An alloy of tin, copper, and antimony having good antifriction properties. Used as a facing for bearings.

Back Up:

To go in reverse


An emblem with a manufacturer's name and/or logo on a plate to identify a model or component.


gunshot-like sound from the engine or tailpipe

Bald Tire:

A tire on which the tread is all worn away. A slick also has no tread, but this is done deliberately for racing purposes

Balloon Tire:

A type of low pressure tire which was first introduced in the 1920s. Its width and height were the same which gave it a rounded shape. This style was used on bicycles as well as automobiles.


Bands are like a metal belt which is in the shape of a circle where the two ends are close, but do not meet. They wrap around parts inside the transmission called "drums." The drums house the gears and clutches and freewheel until a certain gear needs to be applied. When first gear needs to be applied, the drum for first gear is locked up by the application of the band. By locking up the drum, the gears now drive the wheels rather than freewheel inside the drum.

Base Coat:

The first coat in a paint system. It is either the undercoat or primer or a colored coat which is covered by clear lacquer

Base Model:

the version of a vehicle that comes with all the standard items. Usually the lowest priced.


An electrochemical device for producing electricity by converting chemical energy. The typical automotive lead-acid battery supplies the source of power for cranking the engine and also provides the necessary electrical energy for the ignition system. In addition, it can (for a limited time) furnish current when the electrical demands of the vehicle exceed the alternator or generator output. Also called the "storage battery."

(Br) accumulator

Battery Acid:

Electrolyte (usually sulphuric acid) in each of the battery cells

Battery Charger:

An electric device which is plugged into an electrical outlet (e.g., 110 volt AC) and connected to the two terminals of the battery to restore the state of charge in the battery. One of leads coming from the charger is red and the other is black. The red lead is clamped on the positive post of the battery while the other is clamped on the frame of the vehicle.


[1] The portion of a tire which fits onto the rim of the wheel. On a tubeless tire, the contact of the bead with the rim seals the air into the tire. Bead heel, bead sole, and bead toe form a foot-like shape.

[2] A small ball-like particle used in bead blasting or in some catalytic converters.

[3] In welding, it is the appearance of the finished weld. It describes the neatness of the ripples formed by the metal while it was in a semi liquid state.

Bead Blasting:

A cleaning process which uses glass beads which are forced by air pressure against the object to be cleaned. This system removes paint and contaminants from objects which are awkwardly shaped.


a sedan

Bias Ply Tire:

A tire having two or more carcass plies arranged in a criss-cross manner and diagonally to the beads and travels approximately 1/3 the distance around the circumference before attaching to the other bead. Each cord in the next ply is arranged in the same manner, but in the opposite direction. Also called a "conventional tire" or "cross-ply tire"

Bias Tire:

A type of tire construction in which the tire cords or plies run diagonally from bead to bead. Generally in passenger cars, there are two plies of fabric. In a P185/80D13 tire, the "D" indicates a bias-ply tire. Sometimes called a "conventional" tire.

Big three:

General Motors, Ford, Chrysler


Tires which do not have any white or red coloring.

Blow Out:

A sudden rupturing of tire body, causing complete loss of air pressure which flattens the tire.

Blown head Gasket:

A gasket that has a break between the opening for the cylinder and an opening for the coolant. The coolant will leak into the combustion chamber. This condition can be diagnosed by a loss in coolant and white smoke out the exhaust.

body shop:

service outlet specializing in vehicle body repair work


(Br) the hood over the front engine


(Br) the trunk

Bottle Neck:

A traffic situation where the road narrows to the point where traffic is excessively slowed


[1] To slow down a vehicle.

[2] The mechanism that converts motion (kinetic energy) into heat energy through friction. The most common instance is found in the wheels of cars where the brake shoes or disc pads are designed to press against the brake drum or brake disc.

brake pads:

found on disc brakes, brake pads provide the necessary friction to the discs to stop the motorcycle


To join two pieces of metal together by heating the edges to be joined and then melting drops of brass or bronze on the area. Unlike welding, this operation is similar to soldering, except a higher melting point material is used.


An alloy of copper and tin.


A small blister in the finish of paint

bulkhead: (Br) firewall

was a term used in England to describe a type of radiator that resembled the nose of a bull.

Bump: A slight rising of the pavement possibly caused by a frost heave and if severe enough will be indicated by a sign

Originally a bumper was a separate metal bar or blade at each end of a vehicle to prevent damaging the main part of the vehicle from damage occurred by a slight bump into an obstruction or another vehicle.


passenger motor vehicle or chassis having a seating capacity for more than 10 people