Vehicle Technical Terms Explained
With new and improved technology, vehicle manufacturers strive to make their cars safer, more economical and ultimately more attractive to potential purchasers.
Why Do I need to Know about Vehicle Technical Terms
Advances in vehicle technology are often relevant to safety and fuel economy. Having a basic understanding on some of these technical terms may aid in purchasing your ideal car. Occasionally, you may see a dashboard warning light illuminated. This may be relative to a specific feature on your vehicle that could be detailed here.
The A-pillars provide support for the roof of a vehicle and are located either side of the windscreen. A-pillars vary in size and can cause blind spots, that are particularly hazardous for cyclists and motorcyclists at junctions.
ABS or Anti-lock Braking Systems prevent the vehicle wheels from locking up during heavy braking. By preventing the wheels from locking, a skid which could otherwise render the vehicle out-of-control is prevented.
Adaptive front lighting essentially allows a vehicles front headlights to turn independently of each other. This allows for a significant improvement for illumination around bends.
To aquaplane or ‘hydroplane’ as it is also referred to, is where your vehicle loses traction with the road surface due to the vehicle tyres and road surface having a layer of water between the two.
This term refers to the biting point of a clutch in a manual transmission car. In simple terms, the clutch allows a ‘break’ in the link between the engine, transmission and wheels to allow for a gear change.
A car alternator is an integral component of the engine which produces electricity. The electricity produced by the alternator charges the car battery and powers the many vehicle utilities.
Car detailing involves two categories; the professional cleaning and restoration of exterior paintwork and external vehicle components to their original state, or if possible, a condition that exceeds this, and the internal cleaning and restoration of the various surfaces inside the vehicle, including carpets and other materials.
A catalytic converter is a canister fitted to a vehicle exhaust system. A catalytic converter uses catalyst substances to convert harmful gases produced by the engine burning petrol or diesel, into less harmful gases before being emitted into the air.
Engine braking is what occurs when a driver removes their foot from the accelerator to allow the vehicle to slow down due to the compression and friction from moving parts of the engine slowing the vehicle.
Engine coolant, otherwise known as antifreeze is usually based on glycol and circulates around the engine to not only prevent the engine from freezing, but also raises the boiling temperature to help in preventing the engine from overheating.