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Automotive Technical Terms You Should Know

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Glossary of Automotive Terms:

Glossary of Automotive Terms A to E (includes definitions & article links)
Glossary of Automotive Terms F to P (includes definitions & article links)
Glossary of Automotive Terms R to Z (includes definitions & article links)




List of Automotive Technical Terms:

AIR CONDITIONING

Accumulator
Freon
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)
Compressor
Compressor Clutch
Desiccant
Evaporator
Condenser
Refrigerant
R-134a
R-12
Schrader valve
Orifice Tube
Receiver-Drier
Rotary compressor
Scroll compressor
Variable displacement compressor

ALIGNMENT

Ackerman steering
Bump steer
Camber
Caster
King Pin Inclination (KPI)
Positive camber
Positive caster
Negative camber
Negative caster
Rear axle steer
Rear toe
Setback
Steering Axis Inclination (SAI)
Toe
Toe-in
Toe-out
Total toe
Thrust angle
Wheelbase

BODY

A pillar
B pillar
Base coat
Body filler
C pillar
Clear coat
Datum plane
High strength steel (HSS)
Primer
Primer/sealer
Rustproofing
Sectioning
Self-etching primer
Torque box
Undercoating

BRAKES

Antilock brake system (ABS)
Anti-rattle springs/shims
Asbestos
Asbestos linings
Backing plate
Bench bleeding
Bellmouth
Bleeder hose
Bleeder screw
Bleeding the brakes
Bonded linings
Brake balance
Brake bias
Brake job
Brake fade
Brake fluid
Brake grease
Brake hose
Brake lathe
Brake lines
Brake linings
Brake pedal switch
Brake pull
Brake noise
Brake pedal switch
Brake spoon
Brake warning light
Caliper
Caliper piston
Coefficient of friction
Combination valve
Composite rotor
DOT 3 brake fluid
DOT 4 brake fluid
DOT 5 brake fluid
Discard thickness
Disc brakes
Drum
Dual master cylinder
Duo-servo brakes
Dust boot
Edge code
Electronic brake control module (EBCM)
Emergency brake
Equalizer yoke
Fixed calipers
Floating calipers
Fluid reservoir
Friction code
Gravity bleeding
Hold-down springs
Hydraulic modulator assembly
Hydraulic pressure
Hydroboost
Hygroscopic
Integral ABS
Loaded caliper assembly
Load sensing proportioning valve
Manual bleeding
Master cylinder
Maximum drum diameter
Metering valve
Minimum rotor thickness
Molded linings
Nonasbestos organic linings (NAO)
Nondirectional finish
Non-duo-servo brakes
Nonintegral ABS
On-car brake lathe
Pad
Parking brake
Phenolic piston
Power bleeder
Power booster
Power brakes
Pressure differential valve
Primary shoe
Proportioning valve
Quick take-up master cylinder
Rear Wheel Antilock Brakes (RABS)
Rear Wheel Antilock Brake System (RWAL)
Return springs
Riveted linings
Rotor
Rotor parallelism
Rotor runout
Secondary shoe
Self-adjuster
Semi-metallic linings
Shoes
Silicone brake fluid
Solid rotor
Star adjuster
Stability control
Traction control
Vacuum bleeding
Vacuum booster
Vented rotor
Wheel cylinder
Wheel speed sensor

CHARGING & STARTING SYSTEM

Alternator
Alternating current
Battery
Battery cables
Battery terminals
Brushes
Charging voltage
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
Cranking voltage
Diode
Electrolyte
Externally regulated
Field coil
Internally regulated
Regulator
Solenoid
Starter
Starter draw
Stator
Voltage drop
Voltage regulator
Warning light

COOLING SYSTEM

Antifreeze
Bypass hose
Coolant
Coolant reservoir
Corrosion inhibitors
Defrosters
Electric cooling fan
Ethylene glycol (EG)
Fan
Fan clutch
Fan relay
Freeze plug
Heater core
Heater control valve
Heater hose
Hose
Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Lower radiator hose
Propylene Glycol (PG)
Radiator
Radiator cap
Reserve alkalinity
Serpentine belt
Thermostat
Upper radiator hose
V-belt
Water pump

DRIVELINE

All-wheel drive (AWD)
Automatic Slip Regulation (ASR)
Automatic transmission
Axle
Boots
Cardan joint
Center differential
Clutch
Clutch disk
Constant velocity joint (CV joints)
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Cross-groove CV joint
Differential
Double offset CV joint
Driveshaft
Four-wheel drive (4WD or 4x4)
Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Halfshafts
Inboard CV joint
Limited slip differential
Locking differential
Lockup torque converter
Manual transmission
Motor mounts
Inboard CV joint
Outboard CV joint
Pinion gear
Plunge joint
Pressure plate
Ring gear
Rzeppa CV joint
Throw-out bearing
Torque converter
Torque converter clutch
Torque steer
Traction Control
Transfer case
Transaxle
Transmission
Tripod CV joint
U-joints
Wheel bearings

ELECTRONICS

Airflow sensor
Air temperature sensor
Assembly Line Data Link (ALDL) connector
Barometric pressure sensor
Camshaft position sensor
Check engine light
Closed loop
Computerized engine control
Control module
Coolant temperature sensor
Crankshaft angle sensor
Electronic control module (ECM)
EGR valve position sensor
Knock sensor
Light emitting diode (LED)
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor (MAP)
Mass airflow sensor
Open loop
Oxygen sensor (O2)
Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
Sensor
Throttle position sensor (TPS)
Vane airflow sensor
Vehicle speed sensor

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Alternating Current (AC)
Amps
Circuit breaker
Continuity
Current
Direct Current (DC)
Fuse
Fuse panel
Fusible link
Ground
Halogen headlights
Idiot light
Ignition switch
Incandescent lights
Instrument panel
Integrated circuit (IC)
Light emitting diode (LED)
Ohmmeter
Ohms
Open
Parallel circuit
Relay
Resistance
Sealed beams
Series circuit
Short
Voltmeter
Volts
Wiring connector
Wiring harness
Wiring schematic

EMISSIONS CONTROL

Air pump
Air Injection Reaction (AIR)
Canister purge control valve
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Catalytic converter
Catalyst
Charcoal canister
Diverter valve
Early fuel evaporation
Emissions testing
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
Gulp valve
Heated air intake
Heat riser
Hydrocarbons (HC)
Long Term Fuel Trim (LTFT)
Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD II)
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX)
Ported vacuum switch (PVS)
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV)
Short Term Fuel Trim (STFT)
Three-way catalytic converter (TWC)
Thermal vacuum switch (TVS)
Thermal vacuum valve (TVV)
Vacuum delay valve



ENGINE

Align bore
Align hone
Balance
Balance shaft
Cam bearings
Camshaft
Cam followers
Combustion chamber
Compression ratio
Compression rings
Connecting rod
Cooling jackets
Counterweights
Crankshaft
Cylinder
Cylinder block
Cylinder sleeves
Cylinder boring
Cylinder head
Cylinder honing
Displacement
Dual overhead cam (DOHC)
Exhaust manifold
Exhaust valve
Externally balanced
Flywheel
Gasket
Harmonic balancer
Head bolts
Head gasket
Heavy metal
Horsepower
Hydraulic lash adjusters
Hydraulic lifters
Inline cylinder block
Installed valve height
Intake manifold
Intake valve
Internally balanced
Journals
Lash adjusters
Lifters
Main bearings
Mechanical lifters
Oil cooler
Oil filter
Oil galleys
Oil pan
Oil pan gasket
Oil pressure
Oil pressure sending unit
Oil plugs
Oil pump
Oil pump pickup
Oil ring
Overhead cam (OHC)
Overhead valve (OHV)
Pilot bushing
Piston
Piston rings
Piston skirt
Pushrods
Rear main oil seal
Revolutions per minute (RPM)
Ring end gap
Rocker arms
Rocker arm ratio
Rod bearings
Roller lifters
Solid lifters
Surface finish
Tappets
Timing belt
Timing chain
Timing chain cover
Timing chain cover gasket
Timing gears
Torque
V6
V8
Valve
Valve cover gasket
Valve face
Valve grinding
Valve guide
Valve height
Valve interference
Valve lash
Valve margin
Valve overlap
Valve spring
Valve spring keeper
Valve spring retainer
Valve stem
Valve stem seal
Valve timing
Valvetrain
Variable valve timing
Wrist pin

ENGINE PERFORMANCE & TROUBLESHSOOTING

Backfire
Backpressure
Blowby
Cold start
Compression test
Detonation
Diagnostic flow chart
Dieseling
Fault codes
Flash codes
Fuel starvation
Gas line freeze
Hesitation
Idle mixture
Idle speed
Ignition crossfire
Ignition pattern
Ignition timing
Intake vacuum
Jump start
Leak down test
Lean misfire
Long Term Fuel Trim (LTFT)
Millisecond sweep
Misfire
OBD II (Onboard Diagnostics II)
Oil consumption
Overheating
Peak firing voltage
Power balance test
Primary ignition pattern
Raster pattern
Run-on
Secondary ignition pattern
Short Term Fuel Trim (STFT)
Spark knock
Stalling
Stumbling
Trouble codes
Tune-up
Vapor lock
Winterizing

EXHAUST SYSTEM

Catalytic converter
Crossover pipe
Double wall pipe
Exhaust headers
Exhaust manifold
Exhaust manifold gasket
Exhaust pipe
Flex pipe
Glasspack muffler
Heat riser valve
Heat shields
Muffler
Pipe hanger
Resonator
Tailpipe
Test pipe
Turbo muffler

FUEL SYSTEM

Accelerator pump
Air bleeds
Air/fuel ratio
Carburetor
Choke
Choke pull-off
Electric fuel pump
Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Feedback carburetor
Fuel bowl
Fuel filter
Fuel float
Fuel injector
Fuel inlet needle valve
Fuel jets
Fuel pressure regulator
Fuel pump
Fuel rail
Fuel sending unit
Float
Idle air control (IAC) motor
Idle jets
Intercooler
Lean mixture
Long Term Fuel Trim (LTFT)
Main jets
Mass airflow EFI system
Mechanical fuel pump
Multiport Fuel Injection (MPI or MFI)
Port Fuel Injection (PFI)
Power valve
Rich mixture
Short Term Fuel Trim (STFT)
Speed/density EFI system
Stoichiometric (air/fuel ratio)
Supercharger
Throttle
Throttle Body Injection (TBI)
Throttle kicker solenoid
Throttle linkage
Throttle return spring
Throttle stop
Tuned Port Injection
Turbocharger
Waste gate

IGNITION SYSTEM

Ballast resistor
Base timing
Breaker plate
Breaker points
Centrifugal advance
Coil-on-plug ignition
Direct ignition system
Distributor
Distributorless ignition system (DIS)
Electrode
Electronic ignition
Electronic spark timing (EST)
High Energy Ignition (HEI)
Ignition cables
Ignition coil
Ignition module
Ignition pickup
Ignition switch
Primary ignition circuit
Primary voltage
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)
Resistor spark plugs
Rotor
Secondary ignition circuit
Secondary voltage
Spark advance
Spark gap
Spark plug
Spark retard
Suppression wires
Timing advance
Vacuum advance

LUBRICANTS

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF)
Dexron II & III ATF
Gear lube
Mercon & Mercon V ATF
Motor oil
Synthetic grease
Synthetic oil
Type F ATF
Viscosity
Wheel bearing grease

MISC.

API (American Petroleum Institute)
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence)
BTDC (before top dead center)
CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy)
Cetane
DOT (Department of Transportation)
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
FT. LBS. (foot pounds)
Gasoline
ISO (International Standards Organization)
MPG (mils per gallon)
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
Newton-meters
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
OEM parts
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Octane
OSHA (Occupation Health & Safety Administration)
PSI (pounds per square inch)
PM Preventive Maintenance
Rebuilt parts
Remanufactured parts
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers)
SUV Sport Utility Vehicle
TDC (top dead center)
VIN (vehicle identification number)
Warranty

SAFETY

Air bags
Crash sensors
Crush zone
Energy absorbers
Passive restraint system
Seat belts
Seat belt retractors
Supplemental Inflation Restraint (SIR)
Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)

STEERING, SUSPENSION & CHASSIS

Air springs
Air assist shocks
Ball joint
Bias ply tire
Body control module (BCM)
Bushings
Center link
Coil springs
Control arm
Electronic ride control
Electronic shocks/struts
Four wheel steering (4WS)
Gas pressurized shocks
Hub nut
Inflation pressure
Idler arm
Jounce
Leaf springs
Load carrying ball joint
Non-load carrying ball joint
Parallelogram steering
MacPherson struts
Monotube shocks
Oversteer
Pitman arm
Power steering
Rack & pinion steering
Radial tire
Rebound
Recirculating ball steering
Ride height
Shock absorbers
Spindle
Struts
Sway bar
Temporary spare tire
Tie rod
Tie rod end
Tires
Torsion bar
Understeer
Valve stems
Variable rate power steering
Variable rate springs
Wheel balancing
Wheel offset
Wheel runout
Wheel weights

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

Air compressor
Arc welder
Battery charger
Battery load tester
Brake spoon
Breakout box
Chassis dynamometer
Compression gauge
Dial indicator
Diagnostic computer
Digital storage oscilloscope (DSO)
Digital volt/ohm meter (DVOM)
Dynamometer
Engine dynamometer
Exhaust analyzer
Flaring tool
Ignition scope
Impact wrench
MIG welder (Metal Inert Gas)
Ohmmeter
Oscilloscope
Oxy/acetylene welder
Pinout box
Pipe bender
Pipe expander
Plasma cutter
Ratchet wrench
Scan tool
Test light
TIG welder (Tungsten Inert Gas)
Timing light
Torque wrench
Vacuum gauge
Voltmeter


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