Like every good thing in life, there is a special language for cars too. And the terms used can often be very confusing even for the most ardent motorist.


Unfamiliar terminology may not affect while appreciating or operating a car but definitely makes buying a car stressful. The reason being, if you don’t understand the term or what it’s supposed to do, how do you decide which car is better! Though it is impossible to know all the terms used for a vehicle as every new model comes with a list of new terminology, here is a list of some lesser-known motoring terms.


Term Meaning
ABS – Antilock Braking System  – A safety system that prevents the wheels from locking up by ceasing rotation and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.
ACC – Active Cruise Control – A radar cruise control system that automatically adjusts the vehicle speed to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead.
AMT – Automated Manual  -Transmission Also known as DSG or SMG. An electronically controlled dual-clutch multiple-shaft manual gearbox, without a clutch pedal and with fully automatic or semi-manual control.
ATF – Automatic Transmission Fluid – Used to transfer the movement of the torque converter to the driveshaft
AT-PZEV – Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emission Vehicle A standard requirement having additional options of natural gas or hybrid.
BHP – Brake Horse Power – The measure of an engine’s horsepower before the loss in power caused by gearbox, alternator, differential etc.
CDI – Common-rail Direct fuel Injection – A system for petrol and diesel engines.
EBD – Electronic Brake Distribution A system where the amount of braking force on each wheel of the car can be varied depending on load bearing, road condition and speed.
EFI – Electronic Fuel Injection Used instead of carburetors and electronically controlled, this is a high pressure fuel delivery system providing optimum power and fuel efficiency.
ESP – Electronic Stability Program Also known as VSA, DSC,ESC etc, this is  a computerized technology that improves a car’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction.
ILEV – Inherently Low-Emission Vehicle A standard for alternative-fuel vehicles with closed and pressurized fuel systems
MAP sensor – Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor Detects engine load by measuring air pressure
PCM – Powertrain Control Module A control unit consisting of the engine control and transmission control units.
PCV filter/PCV valve – Positive Crankcase Ventilation Filter A device allowing venting of combustion gases from the crankcase to the intake system
PDC – Park Distance Control An audible warning device alerting the driver when the car gets closer to other objects
TDI – Turbocharged Direct Injection  Turbodiesel engines developed by Volkswagen, featuring tuebocharging and cylinder-direct fuel      injection.
VAS – Variable-Assist Steering A power steering system that varies the amount of assistance it provides according to driving conditions


Like this? Tell your friends!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter