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A component of suspension, these metal rods connect the tires and wheels to the chassis. They are usually shaped like an "A", with the point of the A connected to the wheel and the bottom two points of the A connected to the chassis. There are usually two A-arms at each wheel, one top and bottom. Also called wishbones.
The roof support on either side of a vehicle's windshield. A-pillars are designed to support a large portion of the vehicle's weight in the event of a roll-over.
A hard material, such as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide, that is powdered and carefully graded according to particle size, and used to shape or polish surfaces.
Moisture in the air (rain, dew, fog) traps air born chemicals, creating a mild solution of hydrochloric acid. If acid rain falls or collects on your car, and the water dries in the warm Sun, the concentration of acid increases and eventually etches (creates a small circular marks) your paint . Unless very severe, acid rain spots can be removed by polishing the paint.
A blend of chemicals which make a special kind of plastic. There are many different "grades" of ABS type plastic. It is a thermoplastic. It is tough, hard and rigid. Good chemical resistance and dimensional stability; creep resistance, electroplatable, moderate strength, inexpensive. Tendency to stress crack. This is the very best material available for the manufacturing of Ground Effects type products.
Active Suspension System
A computer controlled system that utilizes powered actuators in place of regular springs and shock absorbers. The computer controls the position and movement of each wheel's suspension to provide the best possible ride characteristics under varying conditions.
A substance added in small amounts to something. The most common types of automotive additives are fuel additives (such as fuel injector cleaner) and oil additives (such as friction modifiers). MotorUP®, DuraLube®, Slick-50®, and Prolong® are examples of popular friction modifiers added to motor oil.
The ability of a tire to remain in contact with the road surface. The property of oil that causes it to cling to metal surfaces, such as bearings.
To bring the parts of a component, system, or device to a specific relationship, dimension, temperature, or pressure.
The resistance of air against an object, such as an automobile, trying to pass through it. Also referred to as air drag and air resistance.
Generally, non-OEM replacement parts and high performance products.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
A term used to describe vehicles where all four wheels are driven by the engine. All-wheel-drive vehicles generally have better traction than two-wheel-drive (2WD) vehicles. All-wheel-drive differs from four-wheel-drive (4WD) because it can be used under any road conditions.
An electric generator that produces alternating current (AC) but is rectified to direct current (DC) by diodes. An alternator converts the rotating motion of an engine into electricity to power a vehicle's electrical components and keep its battery fully charged.
Used on the front of vehicle, mounted ahead of spindles, to enhance stability by preventing airflow from getting underneath vehicle.
Even during low speed operation, the engine pulls in a tremendous volume of air. This air has a great deal of abrasive particles, which must be prevented from entering the engine. The air cleaner traps the abrasive particles before they can enter the engine.
The relative proportions of air and fuel entering an engine's cylinders as produced by the fuel-injection system; the measure of the amount of air and fuel needed for proper combustion. The ideal or stoichiometric ratio for gasoline is 14.7: 1 air to fuel by weight. A higher ratio would contain more air and less fuel, and would be considered a lean mixture. A lower ratio with more fuel and less air would be a rich mixture. The air/fuel ratio is determined by orifice opening and fuel pulse duration of a fuel injector.
A chemical solution added to the coolant (water) to prevent freezing; usually ethylene glycol and anticorrosion chemicals. Ethylene glycol resists evaporation, but the anticorrosion elements in the antifreeze may be used up in one year, depending on the amount and type of driving.
Antilock Braking System (ABS)
A computer controlled pump which varies the hydraulic pressure to each wheel's brake in order to prevent a vehicle's brakes from locking up. The computer distributes hydraulic pressure during hard braking based on the variance between the speed of each wheel (as measured by sensors at each wheel).
A suspension component (used at the front and/or the rear) that reduces body roll by resisting any unequal vertical motion between the pair of wheels to which it is connected. An antiroll bar does not affect suspension stiffness when both wheels are deflected equally in the same direction. Antiroll bars are often referred to as Sway Bars or Stabilizer Bars.
A tire unable to remain in contact with the ground or pavement in wet weather that rides on the water itself. Also known as hydroplaning or, more simply, planing.
Automatic Transmission (A/T)
A transmission which automatically selects the appropriate gear without any input from the driver. Gears are chosen according to the speed of the vehicle and load on the engine. Automatic transmissions are either hydraulic or electric operated.
The ratio between the rotational speed (rpm) of the drive shaft and that of the driven wheel; gear reduction through the differential, determined by dividing the number of teeth on the ring gear by the number of teeth on the drive pinion.
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