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Have you ever read an article about a new car or spoken with a service advisor at a repair shop and ended up thinking to yourself, "I need a translator to understand what he/she was talking about!" You're not alone. The automobile industry and repair providers have their own unique vocabulary – a "language" that has added literally hundreds of words over the last 20 years. Many of the new terms involve electronic vehicle controls, wireless telematics capabilities, sophisticated infotainment offerings and advanced driver assistance systems. The Dictionary of Automotive Terms can help consumers better understand such vehicle terminology.

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Most auto mechanics have a good working knowledge of automotive technical jargon. Unfortunately, they sometimes assume their customers share that understanding, and may use complex terms in an attempt to demonstrate competency and sell an auto repair job. This can backfire, generating confusion or suspicion instead. The situation is further complicated by unscrupulous auto repair shops that sometimes use technical doubletalk to intimidate motorists into purchasing car service work that is unnecessary.

Even in the best of circumstances, you may sometimes find it challenging to understand exactly what a car repair involves and why it is needed. That's why AAA has always recommended that motorists ask questions until they are satisfied, and never authorize repairs unless provided with a written estimate that clearly states what will be done and how much it will cost. To aid in understanding, the Dictionary of Automotive Terms defines most common technical terms you are likely to encounter when dealing with autos and their repair.



Finding Quality Auto Repair

AAA recommends that you plan ahead for vehicle service by finding an auto repair shop and technician you can trust before you need them. AAA.com/Repair provides information on nearly 7,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities that have met AAA’s high standards for appearance, technician training and certification, insurance coverage and customer satisfaction. AAA regularly inspects every Approved Auto Repair facility and surveys their customers to ensure ongoing performance. In addition, AAA members receive special benefits that include auto repair discounts, an extended 24-month/24,000-mile parts and labor warranty, and AAA assistance in resolving repair-related issues.




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AAA Automotive Glossary

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