Learn To Speak Car

How often do you read about a car and come across a phrase or set of letters (like ESC, ISOFIX, or TPMS without having any idea about what they actually mean or stand for? Well fear not, because we’ve created the below information for you to help explain the car lingo and acronyms that you don’t understand. Is there anything missing from this list that you would like us to add? Contact us and we’ll see what we can do!

Lane departure assist can refer to one of two systems – either a system that warns you when you are about to exit your lane unexpectedly, or a system that combines the warning feature with autonomous steering to actively keep you inside your lane.

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Comfort: Leather seats are known for their softness and suppleness, providing a comfortable seating experience, especially during long drives. They can also adjust to your body temperature, making them feel cozy in cooler weather and cooler in warmer weather.

MPVs are designed to carry up to around seven people in comfort and safety. They are normally smaller than a van, but larger than the average sedan or station wagon/estate, with a high roof which makes it easy to take loads in and out of the car while giving all passengers plenty of space inside.

Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) is Fiat’s version of an Engine Drag Torque Control (EDTC) system.

A New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) is an assessment organisation in a specific region which crash tests new cars to determine a safety rating for each vehicle based on a number of variables.

The number of doors on a vehicle refers to the openings through which passengers and cargo can enter and exit the car. Most commonly, vehicles are categorized by the number of doors they have, typically ranging from two to five doors, although some vehicles may have more.

A PEPS (Passive Entry, Passive Start) system allows you to open the doors and start your car without needing to take the key out of your pocket or bag.

A panoramic sunroof is a premium feature that offers an expansive and immersive open-air experience, spanning the length of the vehicle's roof.

The term power-to-weight ratio refers to how much power a car has relative to its weight.

Powertrain is a word to describe the parts of a car that generate power and deliver that power to the ground to propel the car forward. In regular cars this includes the engine, gearbox, drive shaft(s), differential(s), and the wheels. In electric and hybrid vehicles the powertrain also includes the battery pack and electric motor as well.

A Ready Alert Braking (RAB) system anticipates when the driver might be about to make a sudden stop and prepares the brakes in case they are required.

A Roll Movement Intervention (RMI) system detects when a vehicle may be on the verge of rolling and takes corrective action through usage of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system to try and ensure that the vehicle remains upright.

A Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) system is where the power from the engine is sent to the rear wheels of the car only. The rear wheels then push the rest of the car forward with the front wheels only being used for steering and braking.

Rear parking sensors utilize ultrasonic or radar technology to detect objects, such as other vehicles, walls, or obstacles, located behind the vehicle. When an obstacle is detected within a certain range, the sensors provide audible or visual alerts to warn the driver, indicating the distance between the vehicle and the obstacle.

Remote start enables you to start your vehicle without being inside it. Remote start systems are either operated by a button on the key fob or an app on your phone. At the press of a button your car will turn itself on and start running which can be a huge benefit in the UAE during the hotter months as it allows you to get the car running with the air conditioning going before you even step outside. Different systems work in slightly different ways – the traditional form of remote start requires you to have a line of sight with the car and be within 50-100m of the car, while more modern systems allow you to start the car using your smartphone from anywhere in the world.

A reversing camera, also known as a backup camera or rearview camera, is a modern safety feature designed to enhance visibility and assist drivers when reversing their vehicle.

The Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) is (as the name suggests) a side impact protection system developed by Volvo. It uses advanced vehicle construction techniques combined with airbags to protect occupants against a side impact.

An SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) is traditionally a large, five-door vehicle with off-road capability.

Every car on the road has a degree of speedometer error. In a standard setup where the car has not been modified the speedo will always read a speed that is slightly higher than the actual speed that the vehicle is travelling. Manufacturers deliberately design the system in this way to ensure that the speedo never reads a speed lower than what the car is actually travelling. This is done for both safety reasons and so that the manufacturer cannot be liable for speeding fines incurred by the driver.

Split folding rear seats allow you to fold down one or both sections of the rear seatback independently, providing flexibility in seating arrangements and cargo configurations. This versatility allows you to optimize the use of space in the rear compartment, accommodating passengers and cargo simultaneously as needed.

A supercharger is a device that forces air into the engine to enhance performance. It operates in a very similar way to a turbocharger, and in fact a turbocharger is actually a form of supercharger (and used to be called a turbosupercharger) but the term “supercharger” in modern automotive use is generally accepted to refer to a supercharger that is mechanically driven (by a belt, chain, gear etc. unlike turbos which are driven by air flow).

A Traction Control System (TCS) can work in a number of different ways but the end goal is always the same – to stop a wheel (or wheels) from slipping unintentionally, helping the car to maintain grip.

Sorry to all you American readers – we’re using the international spelling of tyre for this one! A Tyre-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) constantly monitors tyre pressures and will generally alert the driver if the pressure in any tyre drops below a pre-determined level.

A Traffic-Sign Recognition (TSR) system uses cameras and image-processing software to recognise various traffic signs.

Trim Level is a term that refers to how well-equipped a certain car model, or sub-model is.

A turbocharger (more commonly known simply as a turbo) is a device that forces air into the engine to enhance performance.

Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) is another name for an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.

The vehicle model year is the year in which a particular car model was manufactured and released for sale to the public. New model years often bring updates and improvements, such as enhanced technology, updated styling, or tweaks to performance. However, it's also worth noting that sometimes changes between model years can be minor, so it's essential to research specific differences if you're comparing two model years of the same car.

Voice control technology in vehicles allows drivers to operate various functions using voice commands, providing a hands-free and safer driving experience.

The wheelbase of a vehicle refers to the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels. It's a fundamental measurement that plays a significant role in determining a vehicle's stability, handling, and interior space.

Wireless charging is a convenient and hassle-free way to power up your mobile devices without the need for cables or plugs. Here's what you need to know about it:

The common definition of a hybrid car is one that uses a traditional petrol engine combined with an electric motor (or set of electric motors) to provide power for the car.

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