50 States Auto Parts

CAR PARTS TERMS GLOSSARY

Automobiles or any vehicle is an assembly of intricate machines with numerous moving parts and components. From ignition to torque generation, a lot of things are involved under the hood of your vehicle. In your daily life, you may get to know or come across different car terms that you are unfamiliar with. Don’t worry, go through this glossary page to know in detail about the auto parts that are present and essential in your vehicle. Go through our Glossary Page below to know each and every car parts and terms in detail.

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ABS Module Used/Rebuilt Near Me (Anti-Lock Braking System):

A braking system that prevents your wheels from locking up when you come to a sudden/rough stop. This allows you to keep steering your vehicle when you need to brake quickly. An efficient ABS will prevent you from serious injuries.
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Adaptive Cruise Control Used/Rebuilt Near You:
An advanced and branded Adaptive Cruise Control system effectively regulates the vehicle’s speed. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is a system that assists vehicles in maintaining a safe following distance while staying within the speed limit. This system automatically adjusts a vehicle’s speed so that drivers do not have to.

Air Cleaner Used/Rebuilt Near You:
The engine air filter is encased in a plastic box that sits on top of the motor.

Airbag Used/Rebuilt Near You:

During a collision, airbags provide critical cushioning for passengers. They are normally concealed but inflate instantly when a crash occurs. Since the 1999 model year, all new passenger vehicles have been required to have front airbags. Although side airbags are not mandated, nearly all manufacturers include them as standard equipment to meet federal side protection requirements.

Alternator Used/Rebuilt Near You:

An alternator is a component of every combustion engine vehicle, and its primary function is to convert chemical energy to electrical energy, allowing you to charge and replenish the battery in your engine and other electrical components in your car.

Ammeter Used/Rebuilt Near You:

An ammeter is a device to measure electric current. In a Car, Ammeter is placed in the instrument clusters that show the current charge of the electrical system.

Automatic Transmission Used/Rebuilt Near You:

Automatic gear shifter detects changes in speed as the driver accelerates and shifts the vehicle to a higher gear. When the driver slows down, the same thing happens in reverse.

Axle Actuator Used/Rebuilt Near You:

When the driver switches from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive, the Axle Actuator activates the front axle. When the switch is activated, the control module activates an air pump located near the front of the vehicle. The pump begins to build pressure, which eventually causes a relief valve to open.                        

Axle Assembly Used/Rebuilt Near You:

This term refers to the axle shafts found at the front of an FWD vehicle and at the rear of an AWD vehicle. They do not support the weight of the vehicle; instead, they transfer power from the engine to the wheel.

Axle Shaft Used/Rebuilt Near You:

An axle is a rod or shaft that rotates your vehicle’s wheels and supports its weight. Axles are vital components of any vehicle and are classified into three types: front, rear, and stub. An axle is a rod or shaft that rotates your vehicle’s wheels and supports its weight.

Ball Joints Used/Reult Near You: Ball joints are components of a vehicle’s front suspension system. They aid in the formation of a connection between the control arms and the steering knuckles. This ensures that the suspension moves smoothly.

Blower Motor Used/Reult Near You: The blower motor is the fan that pushes heated or cooled air through dashboard vents depending on climate system settings and fan speed. Adjusting the fan speed sends a signal to the blower motor via a resistor to either speed up or slow it down.

Brake line and hoses Used/Reult Near You: Unlike the brake lines, which are metal tubes that run the length of the car, the short brake hose found at each wheel is made of rubber. The hose’s job is to transport brake fluid from a brake line attached to the car’s body all the way to the brake caliper on the wheel.

Brake Master Cylinder Used/Reult Near You: A hydraulic pump, the brake master cylinder, is also known as the master cylinder. It feeds brake fluid into the brake circuit to convert brake pedal pressure to hydraulic pressure.

Brake Pads Used/Reult Near You: Brake pads make contact with your rotors, causing friction that slows and stops your vehicle. Brake pads are part of a complex system that relies on all of its components to function properly and safely.

Bumper Cover Used/Reult Near You: A bumper cover’s primary function is to protect your vehicle in the event of a collision. Your bumper serves as a shock absorber, and the cover serves as an additional layer of protection. This helps to protect expensive exterior pieces and valuable engine parts in the event of a collision.                  

Bumper Reinforcement Used/Reult Near You: The bumper reinforcement is a solid bar that is attached to your vehicle’s bumper’s metal beam. It lessens the impact of a collision by adding support to your vehicle’s front and rear ends.

Cabin Air Filter Used/Rebuilt Near You: The cabin air filter is a small pleated filter constructed of multi-fiber paper cotton or another engineered material. Outside air is directed through this filter before entering the passenger compartment, trapping contaminants inside the filter and preventing them from entering the interior of your vehicle.

Carrier Assembly Used/Rebuilt Near You: A differential carrier assembly is a group of components that includes the differential casing, differential bearings, and differential assembly. It is also known as the axle carrier assembly or simply differential carrier assembly.

Catalytic Converter Used/Rebuilt Near You: The catalytic converter aids in the reduction of airborne pollutants that can harm both people and the environment by converting 90% of harmful emissions into less harmful gasses. A well-maintained catalytic converter improves your car’s efficiency, affecting its overall health and performance.

Chassis Control Module Used/Rebuilt Near You: The Chassis Control Module receives operation information and sends it to the TCM based on the cornering condition calculated from the driver’s steering input and the accelerator pedal condition.

Climate Control Used/Rebuilt Near You: The climate control system constantly measures the cabin air temperature using a number of sensors. It can then calculate how cold or hot the air being pumped into the cabin needs to be in order to maintain the temperature set by the driver.

Control Arm Used/Rebuilt Near You: The control arms are one of the most important components of a suspension system because they provide direct contact between the front wheel assemblies and the vehicle’s frame. The control arms allow the driver to steer the vehicle while also guiding the wheels up and down the road surface.

Coolant Reservoir Used/Rebuilt Near You: The coolant reservoir is a plastic reservoir mounted in the engine bay that stores the engine’s coolant. A coolant reservoir is required because every vehicle’s engine cycles between expelling and absorbing coolant as it cools down its heated body.

Coolant Temperature Sensor Used/Rebuilt Near You: The engine coolant temperature is measured using the Coolant Temperature Sensor. The sensor’s readings are then fed back to the engine control unit (ECU). The sensor data is then used to adjust the fuel injection and ignition timing.

Crankcase Ventilation Filter Used/Rebuilt Near You: A crankcase ventilation system removes unwanted gases from an internal combustion engine’s crankcase. A tube, a one-way valve, and a vacuum source are typical components of the system (such as the inlet manifold).

Cylinder Block Used/Rebuilt Near You: The structure that houses the cylinder, as well as any cylinder sleeves and coolant passages, is known as a cylinder block. Because cylinders were typically cast individually in the early decades of internal combustion engine development, cylinder blocks were typically produced individually for each cylinder.

Cylinder Head Used/Rebuilt Near You: The cylinder head is an engine component that seals the combustion chamber’s top. It is attached to the engine housing.

Dash Panel Used/Rebuilt Near You: A dashboard (also dash, instrument panel (IP), or fascia) is a control panel located within a vehicle’s or small aircraft’s central console. It displays instrumentation and controls for the vehicle’s operation and is usually located directly ahead of the driver (or pilot).

Daylight Running Lights Used/Rebuilt Near You: Daytime running lamps (DRLs) are front-end automotive lighting devices that turn on automatically when the engine starts. They’re also known as daytime running lights. The purpose of the DRL, unlike headlights, is not to help drivers see the road or their surroundings better.

Differential Used/Rebuilt Near You: The differential is a system that allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds, which is necessary when negotiating a turn. The outside wheel must travel further in a turn, which means it must travel faster than the inside wheels.

Disc Brakes Used/Rebuilt Near You: A disc brake is a type of brake that creates friction by squeezing pairs of pads against a disc or “rotor.” This action slows the rotation of a shaft, such as a vehicle axle, in order to either reduce its rotational speed or keep it stationary.

Drive Belt (AKA Serpentine Belt) Used/Rebuilt Near You: A serpentine belt (also known as a drive belt) is a single, continuous belt that drives multiple peripheral devices in an automobile engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, air pump, and so on.

Driveshaft Used/Rebuilt Near You: The drive shaft (The Propeller Shaft or Prop Shaft) is a component of a vehicle’s drive train that transfers torque from the transmission to the differential, which then transmits this torque to the wheels to move the vehicle.

Drum Brakes Used/Rebuilt Near You: Brake system that creates friction by pressing brake pads outward against a drum to slow a vehicle.

ECM Used/Rebuilt Bear You (Engine Control Module or Engine Control Unit): An engine control unit (ECU), also known as an engine control module (ECM), is a type of electronic control unit that regulates a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure peak performance.

Emergency/Hand Brake Used/Rebuilt Bear You: The emergency brake, which is part of your vehicle’s brake system, works independently of the main brake system to keep your vehicle from rolling away. The emergency brake, also known as a parking brake, hand brake, and e-brake, was originally designed to be used if the vehicle’s main braking system failed.

Engine Used/Rebuilt Bear You: Your car’s engine is its beating heart. It is a complex machine designed to convert the heat generated by the burning gas into the force that turns the road wheels.

Engine Air Filter Used/Rebuilt Bear You: An engine air filter protects your engine from damage caused by dirt, dust, sand, and other contaminants, but if it becomes clogged, your vehicle’s performance will suffer. A cabin air filter is used to clean the air that enters your vehicle’s cabin.

Engine Fuse Box Used/Rebuilt Bear You: The majority of vehicles have two fuse boxes. One is in the engine compartment and protects engine components such as the cooling system, anti-lock brake pump, and engine control unit.

Exhaust System Used/Rebuilt Bear You: The exhaust system collects exhaust gases from the cylinders, removes harmful substances, reduces noise, and discharges the purified exhaust gases at a safe distance from the vehicle’s occupants. Depending on the engine, the exhaust system may have one or two channels.

Front Lamp Used/Rebuilt Near You: A headlamp is a light that is mounted in front of a vehicle to illuminate the road ahead. Headlamps are also commonly referred to as headlights, but in the most precise usage, a headlamp refers to the device itself, whereas a headlight refers to the beam of light produced and distributed by the device.

Fuel Filter Used/Rebuilt Near You: A fuel filter is a permeable barrier that cleans the fuel of impurities, sediment, contaminants, and rust before they enter the fuel injection system and, ultimately, the engine of your vehicle. The fuel filter can be a cartridge with paper filtering material inside.

Fully Independent Suspension Used/Rebuilt Near You: Any automobile suspension system that allows each wheel on the same axle to move vertically (i.e. react to a bump in the road) independently of the others is known as independent suspension.

FWD (Front Wheel Drive) Used/Rebuilt Near You: Front-wheel-drive vehicles are typically lighter and more fuel-efficient than all-wheel-drive vehicles. Because they have fewer moving parts, they require less maintenance. If a part does break, it is usually easier and less expensive to repair. Front-wheel-drive vehicles also have more interior space than all-wheel-drive vehicles.

No Part Terms Defined

Head Unit (Radio) Used/Rebuilt Near You: The head unit is what allows you to select the audio source, adjust the volume, select the song you want to hear, or select the radio station you want to listen to. All audio signals begin with the head unit.

Headlight Used/Rebuilt Near You: The primary function of car headlights is to illuminate the road and allow for fatigue-free and safe driving. Thus, headlights and their light sources are vehicle components that are important for safety. They must have official approval and cannot be tampered with.

High Mounted Brake Light Used/Rebuilt Near You: A high mount lamp assembly is a light fixture that is attached to the top of the rear window. It, along with the two brake lights on the back of the vehicle, illuminates when you apply the brakes. The lamp, like the other brake lights on the vehicle, is red.

IFS Assembly (Independent Front Suspension Assembly) Used/: The IFS, which is available in drive and non-drive configurations, is a component of the company’s field-proven and widely acclaimed Independent Suspension Axle Systems (ISAS®). This bolt-on modular solution requires no modifications to the vehicle’s existing frame rails, maintains ride height, and provides superior ride, handling, and control.

Instrument Cluster Used/Rebuilt Near You: The instrument cluster of a vehicle houses the various displays and indicators that allow the driver to operate the vehicle. Among these are various gauges, such as a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, fuel gauge, and so on.

Internal Combustion Engine Used/Rebuilt Near You: Internal-combustion engines are heat engines in the sense that they convert energy from the heat of burning gasoline into mechanical work, or torque. To move the car, torque is applied to the wheels.

IRS Assembly Used/Rebuilt Near You (Independent Rear Suspension Assembly): It allows the front wheels to move independently up and down, so if one wheel hits a pothole, the entire axle does not move. Independent Rear Suspension – Like IFS, this suspension system allows the rear wheels to move independently. It provides a more comfortable ride than an IFS system alone.

No Auto Parts Terms Defined

K-Frame Used/Rebuilt Near Me: The K-Member is a chassis structural component that can be removed. It connects to the frame rails and passes beneath the engine. The K-member serves as the primary mounting point for the majority of the front suspension. Mounting points are also provided for the Motor Mounts and Steering Rack.

Knee Used/Rebuilt Near Me: The front knee is the entire suspension assembly that supports each of the front wheels. The strut, steering knuckle, and upper and lower control arms are all components of the knee assembly. A properly functioning knee assembly affects the overall quality and safety of your driving experience.

Loaded Beam Axle Used/Rebuilt Near You: A beam axle, rigid axle, or solid axle is a type of dependent suspension design that connects a set of wheels laterally via a single beam or shaft. Beam axles were once commonly used at a vehicle’s rear wheels, but they have also been used as front axles in four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Manual Transmission Used/Rebuilt Near You: A manual transmission car is one that changes gears by using a stick shift and a clutch pedal. When you want to accelerate or decelerate, you will shift gears. Manual vehicles are sometimes referred to as “standard.”

Navigation System Used/Rebuilt Near You: An automotive navigation system is either built into the car’s controls or a third-party add-on that helps drivers find their way around. It typically obtains its position data from a satellite navigation device, which is then correlated to a road position.

Odometer Used/Rebuilt Near You: An odometer is a device used to calculate the distance traveled by a vehicle. The odometer is usually found in the dashboard of a vehicle. The term “odometer” comes from two Greek words that mean “path” and “measure.”

Oil Pressure Gauge Used/Rebuilt Near You: An oil pressure gauge is a device that measures the amount of oil in your vehicle. This device not only tells you how much oil is left in your vehicle, but it also indicates the overall health of your engine.

Power Brake Booster Used/Rebuilt Near You: Power brake boosters use vacuum from the engine or a separate pump to help slow the vehicle down when you depress the brakes. This makes the brake pedal much easier to press and improves the vehicle’s braking response.

Power Steering Pump Used/Rebuilt Near You: The power-steering pump pressurizes the hydraulic fluid, which assists the driver in turning the steering wheel. Leaks, noises, or decreased steering assistance are all signs of a failing steering pump. The sudden loss of power assist is more likely to be caused by a broken drive belt or a loss of steering fluid.

Quarter Panel Used/Rebuilt Near You: The term “quarter panel” refers to traditional vehicle construction methods that were developed in the early days of the automotive industry. Before attaching the frame, doors, and front sheet metal parts, a quarter panel was literally one-quarter of a vehicle’s body.

Radiator Core Support Used/Rebuit Near You: A radiator support is a steel, plastic, or aluminum frame that secures the radiator and its cover. It also connects your radiator to your engine assembly frame’s side aprons and upper and lower rails.

Rearview Mirror Used/Rebuilt Near You: In automobiles and other vehicles, a rear-view mirror is a flat mirror. The rearview mirror is critical for the safety of the driver and passengers. Drivers can easily monitor the traffic around them and prepare for any potential hazards.

Running Board Used/Rebuilt Near You: It is a long platform between the two wheels attached to a vehicle’s doors that allows passengers to board and exit the vehicle with ease. Running boards are most commonly found on trucks and SUVs, where the high ground clearance makes it difficult to enter or exit.

Sequential Manual Gearbox Used/Rebuilt Near You: In a vehicle equipped with a sequential manual gearbox, you simply press a lever or a paddle to cycle through each gear in sequence, whether you are up-shifting or down-shifting. A sequential manual gearbox is typically found in a car designed for high performance or in a race car.

Serpentine Belt Used/Rebuilt Near You (AKA Drive Belt): A serpentine belt is a single, continuous belt that drives multiple peripheral devices in an automobile engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, air pump, and so on.

Shock Absorbers/Shocks Used/Rebuilt Near You: Shock absorbers are an important part of the suspension system. They control the impact and rebound movement of your vehicle’s springs and suspension, as well as ensuring that the tires are always in contact with the road surface.

Side View Mirror Used/Rebuilt Near You: It is a mirror mounted on the outside of a vehicle that allows the driver to see what is behind, to the right, or to the left of the vehicle.

Speedometer Used/Rebuilt Near You: A speedometer is a device that indicates the speed of a vehicle and is usually combined with an odometer, which records the distance traveled.

Spindle/Knuckle Used/Rebuilt Near You: One of the components of the automotive steering system is the steering knuckle. It contains wheel hubs (or spindles) and connects to a vehicle’s suspension and steering components to transfer steering wheel movements to the front wheels.

Stabilizer Bar Used/Rebuilt Near You: Stabilizer bars help prevent your vehicle from rolling over. It consists of a U-shaped steel bar attached to each of the vehicle’s front wheels. When your vehicle makes a turn, its body rolls to one side or its weight shifts to one side.

Starter Motor Used/Rebuilt Near You: A starter (also known as a self-starter, cranking motor, or starter motor) is a device that rotates (cranks) an internal-combustion engine to start it under its own power. Electric, pneumatic, and hydraulic starters are all options.

Steering Column Used/Rebuilt Near You: A vehicle’s steering column is the rod to which the steering wheel is attached. The steering wheel is attached to a shaft that runs through the steering column. The steering column is responsible for transporting steering inputs to the steering rack or box. The steering wheel is connected to the steering column by a shaft.

Steering Knuckle Used/Rebuilt Near You: One of the components of the automotive steering system is the steering knuckle. It contains wheel hubs (or spindles) and connects to a vehicle’s suspension and steering components to transfer steering wheel movements to the front wheels.

Steering Rack and Pinion Used : A gear-set is used in rack and pinion steering to convert the circular motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion required to turn the wheels. It also has a gear reduction, which makes turning the wheels easier.

Tachometer Used/Rebuilt Near You: A tachometer is a device that measures an engine’s operating speed, typically in revolutions per minute (RPM). It is widely used in automobiles, boats, planes, and other vehicles. Most tachometer gauges have a digital (LCD or LED screen) or analog (dial) display.

Throttle Body Assembly Used/Rebuilt Near You: A throttle body is a tube-shaped housing containing a flat valve (butterfly) that rotates to control the amount of air that enters an engine.

Traction Control Used/Rebuilt Near You: The traction control system (TCS) detects traction loss among the vehicle’s wheels. When the system detects a wheel that is losing its grip on the road, it automatically applies the brakes to that wheel or reduces the car’s engine power to the slipping wheel.

Transfer Case Used/Rebuilt Near You: Transfer cases, as part of the drivetrain, assist vehicles with rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive functionality. This component transfers power from the transmission to the front and rear axles via the drive shaft.

Transmission Shifter Used/Rebuilt Near You: On a manual transmission, the gear shifter allows the vehicle to be shifted into different gears. The gear shifter is known as a gear selector in an automatic transmission. On a manual transmission, the gear shifter is normally located between the vehicle’s two front seats.

Transmission/transaxle Used/Rebuilt Near You: A transaxle is an integrated assembly that combines the transmission, differential, and ancillary systems around the axle. Transaxle configurations are typically found in vehicles where the engine is located at the same end of the vehicle as the drive wheels.

Understeer Used/Rebuilt Near Me: Understeer occurs when the front wheels begin to plow straight even when the steering wheel is turned, and oversteer occurs when the rear of the car is fishtailed. Understeer is more common in front-wheel drive vehicles, while oversteer is more common in rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a serial number of 17 characters that is used to identify a specific vehicle. Consider it a fingerprint, because no two VIN numbers are identical, even if the vehicles are of the same make and model.

Wheel Cylinder Used/Rebuilt Near You: A hydraulic drum brake includes a wheel cylinder. The brake shoes must be forced apart and pressed against the brake drum by the wheel cylinder. This causes friction and slows the wheel down.

Window Motor Used/Rebuilt Near You: Power windows are almost universal in modern vehicles, and if a window does not move up and down, the electric motor that supplies power may be faulty. The window motor is installed inside the door panel and is connected to the regulator, which is the mechanical assembly that does the heavy lifting to raise and lower the window.

Window Regulator Used/Rebuilt Near You: The window regulator is the mechanical assembly that moves a window up and down when power is applied to an electric motor or the window crank is turned on manual windows. Window regulators are hidden inside the door panel, out of sight and mind, until they fail.

Window Switch Used/Rebuilt Near You: The window switch on the driver’s door operates all of the vehicle’s windows. A cut out switch, also known as a window lock switch, allows only the driver door to activate the other windows. This is an excellent idea for small children or animals who may fall out of a moving vehicle.

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No Auto Parts Terms Defined

No Auto Parts Terms Defined

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