Car Care Dictionary

DEFINITION OF CAR CARE TECHNICAL TERMS IN COMMON LANGUAGE

  • Antifreeze: A liquid that is added to the cooling system to transfer heat away from the engine into the radiator or into the heater core that heats the cabin. Called antifreeze because when it is mixed with water it keeps the water from freezing down to a specified temperature. A.K.A (Also Known As): coolant
  • Coolant: A liquid that is added to the cooling system to transfer heat away from the engine into the radiator or into the heater core that heats the cabin. Called coolant because it cools the engine block. A.K.A (Also Known As): antifreeze
  • Engine block: The largest part of the engine where the cylinders reside. The crankshaft is bolted to this. Coolant runs through it to keep it cool. Oil runs through passages in the block to oil the head assembly. Called a block because originally they were made out of a large block of iron. Some are still made of iron and some are made of aluminum and other metal alloy mixtures.
  • Freeze plug: A round steel plug that is inserted into a hole that is machined in the block. The hole is machined in the water jacket so that if the coolant freezes the freeze plug will push out of the side of the engine and hopefully the engine block won't crack.
  • Unibody: A vehicle where the body has been modified to increase the structural rigidity. This way they don't require a ladder frame under them, their drivetrain and axles are attached directly to the body. This reduces weight, increases fuel efficiency.
  • Water jacket: The passages where the coolant runs through the block. Called a jacket because it wraps around the engine cylinders to pull heat away from the hottest part of the engine.

This will be updated on a regular basis. Check back for more definitions.