0-60 - The time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.
4MATIC - The marketing name of an AWD four-wheel drive system developed by Mercedes-Benz. It is designed to increase traction in slippery conditions.
4WD - A vehicle with four-wheel drive. 4 wheel drive, gives a vehicle power to all four wheels as desired but can be switched to two wheel drive as desired.
4x2 - A vehicle has 4 wheels total and 2 wheels that are driven. The driven wheels can be either back or front wheels but are usually the back wheels.
4x4 - A vehicle with four-wheel drive. 4 wheel drive, gives a vehicle power to all four wheels as desired but can be switched to two wheel drive as desired.
ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes: A safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface according to driver inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (ceasing rotation) and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.
Air Filter - This one is exactly what it sounds like: an actual filter that removes dust and dirt particles from the air stream being ingested by the engine.
Annual Percentage Rate - The annual rate that is charged for borrowing (or made by investing), expressed as a single percentage number that represents the actual yearly cost of funds over the term of a loan. This includes any fees or additional costs associated with the transaction.
Anti-Lock Brakes - A safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface according to driver inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (ceasing rotation) and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.
Anti-Lock Braking System - When the wheels lock up, the ABS keep the wheels rolling so they can find traction.
Antifreeze - A liquid solution which, when mixed with water, raises the boiling point and lowers the freezing point of water. It is poured into the radiator.
APR - Annual Percentage Rate: The interest rate on a loan.
ATC - Automatic Temperature Control
ATF - Automatic Transmission Fluid
AUX - Auxiliary audio jack
Bluetooth - A standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of cellular phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
Brake Pads - The thin blocks that grip the disc in a disc brake.
caliper - Part of the disc brake system. When you press the brake, brake fluid flows through the calipers, pushing the brake pads against the rotors to slow/stop your car.
calipers - Part of the disc brake system. When you press the brake, brake fluid flows through the calipers, pushing the brake pads against the rotors to slow/stop your car.
Camshaft - When cams are fastened around a shaft to help operate valves within the engine.
Carburetor - A device in an internal combustion engine for mixing air with a fine spray of liquid fuel.
Choke - On older carbureted engines, a device which limits the amount of air which enters the carburetor, thus controlling the air/fuel mixture.
Clutch - On manual transmissions, the clutch is a mechanical device--operated by the clutch pedal--that engages and disengages the engine from the transmission so that you can change gears.
Continuously Variable Transmission -
Coupe - A car with a fixed roof and two doors.
CPO - A certified pre-owned car or CPO is a type of used car. Most often late-model, they differ from other used cars by having been inspected, refurbished, and certified by a manufacturer or other certifying authority. They also typically include an extended warranty, special financing, and additional benefits.
Crankshaft - The crankshaft is located in the engine of a vehicle and converts the force created by the engine's pistons moving up and down into a force that moves the wheels in a circular motion so the car can go forward.
CUVs - Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV), is a vehicle built on a car platform and combining, in highly variable degrees, features of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a station wagon or hatchback.
Dealer Incentives - Special offers sent from the car manufacturers to their dealers to encourage sales.
Diesel Engine - A very high-compression combustion engine that burns diesel fuel instead of gasoline. Diesel engines are known for outstanding fuel efficiency.
Dipstick - A long metal stick used to check fluids levels--oil, transmission fluid, and the like. This is a part every driver should be familiar with.
Direct-Shift Gearbox - Direct-shift gearbox or a DSG (Volkswagen): electronically controlled dual-clutch multiple-shaft manual gearbox without a conventional clutch pedal, and with full-automatic or semi automatic control
Disc Brake - A brake system in which a disc attached to a wheel is slowed by the friction of brake pads being pressed against the disc by a caliper.
Down Payment - An up-front payment made at the time of purchase that reduces the cost financed in the lease or loan.
Drivetrain - All of the components that connect the engine to the wheels i.e. engine, transmission, wheels, axle and clutch
DSG - Direct-shift gearbox (Volkswagen): Electronically controlled dual-clutch multiple-shaft manual gearbox without a conventional clutch pedal, and with full-automatic or semi automatic control.
EPA Fuel Economy - Fuel-economy tests administered by the Environmental Protection Agency to test the fuel-economy of new vehicles.
Exhaust Pipe - A pipe that carries the gases or steam out of an engine, also known as a tailpipe.
Extended Warranty - A "service contract." An agreement to cover certain service and repairs that extended beyond the basic factory warranty.
Fair Market Value - The worth of a leased vehicle at the end of the lease period.
Fan Belt - A belt, driven by the crankshaft of an engine,that turns a fan for drawing cooling air through the radiator.
Flooding the Engine - An internal combustion engine that has been fed an excessively rich air-fuel mixture that cannot be ignited. This is caused by the mixture exceeding the upper explosive limit for the particular fuel. An engine in this condition will not start until the excessively rich mixture has been cleared.
Front Wheel Drive - FWD, Only the front tires of a car have power given to them.
Fuel Injection - The spraying of liquid fuel into the cylinders or combustion chambers of an engine.
FWD - Front Wheel Drive, Only the front tires of a car have power given to them.
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Hatchback - A car body configuration with a rear door that swings upward to provide access to a cargo area.
hatchback - a smaller car who has a door across the full width of the back. The door opens upwards
Hemi - A type of V8 engine that has hemispherical combustion chambers at the tops of the cylinders. It promotes rapid and even combustion, for greater power.
HID Headlights - High-intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) are a type of electrical gas-discharge lamp which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused alumina arc tube.
Horsepower - The higher the horsepower, the faster the vehicle can accelerate. Horsepower is a mathematical product of torque--the "twist" an engine produces, against rpm, or how many times the crankshaft is turning per minute.
HVAC - Heating-ventilation-air conditioning. Though connected, they operate independently.
Hybrid - A vehicle is a hybrid if it utilizes more than one form of onboard energy to achieve propulsion. In practice, that means a hybrid will have a traditional internal-combustion engine and a fuel tank, as well as one or more electric motors and a battery pack.
Hydraulic Brakes - Fluids can't readily be compressed. Hydraulic systems use that resistance to being compressed to generate force to operate things like brakes, as they can provide tremendous force.
Hydraulic System - A descriptive term for a system operated or moved by a fluid.
Hydroplaning - When tires lose traction on the road due to water and skid.
Idle - A car engine that is running while the vehicle is not moving.
IIHS - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Intake Valve - The valves that allow the air/fuel mixture to enter the engine's combustion chambers.
Jump Start - Using a working car battery to transfer power to a dead one using jumper cables.
KBB - Kelley Blue Book. A highly recognized vehicle valuation and auto research company.
Lease - When you lease a vehicle you're basically "using" the vehicle for a set term, and paying for its depreciation during that period. After that period is over, you return the vehicle to the dealer.
LED - Light-Emitting Diode (lights)
Misfiring - The failure of the air/fuel mixture in one or more cylinders to ignite while the engine is running.
MPG - Miles Per Gallon
MPGe - Miles Per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent, a term used for the mileage range on electric vehicles.
MPV - Multi-purpose Vehicle, aka a minivan
MSRP - Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price
Muffler - Deadens the noise of the engine.
Octane - A measurement of a fuel's ability to resist preignition (also known as knocking or pinging).
Open-End Lease -
Overdrive - A gear in a motor vehicle providing a gear ratio higher than that of the drive gear or top gear, so that engine speed and fuel consumption are reduced in highway travel.
Oxidizing - When something combines chemically with oxygen, covering something in a coat of oxide or rust.
PCV Filter - A valve that recirculates gases through the combustion chambers.
Piston rings - A split ring that fits into the groove around the piston. It seals the gap between the piston and the cylinder wall.
Pistons - About the size of a coffee mug, the piston moves up and down in a cylinder like a fist compressing the air/fuel mixture over and over again to be ignited for power.
Plug-in Hybrid - A hybrid electric vehicle that uses rechargeable batteries or an alternative energy storage device that is recharged by plugging it into an external power source.
Powertrain - The path/transfer of power from the engine, to the transmission, to the driving wheels, the connotation of which usually involves warranty coverage of some kind.
PSI - An initialism for 'Pounds per Square Inch', and is usually used measuring air pressure in some way--tire pressure, for example.
Rebate - A partial refund on the purchase of a new-car offered by either the car manufacturer or dealership to help boost sales.
Residual Value - An estimated value of a vehicle at the end of a lease.
RPM - A measurement of how fast your engine--specifically your crankshaft--is spinning, RPM is an initialism for 'Revolutions Per Minute'.
RWD - Rear Wheel Drive
Shock Absorber - They use hydraulic pumps to reduce the bounce of your vehicle caused by the suspension.
Short Circuit - An electrical circuit ending short of its total path because of a wiring fault (e.g. loose wire) or a defective wire.
Starter - An electrical motor that causes the engine's crankshaft to begin turning, which starts the engine running.
Stick Shift - Slang for a car with a manual transmission, a "stick shift" is also a gearshift located on the floor between the front seats.
Stock Number - The stock number is a way for the dealer to inventory vehicles.
Struts - Struts absorb the shock of the road, which allow passengers to ride in a car without constant and uncomfortable motion.
Suspension - Makes driving smooth by keeping the frame and body stable when the wheels drive over rough roads.
SUV - Sports Utility Vehicle
Tailpipe - A pipe that carries the gases or steam out of an engine, also known as an exhaust pipe.
TDI - Turbocharged Direct Injection
Tire Rotation -
Torque - The greater the torque figure, the faster the acceleration. Where horsepower determines how fast a vehicle can travel, torque at the wheels determines how quickly that speed can be reached.
Trade-In Value - What a dealer will pay for your old vehicle, usually put down against the cost of a purchasing a new vehicle.
Transmission - Transmits power from an engine to the wheels of a vehicle.
Turbocharged - An add-on part that uses recycled exhaust gases to increase power.
U-bolt - Hold the springs to the front and rear car axles.
Underbody - The belly of your car, closest the the ground.
Understeer - When your car turns less than you thought it would.
Upside Down - When you owe more on your vehicle than your vehicle is worth. The value of vehicles depreciates rapidly after the first year of purchase, but a long-lasting loan can cause your cost to be more than the car is valued for.
Variable Intake Manifold - An automobile internal combustion engine manifold technology. As the name implies, VLIM/VIM/VIS can vary the length of the intake tract - in order to optimize power and torque across the range of engine speed operation, as well as help provide better fuel efficiency. This effect is often achieved by having two separate intake ports, each controlled by a valve, that open two different manifolds - one with a short path that operates at full engine load, and another with a significantly longer path that operates at lower load.
Ventilated Rotor - Reduces the heat created with braking, where the brake pedal presses against the rotor, causing friction.
VIN - VIN or Vehicle Identification Number - is a series of 17 alphanumeric characters that uniquely identifies your vehicle. The characters themselves record specific information regarding the vehicle manufacturer, place of assembly, and other pertinent information.
Voltmeter - An instrument used for measuring electrical potential difference between two points in an electric circuit.
VTEC - Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. Improves the volumetric efficiency of a four-stroke internal combustion engine and allows the engine to have two camshafts.
WAC - With Approved Credit
Walk-Away Lease - Also called a closed-end lease. When the lease gives the lessee the option of purchasing the vehicle at the end of the leasing period at a pre-arranged set price.