Techincal car terms

Car Dictionary

List of techincal words and terms that your mechanic would usually mention.

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RACK AND PINION STEERING

This steering system allows for more responsive handling and is found mostly in newer cars. It consists of a steering shaft that is controlled (or turned) by the steering wheel. At the end of the shaft there is a small gear called the pinion gear. The pinion gear meshes with a toothed bar called the rack. This bar is connected to the steering linkage (tie rods) that control the two front wheels. When the steering wheel is turned right or left, the rack is moved right or left, resulting in the steering of the vehicle.

RADIAL TIRE

A type of tire in which the cords of the body plies run at right angles (radially) to the tire's centre line.

RECIRCULATING-BALL STEERING

A steering mechanism which uses a worm gear that meshes another gear that actuates the steering arm. Ball bearings in a recirculating track reduce friction between the two components.

ROCKER PANEL

The lower portion of a car's body between the front and rear wheel openings.

ROTARY (WANKEL) ENGINE

A variation of the internal combustion engine perfected by Felix Wankel during the 1950s and 60s which uses a triangle-shaped rotor instead of conventional cylinders and pistons.

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