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Our Glossary

Woolston Autos’ Glossary

 Unless you are a mechanic or car enthusiast then you may find some of the jargon in the car trade difficult to understand. To help you understand more about the components of your car we have provided a brief glossary of terms we hope you will find useful.

Air Filter – A filter which stops harmful debris in the air from entering your car engine

Brake Line – Stiff tubing used to connect hydraulic components of your braking system.

Camber – The measurement of the angle in between the plane of a wheels circumference and a vertical line stated in degrees and minutes. The top surface of a cars wheel point inward if the camber is negative and outwards when it is positive.

Differential – A kind of gearbox which divides torque into two separate outputs which can move at individual speeds. They can also be used in four wheel drive vehicles to regulate the torque evenly.

Exhaust Manifold – The group of passages that direct exhaust fumes from exhaust ports towards the catalysts and mufflers out of the exhaust.

Flywheel – One of the important components used to start the engine. The flywheel is a pad connected to the back of the crankshaft. The ring gear connected to the flywheel is spun by the starter drive providing motion to start the car.

Gasket – A form of sealing used to protect different components of the engine. Different materials are used for different areas of the engine (e.g. metal or asbestos gaskets will be used in the exhaust manifolds).

Hydraulic System – In modern braking systems fluid is used to send the force of the braking impact from the foot pedal outwards towards the discs and eventually stopping the car.

Inhibitor – An ingredient added to fluids in your car such as petrol and water to limit the effects of foaming and rusting.

Jumper Cables – Cables used to create a spark of electricity from a live car battery to start a flat one.

Kingpin – A type of pin used as a hinge to help cars axles pivot.

Lateral Run Out – A system used to measure how much a tire wobbles whilst turning. A car with too much lateral run out will have balancing problems as the tire moves back and forth.

Manifold – A system of pipes that link the cylinders to an inlet or outlet source.

Neutral – Gear position that locks the wheels of the car.

Odometer – Instrument used to record journeys or total mileage of a car.

Power Steering – Steering assisted by hydraulics. Fluid is pumped into a cylinder that helps make the wheels turn with less effort.

Relay – A switch used to automatically open or close an electrical circuit.

Sway Bar – Part of the suspension system that is used to reduce the body rolling around corners. Sway bars with a larger diameter can increase stability further.

Tachometer – Used to measure the speed of rotation of a gear or shaft or other rotating part of the engine.

Undercoating – Substance applied to the underside of a car to reduce sound emissions and rusting.

Valve – Used to regulate the pressure and flow of liquids and gases in a car engine.

Wheel Base – Measurement of the distance between the centers of the front and back wheels. This can be used to detect misaligned axles.