Want to be a part of the car game? Here are 24 car terms every enthusiast should know.
When you're getting into cars, you'll probably feel quite intimidated when going to meets and join in a conversation, and quickly realise there is almost a whole other language filled with lingo around cars!
Here are 24 car terms every enthusiast needs to know:
1) Banger: A banger refers to the number of pistons a car engine has, so a 4-banger is a 4-cylinder engine and a 6-banger is a 6-cylinder engine.
2) Bondo: Bondo is a collective term for a type of putty or body filler that is used to temporarily or cheaply fix body damage. Usually popular amongst race cars and drift cars.
3) Dab Of Oppo: Dab of oppo is short for a dap of opposite steering, and is used amongst drifters to describe where your steering wheel needs to be depending on which direction of oversteer your car is undergoing. If your car is drifting to the right, your steering wheel needs to be in the opposite direction to gain control.
4) Rockford Turn (J-Turn): The Rockford turn is a term dubbed from the 1970s show The Rockford Files, which shows stunt drivers performing a manoeuvre where the car would be in reverse and then quickly slamming on the brakes while turning aggressively, the car will then slide 180 degrees, then initiate first gear and continue driving. Another term for this move is the J-Turn.
5) Grip: This is probably the most self-explanatory term and describes how much or little traction your tires have.
6) OBD: OBD describes both the procedure and plug point of your vehicle during onboard diagnostics. More modern cars have an OBD II port which makes the diagnostics process that much easier.
7) Camber: Camber is the term which describes the tilt of your wheels in relation to the centre point. If the top of your wheels tilt inwards to the car, you have more negative camber and, if the top of your wheels tilt more outwards, you have positive camber.
8) Flush: Flush is a term that describes when your wheels are flush with the arches of your car. You can achieve this by lowering your car usually together with stretched tyres and a bit of negative camber.
9) Hoon: Hooning is a term that has become increasingly more popular in car culture thanks to the Ken Block brand "Hoonigan", and describes driving your car excessively recklessly.
10) Rice: Some say that rice stands for Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements, and is a derogatory term for people who fit cheap and visually disgusting car mods to their cars, thinking that they're super cool while doing it. Fake hood vents, flame decals, excessively huge wings and crazy-loud mufflers that do nothing to aid in the performance of their cars are all a part of the Ricer category. Ricers are hated in the car community as they usually are an embarrassment to the culture.
11) Fart Can: A fart can is an exhaust accessory that replaces your factory exhaust back box. It makes your car insanely loud, with a rather cheap note, and does nothing to improve the performance of your car. It's most commonly associated with ricers.
12) Slammed: Slammed is a common term used by the stance guys. Slamming your car involves making your car as low to the ground as possible. There are some prefered ways of going about slamming your car – and not just cutting the springs! They include shorter springs, adjustable coilover suspension, and the best yet most expensive approach, adjustable air suspension.
13) Slush Box: Manual transmission cars have always been way more popular in car culture. They are simply way more fun to drive and make you feel far more engaged with the driving experience. A slush box is a term to describe an automatic gearbox, regardless of the benefits of the type of automatic gearbox such as a dual-clutch transmission.
14) Double Clutching: You probably heard the term double clutching for the first time in the original Fast And Furious movie. Although they didn't depict the term correctly in the movie, it is still a popular term in car culture, and describes the process of smoothly changing gears in older cars that didn't have gearbox synchro's to help the gear change be a whole lot smoother. Nowadays double clutching is not necessary at all.
15) Heel-And-Toe: The heel-and-toe technique is used by racing drivers to essentially get the car around a race circuit as quickly as possible. They don't want to waste valuable milliseconds changing gears by taking their foot off the accelerator. When entering a corner, the heel-and-toe technique is beneficial, and involves the driver downshifting and braking simultaneously. While braking with your right foot's toes, you simultaneously blip the throttle with your right heel, this helps you accelerate faster out of the turn as your RPM will be higher than if you didn't heel-and-toe. Sound complicated? It is, so practice makes perfect!
16) Blipping The Throttle: As used in the previous description, involves the driver just tapping the throttle for just a second, usually to keep the engines RPM up in a variety of different racing scenarios.
17) Launch: Launching is a technique where you accelerate from a standstill as quickly as you – or the car – can. Some modern performance cars have launch control, which is a software gimmick. The driver applies the left foot to the brake when the car is static, then launch control mode is selected. Then, while still depressing the brake, the driver smashes the accelerator pedal to the floor while in first gear. The car won't go anywhere until the foot is lifted off the brake.
18) Sleeper: A sleeper is a car that is usually heavily modified but visually styled to look as stock or as slow as possible. So, when that arrogant Golf GTI wants to race you at the robot, you put him in his place with your unexpected pocket rocket!
19) Tuner: A tuner car is a hard one to categorise as there are a few small aspects that will instantly put it into another category. Depending on where you're located on the planet, a tuner car is usually the underdog streetcar with a lot of modding and tuning potential. Good examples of this would be cars such as a Nissan 350Z, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan GTR.
20) Pickup: A pickup is not what you might think it is outside of car culture. It doesn't describe a car such as a Ford F150 Raptor, but rather "pickup" describes how fast your car accelerates. You can increase your pickup by installing performance modifications and software, and what will kill your pickup is something like turbo-lag.
21) Turbo-Lag: Turbo-Lag is the downside to boosing your engine. Bigger turbos equal bigger boost gains, but the time it takes to kick in after smashing that accelerator pedal is increased, and that delay of time is referred to as turbo-lag.
22) Drag Coefficient: Drag coefficient is a rather technical term but best describes how aerodynamic your car is or isn't. So, basically, the more wind resistant your car is, more drag coefficient your car is, and that's rather a good thing!
23) Downforce: Downforce is again a term that springs off aerodynamics. Increasing your cars drag coefficient is one thing, but keeping your car fixed to the road at high speeds to maximize grip is vitally important at high-speed motorsport. There are a number of specialized aftermarket accessories available that will improve your cars downforce, including rear wings, front wings and wheel arches. But, keep in mind that there are also products available that claim to do the same thing but are more for cosmetic appearances and enhancements, so do your research first!
24) "That'll Buff Right Out": This term is never meant literally in car culture, but rather a saying that gives a sense of sympathy on such an impersonal level that it's actually quite funny. If someone seriously damages their car, the usual response they get is "That'll Buff Right Out", which gives the sense that the damage is not quite that bad, regardless if it's a write-off or not.
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Ideal Media, On 24 Car Terms Every Enthusiast Should Know!
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