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 T
Tail lights let your car be seen from behind in the dark. They tell anyone behind you when you are slowing down, stopping, or reversing. Tail lights are usually attached at the rear of the car above the bumper and consist of a red light for braking, and a white light for reversing. The bulbs in these lights wear out over time and need replacing.
The tail pipe expels the car’s exhaust into the atmosphere. It is connected to the muffler and is usually attached by a bracket underneath the rear of the car. The tail pipe can be damaged by corrosion, failed brackets, and rear-end collisions.
The thermostat helps ensure your car’s engine stays at a consistent temperature. The thermostat consists of a valve that controls coolant to and from the radiator and engine, depending on the temperature.
The throttle system allows you to control the speed of your car. The further you press the accelerator pedal, the more air is allowed into the engine. This increases the fuel-air mix being sent to the engine, increasing the power output.
Tyre diameter is the measurement across the middle of the wheel. The tyre diameter is imprinted on the tyre.
Tyre rotation extends the life span of your car’s tyres. In most modern, front-wheel drive cars, the front tyres wear more quickly than the rear tyres. Tyre rotation involves swapping the front and back tyres to allow all tyres to wear more evenly.
Torque refers to the engine rotational equivalent of force. This dictates how fast your car can accelerate. It is often referred to in “newton meters, or foot pounds of power.”
Traction control limits tyre slipping or skidding from acceleration, and is especially helpful in wet or slippery conditions.
The transaxle is an integrated system combining the differential and transmission. A front-engine, front-wheel drive car will have a transaxle. Most modern cars are built with this configuration.
The transmission transfers power to the differentials from the engine, driving the wheels. The transmission and crankshaft are usually joined through a flywheel and/or clutch.