If you’ve ever taken your car into your local garage for a MOT or service and found yourself nodding along to whatever the mechanic is saying but not understanding a word then this article is for you.

Here’s a list of words, phrases and acronyms to be on the listen out for:


Your anti-lock braking system takes control of your brakes to prevent them from locking up and skidding. This helps control your steering.


A device which converts mechanical energy from the engine to electricity for the 12 volt battery which in turn powers the vehicle’s electrical systems when the engine is running.

Cam Belt
This is a rubber belt (often known as the timing belt) that drives moving parts inside the top of the engine.

Otherwise known as shock absorbers, these are key components of a car’s suspension system which are designed to take the impact of the car rising and falling when travelling.

The diesel particulate filter traps exhaust soot in order to reduce emissions from diesel cars. The particles are then burned off at high temperatures.

An electric vehicle covering anything from Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs), Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) and Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) vehicles.

Fuel Injection
Atomised fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder in a car’s engine.

Usually fitted into all new cars, this electronic safety device prevents the engine from turning on unless the correct key is used.

This is a colourless, flammable hydrocarbon in petrol that reduces engine knock (pinging) when pockets of air-fuel mixture burn after the main combustion.

When you register your vehicle with the DVLA as no longer used on the road, you fill out a statutory off-road notification. You will receive a road tax refund and you don’t have to insure the vehicle.

The measure of force that can cause an object to rotate around its axis. In motoring terms it measures how quickly engine power can be transferred to the wheels (how quickly a car can accelerate).

Part of the combustion engine, each cylinder in an engine has at least two of them. They allow the fuel mixture in and the exhaust gases out when they open and close.

Vehicle excise duty (road tax), is split into three price bands (zero, standard and premium). Read our article on how these charges work.

At Volante/MEB Motors if we discover any repairs that need doing, we contact you to explain what needs fixing and an estimated cost. It is explained in a simple, easy to understand manner, just one reasons why customers return to us time and time again. To book in a service, call us on 020 8807 0668.

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