Have you ever felt clueless when you are talking to your doctor or dentist about
diagnosis or treatment? You keep nodding your head like you understand but then
find yourself on google.com later trying to figure out what they described. The
feeling is terrible and frustrating; you want to know what all that jargon
meant. The same is true when getting your car repaired. With over 30,000 parts
in most cars, how in the world are you to understand all of this?
Auto Technicians do not mean to but often they use words or
phrases that might as well be spoken by a Alien. That is why we are sharing
this list of acronyms your Auto Tech may use.
ATF – Automatic Transmission Fluid: the specialized lubricant that keeps your automatic transmission
AWD All-Wheel Drive: A vehicle that has motive power going to all four
wheels at the same time. (Generally, AWD vehicles are always in
four-wheel-drive mode, while a typical four-wheel-drive vehicle can be shifted
into and out of 4WD.)
DI (also EFI, SFI) – Direct Injection (or Electronic Fuel Injection or Sequential Fuel Injection):
the fuel manner in which fuel is injected, or forced, into your car’s engine. DI
engines are generally more efficient than older EFI engines.
DOHC (also SOHC) – Dual Overhead Cam (or Single Overhead Can): a description of
the cam system used in your engine. A cam is an egg-shaped lobe on a rotating
shaft that pushes valves and closed in your engine. Most modern cars use dual
ESC – Electric Stability Control (or Electronic Slip Control): a computerized
system on many newer vehicles that helps prevent it from skidding.
HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning: essentially, your car’s heating and A/C
OBD – On Board Diagnostics: a computerized system that monitors your car’s engine, and
particularly the emissions system, and alerts you if there is a problem. If a
problem is detected, the Check Engine light will illuminate.
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer: a term
used to the automaker and, more specifically, the manufacturer of the specific
parts of a vehicle.
PCV – Positive Crankcase Ventilation
(often used with EGR, or Exhaust Gas Return): an emissions system that basically
helps filter gases that build up inside your engine.
VVT – Variable Valve Timing: a system inside many modern engines
that uses a computer to alter the timing of an engine’s valves, increasing
horsepower at high speeds.
Although it may not be the most exciting to read descriptions of things that could go
wrong in your car, it is very helpful if it does happen. You will also be
educated enough to ask the right questions when you are face to face with a
Refrence to Vehicle MD, A Drivers guide to Maintaining a Healthy Car