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Alphabetical Glossary of Automotive

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Please note that the denitions included in this Glossary
reflect the manner in which these terms are used on the website, which in some instances may
differ from their meaning in other contexts.

A/C compressor
An engine-driven pump in the air conditioning system
that increases the pressure of the refrigerant.
A/C drain hose
A hose used to drain condensation from the air
conditioner evaporator.
The roof support structure on either side of a vehicle's
windshield. Read more.
Antilock braking system. A computer-controlled system
that prevents brakes from locking up and tires from
skidding during hard braking.
Accelerator pedal linkage
The linkage between the accelerator pedal and a
vehicles throttle body or carburetor.
ACE lter
Active cornering enhancement lter. A device used in an
electro-hydraulic suspension system to reduce body roll
by adjusting the system to driving conditions.
Acquisition fee
Also known as a "bank fee," an "administrative fee" or an
"assignment fee." For a vehicle lease, a fee charged by
the leasing company at the inception of the lease that is
intended to cover a variety of administrative costs, such
as obtaining a credit report, verifying insurance
coverage, checking the accuracy and completeness of
the lease documentation, and entering the lease into its
data and accounting systems.
Active pedestrian protection system
An electronic system designed to warn drivers of
impending pedestrian trafc.
Actual cash value
Also referred to as "ACV." A method of valuing insured
property that is computed by subtracting depreciation
(based on the propertys age and condition) from its
replacement cost. Compare "Replacement cost."
See "Actual cash value."
Adaptive cruise control
A laser- or radar-sensing cruise control system that
causes a vehicle to automatically slow or stop in order
to avoid front-end collisions.
Adaptive headlights
Headlights that turn as the driver turns the steering
wheel, for the purpose of improving illumination in the
direction of the turn.
A brand name of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that is
trademarked and overseen by the German Association
of the Automotive Industry, a trade group that
represents both German car manufacturers and
automotive suppliers. Read more.
Adjustable pedals
Accelerator and break pedals that can be moved closer
to or further away from the driver's seat.
Adjustable suspension
A suspension that offers driver-selectable damper (and
sometimes spring) rmness settings to suit varying
conditions and personal preferences.
Administration fee
See "Acquisition fee."
Aerodynamic drag
For a moving vehicle, the force exerted by the floweld
of air moving in the opposite direction.
Aftermarket accessory
An accessory or piece of equipment that is not included
in the vehicle as manufactured, but is purchased and
installed at the dealership or other automotive
Air conditioner refrigerant
The liquid used in air conditioning systems, which has
the property of boiling at ambient air temperatures.
Air conditioning
The cooling and dehumidication of a vehicles cabin air.
Air conditioning lter
A device that removes contaminants from external air
entering the ventilation system.
Air lter
A device that lters incoming air fed to the engine.
Air lter restriction indicator
A device that identies an impedance to the air lter
Air ltration
The removal of solid particulates (such as dust, pollen,
mold and bacteria) from a vehicles cabin air by a lter
placed in the ventilation system.
Air pollution score
A score from zero to ten given by the EPA to each new
vehicle that represents the amount of air pollutants
produced during a laboratory driving simulation of the
Air pump lter
A device that eliminates contaminants from the air
supply fed to the air injection system.
Airbag deactivation
A system that uses sensors in a vehicle?s front
passenger seat to determine whether to activate that
seat?s front airbag, based on whether it detects the
presence of an individual of sufcient weight.
A cushion that deploys and lls with air when a major
impact occurs to reduce a vehicle occupants chances
of coming in contact with the vehicles interior surfaces.
Angle of approach
The steepest angle of inclined roadway onto which a
vehicle can be driven from a level roadway without the
vehicles forward overhang making contact with the
inclined surface.
Angle of departure
The steepest angle of inclined roadway from which a
vehicle can be driven onto a level roadway without the
vehicles rear overhang making contact with the inclined
Antenna type
The type of antennas used in vehicle audio systems and
navigation systems: mast, power telescoping, element
and diversity.
Antilock brake system high pressure hose
The reinforced hose or hoses (with metal ttings at
either end) that carry high pressure hydraulic fluid used
in an antilock brake system.
A device or system of devices that aid in preventing a
vehicle from being stolen.
Anti-theft alarm
A device that uses an auditory signal and/or telemetric
to alert a vehicles owner of an attempted theft.
Anti-theft codes
A four- to six-digit numerical key necessary to return
functionality to a vehicles audio head unit after it has
been removed or disconnected from the battery.
Anti-theft immobilizer
An electronic device that works together with a key (that
includes a small transmitter) and that prevents the
engine from starting when the key is not present.
Anti-theft remote control
An electronic device that unlocks a vehicles doors and,
in some cases, opens its trunk, rolls down its windows
and opens and closes its sunroof.
See "Coolant."
Annual Percentage Rate. The cost of credit (i.e., the
interest rate) expressed as a yearly rate.
Asking price
The price for a vehicle asked (before any negotiations)
by the dealer or other seller.
Assignment fee
See "Acquisition fee."
Advanced technology-partial zero emission vehicle. An
emissions standard that meets PZEV requirements and
has additional zero-emissions characteristics, such as
operation by natural gas or hybrid vehicle batteries.
Hondas Automatic Torque Transfer System, which is a
system that distributes an engines torque output
proportionately between the driven axles (so that the
output is most effectively used).
ATTS unit fluid
Hydraulic fluid used in Hondas Automatic Torque
Transfer System.
Audio format
The format of digital compression readable by a
vehicles audio system, such as WMA, MP3, WAV, SACD
or AAC.
Audio remote control
A wireless device that uses infrared or radio waves to
control a vehicles sound system.
Auto-delay headlights
A feature that keeps the headlights on for a period after
a vehicle is shut off to provide the occupants with light
as they walk away from the vehicle.
Auto dimming rearview mirror
See "Electrochromatic rearview mirror."
Auto-leveling suspension
A suspension that adjusts the height of the vehicle so
that its rear stays even with the front when cargo is
carried; some systems offer multiple height settings for
off-road, normal and high-speed operation.
Auto shift lock/starter safety switch
A device that prevents the starter from functioning
unless the shifter is in the park or neutral position, and
prevents the shifter from being moved unless the brake
pedal is depressed.
Automated manual transmission
Also referred to as "DSG," "direct shift gearbox," "SMG"
and "sequential manual gearbox." A conventional clutch-
type manual transmission that employs electronic,
pneumatic and/or hydraulic actuators in place of a
conventional clutch pedal, and a purely mechanical shift
lever. The driver may select either fully automatic shift
mode or driver-controlled shift mode.
Automatic door unlock
A device that automatically unlocks a vehicles doors
after a collision.
Automatic transaxle
A combination transmission and differential/drive axle
Automatic transaxle pressure lter
The external lter on an automatic transmission.
Automatic transmission
A transmission that uses a torque converter, planetary
gearset and clutches or bands to automatically change
a vehicles gears.
Automatic transmission bands
In an automatic transmission, adjustable circular straps
lined with a friction material that are actuated to tighten
around and stop the rotation of a drum as part of the
shifting process.
Automatic transmission cooler hoses
Flexible tubes that carry transmission fluid to and from
a heat exchanger or oil cooler.
Automatic transmission lter
A component in most automatic transmissions that is
tted over the fluid intake, usually in the pan, that
prevents debris and other contaminants from
circulating throughout the transmissions inner workings
and potentially causing unnecessary wear or damage.
Some transmissions use a reusable metal or nylon
mesh-type screen in place of a disposable lter.
Automatic transmission fluid
The fluid used for lubricating and cooling an automatic
Auxiliary features
Factory-installed, optional parts that supplement similar
existing systems, such as a transmission cooler, engine
cooler or a secondary gas tank, that are typically
available on trucks and SUVs.
Auxiliary input (Audio)
A method of connecting a peripheral media player to a
vehicles entertainment system, either wired (for
example, through an RCA jack, a USB port or a 1/8" TRS
plug), or wirelessly (for example, through Bluetooth,
A2DP or infrared).
Auxiliary lighting
A halogen lamp or light-emitting diode (LED) that is
used to illuminate a specic region or part of a vehicle
(such as the glove box or footwell) and is not located in
the vehicles headliner.
Awareness aids
Electronic devices designed to keep a driver awake and
alert while driving a vehicle.
All-wheel drive. A drivetrain that employs a front, rear
and center differential to provide power to all four
wheels of a vehicle.
Axle drive fluid
The liquid used for lubricating gears inside the axle.
Axle ratio
The number of revolutions a vehicles driveshaft makes
for each revolution of the vehicles drive axle(s).

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The vertical roof support structure located between the
front and rear doors on a typical vehicle. Read more.
Backup assistance
A device or system of devices (usually a park distance
sensor or a back-up camera) designed to aid a drivers
control of a vehicle in reverse.
Balance shaft belt
A cogged belt that drives a shaft (usually in
synchronization with the engines crankshaft) for the
purpose of smoothing out vibrations.
Ball joints
Movable joints in the steering linkage and suspension
system of a vehicle that permit rotating movement in
any direction between the parts that are joined.
Bank fee
See "Acquisition fee."
Base price
The MSRP of a vehicle before options, destination fee,
any dealer advertising fee and other costs.
Basic/Bumper to bumper warranty
A vehicle warranty that covers everything except items
that are subject to wear and tear or replacement in the
ordinary course of vehicle ownership, such as oil and air
lters, wiper blades and brake pads. Tires and batteries
are often excluded, but usually have their own warranty
provided by the manufacturers of those items.
Emissions equipment is required by Federal law to be
covered for two years or 24,000 miles.
Battery disconnect
A device that automatically disconnects a vehicles
battery after a collision.
Bed dimensions
The physical dimensions of a trucks bed, consisting of
width, height and depth.
Bed extender
A device that may be added to a pickup truck's bed
when the tailgate is open, that sits on top of the tailgate,
and that forms an enclosure that permits items that
extend past the bed and onto the tailgate to be carried
without risk of falling out.
Bed features
Factory-installed, optional accessories that add
functionality or longevity to a trucks bed, such as a bed
extender, tonneau cover or bed liner, that are typically
available on trucks and SUVs.
Bed length measurement
The inside length of a pickup truck's cargo box or "bed,"
measured from the front wall to the face of the closed
Bed liner
A heavy-duty plastic liner or spray-on coating that
protects the inner painted surface of a pickup truck's
cargo box.
Bed type
Type of truck bed: long, short, flare-side, step-side,
dually and flat beds for trucks, and dump beds and
tanks for SUVs.
The horizontal line dened by the lower edges of a
vehicles windscreen, rear and side windows and pillars.
Beverage cooler
A refrigerated storage area intended to cool beverages
using a vehicles air conditioning system or a separate
phase-cooling system.
Bi-level purge valve
In an evaporative emissions system, a valve that limits
the flow of vapor from the charcoal canister to the
intake during idling.
Biodiesel blend
Also referred to as "biodiesel." A fuel that is a mixture of
petroleum-based diesel and plant-based diesel.
Blind spot
The area behind and to the side of a vehicle that is hard
to see in either the side or rear view mirrors. Read more.
Blind spot detection
An electronic system that warns you when there are
other cars or motorcycles in your blind spot. Read more.
Block heater
An electric heater installed into a freeze plug hole in an
engine block that preheats engine coolant in order to
help start a vehicle under extremely cold weather
The outer panels that shroud the mechanical and
electrical workings of a vehicle.
Body water drains
Drain holes in strategic locations that provide an escape
route for water that would otherwise remain trapped
within a vehicles body.
Upholstered foam supports integrated into a seat that
help keep the driver or passenger in an optimal position.
The diameter, in inches, of the cylinders in the vehicles
Brake booster
A vacuum-based device that amplies the foot pressure
applied to power brakes.
Brake booster bellcrank pivot
The linkage pivot points behind some brake boosters.
Brake drying
A system that dries the brake pads through light friction
just before a full stop is initiated, by using the ABS
pump to bring the brake pads close to the rotors without
signicantly engaging them.
Brake fluid
The fluid used in the hydraulic brake system.
Brake lines, hoses & connections
Tubes and their connections that carry brake fluid
between the various components in a vehicles brake
Brake linings
High-friction, heat-resistant material that is attached to
the brake shoes in a rear drum brake system.
Brake master cylinder
A device that stores brake fluid and hydraulically forces
it through the brake lines to the brakes when the brake
pedal is depressed.
Brake pads
High-friction material attached to a metal backing plate.
Brake pedal
A device used to control a vehicles brakes.
Brake pedal spring
A spring attached to the pedal assembly that provides
some resistance during pedal depression and also
assists in returning the pedal to an upright position.
Braking assist
A system that monitors the swiftness of a driver's brake
pedal application and applies additional braking force if
it determines a that panic stop is occurring.
Branded title
A permanent designation on a vehicles title, registration
or permit documents that indicates that a vehicle has
incurred damage the repair of which is not possible or
would cost more than the vehicle is worth, or that the
vehicle has been sold for scrap. While branding
designations vary by state, typical branding titles
include rebuilt, salvage, irreparable and theft recovery.
Breakover angle
The maximum angle at which a vehicle can traverse a
sharp ridge without making contact or hanging up
between axles.
Brush guard
A metallic, tubular attachment to the front bumper of a
vehicle that shields and protects the vehicle from plant
life when driven off-road.
A supplemental device designed to protect a vehicles
frame and/or body from collision damage.
Buyout amount
See "Payoff Amount."

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The roof support structure on either side of the rear
window on a typical sedan or coupe. Read more.
Cabin lighting
Halogen lamps and/or light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
located in a vehicles headliner that illuminate a vehicles
interior space in its entirety.
Caliper conguration
A description of the number of hydraulic pistons used in
a vehicles brake caliper and their arrangement in
relation to each other.
Caliper type
The type of brake caliper: monoblock, sliding or dual
Cap reduction
Capital reduction. In a vehicle lease, any trade-in
amount, cash down payment or rebate amount that
reduces the cost of the vehicle being leased (its
"capitalized cost").
Capitalized cost
Often called the "cap cost." The negotiated price of a
vehicle to be leased, and one of the components used
to determine the monthly lease payment.
Captive nance company
An automobile lender that is a subsidiary of an
automobile manufacturer and whose principal business
includes nancing the sales and/or leases of that
manufacturers vehicles.
Carbon dioxide
A naturally occurring "greenhouse gas" that is also a
byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels and that
consists of two oxygen atoms bonded to a single
carbon atom.
Carbon footprint
A measure of a vehicles total consumption of natural
resources weighed against the Earths ability to
regenerate those resources.
Carbon monoxide
A "greenhouse gas" that is a byproduct of the
combustion of fossil fuels and that consists of a single
carbon atom bonded to a single oxygen atom.
A device used on older internal combustion gasoline
engines that is mounted on the engines intake manifold
and supplies fuel to the engine.
Cargo area features
Built-in amenities that serve a specic purpose in the
cargo areas of a vehicle.
Cargo door type
The type of cargo door: liftgate, vertical split-hinge or
horizontal split-hinge.
Cargo hauler
A vehicle that is well-adapted for hauling cargo.
Cargo tie downs
Hooks, straps or eyelets that function as anchors for
cargo nets and ropes used to secure objects.
Cash rebates
Rebates provided by the manufacturer directly to the
customer at the time the vehicle is purchased to lower
the nal price of the vehicle. Consumers usually may
elect to either receive this amount in cash or to credit
the rebate as part of the vehicles down payment.
Catalytic converter
A canister in the exhaust system, usually situated
before the muffler, containing a substance that reacts
chemically with the exhaust in order to reduce harmful
Catalytic converter heat shield
A metal panel, which may be insulated, that is used to
prevent the catalytic converter heat from harming
surrounding areas.
See "Crankcase ventilation lter."
Center console trim
Wood, composite, leather or metal adornments
intended to supplement the aesthetic elements of a
vehicles center console.
Center of gravity
A hypothetical point at which all of the mass of an
object acts as if it were concentrated. For a vehicle, the
lower the center of gravity the less likely the vehicle will
be to roll over when it is destabilized.
Certication sales region
A geographic area (usually identied by the states of
which it consists) in which a specic vehicle is certied
by the EPA to be sold to the public.
Certied pre-owned vehicle
A used vehicle offered for sale by a franchised dealer
for that vehicle make and who follows the
manufacturers requirements for "certifying" the vehicle
(including inspection and service) and which, upon sale,
is accompanied by a manufacturer-backed warranty.
Charcoal canister
A device that captures raw fuel vapors (hydrocarbons)
from the vehicles fuel tank and carburetor bowl before
they can escape into the air.
Child seat
An additional seat and harness specically designed for
the safety of small children and designed to work with a
vehicles built-in restraint system.
Child seat anchors
Built-in attachment points that accept child safety seats
built to ISOFIX international standards, commonly
referred to in the USA as the LATCH (Lower Anchors
and Tethers for Children) system.
Childproof safety feature(s)
The option(s) to disable a vehicles windows, door locks
and/or passenger air bag in order to prevent injury to
Choke linkage
On a carbureted engine, the assembly of parts that
controls a valve that limits incoming cold air until the
engine reaches operating temperature and is able to
more efciently vaporize fuel.
City fuel economy
The average number of miles a vehicle is able to travel
using one gallon of fuel according to EPA simulated
laboratory tests of city driving conditions.
Climate control
The computer-controlled regulation of heating and air
conditioning systems to accommodate a user-specied
temperature setting.
Climate-controlled seat lter
Air lter for air-conditioned seats.
Climate-controlled seats
Seats that have internal heating and cooling
An experienced dealership salesman or sales manager
who attempts, towards the end of the negotiation
process, to either improve the deal for the dealership or
to persuade a hesitant buyer to commit to the purchase.
Clutch bushing & linkage
The parts of the mechanical connection between the
clutch and clutch pedal in a non-hydraulic clutch
Clutch fluid
The liquid used in a hydraulic clutch system that helps
disengage the clutch from the flywheel.
Clutch fork ball stud
The pivot point for the clutch fork in the clutch housing
of a manual transmission.
Clutch lines & hoses
In a hydraulically actuated clutch, the tubes that carry
fluid between the clutch master cylinder and the slave
Clutch master cylinder
In a manual-transmission vehicle with a hydraulically
actuated clutch, a small-bore hydraulic cylinder
mechanically connected to the clutch pedal that
actuates a slave cylinder, which in turn actuates the
clutch fork that disengages the clutch when the clutch
pedal is depressed.
Clutch pedal
A pedal located on the floor of the vehicle to the left of
the brake pedal that, when depressed, disengages the
clutch from the flywheel.
Collapsible steering column
A steering column that collapses in the event of a hard
frontal impact to reduce the risk of injury to the driver.
Collision insurance
Vehicle insurance that cover damage caused by a
collision with another vehicle or object.
Combined fuel economy
The average number of miles a vehicle is able to travel
using one gallon of fuel according to EPA simulated
laboratory tests that consist of 55% highway and 45%
city driving conditions.
A digital or analog display that indicates the direction a
vehicle is facing.
Comprehensive insurance
Vehicle insurance that cover damage other than that
caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
Compression ratio
The ratio of (i) the volume of a vehicles engine cylinder
with its piston at bottom dead center to (ii) the volume
of the same cylinder with its piston at top dead center.
A storage area located in a vehicles dash or headliner,
between seats or underneath the seats.
Convertible roof type
The type of convertible roof tops, including soft tops,
hard tops, T-tops, Targa-style tops, and tops that are
manual or power operated.
Convertible wind blocker
Also known as an "aeroboard." An on a convertible
vehicle, the glass or plastic shield that prevents
reversion of high-velocity air as it passes over the low-
pressure, low-velocity air in the passenger
Also known as "antifreeze." A mixture of water and
ethylene glycol that has both a higher boiling point and
a lower freezing point than plain water.
Cooled seats
Seats that can direct air from the air conditioning
system through tiny holes in the center section of the
seat bottom.
Cooling fan & shroud
A mechanically, hydraulically or electrically driven fan
that pulls cooling air through a vehicles radiator; the
shroud forms a direct passage between the radiator and
fan, improving the fans effectiveness.
Cornering brake control
A feature of some antilock brake systems that
proportions and applies brake force in order to prevent
Cornering lights
A pair of white driving lights located at the two front
corners of a vehicle designed to aid during cornering.
See "Certied pre-owned vehicle."
Crankcase breather
A ventilation system or device that allows excessive
crankcase pressure to escape.
Crankcase depression regulator valve
A valve that prevents excess pressure from building in
the crankcase (which could lead to oil leakage past the
Crankcase ventilation lter
Also known as the "CCV." A lter that prevents foreign
particles from entering the crankcase.
Crash test ratings
Ratings that represent a vehicles performance in
various crash tests, published by the organization(s)
that conduct such tests.
Credit score
A number (referred to as a "score"), prepared by a
company in the business of scoring individuals
creditworthiness or in accordance with algorithms it
has established, that represents a judgment as to the
individuals creditworthiness and which is based on an
analysis of data reflected in his or her credit report and
other personal information.
Credit tier
The credit "category" in which a consumer is placed by
credit-rating companies, based on the consumers
personal credit history. A consumers credit tier helps
predict how nancial institutions will view that
consumer as a nancial risk (i.e., the likelihood that he
or she will make payments on time and ultimately repay
the loan). uses ve tiers: platinum, gold,
silver, bronze and unclassied. For more information,
visit .
Credit union
A nancial institution that is owned by its account
holders, membership of which is based on specied
criteria (for example afliation with an employer or
Cruise control
A device that, when engaged by the driver, automatically
controls a vehicles speed.
Crumple zone
A section of a vehicles structure that collapses during
impact to absorb energy.
Curb weight
The total weight of a vehicle, including a full tank of fuel,
all fluids and standard equipment, but without any cargo
or passengers.
Curtain airbags
Also known as "head airbags." Wide-spanning airbags
that when deployed cover the side glass in a side
impact or, in some applications, a rollover, to keep
occupants' heads and limbs fully inside the vehicle.
Customer cash incentive
A cash payment made by the manufacturer of a vehicle
to a customer to incentivize its purchase.
CV joints
Constant velocity joints, which are located on either end
of the drive axles and transmit engine power while
enabling full steering and suspension movement. Black
accordion boots cover and protect these joints and hold
A transmission with a continuously variable drive ratio
(as opposed to conventionally stepped gear ratios) that
maintains a steady acceleration curve with no pauses
for gear changes.
Cylinder conguration
The arrangement of an engines cylinders.
Cylinder deactivation
A feature of some engines that allows the engine to turn
off two or more cylinders in order to maximize fuel
Cylinder head bolts
Bolts that clamp an engines cylinder heads to the
engine block.

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The rear most roof support structure on an SUV, minivan
or wagon. Read more.
Dealer cash incentives
Amounts that are paid to dealers by manufacturers to
stimulate vehicle sales by incentivizing the dealers to
lower their prices to consumers, typically paid or earned
upon the dealers purchase of the vehicle from the
manufacturer, upon the dealers sale of the vehicle, or
when the dealer achieve specied sales volume targets.
Dealer holdback
A percentage of either the MSRP or invoice price of a
new vehicle (depending on the manufacturer) that is
repaid to the dealer by the manufacturer after the
vehicle is sold. For more information, read this article on
dealer holdback .
Death brake
A system of devices, including a heart rate sensor, that
applies braking when the drivers heart stops beating.
Deceleration fuel cut-off
A system that automatically cuts the fuel supply when
coasting or braking in order to achieve better fuel
efciency and more effective engine braking, and
resumes fuel supply when acceleration is once again
Deceleration system
An emissions device on a manually shifted vehicle that
bleeds vacuum from the intake when the vehicle is in
gear with the throttle closed. This causes the fuel
injectors to close during conditions of deceleration and
results in reduced emissions.
Declaration page
Also referred to as the "Declaration of insurance." The
portion of a property or liability insurance policy that
states the name and address of policyholder, the
property insured, its location and description, the policy
period, the premiums and supplemental information.
The act of disengaging a vehicles transmission from its
driveshaft, either manually or automatically, when its
driveshafts rpm exceeds the transmissions rpm.
(i) a test drive; (ii) a vehicle that has been used as a
demonstration model by a dealership.
The amount by which a vehicle (or any physical item)
loses its value over time. In vehicle lease transactions,
the projected depreciation of the vehicle is used to
determine the vehicles projected residual value and the
monthly lease payments.
Descent control
An off-road version of cruise control that uses the ABS
and traction control systems to independently
manipulate a vehicle's four brakes, which allows the
driver to descend steep and uneven terrain at a walking
speed more effectively than the driver can by using a
break pedal that controls all four brakes at once.
Destination charge
The fee that the manufacturer charges to deliver a
vehicle from the factory to the dealership, and that is
passed on by the dealer to the consumer; it is not
included in the MSRP of the vehicle. The destination fee
is the same for a particular vehicle no matter where the
dealership is located (with the exception of Alaska and
Hawaii in some instances).
Diesel engine
A vehicle with an engine that uses diesel fuel and
compression ignition.
Diesel engine hour meter
A digital or analog display that shows the amount of
time (in total hours) that a diesel vehicles engine has
run over its lifetime.
Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)
A fluid that is injected into diesel exhaust after it exits
the engine and before it enters a catalytic converter.
Read more.
Differential fluid
The liquid used for lubricating gears inside the
Direct injection system
A fuel injection system in which the injection nozzles
are located inside the combustion chamber of each
Direct shift gearbox
Also referred to as "DSG," "SMG," "sequential manual
gearbox" and "automated manual transmission." See
"Automated Manual Transmission."
Disc brake type
The type of brake rotors: solid, vented, slotted, cross-
drilled, ceramic or carbon.
Disc changer
An in-dash or remote-mounted CD or DVD/CD player
that can store and read multiple discs and play them
through the vehicles audio system.
Displacement (CCs)
The volume, in cubic centimeters, of a vehicles engine
cylinder with its piston at bottom dead center, multiplied
by the total number of cylinders in the vehicles engine.
Disposition fee
An amount charged by the leasing company at the end
of a lease that is intended to cover the cost of retrieving
and selling the vehicle if the lessee chooses not to buy
it. The lessee is billed for this charge after the vehicle is
Distributor cap
The nonconductive cap of the distributor that contains
the contacts leading to each individual spark plug.
Distributor rotor
The rotating, nonconductive component of a distributor
that contains contacts and that, when aligned, complete
an electrical circuit between the ignition coil and a spark
Diverter valve
On an engine equipped with an air pump, a valve
activated during deceleration that allows air from the air
pump into the intake to dilute the air/fuel mixture (in an
attempt to reduce emissions).
DMV fees
Department of Motor Vehicle fees. Sometimes referred
to as "title and license fees." The fees payable to the
state in which a vehicle is purchased and/or registered,
primarily for vehicle titling, registration and license
Down payment
A cash payment credited against the purchase price of
a vehicle, which reduces the amount to be nanced. In a
lease transaction, this amount is often referred to as the
"capital reduction."
Downshift cable
A transmission cable connected to the throttle that
shifts the transmission into a lower gear when the
accelerator is depressed suddenly beyond a certain
Drain plug washer
A composition or plastic sealing washer used on a bolt-
type drain plug.
Drive axle boots
The flexible, conical, accordion-like covers that contain
lubricant and protect the constant-velocity joints on a
drive axle shaft.
Drive belt tensioner
A self-adjusting device used for maintaining proper
tension on the drive belt.
Drive belt(s)
A belt that transfers the rotation of the engine through
the crankshaft pulley to drive various devices, such as
the alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor
or power steering pump.
Drive shaft
A sturdy metal tube with universal joints on either end
that connects the engine to a differential on a rear-
wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle.
Drive system
The type of drive system: two-wheel drive, four-wheel
drive or all-wheel drive
Drive train mounts
Flexible, energy-absorbing components that attach
parts of a vehicles drive train (for example, the
transmission, transfer case or differential housing) to
the chassis.
Drive-off fees
Also referred to as "Total Due at Signing." The total cost
that must be paid by the lessee at the inception of a
vehicle lease, which typically includes the rst months
lease payment, any security deposit required by the
leasing company, any acquisition fee charged by the
leasing company, any documentation fees charged by
the dealer, and various state registration fees.
Driver state sensor
A device that monitors a drivers eye movement and/or
vital signs while a vehicle is in motion.
The system of components that generates power and
transmits it to a vehicles wheels.
Drivetrain warranty
See "Powertrain warranty."
Driving lights
Auxiliary high-beam driving lamps.
Direct shift gearbox. Also referred to as "SMG,"
"sequential manual gearbox" and "automated manual
transmission." See "Automated Manual Transmission."
Dual-mode hybrid
A hybrid vehicle with two different drive systems,
referred to as Modes. In the rst mode the vehicles runs
solely on an electric motor powered by the vehicles
battery system. When the electric-only mode is low on
power, or during harder acceleration and faster speeds,
a gasoline engine mode will initiate. The second Mode
uses a gasoline engine to help power the vehicle and
recharge the electrical system batteries.
Dusk-sensing headlights
A feature that, when activated, automatically turns on
the headlights and taillights when the ambient light
dims at sunset.
Dynamic brake control
See "Emergency brake assist."

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A fuel consisting of gasoline or another hydrocarbon
mixed with up to 85% denatured ethanol.
Early termination
Ending a vehicle lease before its original term has
Easy entry
A device that automatically retracts a vehicles power
seats and/or steering column when the engine is
switched off.
EGR system
Exhaust Gas Recirculation system. A device that
redirects a small amount of exhaust to the engine
intake in an effort to lower combustion temperature and
reduce the emission of nitrogen oxide.
Electric battery type
The type of battery used to power the electric motor in a
hybrid or electric vehicle: lead-acid, flooded, gel, lithium
ion, absorbed glass mat, Zebra Na/NiCL2 or NiZn
Electric motor performance
An electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles electric motors
ability to do work, expressed in terms of horsepower,
torque or kilowatts.
Electric motor type
The type of electric motor in a hybrid or electric vehicle
used to power the drive wheels: permanent magnet
motor or other traction motor.
Electric vehicle
A vehicle that is run entirely on electricity, using
batteries, capacitors and one or more traction drive
Electrochromatic rearview mirror
A rearview mirror that automatically dims at night when
it detects a bright glare.
Electronic brake force distribution
A feature of some antilock braking systems that
proportions and applies brake force to each wheel
Electronic stability control
See "Stability control."
Emergency brake assist
An electronically controlled system that maximizes
brake efciency during panic stops.
Emergency braking preparation
A system that uses the adaptive cruise control sensors
to monitor the following distance to the car ahead; if the
gap is closing sufciently quickly, in anticipation of a
panic stop the system will cause the ABS pump to pre-
ll the brakes and will bring the brake pads close to the
Emergency Trunk Release
A glow-in-the dark pull handle inside a car's trunk that
permits escape for someone trapped inside.
Emissions certication standards
Numerical limits on the pollutants produced by a vehicle
established by the EPA and the California Air Resource
Emissions hoses & tubes
Hoses and tubes utilized by any of a vehicles emission
control devices.
Emissions score
A score from zero to 10 given by the EPA to each new
vehicle that represents the amount of total emissions
produced during a laboratory driving simulation of the
Emissions standards
The maximum allowable levels of NOx, carbon
monoxide, nonmethane organic compounds and
particulate matter permitted by EPA regulations to be
emitted by each new vehicle.
Engine Auto Stop/Start
A system that automatically shuts the engine off when
a vehicle comes to rest for a period, and then restarts it
automatically when the brake is released and the
throttle is depressed.
Engine descriptor
A special notation attached to a vehicles engine code in
order to describe its emissions rating or its fuel
economy, or that indicates that it can be run on multiple
fuel sources.
Engine hour meter
A device that records the number of hours an engine
has run over its lifetime.
Engine oil
A substance that lubricates and cools the moving parts
of the engine and reduces corrosion and the formation
of rust.
Engine oil level warning system
A device that automatically brings a low engine oil level
to the attention of a driver.
Engine performance
An engines ability to do work in terms of horsepower,
torque or efciency.
Engine size
A vehicle engines displacement, in liters (according to
its manufacturer).
Engine thermostat
A device that senses the temperature of the engine
coolant for the purpose of regulating the engine cooling
Entry lighting
A system of lights that aids a driver or passenger in
entering a vehicle in the dark.
Environmental impact
An assessment of the biophysical effects a vehicle has
on the environment, commencing with its production
and ending with its disposal.
EPA fuel economy/MPG estimates
The city and highway fuel economy ratings issued by
the EPA.
EPA interior volume
The amount of total space within the cabin of a vehicle
as measured by the EPA.
EPA testing
Laboratory tests of new vehicles conducted by the EPA
in controlled driving simulations, for the purpose of
generating data on average fuel economy, air pollution
and greenhouse gas production.
For a vehicle that has been nanced through a loan, the
difference at any time between what a vehicle is worth
at that time and the amount that is then owed on the
See "Stability control."
Estimated annual fuel costs
The estimated cost of fueling a vehicle over the course
of a year, assuming 15,000 miles per year are driven and
a price per gallon designated by the EPA.
Ethyl alcohol. A commonly used vehicle fuel.
Electric vehicle.
EV effective range per charge
The average distance an electric vehicle is able to travel
on a full charge, as measured by the EPA and listed on
the vehicle's window sticker.
Evaporative control canister
A device that captures raw fuel vapors (hydrocarbons)
from a vehicles fuel tank and carburetor bowl before
they can escape into the air.
Evaporative control canister lter
A lter on the evaporative control canister that lters
incoming air as fuel vapors contained in the canister are
being drawn back into the engine.
Evaporative control system
An emission control system that prevents raw fuel
vapors from entering the atmosphere.
Excess mileage penalty
A fee the lessee must pay when the allotted miles
specied in the lease are exceeded. The fee is
customarily $0.12-$0.25/mile in excess of the allotted
Excess wear and tear
Wear or damage to a vehicle that is in excess of what is
normally expected in the ordinary course of operating a
leased vehicle.
Exhaust pressure regulator valve
A device that directs warm exhaust to a vehicles intake
in an effort to aid fuel vaporization and reduce warm-up
Extended warranty
A vehicle warranty sold by the manufacturer of the
vehicle or a third party that extends the vehicles basic
warranty beyond its original period.
Exterior camera
A video camera mounted outside a vehicle that relays
its signal to a monitor within the cabin.
Exterior mirrors adjustment type
The type of position adjustment control for the exterior
mirrors: power, memory or manual.
External temperature display
The digital display of the ambient air temperature
around a vehicle.

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Vehicle equipment that is installed by the manufacturer
(in contrast to equipment that may be installed by the
dealer or the owner).
Factory tuner
A "Factory Tuner" is a vehicle model that has signicant
engine and/or chassis upgrades as compared its parent
model. It is built at the factory and typically has a name
that includes a "factory tuner" designation (e.g.
Mercedes-Benz "AMG" or BMW "M"). Examples include
the BMW M3 and the Cadillac XLR-V .
Fan hub
The mechanical connection between the radiator fan
and its point of attachment.
Front-engine front-wheel drive. A vehicle that is
propelled solely by its front wheels and whose engine is
located forward of its front axle.
Fair Isaac Corporation, which is a company that
calculates and distributes consumer credit scores.
To borrow money (either as a loan or in the form of a
lease) to obtain some or all of the funds to acquire a
Finance and insurance ofce
Sometimes referred as the "F&I ofce." The ofce within
a dealership in which vehicle purchase contracts are
prepared and signed and additional services (including
insurance and extended warranties) may be offered to
the purchaser.
Finance incentive
Manufacturer loan programs offered to consumers,
usually for a limited period, on selected vehicles and/or
in certain areas, as an incentive to purchase a vehicle.
Finance rate
See "APR."
Flex-fuel engine
An engine that can be run on more than one type of fuel
(for example, E85 and gasoline).
Flex fuel vehicle
A vehicle than can run on at least two different fuel
sources either simultaneously through a single fuel
system or separately through multiple fuel systems.
Fog lights
A pair of driving lights that provides a wide, low beam in
an attempt to undercut fog.
Forced induction
The forced compression of air into an engines cylinders
by means of a supercharger or turbocharger.
Four-square worksheet
A standard form used at many dealerships that helps
salespeople keep track of four elements of a deal
during negotiations with a customer: the price of the
vehicle, the amount to be credited for the trade-in, the
down payment and the monthly payment.
A drivetrain that employs two differentials and a
transfer case to provide power to all four wheels of a
Four-wheel steering
A feature of some vehicles that allows the rear wheels
to be steered (by a computer and actuators), for the
purpose of increasing high-speed cornering stability.
Front-engine rear-wheel drive. A vehicle that is propelled
solely by its rear wheels and whose engine is located
forward of its front axle.
Front brakes specications
The dimensions of the major components of a vehicles
front brake rotors, and the type of brake ventilation
Front mid engine
A vehicle with an engine that is forward of its passenger
compartment but aft of its front axle.
Front seat type
The type of front seating: bucket seats, sport seats,
split-bench seats or captains chairs.
Fuel capacity
The amount of fuel that a vehicles fuel tank can hold.
Fuel cell vehicle
A vehicle that utilizes fuel cells to create electricity
through a chemical process using oxygen from the air
and hydrogen.
Fuel consumption
The rate at which an engine depletes its fuel supply.
Fuel economy
A measure of the amount of fuel used by a vehicle over
a certain distance, or the distance traveled per volume
of fuel used.
Fuel ller cap
A cap used to seal a vehicles fuel ller neck.
Fuel lter
A replaceable metal or plastic canister that prevents
particulate matter and most contaminants in the fuel
from reaching the engine.
Fuel injection system
A device that atomizes fuel by forcibly pumping it
through a small nozzle under high pressure and delivers
it to the vehicles engine.
Fuel lines & connections
The tubing and connections that carry fuel through a
Fuel pre-lter
For diesel-fuel engines, the device that lters the fuel
immediately before it enters the fuel pump.
Fuel pump shutoff
A device that automatically shuts off a vehicles fuel
pump after a collision.
Fuel system
The assemblage of parts that stores and delivers fuel
for the engine, including the fuel cap, fuel tank, fuel lines
and hoses, fuel pump, fuel lter and fuel injectors or
Fuel type
The type of fuel used to power a vehicle: gasoline,
ethanol, E85, diesel, bio-diesel, natural gas or electricity.
Fuel/water separator
A device that separates the water from the fuel in
addition to, or as part of, the fuel ltering system.

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Gap insurance
In a vehicle lease, insurance that covers any "gap"
between (i) the amount the lessees insurance company
will pay to the lessee if the leased vehicle is stolen or
destroyed, and (ii) the aggregate remaining amount the
lessee owes at that time to the leasing company.
Gas guzzler Tax
A graduated federal tax levied at the time of initial new-
vehicle purchase on vehicles with especially poor fuel
Gas/electric hybrid engine
A powertrain that combines an electric motor and a
gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine.
Gasoline engine
An internal combustion engine that burns conventional
See "instrumentation."
The portion of a vehicle above its beltline.
Greenhouse gas score
A score from zero to 10 given by the EPA to each new
vehicle by that represents the amount of greenhouse
gases emitted during a laboratory driving simulation of
the vehicle.
Greenhouse gases
Gases produced by vehicles that use hydrocarbons as
fuel (such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide,
methane, nitrous oxide and hydroflourocarbons) that
contribute to reducing the loss of atmospheric heat into
Gross vehicle weight rating
Also referred to as "GVWR." The sum of a vehicles curb
weight, cargo weight capacity and passenger weight
Ground clearance
The distance between the lowest point of a vehicle and
level ground.
See "Gross vehicle weight rating."
Gyro sensor
A device that enables a vehicles navigation system to
determine the direction the vehicle is facing.

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Haldex clutch
Limited slip coupling used in vehicles with automatic
all-wheel drive systems to engage and disengage a
secondary axle when needed.
Homogeneous charge compression ignition. An internal
combustion engine in which gasoline and air are
compressed to the point of auto-ignition.
Head airbags
See "Curtain airbags."
Head room
The distance from the hip of a vehicles occupant to the
vehicles interior rooftop.
Head unit
The central control unit for a vehicles entertainment
Headlight washers
A set of washer nozzles and/or wipers that clean a
vehicles headlights.
A pair of bright lamps that provide visibility during
A pair of small speakers that, when placed close to a
passengers ears, enables the passenger to listen to a
vehicles sound system without disturbing other
Heads-up display
A digital display projected from a vehicles dashboard
onto its windshield to provide information within the
drivers direct line of sight.
Heated air temperature sensor
A device that provides information needed by a vehicles
computer to determine the temperature of the air
coming into the engine.
Heated mirrors
Sideview mirrors with internal electronic heating coils
designed to prevent fog and ice from obstructing
Heated windshield
A windshield with tiny embedded heating elements that
act to resist fogging.
Heated windshield wiper rests
Heating elements below the wipers that melt ice and
snow when they freeze to the glass.
A heat exchanger placed in the ventilation system that
diffuses heat from the engines cooling system into an
airstream generated by an inline fan.
Heater hoses
Tubing that carries engine coolant between a vehicles
cooling system and heater core.
The distance between the tallest part of a vehicle and
level ground.
Highway fuel economy
The average number of miles a vehicle is able to travel
using one gallon of fuel according to EPA simulated
laboratory tests of highway driving conditions.
Hill holder
A device that applies brake pressure when a vehicles
clutch is disengaged.
Hinge type
The type of door hinge: standard, scissor, gullwing or
Hip room
The distance from the drivers side lower door panel to
the front passengers lower side door panel.
Horse Power
A unit of measurement for engine power that was
originally developed as a way to express the output of
steam locomotives in terms of the strength of draft
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Hybrid degree
The level of hybrid technology used for a vehicle: full,
mild, power-assist or plug-in.
Hybrid drivetrain layout
The drivetrain layout in a hybrid vehicle: parallel, series
or combined.
Hybrid engine
A powertrain that combines an electric motor and an
alternative means of propulsion and/or power
generation (for example, hydrogen). A gas/electric
hybrid engine is the most common example of a hybrid
Hybrid gas engine performance
A hybrid vehicles gasoline engines ability to do work,
expressed in terms of horsepower or torque.
Hybrid performance
A hybrid engine and electric motors combined ability to
do work in terms of horsepower, torque or efciency.
Hybrid power source
The source of power in a hybrid vehicle: gas/electric,
plug-in, fuel cell or pneumatic.
Hybrid vehicle
A vehicle that combines the use of internal combustion
and electricity as power sources.
Organic compounds commonly used as a fuel source
consisting of only hydrogen and carbon atoms.
Hydrogen fuel cell
An energy conversion device that produces electricity by
means of electrochemical reactions between hydrogen
and an oxidant.

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Idle speed
The RPM of the engine free from load (all accessories
off), at normal operating temperature and in neutral (or,
in the case of an automatic transmission, park or
Idler pulley
A guide or tightening pulley for a belt or chain.
Ignition timing
The process of setting the time that a spark will occur in
the combustion chamber (during the power stroke)
relative to piston position and crankshaft angular
Inherently low-emission vehicle. An emissions standard
for alternative-fuel vehicles with closed and pressurized
fuel systems.
Inboard brakes
A braking system that is located within the chassis of a
vehicle instead of at its hubs.
In-car cellular phone
A cellular phone that either (i) has a handset built into
the vehicle, or (ii) is a portable unit with an
accompanying dock built into the vehicle that enables
operation through the vehicles entertainment and stereo
Any kind of nancial assistance from a vehicle
manufacturer that, by reducing either the net price or
the cost of nancing/leasing, motivates customers to
buy/lease a new vehicle. The most common incentives
are customer cash rebates, low-interest nancing and
leases that are subsidized by the manufacturer.
Incentives and rebates
An auto industry term that encompasses all methods by
which manufacturers attempt to stimulate vehicle sales
and leases by reducing the net cost to consumers
without reducing the vehicles MSRPs, which includes
customer rebates, dealer cash incentives and special
Individual monitors
More than one video monitor in the rear passenger area
of a vehicle with a rear seat entertainment system.
Digital and/or analog displays used to convey to the
driver information such as dynamic engine parameters,
operating conditions, RPM, speed and water
Instrumented testing
The analysis of a vehicles performance characteristics
using precise scientic equipment.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Sometimes referred to as the "IIHS." An organization
created by the insurance industry for the purpose of
reducing the losses (deaths, injuries and property
damage) from vehicle crashes.
Integrated turn signal
A turn signal light that is mounted on or in a vehicles
sideview mirror.
Intelligent alternator
An alternator that operates primarily when the engine
has no need for power, i.e., when coasting or during
braking. The alternator remains passive while the
vehicle is under power, with needed electrical power
provided by the battery, for the purpose of improving the
vehicles fuel efciency.
Intelligent car
A vehicle that employs the latest in telemetrics, driver
awareness and/or pedestrian safety technology.
Interior lighting
Halogen lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) used to
illuminate a vehicles interior space.
Interior trim
Wood, composite, leather or metal adornments
intended to supplement the aesthetic elements of a
vehicles interior.
Intermittent wipers
A wiper setting that causes the wipers to pause for a
driver-selected period between wipes.
Also referred to as "Invoice Price." The price that
appears on the invoice that the manufacturer sends to
the dealer when the dealer receives a vehicle from the
factory. More information on inv oice price.

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Keyless ignition
A system that allows the activation by the driver of a
push-button to start a vehicle if proximity sensors
detect the electronic key inside the vehicle.
Kingpin bushings
Lubricated solid bearings or bushings usually present
between the kingpin and steering knuckle.
Knee airbags
Small airbags that deploy under the dashboard by the
knees, typically on the driver's side where the steering
column and other hard vehicle parts are located.

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Lane departure warning system
A system of electronic components designed to warn a
driver when a vehicle strays out of its lane.
Lane watch
A system developed by Honda that shows real time
video of a vehicle's right side blind spot when the turn
signal is activated. Read more.
Lease incentive
An incentive offered by the manufacturer to reduce the
cost of a vehicle lease, either by reducing the interest
rate or increasing the residual value of the vehicle.
Lease factor
See "Money factor."
Lease fee
See "Money factor."
Lease term
The number of months that constitute the term of a
vehicle lease.
Leg room
The distance from the floor of a vehicle (a persons
ankle point) to the centerline of the seat (a persons hip
The distance from the most forward-facing point of a
vehicle to the most rearward point.
A vehicle that is found to have numerous or severe
defects not readily apparent before its purchase. Used
both informally to mean a vehicle that proves to be
defective, imperfect or unsatisfactory, and with more
precise meaning in various states "lemon laws" that
provide vehicle purchasers certain rights.
The person or entity that leases a vehicle.
The entity that owns the vehicle being leased. Although
most leases are arranged by a dealership, in almost all
cases the lessor is either a nancial institution or a
division of the vehicle manufacturer.
Low emission vehicle. A vehicle that meets the average
emissions standard within the LEV program.
LEV Program
See "Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Program."
Li-ion (Lithium-ion) battery is a type of rechargeable
battery that offers better performance versus
conventional rechargeable batteries such as NiCad
(Nickel-Cadmium) and NiMH (nickel-metal hydride).
Lithium-ion offers more power and less weight, which
offers an extended driving range. However, Li-ion
batteries are more fragile and can be damaged by
extreme temperatures.
Liftgate window
The window integrated into the hinged lid of a
hatchback, wagon, SUV or crossover that swings
upward to provide access to the cargo area.
Light bar
Additional lighting mounted on a metal or plastic frame
that is attached to a vehicles roof, and that is typically
available on trucks and SUVs.
Limited production vehicle
A vehicle for which the manufacturer has established a
limit on the number units to be produced, without regard
to the maximum number the manufacturer may be able
to sell. These vehicles typically have special interior
and/or exterior trim and/or costly performance
enhancements that distinguish them from their
mainstream counterparts.
Limited warranty
A vehicle warranty that is in effect for a specied
number of years and/or miles driven.
Lip spoiler
A spoiler that is flush-mounted to a vehicles trunk lid or
liftgate that allows air to flow over it but not under it
(and that is usually installed for aesthetic purposes).
LNG (Liqueed natural gas) is natural gas (CH4) that
has been rened and liqueed. The Process of
liquefying natural gas requires the removal of
contaminants like helium, water, and heavy
hydrocarbons then condensed into a liquid state close
to atmospheric pressure 3.6 psi (25 kPa) by cooling it to
approximately ?260 F (?163 C).
Load height
The minimum height to which an item must be lifted in
order to be loaded into a vehicles cargo area.
Load rating
See "Tire load index."
Lock cylinders
The part of a hatch or doors latching mechanism into
which the key is inserted.
A device or system of devices that prevents a vehicle
from being entered without a key or an electronic
keyless entry remote control.
Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Program
The National Low Emissions Vehicle Program. An EPA-
sponsored initiative to reduce the amount of emissions
per vehicle.
Low fuel warning indicator
An alert, usually in the form of a halogen lamp or LED,
warning the driver of a low fuel supply.
Low-interest nancing
A loan offered by the manufacturers captive nance
company at a below-market interest rate.
Liqueed petroleum gas. Also referred to as "GPL," "LP
Gas" or "autogas." A blend primarily of two hydrocarbon
gases, propane and butane. Propylene and butylenes
can also be present in small concentration. Ethanethiol,
a powerful odorant, is also added so that leaks can be
Luggage capacity
A measurement of a vehicles trunk/cargo volume with
all standard seats in place.
Lumbar support
A mechanical or pneumatic device that matches a
vehicles seat back to the contours of the driver or

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M85 is a blend of 85% methanol and 15% gasoline. It is
not commonly used because Methanol and Methanol
fumes are poisonous.
For a vehicle, either the name of its manufacturer or, if
the manufacturer has more than one operating unit, the
name of that unit.
Manifold heat control valve
A thermostatic device that routes exhaust heat to the
intake manifold in order to promote fuel vaporization
and reduce warm-up time.
Manual extending mirrors
A sideview mirror that can be manually moved further
away from a vehicle when it is towing an object.
Manual transmission
A transmission that uses a clutch and a shift (gear)
selector to change gears.
Manual transmission fluid
The fluid used for lubricating and cooling a manual
Manufacturers engine code
An alphanumeric code given to an engine by its
manufacturer in order to distinguish it from other
Map storage
The media on which the maps for a vehicles navigation
system are stored (generally CD, DVD or hard drive).
Marketing support
An auto industry term that describes programs that
manufacturers provide to stimulate sales or assist
dealers in the advertising and marketing of their
Massaging seats
Seats that contain moving mechanical elements in the
seatback, usually with several selectable settings.
The speed of an engine at which it generates its
maximum horsepower.
Max Torque RPM
The speed of an engine at which it generates its
maximum torque.
Maximum cargo capacity
A measurement of a vehicles cargo volume when the
rear seats (including a third row if applicable) are folded
or removed.
Memory settings
Preset positions and settings (for power seats, mirrors
or steering column positions for a vehicles driver) or for
the HVAC system, audio system, exterior mirrors or
navigation system, that can be recalled using a button.
A vehicle that is propelled solely by its rear wheels and
whose engine that is aft of the passenger compartment
but forward of the rear axle.
Mileage allowance
In a vehicle lease, the number of miles the lessee is
permitted to drive over the term of the lease without
incurring an excess mileage penalty.
A specic vehicle brand identied by a name or number
(and which is usually further classied by trim or style
Model year
For a vehicle model, the calendar year designation
assigned by the manufacturer to the annual version of
that model.
Money factor
Also referred to as a "lease factor" or "lease fee." An
auto leasing industry term for expressing the interest
rate used to calculate the monthly lease payment, and
equal to the leases APR divided by 2,400. (For example,
an APR of 7.2% equals a money factor of 0.0033.)
Monroney sticker
Also referred to as a "Window sticker." A sticker,
required by law for all new vehicles sold in the United
States, that is afxed to the side window or windshield
and that must include the following information: MSRP,
engine and transmission specs, standard equipment
and warranty details, optional equipment and pricing,
city and highway mileage ratings as determined by the
Environment Protection Agency, and crash test ratings
from the National Highway Trafc Safety
Monthly payment
The amount of principal and interest that must be paid
each month under the terms of a nance or lease
Miles per gallon.
Manufacturers suggested retail price. Also referred to
as "sticker price."

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National Highway Trafc Safety Administration
Sometimes referred to as the "NHTSA." An agency of
the United States government authorized to order
manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, or vehicle
equipment, when investigations indicate that they
contain serious safety defects in their design,
construction or performance.
Natural gas engine
An internal combustion engine that burns natural gas.
Navigation interface
The means by which a vehicles navigation system is
controlled, including touch screen, jog dial, push button
and/or voice activation.
Navigation system
A device that communicates with global positioning
satellites to determine a vehicles physical location and
plot a course using stored map information.
NHTSA campaign ID number
The identication number assigned to a recall by the
National Highway Trafc Safety Administration.
NHTSA item number
The identication number assigned to a technical
service bulletin by the National Highway Trafc Safety
An exterior camera that uses infrared technology to
provide added visibility when driving in the dark.
NLEV program
National low emission vehicle program. A voluntary
national low emission vehicle program for light-duty
vehicles and light-duty trucks that is enforced by the
EPA (outside of California) once automakers and states
opt in and the program is in effect.
An abbreviation for six chemical compounds produced
during high temperature combustion, containing only
nitrogen and oxygen atoms, that react with volatile
organic compounds in the presence of sunlight to
create photochemical smog.
Number of speeds
The number of different drive ratios a vehicles
transmission is capable of selecting.
NVH dampening
A system of devices that lessens the noise, vibration
and harshness in the passenger compartment of a

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Original equipment manufacturer, i.e., the manufacturer
of a vehicle.
Ofce of Defects Investigation
An ofce within the National Highway Trafc Safety
Administration that conducts defect investigations and
administers safety recalls, and that monitors the
adequacy of manufacturers recall campaigns.
Off-road ready
A vehicle with high-ground-clearance outtted for the
rigors of traveling on non-paved roads.
Oil lter
A cartridge-lled canister placed in an engines
lubricating system to strain dirt and abrasive materials
out of the oil.
On-board diagnosis system
A computer-controlled system that identies
malfunctioning or out-of-adjustment components under
its control through the display of trouble codes. The
presence of trouble codes is usually indicated by an
intermittently or constantly lit "check engine " or "service
engine soon" light.
115V AC Outlet
An electrical socket receiving 115v AC current produced
by a vehicles charging system.
One-touch windows
Vehicle windows with a changeover switch that is
capable of automatically rolling the window glass
completely up or down (as well as functioning as a
conventional momentary power window switch).
Optional equipment
Equipment that is not included in the manufacturers
base conguration of a vehicle.
Overpressure safety switch
A switch used on a turbocharged engine that warns the
operator of excessive and potentially harmful intake
pressure that may be caused by component
A handling characteristic of a vehicle that causes it to
turn more sharply than the driver intends because the
rear wheels are sliding to the outside of the turn.
Oxygen sensor
In a computer-controlled, fuel-injected vehicle, a sensor
mounted in the exhaust stream that relays air/fuel ratio
information to the fuel control computer that allows the
computer to make adjustments.

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Parallel hybrid
A vehicle that is powered by an electric motor and an
internal combustion engine that are inline. This type of
hybrid can be driven on either full electric mode,
gasoline engine mode, or combined. This is the most
common type of hybrid vehicle currently used today.
Parking assist
An electronic system that employs laser, radar or sonar
technology to enable a vehicle to park itself, in some
cases without driver input.
Parking lights
Sometimes referred to as "daytime running lights."
White lights intended to increase a vehicles visibility to
other drivers.
Parking senors
Button-size sensors in the front and/or rear bumpers
that measure the distance to nearby cars and other
objects and alert the driver using sounds or lights.
Passenger memory settings
Preset power seat positions for the passenger that can
be recalled using a button.
Passenger volume
The total volume of space available for passengers in
the front and rear seat(s) of a vehicle.
A vehicle's carrying capacity (in pounds) of occupants
and cargo, and equal to the vehicle's Gross Vehicle
Weight Rating (GVWR) minus its curb weight.
Payoff amount
Also called the "buyout amount." The amount that, at
any specied time during the term of a vehicle lease or
loan, is required to be paid in order to discharge the
remaining obligation.
PCV lter/PCV valve
Positive crankcase ventilation lter/positive crankcase
ventilation valve. Devices that allow the venting of
combustion gases from the crankcase to the intake
system instead of into the atmosphere.
Pedal adjustment
The mechanism that controls the position of a vehicles
gas, brake and/or clutch pedal to suit the needs of the
A shaft or other structure that supports the roof of a
vehicle, with the A-pillars being the structures that
frame the windscreen, and each successive set of
structures (moving toward the rear of the vehicle) being
named after successive letters of the alphabet.
Pilot bearing
A bearing that is press-t into the rear of the crankshaft
and that supports the tip of the transmission input
Plenum chamber water drain valve
A valve used on some vehicles to drain collected
condensation from the intake plenum.
Plug-in vehicle
A vehicle powered solely by electricity available from a
standard domestic AC power socket.
Plus size wheels
Also known as "up-sized wheels." Wheel and tire
packages that are larger in diameter than those
included in a vehicles standard equipment.
Polarization coating
A coating that reduces the glare from sideview mirrors
by modifying the reflected light.
Post collision communication
A component of a vehicles telemetrics system that,
when triggered, automatically informs authorities after a
Postcrash safety
Safety measures and devices that lessen the chance of
a driver or passenger being hurt in the aftermath of a
Power activated release
The electronically controlled release of a vehicles hatch
or trunk (in contrast to a conventional cable-activated
release mechanism).
Power extending mirrors
An electronically controlled sideview mirror that can be
moved further away from a vehicle when it is towing an
Power steering
An electric and/or hydraulic system that multiplies, for
ease and comfort, the force a driver exerts on the
steering wheel.
Power steering fluid
Hydraulic fluid used in a power steering system.
Power steering hoses
The flexible hoses carrying hydraulic fluid between the
various components of a power steering system.
Powertrain warranty
Also referred to as the "drivetrain warranty." A vehicle
warranty that covers most of the parts that make the
vehicle move, including the engine, transmission, drive
axles and driveshaft. As with a basic warranty,
"consumable" parts such as hoses and belts are not
covered. However, most of the internal parts of the
engine, such as the pistons and bearings, which are also
subject to wear and tear, are covered by a powertrain
Precrash safety
Safety measures and devices that prevent a collision
from occurring or lessen the chances of a driver or
passenger injury in the event of a collision.
Precrash safety seats
Seats that spring into a safe position when a precrash
systems senses an impending collision.
Precrash system
A system of devices that employs radar or laser
technology to sense an impending collision and reacts
by implementing precautionary measures, including
tightening seatbelts and applying braking.
Premium audio
A sound system that has been provided to the vehicle
manufacturer by a name brand audio manufacturer.
Privacy glass
A vehicle window with a factory-installed tint, utilizing
either a mylar covering or smoked glass, that has
enough opacity to obscure the vehicles interior from
Private party price
The price consumers are paying private sellers for
similar vehicles.
Program car
A "program car" is one that was owned by the
manufacturer and given to employees for a short time
to use for company business and later purchased at
auction by the dealership. Sometimes former rental cars
turn up on used car lots advertised as "program cars";
this will be revealed if you run a vehicle identication
number (VIN) check using a service such as CARFAX or
Purchase option
The right given to a vehicle lessee to purchase the
vehicle at the end of the lease term for an amount equal
to the vehicles residual value.
Purge valve
In an evaporative emissions control system, the valve
that allows the venting of fuel vapors from the charcoal
canister to a vehicles intake and prevents the canister
from becoming saturated and nonfunctional.
Partial zero emission vehicle. A vehicle that has zero
evaporative emissions and meets the EPAs SULEV

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Radiator core & AC condenser
The part of a vehicles radiator and air conditioning
systems made up of small-diameter tubes with a series
of thin, heat-conducting ns in between.
Radiator hoses
The tubes between the radiator and the engine.
Radio data system
A small portion of the FM frequency that is allocated for
broadcasting alphanumeric news, trafc and song
Rain-sensing wipers
A feature that uses rainfall sensors to engage the
wipers and adjust wiper speed accordingly.
Real time trafc updates
Trafc congestion information gathered by road
sensors and other means read by a vehicles navigation
system through communications satellites.
Rear area cargo cover
A feature that uses rainfall sensors to engage the
wipers and adjust wiper speed accordingly.
Rear brake type
The type of rear brake: drum or disc.
Rear defroster
A device that melts ice or frost or removes
condensation from a vehicles rear window.
Rear door type
The type of rear door: hinged or sliding.
Rear electric motor performance
An electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles rear electric
motors ability to do work, expressed in terms of
horsepower, torque and/or kilowatts.
Rear electric motor type
The type of rear electric motor in a hybrid vehicle or EV
used to power the rear wheels: permanent magnet
motor or other traction motor.
The climate-control system used to regulate heating
and air conditioning for the area of a vehicle behind the
front row seating.
Rear seat entertainment system
The elements of a vehicles entertainment system
accessible to rear seat passengers.
Rear seat type
The type of rear seating: bench seats, bucket seats,
removable seats, split-bench seats, captains chairs or
seats that convert into a bed.
Rear spoiler
An aerodynamic device attached to a vehicles trunk lid
or liftgate consisting of one or more airfoils supported
by uprights that allows air to flow over it as well as
under it, resulting in decreased lift and increased
stability at high speeds.