Auto Body Terms

One of the biggest problems customers usually have when they come in to get their cars worked on is not understanding the terminology used by their auto body and collision repair shops. After reading over this list, you should be at least familiar enough with the basic terminology used by your auto body shop to keep up with the conversation and be able to know which questions you should be asking. You can also come back and visit it as a reference if you can't remember some of the information listed here.

The Quick & Easy List of Auto Body Repair Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A-pillar: The roof support structure on either side of a vehicle's windshield.

ABS: A computer-controlled system that stops brakes from locking up and tires from losing traction during hard braking, called an Antilock brake system.

ACE filter: A device used in your suspension system to reduce body roll by adapting the system to driving conditions, called an active cornering enhancement filter.

ACV / Actual cash value: The valuation of insured property computed by subtracting your car's depreciated value from the estimated replacement cost.

Adaptive headlights: Headlights that turn when the driver turns the wheel in order to improve visibility during the turn.

Aftermarket accessory: Equipment not included with the stock version of your vehicle as manufactured, usually upgrades that you've paid extra for.

Air conditioning filter: A filter that cleans the air being vented into your car to remove pollutants.

Air filter: A filter that cleans air to the engine.

Air pump filter: A filter that cleans air supply to the air injection system and removes pollutants.

Antilock brake system high pressure hose: The reinforced hose used to transfer high pressure hydraulic fluid to an antilock brake system.

Auto-leveling suspension: Suspension which adjusts the vehicle so that its rear stays even with the front.

Automated manual transmission: A clutch-type manual transmission that uses electronic, pneumatic, or hydraulics instead of a clutch pedal with a mechanical shift lever.

Automatic door unlock: An automatic unlock for your doors in the event of a collision.

Automatic transmission: A transmission that uses a torque converter, planetary gear set and clutch to change gears for you.

Automatic transmission bands: Adjustable circular straps with a high friction material that are designed to tighten around and stop the rotation of a drum as part of the shifting process.

AWD: All-wheel drive. A drive-train that uses front, rear, and center differentials to provide power to all four wheels.

Axle drive fluid: The liquid used for lubricating gears inside the axle.

Axle ratio: The number of revolutions a vehicles driveshaft makes for each revolution of the vehicles drive axle.