Car Terms
Your go-to automotive glossary
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Car Terms

A lowrider from the 1930s to the ’50s, often fitted with period-correct accessories.
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The diameter of each cylinder within the engine block.
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A brake booster is an enhanced master cylinder setup used to reduce the amount of pedal pressure needed for braking.
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It serves as the main valve that pushes brake fluid through the brake lines so that the brake calipers can squeeze the pads against the rotors.
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The friction material attached to the brake caliper, used to slow down braking systems that have disc brakes.
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Breakover angle is the maximum possible supplementary angle that a vehicle, with at least one forward wheel and one rear wheel, can drive over without the apex of that angle touching any point of the vehicle other than the wheels.
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The roof support structure on either side of the rear window on a typical sedan or coupe.
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A device that mixes air and fuel for internal combustion engines in the proper air–fuel ratio for combustion.
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A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction).
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The center of gravity of any vehicle is the point that sums up the vehicle's mass in one central point.
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Lowering the entire body over the frame, often by raising the floorboards.
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Lowering a car’s roof by removing a horizontal section of sheetmetal from the window pillars. Sometimes involves either lengthening the roof or slanting the A-pillars rearward, the C-pillars forward, or both.
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A clutch master cylinder is a component found on vehicles equipped with manual transmission, and serves as the pump for the hydraulically operated clutch system.
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The compression ratio (CR) is defined as the ratio of the volume of the cylinder and its head space (including the pre-combustion chamber, if present) when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke to the volume of the head space when the piston is at the top of its travel ('top dead centre', tdc).
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Also known as antifreeze, a glycol based liquid that protects engines from overheating when hot and from freezing in cold weather. It also contains lubicants to extend the life of parts like the water pump.
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A certified pre-owned car or CPO is a type of used ca
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The curb weight of your vehicle is the weight of the car with all of the standard equipment and amenities, but without any passengers, cargo or any other separately loaded items in it.
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Constant-velocity joints (also known as homokinetic or CV joints) allow a drive shaft to transmit power through a variable angle, at constant rotational speed, without an appreciable increase in friction or play. They are mainly used in front wheel drive vehicles.
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An automatic, continuously variable transmission that changes seamlessly through a continuous range of gear ratios. This is in contrast to converntional automatic transmissions with fixed gear ratios.
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The process of closing valves to specific cylinders during low-load operation to help reduce fuel consumption.
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