Service Shop Glossary

Explore the ultimate glossary for all things automotive repair at WebbRes, your go-to source for everything related to auto shops. Keep this page handy as we’ll be frequently adding fresh vocabulary for a seamless experience in the automotive industry.

Air Filter

An air filter is a device used in engines and ventilation systems to prevent airborne particles and contaminants from entering and potentially causing damage.


An alternator is an electromechanical device in a vehicle that converts mechanical energy from the engine into electrical energy to power the car’s electrical systems and recharge the battery.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety feature in modern vehicles that prevents the wheels from locking up during hard braking, allowing the driver to maintain control and steer the vehicle.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is a specialized oil used in automatic transmissions to lubricate the gears and facilitate smooth shifting.


Antifreeze is a liquid coolant used in automotive engines to prevent freezing and overheating by regulating the temperature of the engine.


Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a specialized hydraulic fluid used in braking systems to transmit force from the brake pedal to the brake calipers and pads.

Brake Lines and Hoses

Brake lines and hoses are the components that transport brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brake calipers and pads, enabling the brakes to function.

Brake Pads

Brake pads are a component of the braking system that press against the brake rotor to slow or stop the vehicle.

Brake Assist

Brake assist is a safety feature in modern vehicles that detects emergency braking situations and automatically applies additional braking force to prevent accidents.



A carburetor is a device used in older automotive engines to mix air and fuel in the correct proportions for combustion.

Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is a device that reduces the emissions of harmful pollutants from the exhaust of a vehicle by catalyzing a chemical reaction.

Catalytic Converter Heat Shield

The catalytic converter heat shield is a protective cover that shields the catalytic converter from damage due to high temperatures.


Coolant or antifreeze is a liquid that circulates through the engine of a vehicle to regulate its temperature.

Cooling Fan

A cooling fan is a device that circulates air through the radiator to dissipate heat generated by the engine.


Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

A diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a device that captures and removes particulate matter from the exhaust of a diesel engine, reducing emissions.


A dipstick is a tool used to measure the level of oil in an engine.


The drivetrain is the collection of components that transfer power from the engine to the wheels of a vehicle.

Drive Belt

A drive belt is a component that transmits power from the engine to other systems such as the alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor.


Engine Control Unit

An engine control unit (ECU) is an electronic control module that manages various functions of the engine, such as fuel injection, ignition timing, and emissions control.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is a lubricating fluid used to reduce friction and prevent wear in the moving parts of an engine.

Engine Thermostat

An engine thermostat is a component that regulates the flow of coolant through the engine to maintain a consistent operating temperature.

Exhaust Manifold

An exhaust manifold is a component that collects and channels the exhaust gases from the engine to the exhaust system.


Fan Belt

A fan belt is a component that drives the engine cooling fan, which circulates air through the radiator to dissipate heat.

Fuel Filter

A fuel filter is a component that removes impurities and contaminants from the fuel before it enters the engine.

Fuel Pump

A fuel pump is a component that delivers fuel from the gas tank to the engine.

Fuel Pump Shut-Off

A safety mechanism in a vehicle that automatically shuts off the fuel pump when the vehicle is involved in a collision or accident to prevent fuel from leaking and potentially causing a fire or explosion.


Gap Insurance

A type of car insurance that covers the “gap” between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the amount owed on a car loan or lease in the event of a total loss or theft of the vehicle.

Gasoline Engine

An internal combustion engine that uses gasoline or petrol as fuel to power the vehicle by converting chemical energy into mechanical energy.

Glow Plug

A heating device used in diesel engines to warm up the combustion chamber and aid in starting the engine by creating heat to ignite the fuel.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The maximum weight a vehicle is designed to carry, including the weight of the vehicle itself, passengers, cargo, and any towing or trailer weight.



The front-facing lights on a vehicle that are used to illuminate the road ahead and improve visibility while driving at night or in low-light conditions.

Head Gasket

A component located between the engine block and the cylinder head that seals the combustion chambers, coolant passages, and oil passages in an internal combustion engine.

Heater Core

A small radiator-like component in a vehicle’s heating and cooling system that heats the air used for cabin heating and defrosting by passing engine coolant through it.

Highway Fuel Economy

The average fuel efficiency of a vehicle when driving on the highway at a steady speed, typically measured in miles per gallon (mpg) or kilometers per liter (km/L).


Ignition Coil

A component in an internal combustion engine that converts low voltage from the battery into high voltage required to create a spark in the spark plugs and ignite the fuel.

Ignition Timing

The precise timing at which the spark plugs ignite the fuel in an internal combustion engine, controlled by the vehicle’s ignition system.

Instrumented Testing

A process of measuring and recording various parameters of a vehicle’s performance using specialized instruments and equipment to evaluate its handling, acceleration, braking, and other characteristics.


A document that outlines the details of a transaction, including the sale of a vehicle, including the purchase price, taxes, and other fees.


Keyless Ignition

A system in a vehicle that allows the driver to start the engine without a physical key. Instead, the driver only needs to have a key fob in their possession and press a button to start the engine.

Kingpin Brushings

Components of a vehicle’s steering system that connect the steering knuckles to the suspension. The kingpin bushings help to provide a smooth and stable steering experience.

Knee Airbags

Airbags that are designed to deploy from the lower dashboard area and protect the driver and front passenger’s knees during a frontal collision.


Lane Departure Warning System

An advanced safety feature in vehicles that alerts the driver if they are drifting out of their lane. This system uses cameras or sensors to detect lane markings on the road and sends an audible or visual warning to the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane.

Lane Watch

A system in some vehicles that uses a camera mounted on the side mirror to display a wider view of the blind spot on the infotainment screen when the turn signal is activated.


A term used to describe a new vehicle that has significant defects or issues that cannot be resolved despite multiple repair attempts, rendering it unreliable or unsafe to drive.


A type of battery used in some electric and hybrid vehicles. A Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is a type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions to store energy.


Maintenance Spray

A lubricant that can be sprayed on various components of a vehicle to reduce friction, prevent rust, and protect against wear and tear.

Manual Transmission Fluid

A lubricant used in manual transmissions to reduce friction between moving parts and protect against wear and tear.

Manufacturers Engine Code

A unique code assigned to an engine by the vehicle manufacturer that provides information about the engine’s specifications, such as its displacement, fuel type, and emissions system.


Miles per gallon, a measure of fuel efficiency in cars, which indicates the distance a vehicle can travel on a gallon of fuel.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

A government agency in the United States responsible for regulating vehicle safety standards and investigating vehicle defects and recalls.

Natural Gas Engine

An engine that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel source instead of gasoline or diesel. Natural gas engines produce lower emissions and are generally more fuel-efficient than traditional gasoline or diesel engines.

Night Vision

An advanced safety feature in some vehicles that uses infrared cameras to detect objects and pedestrians in low-light or no-light conditions, displaying them on the dashboard display to improve visibility for the driver.


A chemical compound consisting of nitrogen and oxygen, which is formed during the combustion process in engines and contributes to air pollution. It is a harmful emission that can cause respiratory problems and contribute to the formation of smog. NOx is regulated by environmental agencies, and measures such as catalytic converters and exhaust gas recirculation systems are implemented to reduce its production.



Original Equipment Manufacturer, referring to the original manufacturer of a vehicle or its components.

Oil Filter

A component in an internal combustion engine that removes impurities from the engine oil to prevent engine damage and prolong engine life.

Oil Pump

A component in an internal combustion engine that pumps engine oil through the engine to lubricate moving parts and reduce friction.

Oil Pan

A container located under the engine of a vehicle that holds the engine oil when it is not circulating through the engine.

Overheated Engine

When an internal combustion engine reaches a temperature that is too high due to inadequate cooling, a lack of engine oil, or other issues, it can cause serious damage to the engine and other components.



The weight of cargo, passengers, and other items that a vehicle is designed to carry safely, typically measured in pounds or kilograms.

Pilot Bearing

A small bearing located in the center of a vehicle’s clutch that reduces friction between the clutch disc and the input shaft.

Polarization Coating

A thin film applied to the windshield of a vehicle to reduce glare and improve visibility.

Power Steering Fluid

A hydraulic fluid used in power steering systems to transmit force from the steering wheel to the steering mechanism, making it easier to turn the wheels.



A heat exchanger used in a vehicle’s cooling system to dissipate heat from the engine coolant, typically made of metal and located at the front of the engine.

Radiator/Cooling Fan

An electric fan that helps to cool the radiator and engine by drawing air through the radiator fins.

Rotate Tires

The act of changing the position of the tires on a vehicle to ensure even wear and extend the life of the tires.

Run Flat

A type of tire designed to allow a vehicle to continue driving at reduced speeds for a limited distance even after a puncture or loss of pressure.


Shock Absorber

A component of a vehicle’s suspension system that helps to dampen and reduce the impact of bumps and vibrations on the road.

Spark Plug

A component of an internal combustion engine that provides the spark to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber.


A motor that engages the engine to start running when the ignition switch is turned on.

Steering Rack

A mechanical component in a vehicle’s steering system that converts the rotation of the steering wheel into the lateral movement of the front wheels.


Timing Belt Tensioner

A mechanical component that maintains the proper tension on the timing belt, ensuring proper engine operation and preventing damage to the engine.

Traction Control

A safety feature in a vehicle that helps to prevent the wheels from spinning when accelerating by automatically reducing engine power or applying the brakes to maintain traction.

Tire Load Index

A numerical code stamped on the side of a tire that indicates the maximum weight that the tire can safely carry.

Tire Speed Rating

A letter code stamped on the side of a tire that indicates the maximum safe speed for the tire.

Tire Weld

A sealant used to repair small punctures in a tire without the need for removing the tire from the wheel.



A term used to describe a vehicle’s tendency to turn less sharply than intended when the driver turns the steering wheel. This occurs when the front wheels lose traction and slip, causing the vehicle to move straighter than intended.


A person or company that assesses and evaluates risks and determines the appropriate insurance policy for a particular vehicle or situation.

Universal Remote Control

A device used to control multiple electronic devices from a single remote. In vehicles, a universal remote control is used to operate features such as garage door openers, home security systems, and other remote-controlled devices.


The material used to cover the seats and interior surfaces of a vehicle. Upholstery can be made from a variety of materials, including leather, cloth, vinyl, or synthetic fabrics.


Vacuum Lines and Hoses

Tubes or pipes used to transfer vacuum from the engine to various components, such as the brake booster or HVAC system.

Valves Per Cylinder

The number of intake and exhaust valves in each cylinder of an engine, which affects the engine’s power output and efficiency.

Vanity Mirrors

Small mirrors located in the sun visors or other convenient locations in a vehicle, used for personal grooming or checking one’s appearance.

Vehicle Identification Number

A unique 17-digit code assigned to each vehicle that contains information about the manufacturer, model, and serial number, as well as other specific details about the vehicle’s features.


Water Pump

A mechanical pump that circulates coolant through the engine and radiator to regulate the engine’s temperature.

Weather Strip

A flexible material used to seal gaps between vehicle body parts, doors, windows, and other areas to prevent water, air, or other elements from entering the vehicle’s cabin.

Wheel Alignment

The adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension system to ensure that the wheels are properly aligned and pointing in the correct direction, which improves handling, tire wear, and fuel efficiency.

Wheel Bearing

A component that supports the wheel and allows it to rotate smoothly on the hub, which is essential for proper wheel alignment and handling.


Zero Emission Vehicle

A vehicle that emits no pollutants or greenhouse gases during operation, usually powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.

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