Automotive Terms (and Spelling) Explained and Defined - Mazda Forum - Mazda Enthusiast Forums

Go Back  Mazda Forum - Mazda Enthusiast Forums > General Mazda Forums > Off Topic
Reload this Page >

Automotive Terms (and Spelling) Explained and Defined

Off Topic A place for you car junkies to boldly post off topic. ALMOST anything goes.

Automotive Terms (and Spelling) Explained and Defined

  #1  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:51 PM
virgin1's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manor, TX (Outside of Austin)
Posts: 8,660
Lightbulb Automotive Terms (and Spelling) Explained and Defined


I have a pet-peeve. I admit that. I see automotive terms misused and misspelled all over the web by "car guys" and novices alike. These are not just typos I'm talking about, to me those are understandable. These are guys (and gals too) that have a box of parts in their hands with a description clearly printed on it and still don't know the difference between this's and that's.
In that light I am hoping to create a dictionary of sorts to dispel some of this activity. I hope you will all join me with your own misuse of some of these terms. Post any you want added to the list and I will update the OP with those suggestions.

My #1 pet-peeve (and has been for years) has to do with Brakes and Breaks, so here we go:

1) Brakes: Brakes are designed to stop or slow a moving object. Often found on anything that rolls, there are many different forms of brakes but they are all designed to do the same function, slow or stop something from moving. Cars, motorbikes (motorcycles,) bicycles, power operated equipment such as fork lifts, power operated pallet jacks, even carts with locking casters all have a form of brakes.

Breaks: Old school term; "coffee break." These are what you get or take in your working day, usually in 15 minute increments. You might also take a break from working around the house, playing sports, hiking, etc... but they do not stop your car from moving.

2) Engines and Motors: This is a trickier one. Even the SAE engineers fight about these definitions, but here's how I usually keep it straight.

Engines: These useful workhorses run on/burn fuel of some sort. Gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, even wood. They usually involve some sort of cylinder and combustion chamber for the conversion (of fuel) process. An engine can be a motor, but a motor can never be an engine.

Motors: Most often operated by air or electricity. These devices are operated by "fuels" that are already prepared for their use by another device and do not require combustion in order to operate. Motors are never engines.
An example: When we car guys discuss the hybrid cars of today, we discuss the gasoline engine apart from the supplementary (electric) motor, do we not?

Please add your own "pet-peeves" by posting below.

 
  #2  
Old 01-10-2013, 04:56 PM
Banned
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,636
Default

Petrol. I still have no idea if this is gas or diesel.
(Staff edit)
Petrol, short for (slang) Petroleum. A term used in the UK and other European countries for what is called (known as) Gasoline here in North America, though I personally think Petrol is more properly descriptive.
Though also a petroleum based product Diesel is diesel everywhere as far as I know.
(/edit)

One I had difficulty in beginning with is "DPF" . I believe this is Diesel Particulate Filter. It has been used in the Mazda 6 Section before, but their are no Mazda 6 Diesels in Canada or USA (yet).

Other definitions:
MAF sensor = M*** Air Flow sensor located on inake tubing before the throttle body
(Staff edit)
MAP sensor = Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor, can be physically located almost anywhere near or in the engine compartment, and detects manifold pressures within the intake manifold itself, whether they be positive or negative. It gets this reading either directly, if mounted to the manifold, or through a tube or hose connectded to the intake manifold if mounted remotely. The MAP sensor then emits a small electrical signal which the ECU reads (along with other sensors in the system) to adjust the length of time fuel injectors are opened duriing a given cycle. It is not capable of detecting ambient temperatures as a MAF sensor is.
(/edit)
PCV Valve = Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve usually located on top of engine.

(Staff edit)
ECU, engine control unit, most commonly called the powertrain control
module
PCM Programable Control Module, another name for ECU.
(/edit)

CEL = Check Engine Light the cel code is important in diagnosing problems
tires, wheels often get lumped together

afr = air fuel ratio
 

Last edited by virgin1; 01-13-2013 at 08:45 PM. Reason: DPF
  #3  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:39 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tirol, Austria
Posts: 756
Default

Petrol=Gasoline (UK/Commonwealth/parts of Europe)
Gas=Gasoline (US)
Gas/Autogas=LPG/CNG (Austria, Germany, pretty sure elsewhere too)

This gets REALLY confusing here when I say I need to go put gas in the car, everyone looks at me like
 
  #4  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:56 PM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

"Benzin" = gas in German
"Essence" in French.

We need to stay in English, though.
 

Last edited by tanprotege; 01-12-2013 at 01:07 PM.
  #5  
Old 01-12-2013, 01:05 PM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

Descriptions of failure modes get confused all the time.

"Cranking, turning over, starting, firing up" are terms that get used interchangeably even though they describe different operational modes.

Description of noises, oh don't get me started......it grinds me to death.

The funniest one I read was: "my Ford Contour makes a 'farting' sound." It was the ABS self-test, which occurs about 10 seconds after rolling.

Thanks for clearing up the "brake vs. break" issue. I have done that mistake. English is still a foreign language to me.
 
  #6  
Old 01-12-2013, 02:20 PM
virgin1's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manor, TX (Outside of Austin)
Posts: 8,660
Default

Originally Posted by tanprotege View Post
"Benzin" = gas in German
"Essence" in French.

We need to stay in English, though.

No, I don't see it that way at all. We have members here from all over and I want this thread to help dispel these terms and confusion there of in any language. So have at it, TP!!
 
  #7  
Old 01-13-2013, 12:24 AM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

Originally Posted by virgin1 View Post
No, I don't see it that way at all. We have members here from all over and I want this thread to help dispel these terms and confusion there of in any language. So have at it, TP!!
Well, then here is the German stuff:

Benzin -gasoline
Normal -regular leaded
Bleifrei -regular unleaded,
Super -super
Super bleifrei -super unleaded

Diesel -Diesel

MazdaTirol may check this list.
 
  #8  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:26 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tirol, Austria
Posts: 756
Default

Originally Posted by tanprotege View Post
Well, then here is the German stuff:

Benzin -gasoline
Normal -regular leaded
Bleifrei -regular unleaded,
Super -super
Super bleifrei -super unleaded

Diesel -Diesel

MazdaTirol may check this list.
Alot of places here are dropping the Bleifrei (91 octane, RON) since its the same price as Super (95 octane, RON), in fact I know of only one station here that offers Bleifrei in 91, all the others are either 95 or 101.

Also to anyone who may travel here, the GREEN pump handle is GASOLINE and the BLACK pump handle is DIESEL.........you dont know how many times I have almost screwed that up. Blue is LPG/CNG and sometimes you see Yellow, that one is for 2-Strokes.

PCM does stand for Powertrain Control Module, this module controls both the engine AND transmission (when an auto), if you dont have an automatic it will just be an ECU. Some cars have separate ECU and TCM (Transmission Control Module) instead of a PCM.

I remember getting the Engine/Motor thing beat into my head when I was working for Cat, that was an eye opener.

For you UK guys who get annoyed at us US guys using TIRE instead of TYRE here is a little history. The two words were originally used side by side with no distinction but over time the word tyre eventually dropped from usage in the British and American language (1700's), only with the invention of the pneumatic (air filled) tire did the British revive the use of tyre to distinguish between an iron or similar metal tire (think trains, wagons, carts e.t.c.) and the new rubber pneumatic "tyre" but tire was still used in England even as late as the early 20th century. Not until later in the century (I would guess post depression/WWII) did tyre start to become standard use in the UK and its possessions. BTW I really dislike the word tyre, looks so wrong to me, same with bonnet (hood), boot (trunk), lead (WIRE!!!!), aerial (antenna), aeroplane (airplane) and any of the extra "ae", "oe" or "ou" words, plus the fact that the spell checker marks all of the British spellings in red squiggly underlines.
 
  #9  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:59 PM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

MazdaTirol:

I believe you are in trouble.

 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
BogusSVO
General Tech
1
02-01-2010 04:28 PM
VB
Off Topic
17
05-13-2009 08:50 PM
365motorwerks
365 Motorwerks
1
06-08-2007 01:28 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Automotive Terms (and Spelling) Explained and Defined


Advertising
Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.