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.



To run an engine at high speed when not in gear. Also the inner and outer ring that provides a contact surface for the balls or rollers in a bearing.

A soft-top convertible.

Rail job:
A vehicle that has been transformed into a dragster built around a long pipe frame with minimal body panels.

A vehicle, which has the ground clearance or body, altered so that either the front or rear of the vehicle is increased or lowered, thus giving the vehicle a tilted appearance.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD):
Opposite to front-wheel drive, power is applied through the rear wheels only.

The point on the engine tachometer that indicates the maximum rpm the engine can safely withstand.

Rizzi (or rizzide):
Slang for a source of transportation.

Running rough:
A car not running as it should or ‘not feeling right’ on the road. It is often caused by bad fuel, a low battery, clogged air filter, low oil or damaged spark plugs.

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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.