Egg-crate grille:

A radiator grille with crisscrossing bars forming gaps which are more or less square. One of the distinctive characteristics of Cadillac cars


eight-cylinder engine, or a vehicle fitted with one; the cylinders may be in-line (a straight eight) or in a V-layout (a V-8). Also see flat eight straight eight V-eight

8 trk:

Abbreviation for "eight-track" tape player found in many '60s and some '70s cars.


A number stamped on the engine which may or may not match the number on the vehicle identification plate. Also called "engine identification number"

electrical system:

The system that generates, stores, and distributes electrical current to crank the engine for starting and to keep it running by providing high voltage to the spark plugs; and to give power to the lights, the heater motor, radio, and other accessories. It is made up of the ignition system starter motor, battery alternator voltage regulator lights, electrical accessories and all the wiring, switches, and relays.

electric car:

A car whose only power source is an electric motor and a number of batteries.

electric top:

A power convertible roof.

(Br) - power hood

electric vehicle:

Cars, buses, vans or trucks which use dedicated or hybrid electric systems as their power source.

emergency brake:

A braking system which is independent of the main hydraulic system. It can be used to slow or stop the vehicle if the primary brakes fail, or to hold the vehicle stationary though the brake pedal is not depressed. It usually consists of a foot pedal or hand lever that actuates either front or rear brakes mechanically through a series of cables and linkages. It is also called the "parking brake" or E-brake.


An affectionate name for the Rolls Royce radiator mascot, the "Spirit of Ecstasy"


The passing of gases and other toxic substances into the atmosphere.


Type of paint that dries to a smooth, glossy finish. It is easier to apply than cellulose. If cellulose is applied over it, the cellulose will lift (i.e., peel off).


A device for changing fuel energy to mechanical energy. The term applies to the primary source of power generation. In Britain there is a desire to make a clear distinction between "engine" and "motor" so that "motor" refers only to electric power units (i.e., starter motor) and "engine" for gasoline or diesel powered units. However, in the U.S.A. the term "motor" can apply to both types. Yet, even in Britain, combustion driven vehicles are called "motor cars" and "motorcycles."

engine coolant:

Antifreeze liquid used in the engine's cooling system

engine hoist:

Small crane for lifting an engine out of a motor vehicle, formerly incorporating a block and tackle, but now usually hydraulically operated.

engine knock:

When the engine is operating, an audible noise may be heard when the fuel in the cylinders is ignited too early and/or spontaneously, resulting in colliding flame fronts and shock waves which cause high thermal and mechanical stress, and can severely damage the engine.

engine oil:

Oil within the engine used to lubricate the moving components. At one time the oil was a single grade, but modern engines use a multigrade oil.

engine overhaul:

When an old engine burns too much oil and loses power, it is dismantled and restored to the manufacturer's original tolerances by replacement of worn parts, reboring the cylinders, regrinding the crankshaft, etc.

engine speed:

The number of revolutions per minute (rpm) at which the engine crankshaft turns. The vehicle itself may be stationary or in motion.

engine type:

Over the years of engine development, several types or configurations have been made. All of them relate to the position of the valves and the camshaft (s) that operates them.

Types of Engines

Air cooled - An engine which is not cooled by antifreeze but by passing air beside external fins.

Diesel - An engine with high compression that pressurizes the diesel oil fuel and fires the charge through compression not by a spark plug.

DOHC - Acronym for double overhead camshafts. Refers to an engine with two overhead camshafts.

F-head - An engine having one valve in the head and the other in the block. The position of the valves create an "F" shape in combination with the combustion chambers.

Flat - An engine where opposite cylinders are 180 degrees apart. This engine type is found on the following: VW Beetle, Corvair, Porsche six-cylinder, Subaru "quadrazontal," and BMW

Four-stroke cycle - An engine requiring two complete revolutions of the crankshaft to fire each piston once. The first stroke down (intake stroke) pulls fuel and air into the combustion chamber. The second stroke up (compression stroke) compresses the mixture. The third stroke down (power stroke) comes about through the rapid burning of the compressed fuel mixture. The fourth stroke up (exhaust stroke) expels the exhaust gases from the cylinder. It is also called the "Otto cycle."

Hemi or hemi-head - An engine using hemispherical-shaped (half of a globe or sphere) combustion chambers.

Horizontally opposed  - An engine possessing two banks of cylinders that are placed flat or 180 degrees apart. This configuration gives a lower center of gravity which improves handling. As well it has a lower hood height to improve aerodynamics. Also called a "boxer" engine.

Hydrocarbon - An engine using petroleum products, such as gas, liquefied gas, gasoline, kerosene, or fuel oil as a fuel.

I-head  - An engine where both intake and exhaust valves are placed directly over the piston. The cam is located in the block and the valves are activated by pushrods and rocker arms. Also called "overhead-valve engine" or "valve-in-head engine."

In-line  - An engine in which all the cylinders (usually three or more) are arranged in a straight row (either vertically or slanted). The pistons drive a common crankshaft. Also called a "straight engine."

Internal combustion  - (IC) An engine that burns fuel within itself as a means of developing power (unlike an external combustion engine such as a steam engine). Although the term "internal combustion engine" covers all types of reciprocating and rotary engines, it is typically used with reference to four-stroke gasoline and diesel engines

L-head - Both valves on one side of the cylinder

Oversquare  - An engine in which the bore diameter is larger than the length of the stroke.

Pancake  - An engine in which the cylinders are on a horizontal plane, this reduces the overall height and enables them to be used in spots where vertical height is restricted. Also see flat engine.

Radial  - An engine with a number of cylinder arranged in a circle around the crankshaft center line. A design often used for aircraft engines.

Rotary - An internal combustion engine which is not of a reciprocating (piston) engine design. There is no true crankshaft, although the power-take-off shaft is sometimes called the crankshaft. It is stationary or fixed in that it simply spins in place. The central rotor turns in one direction only and yet produces the required intake, compression, firing and exhaust strokes. Because it uses rotary motion instead of reciprocating motion, the rotary engine has better balance and less vibration than piston engines. Two common rotary engines are the gas turbine and the Wankel.

Slant  - This is an in-line engine in which the cylinder block has been tilted from a vertical plane. Also called inclined engine.

SOHC -- Acronym for "single overhead camshaft" where one cam operates both intake and exhaust valves.

Square - An engine in which the cylinders occur in four rows set at an angle from each other with the crankshaft running through the intersection of the X. The single crankshaft is turned by all banks of cylinders.

Steam  - An external combustion engine where water is converted to steam in a boiler outside the cylinder. The steam is then admitted to the cylinder where it expands against a piston. As the steam expands it cools and begins to condense. This mixture of water droplets and steam is forced out of the cylinder on the return stroke and into the condenser where the remaining steam is condensed into water. This water is forced into the boiler by a pump and the cycle is repeated. Steam engines have some notable drawbacks: slow warm up, freezing of the water system in cold weather, and contamination of the water by scale, oil, and sludge which can wreak havoc with the boiler, pumps, and condenser. But they also offer certain advantages: the potential for high fuel economy with low emissions, the ability to start from rest against a load so a clutch is not needed, and the torque developed is greatest at low rpm so in some applications a multiple-ratio gearbox is not necessary.

Stirling  - An external combustion engine that uses air or an inert gas as the working fluid operating on a highly efficient thermodynamic cycle. The heat released from the burning fuel is transferred to the confined gas (such as hydrogen) which activates the pistons; named after the Scottish engineer, Robert Stirling (1790-1878)

Stratified charge - An internal combustion engine in which a small portion of extremely rich fuel and air is ignited and in turn ignites a much leaner fuel-air mixture. The lean mixture might not fire by itself unless it is ignited by the flame of the burning rich mixture. Its advantage is lower peak c‘bustion temperatures, greater fuel economy, and a decrease in pollutant emissions. The Honda CVCC engine which initiates combustion in a small auxiliary prechamber is one type of stratified charge engine (to be precise, the CVCC should actually be called a dual-combustion engine). Another type is Texaco's which uses turbulence in the incoming mixture to induce stratification.

Straight  - See in-line engine.

T-head - exhaust valve on one side and intake valve on the other side of the cylinder and found on twin-camshaft engines.

Traction  - A steam or diesel engine used for hauling heavy vehicles on roads or over difficult terrain.

Transverse  - An engine that is mounted laterally (i.e., left to right) between the drive wheels (rather than longitudinally -- front to back), often found on cars with front-wheel drive. Also called "east-west layout"

Turbine  - An engine that uses burning gases to spin a turbine, or series of turbines, as a means of propelling the vehicle.

Two-stoke cycle  -An engine requiring one complete revolution of the crankshaft to fire each piston once.

Undersquare  - An engine in which the bore diameter is smaller than the length of the stroke. Also called long stroke engine

V-type  - Two sets of cylinders set apart in a V-formation like a V-8 or V-6

Valve-in-head  - An engine in which both intake and exhaust valves are mounted in the cylinder head and are driven by pushrods or by an overhead camshaft. Also called "I-head engine" or "Overhead-valve engine."

Wankel  - A rotary internal combustion engine invented by Felix Wankel (1902-1988). It consists of an equilateral triangular member with curved sides orbiting about an eccentric on a shaft inside a stationary housing whose inner working surface is in the shape of an epitrochoid. The rotor is in sliding contact with the eccentric and imparts power to the eccentric shaft as a connecting rod does to a crankshaft. With one-third of a rotor revolution per shaft revolution and a power impulse for each of the three rotor sides, the Wankel generates one power impulse per revolution per rotor--twice that of what the four-cycle piston engine produces. Thus it has become accepted practice to multiply the geometry displacement of the Wankel by a factor of two for comparison with otto-cycle piston engines. The Wankel's advantages include compact size, light weight and smooth operation because there are no reciprocating parts. Its drawbacks include relatively high exhaust emission, possible sealing problems and low fuel economy. Mazda, however, has made significant improvements in all three areas.

X-type - An engine in which the cylinders occur in four rows set at an angle from each other with the crankshaft running through the intersection of the X. The single crankshaft is turned by all banks of cylinders.


Synthetic plastic adhesive.

Estate car:

a station wagon


ethyl alcohol which is added to gasoline, typically in a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline


[1] To expel spent fumes.

[2] The spent fuel after combustion takes place in an internal combustion engine. Sometimes it refers to the exhaust system.

exhaust pipe:

Pipe connecting exhaust manifold or header to the muffler.

exhaust system:

The pipes, resonators and mufflers that carry the exhaust gases from the exhaust manifold out into the atmosphere.


A US multilane highway road with limited access to be used for rapid travel with few interchanges.