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 F

  • Fan Belt

    The fan belt helps keep the engine cool by connecting the cooling fan to the crankshaft. Fan belts crack or break through normal use, and a weak fan belt can cause your engine to run too hot, by a loss of power to the cooling fan.

  • Flooding the Engine

    Flooding the engine is when too much fuel is let through the choke into the carburettor. This can happen when your car’s choke needs adjusting. Most modern cars use fuel injection to control the fuel/air mix to start the engine, but engine flooding can happen to older cars with carburettors, particularly on cold mornings.

  • Flywheel

    The flywheel is a heavy metal disk that connects the engine to the clutch. The flywheel can be damaged from wear and tear or warped by the heat of the friction. The more stress on the engine, the more wear the flywheel suffers.

  • Fog Lights

    Fog lights help you see further ahead in foggy conditions by shining at a low level, lighting the road under the layer of fog. Fog lights are usually mounted low on the bumper and emit a wide-angled light rather than the narrow, far-reaching beam of normal headlights.

  • Four-Wheel Drive

    Four-wheel drive helps when driving through snow, mud, or uneven rocky terrains where tyres can struggle to grip. The four-wheel drive system is designed for both on and off-road, and provides traction to all four wheels.

  • Freon

    Freon is a refrigerant brand for air conditioning units, but is no longer used due to its toxic effect on ozone. Modern refrigerants are made of fluorine, which has no negative effect on the environment.

  • Front-Wheel Drive

    Front-wheel drive cars offer better fuel efficiency and better traction in wet conditions than rear-wheel drive cars. Front-wheel drive cars provide power only to the front wheels, making them light-weight and more practical. Most non-sports cars are front-wheel drive.

  • Fuel Filter

    The fuel filter helps to keep your engine’s fuel system clear of dirt, rust and other contaminants that may be in your gas tank. If these abrasive substances get into the fuel system, they can cause your fuel pump and injectors to wear out more quickly.

  • Fuel Injection

    Fuel injection systems offer greater fuel efficiency and engine performance. The Engine Control Unit calculates air/fuel ratios according to how much you press the accelerator, and these ratios are then communicated to the fuel injectors. A high-pressure spray of fuel is then injected to the cylinder, powering the engine.

  • Fuel Pump

    Fuel pumps help to move the fuel from the fuel tank into the engine. Engines with carburettors often use mechanical fuel pumps to move the fuel, but most modern cars need an electric fuel pump to provide the higher pressure that needed by fuel injectors.


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