Please note that the definitions included in this Glossary reflect the manner in which these terms are used on the Edmunds.com website, which in some instances may differ from their meaning in other contexts.
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.
Antilock braking system. A computer-controlled system that
prevents brakes from locking up and tires from skidding during hard
Accelerator pedal linkage
The linkage between the accelerator pedal and a vehicles throttle body or carburetor.
Active cornering enhancement filter. A device used in an
electro-hydraulic suspension system to reduce body roll by adjusting the
system to driving conditions.
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
Active pedestrian protection system
An electronic system designed to warn drivers of impending pedestrian traffic.
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
Headlights that turn as the driver turns the steering wheel, for
the purpose of improving illumination in the direction of the turn.
Accelerator and break pedals that can be moved closer to or further away from the driver's seat.
A suspension that offers driver-selectable damper (and sometimes
spring) firmness settings to suit varying conditions and personal
See "Acquisition fee."
For a moving vehicle, the force exerted by the flowfield of air moving in the opposite direction.
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 establishments.
Air conditioner refrigerant
The liquid used in air conditioning systems, which has the property of boiling at ambient air temperatures.
The cooling and dehumidification of a vehicles cabin air.
Air conditioning filter
A device that removes contaminants from external air entering the ventilation system.
A device that filters incoming air fed to the engine.
Air filter restriction indicator
A device that identifies an impedance to the air filter system.
The removal of solid particulates (such as dust, pollen, mold and
bacteria) from a vehicles cabin air by a filter placed in the
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 vehicle.
Air pump filter
A device that eliminates contaminants from the air supply fed to the air injection system.
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 sufficient weight.
A cushion that deploys and fills 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 surface.
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 fittings at either end)
that carry high pressure hydraulic fluid used in an antilock brake
A device or system of devices that aid in preventing a vehicle from being stolen.
A device that uses an auditory signal and/or telemetric to alert a vehicles owner of an attempted theft.
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.
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
Annual Percentage Rate. The cost of credit (i.e., the interest rate) expressed as a yearly rate.
The price for a vehicle asked (before any negotiations) by the dealer or other seller.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
A combination transmission and differential/drive axle assembly.
Automatic transaxle pressure filter
The external filter on an 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 filter
A component in most automatic transmissions that is fitted 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 filter.
Automatic transmission fluid
The fluid used for lubricating and cooling an automatic transmission.
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).
A halogen lamp or light-emitting diode (LED) that is used to
illuminate a specific region or part of a vehicle (such as the glove box
or footwell) and is not located in the vehicles headliner.
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.
The number of revolutions a vehicles driveshaft makes for each revolution of the vehicles drive axle(s).
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
Balance shaft belt
A cogged belt that drives a shaft (usually in synchronization with
the engines crankshaft) for the purpose of smoothing out vibrations.
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.
See "Acquisition fee."
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 filters, 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
A device that automatically disconnects a vehicles battery after a collision.
The physical dimensions of a trucks bed, consisting of width, height and depth.
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.
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 tailgate.
A heavy-duty plastic liner or spray-on coating that protects the inner painted surface of a pickup truck's cargo box.
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 defined by the lower edges of a vehicles windscreen, rear and side windows and pillars.
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.
Also referred to as "biodiesel." A fuel that is a mixture of petroleum-based diesel and plant-based diesel.
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 conditions.
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 engine.
A vacuum-based device that amplifies the foot pressure applied to power brakes.
Brake booster bellcrank pivot
The linkage pivot points behind some brake boosters.
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 significantly engaging them.
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 system.
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.
High-friction material attached to a metal backing plate.
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.
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.
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.
The maximum angle at which a vehicle can traverse a sharp ridge without making contact or hanging up between axles.
A metallic, tubular attachment to the front bumper of a vehicle
that shields and protects the vehicle from plant life when driven
A supplemental device designed to protect a vehicles frame and/or body from collision damage.
Halogen lamps and/or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) located in a
vehicles headliner that illuminate a vehicles interior space in its
A description of the number of hydraulic pistons used in a
vehicles brake caliper and their arrangement in relation to each other.
The type of brake caliper: monoblock, sliding or dual sliding.
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").
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
Captive finance company
An automobile lender that is a subsidiary of an automobile
manufacturer and whose principal business includes financing the sales
and/or leases of that manufacturers vehicles.
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.
A measure of a vehicles total consumption of natural resources weighed against the Earths ability to regenerate those resources.
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
A device used on older internal combustion gasoline engines that
is mounted on the engines intake manifold and supplies fuel to the
Cargo area features
Built-in amenities that serve a specific purpose in the cargo areas of a vehicle.
Cargo door type
The type of cargo door: liftgate, vertical split-hinge or horizontal split-hinge.
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.
Rebates provided by the manufacturer directly to the customer at
the time the vehicle is purchased to lower the final 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.
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 emissions.
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 filter."
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
Certification sales region
A geographic area (usually identified by the states of which it
consists) in which a specific vehicle is certified by the EPA to be sold
to the public.
Certified 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.
A device that captures raw fuel vapors (hydrocarbons) from the
vehicles fuel tank and carburetor bowl before they can escape into the
An additional seat and harness specifically designed for the
safety of small children and designed to work with a vehicles built-in
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 children.
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 efficiently 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
The computer-controlled regulation of heating and air conditioning systems to accommodate a user-specified temperature setting.
Climate-controlled seat filter
Air filter for air-conditioned seats.
Seats that have internal heating and cooling mechanisms.
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
Clutch bushing & linkage
The parts of the mechanical connection between the clutch and clutch pedal in a non-hydraulic clutch system.
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 cylinder.
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
A pedal located on the floor of the vehicle to the left of the
brake pedal that, when depressed, disengages the clutch from the
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.
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.
Vehicle insurance that cover damage other than that caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
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
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 oversteer.
A pair of white driving lights located at the two front corners of a vehicle designed to aid during cornering.
See "Certified pre-owned vehicle."
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 seals).
Crankcase ventilation filter
Also known as the "CCV." A filter 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.
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.
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 financial institutions will
view that consumer as a financial risk (i.e., the likelihood that he or
she will make payments on time and ultimately repay the loan).
Edmunds.com uses five tiers: platinum, gold, silver, bronze and
unclassified. For more information, visit http://www.edmunds.com/tmv/about_finance.html.
A financial institution that is owned by its account holders,
membership of which is based on specified criteria (for example
affiliation with an employer or union).
A device that, when engaged by the driver, automatically controls a vehicles speed.
A section of a vehicles structure that collapses during impact to absorb energy.
The total weight of a vehicle, including a full tank of fuel, all
fluids and standard equipment, but without any cargo or passengers.
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
Customer cash incentive
A cash payment made by the manufacturer of a vehicle to a customer to incentivize its purchase.
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 lubricant.
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.
The arrangement of an engines cylinders.
A feature of some engines that allows the engine to turn off two or more cylinders in order to maximize fuel efficiency.
Cylinder head bolts
Bolts that clamp an engines cylinder heads to the engine block.
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 specified sales volume targets.
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.
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 efficiency and more effective
engine braking, and resumes fuel supply when acceleration is once again
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
The liquid used for lubricating gears inside the differential.
Direct injection system
A fuel injection system in which the injection nozzles are located inside the combustion chamber of each piston.
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.
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.
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.
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 returned.
The nonconductive cap of the distributor that contains the contacts leading to each individual spark plug.
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 plug.
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).
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 plates.
A cash payment credited against the purchase price of a vehicle,
which reduces the amount to be financed. In a lease transaction, this
amount is often referred to as the "capital reduction."
A transmission cable connected to the throttle that shifts the
transmission into a lower gear when the accelerator is depressed
suddenly beyond a certain point.
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
Drive belt tensioner
A self-adjusting device used for maintaining proper tension on the drive belt.
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.
A sturdy metal tube with universal joints on either end that
connects the engine to a differential on a rear-wheel or four-wheel
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.
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 first 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.
See "Powertrain warranty."
Auxiliary high-beam driving lamps.
Direct shift gearbox. Also referred to as "SMG," "sequential
manual gearbox" and "automated manual transmission." See "Automated
A hybrid vehicle with two different drive systems, referred to as
Modes. In the first 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
A feature that, when activated, automatically turns on the headlights and taillights when the ambient light dims at sunset.
A fuel consisting of gasoline or another hydrocarbon mixed with up to 85% denatured ethanol.
Ending a vehicle lease before its original term has expired.
A device that automatically retracts a vehicles power seats and/or steering column when the engine is switched off.
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 traction.
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.
A vehicle that is run entirely on electricity, using batteries, capacitors and one or more traction drive systems.
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 independently.
Electronic stability control
See "Stability control."
Emergency brake assist
An electronically controlled system that maximizes brake efficiency 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
sufficiently quickly, in anticipation of a panic stop the system will
cause the ABS pump to pre-fill the brakes and will bring the brake pads
close to the rotors.
Emergency Trunk Release
A glow-in-the dark pull handle inside a car's trunk that permits escape for someone trapped inside.
Emissions certification standards
Numerical limits on the pollutants produced by a vehicle established by the EPA and the California Air Resource Board.
Emissions hoses & tubes
Hoses and tubes utilized by any of a vehicles emission control devices.
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 vehicle.
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.
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.
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.
An engines ability to do work in terms of horsepower, torque or efficiency.
A vehicle engine?s displacement, in liters (according to its manufacturer).
A device that senses the temperature of the engine coolant for the purpose of regulating the engine cooling system.
A system of lights that aids a driver or passenger in entering a vehicle in the dark.
An assessment of the biophysical effects a vehicle has on the
environment, commencing with its production and ending with its
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.
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 financed 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 loan.
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.
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
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
Evaporative control canister filter
A filter on the evaporative control canister that filters incoming
air as fuel vapors contained in the canister are being drawn back into
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 specified in the
lease are exceeded. The fee is customarily $0.12-$0.25/mile in excess
of the allotted miles.
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 time.
A vehicle warranty sold by the manufacturer of the vehicle or a
third party that extends the vehicles basic warranty beyond its original
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.
Vehicle equipment that is installed by the manufacturer (in
contrast to equipment that may be installed by the dealer or the owner).
A "Factory Tuner" is a vehicle model that has significant 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.
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
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 vehicle.
Finance and insurance office
Sometimes referred as the "F&I office." The office 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.
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.
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.
A pair of driving lights that provides a wide, low beam in an attempt to undercut fog.
The forced compression of air into an engines cylinders by means of a supercharger or turbocharger.
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 vehicle.
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
Front brakes specifications
The dimensions of the major components of a vehicles front brake rotors, and the type of brake ventilation employed.
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.
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.
The rate at which an engine depletes its fuel supply.
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 filler cap
A cap used to seal a vehicles fuel filler neck.
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 vehicle.
For diesel-fuel engines, the device that filters 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.
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 filter and fuel injectors or carburetor.
The type of fuel used to power a vehicle: gasoline, ethanol, E85, diesel, bio-diesel, natural gas or electricity.
A device that separates the water from the fuel in addition to, or as part of, the fuel filtering system.
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 economy.
Gas/electric hybrid engine
A powertrain that combines an electric motor and a gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine.
An internal combustion engine that burns conventional gasoline.
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.
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 space.
Gross vehicle weight rating
Also referred to as "GVWR." The sum of a vehicles curb weight, cargo weight capacity and passenger weight capacity.
The distance between the lowest point of a vehicle and level ground.
See "Gross vehicle weight rating."
A device that enables a vehicles navigation system to determine the direction the vehicle is facing.
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
See "Curtain airbags."
The distance from the hip of a vehicles occupant to the vehicles interior rooftop.
The central control unit for a vehicles entertainment system.
A set of washer nozzles and/or wipers that clean a vehicles headlights.
A pair of bright lamps that provide visibility during darkness.
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 passengers.
A digital display projected from a vehicles dashboard onto its
windshield to provide information within the drivers direct line of
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.
Sideview mirrors with internal electronic heating coils designed to prevent fog and ice from obstructing visibility.
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
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
A device that applies brake pressure when a vehicles clutch is disengaged.
The type of door hinge: standard, scissor, gullwing or suicide-style.
The distance from the drivers side lower door panel to the front passengers lower side door panel.
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 horses.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
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.
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.
A hybrid engine and electric motors combined ability to do work in terms of horsepower, torque or efficiency.
Hybrid power source
The source of power in a hybrid vehicle: gas/electric, plug-in, fuel cell or pneumatic.
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.
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 neutral).
A guide or tightening pulley for a belt or chain.
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 velocity.
Inherently low-emission vehicle. An emissions standard for alternative-fuel vehicles with closed and pressurized fuel systems.
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 system.
Any kind of financial assistance from a vehicle manufacturer that,
by reducing either the net price or the cost of financing/leasing,
motivates customers to buy/lease a new vehicle. The most common
incentives are customer cash rebates, low-interest financing 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 leases.
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 temperature.
The analysis of a vehicles performance characteristics using precise scientific 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.
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
A vehicle that employs the latest in telemetrics, driver awareness and/or pedestrian safety technology.
Halogen lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) used to illuminate a vehicles interior space.
Wood, composite, leather or metal adornments intended to supplement the aesthetic elements of a vehicles interior.
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 invoice price.
A system of electronic components designed to warn a driver when a vehicle strays out of its lane.
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.
See "Money factor."
See "Money factor."
The number of months that constitute the term of a vehicle lease.
The distance from the floor of a vehicle (a persons ankle point) to the centerline of the seat (a persons hip joint).
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 financial institution or a division of the vehicle
Low emission vehicle. A vehicle that meets the average emissions standard within the 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.
The window integrated into the hinged lid of a hatchback, wagon,
SUV or crossover that swings upward to provide access to the cargo area.
Additional lighting mounted on a metal or plastic frame that is
attached to a vehicles roof, and that is typically available on trucks
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.
A vehicle warranty that is in effect for a specified number of years and/or miles driven.
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 (Liquefied natural gas) is natural gas (CH4) that has been
refined and liquefied. 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).
The minimum height to which an item must be lifted in order to be loaded into a vehicles cargo area.
See "Tire load index."
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.
A loan offered by the manufacturers captive finance company at a below-market interest rate.
Liquefied 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 detected.
A measurement of a vehicles trunk/cargo volume with all standard seats in place.
A mechanical or pneumatic device that matches a vehicles seat back to the contours of the driver or passenger.
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.
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
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
A specific vehicle brand identified by a name or number (and which is usually further classified by trim or style level).
For a vehicle model, the calendar year designation assigned by the manufacturer to the annual version of that model.
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.)
Also referred to as a "Window sticker." A sticker, required by law
for all new vehicles sold in the United States, that is affixed 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 Traffic Safety
The amount of principal and interest that must be paid each month under the terms of a finance or lease contract.
Miles per gallon.
Manufacturers suggested retail price. Also referred to as "sticker price."
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
Natural gas engine
An internal combustion engine that burns natural gas.
The means by which a vehicles navigation system is controlled,
including touch screen, jog dial, push button and/or voice activation.
A device that communicates with global positioning satellites to
determine a vehicles physical location and plot a course using stored
NHTSA campaign ID number
The identification number assigned to a recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA item number
The identification number assigned to a technical service bulletin by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
An exterior camera that uses infrared technology to provide added visibility when driving in the dark.
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.
A system of devices that lessens the noise, vibration and harshness in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
Original equipment manufacturer, i.e., the manufacturer of a vehicle.
Office of Defects Investigation
An office within the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration that conducts defect investigations and administers
safety recalls, and that monitors the adequacy of manufacturers recall
A vehicle with high-ground-clearance outfitted for the rigors of traveling on non-paved roads.
A cartridge-filled 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 identifies 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
115V AC Outlet
An electrical socket receiving 115v AC current produced by a vehicles charging system.
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).
Equipment that is not included in the manufacturers base configuration 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
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.
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.
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.
An electronic system that employs laser, radar or sonar technology
to enable a vehicle to park itself, in some cases without driver input.
Sometimes referred to as "daytime running lights." White lights intended to increase a vehicles visibility to other drivers.
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.
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
Also called the "buyout amount." The amount that, at any specified
time during the term of a vehicle lease or loan, is required to be paid
in order to discharge the remaining obligation.
PCV filter/PCV valve
Positive crankcase ventilation filter/positive crankcase
ventilation valve. Devices that allow the venting of combustion gases
from the crankcase to the intake system instead of into the atmosphere.
The mechanism that controls the position of a vehicles gas, brake and/or clutch pedal to suit the needs of the driver.
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.
A bearing that is press-fit into the rear of the crankshaft and that supports the tip of the transmission input shaft.
Plenum chamber water drain valve
A valve used on some vehicles to drain collected condensation from the intake plenum.
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.
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 collision.
Safety measures and devices that lessen the chance of a driver or passenger being hurt in the aftermath of a collision.
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 object.
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.
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
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.
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.
A sound system that has been provided to the vehicle manufacturer by a name brand audio manufacturer.
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 view.
Private party price
The price consumers are paying private sellers for similar vehicles.
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 identification number (VIN) check using a
service such as CARFAX or AutoCheck.
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
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
Partial zero emission vehicle. A vehicle that has zero evaporative emissions and meets the EPA?s SULEV standard.
The part of a vehicles radiator and air conditioning systems made
up of small-diameter tubes with a series of thin, heat-conducting fins
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, traffic and song information.
A feature that uses rainfall sensors to engage the wipers and adjust wiper speed accordingly.
Real time traffic updates
Traffic congestion information gathered by road sensors and other
means read by a vehicles navigation system through communications
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.
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
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
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.
A cash payment offered as an incentive by the manufacturer to
consumers, which is usually applied by the consumer to reduce the net
price of a vehicle.
A recall is a notice sent by a vehicle manufacturer to owners of a
vehicle advising them that the vehicle has or may have a serious defect
that may compromise the safety of the vehicle and that the service
departments of that manufacturer's dealers will make any necessary
replacements or repairs free of charge.
Ordinarily, recalls affect only a portion of the production run of a given year, make and model.
A notice by a manufacturer to the owners of a defective/unsafe
vehicle or vehicle component (as well as dealers) that a recall has
Recommended fuel type
The optimal type of fuel (based on its octane rating) recommended by a vehicles manufacturer.
A method of assisting the deceleration of a hybrid or electric
vehicle in which the vehicles electric motor switches from drive/output
mode to generator mode. This recharges the battery by converting a
portion of the vehicles kinetic energy into electrical energy.
Rear area cargo cover
A feature that uses rainfall sensors to engage the wipers and adjust wiper speed accordingly.
A feature of a vehicles electronic key fob that controls the vehicles ignition.
Remote trunk release
The control of a vehicles power-activated release using a button on an electronic key fob or smart key.
Remote window operation
The control of a vehicles power window system by one or more buttons on an electronic key fob or smart key.
Natural energy sources that are naturally replenished, such as solar power, wind power, hydrogen and biofuels.
Tire repair equipment that typically consists of an emergency tire sealant and a means of refilling a flat tire.
A method of valuing insured property that uses the cost of
replacing the property at current prices and does not take into
consideration the propertys condition or whether it has depreciated
since first acquired. Compare "Actual cash value."
Required fuel type
The minimum acceptable type of fuel (based on its octane rating) recommended by a vehicle?s manufacturer.
A vehicle leasing companys assumption of what a vehicle will be
worth at the end of the lease, which is a factor used to determine the
monthly lease payment. (The higher the residual value, the lower the
Retained accessory power
A feature that permits the operation of a vehicles power
accessories after the key is removed from the ignition for a set period
of time or until a door is opened.
Sideview mirrors that can be moved closer to a vehicle when parking in a tight space or using an automatic car wash.
Reverse tilt mirrors
Power sideview mirrors that tilt down when a vehicle is in reverse in order to aid the driver in parallel parking.
A service available from various manufacturers that assists a driver when a vehicle is inoperable.
A system of devices that works to prevent or lessen the damage from rollover accidents.
A metal or plastic device attached to a vehicle that is used to anchor cargo to the vehicles roof.
A spoiler that is mounted from the rearward-facing edge of a
vehicles roof to the liftgate just above the rear windshield, or to the
upper edge of the rear windshield itself (and that is usually installed
for aesthetic purposes).
The outline or contour of the roof a vehicle.
The number of available rows of seating in a vehicle.
Revolutions per minute.
Rear-engine rear-wheel drive. A vehicle that is propelled solely
by its rear wheels and whose engine is located aft of its front axle.
A tire that is capable of being driven on temporarily after losing its pneumatic pressure.
Rocker panel extensions that function as steps to aid the driver and passengers in the entering and exiting of tall vehicles.
Rust & corrosion warranty
A warranty that covers the repair or replacement of the vehicles
sheet metal in the event of damage from rust or corrosion that is severe
enough to cause a hole. Surface rust is not covered.
An automobile title with a notation that the vehicle has been
damaged in excess of approximately 70% of its pre-accident market value.
The exact percentage depends on the insurance provider and any
applicable laws and regulations. This notation gets applied to a title
when an insurance company pays a total-loss claim on a vehicle, but then
sells the vehicle at an auction center.
A proprietary system used to send and receive vehicle data, crash
information, concierge services and navigation to and from a vehicle
through communications satellites.
A radio receiver that receives radio signals broadcast from
communications satellites rather than a conventional terrestrial tower.
Scheduled maintenance warranty
A warranty that covers service procedures recommended by the
manufacturer at predetermined intervals to preserve and/or prolong the
life of a vehicle.
Seat adjustment type
The type of adjustment control for the seats: manual, power or power-with-memory.
Harnesses designed to secure vehicle occupants during a collision.
An attached support, consisting of a metal frame with upholstered foam, that lengthens a vehicles seat bottom.
Devices integrated into a vehicles seats that control seat temperature, seat adjustability, driver comfort and other settings.
A storage pocket that is either attached to the backside of the seat or integrated into the seat itself.
Seatbelt force limiters
A part of the seatbelt pre-tensioner that helps prevent the
seatbelt from being tightened to the point of injury to the occupant.
A seatbelt with a mechanism that reels in the belt when the airbag
is deployed for the purpose of keeping the occupant in the proper
The number of people that can be safely seated and restrained in a vehicle, including the driver.
Secondary air supply system
A type of emissions-reducing system that promotes the combustion
of unburnt hydrocarbons in the exhaust stream by introducing oxygen
(fresh air) pulled in by a vacuum created by exhaust pulsations (and
which essentially performs the same function as an air injection system
without relying on an air pump or diverter valve).
A payment required at the inception of a vehicle lease to provide
collateral to the leasing company for the lessees promise to comply with
the terms of the lease.
A system that uses suspension height sensors to determine the
orientation of a vehicle's body for the purpose of making up-down
adjustments to the direction of the headlights, for the protection of
Self leveling suspension (SLS) filter
Sometimes referred to a an "SLS filter." A device used to remove
contaminants from hydraulic fluid in a self-leveling suspension system.
Separate rear audio
The capability of a vehicles sound system to deliver a different
audio source to the rear seat passengers than the audio source being
delivered to the front seat passengers.
Sequential manual gearbox
Also referred to as "SMG," "direct shift gearbox," "DSG" and
"automated manual transmission." See "Automated Manual Transmission."
An electric vehicle with a gasoline combustion engine that is only
used to recharge the vehicle?s batteries. The gasoline engine does not
drive the wheels directly. An example is the Chevrolet Volt.
A ribbed drive belt that drives more than one engine accessory.
Service reminder light
A light that indicates that general vehicle maintenance is needed or that a specific service is required.
Shields and under-hood insulation
Heat-proof panels and padding that protect under-hood components from excessive heat.
Shift control mechanism
The location of the shift control mechanism, which includes levers, paddles or buttons.
Any collection of mechanical connections between a vehicles operating control(s) and its transmission.
The means by which a driver changes gears, including buttons, paddles or a lever.
Shiftable automatic transmission
An automatic torque converter transmission equipped with a feature
that permits the driver to actively select either fully automatic or
driver-controlled shift modes by using a dual-gate shifter and/or remote
The distance from the drivers upper door panel to the front passengers upper door panel.
Small airbags that deploy from the outside edge of a seat to protect the occupant's ribcage in a side impact collision.
Side curtain rollover sensor
A sensor that determines in the event of a collision whether or not it is necessary to deploy a vehicles side curtain airbags.
Side impact beam
A structural support designed to protect a vehicles occupants from side impacts.
A storage pocket that is either attached to the door panel of a vehicle or integrated into the vehicle door.
An autmotive insurance policy with a single combined dollar limit
of coverage for property damage, liability coverage and bodily inury
coverage. Compare "split-limit insurance."
A shield typically attached to the bottom of a vehicles front
bumper that is designed to guard the undercarriage in the case of
insufficient ground clearance.
Sliding rear window
A small window inside a trucks rear windshield that opens and
closes by sliding on a system of metal or plastic rails attached to the
A designation issued by the EPA for new vehicles with a score of
six or higher in both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and a
combined total of more than 13.
A designation issued by the EPA given to new vehicles with a score
of nine or higher in both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Sequential manual gearbox. Also referred to as "DSG," "direct
shift gearbox" and "automated manual transmission." See "Automated
Pollutants in the hydrocarbon or NOx families that produce photochemical smog when combined in the presence of sunlight.
A vehicle window that has been infused with pigment during
manufacturing in order to provide enough opacity to obscure the vehicles
interior from view.
The hardware needed to attach a factory-optional, removable snowplow to a vehicles front bumper and/or frame.
Doors that will pull themselves shut if they are not fully latched by the occupants.
Energy derived directly from the sun through photovoltaic cells or
other devices that convert light energy into electricity or heat.
A sunroof with a photovoltaic panel infused into its glass that is
used to power interior ventilation fans in order to lower cabin
temperature when a vehicle is parked in the sun.
A fifth wheel and tire that is stored on or in a vehicle for use when one of the four tires in use becomes disabled.
Spark plug wires
Cables that carry a high-voltage electrical charge from the distributor cap or ignition coils to the spark plugs.
The number and arrangement of speakers as well as the number of
independent speaker channels (including center and subwoofer channels)
that are supported by a vehicles sound system.
Also referred to as a "subsidized lease" or "subvented lease." A
form of "incentive and rebate" that consists of a vehicle lease offered
by a vehicle manufacturer in which the amount of the monthly payment is
reduced below that then offered by independent leasing companies (the
cost of which is absorbed by the manufacturer). Typically this is
accomplished by using a higher residual value or a lower interest rate,
Speed-sensitive volume control
A feature in some vehicle sound systems that lowers the speaker volume in proportion to vehicle speed.
A feature that increases the speed of the wipers with vehicle speed.
A cash incentive, contest entry or prize given by a dealership to salespersons as motivation to sell vehicles.
A policy with separately stated dollar limits for different types
of coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage is also usually split into
a maximum payment per person and a maximum payment per accident. (For
example, an automobile liability policy of 50/100/25 provides a maximum
of $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 bodily injury
coverage per accident, and a property damage limit of $25,000 per
accident.) Compare "single-limit insurance."
An attachment to a vehicle (or component of its body) originally
introduced for the purpose of directing airflow over such device (or the
entire vehicle) to decrease lift and increase stability at high speeds,
but that is sometimes used on consumer vehicles solely for aesthetic
Also known as "electronic stability control," or "ESC." A safety
feature that improves the safety of a vehicles handling by detecting
skids and compensating by adjusting braking pressure to help maintain
the intended direction of the vehicle. Some stability control systems
also reduce engine power until control is regained.
Sometimes called an anti-roll or anti-sway bar. A device that
connects the left and right sides of a suspension to limit body roll in
A system typically found in hybrid vehicles that automatically
stops and restarts the internal combustion engine to reduce the amount
of time the engine spends idling and improve fuel economy.
Starter safety switch
An electrical switch that prevents the starter from being engaged
unless certain conditions are met, such as shifter placement or brake
Steering column lock
A mechanism that prevents steering wheel movement unless the ignition switch is moved from the locked position.
A shock absorber attached to the steering linkage intended to
prevent abrupt "kickback" at the steering wheel, usually found on trucks
or vehicles that can be used off-road.
A steering mechanism that converts the rotational motion of a
steering wheel to the side-to-side motion of a lever that is connected
to the steering linkage.
Steering intermediate shaft
A component in the steering system that connects the steering shaft to the steering mechanism.
The pivoting component to which the front wheel hubs are attached.
The arrangement of rods and lubricated joints connecting the steering gearbox to the wheel spindles.
The steering component that converts the rotational motion of the
steering wheel to the horizontal motion necessary to operate the
Steering wheel adjustment
The mechanism that controls the position of a vehicles steering column to suit the needs of the driver.
Steering wheel controls
Electronic controls for a vehicles entertainment, cruise control,
telematics and/or climate control systems that are mounted on the
steering wheel for the driver?s convenience.
The physical media that a vehicle sound system is capable of
playing and/or recording to, such as CD, DVD, hard drive, USB or flash
The distance, in inches, between the centerline of an engines crankshaft and the centerline of its connecting rod journal.
A loan made to a borrower with a low credit rating and that
typically bears interest at a higher rate to compensate the lender for
the greater risk.
Subsidized or subvented lease
See "special lease."
Super-ultra low emission vehicle. A vehicle that meets an emissions standard that is stricter than the ULEV standard.
A fixed or operable opening in the roof of a vehicle that is covered with a metal or glass plug.
A removable or retractable device that limits or prevents light from passing through a vehicles window.
A dash top sensor, usually dome-shaped, that measures the "sun
load" on the vehicle to help improve the accuracy of the automatic
climate control system.
A device powered by a belt, gear, shaft or chain connected to the
engines crankshaft that forces air into an internal-combustion engine in
order to increase engine power.
Supercharger drive belt
A "toothed" belt used to drive a pulley that turns the impeller of a centrifugal-style supercharger.
A liquid used to lubricate the internal components (for example, the impeller and the bearings) of a supercharger.
A fluid used in suspension systems that are hydraulically adjustable.
The relationship between the placement of the mounting points for each of a vehicles suspension components.
An instrument that tells the driver how fast the engine is
rotating, commonly including a redline to indicate the maximum engine
A set of housings that include a vehicles brake lamps, reverse lights and rear turn signal lights.
A semi-convertible body style with a removable roof section and a full-width roll bar behind the seats.
See "Traction control."
Technical Service Bulletin
Technical service bulletins (TSBs) are issued by the manufacturer
for problems that affect the normal operation of the vehicle. Sometimes
called "secret warranties," TSBs cover known problems and provide repair
instructions for service technicians and accordingly are distributed to
all of the manufacturer's dealerships.
Unlike recall-related repairs, which are performed on a
no-questions-asked basis, TSB repairs are made only to resolve problems
that can be verified by dealer service technicians. And generally these
repairs will be free of charge only if the vehicle is still under
To find out about any TSBs that may apply to your vehicle, please use our Maintenance Guide.
The integrated use of telecommunications in a vehicle.
The integrated use of telecommunications and electronic data communications in a vehicle.
Thermostatically controlled air cleaner
A device on carbureted engines to control emissions, which
contains a thermostat-controlled diverter that ducts air warmed by the
exhaust manifold to the carburetor during cold conditions, and then
ambient air to it once a certain temperature has been attained. This
enables the engine to reach a normal operating temperature and end its
fuel-rich/inefficient cold-temperature mode as quickly as possible.
Throttle & kick down lever ball studs
Lubricated pivot points for the throttle or kickdown linkages.
A collection of mechanical connections between a vehicles accelerator pedal and its throttle body or carburetor.
The components used to control the volume of air to the engine.
Tie rod ends
Ball and socket parts of the steering linkage that connect the wheel spindles to the rack and pinion or center link.
Tier 1 EPA Program
The EPAs first vehicle emission program promulgated under the
Clean Air Act of 1994, which set more stringent national vehicle
emissions standards than had previously existed.
Tier 2 EPA Program
The EPAs second vehicle emission program promulgated under the
Clean Air Act of 1994, which set more stringent national vehicle
emissions standards than the Tier 1 EPA Program.
A "toothed" belt that drives an overhead camshaft or camshafts (and in some vehicles a water pump).
Timing belt tensioner
A spring-loaded idler wheel that automatically keeps the timing
belt under enough tension to prevent the timing belt from allowing the
camshaft(s) it controls to go out of sync.
A transparent plastic film applied to a vehicles windows that
reduces visible light transmission and, in some cases, rejects heat by
reducing UV and infrared transmissions.
The diameter, in inches, of a tire.
A device used to inflate, or inflate and seal, a collapsible spare or flat tire.
Tire inflator sealant cartridge
A disposable container of pressurized sealing compound.
Tire load index
Also referred to as "load rating." A numerical value assigned to a
tire by its manufacturer to indicate the tires capability to carry a
load The higher the index number, the greater its load capability.
An alphabetic value assigned to a tire by its manufacturer to
indicate intended uses, such as "P" for passenger cars and "LT" for
Tire pressure monitoring system
An electronic system that measures and displays to the driver the amount of pressure in a vehicles tires.
A numeric value assigned to a tire by its manufacturer to indicate
the relationship between the tires sidewall height and its tread width.
Information displayed on the sidewall of a tire that includes its
prefix and information about its dimensions, load capacity and speed
Tire speed rating
An alphanumeric value assigned to a tire by its manufacturer that
indicates the maximum speed the tire can safely sustain for a ten-minute
Sometimes referred to as the "pink slip." The legal document
issued by the state in which the vehicle is purchased that reflects the
person or entity registered with the state as its legal owner.
A measurement of an engine's power that indicates how forcefully it can rotate the crankshaft at a given engine speed.
Total due at signing
See "drive off fees."
Metal hooks or eyelets, either fixed or removable, that are
attached to a structurally sound section of a vehicles frame and used as
pickup points for tow cables.
A vehicle with features and equipment that make it well-suited for pulling a trailer.
The maximum amount of weight a vehicle is capable of towing (according to its manufacturer).
The distance from the center plane of one wheel to the center plane of its opposing wheel.
Also known as "traction control system," or "TCS." A safety
feature that regulates wheel spin and prevents loss of control under
acceleration by ensuring maximum traction and contact between the tires
and the road (by adjusting brake pressure to one or more wheels, closing
the throttle, or reducing the fuel supply to at least one or more
Traction control system
See "Traction control."
A vehicle that is currently owned by the purchaser of a new or
used vehicle from a dealer and that is exchanged for the newly purchased
vehicle in order to reduce its net price.
A metal device attached to a structurally sound section of a
vehicles frame that is used to support a trailer while coupling it to
Trailer hitch mountings
Trailer hitch attachment points on the body or chassis.
A flat, four-way, weatherproof connector located near a vehicles
trailer hitch used to complete the circuits for a trailers ground,
running, left signal, right signal and break lights.
A combination transmission and differential/drive axle assembly.
Transfer case fluid
Lubricant used in the transfer case.
Driver-selectable transmission settings that change drive ratios and/or shift points for fuel economy or performance.
A final gear ratio for an automatic transmission that has an
output speed greater than its input speed, which increases highway fuel
The type of transmission: automatic, manual, shiftable automatic or automated manual.
An electronic device used to calculate and display trip information, such as distance traveled, average speed and fuel economy.
A vehicle roof with removable panels on either side of a rigid
bar, running from the center of the vehicles A pillar to the center of
its B pillar.
Sometimes referred to as a "turbosupercharger." A device that uses
an exhaust-driven turbine to force air into an internal-combustion
engine in order to increase engine power.
Flashing amber-colored lights that indicate when a vehicles driver intends to make a turn or lane change.
Also referred to as "turning diameter." The diameter of the circle made by a vehicle in a full-lock 360 degree turn.
A remote electronic door lock system that opens the drivers door on the first press and the other doors on the second press.
12V DC outlet
An electrical socket receiving 12v DC current produced and stored by a vehicles charging system.
Universal joints, which are flexible joints used on drive shafts
that are composed of two U-shaped yokes that share a common cross-shaped
Ultra-low emission vehicle standard; an emissions standard within the LEV program, tighter than the LEV standard.
Under seat storage
A storage console located under a vehicles seat.
The area of a vehicle that is typically not visible from above and that is exposed to the road.
Underhood label ID
A label required by the EPA that is affixed to the underside of a
new vehicles hood to designate its engine family and EPA vehicle test
A handling characteristic of a vehicle that causes it to turn less
sharply than the driver intends because the front wheels are sliding to
the outside of the turn.
A company that engages in insurance underwriting. See "Underwriting."
The process of evaluating the risk exposure to a potential insured
(or class or category of insureds), whether to accept the risk and
offer insurance coverage, and the premium to be charged for that
Universal remote control
A wireless device that can be programmed to control all aspects of a vehicles entertainment system.
Universal remote transmitter
An electronic device integrated into a key or key fob that controls a vehicles remote-operated accessories.
Cloth, leather or synthetic material used to cover a vehicles seats, door panels, arm rests and headrests.
See "Plus size wheels."
The status of a vehicle loan when the loan amount is greater than the current value of the vehicle.
Flexible tubing used to carry air, fluids, vapors or pressurized gas.
The maximum amount of space between a rocker arm or cam and the part it contacts to actuate a valve.
Valve gear type
The number of camshafts used by an engine, as well as their orientation in relation to its valves.
Valves per cylinder
The total number of intake and exhaust valves employed in each individual cylinder of an engine.
Mirrors commonly placed on the underside of a vehicles sun visors intended to be used for personal grooming.
Variable gear ratio steering assembly
The steering mechanism that converts the rotational motion of a
steering wheel to the side-to-side motion of a lever that is connected
to the steering linkage.
Variable valve timing
An engine feature that allows the lift, timing or duration of the
engines valvetrain to be changed dynamically while it is in operation.
Vehicle Identification Number
A Vehicle Identification Number, or "VIN," is the unique code that
is assigned to an individual vehicle by its manufacturer and that
distinguishes it from all other vehicles. No two vehicles can have the
same VIN. Typically, the VIN is stamped into a plate or printed on a
sticker and affixed to the vehicle in several different places,
including inside the engine bay and on the driver's side door jamb.
Certain digits in the VIN identify a vehicle's attributes, including its
final point of assembly, its model year, the manufacturer and, usually,
the model of the vehicle. For a complete description of how to read a
vehicle's VIN, please see Making Sense of Your VIN.
Modern, 17-digit VINs can be used to access many records relating to a
vehicle, including ownership, accident and repair histories. Edmunds
does not offer such reports, but our advertiser AutoCheck does. For more
information, please see Which Vehicle History Report Is Right for You?.
Our VIN Check page is a central location for information about Vehicle Identification Numbers.
The type of vehicle class, examples of which are large cars,
midsize cars, minivans, pickup trucks, small cars, special purpose
vehicles, sports utility vehicles, station wagons and vans.
Seats that can direct ambient cabin air through tiny holes in the center section of the seat bottom.
Video game input
A set of RCA plugs located in the rear passenger section of a vehicle.
A color or monochromatic liquid crystal display used for
information, navigation or video located in a vehicles dashboard,
headliner or headrests.
Video remote control
A wireless device that uses infrared or radio frequency to control a vehicles video system.
A device that produces a video signal to be displayed by a vehicles entertainment system.
A device that circulates coolant through a vehicles cooling system.
Water pump weep hole
A small orifice on a water pump behind and below the exposed end of the shaft.
A measure of the amount of power that an amplifier is capable of producing or a speaker is capable of enduring.
The rubber stripping around a vehicles doors and hatches or their portals.
See "Environmental impact."
The adjustment of various components to meet predetermined specifications for camber, caster, toe and ride height.
The assemblies that permit smooth rotation between the wheel hub and spindle.
A decorative metal or plastic disc that obscures a vehicles stamped steel wheels, lug nuts and/or hubs from view.
Wheel cylinders, rear
In drum-type brakes, small-bore hydraulic cylinders that are
fitted between the brake shoes and are actuated when the brakes are
The diameter, in inches, of a vehicles wheel.
Special lugnuts intended to prevent wheel theft that can only be installed or removed with a specific wrench or key.
Wheel lug nuts/bolts
The nuts that hold a wheel onto its hub.
The distance from a wheels hub-mounting surface to the centerline
of the wheel. Zero offset means the hub-mount surface is even with
centerline. Positive offset means the hub-mount surface is towards the
front (or outside) of the centerline. Negative offset means the
hub-mount surface is towards the back (behind) of the centerline.
The dimensions of a vehicles wheels.
Wheel speed sensor wiring
Electrical connections of the system that relay the speed of each
wheel to a computer that makes adjustments in brake application to
prevent wheels from locking up.
The distance of a wheel from bead to bead.
The distance between the center of a vehicles front axle and the center of its rear axle.
The price at which dealers purchase vehicles from other dealers or from lenders, usually at auction.
Wideband oxygen sensor
A faster, more sensitive oxygen sensor that enables an engine
control unit to make changes to the air/fuel ratio more rapidly and
precisely than with a conventional sensor.
The width of a vehicle at its widest point.
The manner in which a vehicles windows are operated: manual control, power control, one-touch, automatic or remote control.
See "Monroney sticker."
Wireless data link
A method of transferring digital data wirelessly through Bluetooth or WiFi technology.
The groups of wires and connectors that carry electric current through the vehicle.