In the Automotive world often there are words and phrases used by service writers and technicians that might as well be spoken in Martian. And the acronyms are the worst. So I have come up with a list of the most common acronyms your service writer might use and what they mean in plan English.
ABS- Anti Lock Brake System: the computerized braking system that keeps your tires from locking up when you slam on the brakes. ABS is an important safety mechanism that lets you steer around the obstacles while still braking hard.
ATF- Automatic Transmission Fluid: the specialized lubricant that keeps your automatic transmission shifting smoothly.
AWD- All Wheel Drive: a vehicle that has motive power going to all four wheels at the same time. (Generally, AWD vehicles are always in four-wheel-drive mode, while a typical four-wheel-drive vehicle can be shifted into and out of 4WD).
DOHC (also SOHC)- Dual Overhead Cam (or Single Overhead Cam): a description of the cam system used in your engine. A cam is an egg-shaped lobe on a rotating shaft that pushes valves open and closed in your engine. Most modern cars use dual cams.
ESC- Electric Stability Control (or Electronic Slip Control): one of the latest innnovations in safety, ESC is a computerized system on many newer vehicles that helps prevent it from skidding.
HVAC - Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning: just like in your home, this term refers to your car's heating and A/C system.
OBD- On-Board Diagnostics: a computerized system that monitors your car's engine, particularly the emissions system, and alerts you if there is a problem. If the system detects a problem, the CHECK ENGINE light will illuminate. But there's no need to panic, just stop in and we'll check everything out for you.
OEM- Original Equipment Manufacturer: a term used to describe the automaker, and more specifically, the manufacturer of the specific parts of a vehicle.
VVT - Variable Valve Timing: a system inside many modern engines that uses a computer to alter the timing of an engine's valves, increasing horsepower at higher speeds.
Remember, if you're ever unclear about an automotive term, just ask. Our service advisors welcome questions.