South Florida's Premier European Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility Since 1978
Foreign Affirs Motorsport
1935 N.W. 40TH COURT
Foreign Affairs Motorsport
(954) 746-0488 Mon-Fri 8am - 5:30pm

Commonly Used Auto Repair Terms

Auto Repair Terms

If you’ve ever taken your car into an auto repair facility, you’ll know there is specific auto repair jargon. Some jargon is easier to understand, such as an oil filter, for instance. Most of us may understand how an air filter works because of its name. But when your mechanic mentions that your camshaft and differential need attention, you may feel out of your depth. We’re going to help you with the most commonly used auto repair terms. Read this list, and you’ll be well on your way to telling a mechanic a thing or two.


An alternator powers most of your car’s electronics while you’re driving. Think of your headlights, entertainment system, or windshield wipers. It’s your alternator that distributes electricity to most of these systems. Your alternator also recharges your battery.

Brake Fluid

The liquid in the brake system that functions like hydraulic fluid. When you step on your brake pedal, brake fluid is fed into the brake system to apply the brakes. Brake fluid keeps your brakes sharp and responsive.

Catalytic Converter

A component in your exhaust system that controls emissions. It uses chemical oxidation to cleanse your engine’s exhaust gasses before they exit through the tailpipe.


A gear system that causes the driving wheels on the outside to rotate faster than the inside driving wheels. This is used when your vehicle turns a corner. Many vehicles are fitted with a limited-slip differential that delivers the correct amount of power to the wheels.

Engine Block

This is the largest part of an internal combustion engine. This lower part of the engine includes your crankshaft, pistons, and connecting rods. These are all contained in an oil-tight housing. Be sure to use an experienced mechanic when it comes to engine block repairs. You don’t want to mess around with your engine.

Fuel Injectors

Nozzles or injectors which spray fuel into the intake manifold. Injectors allow for precise fuel control and increased fuel efficiency. Most modern cars use some form of fuel injector.

Gear Oil

A heavy-duty lubricant designed to keep your gears shifts smooth and calibrated. Gear oil is generally serviced during an auto repair check-up.

Master Cylinder

Used on braking systems to transform mechanical power on the brake pedal into hydraulic braking power. It’s located by the brake fluid reservoir and stores the brake fluid until needed.


Stands for original equipment manufacturer. OEM parts are parts that are built at the factory of your vehicle. OEM parts are generally backed- up and often come with a considerable guarantee.


All the components that deliver power to your wheels. The combination of your engine, driveshaft, transmission, differential, and axles. Any reputable auto repair facility will be able to service your drivetrain components.


A fabrication of fins and tubes that transfer heat from the engine coolant into the air stream. The process is aided by fans that pull or push additional air through the radiator when required.

Shock Absorber

A component of your suspension that dampens your spring movements. Shock absorbers force fluid through calibrated holes that limit movement. Some designs place the fluid under gas pressure to prevent the fluid from foaming.

Spark Plug

Spark plugs ignite the fuel-air moisture when you turn on the ignition. This process powers up your engine. Spark plugs are designed to withstand high heat volumes.


A type of shock absorber that incorporates the suspension spring around the shaft. The design is known as the MacPherson strut.


The system consists of wheels, tires, control arms, struts, springs, and shock absorbers. They all work together to support the chassis and body of your car as it drives.


Helps to regulate the engine’s temperature by regulating the amount of coolant that circulates through the engine. The thermostat allows the engine to heat up quickly when it’s cold and then maintains the desired temperature.


A tune-up includes the replacement of air filters, fuel filters, and spark plugs. It can include more than this, depending on what’s required. It’s usually done by your trusted auto repair facility.


The frame of your vehicle that carries the powertrain and suspension components. In most cars, the body of the car is the main chassis member.

Water Pump

Circulates antifreeze or coolant through the radiator, engine, and heater.

Wheel Cylinder

A hydraulic component in the drum brake assembly. It presses the brake shoes against the drum to help slow the car.

Your Most Commonly Trusted Auto Repair Facility

At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we know auto repair like the back of our hand. Our diagnostic team can pinpoint any issue that your car may be encountering. Whether it’s a windshield sprayer malfunction or an engine rebuild, you can leave it to us. Our world-class repair facility in Pompano Beach is a short drive away, and we even offer a pickup and drop-off service.

Call us today at 954-746-0488 to experience the best auto repair treatment for your car.

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