Glossary of Automotive Terms – C

Letter C – Dictionary of Automotive Terms

  1. Abbreviation for Celsius or Centigrade.
  2. Abbreviation for Coulomb.
  3. Abbreviation for Comfort.
  4. Abbreviation for carbon
  5. Symbol for the speed of light in a vacuum.
Abbreviation for Computer command control system
Abbreviation for Computer controlled coil ignition
A mixture of light hydrocarbons that have the general formula C4Hn, where n is the number of hydrogen atoms per molecule. Examples include Butane (C4H10) and Butylene (C4H8).
C-4 system
Abbreviation for computer-controlled catalytic converter
Abbreviation for Cab and chassis
  1. An API classification for diesel engine oil widely used in the late 1940s and ’50s that operated in mild to moderate duty with high quality fuels; occasionally has included gasoline engines in mild service. Oils designed for this service provide protection from bearing corrosion and ring-belt deposits in some naturally aspirated diesel engines when using fuels of such quality that they impose no unusual requirements for wear and deposits protection. It was replaced by CB designated oil in 1949.
  2. Abbreviation for Cab/Axle describing the distance from the rear of the cab to the rear axle.
  1. Abbreviation for Clean Air Act
  2. Abbreviation for Civil Aviation Authority
Abbreviation for Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
Abbreviation for China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
  1. Abbreviation for Civil Aeronautics Board
  2. Abbreviation for Controller, Anti-lock brake
  1. A taxi or car for hire.
  2. The closed part of a truck (or even a car) where the driver sits.
Cab Aside Engine
(CAE) A truck where the driver’s cab sits to one side of the engine as seen on refuse trucks and some construction equipment.
Trucker slang for a long steep incline in Eastern Oregon as in ‘I jammed the brakes pullin’ off of Cabbage’
Cab & chassis
(CC, or C & C) The front of a tractor trailer unit
Cab and chassis
The front of a tractor trailer unit
Cab-Behind Engine
(CB) (CBE) Conventional style of a large truck which has a hood and an engine in front of the occupant cab.
Cab chassis
A truck chassis which includes the driver compartment.
Cab Forward

Cab ForwardCab Forward

A truck that is similar to a cabover in that the cab is positioned ahead of the engine. Most commonly seen on refuse trucks and some construction equipment.

Cab-forward design
A car design in which the front end is short and the footwells extended to the front axle. This design gave more passenger space and pushed the windshield further from the passengers
A passenger compartment of an enclosed vehicle.
Cabin altitude
The normal pressure altitude maintained in the cabin of a pressurized aircraft.
Cabin blower
An engine-driven pump, usually of displacement type, for maintaining an aircraft cockpit or cabin above atmospheric pressure. Also called cabin supercharger.
Cabin differential pressure
The pressure in excess of that of the surrounding atmosphere which is needed to maintain comfortable conditions at high altitude. For an aircraft flying at 9000m this differential would be about 60 kNm-2.
Cabin forward
Cabin-forward design
Cabin supercharger
  1. A distance of 120 fathoms where 1 fathom=6 feet. Thus a cable is 720 feet (219.456 m).
  2. A cord generally made of strands of thin wire. Electrical cables are covered with a protective non-conducting material. Control cables are housed within an outer sleeve.
Cable activated
A device which is controlled by a cable. As a lever or pedal is engaged, the device is correspondingly moved. The longer the cable the less efficient is the system. Cables tend to stretch and fray with use.
Cable-angle indicator
An indicator showing the vertical angle between the longitudinal axis of a glider and its towing cable, also its yaw and roll attitude relative to the towing aircraft.
Cable brake
A braking device which is activated by a cable
Cable buoy
A buoy attached to an anchor and serving to mark its position.
A tram pulled by a moving underground cable, in the same manner as the Cable railway.
Cable Chain
See Leaf Chain.
Cable clamp
  1. A device for securing a cable end to the point where it connects.
  2. A device which secures the outer sheath of a cable
Cable cover strip
Cable crimp
A small aluminum or plastic cap installed on the ends of bicycle brake and shift inner cables to keep them from fraying; also known as a cable end. The outer cable sheath end is protected from fraying by a Ferrule
Cable cutter

Cable CutterCable Cutter

A tool for severing a cable cleanly without leaving frayed ends.

Cable ducts
Earthenware, steel, plastic, or concrete pipes containing cables.
Cable end
A small aluminum or plastic cap installed on the ends of bicycle brake and shift inner cables to keep them from fraying; also known as a cable crimp. The outer cable sheath end is protected from fraying by a Ferrule
Cable form
The normal scheme of cabling between units of apparatus. The bulk of the cable is made up on a board, using nails at the appropriate corners, each wire of the specified color identification being stretched over its individual route with adequate skinner. When the cable is bound with twine and waxed, it is fitted to the apparatus on the racks and the skinners connected, by soldering, to the tag blocks.
Cable grip
A flexible cone of wire which is put on the end of a cable. When the cone is pulled, it tightens and bites into the sheath of the cable, and can be used to pull the cable into a duct.
Cable guide
A tube which is secured in place to channel the cable which runs through it
Cable Housing
Cable-laid rope
A rope formed of several strands laid together so that the twist of the rope is in the opposite direction to the twist of the strands.
Cable lock
A thick cable with a lock at one end and which can be wrapped around a bicycle frame and a post to protect the bike from being stolen.
Cable logging
A system of transporting logs from stump to landing by means of steel cables and winch. This method is usually preferred on steep slopes, wet areas, and erodible soils where tractor logging cannot be carried out effectively.
Cable loom
Cable marker
Cable median barrier
A series of wire cables stretched along the median parallel to the flow of traffic. In the event that a vehicle loses control and runs into the median, the barrier prevents the vehicle from entering the oncoming lane and will entangle the vehicle so that it will not bounce back into its own lane. While the vehicle may incur damage to itself, it is prevented from striking other vehicles.
Cable operated
An item which is controlled by a cable
Cable railway
Means of transport whereby carriages are pulled up an incline by an endless overground or underground cable.


Cable seal
A heavy steel cable used to keep trailer doors closed.
Cable separator
Cable-stayed bridge
A bridge type for medium spans in which the decking is suspended by diagonal cables attached directly to the supporting tower. Can be of fan or harp design. The decking is always in compression and is self-supporting during construction.


A construction consisting of cables slung over and between two or more towers, so that skips suspended from the cables may be moved often over long distances. It is used for transport of ore etc. Also called blondin.
A railcar that is placed at the rear of the train to provide an office and quarters for the conductor and train crew. Most railroads no longer use cabooses.

Cabover truckCabover truck

A truck or tractor design in which the cab sits over the engine on the chassis. The cabover is identified by the windshield being located directly over the front bumper and the driver is directly over the steering axle. Also called flat-faced, butt-nosed, or Cab-over-engine

(COE) A truck or tractor design in which the cab sits over the engine on the chassis. The cabover is identified by the windshield being located directly over the front bumper and the driver is directly over the steering axle. Also called flat-faced or butt-nosed.
Cab Plus
A type of pickup truck (by Mazda) which has a second row of seating; but unlike a Crew cab (which has four full size doors) it has a half-door that can be opened only after the main door is opened. The seating is usually a little more cramped than in a Crew cab. Also called Club Cab, Extended Cab, King Cab, Xtracab, Access Cab, Supercab
French for convertible. A vehicle type similar to a sport coupé, it has a provision for converting to an open-type body (i.e., convertible). A rumble seat is a common on older vehicles, but not a mandatory feature. Mercedes-Benz distinguishes the cabriolet from the roadster in that the former has a soft-top which folds up while the roadster has a hard-top which is stored in the trunk. Also called a Drophead coupé.
  • Abbreviation for Charge Air Cooler
  • Abbreviation for Citizens Advisory Committee
Abbreviation for Continuous AC Ignition System
Abbreviation for computer aided design software
Cadastral survey
Land survey, boundary delineation.
An euphemistic name for Cadillac

The speed your bicycle pedals turn. Professional bicycle riders have cadence of over 100 rpm
Cadence braking
A braking method in which the driver rapidly depresses and releases the brake pedal to bring a vehicle to an emergency stop much in the more effective way an ABS system works. Cadence braking in non-ABS brakes is effective in slippery conditions where the brakes tend to lock up. The driver applies the footbrake in a series of very rapid jabs at the pedal taking the wheels up to the point of brake locking and then releasing them before the inevitable fall-off in braking efficiency takes place. Produces improved braking in any extremely slippery conditions such as ice, snow, wet mud, or rain.
CadillacClick image for books on

The following Cadillacs are classic cars

  • All 1925-35 models
  • All 12-cylinder models
  • All 16 cylinder models
  • All 1938-41 60 Special models
  • All 1936-48 series #63, #67, #70, #72, #75, #80, #85, #90
  • All V-63 from 1923
  • All 1940-47 62 Series

For a history of Cadillac, see Cadillac History. Models include the following:

Cadmium cell
A reference voltage standard, giving 1.0186 V at 20°C. Also called Weston standard cadmium cell.
Cadmium copper
A variety of copper containing 0.7 to 1.0% cadmium. Used for trolley, telephone, and telegraph wires because it gives high strength in cold-drawn condition combined with good conductivity.
Cadmium photocell
A photoconductive cell using cadmium disulfide or cadmium selenide as the photosensitive semiconductor. Sensitive to longer wavelengths and infrared. It has a rapid response to changes in light intensity.
Something that is covered with a coating of cadmium. It is usually used to protect aluminum and steel nuts and bolts
Cadmium red line
Spectrum line formerly chosen as a reproducible standard of length, wavelength 643.8496 nm.
  1. Abbreviation for Computer Aided Engineering
  2. Abbreviation for Cab Aside Engine — a vehicle with a cab off to one side of the engine as seen on refuse trucks and some construction equipment. The cab is designed for only the driver.
British spelling for Cesium
Abbreviation for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Under CAFE, which was enacted in 1975, a motor vehicle manufacturer must place its U.S. automobile and light truck fleet sales in one of two vehicle fleets, either domestic or import, for fuel economy averaging purposes. It became effective in 1978 where the average was supposed to reach a minimum of 18 mpg and was scheduled to reach 19 mph in 1979 and 20 mpg in 1980.
Café chop
Converting a stock motorcycle into a café racer is known as doing a café chop on a bike
Café racer
  1. Motorcycle modified to resemble racing motorcycles from the 1950s and 60s. They are called café racers because their owners supposedly raced from café to café in London, where the bikes first appeared in the 1960s
  2. An early sportbike motorcycle which originated in Europe. They had a low windshield and the rider was bent forward to optimize the flow of air. Its name came from those who raced from one restaurant (café) to another.
  1. Any enclosure.
  2. On a front derailleur of a
  3. bicycle, it is a pair of parallel plates that push the
  4. chain from side to side; on a rear
  5. derailleur, it is a set of plates in which
  6. Pulleys are mounted to hold and guide the
  7. chain from Cog to cog.
  8. Any device for holding or securing something, e.g., a bottle cage on a
  9. bicycle.
  10. When referring to bearings, it is the part which holds the balls or
  11. rollers in place. Usually called
  12. Ball cage.
  13. When referring to a vehicle, it is the safety enclosure called a
  14. Roll cage.
  15. The platform on which goods are hoisted up or lowered down a vertical shaft or guides; in mines, the steel box used to raise and lower workers, materials, or tubs. May have two or three decks.
Cage pedal

Cage PedalCage Pedal

A bicycle pedal that is surrounded by a cage. It is found on all terrain bikes.

Cage rotor
A form of rotor, used for induction motors, having on it a Cage winding. Also called squirrel-cage rotor.
Cage winding
A type of winding used for rotors of some types of induction motors, and for the starting or damping windings of synchronous machines. It consists of a number of bars of copper or other conducting materials, passing along slots in the core and welded to rings at each end. Also called squirrel-cage winding.
Cailletet’s process
A method for the liquefaction of gases based on the free expansion of a gas from a higher to a lower pressure.
Abbreviation for Canadian Association of Japanese Automobile Dealers
The rectangular casting of copper or its alloys before rolling into sheet or strip.
Abbreviation for Calorie
Abbreviation for Computer Aided Lighting
Oldsmobile Calais BooksClick image for books on
Oldsmobile Calais

A model of automobile built by Oldsmobile from 1985-91

Closed vessel penetrated by pipes so that liquids in each do not mix. In evaporating plant the tubes carry the heating fluid and in certain types of nuclear reactor, e.g., CANDU reactors, the sealed vessel is called a calandria
A process in which a material is heated to a high temperature without fusing, so that hydrates, carbonates, or other compounds are decomposed and the volatile material is expelled.
Calcium chloride
  1. A chemical (salt) which is added to water in a liquid ballast.
  2. A soluble compound produced from calcium carbonate and hydrogen chloride generally used in cold temperatures (18°-10°C) to deice roads or to pre-wet salt before applying to roads.
Calcium magnesium acetate
A compound produced from limestone and acetic acid used for anti-icing and deicing of roads. It is less corrosive than salt, but more expensive.
Calcium sulfate
Chemical compound (CaSO4), which is used as a drying agent or desiccant in liquid line driers

Calcium tungstate screen
A fluorescent screen used in a cathode-ray tube; it gives a blue and ultraviolet luminescence.
A thin layer of rubber inside the Tire casing which covers the carcass cords to protect them from moisture and to protect the tube from chafing by the cord body. In tubeless tires, calendering consists of a layer of air proof Butyl rubber.
Also spelled calibre

  1. The internal diameter or bore of a pipe, esp. the barrel of a fire-arm.
  2. The arrangement of the various components of a watch or clock.
  1. As applied to test instruments it is the procedure of adjusting the dial
  2. Needle to the correct zero or load setting to determine accurate measurements.
  3. Position indicators to determine accurate measurements
Calibrated airspeed
(CAS) In automobiles, speed is calculated by the rotation of the driving axle. In an airplane, however, speed is determined by the amount of air rushing past the plane. In a turn, air will rush past faster on one side than the other. Calibrated airspeed makes adjustment for this factor (called position error) and for any error in the instrument. Also called rectified airspeed
Marking the measuring units on an instrument or checking their accuracy
Calibration assembly
A memory module that plugs into an on-board computer and contains instructions for engine operation
Calibration oil
Oil which is used in a tester for checking injection nozzles, meeting SAE J967D specifications
Calibration Unit


California Air Resources Board
(CARB) The state agency that regulates the air quality in California. Air quality regulations established by CARB are often stricter than those set by the federal government.
California Low-Emission Vehicle Program
State requirement for automakers to produce vehicles with fewer emissions than current EPA standards. The five categories of California Low-Emission Vehicle Program standards from least to most stringent are TLEV, LEV, ULEV, SULEV, and ZEV.
California Pilot Program
Federal program, administered by the EPA under the Clean Air Act, which sets lower emission standards (relative to cars in the general U.S. market) for a set number of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in California. The program specified that at the beginning of 1996, there would be the sale of 150,000 clean vehicles in the state. Beginning in 1999, this was to increase to 300,000 annually. California must mandate availability of any fuel necessary to operate clean fuel vehicles.
California Power Exchange
A State-chartered, non-profit corporation which provides day-ahead and hour-ahead markets for energy and ancillary services in accordance with the power exchange tariff. The power exchange is a scheduling coordinator and is independent of both the independent system operator and all other market participants.
California top
A solid top with sliding glass windows on a touring car to replace the standard folding top in order to provide better weather protection.
California wheel
A name given to a spoked wheel produced by particular manufacturer. Although the wheel is popular in the East and Midwest of United States, it is not common in California or other Western states.
  1. CaliperClick image to supersize

    The clamping device on disc brakes which straddles the rotating disc and by hydraulic action it presses the pads against the disc to stop or slow the vehicle.

  2. Bicycle CaliperBicycle Caliper

    On bicycles, the brake arms that reach around the sides of a wheel to press brake pads against the wheel rim.

  3. CaliperCaliper

    (British spelling is calliper). An adjustable measuring tool that is placed around (outside caliper) or within (inside caliper) an object and adjusted until it just makes contact. It is then withdrawn and the distance measured between the contacting points.

Caliper diameter
The distance measured between one tooth gap and the nearest opposite gap for a sprocket with an odd number of teeth.
Caliper disc
Caliper disc brake
Caliper gauge
A caliper (definition #3)
Caliper mounting bracket
The component that connects a brake caliper to the steering knuckle, hub carrier, or rear axle
To fill seams in a wood deck with oakum or hammer the adjoining edges of metal together to stop leaks. Also spelled caulk


Call Distribution
Alternate spelling for caliper
A style modification of small vehicles which first started in California. Most of the chrome is removed and the vehicle is painted a bright color like yellow, light blue, and red.
The mobilization of plow operators to initiate snow and ice control activities
The absorption of radiation of a certain wavelength by a body, and its re-emission as radiation of shorter wavelength. The effect is familiar in the emission of visible rays by a body which has been heated to redness by focusing infrared heat rays onto it.
Two different calorie units are used by scientists.

  1. The calorie used by medical science is a small heat unit. It equals the heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. (251,996 calories = 1 Btu)
  2. The calorie used by engineering science is a large heat unit. It is equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree C.

In the SI system it is recommended that the Joule unit of energy be used in place of the calorie

Calorific value
A measure of heating value of fuel. Amount of heat produced by the complete combustion of a unit weight of fuel. Usually expressed in calories per gram or BTU’s per pound, the latter being numerically 1.8 times the former.
An instrument to measure amount of heat given off by a substance when burned

Abbreviation for Computer Aided Manufacturing
  1. A designed bump on a shaft or disc which causes a rocking motion in an adjacent part.


  2. A metal disc with irregularly shaped lobes used in the camshaft to activate the opening and closing of the valves and in the distributor, to force the points to open.
  3. A stepped or curved eccentric wheel mounted on a rotating shaft. As a cam is turned, objects in contact with it are raised or lowered.
  4. The triangular piece of metal that fits between the rollers on rollercam bicycle brakes and moves the brake arms when the brake lever is squeezed
  5. A colloquial name for the camshaft.
  6. A name for the breaker cam.
Cam-and-lever steering
A steering system in which a conical peg mounted on a lever engages in a helically cut groove on a cylindrical drum. Also called cam-and-peg steering
Cam-and-peg steering
Cam-and-roller steering
A steering system in which a tapered disc or a set of discs or rollers engage with a helically cut, tapered groove on a cylindrical drum
Cam angle


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A series of Pony cars from the Chevrolet division of General Motors produced from 1967 to 2002. It is often misspelled as Camero because of a mispronunciation. It should be pronounced ka-MAH-roh, not ka-MERR-oh. The 1967-69 SS/RS V-8 and Z-28 models are Milestone cars.

Cam belt
  1. The rise of a deck of a ship,
  2. Athwartship
  3. CamberCamber

    A wheel Alignment adjustment of the inward or outward tilt on the top of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Tipping the top of the wheel center line outward produces

  4. Positive camber. Tipping the wheel center line inward at the top produces Negative camber. When the camber is positive, the tops of the tires are further apart than the bottom. Correct camber improves handling and cuts tire wear. Camber is measured in degrees.
Cambered axle
An axle that has a slight arch which curves upward at the center so that the wheels can tilt outward at the top. In this way it is better than an axle which might sag under load.
Camber thrust
The side force generated when a tire rolls with Camber. Camber thrust can add to or subtract from the side force a tire generates.
Cam bolt
A bolt fitted with an eccentric that will cause parts to change position when the bolt is turned.
Cam chain
A Timing chain which controls the overhead camshaft. It runs between the crankshaft and camshaft.
Cam design
A padded fender to keep a vessel away from a pier or quay to prevent damage to the hull or pier
Uncured retread rubber in crescent shape, available in various widths and depths according to size and type of tire being retreaded.




A brand name for a hydration pack that fits on the back of a cyclist or hiker. It is filled with water and has a tube placed within reach for supplying water for the user.

Camel Grand Touring Prototype
(GTP) An International Motorsports Association’s (IMSA) premier racing category until 1993 when it was replaced by the controlled cars World Sports Car Championship. GTP cars were the most powerful and the fastest on most road racing circuits in North America at that time. Over the years, many automakers fielded factory teams in this series including Ford, Toyota, Jaguar, Nissan, and Porsche.
Cam engine
Trucker slang for Police radar unit as in ‘There’s a local yokal with a camera just ahead.’



Cam face
The surface of a cam lobe
Cam follower

TappetCam Follower

The unit that contacts the end of the Valve stem and the camshaft. The follower rides on the camshaft and when the Cam lobes move it upward, it opens the valve. Also called Valve lifter or tappet.

Cam grind
  1. A type of brake shoe arcing that produces a lining thinner at its ends than at its center.
  2. The intake and exhaust timing of a particular cam profile.
Cam ground piston
Cam-ground piston
A piston with a Skirt that is ground slightly egg-shaped or oval-shaped. The widest diameter of the skirt is at right angles to the piston-pin axis. When it is heated, it becomes round. The design allows for a closer fit in the cylinder so that there is a reduction of Blowby gas, cylinder scuffing, and Piston slap.
Cam heel
The lowest point of a cam opposite the lobe. Also called Base circle
Cam lobe


Cam lobes
The bumps on a camshaft that contact and activate such devices as the Lifters, which operate the valves, and the Rubbing block, which causes the points to open and close, as the cam spins with the Distributor shaft.
Cam lubricator
A device, often in the form of a wick, for lubricating the contact breaker cam in the distributor
Racing a particular vehicle for an entire season.


A structure which fits into a truck bed for camping purposes. It usually has beds and possibly cooking and washing facilities. Also called a Truck camper or slide-in camper.

Camping trailer
A trailer containing camping equipment.

Cam plate
Flat plate with slots that engage pins on the shift forks. As the plate is rotated, slots cause shift forks to move sliding gears or dogs, causing engagement and disengagement of transmission ratios.
Cam profile
The shape of each lobe on a camshaft. These shapes determine when the valves open or close.
Cam pulley holder
Cam Pulley HolderClick image to supersize
Cam Pulley Holder

A tool for securing the camshaft when other adjustments are being made.

Cam roller
Rotating wheel acting as a cam follower
CamryClick image for books on

A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota



A shaft with Cam lobes (bumps) which is driven by gears, a belt, or a Chain from the crankshaft. The lobes push on the Valve lifters to cause the valves to open and close. The camshaft turns at half the speed of the crankshaft.

Camshaft bearing
Usually a plain bearing which supports the camshaft
Camshaft drive
A connection between the crankshaft and camshaft by means of gears, chain, drive belt, shaft, or eccentric shaft to maintain the ratio of 12.
Camshaft drive belt
A Timing belt
Camshaft drive sprocket
A sprocket attached to a crankshaft (either at one end or somewhere in the middle) which drives the camshaft with the use of a chain
Camshaft end play
The amount of lateral movement of the camshaft once it is installed
Camshaft engine
Camshaft gear
A gear that is used to drive the camshaft.
Camshaft housing
That part of the engine which encloses the camshaft and often other parts of the valve train.
Camshaft journal
That part of the camshaft that runs in one of its bearings
Camshaft position sensor
(CMP) A detection device that signals to the (ECU) the rotational position of the camshaft. This enables the computer to more precisely time the fuel injection and ignition system for faster starting of the engine.
Camshaft pulley
The pulley on the end of the camshaft for the camshaft drive belt
Camshaft sensor
  1. A detection device that signals to the (ECU) the rotational position of the camshaft. This enables the computer to more precisely time the fuel injection and ignition system for faster starting of the engine.
  2. A trigger device found on some distributorless ignition systems that synchronizes when the proper ignition coil should be fired.
Camshaft sprocket
The sprocket on the camshaft which (through a chain) is driven by the Camshaft drive sprocket
Camshaft timing
The relationship between the opening and closing of the valves and the movement of the pistons must be coordinated. The camshaft which operates the valves must therefore turn in relation to the crankshaft by means of a timing belt or timing chain.
Camshaft timing belt
The rubber belt that transfers power from the crankshaft to the camshaft to operate it. The belt must be installed so it maintains the relationship between the camshaft and crankshaft so the valves for each cylinder open and close at the right time for proper engine operation, a factor called camshaft timing
Camshaft timing chain
The metal chain that transfers power from the crankshaft to the camshaft to operate it. The chain must be installed so it maintains the relationship between the camshaft and crankshaft so the valves for each cylinder open and close at the right time for proper engine operation, a factor called camshaft timing
  1. A tube in a canned motor pump which insulates the motor winding.
  2. A muffler.
  3. A container for liquid or other substances.
Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) Implemented in January 1989 to eliminate all tariffs on U.S. and Canadian goods by January 1998 and to reduce or eliminate many non-tariff barriers.
Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council
(CARS) A not-for-profit organization established to serve the human resource and training needs of the Canadian car and truck repair and service industry.
Canadian cross border shopping
Cross border shopping describes the purchasing by Canadian consumers of products in the United States. Of particular interest is the decision by these buyers to obtain their products in the U.S., even though similar products are available in the Canadian market.
Canadian Deuterium Uranium Reactor
(CANDU) Uses heavy water or deuterium oxide (D2O), rather than light water (H2O), as the coolant and moderator. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that has a different neutron absorption spectrum from that of ordinary hydrogen. In a deuterium-moderated-reactor, fuel made from natural uranium (0.71 U-235) can sustain a chain reaction.
Canadian Environmental Protection Act
(CEPA) act where the goal is pollution prevention and protection of Canadians from toxic substances.
Canadian Gas Association
(CGA) A trade organization representing all segments of the gas industry in Canada. Founded in 1907, it specifically represents distributors, transmission companies, producers, pipeline contractors, manufacturers and allied service organizations. CGA set up a standards writing, inspection and product certification program in the mid 1950’s at a time when natural gas was being extended to Eastern Canada and the West Coast. CGA has been accredited by the National Standards Council of Canada to prepare National Standards of Canada in the area of equipment for use with natural gas and propane.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
The organization that sets safety standards for electric motors and other electrical equipment used in Canada
Canadian Value Added
(cd) A basic unit of luminous intensity. If, in a given direction, a source emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 1012 Hz, and the radiant intensity in that direction is 1/683 watt per Steradian, then the luminous intensity of the source is 1 candela.
Candle power
A measurement of the light producing ability of a light Bulb.
Candlestick barriers
Plastic poles used to channel traffic. Normally used in long-term traffic control in lieu of orange drums in tight construction areas.
Abbreviation for Canadian Deuterium Uranium Reactor
Candy apple paint
A bright color (usually red) paint (often with metal flakes) with a transparent clear coat
Candy paint
A bright color (usually red) paint (often with metal flakes) with a transparent clear coat
Candy store
An automobile dealership with lots of vehicle inventory.
A small metal box or can. Usually refers to a container in an emission control system that contains charcoal to trap fuel vapors from the fuel system

Canister air filter
A Centrifugal force air filter
Canister purge shut-off valve
(CPSOV) a vacuum-operated valve that shuts off canister purge when the air injection diverter valve dumps air downstream
Canister purge solenoid
An electrical solenoid that opens the canister purge valve between the fuel vapor canister line and the intake manifold when energized
Canister purge valve
Valve used to regulate the flow of vapors from the evaporative canister to the engine
Canned motor pump
A glandless pump with a special type of submersible or canned motor, whose stator winding is insulated from the fluid pumped by a tube, the so-called can
The action of removing good parts from one vehicle in order to put them into another vehicle.
The insertion of the catalyst element into the converter shell of a catalytic converter
Cannular combustion chamber
A gas turbine combustion system with individual flame tubes inside an annular casing.
Canonical assembly
Term used in statistical thermodynamics to designate a single assembly of a large number of systems
  1. The transparent cover of a cockpit.
  2. The fabric (nylon, silk, or cotton) body of a parachute, which provides high air drag. Usually hemispherical, but may be lobed or rectangular in shape.
Abbreviation for canister purge solenoid that opens the fuel vapor canister to the intake manifold when energized
Slope of rail or road curve whereby outer radius is superelevated, to counteract centrifugal thrust of traffic.
Cant beam
Beams supporting the deck plating in the overhanging portion of the stern.
Canted deck
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier prolonged diagonally from one side of the ship, so that aircraft may fly off and land on without interference to or from aircraft parked at the bows. The British term is Angled deck
Cant frame
A frame connected at the upper end to the cant beams
An arm that projects from a source and supports cables.

Cantilever brake
  1. A bicycle Rim brake with pivoting arms mounted on Fork blades or
  2. Seatstays at or below rim level. The two brake arms are connected by a straddle cable with the brake cable attached to the midpoint of the straddle cable.
  3. A type of ATB brake characterized by having the two brake arms connected by a straddle cable with the brake cable attached to the midpoint of the straddle cable. This type of brake was used on ATB bicycles (as well as tandems, touring, and cyclocross bicycles) before the invention of the V-Brake
Cantilever brakes
Cantilever bridge
A bridge formed of self-supporting projecting arms built outward from the piers and meeting in the middle of the span, where they are connected together.
Cantilever deck
A bridge where the deck slab is fixed above the main beams or trusses and is cantilevered beyond the outer beams or trusses.
Cantilever load
A load which tends to impose a radial force (perpendicular to the shaft axis) on an electric motor or gearmotor output shaft
Cantilever spring
  1. A leaf spring which is mounted upside down and attached to the vehicle at its mid-point. This system is no longer in use in modern vehicles.
  2. A Quarter-elliptic leaf spring
The Roof rail
Canvas top
The convertible top.
A nuclear energy term for a long narrow space often partly underground with heavy shielding for essential processing of wastes from reactors.
  1. A protective round cover which is secured to something.
  2. A covering over the bed of a truck.
  3. The base of a light bulb which fits into a socket.
  4. Cleaner air package system for reducing the amount of unburned
  5. hydrocarbons in the automobile
  6. exhaust.
Capable of being fueled
A vehicle is capable of being fueled by a particular fuel(s) if that vehicle has the engine components in place to make operation possible on the fuel(s). The vehicle does not necessarily have to run on the fuel(s) in order for that vehicle to be considered capable of being fueled by the fuel(s). For example, a vehicle that is equipped to operate on either gasoline or natural gas but normally operates on gasoline is considered to be capable of being fueled by gasoline and natural gas.
Capacitance (c)
  1. The property which opposes any change in voltage in an electrical circuit. The property of a nonconductor by which it stores electrical energy when separated surfaces of the nonconductor are maintained at a difference of potential. Capacitance is measured by the ratio of the charge induced to the potential difference and is proportional to the area of the conducting plates and the dielectric constant of the nonconducting material, and inversely proportional to the separation of the plates (mks unit farad).
  2. Property of a nonconductor (condenser or capacitor) that permits storage of electrical energy in an electrostatic field.
  3. Of an isolated conductor, the ratio of the total charge on it to its potential; C=Q/V.


Capacitance bridge
An ac bridge network for the measurement of capacitance.
Capacitance coupling
Interstage coupling through a series capacitance or by a capacitor in a common branch of a circuit.
Capacitance grading
Grading of the properties of a dielectric, so that the variation of stress from conductor to sheath is reduced. The inner dielectric has the higher permitivity. Ideally, the grading is continuous and the permittivity varies as the reciprocal of the distance from the center.
Capacitance integrator
Resistance-capacitance circuit whose output voltage is approximately equal to the time integral of the input voltage.
Capacitative load
Terminating impedance which is markedly capacitative, taking an ac leading in phase on the source emf, e.g., electrostatic loudspeaker.
Capacitative reactance
Impedance associated with a capacitor. Has a magnitude in ohms equal to the reciprocal of the product of the capacitance (in farads) and the angular frequency of the supply (in rads s-1). Also introduces a 90° phase angle such that the current through the device leads the applied voltage.
Capacitive discharge
(CD) A type of ignition system. It can be either all-electronic or breaker point controlled. The primary power is drawn from the engine’s battery and put into the CD power supply, where it is changed from 12 volts Direct current to about 300 volts of pulsating Direct current that is stored in a capacitor (condenser). The release of this energy through the coil is governed by a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR). When the SCR switch is closed, the voltage stored in the capacitor is supplied to the coil, which acts as a voltage step-up transformer boosting firing voltage to around 30,000 volts to fire the plugs.
Capacitive reactance
The opposition or resistance to an alternating current as a result of capacitance; expressed in ohms
  1. A device which gives capacitance, usually consisting of conducting plates or foil separated by layers of a dielectric. A potential difference applied across the plates induces a separation of charge centers in the dielectric, thus storing electrical energy.
  2. Type of electrical storage device used in starting and/or running circuits on many electric motors
  3. A device that, when connected in an alternating current circuit, causes the current to lead the voltage in time phase. The peak of the current wave is reached ahead of the voltage wave. This is the result of the successive storage and discharge of electric energy
  4. A device which consists essentially of two conductors (such as parallel metal plates) insulated from each other by a dielectric and which introduces capacitance into a circuit, stores electrical energy, blocks the flow of direct current, and permits the flow of alternating current to a degree dependent on the capacitor’s capacitance and the current frequency.
Capacitor Condenser
Capacitor controlled electronic ignition
Capacitor discharge ignition (CDI)
Capacitor modulator
Capacitor microphone, or similar Transducer, which, by variation in capacitance, modulates an oscillation either in amplitude or frequency
Capacitor motor
Single-phase induction motor with an auxiliary starting winding connected in series with a condenser (capacitor) for better starting characteristics.
Capacitor-resistance law
(C-R law) Law relating to exponential rise or decay of charge on capacitor in series with a resistor, and, by extension, to signal distortion on long submarine cables.
Capacitor start
Starting unit for electric motor using series capacitance to advance phase of current.
Capacitor-start motor
Motor which has a capacitor in the starting circuit
  1. The ability to contain or hold something.
  2. Maximum production attainable under normal conditions. With regard to normal conditions, the company’s operating practices are to be followed with respect to the use of production facilities, overtime, workshifts, holidays, etc.
  3. The output of an electric motor or other electrical equipment.
  4. The volume of fluid which a pump can handle.
  5. A measure of the theoretical maximum amount of refrigeration-produced output, measured in tons or BTUs per hour
  6. Refrigeration rating system. Usually measured in BTU per hour or watts.
  7. Sometimes used to mean capacitance
Capacity load
  1. A trailer loaded to the maximum legal weight limit.
  2. A load in a trailer that has reached its maximum available amount
Capacity plan
A plan outlining the spaces available for fuel, Cargo, ballast, fresh water, etc, with guides on weight and volume for spaces at various drafts and displacements
Capacity rating
Cap-and-pin type insulator
A special form of the Suspension insulator
Cap cost
Cap cost reduction
Cape chisel
A metal cutting chisel shaped to cut or work in channels or grooves
A phenomenon associated with surface tension, which occurs in fine bore tubes or channels.
A tube with a very small bore used for temperature gauges
Capillary action
The property of a liquid to move into small spaces if it has the ability to wet these surfaces
Capillary tube
A tube usually gas-filled, with a precisely calibrated length and inside diameter, used to connect the remote bulb or coil to the expansion valve or thermostat. A tube with a very small bore used for temperature gauges. Also called Pressure sensing line
Capitalized cost
The total price of the vehicle, in effect, its purchase price. In theory, the cap cost should equal the amount you would pay for the vehicle if you were purchasing the vehicle. When a lease is made, the dealer sells that vehicle to the leasing company (for the cap cost), which then leases the vehicle to you.

Capitalized cost reduction
A fancy name for a cash down payment, money you pay up front that is applied to the final purchase price of a lease. A large cap cost reduction will, of course reduce the monthly payments, but it will also negate one of the big advantages of leasing. However, if you own your present car, you may be able to use it, as a trade-in, to satisfy the cap cost reduction to start the lease.Remember, you must pay sales tax on any cap cost reduction you make. Another source of capital cost reduction may be dealer or manufacturer participation. Dealers and manufacturers will sometimes lower the cap cost or offer a rebate that reduces the cap cost. A dealer or manufacturer cap cost reduction does lower your total out-of-pocket dollars, unlike a cap cost reduction that you must pay.
Capital expenditures
Expenditures to acquire or add to capital assets that will yield benefits over several accounting periods. Included are cost of procuring, construction, installing new durable plants, machinery and equipment where for replacement, addition or for lease or rent to other companies including subsidies.
Cap nut

Cap NutCap Nut

A threaded nut that is closed (blind) at one end often with a dome or acorn-shaped top. It is used to protect the projecting threads or to protect a person from being hurt by the sharp edge of projecting threads. Also called box nut or dome nut.

  1. Installing a new tread on a tire carcass.


  2. Door molding or capping
Chevrolet Caprice BooksClick image for books on
Chevrolet Caprice

A model of automobile manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1967-92.

Cap screw
A screw with a hexagon head, slotted head, square head, or socket head

  1. A stump with a vertical axis used for handling mooring and other lines.
  2. A vertical drum or spindle on which rope is wound, it is rotated by manpower or by a hydraulic or electric motor.
  3. Roller providing the constant speed drive in a magnetic tape recorder.
Capstan-head screw
A screw having a cylindrical head provided with radial holes in its circumference. It is tightened by a tommy bar inserted in these holes.
Capstan lathe
A cutting device (lathe) in which the tools required for successive operations are mounted radially in a tool-holder resembling a capstan; by revolving this, each tool in turn may be brought into position in exact location.
Capstan nut
A nut which is tightened in the same way as a Capstan-head screw
Capstan screw
A screw or bolt with a round head and one or more holes through it into which a bar may be inserted for securing or removing it
Capstan winch
A winch, generally mounted on or just behind the front bumper, usually run from an engagable extension to the engine crankshaft. The active component is usually a slowly revolving drum, about 15 cm in diameter, round which a rope may be wound to effect a winching operation. Has the advantage of being powered by the engine at idling speed and being a very low-stress unit that may be used all day without overheating or high electrical load.
A wax-type thermostat at the base of the jet of a SU carburetor, which expands and reduces fuel flow when the underhood temperature rises.

Something that is permanently located in the desired position
Captive balloon
A balloon anchored or towed by a line. Usually the term refers only to spherical balloons. Special shapes (e.g., for stability) are called kite balloons
Captive finance company
A Leasing or finance company which is affiliated with an automobile manufacturer or distributor.
Captive import
An imported motor vehicle or part manufactured by another automaker usually for sale under the brand name of the importer.
Captive nut
A nut which fits into a cage and is welded in place. This is done where the nut is not easily accessible.
Captive Pallet
A pallet for the exclusive use of a particular facility or company
Captive refinery MTBE plants
MTBE production facilities primarily located within refineries. These integrated refinery units produce MTBE from Fluid Cat Cracker isobutylene with production dedicated to internal gasoline blending requirements.
Captive refinery oxygenate plants
Oxygenate production facilities located within or adjacent to a refinery complex.
Captive screw

Captive screwCaptive screw

A screw where the threads are a larger diameter than the shoulder

Any process in which an atomic or nuclear system acquires an additional particle. In a nuclear radiative capture process there is an emission of electromagnetic radiation only, e.g., the emission of gamma rays subsequent to the capture of a neutron by a nucleus.
Cap wrench

Cap wrenchCap wrench

A cup-shaped tool used to fit on one end of an oil filter in order to install or remove the filter.

  1. A wheeled vehicle such as an automobile, a section of a train, or a streetcar. The word is an abbreviation of Carriage — a device to carry people or goods.
  2. In an airship, the part intended for the carrying of the load (crew, passengers, goods, engines, etc.). It may be suspended below, or may be inside the hull of envelope.
Car accident
A collision between two or more vehicles (or between a vehicle and a stationary object), whether the vehicles are cars or trucks. Some are minor like a Fender bender while others are Totalled.

Car alarm
A chime, bell, siren, or horn that sounds when a problem exists (e.g., door ajar, seat belt undone, lights on after engine is off, key left in ignition switch, unauthorized entry)
  1. A group of vehicles (belonging to one organization) which follows after one another.
  2. A British term for camping trailer or a mobile home.
  3. The name of a minivan produced by Chrysler (Daimler-Chrysler) from 1983.
A British term for traveling with a camping trailer
An abbreviation for carburetor.
Abbreviation for California Air Resource Board — The state agency that regulates the air quality in California. Air quality regulations established by CARB are often stricter than those set by the federal government.
Car banger
A British term for a person or organization which fakes a Car accident in order to defraud an insurance company
Car banging
The act of faking a Car accident in order to defraud an insurance company
A binary compound of metals with carbon. Carbides of group IV to VI metals (e.g., silicon, iron, tungsten) are exceptionally hard and refractory. In group I and II, calcium carbide (ethynide) is the most useful.

Carbide blade
A snowplow blade composed of a carbon compound that generally wears longer and requires less frequent changes than steel blades
Carbide precipitation
Carbon that breaks loose from its bond within the stainless solution when material is heated between 427°760°C. Under severe corrosive conditions, it can result in extra oxidation and surface corrosion.
Carbide tools
Cutting and forming tools used for hard materials or at high temperatures. They are made of carbides of tungsten, tantalium, and other metals held in a matrix of cobalt, nickel, etc., and are very hard with good compressive strength.
Carb kit
A collection of gaskets, O-rings, jets, etc. to rebuild a carburetor
Car blind
A curtain or pull-down covering for the backlight (i.e., rear window) to obscure the bright headlights of a following vehicle. Some are also used for side windows for privacy. It is generally illegal to use them on the driver’s side window or the windshield.
  1. The hard or soft, black deposits found in the combustion chamber, on the plugs, under the rings, on and under the Valve heads, etc. Although it is not a metal, it is a good conductor of electricity.
  2. An element which forms various kinds of steel when combined with iron. In steel, it is the changing carbon content which changes the physical properties of the steel. Adds strength to stainless steel, but also lowers corrosion resistance. The more carbon there is, the more chromium must be added, because carbon offsets 17 times its own weight in chromium to form carbides, thus reducing the chromium available for resisting corrosion.
  3. Carbon is used in a solid form as an electrode for arc welding, as a mold to hold weld metal, or for motor brushes.
Carbon arc
An arc between carbon electrodes, usually limited to pure carbon rather than flame carbon electrodes
Carbon-arc lamp
Obsolete light source from the arc between carbon electrodes.
Carbon-arc welding
Arc welding carried out by means of an arc between a carbon electrode and the material to be welded.
Carbonate Fuel Cell
Carbon black
A by-product of the petroleum industry used as a pigment and to give body in the manufacture of rubber products, both natural and synthetic. Carbon is the black residue from burning petroleum.
Carbon brush
A block of carbon to which a copper wire (or braided cable) is attached at one end and the other end rubs against a commutator, collector ring, or slip ring to transmit electricity
Carbon brush spring
Carbon build-up
A deposit of burned oil which collects in the combustion chamber on the top of the piston and the head. Too much carbon build-up can lead to an inefficient engine and sticky valves.
Carbon button
Carbon canister
Carbon contact
In a switch, an auxiliary contact designed to break contact after and to make contact before the main contact to prevent burning of the latter; it is of carbon and designed to be easily removable.
Carbon-core leads
High tension wire going from the distributor to the coil or the spark plugs. Each wire has a core of carbon or graphite rather than copper wire to conduct the electricity. Carbon-core wire is not recommended for most small engines such as motorcycle engines.
Carbon dating
Dating method which uses the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide contains a constant proportion of radioactive C14, formed by cosmic radiation. Living organisms absorb this isotope in the same proportion. After death it decays with a half-life of 5.57×10³ years. The proportion of C12 to the residual C14 indicates the period elapsed since death. Also called radiocarbon dating
Carbon deposits
The residue of carbon from burning fuel, which can clog grooves in pistons, combustion chambers, and valves, and cause engine hesitation and other operational problems
Carbon dioxide
(CO2) A colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas which is a product of breathing and the combustion process. Sometimes used as refrigerant. (Identified as Refrigerant #R-744)
Carbon dioxide equivalent
The amount of carbon dioxide by weight emitted into the atmosphere that would produce the same estimated radiative forcing as a given weight of another radiatively active gas.
Carbon dioxide laser
Laser in which the active gaseous medium is a mixture of carbon dioxide and other gases. It is excited by glow-discharge and operates at a wavelength of 10.6 μm. Carbon dioxide lasers are capable of pulsed output with peak power up to 100 MW or continuous output up to 60 kW.
Carbon-dioxide welding
Metal arc welding using CO2 as the shielding gas.
Carboned up
Covered with a thick deposit of carbon. In Britain it is called coked up
Carbon fiber
  1. A high-tech material favored in many motorcycle and bicycle applications because it is extremely strong, light and expensive. The distinctive look of carbon fiber has become trendy.
  2. Threadlike strands of pure carbon that are strong and flexible. Carbon fiber can be bound in a plastic resin matrix to form a strong
  3. composite. It is light-weight and stronger than steel. Can also be spelled carbon fibre.
Carbon fibre
A high-tech material favored in many motorcycle applications because it is extremely strong, light and expensive. The distinctive look of carbon fiber has become trendy.

Carbon filter
An air filter using activated carbon as a cleansing agent
Carbon fouling
The situation that occurs when the two electrical terminals of the spark plug are coated with carbon causing a reduction in efficiency leading to intermittent firing or complete failure.
Carbon gland
A type of gland used to prevent leakage along a shaft. It consists of carbon rings cut into segments and pressed into contact with the shaft by an encircling helical spring or Garter spring
Carbon intensity
The amount of carbon by weight emitted per unit of energy consumed. A common measure of carbon intensity is weight of carbon per British thermal unit (Btu) of energy. When there is only one fossil fuel under consideration, the carbon intensity and the emissions coefficient are identical. When there are several fuels, carbon intensity is based on their combined emissions coefficients weighted by their energy consumption levels.
A process of case hardening
The steeping of wool in a dilute solution of sulfuric acid, or its treatment by hydrochloric acid gas (dry process). This converts any cellulosic impurities into carbon dust and thereby facilitates their removal.
Building up of carbon on objects such as spark plugs, pistons, heads, etc.
Carbonized filament
Thoriated tungsten filament coated with tungsten carbide to reduce loss of thorium from the surface.
Another term for Carburizing or reducing
Carbon knock
When there is a build-up of carbon in the combustion chamber, uncontrolled ignition will take place causing a knocking noise.
Carbon microphone
A microphone in which a normally DC energizing current is modulated by changes in the resistance of a cavity filled by granulated carbon which is compressed by the movement of the diaphragm. The diameter of the cavity is frequently very much less than that of the diaphragm, and it is then known as a carbon button.
Carbon monoxide
(CO) A deadly, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas found in the engine exhaust. Toxic even in relatively small concentrations. Formed by incomplete burning of Hydrocarbons. Thus at its greatest with a rich mixture.
Carbon pile voltage transformer
Variable electrical resistor made from disks or plates of carbon arranged to form a pile.
Carbon pin
A thin cylinder of carbon located in the distributor cap to transfer high tension electricity from the coil to the rotor to the high tension leads going to the spark plugs.
Carbon resistor
Negative temperature coefficient, non-inductive resistor formed of powdered carbon with ceramic binding material. Used for low-temperature measurements because of the large increase in resistance as temperature decreases.
Carbon Sequestration
  1. The absorption and storage of CO2 from the atmosphere by the roots and leaves of plants; the carbon builds up as organic matter in the soil.
  2. The fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide in a carbon sink through biological or physical processes.
Carbon steel
A steel whose properties are determined principally by the amount of carbon present and contains no other deliberate alloying ingredient except those necessary to ensure deoxidation and physical quality. Also called plain carbon steel.

Carbon tetrachloride
A liquid often used in fire extinguishers. The fumes are toxic — avoid inhaling.
Carbon tracking
A trace of carbon found inside the distributor cap which leads away some electricity, thus causing the engine to misfire.
Carbon tracks
Fine lines from burned carbon (such as from oil film) that may be found in a distributor cap. Carbon tracks may cause engine misfire
Carbonyl powders
Metal powders produced by reacting carbon monoxide with the metal to form the gaseous carbonyl. This is then decomposed by heat to yield powder of high purity.
Trade name for Silicon carbide abrasives.
Carborundum wheel
Large, narrow-necked container, usually of balloon shape, having a capacity of 201 or more.
Abbreviation for carburetors.

British term for Carburetion
The mixture of vaporized fuel and air in the proper proportions for combustion in an engine

CarburetorClick image to supersize

(Carb) Optionally spelled carburetter or carburettor. A device that Vaporizes fuel and mixes it with air in proper quantities and proportions to suit the varying needs of the engine. A Filter screens the air which is drawn into the carburetor. Here the gasoline mixes with the air and this fuel vapor enters the combustion chamber through the intake valve where it is compressed and burned.

Carburetor Actuator
Carburetor adapter
An adapter that is used to fit or place one type of carburetor on an intake manifold that may not be originally designed for it. Also used to adapt four-barrel carburetors to two-barrel manifolds.
Carburetor air horn


Carburetor barrel
The tube-like part of the vehicle through which air flows and is mixed with Vaporized fuel. The choke butterfly valve is located at the top of the carburetor barrel, and the Throttle valve is located at the bottom. Midway through, the barrel narrows, and this part is called the Venturi. Carburetors can have one, two, or four barrels.
Carburetor base
The lower part of the carburetor in which the throttle plate is located
Carburetor circuit
A series of passageways and units designed to perform a specific function Idle circuit, full power circuit, etc.
Carburetor circuits
Carburetor cleaner
A petroleum solvent for cleaning the carburetor
Carburetor engine
A combustion engine which uses a carburetor instead of fuel injection.
Carburetor fuel bowl
A small fuel storage area in the carburetor, located at the carburetor fuel inlet. Also called the float bowl because it contains the carburetor float
Carburetor fuel bowl vent
A vent on the float bowl. It typically is connected to an Carbon canister, which absorbs vapors when the engine is off, and it also may be vented to the atmosphere when the engine is running.
Carburetor fuel filter

Carburetor fuel FilteerCarburetor Fuel Filter

A filter made of pleated paper or sintered bronze that is mounted into the body of the carburetor at the float bowl fuel inlet. It is held in place by the fuel hose/pipe fittings. On some cars, a small in-line filter is screwed directly into the carburetor’s fuel inlet. Also called an integral fuel filter.

Carburetor fuel inlet
A threaded fitting on the side of the carburetor to which tubing from the fuel pump is connected. Fuel enters the carburetor at this point.
Carburetor icing
The formation of ice on the Throttle plate or valve during certain atmospheric conditions. As the fuel Nozzles feed fuel into the Air horn it turns to a vapor. This robs heat from the air and when weather conditions are just right (fairly cool and quite humid) ice may form.


Carburetor jet
A fitting (usually brass) located inside a carburetor that permits a measured amount of fuel which is mixed with air going into the combustion chamber. Some look like a small brass screw with a hole in the center; others look like a long wide needle with holes along the sides; others look like a thin tapered needle.
Carburetor kit
A collection of gaskets, O-rings, jets, etc. to rebuild a carburetor. Also called a carb kit.
Carburetor throat


Carburetor venturi


British spelling for carburetor.
Car burglar
A person who steals object from a car, but does not steal the car itself.


The process of creating carbon steel by increasing the carbon content of steel to reach the desired degree of hardness
  1. A carburizing flame in welding terms is an oxygen-fuel gas flame with a slight excess of the fuel gas.
  2. A method of Case-hardening low carbon steel in which the metal component is heated above its ferrite-austenite transition in a suitable carbonaceous atmosphere. Carbon diffuses into the surface and establishes a concentration gradient. The steel can subsequently be hardened by quenching either directly or after re-heating to refine the grain structure. It is usually lightly tempered afterwards, producing a hard case over a tough core.
Car cap
A waterproof cover which encloses just the Greenhouse (i.e., the roof, windshield, side glass, and Backlight)
Car care product
One of several items for taking care of the outward finish of the car (i.e., cleaners, polish, wax, preservers) as well as the interior pieces (e.g., instrument panel cleaners, upholstery cleaners and sealers)
The primary structure of a tire body with its cords, plies, rim wires, etc. apart from the tread itself. Structurally the carcass should hold air and provide strength to the tire, but would not wear well without the tread.
Chemicals and other substances known to cause cancer.
Car Club of America
Car cover
A cover which encloses the entire vehicle to protect the finish from the elements.
Car covers
Car crash
A Car accident
The graduated dial or face of a magnetic compass to which the card and needle are firmly connected.

Cardan joint

Cardan JointCardan Joint

A type of Universal joint named after the Italian Cardan who developed the concept in the 16th century. In the 17th century, Robert Hooke of England developed and patented the conventional universal joint. Sometimes it is called the Cardan universal or the Hooke universal. It has two yokes at right angles to each other.

Cardan mount
Type of gimbal mount used for compasses and gyroscopes.
Cardan shaft
A shaft with universal joints at each end
Cardan universal
Card brush
Car dealer
Cardinal planes
In a lens, planes perpendicular to the principal axis, and passing through the cardinal points of the lens.
A heart-shaped curve with polar equation r=2a(1+cosθ). An epicycloid in which the rolling circle equals the fixed circle.
Cardioid directivity
Special shape of a directivity. It is produced by superimposing the fields of a monopole and a dipole, and has the shape of a cardioid.
Care product
Car-floor contact
A contact attached to the false floor of an electrically controlled lift; it is usually arranged to prevent operation of the lift by anyone outside the car while a passenger is in the lift.
Freight carried by a ship but the term is sometimes used for freight on a truck in place of shipment.

Cargo area
The space within a station wagon or van for carrying goods or the bed of a pickup truck for carrying goods
Cargo battens
Strips of wood secured to the inside of the frame to keep the cargo away from steel sides of the hull or truck trailer bodywork. Also called sparring
Cargo Body Style Auto Carrier
A truck cargo body typified by the multi-decked auto carrier trailer and/or power unit.
Cargo Body Style Bottom Dump
Dry bulk truck bodies which empty by means of gravity alone through the bottom.
Cargo Body Style Dump
A truck body with a hydraulic, electric, or mechanical lifting mechanism that tilts to unload cargo. Dump includes side dumps, walking dumps, flatbed dumps, and dump trucks with snow plows or blades.
Cargo Body Style Flatbed
A cargo truck body style typified by a flat cargo area. Includes angle beds, rollback beds, and ramp hoists, which are flatbeds that tilt down to the ground so vehicles can be driven onto the bed.
Cargo Body Style Flatbed with Sides
A cargo truck body style typified by flatbeds with sides to hold and protect cargo.

Cargo Body Style Flatbed with Equipment
This cargo truck body style is typified by flatbeds with permanent cranes, loaders, pumps, winches, or other significantly heavy and large apurtenances.
Cargo Body Style Garbage
A cargo body style typified by garbage trucks that often have hydraulic packing mechanisms or hydraulic arms for lifting dumpsters. Included are roll-offs, vehicles used for transporting refuse containers. Roll-offs have rails or a flat bed and a hoist for loading and unloading the refuse container.
Cargo Body Style Livestock Carrier
A cargo truck body style typically with slotted or slatted sides. Trailers may have a double deck. Livestock trailers sometimes have ‘possum belly’ compartments in the bottom for holding smaller animals.
Cargo Body Style Low Boy
Gooseneck flatbed trucks slung very low to the ground. Often the gooseneck is detachable so that equipment can be loaded from the front. Sometimes ramps are at the rear. Typically about 12′ off the ground.
Cargo Body Style Open Top Van
A totally enclosed cargo area but without a permanent, fixed, solid top.
Cargo Body Style Pole Logging
Pole trailers with a set of axles with a cradle to hold logs and a long, sometimes adjustable pole attached to the rear of a power unit. Others are framed with support stakes. Some have double decks. Most will have cradle-like features called bunks to hold the logs in place.
Cargo Body Style Refrigerated Van
A cargo body style with a totally enclosed box with a refrigeration unit.
Cargo Body Style Tank Dry
A truck used exclusively for hauling dry bulk material. Cargo is emptied pneumatically. Also called air can trailer
Cargo Body Style Tank Liquid or Gas
A cargo body truck style characterized by tankers which can carry only liquids or gases in bulk.
Cargo Body Style Van
A totally enclosed cargo area truck. Included are beverage vans, or bay vans, and sealed shipping containers mounted on a special bodiless chassis.
Cargo Boom


A heavy, long pole with cables and pulleys used to lift and place cargo. Also called a crane

Cargo box

Cargo BoxCargo Box

A type of container mounted on the roof of a vehicle

Cargo net

Cargo netCargo Net

A type of Bungee net usually found in the trunk of a car to secure packages from moving around; but also found behind or beside a seat.

Cargo port
Opening in a ship’s side for loading and unloading cargo.
Cargo shifting
Movements or changing positions of cargo from one place to another which can easily endanger the seaworthiness of the ship
Cargo ship
Cargo trailer

Cargo TrailerCargo Trailer

A trailer with sides.

Cargo Weight
The combined weight of all loads, gear, and supplies on a vehicle.
Car Guide
CarinaClick image for books on
Toyota Carina

A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

Car insurance
An insurance policy (mandatory in most states and all of Canada) to cover possible damage to the vehicle or property or passengers, etc. Sometimes basic insurance is abbreviated PL&PD (public liability and property damage). Also called motor insurance
Car jacker
A person who steals a car at gunpoint.
Car jacking
A process of stealing a car while the driver is still in it. The car may be stopped at a traffic light when a car jacker appears with a gun and demands that the driver get out, then he drives away with the car. If it happens to you, give him the car — your life is worth more than the vehicle.
Car key
An unlocking device for the ignition switch, doors, trunk, gas cap, etc.
(CL or C/L)

  1. The total amount of freight within a full railcar.
  2. The specified quantity of freight necessary to qualify for a carload rate.
Car lot
A place where vehicles are sold by an independent dealer
Car mechanic


Carnot cycle
An ideal heat engine cycle of maximum thermal efficiency. It consists of isothermal expansion, adiabatic expansion, isothermal compression, and adiabatic compression to the initial state.
Carnot’s theorem
Theorem stating that no heat engine can be more efficient than a reversible engine working between the same temperatures. It follows that the efficiency of a reversible engine is independent of the working substance and depends only on the temperatures between which it is working.
A flat turntable (horizontal) or ferris-wheel-like (vertical) device which a picker uses to move product from the warehouse to those who are filling the orders.
Car park
A parking area usually located within a building.

The action of covering the passenger compartment floor (and sometimes the trunk floor) with a form-fitting rug or carpet.
Car phone
A telephone that is installed in a vehicle, but has recently been replaced by personal cell phones.

Car polish
A product which enhances the shine of the paintwork of a vehicle
Car Pool

HOVHOV Car Pool Sign

A system where the use of a vehicle is shared by a number of riders going in the same direction. In some cases the same driver will use his vehicle and pick up the passengers along the way. The passengers reimburse the driver for his costs. In other cases each of the riders will take a turn at driving his own vehicle so that no one person is burdened with vehicle costs. The concept of the car pool is to reduce traffic, conserve fuel, and reduce the amount of parking space. Car pool vehicles are allowed to drive in the HOV lane designated by the diamond symbol.

Car radio
A radio receiver which is installed (usually in the instrument panel) in a vehicle
Refrigerant in Group One (R-11). Chemical combination of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine
  1. A horse-drawn vehicle for people to ride in.
  2. A railroad vehicle for passengers.
Carriage bolt

Carriage BoltCarriage Bolt

A bolt that has a smooth dome head (like a mushroom) so that no screwdriver or wrench can remove it from the dome-side, a square neck under the head, and a unified thread pitch. The square neck (which fits into a corresponding square hole) is designed to keep the bolt from turning when a nut is tightened.

Carriage Paid To
(CPT) the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination.
Carriage spring
Carriage-type switchgear
A British term for that part of the road on which vehicles travel in one direction.

  1. A thin substance that helps another substance to reach its goal. For example, a spray grease may have a carrier which transports the grease to its destination. Then the carrier dries up leaving the grease behind.
  2. A real or imaginary particle responsible for the transport of electric charge in a material. In oxide ceramics, electrons hopping between ions, diffusing oxygen ions and mobile cations can also transport charge.


  3. A device for conveying the drive of a face-plate of a lathe to a piece of work which is being turned between centers. It is clamped to the work and driven by a pin projecting from the face-plate.
  4. A frame for holding a negative in an enlarger or slides in a projector.
  5. Non-active material mixed with, and chemically identical to, a radioactive compound. Carrier is sometimes added to carrier-free material.
  6. A vehicle for communicating in formation, when the chosen medium itself cannot convey the information but can convey a carrier, on to which the information is impressed by Modulation.
  7. In radio transmission, the output of the transmitter before it is modulated.
  8. The frequencies chosen for sending many signals simultaneously along a single communication channel
  9. A transport company which takes goods from the shipping client (consignor) either to a central terminal and then to the receiving client (consignee) or directly to the receiving client. In some cases the goods are picked up, transported, and delivered in the same truck (usually by a local courier); but in most cases the goods are moved from the pick up truck to a terminal where it is united with other goods going in the same direction. This process may take place at several terminals until the goods are finally received by the consignee.
Carrier bearing
The bearings upon which the Differential case is mounted.
Carrier bearings
Carrier mobility
The mean drift velocity of the charge carriers in a material per unit electric field.
Carrier noise
Noise which has been introduced into the carrier of a transmitter before modulation.
Carrier, pinion
Carrier, planet
Carrier power
Power radiated by a transmitter in absence of modulation.
In a crystal of semiconductor material thermal agitation will cause a number of electrons to dissociate from their parent atoms; in moving about the crystal they act as carriers of negative charge. Other electrons will move from neighboring atoms to fill the space left behind, thus causing the holes where no electrons exist in the lattice to be transferred from one atom to another. As these holes move around they can be considered as carriers of positive charge.

Carrier Transmission
Carrier wave
An unmodulated radio wave produced by a transmitter on which information is carried by amplitude or frequency modulation.
French term for Coachwork.
Italian term for Coachwork.
Carrying capacity
The maximum load that a tire is allowed to carry with a particular wheel and rim. Also called load capacity.
Abbreviation for Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council
Car society
Carson top
A customizing procedure where an automobile roof that has been removed (usually when the car’s cab is being lowered) and modified so that it becomes a one-piece removable unit to turn the car into a convertible. The top is often stored in the trunk and may be removed manually or by a series of electric or hydraulic motors.
Car sponge
A large sponge for washing the exterior of a vehicle
Car stands
Pedestal-type supports for holding up a car once the car has been raised.
Car stereo
A listening device in an automobile which usually has an AM/FM radio and often a cassette player, CD player, and/or CD changer. It also includes at least a pair of speakers.
A wagon with four wheels used in the vicinity of a warehouse to move freight between the warehouse and the truck. The advantage over a dolly is that more freight can be moved at one time. The cart may be pulled by a long tongue or be motorized.


  1. The charge for the pickup and delivery of goods
  2. The act of moving goods (usually short distances)
Cartage company
A company that provides local pick-up and delivery within a town, city, or municipality.
Car tax
A government imposed tax which is added to the price of a new car. Some governments charge a road-use tax and call it a car tax.
Car test
A test of a vehicle’s roadworthiness, reliability, and performance.
Car theft
Unauthorized removal (i.e., stealing) of a car or the items in or on a car.

Car thief
A person who steals a car. If someone steals just the objects from a car, he is a Car burglar.

Car tire
An automotive tire which is used exclusively on a passenger car, not a light truck, etc.
The preparation and drawing of maps which show, generally, a considerable extent of the Earth’s surface.
A single packaged product, usually in a cardboard box
Cartridge bottom bracket
A bottom bracket with protective seals to keep water and grime from penetrating to the bearings. Also called sealed bottom bracket
Cartridge brass
Copper-zinc alloy containing approximately 30% zinc. Possesses high ductility; capable of being heavily cold-worked. Widely used for cold pressings, cartridges, tubes, etc.

Cartridge starter
A device for starting aero-engines in which a slow-burning cartridge is used to operate a piston or turbine unit which is geared to the engine shaft.
Cart spring
A leaf spring used in small trailers.
Car types
Automobiles can be divided into several groups based on design, technology, rarity, and age. However a particular vehicle can bridge a number of these categories.

A small, hand-held vacuum cleaner which is either battery-operated or which is plugged into the accessory outlet or cigarette lighter socket.
Car wash
  1. A place where you can get your car cleaned. Some are automatic (you drive through and large brushes clean the car) while others provide a bay with spray wands and brushes for you to do the labor.
  2. A product like soap which is added to water for the purpose of cleaning a vehicle.
Car wax
A polish which may be in a paste or a cream and used in protecting the finish of a car.
Car wheel
  1. Abbreviation for cleaner air system
  2. Abbreviation for crank angle sensor
The arrangement of stages in an enrichment or reprocessing plant in which the products of one stage are fed either forward to the next closely similar or identical stage or backward to a previous stage, eventually resulting in two more or less pure products at each end of the cascade. The classic examples are gaseous or centrifugal enrichment plants. An ideal cascade is the arrangement of stages in series and in parallel which gives the highest yield for a given number of units (e.g., centrifuges) and a given separation factor.
Cascade generator
High-voltage generator using a series of voltage-multiplying stages, esp. when designed for X-ray tubes or low-energy accelerators.
cascade particle
Particle formed by a cosmic ray in a Cascade shower
Fixed airfoil blades which turn the airflow around a bend in a duct, e.g., in wind tunnels or engine intakes.
Cascade shower
Manifestations of cosmic rays in which high-energy mesons, protons, and electrons create high-energy photons, which produce further electrons and positrons, thus increasing the number of particles until the energy is dissipated. Also called air shower.
Cascade systems
Arrangement in which two or more refrigerating systems are used in series; uses evaporator of one machine to cool condenser of other machine. Produces ultra-low temps
Cascading of insulators
Flashover of a string of suspension insulators; initiated by the voltage across one unit exceeding its safe value and flashing over, thereby imposing additional stress across the other units, and resulting in a complete flashover of the string.
  1. That part near the surface of a ferrous alloy which as been so altered as to allow case-hardening.
  2. One of the two clam-shell-like halves in the bottom end of the engine surrounded by a metal shell
Abbreviation for Cranking Angle Sensing Error
Case harden
The action of hardening the surface of iron or steel so that the outer portion or case is made substantially harder than the inner portion or core. Typical processes used for case hardening are carburizing, cyaniding, carbonitriding, nitriding, induction hardening, and flame hardening.
A piece of steel that has had the outer surface hardened while the inner portion remains relatively soft.
The action of adding carbon to the surface of a mild steel object and heat treating to produce a hard surface.
Case Mark
Information usually in printed sticker attached to the outside of a shipping carton which includes destination and contents.
The two clam-shell-like halves in the bottom end of the engine surrounded by a metal shell
Cash and carry
Kerosene, fuel oil, or bottled gas (tank or Propane) purchased with cash, by check, or by credit card and taken home by the purchaser. The purchaser provides the container or pays extra for the container.
Cash Before Delivery
(CBD) A shipping term where the seller has received payment before shipping. It contrasts with cash on delivery (COD)
Cash On Delivery
(COD) A shipping term where the receiver must pay the price of the goods to the carrier at the time of delivery and may refuse reception. Contrasts with Cash before delivery (CBD)
Cash register
Trucker slang for Toll booth as in ‘I’m comin’ up on a cash register at highway 88′
Cash value
  1. The Tire casing.
  2. The outside shell of something such as the shell of an alternator or starter motor.
Casing Bulkheads
  1. Walls enclosing portion of a vessel, such as the boiler room casing.
  2. A covering for parts of machinery.
Casing factor
That portion of the load supported by Tire casing stiffness instead of air pressure.
Casing head gasoline
A term used to describe the lighter parts of petroleum products, which were obtained from natural gasoline by condensing natural gas from an oil well
Casing Service
A drilling service; from drill casings.




  1. A type of bicycle gear cluster that slides on a freehub rather than threads on it. The freehub body is attached to the rear hub.
  2. A cartridge containing magnetic tape that can be inserted into a player for listening or viewing (e.g., an audio cassette or video cassette).
Cassette cogs
The individual cogs that make up a bicycle cassette.
Cassette compartment
A storage place for audio cassettes
Cassette Deck
Cassette hub
More recent type of rear hub designed to accept the cassette type of gear cluster. The cassette hub has the rotating, ratcheting freehub body attached to the hub for the cassette to slide onto and be secured by a lockring.
Cassette player
A unit which plays (but does not record) audio cassettes and is often linked with a stereo unit in an automobile
Cassette size
The size of a bicycle cassette is described by the number of teeth on the smallest cog and the number of teeth on the largest cog. An example of a common size for road racing would be 12 x 21.
  1. To shape molten metal by pouring it into a mold.
  2. A model or result made by pouring metal into a mold.
Cast alloy wheel
A one piece wheel made of cast alukminum or magnesium alloy. This design is more rigid than a wire spoked wheel.
Cast Aluminum wheel

Aluminum wheelCast Aluminum Wheel

Formed to resemble a castle battlement e.g., a Castellated nut
Castellated nut

Castellated NutCastellated Nut

A nut with several lugs protruding from one end making it look like the turrets on the top of the wall of a castle. This nut is used on a shaft with a hole drilled in it. It is secured to the shaft by passing a Cotter pin through an opening in the nut and through the shaft hole.

  1. A small wheel at the front of a wheelchair or shopping cart that swivels and is tilted at an angle.
  2. CasterCaster

    A wheel Alignment adjustment that positions the wheels like the casters on a chair or shopping cart, so the tires follow naturally in a forward straight line. In a truck or older car, the top of the kingpin is either forward (Negative) or toward the rear of the vehicle (Positive). On a turn, the wheels will tend to straighten out when the steering wheel is released. If the car has independent front suspension, the upper ball joint is set forward or rearward in relation to the lower ball joint. Caster is measured in degrees.

Caster action
The self-centering action which causes a caster wheel to move into a straight-ahead position when the steering wheel is released. The opposite action takes place when in reverse. See Caster angle. Caster action is a basic ingredient of steering feel.
Caster angle
The inclination or angle that a wheel makes when measuring the distance between the vertical post and the offset of the wheel placement. When the front wheels are moved right or left to steer the vehicle they each move about a steering axis. Consider the casters on the front of a wheelchair as the same phenomenon occurs in a vehicle. When the chair is pushed forward, the casters spin on their axis until the caster angle is toward the back of vertical. If the chair is pulled backward, the casters spin so that the wheels are forward of vertical. In a vehicle, the normal caster angle of the front wheels is also toward the back so that when you release the steering wheel, the front wheels tend to straighten out. However when in reverse, the wheels want to spin around on its axis, but cannot, so they spin toward full lock in one direction or the other. This tendency can best be seen when driving on sand or snow.
Caster offset
The distance on the ground between where the vertical post would touch the ground if it were extended and the point where the wheel touches the ground. Also called caster trail
Caster trail
The distance on the ground between where the vertical post would touch the ground if it were extended and the point where the wheel touches the ground. Also called caster offset
Caster wobble
A condition generally produced in the front wheels when they are attached to the ends of a Beam axle. It is particularly noticeable on rough roads and the Shimmy at the steering wheel makes it difficult to control the vehicle.You have probably seen this condition in a shopping cart that has caster wheels that wiggle or fluctuate back and forth and will not roll in a straight line.
Cast holes
Holes made in cast objects by the use of cores, in order to reduce the time necessary for machining, and to avoid metal wastage.
CastingClick image to supersize
  1. A process technology that delivers a liquid molten metal into a purpose-built mold. After cooling, the solid metal surface has the shape of the mold cavity.
  2. Pouring metal into a Mold to form an object.
  3. A metallic article cast in the shape required, as distinct from one shaped by working.
Casting copper
Metal of lower purity than Best selected copper. Generally contains about 99.4% of copper.
Casting ladle
A steel ladle, lined with refractory material, in which molten metal is carried from the furnace to the mold in which the casting is to be made.
Casting number
The number cast into a block, head, or other component when the part is cast. Casting numbers can be helpful when identifying an engine or its parts, but they are not completely accurate, because castings are sometimes machined differently
Casting process
Metallic forms which are produced by pouring molten metal into a shaped container or mold.

Casting wheel
Large wheel on which ingot molds are arranged peripherally and filled from stream of molten metal issuing from furnace or pouring ladle.
Cast-in-situ concrete piles
A type of pile formed by driving a steel pipe into the ground and filling it with concrete, using the pipe as a mold, or by a similar method.
Cast-in sleeve
An aluminum cylinder block cast around an iron cylinder sleeve.
Cast iron
  1. An Alloy of iron and more than 2% carbon. It is used for engine Blocks and transmission and Differential cases because it is relatively cheap and easy to Mold into complex shapes.
  2. Any iron-carbon alloy in which the carbon content exceeds the solubility of carbon in austenite at the eutectic temperature. Widely used in engineering on account of their high fluidity and excellent casting characteristics. Carbon content usually in the range of 2-2.3%. Some kinds are brittle and others difficult to machine.


Cast iron cylinder
A one-piece cylinder assembly made of cast iron with a machined bore.
Castle nut

Castle nutCastle nut

A Castellated nut — a six-sided nut in the top of which six radial slots are cut. Two of these line up with a hole drilled in the bolt or screw, a split pin can be inserted to prevent turning. Also called hex slotted nut

Castle section
A panel with humps or ribs which strengthen the panel. They are called castle because from the end they look like the turrets of a castle
British spelling of Caster.
Cast piston
A piston made by pouring molten aluminum alloy into a mold.
Cast silicon
Crystalline silicon obtained by pouring pure molten silicon into a vertical mold and adjusting the temperature gradient along the mold volume during cooling to obtain slow, vertically advancing crystallization of the silicon. The polycrystalline ingot thus formed is composed of large, relatively parallel, interlocking crystals. The cast ingots are sawed into wafers for further fabrication into photovoltaic cells. Cast silicon wafers and ribbon silicon sheets fabricated into cells are usually referred to as polycrystalline photovoltaic cells.
Cast spoke assembly
That part of the vehicle consisting of the brake drum and wheel spider, having 3, 5 or 6 spokes.
Cast spoke wheel
  1. A type of dual mounting wheels where two demountable rims are mounted directly on the spoke wheel and drum assembly held apart by a spacer band and locked in place by clamps and nuts which attach to studs in the spoke face.
  2. A wheel with five or six spokes originating from a center hub. The spoked portion, usually made of cast steel, is bolted to a multiple-piece steel rim
Cast steel
Shapes that have been formed directly from liquid by casting into a mold. Formerly applied to wrought objects produced by working steel made by the crucible process to distinguish from that made by cementation of wrought-iron, but both of these methods are long obsolete.
Cast welded rail joint
A joint between the ends of two adjacent rails made in position using the thermite process in which aluminum powder and sodium peroxide are ignited causing the rails to weld together.
An abbreviation for Catalytic converter
An optical system using a combination of refracting and reflecting surfaces designed to reduce aberrations in a telescope.
Catalan process
Reduction of haematite to wrought-iron by smelting with charcoal.
Catalog custom
A vehicle bodywork sold through an automaker’s dealer catalog.

  1. A substance that changes the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being used up. Catalysts are used in many processes in the chemical and petroleum industries. Emission control catalysts are used to promote reactions that change exhaust pollutants from internal combustion engines into harmless substances. After the reaction it can potentially be recovered from the reaction mixture chemically unchanged.
  2. A special agent which is added to a plastic body filler or resin or paint to speed up the hardening process.
Catalyst bed
A layer of catalyst-coated material such as pellets or ceramic in a catalytic converter through which the gases pass.
Catalyst charge
A catalyst-coated material such as pellets or ceramic in a catalytic converter.
Catalyst coated membrane
(CCM) Term used to describe a membrane (in a PEM fuel cell) whose surfaces are coated with a catalyst layer to form the reaction zone of the electrode.

Catalyst coating
A Catalytic layer
Catalyst container
A housing of a catalytic converter. Also called a converter shell
Catalyst contamination
A reduction of efficiency because of impurity deposits
Catalyst degradation
A reduction of efficiency because of impurities or overheating. Also called catalyst deterioration
Catalyst deterioration
A reduction of efficiency because of impurities or overheating. Also called catalyst degradation
Catalyst efficiency
Catalyst indicator
A light on the instrument panel which glows when a prescribed distance has passed in order to remind the driver to have the catalytic converter replaced.
Catalyst loading
The amount of catalyst incorporated in the fuel cell per unit area.
Catalyst substrate
A base material which carries the Catalytic layer or coating. Also called catalyst support
Catalyst support
A base material which carries the Catalytic layer or coating. Also called catalyst substrate
Catalytic activity
The rate a catalytic converter purifies the exhaust system
Catalytic converter

Catalytic converterCatalytic converter

  1. A pollution-control device found on the
  2. exhaust system of all cars since its introduction in 1974 which acts like an
  3. afterburner to reburn unburned gas in the tail pipe. It looks like a small muffler and is usually made of stainless steel. It contains
  4. platinum, rhodium, or palladium which is a catalyst for the chemical reaction needed to burn off any unburned hydrocarbons and
  5. carbon monoxide by turning them into water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other less toxic gases.
  6. A device containing a catalyst for converting automobile exhaust into mostly harmless products.
Catalytic cracking
The refining process of breaking down the larger, heavier, and more complex hydrocarbon molecules into simpler and lighter molecules. Catalytic cracking is accomplished by the use of a catalytic agent and is an effective process for increasing the yield of gasoline from crude oil. Catalytic cracking processes fresh feeds and recycled feeds.
Catalytic efficiency
The effectiveness of a catalyst in purifying exhaust gases
Catalytic Fines
Hard, abrasive crystalline particles of alumina, silica, and/or alumina silica that can be carried over from the fluidic catalytic cracking process of residual fuel stocks. Particle size can range from sub-micron to greater than sixty (60) microns in size. These particles become more common in the higher viscosity marine bunker fuels.
Catalytic hydrocracking
A refining process that uses hydrogen and catalysts with relatively low temperatures and high pressures for converting middle boiling or residual material to high octane gasoline, reformer charge stock, jet fuel, and /or high grade fuel oil. The process uses one or more catalysts, depending on product output, and can handle high sulfur feedstocks without prior desulfurization.
Catalytic hydrotreating
A refining process for treating petroleum fractions from atmospheric or vacuum distillation units (e.g., naphthas, middle distillates, reformer feeds, residual fuel oil, and heavy gas oil) and other petroleum (e.g., cat cracked naphtha, coker naphtha, gas oil, etc.) in the presence of catalysts and substantial quantities of hydrogen. Hydrotreating includes desulfurization, removal of substances (e.g., nitrogen compounds) that deactivate catalysts, conversion of Olefins to paraffins to reduce gum formation in gasoline, and other processes to upgrade the quality of the fractions.
Catalytic layer
A thin layer of catalyst such as platinum and supported by a ceramic or metal carrier material
Catalytic Reduction
Catalytic reforming
A refining process using controlled heat and pressure with catalysts to rearrange certain hydrocarbon molecules, thereby converting paraffinic and naphthenic type hydrocarbons (e.g., low octane gasoline boiling range fractions) into petrochemical feedstocks and higher octane stocks suitable for blending into finished gasoline. Catalytic reforming is reported in two categories. They are:

  • Low Pressure. A processing unit operating at less than 225
  • PSIG measured at the outlet separator.
  • High pressure. A processing unit operating at either equal to or greater than 225 PSIG measured at the outlet separator.
A double hulled vessel
Cataphoretic painting
A process of applying the first coat of paint to the body of a vehicle by positively charging the paint particles and then dunking the metal into the paint. A current is turned on so that the positively charged paint is attracted to the negative metal panel. Also called cathodic electropainting
an accelerating device for launching an aircraft in a short distance. It may be fixed or rotatable to face the wind. It is usually used on ships which have no landing deck, having been superseded on aircraft carriers by the accelerator. During World War II, fighters were carried on (catapult armed merchant ships) for defense against long-range bombers. Land catapults have been tried but have been superseded by RATOG and STOL aircraft.
A performance exhaust system upgrade which consists of new pipes from the catalytic converter to the Tail pipe which increases horsepower. These new pipes are larger, thus, more exhaust can exit the system. The faster the exhaust can exit, the more horsepower you gain.
Catch basin
An opening in the road surface with grated lid to allow water into a storm drainage system.


The element in a velocity-modulated ultrahigh frequency or microwave beam tube which abstracts, or catches, the energy in a bunched electron stream as it passes through it.


Catcher foil
Aluminum sheet used for measuring power levels in nuclear reactor by absorption of fission fragments.
Catching diode
Diode used to clamp a voltage or current at a predetermined value. When it becomes forward-biased it prevents the applied potential from increasing any further.
Catchment area
The area from which water runs off to any given river valley or collecting reservoir. Also called Catchment basin
Catchment basin
The area from which water runs off to any given river valley or collecting reservoir. Also called Catchment area
Catch net
A mesh construction that is electricaly grounded and placed below high-voltage transmission lines that cross over a road or railway. In the event that the lines break, they will fall into the net. Also called a cradle
Catch pit
A small pit constructed at the entrance to a length of sewer or drain pipe to catch and retain matter which would not easily pass through the pipes. Also called catch basin.


Catch plate
A disk on the spindle nose of a lathe, driving a carrier locked to the work.
Catch points
A section of a railroad track which is activated when a train is supposed to be going uphill, but starts to slide back. The catch points prevent the train from rolling back any farther.
Catch-water drain
A drain to catch water on a hillside, with open joints or multiple perforations to take in water in as many places as possible.
Cat Cracker
A large refinery vessel for processing reduced crudes or other feed-stocks in the presence of a catalyst, as opposed to the older method of thermal cracking, which employs heat and pressure only. Catalytic cracking is generally preferred since it produces less gas and other highly volatile byproducts. It produces a motor fuel of higher octane than the thermal process.
Cat E
Category E damage to an aircraft; equivalent to a total loss or write off.
Catenary construction
A method of construction used for overhead contact wires of traction systems. A wire is suspended, in the form of catenary, between two supports, and the contact wire is supported from this by droppers of different lengths, arranged so that the contact wire is horizontal.
Cadillac Catera BooksClick image for books on
Cadillac Catera

A model of automobile manufactured by the Cadillac division of General Motors from 1997-2001

Caterpillar bus
A colloquial term for an articulated bus
Caterpillar Drive Chain
A chain with pushers which is used to drive Drop Forged chain.
  1. The sheave assembly on the top of crane jib.
  2. A lathe accessory consisting of a turned sleeve having four or more radial screws at each end; used for clamping on to rough work of small diameter and running in the Steady while centering. Also called spider
An optical instrument for measuring vertical distances not exceeding a few decimetres. A small telescope, held horizontally can move up and down a vertical pillar. The difference in position of the telescope when the images of the two points whose separation is being measured are lined up with the cross-wires of the telescope, is obtained from the difference in vernier readings on a scale marked on the pillar. Also called reading microscope and reading telescope
  1. In an electric circuit, the
  2. negative terminal. Electrons leave from this terminal.
  3. In an electronic tube or valve, an electrode through which a primary stream of electrons enters the inter-electrode space. During conduction, the cathode is negative with respect to the anode. Such a cathode may be cold, electron emission being due to electric fields, photo-emission, or impact by other particles, or thermionic, where the cathode is heated by some means.
  4. In a semiconductor diode, the electrode to which the forward current flows.
  5. In a thyristor, the electrode by which current leaves the thyristor when it is in the ON state.
  6. In a light-emitting diode, the electrode to which forward current flows within the device.
  7. In electrolytic applications, the electrode at which positive ions are discharged, or negative ions formed.
  8. The electrode at which reduction occurs. In an electrochemical cell, oxidation occurs at the anode and reduction at the cathode.
Cathode coating
A low-work function surface layer applied to a thermionic or photocathode in order to enhance electron emission or to control spectral characteristics. The cathode coating impedance is between the base metal and this layer.
Cathode copper
The product of electrolytic refining, after which the cathodes are melted, oxidized, poled, and cast into wire-bars, cakes, billets, etc.
Cathode efficiency
Ratio of emission current to energy supplied to cathode. Also called emission efficiency
Cathode follower
A valve circuit in which the input is connected between the grid and ground, and the output is taken from between the cathode and ground, the anode being grounded to signal frequencies. It has a high input impedance, low output impedance, and unity voltage gain.
Cathode glow
Glow near the surface of a cathode, its color depends on the gas or vapor in the tube.
Cathode luminous sensitivity
Ratio of cathode current of photoelectric cell to luminous intensity.
Cathode modulation
Modulation produced by signal applied to cathode of valve through which carrier wave passes.
Cathode poisoning
Reduction of thermionic emission from a cathode as a result of minute traces of adsorbed impurities.
Cathode ray
A stream of negatively charged particles (electrons) emitted normally from the surface of a cathode in a vacuum or low-pressure gas. The velocity of the electrons is proportional to the square root of the accelerating potential, being 6×105ms-1 for one volt. They can be deflected and formed into beams by the application of electric or magnetic fields, or a combination of both, and are widely used in oscilloscopes and TV (in cathode-ray tubes), electron microscopes and electron-beam welding, and electron-beam tubes for high frequency amplifiers and oscillators.
Cathode-ray oscillograph
An oscillograph in which a permanent (photographic or other) record of a transient or time-varying phenomenon is produced by means of an electron beam in a cathode-ray tube. Deprecated term for Cathode-ray oscilloscope
Cathode-ray oscilloscope
(CRT) Device for displaying electronic signals by modulating a beam of electrons before it impinges on a Fluorescent screen
Cathode ray tube
A sealed tube on which graphs or pictures are displayed like a TV screen
Cathodic electropainting
A process of applying the first coat of paint to the body of a car by positively charging the paint particles and then dunking the metal into the paint. A current is turned on so that the positively charged paint is attracted to the negative metal panel. Also called cataphoretic painting
Cathode spot
Area on a cathode where electrons are emitted into an arc, the current density being much higher than with simple thermionic emission
Cathodic chalk
A coating of magnesium and calcium compounds formed on a steel surface during Cathodic protection in sea water
Cathodic etching
Erosion of a cathode by a glow discharge through positive-ion bombardment, in order to show microstructure
Cathodic protection
  1. The action of protecting metal from electrochemical corrosion by using it as the cathode of a cell with a
  2. Sacrificial anode.
  3. In ships and offshore structures, corrosion can be prevented by passing sufficient direct current through the sea water to make the metal hull a cathode.
  4. The method of preventing corrosion in metal structures that involves using electric voltage to slow or prevent corrosion. It is used along natural gas pipelines, as well as in certain bridges or other large metal structures that need to resist corrosion over an extended period of time. It is also used in some devices for a vehicle to prevent rusting.
The emission of light, with a possible afterglow, from a material when irradiated by an electron beam, such as occurs in the phosphor of a cathode-ray tube
Microphone using the silent discharge between a heated oxide-coated filament in air and another electrode. The discharge is modulated directly by the motion of the air particles in a passing sound wave. Also called ionophone


Ion in an electrolyte which carries a positive charge and which migrates toward the cathode under the influence of a potential gradient in electrolysis. It is the deposition of the cation in a primary cell which determines the positive terminal.
That portion of the electrolyte of an electrolytic cell which is in the immediate neighborhood of the cathode. Also called catholyte
Catoptric element
A component of an optical system that uses reflection, not refraction, in the formation of an image
Cat’s paw
A light puff of wind.
Cattle guard
A series of pipes or bars spaced a few inches apart and placed across the road to discourage animals from entering or leaving a particular area. Similar to a Texas gate except a Texas gate always uses round pipes not flat bars.
  1. A raised walkway running fore and aft from the midship.
  2. CatwalkCatwalk

    An obsolete term for the section between the fender and the hood. On modern cars, this section does not exist at all. But on older cars (like the 1937 Cadillac), the fender was spaced a little way apart from the hood. The headlights were mounted toward the front of the catwalk or above it.

Cauchy’s dispersion formula
μ= A + (B/λ²) + (C/λ21) + …
An empirical expression for the relation between the refractive index μ of a medium and the wavelength λ of light; A, B, and C are the constants for a given medium.
To fill seams in a wood deck with oakum or hammer the adjoining edges of metal together to stop leaks. Also spelled calk
A person who applies caulking.
The process of closing the spaces between overlapping riveted plates or other joints by hammering the exposed edge of one plate into intimate contact with the other. A filler material is also used esp. for closing (e.g., deck planking). Also called calking

Caulking tool
A tool, similar in form to a cold chisel but having a blunt edge, for deforming the metal rather than cutting it.
Causal chain
A technique used to assess connections between measures and objectives using a series of measurable logical steps.
The principle that an event cannot precede its cause.
Caustic curve
A curve to which rays of light are tangential after reflection or refraction at another curve
Caustic embrittlement
The intergranular corrosion of steel in hot alkaline solutions, e.g., in boilers
Caustic etching
The removal of metal by dipping aluminum parts in caustic soda
A period in racing in which track conditions are too hazardous for racing due to an accident or debris on the racing surface. The cars remain in their racing positions behind the pace car until it is determined that it is safe to resume the race.
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Chevrolet Cavalier

A model of automobile manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1982-2005.

Dented inward as in When the car hit me, it caved in the door.
A condition in which a partial vacuum forms around the blades or Impeller wheels of a pump, reducing the pump’s output because part of the pump blades lose contact with the liquid. It can be a problem in fuel and water pumps, fluid couplings, and torque converters. When severe, it can result in the erosion of the pump blades and other internal surfaces.
  1. An empty space in a body structure, either in a box section or a double-skinned area.
  2. A holder and contact for fuses
Cavity sealant
A product made of oil, wax, and rust inhibitors which is painted or sprayed into a cavity to prevent rust and corrosion.
  1. An API classification for
  2. diesel engine oil introduced in 1949. It operated in mild to moderate duty, but with lower quality fuels, which necessitate more protection from wear and deposits; occasionally has included gasoline engines in mild service. They provide necessary protection from bearing corrosion and from high temperature deposits in naturally aspirated diesel engines with higher sulfur fuels. It replaced CA oils and was replaced by CC oils in 1961.
  3. An abbreviation for Contact Breaker.
  4. An abbreviation for Citizens Band radio
  5. Abbreviation for Cab-Behind Engine


  1. Abbreviation for Closed Bowl Distributor
  2. Abbreviation for Cash Before Delivery — a shipping term where the seller has received payment before shipping. It contrasts with
  3. cash on delivery (COD)
Abbreviation for Cab-Behind Engine
Abbreviation for conventional gasoline blend stock for oxygenate blending (Motor Gasoline Blending Component)
CB radio
A two-way radio which is limited to specific frequencies. Initially used by truck drivers and later by both mobile vehicles and stationary sites; but more recently it has declined in use with the advent of cell phones.
CBR process
Abbreviation for Controlled Burn Rate process. It is a method of improving fuel economy by increasing or decreasing the rate which the fuel burns
Abbreviation for Completely Built-Up.
  1. Abbreviation for cruise control
  2. Abbreviation for catalytic converter
  3. Abbreviation for Climate Control
  4. An API classification for
  5. diesel engine oil of certain naturally aspirated, turbocharged or supercharged diesel engines operated in moderate to severe-duty service, and certain heavy-duty gasoline engines. Oils designed for this service provide protection from bearing corrosion, rust, corrosion and from high to low temperature deposits in gasoline engines. They were introduced in 1961 to replace
  6. CB classification oil and was, in turn, replaced by CD classified oil in 1955.
  7. (cc) Cubic centimetre
  8. Abbreviation for Cab and chassis
  1. Abbreviation for Computer command control
  2. Abbreviation for Converter Clutch Control
Abbreviation for Classic Car Club of America.
CCCA classic
The Classic Car Club of America’s definition of specific vehicles built from 1925 to 1948 which it defines as classic cars.
  1. Abbreviation for Chrysler Collision Detection
  2. Abbreviation for Computer Controlled Dwell
Abbreviation for Climate Control Driver Information Center
Abbreviation for constant current electronic circuit
Abbreviation for Coolant controlled exhaust gas recirculation
Abbreviation for Coolant Controlled Idle Enrichment (Chrysler)
Abbreviation for Coolant Controlled Engine Vacuum Switch (Chrysler)
Abbreviation for Comité Des Constructeurs Français d’Automobiles
Abbreviation for Committee for Citizen Involvement a leadership group for the Citizen Participation Organizations.


A tool which is in the shape of the letter C. A screw at one end of the clamp forces the end of the screw against the object to be secured.

  1. Abbreviation for Central Control Module
  2. Abbreviation for Continuous Component Monitor
  3. Abbreviation for Comprehensive components
  4. Abbreviation for Catalyst coated membrane
Abbreviation for Count Code


Abbreviation for converter clutch override
  1. Abbreviation for
  2. Cycling clutch orifice tube system
  3. Abbreviation for Cycling clutch orifice tube air conditioning system
  1. Abbreviation for
  2. Controlled canister purge
  3. Abbreviation for Climate Control Panel
Abbreviation for Conradson carbon residue
Abbreviation for Constant Control Relay Module
  1. Abbreviation for
  2. Controlled combustion system of reducing unburned
  3. Hydrocarbon emission from the engine exhaust.
  4. Abbreviation for Coast Clutch Solenoid
Abbreviation for Carbon Canister Storage/Purge
Abbreviation for Computer controlled timing
Abbreviation for Close Circuit Television
Abbreviation for Canister Control Valve
Abbreviation for Drag Coefficient, a measurement of air resistance (drag). The lower the number, the less drag that a vehicle or shape has.
  1. An API classification for
  2. diesel engine oil for certain naturally aspirated, turbocharged or supercharged diesel engines where highly effective control of wear and deposits is vital, or when using fuels with a wide quality range (including high-sulfur fuels). Oils designed for this service were introduced in 1955 and provide protection from high temperature deposits and bearing corrosion in these diesel engines.
  3. Abbreviation for Capacitive discharge.
  4. (Cd) A measurement of Drag coefficient.
Abbreviation for Community Development Block Grant.
Abbreviation for Community Development Code.
CD changer
A device which is connected to a stereo system and allows several music CDs to be played.
Abbreviation for Canister Drain Cut Valve
Abbreviation for Capacitor discharge ignition


CDI box
Abbreviation for capacitive discharge Ignition device sometimes controlled by a computer. It is designed to help the spark plug fire at a rate consistent with the rpms of the engine.
An API classification for a severe-duty two-stroke cycle diesel engine oil where highly effective control of wear and deposits is required. Oils designed for this service also meet all performance requirements of API Service Category CD. It was replaced by CF-2 category.
CDI voltage amplifier
A device used in battery powered capacity discharge ignition systems. It steps up battery voltage to provide high primary ignition voltage.
CDL Abbreviation for Commercial Driver’s License — A US license which authorizes an individual to operate commercial motor vehicles and buses over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. For operators of freight-hauling trucks, the maximum size which may be driven without a CDL is Class 6 (maximum 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight). In Canada it is called a Class 1 license.

C DollyC-Dolly

A converter dolly with two drawbars and attaches at two connection points to the trailer ahead of it. These dollies can have one or more axles and are considered more stable than the common A-dolly

CD player
A device which plays music compact discs. Usually combined with a stereo radio receiver and sometimes with a CD changer.
  1. Abbreviation for
  2. Crankcase depression regulator
  3. Abbreviation for Chrysler Diagnostic Readout
Abbreviation for Crankcase Depression Regulator Valve
Abbreviation for Car-Derived Van (e.g., Renault Kangoo).
Cd value
A number representing the Coefficient of drag which is the amount of resistance that a moving vehicle makes in a wind tunnel
Abbreviation for Collision Damage Waiver offered on car rental. Also called LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
  1. Abbreviation for Commutator End
  2. Abbreviation for the distance from the back of a truck’s cab to the end of its frame. Also CF or LP are used for the same distance.
  3. An API classification for certain turbocharged or supercharged heavy-duty diesel engines, manufactured since 1983 and operated under both low speed, high load and high speed, high load conditions. Replaced API Service Category CD and was replaced by CF-4 oil.
Abbreviation for Cold Engine Air Bleed
  1. Abbreviation for Crankcase Emission Control System (Honda)
  2. Abbreviation for combination emission control
Abbreviation for Civil and Environmental Engineering Cooperative Program.
Abbreviation for Central Electronic Control Unit (Nissan)
Abbreviation for Check Engine Light
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Chevrolet Celebrity

A model of small car produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1982-90.

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Toyota Celica

A model of automobile manufactured by Toyota

  1. A compartment or chamber in a battery which contain positive and negative plates suspended in electrolyte. A six-volt battery has three cells, a twelve-volt
  2. battery six cells.
  3. The combustion chamber in a rotary engine.
Cell battery
Cell Components
The substructures within a fuel cell that support the reaction, provide physical structure, receive and distribute reactants, remove products, dissipate heat, and perform other functions necessary for operation.
Cell connector
The Lead bar or strap connecting battery cell groups.
Cell Coolant
A liquid or gaseous substance provided to or around the fuel cell to remove heat produced by the cell’s operation and to maintain the optimum operating temperature of the cell.
Cell Degradation Rate
The rate at which a fuel cell’s performance deteriorates over time. The degradation rate can be used to measure both recoverable and permanent losses in cell performance. The typical unit of measure is volts(DC) per unit time.
Cell Internal Resistance Loss
The loss in fuel cell performance due to resistance losses caused by internal structures that create resistance to electron or ion flow. The most noticeable impact is seen in the cell’s operating region that occurs after activation, but before concentration polarization occurs. The length of time that a cell can be used to produce useful amounts of power.
Cell phone
Cell Power Density
The amount of power produced per unit measure. For a single cell, this is typically measured as kW per square centimetre or metre.
Cell Pressure Differential
The difference in pressure across the electrolyte as measured from one electrode to the other.
Cell pump
The un-encapsulated semi-conductor components of the module that convert the solar energy to electricity.
Cells to OEM
Cells shipped to non-photovoltaic (non-PV) original equipment manufacturers such as boat manufacturers, car manufacturers, etc.
Cell Test
Cellular phone
A portable, wireless telephone which was first introduced in 1983 in the US. Currently it is used both as a car phone and a personal phone. Commonly called cell phone
Cellular telephone
A portable, wireless telephone which was first introduced in 1983 in the US. Currently it is used both as a car phone and a personal phone. Commonly called cell phone
A popular term for nitrocellulose — a universal automotive finish, which is thin and therefore suitable for spraying, fast drying, and gives a hard and brilliant finish
Cellulose putty
A filler used to cover minor body imperfections.
Thermometer on which the Boiling point of water is 100 deg and the freezing point is 0 deg. The term replaces the word centigrade. To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 then multiply the result by 5 and divide by 9. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 9, then divide by 5. Now add 32 to the result.
Abbreviation for Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association.
An adhesive rubber compound dissolved in solvent used to provide building tack and cured adhesion for tires. May be brushed or sprayed on the buffed surface. Also called Contact cement
FE3C Iron carbide. A hard substance found in cast iron.
Cement Recycled Asphalt Base Stabilization
(CRABS) A resurfacing process that involves grinding the existing roadway surface down to the gravel base, then adding a strengthening agent, such as cement, to the old asphalt. The mixture is then compacted and used as the base for a new layer of asphalt. The section is then overlaid with a new layer of pavement.
Abbreviation for Counter Electromotive Force
Census value added
Residual representing the difference between the value of goods and industrial services produced and the direct material costs associated with the production of goods.
To place something in a central place in relation to other items.

Center bore
Center console

Center ConsoleCenter Console

A section of the instrument panel which is mounted between the driver and passenger sections. It often houses the shifter, cup holders, storage space, and possibly the stereo.

Center-contact cap
A bayonet cap at the base of a light bulb where the sides form one terminal and the bottom is the other terminal
Center differential
  1. A differential which is used in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to distribute the power to both the front and rear differentials.
  2. A differential gear device installed at the point where the transfer box splits engine power between the front and rear axles via the front and rear propeller shafts. Working in the same way as the conventional rear axle differential on a two-wheel drive car, it allows differential rotation of front and rear shafts to accommodate the small rotational differences encountered in normal running, going round sharp corners etc. Such a device is essential in a vehicle having – for use on-road as well as off-road – full-time or permanent 4×4. Vehicles fitted with part-time or selectable 4×4 are not fitted with center differentials and thus cannot be used in four wheel drive on hard road surfaces.
Center Distance
The distance between the centers of the shafts of a chain drive.
Center drive
Most engines have the power take-off at the end of the crankshaft. A center drive has the power take-off between the cylinders.
Center drive plate
The disc between the driven plates in a twin plate clutch.
Center electrode
  1. Electrode which protrudes out of the insulator nose of a spark plug.
  2. A Center terminal.
Center gear
The Sun gear of a planetary gearset.
Center girder
A vertical plate on the ship’s centerline between the flat keel and inner bottom extending the length of the ship. Also called center vertical keel.
Center-hung float
This type of carburetor float pivots on an axis that’s parallel with the vehicle axles. It’s a better float design than a side-hung float during high speed cornering because the float isn’t affected by centrifugal force, so it won’t pull the inlet valve open in the middle of a corner
Centering cones
devices used to mount floating drums on the arbor of a brake drum line.
Center keelson
Centerless Grinding
Grinding the outside or inside diameter of a round piece not mounted on centers.
  1. An imaginary line which passes from the front to the rear of a vehicle, half way between the distance between the left and right side of the vehicle.
  2. The middle line of the ship, extending from stem to stern at any level.
  3. The design center of the new roadway, usually a surveyed line, not always the same as the centerline of the existing roadway nor the painted centerline.
Center locking disc
A hub cap which is secured in place with a bolt or other locking device.
Center lock nut
A spinner which secures the wheel to the hub.
Center median
On a divided highway, the area between the two directions of traffic. The British call it the central reserve.
Center of buoyancy
The position in a floating object where the Upthrust appears to act.
Center of gravity

  1. The point about which the mass of a car is evenly distributed. It is the point of balance.
  2. That point in an object (if an imaginary pivot line were drawn through it) would leave the object in balance. In the vehicle, the closer the weight to the ground, the lower the center of gravity. Cornering, acceleration, and other forces act upon the vehicle’s center of gravity, thus affecting body roll and other handling characteristics.
Center of pressure
An aerodynamically determined point at which wind force on the side of a vehicle is assumed to be concentrated for analytical purposes. It is a function of the shape and aerodynamic drag (resistance) of an automobile’s body shell, determines the effect of side winds on a vehicle’s direction of travel, and is a concept similar to the Center of gravity.
Center pillar
The supporting post which is located in the middle of the car and holds up the roof. It is also called the B-post or B-pillar
Center point steering
A steering geometry where the steering axis cuts the wheel axis in the wheel center plane, with no offset at the road surface.
Center punch
A metal tool that is shaped like a pencil where you can hit the blunt end with a hammer so that the sharp point makes an indentation in some metal. In this way the drill-bit can fit into the indentation when you want to make a hole.

Center rim
Center rim taper
Center ring
That part of an electric motor housing which supports the stator or field core
Center section damage
A description of a vehicle after it is involved in an accident when it has been hit on the side somewhere between the front and rear wheels. The frame and body are bashed in at the center, but the front and rear of the vehicle may not have sustained any damage.
Center stack
A colloquial term for the center section of the dashboard where audio and climate controls are frequently located.


A motorcycle support attached to the frame of the bike that keeps it in an upright position when deployed. To deploy, you put your foot on the stand’s lateral step bar or tang and with one hand on the handlebar and the other on the seat rail, you pull the bike back on the stand. A similar device was used on some bicycles in the past.

Centerstand tang
A small lever attached to the side of the centerstand as a step bar
Center steering linkage
A Steering system using two Tie rods connected to the steering arms and to a central idler arm, the idler arm is operated by a Drag link that connects the idler arm to the pitman arm.
Center terminal
A high tension distributor has a rotor which spins around a center post and transfers electrical energy from the center post or terminal to each of the surrounding terminals located in the distributor cap. In this way the energy from the coil is transferred to the high tension leads going to each spark plug.
Center the clutch
To align the center holes in the clutch plates so that they fit easily on the splines of the crankshaft.
Center tunnel
The hump which runs from front to rear between the left and right passenger (i.e., driver and passenger). It often accommodates the transmission and/or drive shaft. In front wheel drive vehicles it covers the wiring leading to the rear of the vehicle.

Center vertical keel
Thermometer on which the Boiling point of water is 100° and the freezing point is 0°. The term is no longer in use and is replaced by the word Celsius.
See Centimetre
A small distance of approximately a quarter of an inch (.254′). American spelling is centimeter; however in the rest of the world, the ending ‘meter’ refers to a measuring instrument (e.g., speedometer, tachometer) while ‘metre’ refers to a metric measurement (e.g., kilometre, millimetre).

A measure of a hundredth part of a poise (the measure of viscosity) or Centistokes times specific gravity at the test temperature.
A measure of a hundredth part of a Stoke
Central fuel injection
(CFI) a computer-controlled fuel metering system which sprays atomized fuel into a throttle body mounted on the intake manifold
Central chassis lubrication
A configuration of the engine and chassis where an oil change and the greasing of grease (zerk) fittings can be made from one spot — generally underneath the vehicle.
Central gearchange
The usual arrangement with the gear lever in the center of the floor.
Centralized computer controller
Energy control device, centrally located, which makes control decisions based on operating data, programmed information, and stored data. Can be used to optimize energy consumption of many devices throughout a building.
Central locking
The locking or unlocking of all the doors by locking from one location. This may be done by turning a key in a door lock or using an electronic device.

Central locking hub
A wheel with splines in the center which match up with the splines on the outside of the hub. This system is usually found on wheels that are attached to the hub with a center attaching nut on older cars — especially sports cars — rather than the type that is attached with several studs or bolts in a circular pattern.
Central median island
An area in the center of a road which separates approaching flows of traffic or a pedestrian crossing
Central processing unit
(CPU) A microprocessor inside a computer responsible for controlling operations.
Central reservation
A British term for the median which divides the north and southbound lanes (or east and westbound lanes) of a divided highway.
Central reserve
A British term for the median which divides the north and southbound lanes (or east and westbound lanes) of a divided highway.
Central station
Central location of condensing unit with either wet or air-cooled condenser. Evaporator located as needed and connected to the central condensing unit.
Central warm air furnace
Self-contained appliance designed to supply heated air through ducts to spaces remote from or adjacent to the appliance location.


A machine using centrifugal force produced by high-speed rotation for separating materials of different densities. Applied to Diesel engine fuels and lubricating oils to remove moisture and other extraneous materials.
Centrifugal advance

Centrifugal AdvanceCentrifugal Advance

A device found on the distributor which, through the action of Centrifugal force on two weights, advances or retards the Ignitionspark to correspond with changes in Engine speed and load.

Centrifugal clutch
A clutch that uses Centrifugal force to expand a friction device on the driving shaft until it is locked to a drum on the driven shaft.
Centrifugal compressor
Pump which compresses gaseous refrigerants by centrifugal force.
Centrifugal cut-out switch
A centrifugally operated automatic mechanism used in conjunction with split-phase and other types of induction motors. Centrifugal cut-out switches will open or disconnect the starting windings when the rotor reaches a predetermined speed, and reconnect it when the motor speed falls below it. Without such a device, the starting winding would be susceptible to rapid overheating and subsequent burnout
Centrifugal force
That force which tends to keep moving objects traveling in a straight line, when a moving vehicle is forced to make a turn, centrifugal force attempts to keep it moving in a straight line, if the vehicle is turning at too high a speed, centrifugal force will be greater than the frictional force between the tires and the road and the vehicle will slide off the road.
Centrifugal force air filter
A type of canister air filter used on the engines of semi-tractor-trailer units which removes the dust before it reaches the filter element.
Centrifugal governor
A device which controls the speed by using Centrifugal force. As the speed of a shaft increases, weights are moved outward. When the weights reach a predetermined place, the shaft can no longer increase in speed. This governor may be found in automatic transmissions
Centrifugally-cast brake drum
A brake drum with a pressed-steel outer drum and a cast-in iron liner.
Centrifugal oil filter
A filter in the lubrication system which pushes any impurities to the outside of the filter as it rapidly rotates. Cup-shaped oil filter mounted to the end of the crankshaft. As oil passes through the slinger, centrifugal force removes impurities that are heavier than oil.
Centrifugal pump
  1. A pump which forces liquid from one location to another by the rotation of an impeller.
  2. A pump which produces fluid velocity and converts it to pressure head.
Centrifugal weight
The movable part in a centrifugal clutch or centrifugal advance. The weight (sometimes called a finger) moves outward as a result of Centrifugal force. Changing the mass of the weight will cause the weight to move outward sooner or later. The heavier the weight the later the movement.
Centrifuge brake drums
To combine the strength of steel with the desirable friction characteristics of cast iron, a lining of cast iron is sprayed on the inside of a steel drum. Both metals are handled while hot to encourage the fusion of the two metals
A model of automobile manufactured by Buick Division of General Motors from 1971-73
Centripetal force
A force which acts towards a central point, such as Earth’s Gravity. In a sense it is the opposite of Centrifugal force.
  1. A bicycle ride of 100 miles (160.9 km).
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    Buick Century

    A name given to six generations of automobiles manufactured by the Buick Division of General Motors which included the full size 1936-42 Century, the full size 1954-58 Century, the intermediate 1973-77 Century, the reduced 1978-80 Century, the compact 1981-96 Century, and the enlarged 1997-2005 Century

Abbreviation for Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
Abbreviation for Cold Enrichment Rod (Ford)
A non-organic and non-metallic product made from clay or glass. Currently some manufacturers are trying to develop ceramic cylinders because of its ability to retain its shape when heated in contrast with metal which expands when heated.

Ceramic brake pad
A brake pad constructed with ceramics to reduce wear and heat.
Ceramic capacitor
Capacitor using a high-permittivity dielectric such as barium titanate to provide a high capacitance per unit volume.
Ceramic filter
A filtering device using a porous ceramic as the filtering agent.
Ceramic fuel
Nuclear fuel with high resistance for temperature, e.g., uranium dioxide, uranium carbide.
Ceramic honeycomb
The interior of a Monolithic converter which supports the catalyst.
Ceramic ignitor
Electric ignition system used in a water glycol solution, forced-air furnace. Electrically heated to create ignition of the gas-air mixture in the combustion chamber.
Ceramic insulator
An insulator made of ceramic material, e.g., porcelain; generally used for outdoor installations.
The art and science of non-organic non-metallic materials.


Ceramics processing
The methods of making ceramic products before final Sintering.
Ceramic transducer
Transducer based on the electrical properties of ceramics such as piezoelectricity.
Abbreviation for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
Cerenkov counter
Radiation counter which operates through the detection of Cerenkov radiation.
Cerenkov detector
Device which detects and measures the Cerenkov radiation produced as a result of the incidence of high-energy charged particles; from this the speed and charge of the particles may be calculated.
Cerenkov radiation
Radiation emitted when a charged particle travels through a medium at a speed greater than the speed of light in the medium. This occurs when the refractive index of the medium is high, i.e., much greater than unity, as for water.
Ceramic articles bonded with metal. Composite materials combining the hardness and high temperature characteristics of ceramics with the mechanical properties of metal, e.g., cemented carbides and certain reactor fuels.
Byname for Organisation européene pour la Recherche Nucléaire originally Conseil Europé pour la Recherche Nucléaire; the principal European center in theoretical and experimental research in particle physics, supported by most European countries; located in Geneva. Its facilities include high-energy and low-energy proton and antiproton accelerators, and an electron-positron collider.
Abbreviation for Community Emergency Response Teams.
Certificate of manufacture
A document drawn by the manufacturer used with letters of credit when drafts are paid or negotiated on presentation of a certificate stating that goods have been completed and are being held for shipment.
Certificate of registry
A document specifying the country the vessel is registered.
Certification Label
Certification of Higher-learning in Alternative Motorfuels Program
(CHAMP) A national program established by DOE to implement Section 411 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Abbreviation for Clutch Engage Switch
A metallic element, symbol Cs, atomic number 55. British spelling caesium
Cesium cell
A cell having a cathode consisting of a thin layer of cesium deposited on minute globules of silver; particularly sensitive to infrared radiation, but generally approximating to that of the eye. British spelling caesium cell.
Cesium clock
Frequency-determining apparatus used on cesium-ion resonance of 9,192,631,770 Hz.
Cesium-oxygen cell
Cell in which the vacuum is replaced by an atmosphere of oxygen at very low pressure. It is more sensitive to red light than the Cesium cell.
Abbreviation for Cold Engine Sensor Switch
(C16H34) A straight chain hydrocarbon used as a standard in testing the ignition quality or performance of diesel fuel. Ignition performance rating of diesel fuel. Diesel equivalent to gasoline octane.
Cetane Index
  1. A calculated value, derived from fuel density and volatility, giving a reasonably close approximation to cetane number.
  2. An empirical measure of ignition quality. Defined as the percentage by volume of cetane in a mixture of cetane and methyl naphthalene which has the same ignition quality when used in an engine as a fuel under test.
Cetane number
  1. A method of rating diesel oil or fuel by measuring the time lapse between fuel injection and
  2. Ignition to determine how easy it is to ignite and how fast it will burn. The lower the cetane number, the higher the temperature required to burn the oil.
  3. A measure of ignition quality of diesel fuel. The higher the cetane number the easier the fuel ignites when injected into an engine. Cetane number is determined by an engine test using two reference fuel blends of known cetane numbers. The reference fuels are prepared by blending normal cetane (n-hexadecane), having a value of 100, with heptamethyl nonane, having a value of 15.
Cetane rating
A method of rating diesel oil or fuel by measuring the time lapse between fuel injection and Ignition to determine how easy it is to ignite and how fast it will burn. The lower the cetane number, the higher the temperature required to burn the oil.
Ceton filter
A sock-type filter in the fuel tank capable of wicking diesel fuel, but not water; keeps water from the rest of the fuel system until the sock is 90% submerged in water
  1. Abbreviation for the distance from the back of a truck’s cab to the end of its frame. Also CE or LP are used for the same distance.
  2. CFAPI CF category

    An API classification for indirect-injected diesel engine service and other diesel engines that use a broad range of fuel types, including those using fuel with high sulfur content; for example, over 0.5% wt. Effective control of piston deposits, wear and copper-containing bearing corrosion is essential for these engines, which may be naturally aspirated, turbocharged or supercharged. Oils designated for this service have been in existence since 1994 and replaces API Service Category CD.


CF-2API CF-2 category

An API classification for diesel engine oil for severe-duty two-stroke cycle diesel engines requiring highly effective control over cylinder and ring-face scuffing and deposits. Oils designed for this service have been in existence since 1994 and may be used when API Service Category CD-II is recommended. These oils do not necessarily meet the requirements of API CF or CF-4 unless they pass the test requirements for these categories.


CF-4API CF-4 category

An API classification for diesel engine oil for high speed, four-stroke cycle diesel engines. Introduced in 1990, API CF-4 oils exceed the requirements for the API CE category, providing improved control of oil consumption and piston deposits. These oils should be used in place of API CE oils. They are particularly suited for on-highway, heavy-duty truck applications. When combined with the appropriate S category, they can also be used in gasoline and diesel powered personal vehicles i.e., passenger cars, light trucks and vans when recommended by the vehicle or engine manufacturer. Replaced by CI-4.

  1. Abbreviation for Chlorofluorocarbon.
  2. Abbreviation for coasting fuel cut
CFC gases
Chlorofluorocarbon gases.
Abbreviation for Clean Fuel Fleet Program
  1. Abbreviation for Central fuel injection. A Ford fuel injection system that uses an injector mounted throttle body assembly
  2. Abbreviation for Continuous Fuel Injection
Abbreviation for Cubic Feet per Minute. This is the rating of the volume of air moved.
Abbreviation for Cold Filter Plugging Point
  1. Abbreviation for Cooperative Fuel Research Engine A single cylinder, overhead valve, variable compression ratio engine used for measuring octane or cetane quality.
  2. Abbreviation for Cost And Freight where the seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the destination.
CFR Diesel fuel testing unit
A standard engine employed in making Cetane number tests of diesel engine fuels.
Abbreviation for Cubic feet per second — a measurement of the flow of liquid, esp. gasoline.
  1. Abbreviation for clean-fuel vehicle
  2. Abbreviation for Critical Flow Venturi
Abbreviation for Center of gravity. Weight center or balance point of an object, such as a truck body. It is calculated to help determine the optimum placement of the truck body on its chassis.

CG-4API CG-4 category

An API classification for diesel engine oil for use in high speed four-stroke-cycle diesel engines used in both heavy-duty on-highway(0.05% wt sulfur fuel) and off-highway (less than 0.5% wt sulfur fuel) applications. Introduced in 1994, CG-4 oils provide effective control over high temperature piston deposits, wear, corrosion, foaming, oxidation stability, and soot accumulation. These oils are specially effective in engines designed to meet 1994 exhaust emission standards and may also be used in engines requiring API Service Categories CD, CE, and CF-4. Replaced by CI-4.

A product composed of magnesium chloride with an anticorrosive additive that is used as an alternative to road salt
Abbreviation for centimetre-gram-second which is the metric system of measurement
Symbol for Methyl chloroform
Symbol for methanol
Symbol for Methane

CH-4API CH-4 category

An API classification for diesel engine oil for high speed, four-stroke diesel engines designed to meet 1998 exhaust emission standards and are specifically compounded for use with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.5% weight. CH-4 oils are superior in performance to those meeting API CF-4 and API CG-4 and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories. Replaced by CI-4.



The area between the bead and sidewall of a tire.

Chafer strip
The area between the bead and sidewall of a tire.
Chafing plate
A bent plate positioned on a corner for minimizing the rubbing action of ropes


Linked, flexible metal rope that connects two sprockets (e.g., the Chainwheel to the back wheel cogs, sized differently for different types of bikes.) The teeth of the sprockets fit inside the spaces between the links. Also called a Roller chain.

Chain Adjuster
A device for taking up the slack in the travel of a roller chain and maintaining its tension. It circles each end of the rear wheel axle and a screw at one end of the adjuster pushes against the frame, thus pulling the wheel to the rear of the unit causing the chain to be in tension.

Chain breaker

Chain breakerChain Breaker

A tool for removing the pins in a roller chain so that the links can be removed.

An enclosed metal covering which encircles the drive and driven sprockets as well as the chain.
Chain case


Chain Casing
An oil-retaining safety enclosure around a chain drive.
Chain drive
A system of transferring power from one shaft to another by means of Sprockets and an endless chain. This is the system used on a bicycle; but it is also used on an engine to control the Timing of valve opening (called Timing chain or Cam chain).
Chain Elongation
Increase in measured length due to wear or excessive load. Normally expressed in percent of length. Also called Chain Pitch Elongation
Chain filter wrench
A chain wrench which encircles the oil filter to assist in its removal.
Chain guard
A metal or plastic covering for the top run of a chain or the whole chain. It is most often found on bicycle chains where the guard keeps your clothing from being caught in the chain or even from getting greasy.
Chain hoist
A lifting device which uses a chain and block and tackle to lift large objects like engines.
Chain Length
The actual chain length between the joint centers at each end of a taut chain strand. This distance is usually expressed in feet and/or inches or in pitches. When counting the number of links in a chain, it is the number or rollers, not the number of side plates. Counting the number of side plates gives you half the total number of rollers.
Chain locker
A compartment usually located in the front of a ship for the stowage of anchor chain
Chain pipe
A pipe for passage of chain from windlass on the deck to the chain locker
Chain pipe wrench

Chain Pipe WrenchChain Pipe Wrench

A chain wrench which circles around a pipe and grips it so that the pipe can be tightened or removed.

Chain pitch
See Nominal Chain Pitch
Chain Pitch Elongation
Increase in measured length due to wear or excessive load. Normally expressed in percent of length. Also called Chain Elongation
Chain quick link

Chain Quick LinkChain Quick Link

  1. A fastener which holds two ends of large chain and by un-screwing the nut, the link can be removed or installed at will.
  2. A special master link on a roller chain which is easy to connect or disconnect

Chain ringChainring

One of the Sprockets attached to the right crankarm of a bicycle to drive the chain. Also called Chainwheel.

Chainring bolt
The 4 or 5 bolts that attach the chainrings to the crankarm of a bicycle
Chainring bolt circle diameter
The configuration of the bolt pattern on a chainring. Draw a circle through the center of all the bolt holes used to connect the chainring to the crankarm and measure the diameter of the circle (in millimetres). On a road crankset with two chainrings, they will both use the same bolt circle diameter. Typical bolt circle diameters are 130 or 135 mm on road bikes.
Chainring nut spanner
A special bicycle tool used to loosen the slotted nuts that fasten a chainring to a crankarm.
Chainring teeth
The number and type of teeth (i.e., pointed projections which are forced between the rollers of a chain) in a chainring sprocket. A typical large road bike chainring has 53 teeth cut into its surface and it is referred to as a size 53.
Chain Riveting
Two or more rows of rivets spaced so that the rivets in one row are opposite those in an adjacent row.
Chain run
The distance between the front and rear sprockets.


Chain scrubber
A device attached to a chain which rubs away the grime while the chain is moving.


One of the two tubes of a bicycle frame that run horizontally from the Bottom bracket shell back to the rear Dropouts.

The two tubes of a bicycle frame that run from the bottom bracket back to the rear Dropouts.
Chain stopper
A device used to secure the chain cable when riding at anchor, thereby relieving the strain on the windlass. A device which prevents anchor chain from running out. It is moved into position after the anchor has been dropped.
Chain stretch
Pin and bushing wear of a roller or hy-vo chain, causing the chain to lengthen.
Chain switch
Chain Take-up
A mechanical device which removes chain slack. This could be an idler sprocket or similar device mounted on an adjustable bracket to adjust the slack in a chain installation.
Chain tensioner

Chain tensionerChain tensioner

A device which takes up the slack in a chain. Some use an idler wheel which can be adjusted (manually or automatically), others use a flat slide which pushes against the chain to keep it from bouncing around. Most modern units are spring loaded so that the tensioner automatically takes up the slack. Some require that you need to undo a locking nut to allow the spring to push against the chain. Afterward the lock nut needs to be secured again.



One of the Sprockets attached to the right crankarm of a bicycle to drive the chain. Also called chainring.

Chain whip
A tool consisting of a metal bar and two sections of chain, used in changing cogs on a freewheel. Sometimes called chain wrench.
Chain Width
Defined somewhat differently for various chains, but usually the inside width of the chain, between roller link plates.
Chain wrench

Chain wrenchChain Wrench

A locking pliers which employs a chain to wrap around an object such as a pipe to secure or remove it.

Motorcycle sidecar
The appearance of a white powder on a paint surface as it weathers and ages.
  1. A pressure chamber used to vulcanize pre-cured tread stock to the buffed Casing.
  2. A compartment which is basically empty or hollow.
Chamber recess
Chamber volume
  1. To bevel or taper the edge of an object especially the sides of a hole or a sharp corner
  2. To bevel or shape the edge of an object or port openings in a two-stroke engine cylinder to prevent piston ring breakage.
  3. To shape a 90° edge to an acute angle (i.e., less than 90°)
  4. An edge that has been beveled
  5. The meeting of two angled or beveled flat surfaces.
A chamfered object is one that has a symmetrically beveled edge.
Pronounced SHAM-mee. A soft piece of animal skin (from a deer, sheep, goat, etc.) used to absorb water after washing the surface of a vehicle. Also called a chamois leather or shammy leather.
Chamois leather


Abbreviation for Certification of Higher-learning in Alternative Motorfuels Program
Champ car
When Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) was co-sponsored by FedEx, the series became known as the FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup. The cars in this series, previously known as Indy Cars, are called Champ Cars.
To remove something and replace it with something else.

Change down
A British expression meaning to shift to a lower gear.
Change gear
The action of selecting a different gear. This expression is used more in Britain than in North America where the expression is shift gear
Change into
A British term for the action of shifting into another gear, such as change into second (shift into second gear) or change into top (shift into high gear)
Change of state
  1. Rearrangement of the molecular structure of matter as it changes between any two of the three physical states solid, liquid, or gas
  2. Condition in which a substance changes from a solid to a liquid or a liquid to a gas due to addition of heat. Or, the reverse, in which a substance changes from a gas to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid, due to removal of heat.
  1. The refitting of equipment to either neutralize the effects of the just completed production or to prepare equipment for production of the next scheduled item, or both.
  2. The removing of new original equipment tires in exchange for a different make, size, or type.
Changeover Switch
Change-speed gearbox
A transmission which houses a set of gears which move into various configurations of engagement in order to produce different output ratios.
Change the oil
The act of draining out the old or dirty oil from an engine and replacing it with fresh oil.
Change up
A British term meaning to shift up to another gear
Change valve
A British term for a valve in an automatic transmission which raises the oil pressure as the vehicle speed increases. In North America it is called the shift valve.
  1. To lower the vehicle body around the frame by cutting out the floor and dropping the body shell below the frame rails.
  2. A route or groove through which anything passes.
  3. The hydraulic routing used by the anti-lock brake system to control the brake pressure at each wheel. A system may have one, three, or four channels
Vehicle body lowered down around the frame.
Channel Iron
A three-sided length of steel which provides better strength than a flat bar of steel. Used in frame construction.
Channel restriction
Channel section
A long metal U-shaped member used in the chassis.


Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman (1928-1982), the founder of Lotus. One of the most innovative engineer in automotive racing history.
Chapman strut
Chapman StrutClick image to supersize
Chapman Strut

A type of Rear suspension using a lower Lateral link and a long spring-shock Strut to determine wheel geometry. The basic principle is the same as that of the front MacPherson strut and it is so named because Colin Chapman first used it on the original Elite; it is also used on the Elan models, the new Elite, and the Datsun (Nissan) Z-car.

Characteristic map
A three-dimensional picture showing the relationship between various components of a vehicle. With the help of a computer, engineers can modify one component to see the effect it has on the whole operation of the vehicle.
Characteristics of materials
Character line
  1. The design line or bend in the side of the vehicle that separates the upper and lower sections of the fenders and doors
  2. A designed crease on a flat panel which increases the panel’s strength and may change the overall aesthetic appearance of the panel. Compare bone line.
The amorphous form of carbon obtained by the destructive Distillation of animal or vegetable matter in a limited supply of air. In automotive use, it is used to purify air or exhaust gases.

Charcoal canister
Another name for Activated carbon canister
Charcoal filter
A filtration system using Activated carbon to remove impurities.
Charcoal trap
  1. The action of passing an electric current through a battery to restore it to the active (charged) state. Normally the vehicle’s generator or alternator takes care of this. If the vehicle is not used much, an external charger is needed to charge the battery.
  2. The definite quantity of electricity usually found in a storage battery.
  3. Refers to the mass of air and fuel that enters a cylinder during the intake stroke.
  4. A refund amount of money.
  5. Amount of refrigerant placed in a refrigerating unit.
  6. A specific amount of refrigerant by volume or weight
Charge air
The air/fuel mixture.
Charge air cooling
An Intercooler
Charge-air recycling
A device on a turbocharger which maintains the speed of the compressor when there is no boost so that the boost is more instantly available on demand.
Charge capacity
The input (feed) capacity of the refinery processing facilities.
Charge changing
In a two-stroke engine, the removal of exhaust gases through the exhaust port in order to introduce a new load of fuel-air into the transfer port. Also called charge exchange process
A radiator that cools and therefore recondenses the intake air that has been compressed and heated by the turbocharger thus allowing a greater amount of air into the engine. With more air in the combustion chamber, the ECM can deliver more fuel and make more power. This radiator can be either cooled by air or by water. Also called Intercooler
Charged battery
Charge engine
Charge exchange process
Another name for Charge changing
Charge indicator
Charge losses
In a two-stroke engine, the exhaust gases are expelled out the exhaust port and the fresh charge is brought in through the transfer port. Sometimes some of the fresh charge is also forced out with the exhaust gases. There is therefore a loss of some of the fresh air-fuel charge.

Common name for a Battery charger.

Charge temperature
Charge Temperature Sensor
Charging board
Specially designed panel or cabinet fitted with gauges, valves, and refrigerant cylinders used for charging refrigerant and oil into refrigerating mechanisms.
Charging characteristic
When a battery is being charged, the charger will reveal how much voltage and/or amperage is being required to bring the battery up to full charge.
Charging circuit
Charging current
The amount of electric current being supplied to the battery from the alternator or from a battery charger.
Charging efficiency
  1. In a vehicle’s electrical charging system, its efficiency is the ratio of energy output to energy input, i.e., how well does the alternator work to supply voltage to the electrical components and still charge the battery.
  2. In a two-stroke engine, it is the ratio of the amount of the fresh charge that remains in the cylinder after the two ports are closed and the actual volume.
Charging hose
A small diameter hose constructed to withstand high pressures. It is connected between the air conditioning system and the manifold set
Charging piston
In a two-stroke engine, this is a secondary piston which precompresses the fresh charge and sends it into the cylinders
Charging point
A place where a battery can be charged — especially for battery-powered electrical vehicles. Also called Battery charging station
Charging pressure
Charging pump
Charging rate
The amount of electrical current which is delivered by the charging system. It is usually measured in amperes.
Charging station
A usually portable unit equipped with a manifold gauge set, charging cylinder, vacuum pump, refrigerant supply, auxiliary gauges, various valves and the plumbing necessary to hook everything together. Used for servicing air conditioning systems.

Charging stroke
Charging system
A system that, using a Fan belt driven by the engine, enables the Alternator (or Generator) to generate electrical current, which is stored in the battery and delivered to the electrically operated pars of the vehicle chassis The parts of the vehicle which are left when the body and Fenders are removed.
Charles’s law
Volume of a given mass of gas at a constant pressure varies according to its temperature.
Charpy test
An impact resistance test in which the specimen is supported as a horizontal beam and broken by a single swing of a pendulum with the impact line midway between the supports and directly opposite the notch for notched specimens.
CHART: Abbreviation for Computerised Highways Assessment of Ratings and Treatment. Program for presenting road condition information.

To ‘rent’ a vehicle (i.e., a bus or truck) and its operator.

Charter Bus
A bus that is operated on a for-hire basis, usually providing round-trip service for a tour group or an outing, either on an ad hoc or scheduled basis.
To repair damaged threads on a bolt or nut with a tap or die
Chasing threads
Cutting screw threads by moving a tool along the axis of the work to be threaded.
  1. In a vehicle, the frame, engine, front and rear axles, springs, steering system, fuel tank. In short, everything but the body or cab and fenders. Because most modern automobiles (apart from trucks) do not have a separate chassis, the body is sometimes called the chassis.
  2. A transport container frame with wheels that supports a lift-off container
Chassis bracket set
When the sill panel does not have a jointing flange, a set of securing pieces are welded under the sill before straightening a bent or damaged sill.
Chassis cab
A truck with a cab but no bed. To this system various bodies (ambulance, moving van, flat beds, etc.) can be added by aftermarket suppliers.
Chassis channel
A channel section which makes up a member of the chassis.
Chassis configuration
Chassis dynamometer
A test stand for a vehicle to determine its power output or emission levels, etc. when the vehicle is placed under a variety of driving conditions.

Chassis frame
A frame (found on large trucks) which is made up of two long side members which are joined by several crossmembers. The suspension and axles are attached to this frame.
Chassis leg
The short channel or box section which runs along the vehicle’s main axle. It is an auxiliary member, not the main side member.
Chassis lubrication
Chassis number
The serial number of an older vehicle which was originally stamped on a chassis member. Later it became known as a Vehicle identification number (VIN)
Chassis section
One of the chassis channels or boxes, whether bolted or welded to the whole.
Chassis weight
The weight of an empty truck, without occupants or load. Also called curb weight or tare weight
  1. A noise which is caused by an irregular movement of rattling parts.
  2. The jerky movement of two components which may have moved in a systematic way under low speed; but as the speed increases, the components make irregular contact.
  3. Rough or unsatisfactory surfaces on work. It is usually caused by a slight jumping of the tool away from the work or of the work away from the tool.
To exaggerate a design feature in a sketch or model in order to improve the car’s appearance or proportions, such as stretching the wheelbase and lowering the height of the body.
Cheater Axle
Colloquial term for a lift axle or an air-powered axle which, when lowered, will both convert a vehicle into a multi-axle unit and provide greater load carrying capacity.
  1. An inspection to determine if everything is functional.
  2. A slight slash or marking which may appear in a tire or upholstery.
Check arm
Check ball
A small ball (like a ball bearing) often made of metal or plastic, found in a check valve to halt the progress of fluid in a certain direction.

Check engine light
A light on the instrument panel that lets the driver know of any detectable engine management system malfunctions. Also used as an emission maintenance reminder light on some vehicles. Often when this light is on, a trouble code is stored in the computer. Also called Malfunction indicator light
Check engine warning light
A light on the instrument panel which is illuminated when one of the engine sensors or components does not function properly.
Checkered flag
A flag with alternating black and white squares to signal the end of the race.

  1. Short, very fine Crack lines that appear in the paint film.
  2. Small cracks in the surface of rubber (e.g., tires) caused by Aging and Oxidation.
Check nut
A double chamfered hexagon machine screw nut
Check Piston
Check point
  1. A designated spot on a component where it is possible to determine if there is a malfunction.
  2. A place on the road where vehicles are stopped during a rally.
Check routine
A series items in an inspection which traces a fault or problem or which determines if all the components of a new vehicle meets the required specifications.
A desk or counter used by freight handlers for performing paperwork duties.
Check stop
An action taken by the police to stop vehicles in order to determine if the drivers have been drinking, wearing seat belts, and conforming to the other requirements of operating a vehicle.
Check strap
Check the battery
Determine if the electrolyte is at the correct level and add distilled water to bring it up if necessary
Check the oil
Using a dipstick, determine if there is sufficient oil in the crankcase
The process of discovering the reliability of a vehicle or its components. ‘Give my engine a checkup.’ Sometimes it means Tune-up.
Check valve
A one-way, in-line spring-loaded ball or piston valve that permits flow of liquids or gases in one direction only and closes to prevent passage in the opposite direction. Used to control flow of vacuum, refrigerant, coolant, etc.

Cheese head
An obsolete term still used in the UK for a fillister head screw, i.e., a cylindrical headed screw with a straight slot and straight sides. So named because the head looks like a round block of cheese.
Chemical activation
Treatment of a substance by heat, radiation, or other activating reagent to produce a more complete or rapid chemical or physical change.
Chemical bond
When two or more chemicals are joined or mixed, electrons of one chemical interchange with the electrons of the other chemical.
Chemical brightening
The improvement of the smoothness of the surface of metal by immersing it into a solution designed to remove any roughness. Also called chemical polishing
Chemical cure
Vulcanization at room temperature or above, activated by chemical agents without the application of heat from an outside source.
Chemical curing
The setting or curing of an adhesive, coating or sealer, brought about by the addition of heat, a catalyst, or an accelerator
Chemical polishing
Chemical refrigeration
System of cooling using a disposable refrigerant. Also called an expendable refrigerant system.
Chemical regulator
A voltage regulator with solid state electronic devices to control the charging system output.
Chemical separation
A process for extracting uranium and plutonium from dissolved spent nuclear fuel and irradiated targets. The fission products that are left behind are high-level waste. Chemical separation is also known as reprocessing.
Chemical staining
Spotty discoloration of the paint caused by air pollution in industrial areas
Chemical toilet
A portable toilet which is used in campers and motorhomes. They contain chemicals to deal with the feces and its smell until the contents are dumped.
A vehicle brand of which models built between 1925-1948 are classic cars with required application.
Cheney® Clamp
A screw-type hose clamp similar to a Jubilee® clamp
A colloquial term for a vehicle that has been kept in, or restored to, perfect condition. Also called mint or like new
Cherry condition
A colloquial term for a vehicle that has been kept in, or restored to, perfect condition. Also called Mint condition.


ChevelleClick image for books on

An intermediate-size model automobile produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1964 to 1973 (later called Malibu until 1983)

Chevrolet Chevette BooksClick image for books on
Chevrolet Chevette

A model of automobile manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1976-86.

ChevroletClick image for books on

A vehicle brand which began in 1912 of which the 1955-57 Bel Air V-8 Hardtop and Convertible are milestone cars. Models include the following:

Chevrolet type
A dual mounting wheel type consists of one cone locking nut on each stud that holds both wheels in place against the hub.
Road marking used to separate traffic flows are highlight potential conflicts.
Chevron board
Traffic warning signs with hatch-markings indicating a sudden change in direction
Chevy II
Chevrolet Chevy II BooksClick image for books on
Chevrolet Chevy II

A model of compact car produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motorsfrom 1962-69. It became the Nova.

  1. A series of sharp curves on a road or racetrack that alternate from left turn to right turn but not as severe as hair-pin curves. Also called S-curves
  2. A traffic-calming measure where police weave between traffic lanes in front of the traffic to make following vehicles slow down
Chicken coop
Trucker slang for Truck weigh station as in ‘Are the chicken coops open this morning?’
Chicken lights
Trucker slang for Extra lights on a truck as in ‘Look at all those chicken lights on that northbound bulldog.’
Child bike seat

Child bike seatChild Bike Seat

An accessory which mounts behind the saddle of a bicycle and is designed to hold a small child.

Childproof lock
On the rear doors of a car, a specially designed locking device can be set to normal or to childproof. When set to childproof, the door cannot be opened from the inside.
Child restraint system
A term for a number of items which are designed to protect children from injury during an accident (such as Child seats).
Child safety
Child safety seat
Child seat
A small safety seat which is mounted on a regular car seat and is held in place by the seat belt.

Child step running board

Child Step Running BoardClild Step Running Board

An external step which allows a child to be able to enter or leave a vehicle with a high ground clearance (a van, SUV, truck, etc.)

Chilled iron
Cast iron possessing a hardened outer skin.
Air conditioning system which circulates chilled water to various cooling coils in an installation.
Chill factor
Calculated number based on temperature and wind velocity.
Vertical shaft enclosing one or more flues for carrying flue gases to the outside atmosphere.

Chimney connector
Conduit (pipe) connecting the heating appliance (furnace) with the vertical flue.
Chimney effect
Tendency of air or gas to rise when heated.
Chimney flue
Flue gas passageway in a chimney.
  1. Small pits in the glass (windshield or headlight) or in the paint caused by small flying stones.
  2. The metal removed by a tool
  3. A collection of sample paint.
  4. To cut with a chisel.


Chip book
Chip coat
A rough surface pavement


Chip damage
Chip hammer

Chip HammerChip Hammer

A hammer used to remove slag, etc. from metal because it has a chisel-like end on one side

Chipped Wheel
The action of tearing away small bits or flakes of paint or of rubber from the tread of a tire. When larger pieces of rubber tear away, it is called Chunking.
Chipping hammer

Chip HammerChipping Hammer

A hammer used to remove the slag from weld seams.

Chip seal
A road surface where liquid asphalt is sprayed on the surface and is covered by a thin layer of gravel. It is done in warm, dry weather. It takes a few hours to set. It creates a hard driving surface. For the first few days after the chip seal, the road looks light gray with some loose rock. In time it becomes more firm and turns black. The surface is somewhat rough and provides good traction for cars, but is very rough for bicycles.
There are two basic types of chisel. One is used for wood work (Wood chisel) while the other is for metal work (Cold chisel).

A vehicle buyer who constantly grinds the salesman to the obtain the best possible deal that he can get.

  1. A gas compound which was used as a propellant in aerosol cans and in refrigerants.
  2. Any of various compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and flourine used as refrigerants. CFCs are now thought to be harmful to the earth’s atmosphere.
Abbreviation for cold mixture heater–A device which helps to reduce cold engine emissions and improve driveability during engine warm-up. Also CMH.
(pronounced CHIM-sel) An short form for center high mounted stop light an additional brake light as required by law whose mounting position is determined by the manufacturer using required guidelines
Chobert rivet
A blind rivet fastener with a hollow center and dome head. It requires an insertion tool.
  1. A wedge used to prevent a vehicle or trailer wheel from rolling — especially when replacing a tire/wheel. Also called a Wheel chock.
  2. A heavy wedge used within a trailer to keep freight from shifting.
  3. To apply a wood or metal wedge to block the wheels of a truck while it is being loaded or unloaded.
  4. A heavy smooth-surfaced fitting usually located near the edge of the weather deck through which wire ropes or fiber hawsers may be led, usually to piers.
A cradle or support for a lifeboat.
A Butterfly valve or plate located near the top of the carburetor that limits or restricts the amount of air allowed to enter the carburetor, thus enriching the fuel-air mixture and enabling the vehicle to start and run more easily when cold. Automatic chokes have a Thermostatic coil or Thermostatic spring that activates a Butterfly valve at the top of the Carburetor barrel. Older cars have Manually operated chokes. Some vehicles use an Enrichner instead of a choke.

Choke stove
A flapper near the top of the carburetor which regulates the amount of air entering the carburetor.


Choke control
A device or system for operating a non-automatic choke. It is usually a cable attached at one end to the choke butterfly and a knob on the instrument panel at the other end.
Choke index
Automatic chokes have index marks. The factory setting closes the choke when the bimetal is about 21°C. If you want less or more choke at this temperature, move the choke index one mark in the direction indicated by the arrows designating a leaner or richer mixture. You will seldom need to move the choke more than one mark
Choke kick
A preset position for the choke valve set by manifold vacuum that is routed through a carburetor body passage to the choke diaphragm
Choke knob
A knob on the instrument panel fascia which is part of the choke control system.
Choke stove
A heating compartment in or on the exhaust manifold from which hot air is drawn to the Automatic choke device.
Choke system
System in the carburetor that reduces the volume of air admitted to the engine.
Choke thermal vacuum switch
(CTVS) a switch used on some GM vehicle to deny vacuum to either the front or the auxiliary choke vacuum breaks. Its purpose is to slow the opening of the choke and to provide better driveability when the engine is cold
Choke tube
  1. The part of the carburetor air horn where the choke butterfly is positioned. Also called a carburetor venturi.
  2. Throttling device used to maintain correct pressure difference between high-side and low-side in refrigerating mechanism. Capillary tubes are sometimes called choke tubes.
Choke valve
In a carburetor, it is the choke butterfly.
To lower the height of some area of the vehicle roof, hood, top, etc. by removing the panel, shortening the height of one or more pairs of the supporting pillars, and welding the panel to the shortened pillars.

A vehicle that has had its top lowered in order to customized its design. Also called choptop
Chopped wheel
Lightened Flywheel.


  1. Once used to describe a custom motorcycle that had all superfluous parts chopped off in order to make the bike faster. A chopper today is a type of custom bike that usually has an extended fork, no rear suspension, high handlebars and a lowered seat. Often the original fuel tank is changed to a smaller size.
  2. To travel by motorcycle.
Chop shop
  1. A garage which specializes in turning a two-door car into a convertible by removing the steel top.
  2. An illegal garage which processes stolen cars by removing valued parts and selling them privately or by changing the serial numbers for illegal resale.
A vehicle that has had its top lowered in order to customized its design. Also called chopped.
Chordal Action
The effect produced by the chain joint centers being forced to follow arcs instead of chords of the sprocket pitch circle. Also called Chordal effect
Chordal Effect
The effect produced by the chain joint centers being forced to follow arcs instead of chords of the sprocket pitch circle. Also called Chordal action
  1. Abbreviation for combined heat and power
  2. Abbreviation for California Highway Patrol
C/H Ratio
Abbreviation for Carbon/Hydrogen ratio
Christmas tree
  1. A device, using a series of lights, to start cars on the timed 1/4 mile drag run.
  2. The valves and fittings installed at the top of a gas or oil well to control and direct the flow of well fluids.
  1. A salt or ester of chromic acid which is often used as a paint pigment.
  2. The action of treating metal with a solution of chromium compound to produce a protective metal chromate coating. Also called chromatize
Chromate coating
A conversion coating produced by chromating.
Chromate treatment
A solution of chromium compound is applied to metal to produce a protective coating of metal chromate.
Chromatic aberration
  1. An enlargement of the focal spot caused in a cathode tube, by the differences in the electron velocity distribution through the beam.
  2. An enlargement of the focal spot caused in an optical lens system using white light, by the refractive index of the glass varying with the wavelength of the light, resulting in colored fringes surrounding the image.
The action of treating metal with a solution of chromium compound to produce a protective metal chromate coating. Also called chromate
  1. A short form for chromium.
  2. The chromium plating of metal on a vehicle.
  3. To plate with chromium.
Steel that has been made harder by adding chromium.
A type of high-quality steel tubing; also called chrome molybdenum or cro-mo
Chrome molybdenum
A type of high-quality steel tubing. Also called chrome-moly or cro-mo
In order to prevent iron from rusting and showing bright and shiny, the iron is coated with a layer of chromium by process of electroplating (or electrodeposition).
Chrome ring
A piston ring with a chrome face, i.e., a thin layer of chrome plate on the outer edge.
Chrome steel
In order to improve rust resistance and increase hardness, chrome is added to steel. Also called chromium steel
Chrome work
All the metal on a vehicle which has been plated with chrome.
Chromic acid
Electrolyte which is used in anodizing processes for producing non-transparent, non-metallic oxide layers.
A very hard grey metal used in electroplating and the production of very hard steel compounds (especially stainless steel) that are also resistant to rust.

A coating of metal with chromium to protect the metal from rust.
Chromium plating
The process of coating metal with a layer of chromium to prevent rust.

Chromium steel
In order to improve rust resistance and increase hardness, chrome is added to steel. Also called chrome steel
A type of high-quality steel tubing; also called chrome molybdenum or crome-moly
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A vehicle brand of which several models with required application are classic cars including:

  • 1926-32 Imperial and Series 80
  • 1931 Imperial 8 Series CG
  • 1932 CG and CH
  • 1933 CL
  • 1932-39 Custom Imperial Series – CL, CX, CW, C-3, C-11, C-15, C-20, C-24
  • 1934-6 CW
  • 1940-48 Crown Imperial – Includes Series C-27, C-33, C-37, C-40
  • Newports and Thunderbolts

Some models are milestone car including:

  • 1970 300 Hurst
  • 1955-65 300 Letter Series
  • 1946-50 Town and Country models

Other models include:

  • 300 letter series (1955-1965)
  • 300 (1962-1971; 1979)
  • 300 (2005-present)
  • 300C (2005-08)
  • 300M (1999-2004)
  • Airflow (1934-1937)
  • Airstream (1935-1936)
  • Aspen (2007-present)
  • Cirrus (1995-2000)
  • Concorde (1993-2004)
  • Conquest (1987-1989)
  • Conquest TSi (1988-89)
  • Cordoba (1975-1983)
  • Crossfire (2004-2008)
  • Fifth Avenue (1983-1993)
  • Grand Voyager (2000)
  • Imperial (1926-1954; 1981-1983; 1990-1993)
  • Laser (1984-1986)
  • LeBaron (1977-1995)
  • LHS (1994-1997; 1999-2001)
  • Newport (1940-1941; 1949-1950; 1961-1981)
  • New Yorker (1939-1996)
  • Pacifica (2004-2008)
  • Prowler (2001-2002)
  • PT Cruiser (2001-2009)
  • Royal (1937-1942; 1946-1950)
  • Sebring (1995-present)
  • Sebring Convertible (1996-present)
  • TC by Maserati (1989-1991)
  • Town & Country (1941-1988, 1990-present)
  • Voyager (2000-03)
  • Windsor (1940-1961)
Chubby screwdriver
A British term for a screwdriver with a short handle and blade for reaching into confined spaces. In North America it is called a stubby screwdriver
Device for holding work in machine tools.

  1. The short explosive sound of an engine going steadily and rather slowly.
  2. To make the sound of chug.
  3. To drive slowly and steadily.

Austin 7 Chummy

A British term for a convertible during the 1920s (such as an Austin 7) with two seats up front (for driver and passenger) and two small seats in the back to be used when needed.

The action which occurs when large pieces of rubber from the tread of tire breaks away. When small pieces break away, it is called Chipping.
  1. Abbreviation for compression ignition
  2. Abbreviation for coil ignition

CI-4API CI-4 Category

An API classification for diesel engine oil for use in high speed, four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2004 exhaust emission standards, to be implemented October 2002. These oils are compounded for use in all applications with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.05% by weight. These oils are especially effective at sustaining engine durability where EGR and other exhaust emission componentry may be used. Optimum protection is provided for control of corrosive wear tendencies, low and high temperature stability, soot handling properties, piston deposit control, valve train wear, oxidative thickening, foaming and viscosity loss due to shear. CI-4 oils are superior in performance to those meeting API CH-4, CG-4, and CF-4 and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories.

CI-4 Plus

API CI-4 PlusAPI CI-4 Plus Category

An API classification for diesel engine oil used in conjunction with API CI-4, the ‘CI-4 PLUS’ designation identifies oils formulated to provide a higher level of protection against soot-related viscosity increase and viscosity loss due to shear in diesel engines. Like the words Energy Conserving, CI-4 PLUS appears in the lower portion of the API Service Symbol.

Abbreviation for cubic inch displacement.
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Oldsmobile Ciera

A model of automobile manufactured by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors from 1982-96

  1. Abbreviation for cargo, insurance and freight — cargos for which the seller pays for the transportation and insurance up to the port of destination.
  2. Abbreviation for cost, insurance, freight — A type of sale in which the buyer of the product agrees to pay a unit price that includes the f.o.b. value of the product at the point of origin plus all costs of insurance and transportation. This type of a transaction differs from a delivered purchase, in that the buyer accepts the quantity as determined at the loading port (as certified by the Bill of Lading and Quality Report) rather than pay based on the quantity and quality ascertained at the unloading port. It is similar to the terms of an f.o.b. sale, except that the seller, as a service for which he is compensated, arranges for transportation and insurance.
Cigar lighter
A device which heats up an element when engaged. In turn, the lighter can ignite something flammable like a cigarette. The Socket can also be used to power other electrical components requiring 12 volts.
Cigar lighter
A device which heats up an element when engaged. In turn, the lighter can ignite something flammable like a cigarette. The socket can also be used to power other electrical components requiring 12 volts.
Abbreviation for camshaft in head
CIH engine
A type of overhead valve engine (OHV) where the camshaft is enclosed within the cylinder head not placed on top of it. It is not the same as an overhead camshaft (OHC).
Abbreviation for computer-integrated manufacturing.
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Cadillac Cimarron

A model of automobile manufactured by the Cadillac division of General Motors from 1982-88

  • Abbreviation for Carriage and Insurance Paid To where the seller has the same obligations as under CPT but with the addition that the seller has to obtain cargo insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage.
  • Abbreviation for Capital Improvement Project (or Program)
Circle diameter
A flat retaining ring in the shape of an incomplete circle where the ends at the gap may have small holes for inserting special pliers to spread the circlip apart. Used to locate or retain a shaft or component. Also called a snap ring.

Circlip pliers
  1. A source of electricity (battery), a resistance unit (headlight, etc.) and wires that form a path for the flow of electricity from the source through the unit and back to the source. The path of electrical current through an Electrical system.
  2. The path of the fuel in the carburetor.
  3. The course over which vehicles are raced particularly if it is somewhat circular.
  4. Tubing, piping, or electrical wire installation which permits flow to and from the energy source.
  5. A conductor or a system of conductors through which electric current flows.
Circuit board
Circuit breaker
  1. A protective device that will make and break the flow of electric current when current draw becomes excessive or overloaded. Unlike the fuse, it does not blow out but vibrates on and off thus giving the driver some light to stop by.
  2. An electromagnetic device that opens a circuit automatically when the current exceeds a predetermined value.
Circuit Current
Circuit diagram
A wiring diagram showing the path of the electrical connections and the various colors of the wires.
Circuit Ground
The total length in miles of separate circuits regardless of the number of conductors used per circuit.
Circuit, parallel
Arrangement of electrical devices in which the current divides and travels through two or more paths and then returns through a common path.
Circuit, pilot
Secondary circuit used to control a main circuit or a device in the main circuit.
Circuit protector
Electrical device which will open an electrical circuit if excessive electrical conditions occur.
Circuit, series
Electrical wiring; electrical path (circuit) in which electricity to operate second lamp or device must pass through first; current flow travels, in turn. through all devices connected together.
Circuit tester
A tool which looks like a screwdriver with a light at the end of the handle as well as a long wire with an alligator clip. The pointed end touches the hot wire while the alligator end touches or clips to the ground. If there is continuity and power, the light in the handle will glow.
Circuit Voltage
Circular headlamp
The older type of headlight which may be the larger one (7 inch) with both high and low beam or the smaller one (5.75 inch) dedicated to either low or high beam.
Circular mil
Unit of area equal to the area of a circle one mil in diameter
Circulating pump
A centrifugal pump, like an automotive water pump, which moves the liquid in a closed system.
Circumferential break
An injury to the tread or sidewall of a tire which encircles the tire.
Circumferential crack
A crack in the grooves of the tread which may be evident around the whole tire.
  1. Abbreviation for continuous injection system. A Bosch fuel injection system which injects a steady stream of pressurized fuel into each intake port. CIS was once widely used throughout the industry
  2. Abbreviation for Cylinder Identification Signal
A CIS system with electronic controls
Abbreviation for electronic continuous injection system — a Bosch L or LH-Jetronic type system
A CIS system with an oxygen sensor
CIS with Lambda
A vehicle brand of which the 1946-49 GT (Pininfarina) models are milestone cars.
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Chevrolet Citation

A model of small car produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1981-85.

Citizens band radio
A CB radio which is used to communicate over a specified frequency. In the U.S.A. the two-way radio required no license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); but in other countries (e.g., Canada) a license was required. It was most popular during the 1970s; but it is still used by truckers and motorists for everything from traffic condition reports to emergency calls to idle chatter.
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A vehicle brand of which the 1955-64 models D8 and ID 19 are milestone cars.

City car
A compact vehicle used for driving within a city rather than on the highway. It is usually only 10 to 12 feet (300 to 360 cm) long.
City Centre Forum
Public, private and voluntary sector partnership dedicated to promoting the interests of Peterborough City Centre.
City cycle
An adult bicycle or tricycle used for riding within the city. Also called an urban cycle.
City kitty
Trucker slang for woman city police officer as in ‘You got a city kitty at the next corner up here.’
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Honda Civic


An API classification for diesel engine oil for high-speed, four-stroke engines designed to meet 2007 model year on-highway exhaust emission standards. CJ-4 oils are compounded for use in all applications with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 500 ppm (0.05% by weight). However, use of these oils with greater than 15 ppm (0.0015% by weight) sulfur fuel may impact exhaust aftertreatment system durability and/or oil drain interval. CJ-4 oils are effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used. Optimum protection is provided for control of catalyst poisoning, particulate filter blocking, engine wear, piston deposits, low and high temperature stability, soot handling properties, oxidative thickening, foaming, and viscosity loss due to shear. API CJ-4 oils exceed the performance criteria of API CI-4 with CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, and CF-4 and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories. When using CJ-4 oil with higher than 15 ppm sulfur fuel, consult the engine manufacturer for service interval. 8800 MONOLEC ULTRA Engine Oils meet the API CJ-4 specification.

Abbreviation for Completely-Knocked Down. A condition of a vehicle from the manufacturer where it is ready for foreign shipment. Wheels, bumpers, grille, and external mirrors are removed in order to fit the vehicle into the smallest container possible.
Abbreviation for Crankshaft position sensor which provides basic timing data for the PIP signal
Abbreviation for Crankshaft Position Reference
Abbreviation for Circuit
  1. Abbreviation for Comfort Luxe as a designation for a vehicle which is more luxurious than an L but not quite as luxurious as a GL
  2. Abbreviation for Closed Loop
Abbreviation for Longitudinal Articulation Coefficient
  1. A process of covering one material with another and gluing them together under high pressure and temperature.
  2. The outer body panels which are attached to the vehicle’s frame.
  3. Excessive decorative elements applied to a vehicle.
  1. A demand for reimbursement made by the customer for freight that is lost and/or damaged.
  2. A demand made by the customer for a refund on overcharge on transportation bill
  3. A demand made by an individual or company to recover loss under insurance policy.
A fastening device which secures something within its jaws without constant human pressure.

Clamping load
In a clutch, the amount of pressure on the plates.
Clamp installer
Clamp on
Clamp pliers
A shape which has a bottom and top but is hinged at one end so that it can be opened to expose its interior.
A narrow board which is thicker at one edge than the other edge and used to protect from the weather.
A machine used for a liquid-sludge separation in which the particles with a higher specific gravity are separated from the lower specific gravity of the liquid. A clarifier bowl has one outlet for the light phase oil; the heavier phase particles are retained on the bowl wall.
Clark, Jim — Winner of 3 Formula One Championships, 25 Grand Prix races and of the 1965 Indianapolis 500
Class 1 driver’s license

class1Semi-trailer truck

In Canada, a driver’s license which permits driving semi-trailer trucks and all other motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles except motorcycles

Class 1 motor carrier
A U.S. classification of a common or contract motor carrier with annual gross revenues of five million dollars or more.
Class 1 road
Hard surface highways including interstates and U.S. numbered highways (including alternates), primary state routes and all controlled access highways.
Class 2 driver’s license

class 2Class 2

In Canada, a driver’s license which permits driving the following

  1. Buses, including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles
  2. Trailers or towed vehicles that do not exceed 4,600 kilograms except if the bus and trailers or towed vehicles do not have air brakes
  3. Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in Class 4
Class 2 road
Hard surface highways including secondary state routes, primary county routes and other highways that connect principle cities and towns, and link these places with the primary highway system.
Class 3 driver’s license

class 3Class 3

In Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Trucks with more than two axles, such as dump trucks and large tow trucks, but not including a bus that is being used to transport passengers
  2. Trailers that do not exceed 4,600 kilograms except if the truck and trailers do not have air brakes
  3. A tow car towing a vehicle of any weight
  4. A mobile truck crane
  5. Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in Class 5
Class 3 road
Hard surface roads not included in a higher class and improved, loose surface roads passable in all kinds of weather. These roads are adjunct to the primary and secondary highway systems. Also included are important private roads such as main logging or industrial roads that serve as connecting links to the regular road network.
Class 4 driver’s license

class 4Class 4

In Canada, there are two types of Class 4 driver’s license unrestricted and restricted The unrestricted Class 4 allows driving the following

  1. Buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities
  2. Taxis and limousines
  3. Ambulances
  4. Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in Class 5

class 4Class 4

The restricted Class 4 allows driving the following

  1. Taxis and limousines (up to 10 persons including the driver)
  2. Ambulances
  3. Special vehicles with a seating capacity of not more than 10 persons (including the driver) used to transport people with disabilities
  4. Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in Class 5
Class 4 road
Unimproved roads that are generally passable only in fair weather and used mostly for local traffic. Also included are driveways, regardless of construction.
Class 5 driver’s license

class 5Class 5

In Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Two axle vehicles including cars, vans, trucks and tow trucks
  2. Trailers or towed vehicles may not exceed 4,600 kilograms
  3. Motor homes (including those with more than two axles)
  4. Limited speed motorcycles or moped (in some provinces, a Class 8 is required to operate these) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  5. Passenger vehicles used as school buses with seating capacity of not more than 10 persons (including the driver)
  6. Construction vehicles
  7. Three-wheeled vehicles – does not include three-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations
  8. Does not include Class 4 vehicles or motorcycles
Class 5 road
Unimproved roads passable only with 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Class 6 driver’s license

class 6Class 6

In Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Motorcycles, all-terrain cycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
Class 7 driver’s license

class 5Class 7

In Canada, a learner’s driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Two axle vehicles including cars, vans, trucks and tow trucks
  2. Trailers or towed vehicles may not exceed 4,600 kilograms
  3. Motor homes (including those with more than two axles)
  4. Limited speed motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  5. Passenger vehicles used as school buses with seating capacity of not more than 10 persons (including the driver)
  6. Construction vehicles
  7. Three-wheeled vehicles – does not include three-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations
  8. Does not include Class 4 vehicles or motorcycles
Class 8 driver’s license


In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating a moped or limited speed motorcycles

Class 9 driver’s license

class 9Class 9

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating a farm tractor

Class A driver’s license

class 1Class 1

  1. In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating
    1. Any tractor-trailer or combination of motor vehicle and towed vehicles where the towed vehicles exceed a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms
    2. Any motor vehicle pulling double trailers
    3. Any motor vehicle pulling a trailer with air-brakes
    4. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
  2. A class A with restrictions prevents operating
    1. a motor vehicle pulling double trailers
    2. a motor vehicle pulling a trailer with air-brakes
Class A RV

class A RVClass A RV

class A RVClass A RV

The Class A is the largest and usually most luxurious motorhome. They are frequently constructed on custom undercarriages or on a 3-10 ton truck chassis. Many also feature an automatic slideout so that at the touch of a button, a portion of the RV exterior wall can extend outward to expand living space. Most models offer complete self-containment, with on-board generator, large water and holding tanks, big batteries and a generous propane supply. They usually provide cooking facilities, a refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, a self-contained toilet, water tanks (fresh water, grey water, black water), faucets, sinks, a LP (propane) gas supply, a separate 100-125 volt electrical system, and a full array of appliances and entertainment features. They are especially good for dry camping (without hookups), even for extended periods. They can sleep up to eight people, depending on the model and the floor plan. Prices range from $80,000 to above $700,000 for high end rear diesel models.

  • Average weight 13,000 to 48,000 pounds
  • Average Length 25 to 45 feet in overall length
  • Average Height 10 feet high
Class A thread
A British term for external thread.
Class B driver’s license

class BClass B

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Any school purposes bus with designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers
  2. Any regular bus with designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers
  3. Any truck or motor vehicle combination exceeding 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg
  4. School purposes bus – maximum of 24 passenger capacity
  5. Regular bus maximum of 24 passenger capacity and ambulances
  6. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
Class B RV

class B RVClass B RV

A small motorhome usually called a van conversion or camping van conversion. The basic Class B RV is built on an ordinary van chassis which retains the original dimensions of the van but features a raised roof (usually fiberglass) in order to allow full standing headroom. They also include a small galley (cooking facility, refrigerator, heater, fresh water tank, waste water tank, faucet, sink), a LP (propane) gas supply, 110 Volt AC and 12 Volt DC electrical outlets, and portable toilet. They can sleep from two to four people.

  • Average Weight 6,000 to 8,000 lbs
  • Average Length 17 to 19 feet
  • Average Height 7 to 8 feet
  • Average Price $40,000 to above $100,000
Class B thread
A British term for internal thread.
Class C driver’s license

class CClass C

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Any regular bus with designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers
  2. Regular bus maximum of 24 passenger capacity and ambulances
  3. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
Class C RV

class C RVClass C RV

class C RVClass C RV

A recreational vehicle (also called a mini-motorhome) built on a van chassis that has been cut just behind the cab (the driver’s section) so that a camping unit can be attached to the rear. Generally these units are easier to drive than a Class A motorhome. They are generally constructed on a larger van chassis. The driver compartment is similar to a van, with a large box in the back. Class C motorhomes usually come with a sleeping bunk above the cab, in addition to a bedroom in the rear of the unit. Like their Class A big brothers, many Class C units feature a slideout to quickly extend the motorhome’s living space. Class C units usually provide cooking facilities, a refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, a self-contained toilet, water tanks (fresh water, grey water, black water), faucets, sinks, a LP (propane) gas supply, a separate 100-125 volt electrical system, and a full array of appliances and entertainment features. Class C motorhomes can sleep up to ten people depending on the model and the floor plan.

  • Average Weight 10,000 to 12,000 pounds
  • Average Length 20 to 31 feet in length
  • Average Height about 10 feet high
  • Average Price $50,000 to around $150,000
Class D driver’s license

class DClass D

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Any truck or motor vehicle combination exceeding 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg
  2. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
Class E driver’s license

class EClass E

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. School purposes bus – maximum of 24 passenger capacity
  2. Regular bus maximum of 24 passenger capacity and ambulances
  3. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
Class F driver’s license

class FClass F

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating the following

  1. Regular bus maximum of 24 passenger capacity and ambulances
  2. Any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.
Class G driver’s license

class GClass G

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kg provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg.

Classic car
  1. An older vehicle that is generally considered to be one of the finest models ever built. As used by the average person, an older vehicle in original (like-new) shape or has been restored with some modern refinements (e.g., special wheels, improved seating, modified engine, 12-volt electricals, etc.)
  2. A vehicle (including hardtop or convertible) built during 1950-1973 and in original form with no modern technology, equipment, or refinements except wheels.
  3. A vehicle defined by the Classic Car Club of America built during the years 1925-1948. They include the following:
  • A.C. (all 1925-40)
  • Adler (1928-1934 Standard 8)*
  • Alfa-Romeo
  • Alvis (Speed 20, 3.5 litre, 25, and 4.3 litre)
  • Amilcar*
  • Armstrong-Siddeley (1924-1933 Model 30, 1933-1939 Special)
  • Aston-Martin (1927 -1939 – All)*
  • Auburn (All 8 and 12 cylinder)
  • Austro-Daimler
  • Ballot (2LS, 2LT, 2LTS, RH, RH2, and RH3)*
  • Bentley (All from 1919)
  • Benz (1925 and 1926, 10/30,11/40, 16/50 and 16/50 Sport)*
  • Blackhawk
  • BMW (327, 328, 327/328, 335)
  • Brewster (All 1934-1936, All Heart Front)*
  • Brough Superior*
  • Bucciali (TAV 8, TAV 30, TAV 12 and Double Huit)*
  • Bugatti (All except types 52 and 68)
  • Buick (1931-32 series 90 and Limited)*
  • Cadillac (1925-35, all 12-cyl and 16-cyl, 1938-47 60 Special, 1936-48 all series 63, 65, 67, 70, 72, 75, 80, 85, 90, all V-63 from 1923, 1940-47 all 62 Series)
  • Chenard-Walcker*
  • Chrysler (1926-32 Imperial and Series 80. Includes Series CG, CH, CL; 1932 – 1939 Custom Imperial Series – CL, CX, CW, C-3, C-11, C-15, C-20, C-24; 1940 – 1948 Crown Imperial – Includes Series C-27, C-33, C-37, C-40; Newports and Thunderbolts)
  • Cord
  • Cunningham (All V Series from 1916)
  • Dagmar (6-80)
  • Daimler (All 8 and 12 cylinder, 1925-1934 6 cylinder, 3 1/2 litre and larger models: 25, 25/85, 20/25, 20/30 (1925-1934); 30 (1925); 30, 35/120 (1925-1932); 45 (1925-1926).)*
  • Daniels (1920-1926 8 cylinder Model D)
  • Darracq (8-cyl. cars and 4-litre, 6-cyl. cars only)
  • Delage (Model D-8, not 4-cyl.; 1924-1926 GL and GLS Models)*
  • Delahaye (Series 135, 145, 148, 165 not 4-cyl.)*
  • Delaunay Belleville (6-cyl. cars only)
  • Doble
  • Dorris
  • Duesenberg (All from 1921)
  • DuPont
  • Elcar (1925 – 1933 Models: 8-80, 8-81, 8-90, 8-91, 8-92, 120, 130 and 140)
  • Excelsior*
  • Farman (All 1920 – 1931)*
  • Fiat*
  • FN*
  • Franklin (All models except 1933-34 Olympic Six)
  • Frazer Nash*
  • Georges Irat
  • Graham (1929-1931 Series 127; 1930 -1931 Series 137)
  • Graham-Paige (1929-1931 Series 827; 1928-1929 Series 835; 1929 -1930 Series 837)*
  • Hispano Suiza (H6 from 1919, All French models, Spanish models T56, T56BIS, T64)
  • Horch
  • Hotchkiss*
  • Hudson (1929 Series L)
  • Humber*
  • Invicta (All through 1938)
  • Isotta-Fraschini (All from 1919 except Tipo 8C Monterosa)
  • Itala
  • Jaguar (1946-48 2.5 Litre, 3.5 Litre Mark IV, not 4-cyl.)
  • Jensen (1936-1939 All except 2 1/4 Litre 1645)*
  • Jordan (1929 – 1931 Models G, 90, Great Line 90, Speedway Series ‘Z’)
  • Julian*
  • Kissel (6-55 from 1923, 1925-1926, 1927 8-75, 1928 8-90 and 8-90 White Eagle, 1929-1930 8-95 White Eagle, 1929-1931 8-126)
  • Lagonda (All models through 1940 except 1934 – 1940 Rapier Two Post-War V-12)
  • Lanchester (1919 – 1931 models 21, 23, 30 and 40)*
  • Lancia*
  • LaSalle (All 1927-1933)
  • Lincoln (All 1920 through 1940 models L, KA, KB, and K; 1941 – 168 H; 1942 – 268 H)
  • Lincoln Continental
  • Locomobile (All left hand drive models 48 from 1914 and all model 90, 1927 – 1929 Model 8-80, 1929 Model 8-88)
  • Marmon (All 16-cyl.; 1925-26 74; 1927 75; 1928 E75; 1930 Big 8; 1931 88 and Big 8)
  • Maserati*
  • Maybach
  • McFarlan (TV6 and 8)
  • Mercedes*
  • Mercedes-Benz (All 230 and up, and K, S, SS, SSK, SSKL, Grosser and Mannheim)*
  • Mercer
  • M.G. (1935-39 SA, 1938-39 WA)*
  • Minerva (All except 4-cyl)
  • Moon (Custom bodies only)*
  • N.A.G.*
  • Nash (1930 Series 490, 1931 Series 890, 1932 Series 990 and 1090, 1933 Series 1190, 1934 Series 1290, 1940 Sakhnoffsky Special Cabriolet)*
  • Packard (All 12 cylinder models 1932 through 1939; 1923-1924 Models 226 and 233; All 1st Series 8 cylinder; 1925 – 1934 All sixes and eights; 1935 Models 1200 – 1205, 1207 and 1208; 1936 Models 1400 – 1405, 1407 and 1408; 1937 Models 1500 – 1502 and 1506 – 1508; 1938 Models 1603 – 1605, 1607 and 1608; 1939 Models 1703, 1705, 1707, and 1708; 1940 Models 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, and 1808; 1941 Models 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1908; 1942 Models 2023, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2055, 2006, 2007, and 2008; 1946 – 1947 Models 2103, 2106 and 2126; All Darrin-bodied)*
  • Peerless (1925 Series 67; 1926 – 1928 Series 69; 1930 – 1931 Custom 8; 1932 Deluxe Custom 8)
  • Peugeot*
  • Pierce-Arrow (1921 Series 32, 1922 and up Series 33, All from 1925)
  • Railton*
  • Raymond-Mays*
  • Renault [45 HP (40 CV) to 1928, 40 hp (41CV) Reinastella, Reinasport, 1929-1934; Nervahuit, Nervastella, Nervasport, Suprastella 8 cylinder models 1930-1939]*
  • Reo (1931-33 Royale 8-31, Royale 8-35, Royale 8-52, and Royale Custom 8 and 1934 N1, N2, and 8-52)
  • Revere
  • Riley*
  • Roamer (All Rochester-Duesenberg 4-cylinder, 1925 6-54E, 1925-1929 8-88, 1929-1931 8-125)
  • Rochet-Schneider*
  • Rohr
  • Rolls-Royce (All from 1919)
  • Ruxton
  • Squire
  • SS and SS Jaguar (1932 – 1940 S.S. 1, S.S. 90, SS Jaguar, and SS Jaguar 100)
  • Stearns-Knight
  • Stevens Duryea
  • Steyr*
  • Studebaker (1928 8, FA and FB President, 1929 – 1933 President except Model 82)
  • Stutz
  • Sunbeam Talbot [8 cylinder and 3 litre twin cam (GB) 105 and 110(8-cyl. and 3-litre twin-cam only)]
  • Talbot (all 105C and 110C)
  • Talbot Lago (8-cylinder 1930-1935, 4 Litre 6-cylinder 1936-1939, 4 1/2 Litre 1946-1948)
  • Tatra*
  • Triumph (Dolomite 8 and Gloria 6 models only)
  • Vauxhall (25-70 and 30-98 only)
  • Voisin
  • Wills Sainte Claire (All from 1921)
  • Willys-Knight (Series 66, 66A, 66B Custom bodied only)*

The items marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that these models require application to be considered a classic car.

Classic Car Club of America
(CCCA) Organization which defines which cars are true classics. 1645 Des Plaines River Road, Suite 7A, Des Plaines, IL, 60018-2206, ph 847.390.0443
Classification society
Independent and reputable organizations which verifies and inspects vessels for seaworthiness. As technical experts, they serve to provide the necessary basis for adjusting insurance rates for the vessel.
Classification System
Class II
Class M driver’s license

class MClass M

In some provinces of Canada, a driver’s license which permits operating one or more of the following

  1. Motorcycles
  2. limited-speed motorcycle (motor scooter)
  3. motor-assisted bicycle (moped)
Class of Thread
Threads differ by the amount of tolerance or tolerance and allowance specified. Classes 1A, 2A, and 3A apply to external threads, and Classes 1B, 2B and 3B apply to internal threads.
Class rate
A shipping term for the fees charged for commodities grouped according to similar shipping characteristics.
Claw hammer

claw hammerClaw Hammer

A hammer with a forked end on the head which is used for removing nails.

Claxton horn
A Horn which makes a particular sound Ah-oo-gah.


Clay model
When the design department is creating a new model, it will be built in clay to full size to determine its looks etc.
Abbreviation for Converter Lockup Clutch–replaced by TCC
Abbreviation for Closed Loop Carburetor Control
Clean Air Act
(CAA) In the U.S., the fundamental legislation to control air pollution. The original Clean Air Act was signed in 1963. The law set emissions standards for stationary sources, such as factories and power plants. Criteria pollutants included lead, ozone, CO, SO2, NOx and PM, as well as air toxics. The CAA was amended several times, most recently in 1990 (P.L. 101-549). The Amendments of 1970 introduced motor vehicle emission standards for automobiles and trucks. In 1990, reformulated gasoline (RFG) and oxygenated gasoline provisions were added. The RFG provision requires use of RFG all year in certain areas. The oxygenated gasoline provision requires the use of oxygenated gasoline during certain months, when CO and ozone pollution are most serious. The regulations also require certain fleet operators to use clean-fuel vehicles in 22 cities.
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
This legislation to improve the quality of the atmosphere and curb acid rain promotes the use of cleaner fuels in vehicles and stationary sources.
Clean Development Mechanism
(CDM) A Kyoto Protocol program that enables industrialized countries to finance emissions-avoiding projects in developing countries and receive credit for reductions achieved against their own emissions limitation targets.
Clean diesel fuel
An evolving definition of diesel fuel with lower emission specifications, which strictly limit sulfur content.
A product to purify or remove unwanted substances.

Cleaner Bi-metal Sensor
Cleaner Duct And Valve Vacuum Motor
Cleaner element
Cleaner horn
Cleaner intake
Clean Fuel
The CAA (as amended in 1990) specification that identifies RFG and alternative fuels as clean fuel.
Clean-Fuel Fleet Program
Federal program requiring fleet purchase of Clean-Fuel Vehicles beginning in 1988.
Clean-Fuel Vehicle
(CFV)A vehicle that has been certified by the EPA to meet the clean-fuel standards of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The three categories of federal CFV standards from least to most stringent are LEV, ULEV, and ZEV. The ILEV standard is voluntary and does not need to be adopted by states as part of the Clean-Fuel Fleet Program. CFVs are eligible for two federal programs, the California Pilot Program and the Clean-Fuel Fleet Program. CFV exhaust emissions standards for light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks are numerically similar to those of CARB’s California Low-Emission Vehicle Program.
Cleaning unit
Clean oil
Fresh oil that has not been used in a vehicle before.
Clean oil lubrication
A lubrication system where fresh oil is supplied to the engine as needed — such as in a two-stroke engine.
Clean shot
Trucker slang for ‘No highway patrol around’ as in ‘Large Car you got a clean shot all the way to the state line.’
A given amount of space between two parts such as between piston and cylinder, bearing and Journal , etc.

Clearance control
Clearance depression
Clearance fit
Parts that are assembled so that there is clearance between them so that one part can slide in or on the other. Also called sliding fit
Clearance height
  1. The distance between the ground and the lowest portion of the bottom of a vehicle (not counting the wheels). Also called ground clearance.
  2. The distance between the top of a vehicle and the bottom of a bridge or tunnel which determines whether the vehicle can pass under it.
Clearance lamp
A light which is mounted on the extreme edges of the roof of a truck to show the maximum height and width of a vehicle. Also called marker lamp.
Clearance pocket compressor
Small space in a cylinder from which compressed gas is not completely expelled. This space is called the compressor clearance space or pocket. For effective operation, compressors are designed to have as small a clearance space as possible.
Clearance sensor
Clearance volume
The space above a piston when it is at the top dead center.
Clear coat
A clear paint covering used on modern vehicle bodies. It is the top coat.
Clear flood mode
A situation in which a carburetor or fuel injection system increases the amount of air or reduces the amount of fuel when necessary to correct a problem of Flooding.
Clear lacquer
A paint finish or sealer that is ‘crystal-clear’ transparent, durable, dries rapidly, and usually does not require sanding.
Clear system
Clearwater stern
A stern with a shoeless stern frame
  1. An attaching bracket
  2. Clips at intervals on the horizontal stiffeners of hatch coamings to secure the hatch covers
  3. A fitting with two prongs which is attached to the wall of a cargo ship or trailer so that one end of a rope or strap could be knotted and the other end secures the shipment or the shipping mats or battens in place. Also called a kevel.
Abbreviation for Comité de Liaison de la Construction d’Equipements et de Pièces d’Automobiles (i.e., European Association of Automotive Suppliers).
A U-shaped metal piece with holes in each end through which a pin or bolt is run, used for attaching the brake pedal to the power brake booster pushrod, the clutch pedal to the clutch cable or master cylinder pushrod and for various other connections on an automobile. Clevises are sometimes used in other parts of the brake system, like attaching the parking brake cable to the parking brake lever at the rear brakes
Clevis Connector
A connector which is used to connect a strand of leaf chain that has an inner link end to a clevis block that has an inner link configuration.
Clevis pin

clevis pinClevis pin

  • A cylinder with a head at one end and a hole at the other. When the clevis pin is inserted into a hole, the head prevents it from going all the way through. A Cotter pin or Hitch pin clip is inserted in the other end of the clevis pin to keep it secure.
  • A pin which is used to connect a strand of leaf chain that has an inner link end to a clevis block that has an outer link configuration. The clevis manufacturer should supply this part so that one can be assured that it will be compatible with the clevis block.
  1. The action of inserting a bicycle shoe’s bracket into the receiving part of a click-in pedal (formerly known as a clipless pedal).
  2. A colloquial term for a Kilometre
Click-in pedals

clipless pedalClick-in Pedal

A term for road bike pedals that use a releasable mechanism like that of a ski binding to lock onto cleated shoes and do not use toe clips or straps. Replaces the term Clipless pedals. Some brands are SPD, Look, Time, and Speedplay.

Click-type torque wrench
A torque wrench which gives out an audible click when the preset torque is reached.
Climate change
  1. The international concern that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere are changing the climate in ways detrimental to our social and economic well-being.
  2. A term used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but especially to significant change from one prevailing climatic condition to another. In some cases, climate change has been used synonymously with the term global warming; scientists, however, tend to use the term in a wider sense inclusive of natural changes in climate, including climatic cooling.
Climate control
  1. A lever or button which you can move to change the temperature in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. It controls the heater, vent, and/or air conditioner.
  2. A space in which an ideal climate is maintained by some devices.
Climatic chamber
A test area into which an automobile can be placed to see if it will meet the extremes of temperature and humidity.
A vehicle salesman who can sell anything to anyone–even the tough customer.
Climbing ability
While some vehicles may have a high top end speed on a road with no incline, the real test of a vehicle in mountainous terrain is its ability to go up a hill at an adequate speed (i.e., its climbing ability).
A tire whose edges hook under the curved-in hooked edge of a special rim, not commonly found anymore on bicycles and often confused with the common Wired-on tire.
Clincher rims
Type of wheel rim used with early beaded-edge tires
Clincher tire
A tire whose edges hook under the curved-in hooked edge of a special rim, not commonly found anymore on bicycles and often confused with the common Wired-on tire.
Clinch nut
A nut having a pilot which, after insertion in a hole, is clinched or staked in place to prevent rotation.
Powdered cement, produced by heating a properly proportioned mixture of finely ground raw materials (calcium carbonate, silica, alumina, and iron oxide) in a kiln to a temperature of about 1480°C.
An instrument which measures the steepness of a hill.
  1. To move at a fast pace
  2. The removable front end of a vehicle, usually one designed for racing.
  3. A securing fastener
Clip installer
Clipless pedal
Clipless pedals

click-in pedalClipless pedal

An obsolete term for road bike pedals that use a releasable mechanism like that of a ski binding to lock onto cleated shoes and do not use toe clips or straps. Preferred term is Click-in pedals. Some brands are SPD, Look, Time, and Speedplay.

Clip-on engine
An engine that is attached to a conventional bicycle frame
  1. Low racing handlebars for a motorcycle that clamp directly onto the fork legs
  2. Handlebars that attach directly to the fork tubes, rather than to the top yoke, that hold the fork tubes together
Clip-on weight
A wheel weight that is clipped on the rim between the rim and the tire. It is used to balance a wheel.
Clip Pedals
Clip pliers
Clip screw
A fastener that is secured in place by a screw.
Clip screw gate

Clip screw gateClip screw gate

A D-shape carabineer

Abbreviation for Coolant
  1. An instrument showing the time.
  2. An odometer as in the statement I want to buy this car, but it has too many miles on the clock.
  3. To record the speed or time that vehicle makes.
  4. To turn the odometer back (an illegal practice)
  1. The action of recording the speed of a vehicle.
  2. In Britain, it is the action of turning the odometer back.
Abbreviation for central locking.
Rotation to the right like the direction of clock hands. In most cases it is the direction to secure a nut to a bolt. It is the opposite to counterclockwise.
To obstruct a passageway or track so that the normal flow or operation of something is hindered.
Close call
In driving it is the near possibility of an accident.
Close coils
The coils or loops of a spring which are tightly together.
Close coupled sedan
Close-coupled sedan
Similar to the sedan, this body style is shorter and thus usually accommodates only five passengers. The rear quarter windows were eliminated.
Closed bevel
When two matching bevelled items are mated, they are closed. If the bevel in one does not match the other, they are open, i.e., open bevel.
Closed car
A vehicle with a hard top (i.e., not a convertible)
Closed circuit
Electrical circuit in which electrons are flowing.
Closed container
Container sealed by means of a lid or other device so that neither liquid nor vapor will escape from it at ordinary temperatures.
Closed cooling system
Closed crankcase ventilation
A system in which crankcase vapors are discharged into the engine Intake system (usually through the intake manifold) and pass through the engine cylinders rather than being discharged into the atmosphere.
Closed Distribution System
A shipping system confined to moving goods between specified plants and facilities.
Closed-end connector
Solderless connector shaped like a hat. Used to join two, three, or more wires together. Similar to wire connectors used in home wiring, but installed by crimping instead of twisting
Closed end lease
Most leases offered today are close-end leases, meaning that the residual value is fixed and stated in the lease contract. The lessee’s financial obligations are unaffected by what the vehicle is actually worth when the lease ends. In other words, the lessee assumes no risk for the depreciation of the vehicle.
Closed loop
  1. An operating condition or mode which enables modification of programmed instructions based on a feedback system
  2. A condition, after the appropriate sensors have indicated that predetermined conditions have been met, where the computer actively controls the fuel system and other functions based on exhaust gas conditions and other parameters.
  3. The repeated times when the EFI computer uses the feedback on the mixture provided by the oxygen sensor to control the injected amounts of fuel.
Closed-Loop Carburetion
System in which the fuel/air ratio in the engine is carefully controlled to optimize emissions performance. A closed-loop system uses a fuel metering correction signal to optimize fuel metering.
Closed loop fuel control
The normal operating mode for a feedback carburetor system. Once the engine is warmed up, the computer can interpret an analog voltage signal from an exhaust gas oxygen sensor and alter the air/fuel ratio accordingly with a duty-cycle solenoid or solenoid-controlled valve.
Closed loop mode
Once the engine has reached warm-up temperature, the engine management computer collects the precise data from all the sensors (coolant temperature sensor, throttle position sensor, oxygen sensor, etc.) to determine the most efficient air/fuel mixture for combustion.
Closed loop system
  1. A self-adjusting system which keeps conditions stable and is controlled by negative Feedback from a sensor.
  2. A computer controlled system which monitors the exhaust gas with a sensor and adjusts the fuel delivery, and may or may not adjust spark timing, transmission, and other devices to meet emission and driveability criteria
Closed system
An anti-lock brake system with some means, generally a pump, to restore hydraulic pressure that’s bled off during an ABS stop
Closed type check valve
A valve which allows fluid flow in only one direction.

Usually a pushy salesman who is assigned to convince a hesitating customer to make the purchase of a vehicle when the original salesman can’t make the sale.
Close-ratio gearbox
A transmission in which there is very little difference between one gear ratio and the next. This kind of transmission makes it easy for fast shifting.
Close ratio transmission
A transmission with gear ratios spaced close together.
Closing cam
A cam or rocker which closes a valve in a mechanically operated valve system. Other types close the valve through the operation of the valve spring. Also called closing rocker.
Closing force
The force needed for the spring to close a valve.
Closing panel
A panel which covers a hole in the body, interior panels, or frame.
Closing rocker
A cam or rocker which closes a valve in a mechanically operated valve system. Other types close the valve through the operation of the valve spring. Also called closing cam.
Closing system
Cloth upholstery
The fabric of the seats made of cloth rather than leather or vinyl.
Cloud point

  1. The temperature at which diesel oil tends to thicken and cloud up (i.e., become cloudy).
  2. A measure of the ability of a diesel fuel to operate under cold weather conditions. Defined as the temperature at which wax first becomes visible when diesel fuel is cooled under standardized test conditions.
A highway overpass system which has four basic loops for getting on the highway or leaving it.


A security device which surrounds the steering wheel making it difficult for a thief to operate the steering wheel.

Club Cab

clubcabClub Cab

A type of pickup truck (by Dodge) which has a second row of seating; but unlike a crew cab (which has four full size doors) it has a half-door that can be opened only after the main door is opened. The seating is usually a little more cramped than in a crew cab. Also called Extended Cab, King Cab, XtraCab, Access Cab, SuperCab, or Cab Plus.

Club coupe

club coupeClub Coupe

The club coupe designation seems to come from club car, describing the lounge (or parlor car) in a railroad train. The early postwar club coupe combined a shorter-than-sedan body structure with the convenience of a smaller, but full back seat, unlike the single-seat business coupe. That name has been used less frequently in the 1976-86 period, as most notchback two-door models (with trunk rather than hatch) have been referred to as just coupes. Moreover, the distinction between two-door coupes and two-door sedans has grown fuzzy.

Club hammer
A hammer with a short handle but a large, heavy head. It is used to hit the back end of a chisel or drift.
Club Parisien
A vehicle which might run but is rusty and in need of a lot of repair work.
Cluster gear
The cluster of gears that are all cut on one long gear blank. The cluster gears ride in the bottom of the transmission. The cluster provides a connection between the transmission Input shaft and the Output shaft. Also called Counter gear.
Cluster head
A set of traffic lights mounted on a backplate.
Cluster panel
The reverse side of the instrument panel or dash where all the wiring or circuit board is located.
Coil spring clutchClick image to supersize
Coil spring clutch
  1. An electrically operated coupling device that connects or disconnects the compressor pulley and compressor shaft
  2. A device that disconnects the engine from the transmission, to allow the vehicle to change gears, and then allows the engine and transmission to resume contact and turn together at a new speed.
Clutch aligning set
A group of tools used to align the clutch plates with the flywheel. Usually there is a shaft, pilot bearing adapters, and tapered universal sleeves
Clutch aligning tool
A tool which looks like a bar or a disc which can be used to line up the clutch plates with the flywheel.
Clutch antirattle spring clip

Antirattle springAntirattle spring

A specially shaped wire that prevents the clutch plate and spring from making noise when no pressure is applied to the plate.

Clutch basket
Part of the clutch assembly containing drive plates. Primary drive gear engages teeth on the outside of the clutch basket.
Clutch brake
A device for slowing down the clutch discs (and thus the gears themselves) so that shifting is smoother and quieter.
Clutch cable
A cable (usually a cluster of thin strands within a plastic sheath) which operates the movement of the clutch plates. At the other end is a pedal (in automobiles) or a handlebar lever (left side).
Clutch compressor signal
Clutch cover
A metal cover which encases the clutch plates.
Clutch cycling switch
A device that turns the compressor on and off in response to changes in pressure or evaporator temp
Clutch diaphragm spring

Clutch diaphragm springClutch diaphragm spring

A round dish-shaped piece of Flat spring steel. It is used to force the Pressure plate against the clutch disc in some Clutches.

Clutch disc

Clutch discClutch disc

A spinning plate located at the end of the driveshaft facing the engine Flywheel and covered with a friction material such as asbestos. When the clutch is engaged, the disc is squeezed between the Flywheel and the clutch pressure plate, causing the engine and the transmission to turn at the same speed. British term is called clutch plate.

Clutch disk
Clutch drag
When the clutch discs do not disengage completely after the clutch pedal is depressed or the clutch lever is pulled in, there is excessive friction so that it is difficult to shift gears because both the driven discs and the input shaft are both rotating.
Clutch explosion
clutches have literally flown apart (exploded) when subjected to high rpm, a Scatter shield is used on competition cars to protect the driver and spectators from flying parts in the event the clutch explodes.
Clutch facing
The asbestos-type lining on a clutch plate.
Clutch field
A clutch part on an air condition compressor, consisting of hundreds of windings of wire, that creates a magnetic field when current is applied, pulling in the armature to engage the clutch
Clutch fork
When the clutch pedal (or lever) is depressed, it pulls on a cable which moves the clutch fork which in turn pushes on the release bearing and disengages the clutch discs. Also called Clutch release fork.
Clutch holder
Tool to secure the clutch basket and clutch hub while losening or tightening the clutch securing nut or primary drive gear nut.
Clutch housing
A Cast iron or Aluminum Housing that surrounds the Flywheel and clutch mechanism. Also called Bell housing.
Clutch hub
Part of the clutch that engages with the plain driven clutch plates. The clutch hub is mounted on the transmission input shaft.
The act of operating the clutch in order to shift gears

Clutch interlock switch
A switch that prevents the vehicle from starting unless the clutch pedal/lever is pressed.
Clutch judder
A British term for clutch shudder.
Clutch lever
A hand-operated blade located on the left side of the handlebar of a motorcycle. When the clutch lever is pulled in, it disengages the clutch so the engine and the crankshaft can turn independently of the transmission and the rider can change gears.

Clutch lining
The friction material on the face of the clutch discs.
Clutch, magnetic
Clutch built into automobile compressor flywheel. operated magnetically. which allows pulley to revolve without driving compressor when refrigerating effect is not required.
Clutch orifice tube system
Clutch pedal
A foot-operated pedal located on the floor of the vehicle to the left of the brake pedal on cars with manual transmission. When the clutch pedal is depressed, it disengages the clutch so the engine and the crankshaft can turn independently of the transmission and the driver can change gears.
Clutch pedal free travel
The specified distance that the Clutch pedal may be depressed before the throwout bearing actually contacts the clutch release fingers.
Clutch pilot bearing
Until the early 1970’s, the clutch pilot bearing was a bronze bushing placed at the end of the crankshaft or in the center of the flywheel to support the outboard end of the transmission input shaft. More recent clutch pilot bearings are the ball bearing type.
Clutch plate
The clutch discs.
Clutch pressure plate

Clutch Pressure PlateClutch Pressure Plate

That part of a clutch assembly that through spring pressure, squeezes the clutch disc against the flywheel thereby transmitting a driving force through the assembly. To disengage the clutch, the pressure plate is drawn away from the flywheel via linkage.

Clutch pulley
The clutch part turned by the drivebelt. The pulley or rotor free-wheels until the clutch is engaged. On rotors which contain the field, the electrical connection is made through brushes similar to alternator and starter motor brushes
Clutch release bearing
Clutch release finger
A flat piece of metal shaped like a curved finger. Through the movement of the throwout fork, the throwout bearing pushes against the clutch release fingers or levers to release pressure against the Pressure plate. Also called clutch release lever.
Clutch release fork

Clutch Release ForkClutch Release Fork

A lever attached to the clutch throw-out bearing. When the fork presses the throw-out bearing against the center of the conical diaphragm spring, it pops inward, releasing the pressure plate from the flywheel and freeing the clutch disc so that the engine can turn without driving the transmission.

Clutch release lever
Clutch release mechanism
Mechanism that moves the clutch pressure plate away from clutch pack, allowing clutch to slip.
Clutch rotor
The clutch part turned by the drivebelt. The pulley or rotor free-wheels until the clutch is engaged. On rotors which contain the field, the electrical connection is made through brushes similar to alternator and starter motor brushes
Clutch semi-centrifugal release finger
Clutch semi-centrifugal release fingers
Clutch release fingers that have a weight attached to them so that at high rpm the release fingers place additional pressure on the clutch pressure plate.
Clutch shaft
The shaft that takes power from the clutch into the Gearbox. Also called the Drive pinion.
Clutch shudder
When the clutch tries to engage (when the pedal or lever is released), but the discs do not mate securely, the discs engage intermittently and slip past each other making a noise like a shudder. In Britain, it is called clutch judder.
Clutch slip
Clutch slip occurs when the clutch tries to engage (when the pedal or lever is released), but the discs do not mate securely.
Clutch solenoid
In some automotive air conditioners, a Solenoid that operates a clutch on the compressor drive Pulley. When the clutch is engaged, the compressor is driven and cooling takes place.
Clutch spring
The clutch cover will have several posts over which the clutch spring (shaped like a cylinder) fits and pushes the pressure discs against the driven clutch discs to transmit power.
Clutch starter
Clutch starter drive
Clutch starter interlock
A device which disengages the starter once the engine has started.
Clutch stop
A clutch brake
Clutch throw-out bearing

Throw-out bearingThrow-out bearing

A part of the clutch activated by the Clutch pedal that allows the clutch to disengage. If you allow the vehicle to idle in gear with the Clutch pedal depressed, instead of shifting to neutral gear, you can wear out the throwout bearing. The British term is Clutch release bearing.

Clutch throwout fork
The device or fork that straddles the throwout bearing and that is used to force the throwout bearing against the clutch release fingers.
Clutch thrust bearing
The clutch release bearing.
Cluttered engine compartment
An engine compartment or bay in which all the available space around the engine is occupied by other objects (alternator, pumps, air intake system, battery, wiper motor, heater motor, windshield washer motor, starter, radiator, air conditioner, hoses, pipes, wiring, electronic boxes, etc.)
Abbreviation for Calculated Load Value
Abbreviation for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. A funding category under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century (TEA-21) transportation bill. The funding is generally used for air quality projects.
C-matic transmission
Citroen’s name for a semi-automatic transmission
Abbreviation for Central Multi-port Fuel Injection
Abbreviation for cold mixture heater–A device which helps to reduce cold engine emissions and improve driveability during engine warm-up. Also CHM.
C motorhome
Abbreviation for Camshaft position sensor which detects the position of the #1 cylinder for fuel and ignition coil synchronization
Abbreviation for Camshaft Position Reference
Abbreviation for Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
Abbreviation for Commercial Motor Vehicle. A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle meets one of the following:

  • has a gross combination weight rating greater than or equal to 26,000 lb. including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,000 lb.
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 26,001 lb.
  • is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver
  • a motor vehicle of any size that transports hazardous materials of any kind.
Abbreviation for Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which is similar to the U.S. FMVSS
Abbreviation for Compressed Natural Gas
Abbreviation for Carbon monoxide. A deadly, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas found in the engine exhaust. Toxic even in relatively small concentrations. Formed by incomplete burning of Hydrocarbons. Thus at its greatest with a rich mixture.
Abbreviation for Carbon dioxide
CO2 indicator
Instrument used to indicate the percentage of carbon dioxide in stack gases.
  1. A vehicle with an enclosed two-door type body with permanent back panels and top, it is similar to the coupe, but the seating is different. A full width cross seat in the rear accommodates three passengers. Two separate seats in the front fold out of the way to admit rear passengers. There is no trunk, but trunk racks are frequently provided.
  2. A luxurious bus, a tour bus.
  3. A rail car that carries a large number of people.
Coach bolt
A bolt with a mushroom head, but just below the head there is a square neck and then the threads. The square neck fits into a matching square hole to keep the bolt from moving.
A person or company which manufactures special bodies for automobiles.
Coachbuilt body
A separate body which is not integral with the chassis.
Coachbuilt construction
The process of building an automobile so that the body is separate from the chassis.

  • Often the bodies are built to customer specifications and may differ from one another even though they are built upon the same chassis design.
An obsolete term for a painted pinstripe (a thin line of paint of a color that complements or contrasts the body color).
Pinstriping along the side of a vehicle or along the side of the fuel tank of a motorcycle.
Coach paint
A slow-drying, high-gloss paint used on cars in the early 1900s. It was painted on car bodies with a brush.
Although it is strictly the body of an automobile, it is particularly the comfort and luxury appointments as distinguished from the operational chassis thus it would include the interior, seats, Upholstery, instrument panels, fenders, etc. — everything but the mechanicals and the chassis. The French call it Carrosserie, the Germans call it Karosserie, and the Italians call it Carrozzeria. Also called bodywork.
Coal Bed Methane
Prior to the mid-1980’s, methane from coal seams was classified as an uneconomic resource–one of vast potential, but low value due to poor recovery rates and high associated water production. By applying new production technologies to this resource, coalbed methane has become the single largest new source of gas supply in the past decade. Current estimates show approximately 100 Tcf of coalbed methane that appears to be economically recoverable in the lower 48 states alone. Methane is generated during coal formation and is contained in the coal microstructure. Typical recovery entails pumping water out of the coal to allow the gas to escape. Methane is the principal component of natural gas. Coal bed methane can be added to natural gas pipelines without any special treatment.
Coal bucket
Colloquial term for a dump trailer, coal trailer, or coal truck
Coalescing action
The process of smaller water droplets merging together into larger droplets which takes place in a water separator
Coal gas
A fuel gas substitute for natural gas obtained synthetically through the carbonization (distillation by heat in the absence of air) of coal. Typical coal gas mixtures include high concentrations of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
Coal gasification
The process of converting coal into gas. The basic process involves crushing coal to a powder, which is then heated in the presence of steam and oxygen to produce a gas. The gas is then refined to reduce sulfur and other impurities. The gas can be used as a fuel or processed further and concentrated into chemical or liquid fuel.
Coal liquefaction
A chemical process that converts coal into clean-burning liquid hydrocarbons, such as synthetic crude oil and methanol.
Coal Synfuel
Coal-based solid fuel that has been processed by a coal synfuel plant; and coal-based fuels such as briquettes, pellets, or extrusions, which are formed from fresh or recycled coal and binding materials.
Coal Trailer
A dump trailer, or a coal hopper bottom trailer. Also called coal bucket
Coal Truck
usually refers to a dump truck used to haul coal. Also called coal bucket
The vertical boundary of a hatch or skylight.

Coarse-cut file
A file with deep grooves for removing a lot of metal quickly. It leaves rough edges which will need to be cleaned up with a smooth-cut file
Coarse file
A file with deep grooves for removing a lot of metal quickly. It leaves rough edges which will need to be cleaned up with a smooth-cut file
Coarse pitch
Gears or screw threads which have wide gaps between each tooth or thread.

Coarse thread
The threads of a screw are wider apart. Opposite to fine thread.

  1. To proceed, usually downhill, on a bicycle without pedaling; or in a motor vehicle without the aid of the engine.


  2. A designation on a cruise control switch which (when activated) will cause the vehicle to slow down to a lower cruise controlled speed.
Domestic shipping routes along the coast.
Coast-down test
A test of a vehicle’s aerodynamic by towing it to a speed of 100 km/h then releasing it to see its ultimate distance in light of various external factors, such the road surface, atmospheric pressure, and direction and speed of the wind.
A vehicle, usually a bicycle, which has no means of propulsion (you can’t pedal it and it is without any engine).
Coaster brake
A braking system on a bicycle in which the rider stops pedaling forward (thus coasting) and pedals backward to engage the brake within the hub of the rear wheel.
  1. A covering of paint or similar substance.
  2. To apply a covering of paint, etc.
  3. Single coat means to apply one layer of material on a surface. Double coat — to apply two coats of adhesive, coating, or sealer to a surface. In spaying, it means to spray first a single coat with vertical strokes and then a second coat across with horizontal strokes, or vice versa
Coat drier
Coated abrasive
Sandpaper or grinding wheel where an abrasive material such as sand or diamond grit is glued to a backing material and used to reduce or smooth a surface.
Coated bore
Thin coating of chrome or iron applied to the inside of a cylinder by electroplating or wire explosion spray coating.
Coated electrode
Coated Membrane
A protective covering usually of paint.

Coat oven
Coaxial cable
A two-wire electric cable that has a solid inner conductor surrounded by insulation which in turn is surrounded by the second wire (usually braided) which is also surrounded by insulation.
A model of small car produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motorsfrom 2008-08.
To put something together in a rough or clumsy manner. This is usually done as a temporary measure until more permanent repairs can be made.
The action of putting something together in a rough or clumsy manner. This is usually done as a temporary measure until more permanent repairs can be made.
Abbreviation for Conventional oxidation catalyst
A tap or shut-off valve which controls the flow of liquid.

The area, usually in racing cars, in which the driver sits and the instruments in front of him.
Abbreviation for Cash On Delivery A shipping term where the receiver must pay the price of the goods to the carrier at the time of delivery and may refuse reception. Contrasts with Cash before delivery (CBD).
A system of symbols (as letters, numbers, or words) used to represent meaning of information.

Code hopping
A technology which prevents thieves with scanners from either picking up your encoded remote-control signal or from randomly firing numerous codes at your vehicle in order to stumble upon the one that will disarm your security system.
Code installation
Refrigeration or air conditioning installation which conforms to the local code and/or the national code for safe and efficient installations.
Abbreviation for Cab-Over-Engine, a type of tractor, or power unit in which the driver sits in a cab mounted over the engine. The COE has a flat nose and is shorter in length compared with a conventional power unit.
Coefficient of apparent expansion
The coefficient of expansion when the expansion of e.g., a dilatometer is neglected.
Coefficient of conductivity
Measure of the relative rate at which different materials conduct heat. Copper is a good conductor of heat and, therefore, has a high coefficient of conductivity.
Coefficient of drag
(Cd) A numerical value representing aerodynamic efficiency. The lower the value, the more efficient the shape.

Coefficient of expansion
  1. Increase in unit length, area, or volume for one degree rise in temperature.
  2. The fractional change in length, area or volume per unit change in tem of a solid, liquid, or gas at a given constant pressure. e.g., an aluminum bar stretches 12 millionths percent of its original length for each degree F rise in temperature. Also referred to as ‘expansivity’
Coefficient of friction
  1. A ratio of the force required to slide an object over a surface to the mass of the object, and is always less than 1.00
  2. A measurement of the amount of friction developed between two objects or surfaces in physical contact when one of the objects is drawn across the other. If a book were placed on a table and a measuring scale used to pull the book, the amount of weight or pull registered on the scale would be the coefficient of friction. This coefficient of friction is dependent upon both surfaces in contact. It is large if the surfaces are rough and small if they are smooth.
Coefficient of performance
(COP) Ratio of work performed or accomplished as compared to the energy used.
Coefficient Thermistor
Abbreviation for Container On Flat Car — a method for moving shipping containers which involves transporting them on railroad flat cars.
Narrow vacant space between two bulkheads or floors. A double watertight bulkhead.
The process of burning natural gas in conjunction with another fuel to reduce air pollutants.
Any toothed gear. A Sprocket attached directly to the rear wheel hub on a single-speed bike and mounted on a freewheel on a multi-speed bike.

Cog belt

Cog beltCog Belt

A toothed belt normally of fiberglass-reinforced rubber for driving the camshaft from the crankshaft. In cars, cog belts are primarily used with overhead camshafts but are sometimes used to drive pumps.

Primary source of energy that is also used to produce a secondary source of energy. Example The use of waste heat from an electrical energy generation system to heat a building.
Cogeneration appliance
A device that has a primary function of producing energy, but also can produce a secondary source. For example the primary function of a vehicle engine is to provide motive power, but the heat of the engine can also produce heat for the passengers.
Cogged belt


Nonuniform angular velocity, i.e., rotation occurring in jerks or increments rather than smooth motion. When an armature coil enters the magnetic field produced by the field coils, it tends to speed up and slow down when leaving it. This effect becomes apparent at low speeds. The fewer the number of coils, the more noticeable it can be
  1. Metal bands or strands of wire wrapped in a circular fashion.
  2. CoilCoil

    A pulse-type transformer for increasing the voltage to fire the spark plugs.

Coil binding
Compressing a valve spring to the point at which each coil touches the adjacent coil
Coil buildup
Buildup of a magnetic field while current is flowing through primary windings of coil.
Coil chimney
The top of the ignition coil where the high tension leads are attached.
Coil choke
Coil ignition
The standard ignition system which uses an ignition coil which stores the power from the battery and steps it up. Then the high voltage is sent to the spark plugs.

Coil ignition with Hall sensor
Coil lead
A British term for the high tension wire going from the coil to the distributor. In America, it is called the coil wire.
Coil resistor
Coil spring


  1. A section of Spring steel rod wound in a spiral pattern or shape. Widely used in both Front and Rear suspension systems. Like large metal bed springs, these coils cushion and absorb the shocks and bumps as the vehicle is driven. They are usually found near the front wheels, but some cars have them in the rear as well. Often the shock absorbers run up the center of the coil springs.
  2. A coiled metal spring used in a suspension fork. Generally considered to be plusher, but heavier, than air springs.
Coil spring clutch
Coil Spring ClutchClick image to supersize
Coil Spring Clutch

An assembly that connects the engine to a manual transmission and consists of an engine flywheel, clutch disc, and pressure plate. The pressure plate is bolted to the flywheel and turns with it. The clutch disc is a flat steel disc with a splined hub that slides on the transmission input shaft. A ring of strong springs squeeze the clutch disc between the flywheel and pressure plate. When the clutch disc is locked in place, engine power passes from flywheel to clutch disc to transmission input shaft, thereby driving the car.

Coil spring compressor
Coil tester
Coil tower
The top of the ignition coil where the high tension leads are attached.
Coil wire
The high tension wire going from the coil to the distributor or spark plug.
Coin holder
A device which retains coins for easy access.
  1. As a product of coal. A solid carbonaceous residue derived from low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal from which the volatile constituents are driven off by baking in an oven at temperatures as high as 1100°C so that the fixed carbon and residual ash are fused together. Coke is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in smelting iron ore in a blast furnace. Coke from coal is grey, hard, and porous and has a heating value of 24.8 million Btu per ton.
  2. As a product of petroleum. A residue high in carbon content and low in hydrogen that is the final product of thermal decomposition in the condensation process in cracking. This product is reported as marketable coke or catalyst coke. The conversion is 5 barrels (of 42 U.S. gallons each) per short ton. Coke from petroleum has a heating value of 6.024 million Btu per barrel.
Coke breeze
The term refers to the fine sizes of coke, usually less than one-half inch, that are recovered from coke plants. It is commonly used for sintering iron ore.
Coke button
A button-shaped piece of coke resulting from standard laboratory tests that indicates the coking or free-swelling characteristics of a coal; expressed in numbers and compared with a standard.
Coked up
A British term for carboned up to indicate something covered in carbon.
Coke oven gas
The mixture of permanent gases produced by the carbonization of coal in a coke oven at temperatures in excess of 1,000°C.
Coke plants
Plants where coal is carbonized for the manufacture of coke in slot or beehive ovens.
Thermal refining processes used to produce fuel gas, gasoline blendstocks, distillates, and petroleum coke from the heavier products of atomspheric and vacuum distillation. Includes: Delayed Coking, Flexicoking, and Fluid Coking
  1. The relative absence of heat
  2. A temperature considerably below normal.
Cold air
Air that is below the prevailing ambient temperature.
Cold air induction
The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is more dense than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.
Cold air intake
The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is more dense than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.
Cold cap
A process in retreading a tire where the tire is placed in a pressure chamber in a temperature range of 91°C to 100°C until bonding of the pre-cured tread rubber is achieved.


Cold Chisel

Cold ChiselCold Chisel

A thick pencil shaped tool with a sharp flat end like a blade screwdriver. When you hit the blunt end with a hammer, it forces the blade end into metal to mark it or even cut through it.

Cold-condensate corrosion
The corrosion of the inside of an exhaust system by direct chemical attack resulting from an acidic, aqueous solution that condenses from the exhaust gas at relatively low temperatures and collects at the cooler rear portions of the exhaust system.
Cold cranking ability
A measurement in amps of a battery’s ability to start a vehicle under cold temperatures. A higher number is better than a lower one. Basic automobile batteries begin around 400 cold-cranking amps (which is only marginally acceptable in most vehicles). The best batteries are around 1000 cold-cranking amps.
Cold cranking amps
Measurement of cranking amperes a battery can deliver over a period of 30 seconds at 0°F (-18°C).

Cold-cranking rating
The minimum number of amperes a fully charged 12-volt battery can deliver for 30 seconds at -18°C without falling below 7.2 battery volts
Cold engine compensator
When an engine is cold a richer mixture of fuel is required. The cold engine injector supplies more fuel to compensate for the condensation of fuel against the cold combustion chamber walls and intake manifold
Cold Filter Plugging Point
(CFPP) A measure of the ability of a diesel fuel to operate under cold weather conditions. Defined as the lowest temperature at which diesel fuel will pass through a fine wire mesh screen of the test apparatus.
Cold forming
A process of shaping an object (esp. made of stainless steel without heating it or using only a little heat below recrystallization temperature. The object is pressed into shape by appropriate dies at high speed in order to give the object increased tensile strength and hardness as well as a decrease in ductility. Also called cold heading or cold working
Cold galvanizing
The application of zinc to prevent rusting. It can be applied by a paint with lots of zinc or by electroplating with zinc.
Cold heading
  1. A process of shaping an object (esp. made of stainless steel without heating it or using only a little heat below recrystallization temperature. The object is pressed into shape by appropriate dies at high speed in order to give the object increased tensile strength and hardness as well as a decrease in ductility. Also called cold forming or cold working
  2. Forcing metal to flow cold into dies to form thicker sections and more or less intricate shapes. The operation is performed in specialized machines where the metal, in the form of a wire or bar stock, may be upset or headed in certain sections to a larger size and, if desired, may be extruded in other sections to a smaller diameter than the stock wire.
Cold idle speed solenoid

Cold idle speed solenoidCold Idle Speed Solenoid

A motor or solenoid operated by the computer can also be used to push a plunger against the throttle linkage in order to increase cold-idle speed.

Cold in-place recycling
A system of re-using pavement that may have a lot of potholes, or is otherwise in poor shape. The top layer of old pavement (about 3 inches) is broken up with hand tools or by a paving machine. Asphalt binder is added to the ground up pavement, processed, and laid back down on the road. The paving machine will do this in one continuous operation. The new recycled mat will then be topped with a surface treatment or an asphalt overlay. This process is used on medium or low-volume roads.
Cold junction
That part of a thermoelectric system which absorbs heat as the system operates.
Cold lash
The valve lash clearance, measured between the rocker arm and valve tip, when the engine is cold.
Cold manifold
An intake manifold not heated by exhaust gas
Cold mixture Heater
(CMH) (CHM) A device which helps to reduce cold engine emissions and improve driveability during engine warm-up.
Cold plug
A spark plug which has a short insulator nose which absorbs less heat and dissipates heat quickly. A colder plug is used in a hot engine while a hot plug is used in a cold engine. Thus if the plugs are fouling too much, try a hotter plug. If the plugs are coming out white, try a colder plug. The ideal color of the center insulator nose should be a light chocolate brown.
Cold soak cleaner
A strong cleaning solvent used to dissolve and remove varnish on carburetor parts.
Cold solder joint
A poor soldering technique where the solder has not quite melted enough to produce a good electrical contact.
Cold spark plug


Cold spraying
A method of paint spraying where the paint is excessively diluted with solvent. This process makes spraying easy, but the coats are very light.
Cold start
Getting a vehicle started which has been sitting for some time and cooled down to ambient temperature. When temperatures reach -40°C, a vehicle may require three or four times as much battery power as it would during the summer. As well, the carburetor or fuel injection system needs to be much richer (more gasoline than air). Because condensation has a tendency to build up in the gas tank during the winter, the liquid going to the carburetor or fuel injectors may be diluted with water — thus making starting more difficult. The application of isopropyl alcohol (marketed as gasline antifreeze) removes the water from the tank.
Cold starting
Cold start injector valve
A device which supplies fuel under cold temperature depending on coolant temperature and the starter signal. Voltage is suppled by the Fuel pump relay
Cold start enrichment
A method of providing a higher ratio of fuel to air for starting a cold engine. In some cases, more fuel is fed into the engine with a Cold start injector; in other cases, the amount of air is restricted through the use of a Choke.
Cold start injector
A device in a fuel injection system which shoots an extra amount of fuel into the cylinder to increase the ratio of fuel to air.
Cold start valve
Cold Swaging Process
A method of working with steel or other material without application of heat to reduce or form it by drawing to a point or reducing the diameter, as required.
Cold wall
Refrigerator construction which has the inner lining of refrigerator serving as the cooling surface.
Cold weather modulator
(CWM) a vacuum modulator located in the air cleaner on some models. The modulator prevents the air cleaner duct door from opening to non-heated intake air when outside air is below 13°C. Similar to a temperature vacuum switch.
Cold Work
Metal stock that is deformed by hammering, forming, drawing, etc., while the metal is at room temperature and no heat is applied.
Cold working
A process of shaping an object (esp. made of stainless steel without heating it or using only a little heat below recrystallization temperature. The object is pressed into shape by appropriate dies at high speed in order to give the object increased tensile strength and hardness as well as a decrease in ductility. Also called cold forming or cold heading
A gluey protein found in vertebrates. It forms the principal substance in connecting fibers and tissues and in bones, hydrolizing to gelatin when boiled with water to become the primary ingredient in glue
Collapsed piston
A piston whose Skirt diameter has been reduced due to heat and the forces imposed upon it during service in the engine.

Collapsible spare tire
A Space-saver spare.
Collapsible steering column
When a vehicle is involved in an accident, the driver’s chest is forced into the steering wheel. In older cars, the immovable steering column meant that the driver could sustain chest damage. The collapsible steering column telescopes or folds (articulate) so that chest damage is reduced.
  • A sleeve that fits over a shaft.
  • A collapsible wooden container or bin which transforms a pallet into a box.
  • A flanged band or ring. A welded plate used to close a frame or beam penetration through plating.
See Driver Collect.
Collectible car
An older vehicle which may or may not fit in a particular classification but is significant in its own right.

  1. A person who accumulates specialty vehicles
  2. Semiconductor section of transistor, connected to the same polarity as the base.
Collector car
An older car which may not fit into the category of a classic car or a milestone car, but it has nostalgic appeal.
In rural areas, routes serving intra-county, rather than statewide travel. In urban areas, streets providing direct access to neighborhoods as well as direct access to arterials.
Collect Shipment
Shipment where collection of freight charges/advances is made by delivering carrier from the consignee/receiver.
A removable ring or collar which fits into a groove to hold something in place.
Vessel used for transporting coal.
Collision avoidance system
Electronic system used to prevent collisions in inland navigable waterways.
Collision bulkhead
The foremost main transverse watertight bulkhead designed to keep water out of the forward hold in case of bow collision damage. Also called Forepeak bulkhead
Collision insurance
Insurance coverage that pays to repair damages to your vehicle when it is involved in an accident.
Miniature cells peculiar to meats, fish, and poultry which, If disrupted, cause food to become rancid. Low temperatures minimize this action.
Two shipments from different terminals combined to ship as one load.
Colonnade hardtop

Colonnade HardtopColonnade Hardtop

In architecture, the term colonnade describes a series of columns, set at regular intervals, usually supporting an entablature, roof, or series of arches. To meet US federal rollover standards in 1974 (standards that never emerged), General Motors introduced two-door and four-door pillared body types with arch-like quarter windows and sandwich type roof construction. They looked like a cross between true hardtops and miniature limousines. Both styles proved popular (especially the coupe with louvered coach windows and canopy top) and the term colonnade was applied. As their true hardtops disappeared, other manufacturers produced similar bodies with a variety of quarter-window shapes and sizes. These were known by such terms as hardtop coupe, pillared hardtop, or opera-window coupe.

Color anodizing
Color chart
A listing of paint samples of available exterior paint for a vehicle.
Color coat
A coat of paint with the final color. Sometimes a clear coat is applied over it.
Color code
Use of different base colors and colored tracers on insulation of electrical wire for purpose of identification.
  1. Something that is colored the same as the main part of the bodywork. Also called color-keyed or color-matched.
  2. A series of similar things in which each one is a different color to distinguish one from the other, such as the wiring (e.g., the red wire goes from the battery to the fuse box, the blue wire goes from … to the …).
Color matching
Color scheme
The combination of exterior colors which harmonize, e.g., A maroon body and a white roof.
A metal which may be added to chrome-nickel stainless steel to improve its welding and general heat-resistant qualities, by preventing carbide precipitation.
Italian manufacturer of high quality bicycle frame tubes.
Column changer
Column controls
Column gear changer
Column shifter
A gear changer lever and mechanism which is located on the steering column below the steering wheel. In Britain it is called a column changer or column gear changer.
Vessel designed for a combination of passengers, and different types of cargo.
  • A vehicle like a motorcycle with sidecar
  • A truck or tractor coupled to one or more trailers or semi-trailers.
Combination brake system
A dual brake system that uses disc brakes at the front wheels and drum brakes at the rear wheels
Combination lamp
A light or group of lights which serves two or more purposes. For example, the rear combination lamp illumines the running lights (i.e., the ones that are turned on when the headlight is turned on) and brake light and/or the signal light
Combination pliers
A British term for a Lineman’s pliers or slip-joint pliers
Combination spanner
A British term for Combination wrench
Combination tooth lock washer

Combination tooth lock washerCombination tooth lock washer

A hardened circular washer with twisted prongs of teeth protruding from both the inside and the outer edge of the washer.

Combination valve
  1. A brake system hydraulic control device includes a pressure differential valve, metering valve, and proportioning valve
  2. A hydraulic valve usually incorporating a pressure differential warning switch, a metering valve and a proportioning valve. Not all combination valves contain all of these control valves
  3. A single housing that combines two or more hydraulic valves used in a braking system
Combination Vehicle
A vehicle made up of two or more separate units hooked together, such as a tractor-semitrailer combination. Also called an articulated vehicle since units pivot at the coupling point.

Combination weight
Combination wrench

Combination WrenchCombination Wrench

A flat wrench with a hex ring at one end and an open end at the other.

Combined weight rating
Combustible dust
Combustible liquids
A liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8°C. They are subdivided as follows:

  1. Class II Liquids–Those having flash points at or above 37.8°C and below 60°C.
  2. Class IIIA Liquids–Those having flash points at or above 60°C and below 93.4°C.
  3. Class IIIB Liquids–Those having flash points at or above 93.4°C.
Combustible materials
Items adjacent to or in contact with heat-producing devices (e.g., engine, manifold, exhaust pipe, muffler, heater, warm air ducts, etc.) which are made of or surfaced with wood, compressed paper, plant fibers, or other materials that are capable of being ignited and burned. Such materials shall be considered combustible even though flameproofed, fire-retardant treated, or plastered.
  1. The rapid oxidation of fuel accompanied by the production of heat, or heat and light.
  2. The intense burning of the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber to create power. Some used to think that the fuel-air mixture exploded; but further investigation has shown that it rapidly burns.
Combustion air
Air required for safe and proper combustion of fuel gas.
Combustion Chamber
  1. Combustion ChamberCombustion Chamber

    The volume of the space in the cylinder above the piston with the piston at top dead center (TDC) in the compression stroke. The head of the piston, the cylinder walls, and the head form the chamber. Combustion of the fuel-air mixture begins here when ignited by a spark plug. The design and shape of the combustion chamber can affect power, fuel efficiency, and emissions of an engine. Several combustion chamber shapes have been used including Hemispherical combustion chamber, Bathtub combustion chamber, Wedge combustion chamber, Squish combustion chamber, and Piston-crown combustion chamber.

  2. An enclosed vessel in which chemical oxidation of fuel occurs.
  3. The area at the top of the cylinder where the fuel charge burns and pushes the piston down
Combustion chamber recess
The area where combustion occurs in a rotary piston engine
Combustion chamber volume
volume of combustion chamber (space above piston with piston on TDC) measured in cc (cubic centimetres).
Combustion controls
A device which automatically regulates the firing rate at predetermined air-fuel ratios in accordance with load demand.

Combustion engine
Combustion pressure
The pressure created during the combustion of the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, measured in pounds per square inch.
Combustion Process
Combustion products
Constituents resulting from the combustion of a fuel with oxygen. For combustion processes that obtain oxygen from air, this includes the inert gases contained in air but excludes excess air used in the combustion.
Combustion residue
Carbon and other deposits resulting from combustion.
Combustion space
Combustion system
  1. A repair job which has been returned to the dealer because of a repeat problem. Usually the dealer is responsible to repair it properly at no charge to the customer.
  2. Trucker slang for a return call or repeat as in ‘Can I get a come back on that smokey report?’
Trucker slang for median strip as in ‘Smokey’s in the comedian taking pictures.’
Come on
A situation where a vehicle buyer is led to believe one thing but it turns out to be really something else.
CO meter
A device for checking exhaust gases for carbon monoxide, a high level indicates an over-rich mixture as well as causing pollution.
Comet head
A cylinder head with a swirl chamber for indirect injection diesel engines.
A designation of some automobiles as a basic or standard line usually abbreviated as ‘C’
Comfort chart
Chart used in air conditioning to show the dry bulb temperature, humidity, and air movement for human comfort conditions.
Comfort cooler
System used to reduce the temperature in the living space in homes. These systems are not complete air conditioners as they do not provide complete control of heating, humidifying, dehumidification, and air circulation.
Comfort Luxe
An automobile designation (abbreviated as CL) which has more luxury appointments than a Comfort but less than a Grand Luxe (GL).
Comfort zone
Area on psychrometric chart which shows conditions of temperature, humidity, and sometimes air movement in which most people are comfortable.
Comic book
Trucker slang for Truck driver’s log book as in ‘The chicken coops checking comic books this morning.’
Coming on the cam
The term used when a four stroke reaches its powerband
Coming on the pipe
The term used when a two stroke reaches its powerband
Comma dolly

Comma dollyComma dolly

A Dolly in the form of a comma to shape and straighten dented panels, usually by holding the dolly behind the metal to be shaped and hammering the metal.

Commerce Commission
Commercial Driver’s License
(CDL) A US license which authorizes an individual to operate commercial motor vehicles and buses over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. For operators of freight-hauling trucks, the maximum size which may be driven without a CDL is Class 6 (maximum 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight). In Canada it is called a Class 1 license.
Commercial Invoice
Itemized list issued by seller/exporter in foreign trade showing quantity, quality, description of goods, price, terms of sale, marks/numbers, weight, full name/address of purchaser, and date.
Commercial Motor Vehicle
A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle meets one of the following

  • has a gross combination weight rating greater than or equal to 26,000 lb. including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,000 lb.
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 26,001 lb.
  • is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver
  • a motor vehicle of any size that transports hazardous materials of any kind.
Commercial tire
A tire which is designed for truck and industrial use.
Commercial vehicle
A vehicle (like a truck or bus) used for carrying goods or large numbers of passengers for money.
Commissioned agent
An agent who wholesales or retails a refined petroleum product under a commission arrangement. The agent does not take title to the product or establish the selling price, but receives a percentage of fixed fee for serving as an agent.
Anything bought and sold (e.g., goods, products, paper, articles of merchandise) that is offered for shipment.
Commodity exempt
See Exempt commodity
Commodity Rate
  • A special (usually lower) rate for specific types of goods (usually exempt commodities).
  • A rate lower than class rates, established to cover the movement of a specific customer’s freight or for a specific group of customers.
Common Carrier
A freight transportation company which serves the general public. It may be a regular route service (over designated highways on a regular basis) or irregular route (between various points on an unscheduled basis).
Common Rail Injection
A diesel fuel injection system employing a common pressure accumulator, called the rail, which is mounted along the engine block. The rail is fed by a high pressure fuel pump. The injectors, which are fed from the common rail, are activated by solenoid valves. The solenoid valves and the fuel pump are electronically controlled. In the common rail injection system the injection pressure is independent from engine speed and load. Therefore, the injection parameters can be freely controlled. Usually a pilot injection is introduced, which allows for reductions in engine noise and NOx emissions.
Common sump lubrication
System in which the same oil is used to lubricate the engine, transmission, and primary drive.
Communication systems
Closed intercom system installed on some touring motorcycles. Can include a CB radio on some models.
Community car
Vehicle operated for community or voluntary purposes.
Community Safety Strategy
Policy document aimed at reducing crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime (esp. car theft).
Community transport
Voluntary transport provision for groups with special access needs.
  1. A series or ring of copper bars that are connected to the Armature windings. The bars are insulated from each other and from the armature. The Brushes (as in the Generator or starter) rub against the whirling commutator.
  2. Part of rotor in electric motor which conveys electric current to rotor windings.
Commutator motor
Compact car
A designation no longer used because even full-size cars are now about the size of what was the compact car. In 1970, for instance, a Chevrolet Impala was a full-size car, a Chevelle was an intermediate, a Nova was a compact. When cars smaller than the Nova came out (i.e., Chevette), they were called sub-compacts.
Compacted snow
Snow that has been compressed by the movement of traffic and has bonded to the road surface
Compressing roadway materials to their optimum density, providing a strong, stable surface.
A device used to compact things, particularly garbage. Found on the back of refuse trucks.
Compact SUV
Compact sport utility vehicle usually based on a car chassis rather than a truck chassis. They include such models as Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot, Kia Sportage, Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner, Nissan Rogue, Saturn Vue, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4.

An access way in a deck, with a ladder leading below, for the use of the crew
Company automotive outlet
Any retail outlet selling motor fuel under the brand name of a company reporting in the EIA Financial Reporting System.
Company car
A vehicle owned by an organization rather than an individual. It may be operated by only one person or by several employees. A company car is great for business trips to Vegas conventions or when you’re trying to find hotels in Chicago.
Company-lessee automotive outlet
One of three types of Company automotive outlets. This type of outlet is operated by an independent marketer who leases the station and land and has use of tanks, pumps, signs, etc. A lessee dealer typically has a supply agreement with a refiner or a distributor and purchases products at dealer tank wagon prices. The term includes outlets operated by commissioned agents and is limited to those dealers who are supplied directly by a refiner or any affiliate or subsidiary company of a refiner.
Company logo
An emblem which represents all or part of a company’s trademark.
Company-open automotive outlet
One of three types of company automotive (retail) outlets. This type of outlet is operated by an independent marketer who owns or leases (from a third party that is not a refiner) the station or land of a retail outlet and has use of tanks, pumps, signs, etc. An open dealer typically has a supply agreement with a refiner or a distributor and purchases products based on either rack or dealer tank wagon prices.
Company-operated automotive outlet
One of three types of company automotive (retail) outlets. This type of outlet is operated by salaried or commissioned personnel paid by the reporting company.
Company-operated retail outlet
Any retail outlet (i.e., service station) which sells motor vehicle fuels and is under the direct control of a firm that sets the retail product price and directly collects all or part of the retail margin. The category includes retail outlets operated by

  1. salaried employees of the firm and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates,
  2. licensed or commissioned agents, and/or personnel services contracted by the firm.
Comparison and identification
A subdivision of space or room in a vehicle or ship.

The subdividing of the hull by transverse watertight bulkheads so that the ship may remain afloat under certain flooding conditions
An instrument with a magnetic needle which is mounted on the instrument panel to give the driver an idea of where magnetic north might be.

Compass display
A digital readout of the direction in which the vehicle is pointed. Usually displayed on the instrument panel, headliner, or the mirror
Compass mirror

Compass MirrorCompass Mirror

An inside rear view mirror which incorporates a compass in one corner

Compensated Intracorporate Hauling
A freight transportation service provided by one company for a sister company.
Compensating bar
Compensating jet
Compensating JetClick image to supersize
Compensating Jet

A fuel tube or pipe in the carburetor, into which air is admitted through one or more holes to compensate for a tendency of the main Nozzle to deliver too rich a mixture as the air velocity through the carburetor increases. Also called Air bleed.

Compensating port
A small hole in a Brake master cylinder to permit fluid to return to the reservoir.
Compensating Resistor
A horizontal bar which is pulled forward when the parkbrake is applied at its central point, which is pivoted, while it is connected at each end to the parkbrake cable, enabling equal force to be exerted on each rear brake.

Compensator valve
A valve in automatic transmissions designed to increase the pressure on the brake band during heavy acceleration.
Competition car
A vehicle which is designed to compete in races, hill climbs, and rallies.
Complete respray
Painting the entire component or entire vehicle as opposed to a partial respray
In the oil or gas production, the installation of permanent equipment for the production of oil or gas. If a well is equipped to produce only oil or gas from one zone or reservoir, the definition of a Well (classified as an oil well or gas well) and the definition of a completion are identical. However, if a well is equipped to produce oil and/or gas separately from more than one reservoir, a well is not synonymous with a completion.
Completion date
In oil and gas production, the date on which the installation of permanent equipment has been completed as reported to the appropriate regulatory agency.

  • The date of completion of a dry hole is the date of abandonment as reported to the appropriate agency.
  • The date of completion of a service well is the date on which the well is equipped to perform the service for which it was intended.
A slight resiliency, or give, designed into suspensionbushings to help absorb bumps. Good compliance allows the wheels to move toward the rear a little as they hit bumps but does not allow them to move laterally (sideways) during cornering.
Compliance Certification Label
An auxiliary pole used on a commutator machine. The pole is placed between the main poles for the purposes of producing an auxiliary flux to assist commutation.
  1. One of the parts that make up the whole system or device, as in The brake pad is a component of the brake system.
  2. A raw material, ingredient, part or subassembly that goes into a higher level assembly, compound, or other item.
Component anti-lock brake system
A type of anti-lock brake system in which the hydraulic control unit is not a part of the master cylinder/power booster assembly.
Component assembly
A combination of two or more parts or sub-components to form an assembly.
Component design
The activity for the design of specific components including responsibility for material, cost, weight, reliability, durability, function, appearance, and serviceability.
The various parts that make up the whole system or device.
Component sharing
The use of the same basic parts used in different models — even in models from different manufacturers.
Any material that consists of two or more substances where one or more of them are high strength fibers and another is an adhesive binder. The most common composite is fiberglass, which consists of thin glass fibers bonded together in a plastic matrix. The structural properties of composites can be altered by controlling the orientation and configuration of the high-strength components.
Composite brake drum
A brake drum made from two different metals. All composite drums have cast-iron friction surfaces.
Composite headlamps
Reflector and lens system designed for specific vehicle model
Composite headlight
A non-sealed beam headlight used in the US since 1984, but available in other countries much earlier. Unlike the Sealed beam headlight, the lens and bulb are separate units. When the Bulb fails, you can replace just the bulb, not the whole unit. Lenses come in a variety of shapes and are designed for a specific vehicle. Even the left side differs from the right on the same vehicle. While sealed-beam headlights are mass produced for almost all early vehicles, composite headlight lenses are low production and can be very costly to replace.
Composite material
Structural material made of two or more different materials
Composite MPG
Composite propeller shaft
A single-piece propeller shaft made of fiber-reinforced epoxy in which the fibers are usually glass and/or carbon.
  1. Two or more ingredients mixed together.
  2. An abrasive paste or liquid that smooths and polishes the painted surface.
Compound carburetor
A carburetor with more than one choke. Usually there are two one for the large throttle opening and one for the small throttle opening, but they fit to a single port
Compound center electrode
Also called Compound electrode
Compound electrode
A spark plug with a copper core and a jacket of a nickel-based alloy.
Compound gauge
  1. A gauge that can indicate both pressure and vacuum.
  2. Another name for the Low side gauge, because it can indicate both pressure and vacuum
Compound glass
Compound motor
A direct current electric motor with two separate field windings, one in parallel and the other in series with the armature circuit; used as a starter motor
Compound refrigerating systems
System which has several compressors or compressor cylinders in series. The system is used to pump low-pressure vapors to condensing pressures.
Compound winding
Two electric windings — one in series, the other in shunt or parallel with other electric units or equipment. Applied to electric motors or generators — one winding is shunted across the armature; other is in series with the armature.
Comprehensive insurance
Insurance coverage that pays for damages to your car, its accessories, spare parts against loss or damage caused by an accidental collision, fire, theft, vandalism, typhoon, earthquake, and flooding. It will also pay expenses to have the disabled vehicle towed to the repair shop and expenses to return the vehicle back to you when the repairs are completed. It also covers for the death and bodily injury of the insured or driver; loss or damage to someone else’s property as a result of the accident; legal liabilities to the death or bodily injury of the third party arising from the accident; legal liabilities to the damage to property of the third party arising from the accident; loss or damage to the property of the spouse(s) or the child(ren) of the insured or driver; and medical expenses of the insured or driver’s injury caused by the accident.
To place under pressure or to squeeze into a small space.

Compressed-air spray gun
A paint gun which makes a fine spray of paint for coating the surface.
Compressed natural gas
(CNG) Natural gas comprised primarily of methane that has been compressed under high pressures, typically between 2000 and 3600 psi, and held in a container. The gas expands when released for use as a fuel for natural gas powered vehicles.

  1. Applying pressure to a spring, or any springy substance, thus causing it to reduce its length in the direction of the compressing force.
  2. Applying pressure to a gas, thus causing a reduction in volume but an increase in pressure and temperature.
  3. Increased pressure caused as volume is reduced. Also movement of suspension components against spring pressure caused by a force against wheel.
  4. One of the essential factors in an internal combustion engine (fuel, air, proper proportion of mixture, compression, timing, and spark). It is the squeezing of the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder of a spark-ignition engine or the squeezing of the air in a diesel engine. Compression makes the process of combustion more effective and increases engine efficiency.
  5. Term used to denote increase of pressure on a fluid by using mechanical energy.
  6. Reduction in volume and increase in pressure and temperature of a gas caused by squeezing it into a smaller space
  7. A system of forces that reduces the volume occupied by a specific quantity of gaseous material.
  8. Natural gas is compressed during transportation and storage. The standard pressure that gas volumes are measured at is 14.7 psi. When being transported through pipelines, and when being stored, gas is compressed to save space. Pipelines have compressing stations installed along the line (one about every 100 miles) to ensure that the gas pressure is held high while the gas is being transported. Current pipelines can compress natural gas to nearly 1500 psi, but most tend to operate at closer to 1000 psi.
Compression check
Testing the compression in all the cylinders at Crankingspeed. All plugs are removed, the Compression gauge placed in one plug hole, the throttle Cracked wide open and the engine cranked until the gauge no longer climbs. The compression check is a good way in which to determine the condition of the valves, rings, and cylinders.
Compression damping
The control of the movement as the shock compresses as it hits a bump. Rebound damping refers to controlling the movement as the shock extends back to its relaxed position.
Compression gage
Compression gauge
  1. A gauge used to measure the compression in the cylinders. A poor compression reading can indicate that there is leakage through the valves or the piston rings. In two stroke engines, it could indicate that there is poor primary compression because of a leak in the crankshaft seals.
  2. Instrument used to measure positive pressures (pressures above atmospheric pressures) only. Gauge dial usually runs from 0 to 300 lb. per sq. in. gauge, (psig) (101.3-2 170 kPa).
Compression head
Compression height
The distance from the wrist-pin-bore center to the top of the piston.
Compression ignition

  1. combustion of a fuel-air mixture without spark. In the diesel engine, air is drawn into the cylinder and compressed to a temperature sufficiently high that fuel oil injected at the end of the compression stroke burns in the cylinder without a spark to initiate combustion. A prank played on new employees is to send them on a search for the spark plugs for a diesel engine — they don’t exist.
  2. The form of ignition that initiates combustion in a diesel engine. The rapid compression of air within the cylinders generates the heat required to ignite the fuel as it is injected.
Compression leakage
In an engine, when some gases escape past the piston because the rings or cylinder walls are worn, the compression is reduced so that there is less efficiency.
Compression molding
The shaping of molding material by softening it under pressure and the action of heat, and forcing it through a hole into a hollow space which it completely fills.


Compression moulding
British term for Compression molding
Compression ratio
  1. When the piston is at the bottom of its travel (BDC), the volume of cylinder is measured (suppose the volume is X). Then the piston is placed at the top of its travel (TDC) and the volume of the cylinder is measured (suppose this volume is Y). The compression ratio is a comparison of these two values expressed as XY. Then the values are mathematically changed so that the second number is always 1. Thus you hear of ratios like 10.51 or 9.51 or 81. The higher the compression ratio, the more mechanical energy an engine can squeeze from its air-fuel mixture. Higher compression ratios, however, also make Detonation more likely.
  2. Ratio of the volume of the clearance space to the total volume of the cylinder. In refrigeration it is also used as the ratio of the absolute low-side pressure to the absolute high-side pressure.
Compression ring
A ring which surrounds the piston and fits in a grove in the piston. It is designed to seal the burning fuel charge above the piston. Generally there are two compression rings per piston and they are located in the two top ring grooves. They also help to transfer heat from the piston into the cylinder walls and subsequently to the water jacket surrounding the cylinder.

Compression spring

Coil springCoil Compression Spring

An open-coil, Helical spring that offers resistance to a compressive form.

Compression stroke

Compression StrokeCompression Stroke

The second stroke of the Four-stroke cycle, in which the piston moves upward from Bottom dead center to Top dead center, compressing the fuel-air mixture.

Compression test
Diagnostic test used to determine how much power each cylinder can produce based on compression pressure.
Compression tester
A device which is screwed or pushed into the spark plug hole so that when the engine is turned over, it measures the amount of compression in that cylinder.
Compressive Stresses
Stresses that act to compress a material and place the material in compression.
  1. A device used for increasing the pressure and density of gas.
  2. Pump of a refrigerating mechanism which draws a low pressure on cooling side of refrigerant cycle and squeezes or compresses the gas into the high-pressure or condensing side of the cycle.
  3. A tool for compressing a coil spring, such as a valve spring.
  4. An air conditioning component which pumps, circulates, and increases the pressure of refrigerant vapor
  5. A mechanism in a refrigerator or air conditioner that pumps Vaporized refrigerant out of the evaporator, compresses it to a relatively high pressure and then delivers it to the condenser.
  6. CompressorCompressor

    A device which produces pressurized air for filling tires and running air-powered tools

Compressor, centrifugal
Pump which compresses gaseous refrigerants by centrifugal force.
Compressor control
Compressor cut-off switch
A device used by some manufacturers to prevent compressor operation. Such as the wide open throttle (WOT) cut-off switch, low pressure switch, and high pressure switch
Compressor discharge switch
A device that shuts off the compressor when refrigerant pressure is low. The switch is wired in series between the compressor clutch and the control panel switch
Compressor displacement
Volume, in cubic inches, represented by the area of the compressor piston head or heads multiplied by the length of the stroke.
Compressor, hermetic
Compressor in which the driving motor is sealed in the same dome or housing as the compressor.
Compressor impeller
An impeller of a turbocharger driven by the turbine at speeds up to 160,000 rpm, which accelerates by centrifugal force the charge air which enter axially and leaves radially at a very high velocity.
Compressor muffler
Sound absorber chamber in refrigeration system. Used to reduce sound of gas pulsations.
Compressor, multiple stage
Compressor having two or more compressive steps. Discharge from each step is the intake pressure of the next in series.
Compressor, open type
Compressor in which the crankshaft extends through the crankcase and is driven by an outside motor. Commonly called external drive compressor.
Compressor pressure ratio
In a turbocharger system, the ratio between the absolute pressure at the compressor outlet and the compressor inlet
Compressor ratio
In a turbocharger system, the ratio between the volume in the cylinder when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke and the volume in the cylinder when the piston is at the top of its stroke
Compressor, reciprocating
Compressor which uses a piston and cylinder mechanism to provide pumping action.
Compressor, rotary
Compressor which uses vanes, eccentric mechanisms, or other rotating devices to provide pumping action.
Compressor seal
Leakproof seal between crankshaft and compressor body in open type compressors.
Compressor shaft seal
A seal in an air conditioner compressor, surrounding the compressor shaft, that permits the shaft to turn without the loss of refrigerant or oil
Compressor Signal
Compressor, single-stage
Compressor having only one compressive step between low-side pressure and high-side pressure.
Compressor station
Any combination of facilities that supply the energy to move gas in transmission or distribution lines or into storage by increasing the pressure.
Comprex supercharger
A supercharger using the pressure waves created by the expanding exhaust gases to compress the inlet charge. Also called pressure wave supercharger.
Companion flanges
Shaft attached collars of stainless steel into which a threaded piece may be joined.
A device for inspecting screw threads and outlines by comparing them with a greatly enlarged standard chart.
  1. A device which calculates information and sends the results to a specific destination. In automobiles, computers are used to regulate fuel flow, control the air conditioner, display speed, time, ETA, etc.
  2. Series of electrical components which accept inputs from an operator and controls outputs.
  3. A device which controls the engine’s fuel and ignition systems
Something which has been helped or designed by a computer.
Computer brake control


Computer command control
(CCC) an electronically-controlled fuel metering system used on GM vehicle. Uses an oxygen sensor, a throttle position sensor and other information sensors to provide a computer with the data it needs to alter the air/fuel ratio via mixture control solenoid in the carburetor
Computer command control system
(C-3) an earlier engine management system used on GM vehicles. (C-4) A later engine management system used on GM vehicles
A function or component which is monitored or activated by a computer
Computer Controlled Catalytic Converter
(C-4) A later engine management system used on General Motors vehicles.
Computer controlled coil ignition
(C3I) GM’s computerized ignition coil system, used on many different engine applications
Computer controlled timing
(CCT) a system that feeds input from various engine sensors into a computer. The computer then matches spark timing exactly to engine requirements throughout its full range of operations
Computerized Controller
Computer languages
Specific wording or codes, such as BASIC, FORTRAN, and COBOL, which direct a computer to accept and store information and control outputs.
Computer Module
Concave drum
A deformed brake drum in which the diameter at the center of the friction surface is greater than that at the ends. Contrast Convex drum
Concave weld face
A weld having the center of its face below the weld edges
Concealed Damage
Damage to product that is not obvious until the product is examined or the condition becomes apparent during storage or transfer. Responsibility and compensation for the damage may rest in whole or in part with the shipper, receiver, or transport.
Concealed headlamps
Headlamp doors close to create a flush fitting surface to reduce air resistance in headlamp area
Concealed headlights

Concealed HeadlightsConcealed Headlights

Headlight which (when not lit) is hidden behind a panel. When the headlight switch is turned on, vacuum or an electric current is applied to a controller which opens the panel exposing the light. Also called hide-away headlights or pop-up headlights.

Concentration ratio
The amount light is magnified by a focusing system. For example, if a lens or reflector system increases the power density of sunlight from the normal 1.0 kilowatt/square metre to 3.0 kilowatt/square metre, a magnification of three times, the concentration ratio is 3 to 1.
A reflective or refractive device that focuses incident insolation onto an area smaller than the reflective or refractive surface, resulting in increased insolation at the point of focus.
Concentrator cell
A solar cell designed for power densities much greater than the normal power density of sunlight at the surface of the earth. Concentrator cells can be used with focusing arrangements that increase the power density of sunlight hundreds of times.
Two or more circles (or circular parts) so placed as to share a common center but different diameters.
Concept car
A vehicle that is not currently in production, but is still in the design stage. Some are merely paper drawings, but others are clay Mock-ups. The ideas in the concept cars sometimes appears in production models.


Concept vehicle
A current production vehicle modified for installation of new design concepts for evaluation of environmental functional feasibility.
A chrome Trim disk for Saddlebags and leathers.
Also called concours d’elegance. This is the term used to describe a show where cars in superb condition are judged against a standard of excellence established by the sponsors, with awards given to winners. Show cars compete in a concours.
Concours d’elegance


A mixture of cement, rocks, sand, and water which, when hardened, becomes a rock-like substance which can be used for barriers and even road surfaces.

Concrete Piles
Document signed by carrier and filed with the ICC. Verifies carrier participates in rates published in a tariff by a given agent.
Advertising abbreviation for condition, as in excellent cond.
  1. A fluid formed when a gas is cooled to its liquid state.
  2. The liquid that separates from a gas (including flue gases) due to a reduction in temperature.
Condensate corrosion
Condensate pump
Device to remove water condensate that collects beneath an evaporator.
  1. Moisture, from the air, deposited on a cool surface. The reverse of Evaporation.
  2. Liquid or droplets which form when a gas or vapor is cooled below its dew point.
  3. The act or process of reducing a gas or vapor to a liquid or solid form
Turning a vapor back into a liquid.
  1. The unit in an air conditioning system that cools the hot compressed refrigerant and turns it from a vapor into a liquid. It is the opposite of an evaporator.
  2. CondenserCondenser

    The part of refrigeration mechanism which receives hot, high-pressure refrigerant gas from compressor and cools gaseous refrigerant until it returns to its liquid state.

  3. CondenserClick image to supersize

    A small metal cylinder which is usually located in the distributor. It is installed between the breaker points and coil to prevent Arcing at the breaker points by absorbing or storing the excess current. A condenser (also called a capacitor) has the ability to absorb and retain surges of electricity. It is constructed of two metal plates separated by an insulator.

Condenser, air-cooled
Heat exchanger which transfers heat to surrounding air.
Condenser comb
Comb-like device, metal or plastic, used to straighten the metal fins on condensers or evaporators.
Condenser fan
Forced air device used to move air through air-cooled condenser.
Condenser, water-cooled
Heat exchanger designed to transfer heat from hot gaseous refrigerant to water.
Condensing furnace
High efficiency, gas forced-air furnace that extracts the latent heat lost in conventional gas forced-air furnaces.
Condensing pressure
Pressure inside a condenser at which refrigerant vapor gives up its latent heat of vaporization and becomes a liquid. This varies with the temperature.
Condensing temperature
Temperature inside a condenser at which refrigerant vapor gives up its latent heat of vaporization and becomes a liquid. This varies with the pressure.
Condensing unit
Part of a refrigerating mechanism which pumps vaporized refrigerant from the evaporator, compresses it, liquefies it in the condenser, and returns it to the refrigerant control.
Condensing unit service valves
Shutoff valves mounted on condensing unit to enable service technicians to install and/or service unit.
Conditioner Clutch Compressor Signal
Conditioning Compressor
Conditioning Sensor
Condition-latched soft code
A type of trouble code that disengages the ABS and turns on the amber light only as long as the condition, or problem, exists
Condition Numbers
Any set of digits used to rate the overall quality of a car. The one most commonly employed is probably the Six Value Condition Number Scale. The number ‘1’ would represent a vehicle in excellent condition, whereas the number ‘6’ would define a vehicle suitable only as a parts donor.
A measure of the ease with which a conductor allows electron flow. In DC circuits, conductance is the reciprocal of resistance
  1. The transfer of heat from one object to another by having the objects in physical contact.
  2. The flow of heat between substances by molecular vibration.
  3. The transfer of heat between the closely packed molecules of a substance or between two substances that are touching, caused by a temperature differential between the 2 molecules or substances
The ability of something to conduct electricity.
The ability of something to conduct electricity. Opposite of Resistivity.

  1. A material forming a path for the flow of electric current, such as silver, copper, and carbon.
  2. Substance or body capable of transmitting electricity or heat.
  3. Metal wires, cables, and bus-bar used for carrying electric current. Conductors may be solid or stranded, that is, built up by a assembly of smaller solid conductors.
  4. The person in charge of the train.
  1. A bearing Race that curves to the inside of a circle of Ball bearings and works in conjunction with a Cup.
  2. In welding, it is the inner visible flame shape of a neutral or near neutral flame.
Cone clutch
A clutch using a cone-shaped member that is forced into a cone-shaped depression in the Flywheel, or other driving unit, thus locking the two together, although no longer used on cars, the cone clutch finds some applications in small riding tractors, heavy power mowers, etc.
Cone Point
A point in the form of a cone, commonly having an included angle of 90 degrees or 118 degrees when applied to set screws.
Cone point socket set screw
A headless socket set screw threaded the entire length. It has a hexagonal drive at one end and a sharp conical-shaped point at the other end.
Conference of the Parties
(COP) The collection of nations that have ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). The primary role of the COP is to keep implementation of the FCCC under review and make the decisions necessary for its effective implementation.
The particular arrangement of the parts in relation to each other.

The ability of a precision insert bearing to match the shape and contour of a shaft surface even after it has been in use for some time.
Congestion Charging
Road user charge made in areas approved by the U.S. Secretary of State.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
(CMAQ) A federal grant program established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 that allocates funds to states to help them simultaneously expand or initiate transportation services while improving air quality. CMAQ funds may be used to support alternative-fuel and alternative-fuel vehicle programs.
Something in the shape of a cone. It is usually tapered.
Conical hub
A wheel hub (wire wheel) that has the spoke holes on the brake side of the wheel set at a greater distance from the center of the hub than the opposite side.
Conical seat
A circular, tapered place that something rests. For instance, a spark plug may fit into a tapered hole.
Connecting carrier
Some transporting companies have jurisdiction or authorization to take goods or people up to a certain location, but no farther. The goods or people are then transferred to a second transport (i.e., connecting carrier) to the next or final destination. In some cases there are a series of several connecting carriers.
Connecting link
Connecting Link
For a roller chain, a pin link made with one link plate easily detachable to facilitate connecting or disconnecting the chain. Also called joining link or Master link.
Connecting rod
Connecting rodClick image to supersize
Connecting rod

The connecting link or arm between the piston and the crankshaft. It converts the up-and-down (Reciprocating) motion of the piston into the circular (rotary) motion of the spinning crankshaft. Often called con rod.

Connecting rod bearing
A precision insert bearing. Also called big end bearing
Connecting rod bolt
One of several special headed fasteners which secures the connecting rod cap to the connecting rod itself.
Connecting rod cap
The part of the connecting rod assembly that attaches the rod to the crankpin
Connecting rod kit
A parts kit consisting of connecting rod, crank pin, thrust washers, and roller bearing, used in reconditioning of assembled crankshafts.
Connecting rod shank
A longitudinal part of the connecting rod
Connecting rod tip
Amount of radial (side) play at the top of the connecting rod.
The joining of two or more parts which generally conduct electricity.

  1. A device which joins two items.
  2. Electrical plugs used to connect different components or wiring harnesses.
Connector system
CO nonattainment area
Areas with carbon monoxide design values of 9.5 parts per million or more, generally based on data for 1988 and 1989.
Con rod
Con rod bearing
Conservation And Recovery Act
Send goods to a purchaser or an agent to sell.
The person or firm designated to receive freight that has been shipped.
Consignment inventory
Inventory that is in the possession of the customer, but is still owned by the supplier. Consignment inventory is used as a marketing tool to make it easier for a customer to stock a specific supplier’s inventory.
The person or firm responsible for shipping a particular freight. Also called shipper.
The stiffness, or fluid quality of an adhesive coating or sealer compound
  1. A small storage space or fascia between the two front seats in a car with bucket seats. Often it houses the shifter, some instruments, coffee holders, coin holders, etc.
  2. A total unit or system of controls located in one area and enclosed. A window air conditioner is a console air conditioner.
To combine two or more shipments going in the same direction or to the same destination on a single trailer.
Combining less-than-carload or less-than-truckload shipments to make carload/truckload movements.
An alloy made of nickel and copper which is used in resistance wire and in thermocouplers.
Constant depression
Constant idle system
An electronically-controlled air bypass around the throttle. Also called Idle speed actuator or Idle speed stabilizer
Constant mesh gearbox
A type of transmission in which all or most of the gears are always in mesh with one another, as opposed to a sliding-gear transmission, in which engagement is obtained by sliding some of the gears along a shaft into mesh. In a constant-mesh manual gearbox, Gear ratios are selected by small clutches that connect the various gearsets to their shafts so that power is transmitted through them.

Constant mesh gear
One of the gears that is always in mesh with another — whether it is driving or not (i.e., just idling).
Constant mesh gears
Gears that are always in mesh with each other — whether it is driving or not (i.e., just idling).
Constant mesh transmission
An arrangement of gearing where gears remain in mesh instead of sliding in and out of engagement
Constant pressure combustion
An ideal combustion process in a diesel engine which holds cylinder pressures approximately the same from top-dead-center through a portion of the expansion stroke.
Constant-radius turn
A turn with a steady, non-changing arc. In a decreasing-radius corner, the arc gets sharper as you progress through the curve, while in an increasing radius corner, the arc becomes less sharp
Constant vacuum
A type of carburetor.
Constant velocity joint
CV JointClick image to supersize
CV Joint

(CV joint) A type of Universal joint so designed as to create a smooth transfer of torque from the driven shaft to the driving shaft without any fluctuations in the speed of the driven shaft.

Constant velocity universal joint
Constant voltage regulator
(CVR) a device used to maintain a constant voltage level in a circuit, despite fluctuations in system voltage. CVRs are wired into some gauge circuits so voltage fluctuations won’t affect accuracy of the gauge readings
Constant volume combustion
An ideal combustion process in carbureted automotive engines. The burning extends from 10° to 20° before TDC and ends 18° to 28° past TDC and promotes burning at nearly constant volume.
Constant volume sampling
Constant-volume sampling
An Exhaust-emissions measuring technique in which the exhaust gases produced by a vehicle’s engine are collected as it is driven through a test sequence of accelerations, decelerations, and cruise modes on a Chassis dynamometer. A quantity of air is added to the exhaust gases until a specific volume (the same for all cars) is obtained. Concentrations of pollutants in the total sample are then analyzed for determination of their actual mass.
Constricted tube
Tubing reduced in diameter.
Tube or orifice used to restrict flow of a gas or a liquid.
Construction Signage
Consumer factors
Demographic characteristics of consumers including age, gender, income and geographic location, affordability. For example, what consumers stay at hotels in Miami versus finding one in the suburbs of Miami due to cost?
Consumer grade propane
A normally gaseous paraffinic compound (C3H8), which includes all products covered by Natural Gas Policy Act Specifications for commercial and HD-5 Propane and ASTM Specification D 1835. Excludes: feedstock propanes, which are propanes not classified as consumer grade propanes, including the propane portion of any natural gas liquid mixes, i.e., butane-propane mix.
Consumer Products Safety Commission
(CPSC) the certification agency for bicycle helmets.
The act of using up an amount of fuel. Actually the fuel is joined with air and merely changed into other substances (Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, etc. and energy).

Consumption indicator
Abbreviation for Continuous Duty Cycle
  1. The touching of two or more parts.
  2. The parts that actually touch each other when making electrical connection whether permanently or intermittently.
  3. In an electric switch, the terminals that are bridged or brought together to close the switch
Contact area
The part of the tire that actually touches the ground at any particular moment.

Contact arm
The movable segment of the points which is moved by the lobe of the distributor.
Contact bounce
The rapid movement of the breaker arm as it opens and closes
Contact breaker
Contact breaker gap
The distance between the contact points at their furthest opening.
Contact breaker plate
The plate on which the breaker points are mounted. When adjusting the points, the plate and the points are moved apart in relation to each other.
Contact breaker point
The individual contact of the breaker points.
Contact cement


Contact chatter
The rapid movement of the breaker arm as it opens and closes
Contact controlled electronic ignition
Contact file
Contact gap


Contacting surfaces
Any two surfaces to be brought together and bonded
Contactless electronic ignition
Contact patch
The area of a tire’s tread that touches the ground which provides all acceleration, braking, and turning friction.

Contact pattern
The visible wear pattern created by two parts which touch each other
Contact point
Contact points
  1. Two movable points or areas that when pressed together, complete a circuit. These points are usually made of tungsten, Platinum, or silver.
  2. Switching devices used to start and stop current flow.
Contact set
Replacement parts consisting of breaker points and possibly breaker plate and condenser.
Contact spring
A spring which pushes on a contact which holds something in place and maintains contact.
A strong steel box of standard dimensions of 8 feet square and length of 20 feet or 40 feet, in which cargo is preloaded. Used to transport freight by ship, rail, and highway. International containers are designed to fit in ships’ holds. Containers are transported on public roads on top a container chassis towed by a tractor. Domestic containers, up to 53 feet long and of lighter construction, are designed for rail and highway use only.

Container Chassis
  1. A single-purpose semitrailer designed to carry a shipping container.
  2. A truck or trailer chassis consisting of a frame (no floor, sides or roof) with locking devices for securing and transporting a container.
A shipping system where cargo is loaded into a large container box at the factory and shipped from truck to train to ship, etc. without rehandling of contents within the container.
Container ship
A ship designed to carry containers as cargo.
  1. Some impurity in gasoline or oil or anything else.
  2. Substance such as dirt, moisture, or other matter foreign to refrigerant or refrigerant oil in system.
Lincoln ContinentalClick image for books on
Lincoln Continental

A vehicle brand of Ford cars of which the 1956-57 Mark II models are milestone cars.

Continental kit
A spare tire mounted on the rear bumper of a car, usually requiring a bumper extension.
Continental tire
The bulge in the rear portion of the trunk which resembles a tire or a rear mounted tire
Continental-type fuse
A ceramic fuse with conical end caps. They are color coded for different values.
  1. Continuous or complete circuit.
  2. The type of circuit that can be checked with an ohmmeter.
  3. A continuous path for the flow of an electrical current.
Continuous AC Ignition System
(CACIS) An ignition system where a high-energy alternating current arc burns for the entire power stroke. In this system, the spark plugs don’t erode as quickly and the air/fuel mixture is more completely burned. Thus there is no need for a catalytic converter.
Continuous cycle absorption system
System which has a continuous flow of energy input.
Continuous duty cycle
(CONT) An electrical motor which can continue to operate within the temperature limits of its insulation system after it has reached normal operating (equilibrium) temperature is considered to have a continuous duty rating. Compare Intermittent Duty Cycle
Continuous furnace
A furnace in which the charge enters at one end, moves through continuously, and is discharged at the other.
Continuous ignition source
An ignition source which, once placed in operation, is intended to remain ignited or energized continuously until manually interrupted.
Continuous injection system
(CIS) A mechanical fuel injection system designed and manufactured by Bosch, used on many German vehicles. In a CIS system, the fuel injectors are always open (i.e., they emit a continuous spray of fuel into the intake ports). The amount of fuel sprayed is determined by the fuel pressure in the system, which in turn is determined by the position of the throttle.

Continuous rolling contact
A wheel in steady rolling contact with the ground without slip, wheel-spin, or slide (as with locked brakes). Should be the aim at all times both on and off road.
Continuously variable transmission
Abbreviated CVT.

Continuous weld
Completing a weld in one operation
Conti tire system
Abbreviated CTS. A run flat tire and wheel combination which allows the tire to be run for up to 400 km (250 miles) at a speed of up to 80 kph (50 mph)
Contract carrier
  1. A shipping company which is transporting goods because of a contract with another shipping company.
  2. A company that engages in for-hire transportation of property under individual contract or agreement with one or a limited number of shippers.
Contracting-band brake
A brake in which a band is tightened around a rotating drum
A thermal action where the size (mass or dimension) of an object is reduced when cooled; the opposite of Expansion.

Contract rates
Rates which are part of a total contract negotiated between shipper and a carrier.
Contract Warehouse
A warehouse operation managed by a third party logistics (3PL) provider for a specified period of time. The 3PL manages a client’s inventory and order fulfillment processes. Pricing scenarios may vary, and storage, labor and equipment resources are typically dedicated to the client for the duration of the contract. The client may or may not share in the building and equipment expense.
Contrast Control
Contre pente
Abbreviated CP. A French designed wheel where the raised portion of one of the rim bead seat is designed to hold the tire bead of a nearly flat tire without breaking the bead (i.e., becoming unseated).

Contre pente on both bead seats
Abbreviated CP2. A safety rim contour with a contre pente on both rim bead seats
  1. A device or mechanism for adjusting a component.
  2. The ability of the driver to make a vehicle perform as required.
  3. To regulate.
  4. Automatic or manual device used to stop, start, and/or regulate flow of gas, liquid, and/or electricity.