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Glossary of 4x4 Terms - Page 1: A to C

Tech Section MENU

Articles - collection of links to tech articles on the web


Driving techniques - 4x4 driving tips for various offroad conditions

Glossary - explanations of 4x4 tech terms A-Z

LPG - Advantages and Disadvantages of converting to LPG fuel

Recovery techniques - basic information on how to recover a stuck vehicle

Tyres - advice on care, maintenance and sizes

UK MOT test - checklist

UK Number plates - application procedure and history

Active height Control (AHC) - adjustable susension height allowing for varied road conditions or driving style
AGM battery - Absorbed Glass Mat batteries do not produce gas and cannot spill liquid if rolled over.
Air bag - a hidden bag that inflates automatically in a vehicle collision preventing passenger or driver hitting the windscreen or wheel.
Air filter element - usually made from paper, it filters particles from the air before it enters the engine.
Air jack - A strong bag which connects to the exhaust pipe and is inflated by exhaust emissions. A very convenient and efficient means of raising the side of a vehicle, even on soft ground.
Air locker - A locking differential which is activated by compressed air from an onboard compressor.
Alternator - driven by a belt from the engine it produces electricity to charge the battery and provide extra electricity for accessories.
Anti-lock brake system (ABS) - senses when a wheel is about to lock and releases brake pressure automatically to prevent a skid.
Automatic 4x4 - Easy to drive, but if the battery is flat or the starter motor faulty then a tow start is not an option. You need to carry a spare battery, rely on another vehicle or have a starter handle made to fit your vehicle. The computer systems on modern automatics can be damaged if using standard jump leads. They have less engine breaking than a manual gearbox and a higher fuel consumption. Transmission repairs are expensive
Automated manual transmission (AMT) - designed to overcome some of the disadvantages associated with conventional automatic transmission. A manual style gearbox is used but with a fluid coupling to the engine and computer-assisted gear changing.
Axle shaft - a single rotating shaft that turns the wheel. Also called a driveshaft or halfshaft.
Beam Axle - all moving axle parts are in a strong casing (beam) filled with oil
Bleed nipple - a valve on a hydraulic component which can be opened to release trapped air. Also known as a bleed screw.
Brake bleeding - procedure used to remove trapped air in the brake hydraulic system
Brake calliper - the non-moving part of the disc brake which holdss the brake pads.
Brake disc - the part of a disc brake system that rotates with the wheel.
Brake drum - the part of a drum brake system that rotates with the wheel.
Brake lining - the friction material which contacts the disc or drum to slow the vehicle down.
Brake pads - replaceable friction pads which push on each side of the brake disc to slow the vehicle down.
Brake shoe - the curved metal plate that carries the brake lining.
Bulkhead - the insulated partition between the engine and the passenger compartment.
Camshaft - a rotating shaft which controls when the engine valvesin the cylinder head open and close.
Castor - the backward or forward tilt of the steering axis. Responsible for the wheels returning to straight ahead position as default
Coil Spring - A spiral of elastic steel designed to absorb energy steadily and avoid sudden shocks.
Constant Velocity (CV) Joint - A type of universal joint which allows power to be transmitted through an angle without vibration
Glossary terms pages 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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