Automotive Terms Dictionary


Part of car's body between rear side window and its rear window (also known as a C-Post).

A housing for cylinder, pistons and brake shoes, connected to the hydraulic system. The caliper holds the brake shoes so they straddle the brake disc.

Camber Angle
The inward or outward angle which a front-wheel spindle makes with a vertical line, as viewed by either the front or the rear of the vehicle. Positive camber results when the top of the tire tilts out further than its bottom. The adjustment of this setting affects both tire wear and vehicle handling.

The shaft in the engine which is driven by gears, belts or chain from the crankshaft. The camshaft has a series of cams that opens and closes intake and exhaust valves as it turns.

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.

a process technology that delivers a liquid molten metal into a purpose-built mould. After cooling, the solid metal surface has the shape of the mould cavity.

Catalytic Converter
Often simply called a "catalyst", this is a stainless steel canister that is part of a vehicle's exhaust system and contains a thin layer of catalytic material spread over a large area of inert supports. It induces chemical reactions that convert an engine's exhaust emissions into less harmful products prior to entering the environment.

Center of Gravity
Point where the weight of a vehicle appears to be concentrated and if suspended at that point would balance front and rear.

After Charles Augustin de Coulomb, French (1736-1806). The coulomb is a unit of electrical charge.

Combustion Chamber
The volume of space at the top of the cylinder where burning of the air/fuel mixture begins.

Composite Headlamps
Usually manufactured with replaceable halogen bulbs and separate hard acrylic or glass lenses. This type of lamp provides superior illumination compared to the long-conventional sealed beam unit.

Compressor (Air Conditioning)
The machinism is an air conditioner that pumps vaporized refrigerant out of the evaporator, compresses it to a relatively high pressure, and then delivers it to the condenser.

A device for storing electrical energy. In A/C application, an air conditioning component used to remove heat from the inside of a vehicle.

Connecting Rod
The metal rod that connects a piston to the crankshaft.

Contact Patch
The area of a tire's tread that is in contact with the ground.

The mixture of water and anti-freeze that picks up heat from the engine and transfers it to the air passing through the radiator. This transfer of heat keeps the engine operating within its optimum temperature rant preventing premature engine wear.

Cooling System
The system that removes heat from the engine by the forced circulation of coolant and thereby prevents engine overheating. In a liquid-cooled engine, it includes the water jackets, water pump, radiator, and thermostat.

A case which covers the crankshaft.

Cylinder Block
The basic part of the engine to which other engine parts are attached. It is usually a casting and includes engine cylinders and the upper part of the crankcase.

Cylinder Head
The removable part of the engine that attaches to the cylinder block directly above the cylinders. The head is cast from aluminum or iron and houses the combustion chambers, the intake and exhaust ports, spark plugs and much or all of the valve train. It has oil and water passages for cooling and lubrication.


Canada gas tax breakdown per province - Each litre of gas you're buying, how much of that amount is going to your government? View breakdown across all provinces.

High gas prices? Think again. - So you think you're paying too much for gas?. Take a look at pricing of gas around the world and see how Canada stacks up against other countries.

With gas prices surpassing $1 dollar mark we take a look at other fuel alternatives. Hybrid vehicles, CNG, Propane and other alternatives. Read our article on propane and natural gas

Diesel engine technology has been around for quite some time now. See list of Diesel vehicles that are currently available to you. / 2020
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