Words of the Week

Grow your Automotive Vocabulary

Here is our growing automotive dictionary. Each week we will add a new entry. Enjoy!!

  • Automatic – A device or process that works by itself with little or no direct human control.
  • Automatic Transmission – An automotive transmission that can automatically change gears as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually.
  • Band – Something that binds, ties together, restrains, etc.; a strip or ring of wood, metal, rubber, etc. fastened around something to bind or tie it together.
  • Cable – A thick, heavy rope, now often of wire strands.
  • Centrifugal – Moving or tending to move away from a center.
  • Converter – A person or thing that causes a change in form, character or function.
  • Clutch – A mechanism for connecting and disconnecting a vehicle engine from its transmission system.
  • Differential – a set of gears allowing a vehicle’s driven wheels to revolve at different speeds when going around corners.
  • Driven Parts – The Wheels
  • Driveshaft – A rotating shaft that transmits torque in an engine.
  • Epicyclic – A circle whose center moves along the circumference of another, larger circle.
  • Flange – A projecting rim or collar on a wheel, pipe, rail, etc., to hold it in place, give it strength, guide it, or attach it to something else.
  • Gasket – A shaped piece or ring of rubber or other material sealing the junction between two surfaces in an engine or other device.
  • Gear – One of a set of toothed wheels that work together to alter the relation between the speed of a driving mechanism (such as the engine of a vehicle or the crank of a bicycle) and the speed of the driven parts (the wheels).
  • Governor – A mechanical device for automatically controlling the speed of an engine or motor as by regulating the intake of fuel, steam, etc..
  • Hinged – Jointed device on which a door, gate, lid, etc. swings.
  • Hydraulic – Operated by the movement and force of liquid; specifically, operated by the pressure created when a liquid is forced through an aperture, tube, etc..
  • Input – The act of putting in; or, what is put in.
  • Manual – A thing operated or done by hand rather than automatically or electronically, in particular.
  • Manual Transmission – An automotive transmission consisting of a system of interlocking gear wheels and a lever that enables the driver to shift gears manually.
  • Modulator – Something that regulates, adjusts or adapts to the proper degree.
  • Neutral – A disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts.
  • Oil – Any of various kinds of greasy, combustible substances obtained from animal, vegetable, and mineral sources; oils are liquid at ordinary temperatures and soluble in certain organic solvents, as ether, but not in water.
  • Output – The work done or amount produced by a person, machine, production line, manufacturing plant, etc., especially over a given period.
  • Pack – A number of similar or related persons or things.
  • Pipe – A long tube of clay, concrete, metal, wood, etc., for conveying water, gas, oil, etc. or for use in construction. Also, anything tubular in form.
  • Piston – A disk or short cylinder closely fitted in a hollow cylinder and moved back and forth by the pressure of a fluid so as to transmit reciprocating motion to the piston rod attached to it, or moved by the rod so as to exert pressure on the fluid.
  • Planetary Gear System – A gear system that consists of one or more planet gears (the gears in the middle area) that rotate or revolve around a sun gear (the gear in the center) and a ring gear (the gear on the outer edge).
  • Pump – Any of the various machines that force a liquid or gas into or through, or draw it out of, something, as by suction or pressure.
  • Radiator – A device of tubes and fins, as in an automobile, through which circulating water passes to radiate superfluous heat and thus cool the engine.
  • Regulator – A mechanism for controlling or governing the movement of machinery, the flow of liquids, gases, electricity, steam, etc..
  • Seal – A device or substance that is used to join two things together to prevent them from coming apart or to prevent anything from passing between them.
  • Servo – This is short for Servomechanism OR Servomotor.
  • Servomechanism – An automatic control system in which the output is constantly or intermittently compared with the input through feedback so that the error or difference between the two quantities can be used to bring about the desired amount of control.
  • Servomotor – A device, as an electric motor, hydraulic piston, etc., that is controlled by an amplified signal from a command device of low power, as in a servomechanism.
  • Shaft – A long, slender part or object.
  • Solenoid – A coil of wire, usually wound in the form of a helix, that acts like a bar magnet when carrying a current: used in brakes, switches, relays, etc..
  • Soluble – That can be dissolved; able to pass into solution.
  • Solvent – A substance, usually liquid, that dissolves or can dissolve another substance.
  • Spline – A flat key or strip that fits into a groove or slot between parts.
  • Sprag – A device for preventing a vehicle from rolling backward on a grade.
  • Spring – A device, as a coil of wire, that returns to its original form after being forced out of shape: springs are used to absorb shock, and as the motive power in clocks and similar mechanisms.
  • Stator – A fixed part forming the pivot or housing for a revolving part, as in a motor, dynamo, etc..
  • Throttle – The valve that regulates the amount of fuel vapor entering an internal-combustion engine or controls the flow of steam in a steam line. This is also known as the Throttle Valve.
  • Throttle Cable – A cable that is connected between the gas pedal and the throttle valve and monitors the position of the gas pedal.
  • Torque – A twisting force that tends to cause rotation.
  • Torque Converter – A device that transmits or multiplies torque generated by an engine.
  • Transmission – The mechanism by which power is transmitted from an engine to the wheels of a motor vehicle.
  • Tube – A hollow cylinder or pipe of metal, glass, rubber, etc., usually long in proportion to its diameter, used for conveying fluids, etc..
  • Turbine – An engine or motor driven by the pressure of steam, water, air, etc. against the curved vanes of a wheel or set of wheels fastened to a driving shaft.
  • Vacuum – An enclosed space, as that inside a vacuum tube, out of which most of the air or gas has been taken, as by pumping.
  • Vacuum Modulator – A device that monitors the vacuum pressure in an engine and moves the throttle valve in a specific direction that is dependent upon the load of the engine.
  • Valve – Any device in a pipe or tube that permits a flow in one direction only, or regulates the flow of whatever is in the pipe, by means of a flap, lid, plug, etc. acting to open or block passage.