Automotive Dictionary

We know mechanics can speak their own language. That’s why we’ve tried to de-mystify some of the more unusual terminology to ensure you’re in control of your vehicle.



Diesel engine:
Diesel engines do not have spark plugs or carburettors like a petrol engine, instead glow plugs are used to preheat air in the cylinders to ensure easy starts. Diesel engines usually run with greater efficiency and higher torque. These attributes lead to better fuel economy and towing performance.

What occurs when an engine continues to burn fuel and runs briefly after the car has been switched off.

A small dent or scrape in the body of the vehicle.

Directional stability:
A vehicle’s ability to maintain a true course of travel despite bumps, crosswinds and uneven road surfaces.

A phenomena where two cars running nose to tail together can move faster than an individual vehicle.

Drag coefficient:
A measure of the aerodynamic sleekness of an object.

Drive belt:
The big belt that you see when you open the hood of your car. It’s a continuous belt that drives multiple parts of the engine, such as alternator, water pump, power steering pump and air pump.

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Who is Elvio?

Elvio is a seasoned Motor Mechanic with 25 years experience in the automotive industry. Well-known for asking the most obvious questions and his bizarre obsession with Datsuns (having owned more than 10), he seems to think the 70s was the golden era of motoring. Current rumours suggest he owns more than 100 caps, prefers Belgium bier to Australian and has been confused with the real Speedy Gonzalez. Well-known at the racetrack for getting maximum performance on a budget and his obsessive attention to detail, he is now taking his passion for all things with an engine to help his customers in his blog. Ask Elvio.