Become an expert on all things motoring! This dictionary of terms and phrases will help you understand exactly what things are, what gets done and why.
Definitions starting with C
Cabin Air Filter
A cabin air filter cleans the air in a car by removing particles like pollen, dust or mould. An old air filter affects your car’s air conditioner and heater performance, and it should be replaced regularly to keep the system running efficiently.
Cam Belt (or Timing Belt)
The cam belt in your car drives the camshaft. Cam belts eventually wear out and need to be replaced. If the cam belt breaks it can cause catastrophic damage to your engine.
Cam Belt Tensioner
The cam belt tensioner keeps the correct amount of pressure on the cam belt. A worn timing belt tensioner can cause your cam belt to fail.
The carburettor regulates the amount of air and fuel that is allowed into the engine. Sometimes, it may only need minor adjustments, but if the carburettor has a defective valve or a leak, it will need to be replaced. (Most modern cars use fuel injection instead of carburettors)
The catalytic converter reduces the amount of pollution created by your car by making exhaust by-products less toxic.
The clutch lets you change into a different gear to increase or decrease wheel speed, or to reverse direction. Carrying heavy loads or driving on hills regularly will make your clutch wear out faster. Your clutch is likely to need repair or adjusting if you notice it slipping or sticking.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide is produced when your car’s engine burns petrol. It is a greenhouse gas commonly associated with climate change. Many automakers are now looking for engine designs and fuels that minimise carbon dioxide emissions.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Continuously Variable Transmission gives better fuel economy by letting an engine operate at its most efficient RPM for any given speed. CVT is not restricted to a fixed number of gear ratios, but can shift through an infinite number of gear ratios between minimum and maximum values.
Coolant helps to prevent the cooling system freezing in cold conditions, and also reduces damage from rust and corrosion. As coolant ages, the corrosion protection become less effective so your coolant should be tested every two years, and changed if required. Your car can also overheat if it is leaking coolant.
The cooling fan helps keep your engine cool by blowing air through the radiator. Either the engine computer or a thermostat switch turns the fan on when the coolant rises above a certain point. Your fan may need a check-up if your car is overheating or running too hot.
Cruise control automatically keeps your car at a steady speed. This helps you avoid foot and leg fatigue, and prevents exceeding the speed limit on long journeys
The CV joints transfer power from the transmission to the drive wheels at a consistent speed, while allowing the vertical movement of the suspension. Outer CV joints join the drive wheels to the drive shafts, and inner CV joints join the drive shafts to the transmission. When the joint boot gets damaged, it allows dirt inside and grease to leak out, causing damage to the joint.