auto repair jargon

Auto Repair Jargon You Should Know

No matter how good you are at taking care of your vehicles, you’ll probably end up having to take them to a mechanic for something big. Listening to them talk can be a confusing experience if you aren’t all that knowledgeable about the inside of your car.

Most of the things that auto repair mechanics say are easy to understand if you take the time to research them.


This one’s straightforward. It refers to your anti-lock braking system, which keeps your car from skidding by releasing and applying the brakes as needed.

Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts are car parts that weren’t made by the vehicle’s original manufacturer. If your mechanic is recommending aftermarket parts, you should know that they can be better for your car than the factory parts you currently have.

The Big End is Gone

A big end refers to a large bearing in your car’s engine. If it’s gone, that means that the bearing has worn out and needs to be replaced immediately. You can tell if it’s worn out by listening for a loud knocking from the engine if you accelerate.

Let your mechanic know if you’ve had work done on the engine in the past. If you haven’t, then the big end is unlikely to be worn.

The Brakes are Spongy

If a mechanic says this, they mean that your brake pedal is offering far less resistance than it should when it’s pressed down. This is a fairly common issue that simply means you need more brake fluid.

Cam Belt

The cam belt is a belt that connects many of your engine components together. If your mechanic says it needs to be replaced, don’t be too worried. These belts, also known as timing belts, should be replaced every 60,000 miles on average.

Diagnostic Check

A diagnostic check is what happens when an auto repair mechanic plugs a small computerized piece of equipment into your vehicle’s electronic control unit. This is how they check for any electrical problems in your car, but it can still take time to determine how the problem happened in the first place.


The differential is the component that allows the front and rear wheels to rotate at different speeds. This allows the wheels to move properly when you’re turning at a corner.

Fan Belt

Your car’s fan belt is the belt that keeps the fan that cools the engine running. These are prone to snap, and replacements are fairly easy to perform.


This stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and it refers to the default car parts that came from the factory.

Play in Your Steering Wheel

If a mechanic says you have excessive play in your steering wheel or suspension, that means that there’s a movement where there shouldn’t be any. You can notice play when the steering wheel moves before the wheels start to move. Movement should be simultaneous between them.


Pulling simply means that you need a new wheel alignment. It happens when your steering wheel is moving to the right or left on its own while you’re trying to steer straight ahead.


Torque is a measurement of the time it takes for power to arrive at the wheels. This is used to determine how well your car accelerates on the road.


If you’re looking to repair your car, make sure you buy the best auto parts in the market.