Jargon Buster – A to Z of Car Terms

a-zMotoring is full of abbreviations you’ve probably never heard before, so if you hear your DPF  is blocked, or someone you know just bought a ZEV never fear- it’s probably in our a – z jargon buster list writes Suzanne Keane

A-Z of Car Terms

  • AWD – All wheel drive (or another way of saying 4 wheel drive!)
  • BHP – Brake Horse Power (A measure of the engines horsepower)
  • CRD – Common Rail Diesel (This is where a single pressurised fuel line supplies all the diesel to cylinders in an engine)
  • DPF – Diesel Particulate Filter (This removes soot from exhaust gas and they have a tendency to get blocked quite frequently!)
  • EGR– Exhaust Gas Recirculation (This redirects some of the emissions back into the engine to improve fuel economy)
  • FWD – Front Wheel Drive
  • GWV – Gross Vehicle Weight (This is the maximum weight of the entire car, including all passengers, luggage AND the car itself!)
  • HIDs – High Intensity Discharge Lamps (See also Xenon)
  • I – injection
  • Km – Kilometers
  • LED – Light Emitting Diode (These give a much brighter and cleaner looking light and last longer too!)
  • MAF – Mass Air Flow Meter (Measures the air entering the engine in order the balance the fuel)
  • Nm – A measure of Torque (The engines turning force)
  • OBD – On Board Diagnostics
  • PAB – Passenger Airbag
  • RWD – Rear Wheel Drive
  • SRS – Supplementary Restraint System (This is another name for your airbag system – designed to work in conjunction with seatbelts)
  • TBO – is for Turbo!
  • UVW – Unloaded Vehicle Weight
  • VIN – Vehicle Identification Number (also referred to as a Chassis Number)
  • W/B – Wheelbase
  • Xenon – Lights that use a gas filled bulb and an electrical arc to light
  • YOM – Year of Manufacture
  • ZEV – Zero Emissions Vehicle


Suzanne Keane

15th May, 2014


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @g60girl

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