Glossary of Automotive Terms

Click on any letter to find automotive-related terms beginning with that letter.

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V-Type Engine
In a V-6, V-8 or V-12 engine, the cylinders are divided into two banks, each of which is angled away from the other at the top, forming a 'V.' Typically, this angle is 60 degrees on V-6 engines and 90 degrees on V-8 engines.

V6
A vehicle with six cylinders. The cylinders are divided into two banks, each of which is angled away from the other at the top, forming a 'V.' Typically, this angle is 60 degrees on V-6 engines.

V8
A vehicle with eight cylinders. the cylinders are divided into two banks, each of which is angled away from the other at the top, forming a 'V.' Typically, this angle is 90 degrees on V-8 engines.

Valve Train
The valves and camshaft(s) within an engine, and any parts attached to the valves, such as rockers and pushrods, to move them up and down.

Valves
Many overhead-cam engines, particularly multi-valve models, are described by the total number of intake and exhaust valves in the cylinder head. A 24-valve V-6 engine would have four valves per cylinder: two intake and two exhaust valves. A 16-valve V-8 engine has only the standard single exhaust and single intake valve for each of its eight cylinders.

Van
A box-shaped truck with a forward cab and a cargo area to the back bumper.

Vandalism
The willful physical damage to a property.

Variable-Assist Steering
A power-steering system that varies the amount of assistance it provides according to driving conditions. It provides maximum assistance at low speeds for maneuvers such as turning into a parking space or turning a corner after leaving a stop light. It provides minimum assistance at cruising or highway speeds to provide greater vehicle stability.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
A seventeen-digit identification number, unique to each vehicle, which includes codes for the manufacturer, year, model, body, and engine specifications.

Vented Disc Brakes
A seventeen-digit identification number, unique to each vehicle, which includes codes for the manufacturer, year, model, body, and engine specifications.

Void
A term used to describe a policy contract that is free of all legal effect.

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