflation table: See load and inflation table

inflator: See emergency inflator

inflator unit: An assembly beneath the folded air bag, consisting of a combustion chamber with a bridge igniter, a detonator, and a priming charge surrounded by the solid propellant, and a metal filter. A signal from the trigger unit causes the bridge igniter to fire the detonator, which in turn fires the priming charge and then the solid propellant. The nitrogen thus generated flows through a metal filter and reaches the air hag cleaned and cooled

information centers: Visual displays which alert driver to certain vehicle conditions

infrared: See non-dispersive infrared analyzer

infrared analyzer:

An instrument used to measure unburned hydrocarbons and CO discharged from a vehicle exhaust pipe. See non-dispersive infrared analyzer

infrared radiant drier: An infrared lamp which accelerates the drying of large areas of fresh paint

infrared rays: Heat rays which emanate from both the arc and the welding flame.

infrared remote control: (IR) the control of an operation by means of an infrared beam transmitted to a receiver (e.g., garage door, central locking, car alarm system, etc.)

ingress: Entry, as in "sealant is used to prevent the ingress of moisture."

inhibit: To hinder or to prevent

inhibitor: A substance added to oil, water, gas, etc., to prevent action such as foaming, rusting, etc. The opposite is catalyst. Also see corrosion inhibitor reverse inhibitor valve rust inhibitor inhibitor switch: See starter inhibitor switch

inhibitor valve: See reverse inhibitor valve

inject: To introduce a fluid (into something) under pressure

injected engine:

See fuel-injected engine

injection: See air injection direct injection electronic fuel injection fuel injection engine fuel injection pump fuel injection high speed direct injection indirect injection engine indirect injection L-jetronic fuel injection system multi-point injection multiple-point injection port fuel injection reaction injection molding reinforced reaction injection molding sequential fuel injection single point injection solid injection throttle body fuel injection throttle body injection timed fuel injection timed injection vapor injection water injection wax injection injection engine: See fuel injection engine indirect injection engine injection fuel: In Bosch CIS, the pressure of the fuel in the lines between the differential-pressure valves and the injectors. Also called injector pressure

injection lag: The time interval (expressed in crankshaft degrees) between the nominal start of injection pump delivery and the actual start of injection at the nozzle

injection manifold: See air injection manifold

injection-molded: Produced by an injection molding machine or process

injection molding: A method for the fabrication of thermoplastic materials. The viscous resin is squirted, by means of a plunger, out of a heated cylinder into a water-chilled mold, where it is cooled before removal. This method is also used with thermosetting molding powders. Also see reaction injection molding reinforced reaction injection molding injection moulding: British term for injection molding

injection molding machine: A machine used to produce preformed plastic body panels

injection period: The length of time for which fuel is sprayed into the intake ports or combustion chamber during fuel injection. It is controlled by the electronic control unit. The injection period depends mainly on engine speed and the amount of induced air and is normally between approx. l.5 and 9 milliseconds

injection pressure: In Bosch CIS, the pressure of the fuel in the lines between the differential-pressure valves and the injectors. Also called injector fuel

injection pump: A pump which receives fuel from the fuel tank (often through the fuel-feed pump in the case of diesel engines) and delivers it under pressure to the injectors. Also see fuel injection pump

injection pump governor: Device which controls fuel deliver to limit the minimum and maximum engine speeds, as well as intermediate throttle positions

injector opening pressure: The point at which injection pump fuel pressure overcomes nozzle valve-spring resistance, or combustion chamber pressure, so that fuel is injected into the precombustion chamber

injection reaction: See air injection reaction

injection system: See air injection system continuous injection system L-jetronic fuel injection system steam injection system injector: Refers to the pump system (used in a fuel injection system) that squirts or injects a measured amount of gasoline into the intake manifold in the vicinity of the intake valve. In the diesel engine fuel is injected directly into the cylinder. In a Continuous Injection System (CIS), the injectors atomize the continuous flow of fuel injected under pressure into the intake ports of the engine; a valve in the injector nozzle stops the flow of fuel when fuel pressure drops below a certain point; in a CIS, the quantity of fuel is regulated by the fuel distributor's metering unit; in other fuel injection systems, the fuel system delivers a constant supply of fuel at a constant pressure to the injector, and an electronic sensing and control system produces electrical current pulses of appropriate duration to hold open the injector solenoid valves; as fuel pressure is held constant, varying the pulse duration increases or decreases the amount of fuel passed through the injectors. Also see cold start injector fuel injector nozzle fuel injector valve fuel injector injector nozzle: The tip of the injector, either of multi-hole design for direct injection or pintle design for indirect injection.

Also see fuel injector nozzle injector valve: See fuel injector valve

injury: See bodily injury whiplash injury inlet cam: The cam responsible for the actuation of the inlet valve in DOHC engines

inlet camshaft: The cam responsible for the actuation of the inlet valve in DOHC engines

inlet line: A pipe or hose on the intake side of a component, through which a fluid is supplied by gravity from a reservoir or tank located at a higher level; e.g., from coolant expansion tank to radiator, or from brake fluid reservoir to master brake cylinder

inlet manifold: British term for intake manifold describing the component which guides the intake air to the cylinder head intake ports; usually an aluminium casting or a GRP molding, with one intake opening and as many outlets as there are cylinders in the engine

inlet manifold heater: See flame glow plug

inlet over exhaust: Valve layout used on some early machines in which the exhaust valve was mounted to the side of the engine and the mechanically operated inlet valve was positioned above the exhaust

inlet over exhaust engine:

(IOE engine) A British term for "intake over exhaust engine" describing an engine design used on early cars. Also called F-head engine The intake and exhaust valves are arranged vertically in a lateral chamber of the combustion chamber and face one another; the side valve (usually the exhaust) is actuated directly by the camshaft, which usually rotates in the cylinder block; the overhead valve (usually the intake) is located in the cylinder head and actuated vi