Automobile or Related Car Terms

(scientific terms about the use of vehicles including cars, trucks, or any automobiles including their technology as related to transportation)

1. Liquid fuels and blending components produced from biomass feed-stocks, used primarily for transportation.
2. A type of solid, gaseous, or liquid fuel, made without using petroleum; which can be used in an ordinary internal combustion engine.

Biofuels can be produced from such things as sugar cane and vegetable oil.

A medium-energy-content gaseous fuel, generally containing 40 to 80 volume percent methane, produced from biomass by methane fermentation (anaerobic digestion).
brake horsepower
An engine's horsepower measured without the loss in power caused by the gearbox, generator, differential, water pump, and other auxiliaries; determined by a brake attached to the drive shaft and recorded on a dynamometer (device used in testing for efficiency and torque).
brake, brakes
1. Any device designed to slow or to stop the motion of a vehicle or machine by the use of friction in a controlled manner.
2. A mechanical device that stops a car by converting its kinetic energy into heat.

Most cars use disk brakes, which use pads to cause friction against disks inside the wheels to slow them down or to stop them.

center of gravity
The point where the weight of an object appears to be concentrated, usually near its middle.

Cars with a high center of gravity are more likely to topple over when they go round corners.

Acting or moving in a direction toward the axis or center of rotation.
centripetal force
The force that is required to keep an object moving around a circular path.

It is directed towards the center of the circle. In the absence of this effect, the object would move in a straight line tangential to the circle or keep going in a straight line.

Cars need aid going around corners; so, objects tend to travel in straight lines unless centripetal force bends their motion around into a curve.

combustible, combustibility
Describing a material that is able to burn; specifically, a description of a material that is relatively difficult to ignite and slow to burn, as opposed to a flammable material that burns relatively easily.
1. The process of burning a fuel with oxygen from the air to release energy, producing steam and carbon dioxide as byproducts.

Unless things burn completely, toxic exhaust gases; such as, carbon monoxide and other forms of pollution are also produced.

2. An act of burning and a chemical reaction (oxidation) to produce heat, work, light, etc..
A rotating axle that carries power from the pistons in an engine to the gearbox.
crumple zones of cars
Crumple zones exist at the front and the back of a car and these areas are deliberately designed to crumple up like an accordion when a collision takes place.

Such actions slow the car's deceleration and dramatically reduces the impact forces. Just three feet (one meter) of crumpled car can cut the forces reaching the passengers by 90 percent.

A strong metal canister inside a car's engine where fuel is burned to produce heat energy.

Most cars have between two and twelve cylinders.

Diesel engine
A type of engine that compresses the air before the fuel is injected so it ignites without the need for a spark plug.

Diesel engines burn heavier oil than gasoline, and are more efficient than gasoline engines. They produce high torque at relatively low speeds which is ideal for trucks and buses.

A pumpkin-shaped gearbox that allows the wheels on opposite sides of a car to turn at different speeds when going around a corner.
The force that pushes down on an aerodynamically shaped vehicle; such as, a Formula One car, when air moves rapidly over it.

Downforce is the opposite of lift which is the force that makes an airplane take off as it moves rapidly forward through the air.

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