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 H

  • Headlights

    Headlights enable you to drive in the dark by lighting the road directly in front of your car. Headlights are powerful lamps attached to the front of your car, most often equipped with halogen bulbs. Xenon or LED lights are sometimes used in higher-end cars. All headlights burn out eventually and must be replaced.

  • Heater

    The heater keeps you warm in the winter, blowing hot air into the car. Problems that can affect your heater include a broken heater blower motor, a broken thermostat, a bad fuse, low coolant level, or a blockage in the system.

  • Heater Hose

    The heater hose allows heat from the engine to be used by the heater. The heater can’t blow warm air through the vents if the heater hose is broken.

  • Heating-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning (HVAC)

    The heating-ventilation-air-conditioning system helps to keep you comfortable when driving. The HVAC is a climate control system that operates each function separately. For example, the heating may work even if the air conditioning component is broken.

  • Hub

    The hub is flange that connects the wheel to the wheel bearing. A bad hub can lead to a wheel vibration, affecting the safety and performance of your car.

  • Hybrid Engine

    A hybrid engine is a combination of two energy sources working together to power your car. It offers better fuel efficiency and fewer toxic emissions. The most common hybrid is an electric engine paired with a petrol engine.

  • Hydraulic System

    The hydraulic system uses incompressible hydraulic fluid to transfer force. The system operates many different functions in the car, including the clutch, brakes, and suspension. A hydraulic fluid leak can affect the performance of the system.

  • Hydrocarbon (HC)

    Hydrocarbon is an exhaust byproduct. Hydrocarbon emission readings should be taken regularly to make sure your car is operating efficiently. A high reading can be a result of poor fuel ignition, bad ignition wires or spark plugs, or a vacuum leak caused by a failed gasket.

  • Hydroplaning

    Hydroplaning is the effect of your tyres losing traction from water on the road. Hydroplaning can be avoided by maintaining good tyre pressure and tread condition, and driving more slowly in wet conditions.


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