How Well Do You Know Your Auto Slang?

By: Annette

What is a drophead?

A drophead is a convertible, according to British auto slang. This word is most commonly used to refer to a Rolls-Royce.

What is a car's beltline?

The beltline refers to the edge just below all the glass on your car. This line around the circumference of your car is the beltline.

What is the difference between the direction you steered and the direction in which your tires are going?

The slip angle refers to the difference between where you turned your steering wheel and where your wheels are actually going. Knowing your slip angle makes you a better driver.

What's the term that describes when the rear tires lose traction around a corner?

Oversteer is experienced when your back tires lose traction around a corner. The back end slips out, and you start to go sideways.

Opposite lock is also known as what?

Countersteering, or opposite lock, is when you crank the steering wheel in the opposite direction of a turn. This means that you will scoot sideways.

Aftermarket parts are made by _____ .

Aftermarket parts are made by someone other than your manufacturer. Every mechanic knows that!

Baldinis

Heavily worn or bald tires are called baldinis. You definitely don't want a set of baldinis on your vehicle.

What restores a car's structural geometry to factory settings?

A bench is what is used to restore your car's geometry to factory settings. A bench is a heavy metal platform.

The skeleton of your car is made of what?

Your car has a set of A, B and C pillars. These are different structural components of the car. Longer cars have D pillars.

Lockup affects your _____.

Lockup is something that you experience with the brakes. When lockup occurs, you feel your tires start to skid.

When your car naturally steers in one direction or another when you give it some juice, what is the term?

Torque steer is what occurs when your car naturally angles to one direction or the other when you give it some gas. This is more common with FWD cars.

Torque numbers are measured in which of these?

These are two ways of describing the measurement of your torque. It can also be called pound-feet or foot-pounds.

The distribution of braking power is called _____.

Brake bias refers to the distribution of braking power from the front to the back of your vehicle. Ideally, you'll like perfect balance.

Breathing refers to _____.

The engine breathes, similar in fashion to how humans breathe. It fills the cylinders with air-fuel mix and then expels exhaust.

What is a cherry picker?

The crane-like engine hoist is referred to as the cherry picker. If you say this to your mechanic, he'll be impressed.

What are dikes?

Dikes are wire cutters. The term is short for "diagonal cutters."

What's the term for the dipping of the car's nose when braking?

The dive is the dipping of your car's nose when brakes are applied. Diving is natural for most cars.

What's another term for a cutting torch?

The cutting torch used on vehicles is called the gas axe. It's a seriously powerful tool.

Hemispherical combustion chambers are also called what?

A HEMI engine is any engine that has hemispherical combustion chambers on its cylinder head. Everyone should know what a HEMI is.

Which of these is slang for a mechanic?

A grease monkey is another name for a mechanic. Just don't call him that to his face.

A dynometer is also known by what other name?

The dynometer is otherwise known as the dyno. It's the meter that is used to measure horsepower.

What does LKQ stand for?

LKQ refers to like kind and quality. This is in reference to a salvaged replacement part that is as good in quality as the original.

What do you call it when the fuel/air mixture randomly explodes?

Knock and detonation are the same thing. It is what happens when the air/fuel mix in the combustion chamber explodes just after the spark is lit.

Purposely burning off impurities from new brake pads is known as what?

Bedding the brake pads is a process of purposely burning off the impurities from the surface. This makes the brakes work better.

The engine computer is the _____.

The OBD is the on-board diagnostic tool. It's a computer that you'll find in pretty much every modern vehicle.

Naturally aspirated refers to the _____.

A naturally aspirated engine takes in air to mix with fuel on its own. There are no modifications to the engine to make this process better.

A supercharged engine does what?

A supercharged engine sucks in more air, using a compressor. The extra air makes a small engine more powerful.

What is a turbocharger?

A turbocharger is similar to a supercharger, but slightly different. The difference is that it uses an exhaust-driven turbine to force more air into the engine.

Applying a short stab of throttle is known as what?

When you blip the throttle, you apply a short stab of throttle. This temporarily raises the engine revs.

What is downshifting an automatic transmission by depressing​ the accelerator?

A kickdown is the downshift in an automatic transmission that is caused by depressing the accelerator. It's not a wrestling move.

What is menu pricing?

Menu pricing is basically the mechanic's fees for both time and parts. Menu pricing can give you heartburn.

An engine with a bore larger than the stroke is called what?

An oversquare engine has a bore that is larger than the stroke. Stroke ratio applies to reciprocating piston engines.

What's a slang term for ball-joint separators?

Pickle forks are the mechanics' term for ball-joint separators. It's always good to nickname your tools.

Which is a valve for controlling boost in a turbocharger?

The waste-gate is the name for the valve that controls boost in a turbocharger. More specifically, it limits boost.

The art of the mechanic is also known as what?

The art of the mechanic is referred to as wrenching. A mechanic can be referred to as a wrench.

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About This Quiz

You can drive like a demon, but if you can't talk the talk, you're not a gearhead. In this quiz, we're going to test your knowledge of the most important auto slang. It's time to sound like a mechanic.

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