Auto Terms Glossary

Auto Terms GlossaryAnti-lock Braking System – Abbreviated as ABS, the Anti-lock Braking System senses the wheel rotations and automatically pumps the brakes when a driver suddenly performs a hard stop. The pumping prevents the wheels from locking up, allowing drivers to retain the ability to steer.

Alloy Wheels – Many wheels are made of steel, but an alloy wheel is made of a mixture of two or more metals. Most alloy wheels are primarily made of aluminum.

All-Season Tires – Most vehicles roll off the production line with all-season tires. This type of tire combines the major benefits of summer and winter tires, providing good traction during winter road conditions and not wearing as quickly on hot, dry pavement.

Automatic Transmission – Unlike a manual transmission, an automatic transmission uses the power and torque of a powertrain to automatically change gears as the vehicle moves. The driver doesn’t have to have any interaction with a clutch to change gears.

Climate Control System – This is a system that includes the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.

Coupe – A coupe is a two-door car with the rear seats enclosed.

Environmental Protection Agency – Abbreviated as EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency is a federal agency that regulates air quality and sets fuel economy and emissions standards.

Hatchback – A hatchback is usually a three- or five-door vehicle that features a full rear door with a rear window.

Horsepower – Commonly abbreviated as hp, horsepower is the power produced by an engine and is an indicator of how powerful a vehicle’s engine is.

Muscle Car – The term was born in the mid-1950s and described cars with high horsepower. It’s still in use today and is interchangeable with “pony car.”

Sedan – A sedan is a vehicle that features four doors with a fixed roof and a standard trunk.

Torque – Expressed as lb-ft, torque is the force exerted by the engine on the crankshaft. Engines that produce high torque at low rpm will accelerate faster.

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