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 A
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
The anti-lock braking system senses when a wheel has locked up (or is about to) and automatically reduces the amount of braking pressure, keeping the wheels rolling and you in control. Such a system uses individualised wheel speed sensors, computers, and an electric pump to keep you safe.
Air Conditioning Compressor
The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system that maximises your comfort by regulating the temperature. It converts refrigerant into gas and transports it to other areas of the air conditioning system. Leaking refrigerant will cause problems in the system and could cause damage to your air conditioning compressor.
Air Conditioning Condenser
The air conditioning condenser gets rid of the heat produced when the refrigerant is compressed into gas. It can often clog up with foliage, insects, or dust, which can effect its performance.
Air Conditioning Drain Hose
This hose helps keep the floor of your car dry by draining off the condensation from your car’s air con system. This condensation is collected in a catch pan and then released through the bottom of the car. Without the air conditioning drain hose, water can overflow from the pan and leak onto the floor.
Air Conditioning Drier
The air conditioning drier absorbs moisture in the air and traps debris with a built-in filter. When the drier is full, it is no longer effective. It needs to be changed every time the air conditioning system is opened up for repairs.
Air Conditioning Evaporator
For the fan to blow cool air into the car, all excess heat has to be removed first. Liquid refrigerant is returned to gas by the air conditioning evaporator to absorb this heat. The evaporator doesn’t fail often but it can be expensive to replace, as it is usually difficult to get to.
Air Conditioning Service
An air conditioning service checks the performance of your air conditioning system, indicating the efficiency and condition of the compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve, and refrigerant. Your air conditioning system can have a variety of problems like refrigerant leaks, worn-out hoses and seals.
The air filter keeps dust and particles out of the engine as it sucks in oxygen. As these particles can be damaging, the air filter should be replaced regularly to keep your engine running smoothly.
Airbags protect you and your passengers from serious injury in a collision. They are inflatable pillows in the dash or doors of modern cars that inflate on impact and soften any shock. Your airbags should be checked regularly to ensure your safety in case of an accident.
To provide power to electrical components like the starter motor, headlights, and audio system, the car battery is charged by the alternator. When the car is running, the serpentine belt powers the alternator to keep your battery charged up. Over time, alternator parts can wear out, causing your car to lose power.
Antifreeze helps to prevent the cooling system freezing in cold conditions, and also reduces damage from rust and corrosion. Your car can overheat if it is leaking antifreeze.
Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)
Automatic Transmission fluid helps lubricate various components like gears and the torque converter. It also reduces brake band friction and operates hydraulic valves within the transmission. ATF is a specialized type of oil designed for automatic transmissions, it’s red in colour and visibly different from other oils and fluids. Take your car in to your nearest Midas Location immediately if you find a transmission fluid leak.
All Wheel Drive
All wheel drive helps when driving through snow, mud, or uneven rocky terrains where tyres can struggle to grip. The AWD is designed for both on and off-road surfaces, and provides traction to all four wheels.