Techincal Car Terms

Car Dictionary

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

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Shock absorbers cushion road vibration and bumps. They are connected to the wheel and the car frame and are filled with oil, and sometimes air or nitrogen, to soften the shock of rough roads.


Angles at which the steering's components and related suspension parts are set. These affect handling and include camber, caster, toe-in, and trail.


A mechanically driven air compressor that increases the amount of air-fuel mixture supplied to the engine to increase power output.


A vehicle's suspension system is made up of the components on which the vehicle rides. These include shock absorbers, struts, springs (coil or leaf), sway bars, ball joints, control arms, or torsion bars. These parts work together to provide a smooth comfortable ride, as well as good control and handling of the vehicle. They take a beating on a daily basis and therefore wear out. This wear causes the alignment angles to go out of adjustment, which results in tire wear and poor handling. That is why it's a good practice to have alignment checks every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.

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