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Techincal car terms

Car Dictionary

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

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A device consisting of two plates lined with brake pads that press against the sides the disc rotor to slow it's rotation.


Inclination of a wheel outward with respect to the body.


Inclination of the steering axis in the longitudinal plane.


An emissions control device that is part of the exhaust system. Its purpose is to reduce harmful tailpipe emissions caused by the engine. The catalytic converter lowers exhaust emissions by creating a catalysis (chemical reaction) within itself. Here is how it works: Hot exhaust gas flows through the converter, which is filled with sulfur or platinum balls. The sulfur or platinum heats up to combustion temperatures, thus burning any unburned gases that might be in the exhaust flow, reducing tailpipe emissions.


The frame of the car which provides the strength and serves as the foundation of the vehicle. The body, engine, drivetrain components, and suspension are attached to the chassis.


Protective and decorative panels along the lower body.


A coupling device used to engage or disengage the flow of power from the engine to the transmission.


A safety device that prevents a car from being started while it's in gear. The clutch must be depressed for the engine to start.


An automatic transmission that uses belts and pulleys instead of gears wheels to allow an infinite number of gears.


Front and rear portions of a vehicle's body that are designed to crush progressively to better absorb the energy of a crash.

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