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Automotive Definitions & Acronyms (A-Z List)

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  • 4 min read

Last Updated on: 7th September 2023, 12:45 am

A lot of automotive terminology exists, you have heard or read something related to a vehicle and wondered oh what does that mean.

This article is a complete A-Z list of all automotive-related terms and acronyms and what they mean.


  • A4: 4-speed automatic transmission
  • A5: 5-speed automatic transmission
  • A6: 6-speed automatic transmission
  • ABS: Anti-lock braking system
  • AIR: Secondary Air Injection System
  • AC: Alternating Current
  • A/C: Air conditioning
  • ADAS: Advanced Driving Autonomous Systems
  • ADB: Adaptive Driving Beam
  • AdvHEV: Hybrid vehicle
  • AHC: Automatic height controller
  • AMT: Automated manual transmission
  • AFL: Adaptive front light
  • AFS: Adaptive front-light system
  • ATLS: Automated truck loading systems
  • Autogas: LPG when used as a vehicle fuel
  • AWD: All Wheel Drive


  • Baro/BARO: Barometric pressure


  • CKP: Crankshaft Position Sensor
  • CMP: Camshaft Position Sensor
  • CEL: Check Engine Light
  • CAB 1493: California Assembly Bill 1493
  • CARB: California Air Resources Board
  • CCP: Coupled cam phasing
  • CH4: Methane
  • CNG: Compressed natural gas
  • CO2: Carbon dioxide
  • CO: Carbon monoxide
  • CVVL: Continuous variable valve lift
  • CVT: Continuously variable transmission


  • DC: Direct current
  • DEPS – Digital Engine Position Sensor
  • DLC – Data Link Connector
  • DIS – Distributor-less Ignition System
  • DCP: Dual cam phasing
  • DCT: Dual clutch transmission
  • DTC: Diagnostic trouble code
  • DeAct: Cylinder deactivation
  • dHCCI: Diesel homogeneous charge compression ignition
  • DMV: California Department of Motor Vehicles
  • DOHC: Dual overhead cam
  • DRL: Daytime Running Lights
  • DSC: Dynamic stability control
  • DVVL: Discrete variable valve lift
  • DVVLd: Discrete variable valve lift, includes dual cam phasing
  • DVVLi: Discrete variable valve lift, includes intake valve cam phasing
  • DPF: Diesel particulate filter / differential pressure sensor


  • eACC: Improved electric accessories
  • EAT: Electronically assisted turbocharging
  • ECT – Engine Coolant Temperature
  • EEPROM – Electrically Eraseable Programmable Read Only Memory
  • EFI: Electronic Fuel Injection
  • EGR: Exhaust gas recirculation
  • ehCVA: Electrohydraulic camless valve actuation
  • emCVA: Electromagnetic camless valve actuation
  • EHPS: Electrohydraulic power steering
  • EPB: Electronic Parking Brake
  • EPS: Electric power steering
  • EVAP: Evaporative Emissions System
  • ESC: Electronic stability control
  • ESP: Electronic stability program
  • EWP: Electric water pump
  • EWP: Elevating work platform


  • FDC: Fixed displacement compressor
  • FWD: Front-wheel drive
  • FTP: Federal test procedure


  • g/mi: grams per mile
  • GDI: Gasoline direct injection
  • GDI-S: Stoichiometric gasoline direct injection
  • GDI-L: Lean-burn gasoline direct injection
  • gHCCI: Gasoline homogeneous charge compression ignition
  • GHG: Greenhouse gas
  • GT: Gran/Grand turismo
  • GVW: Gross vehicle weight
  • GVWR: Gross vehicle weight rating
  • GWP: Global warming potential
  • GPF: Gasoline particulate filter


  • HAD: Highly Autonomous Driving
  • HC: Hydrocarbons
  • HEV: Hybrid-electric vehicle
  • HFC: Hydrofluorocarbon
  • hp: Horsepower
  • HSDI: High-speed (diesel) direct injection


  • ICP: Intake cam phaser
  • IGN: Ignition
  • ImpAlt: Improved efficiency alternator
  • ISG: Integrated starter-generator system
  • ISG-SS: Integrated starter-generator system with start-stop operation


  • L4: In-line four-cylinder
  • LDT: Light-duty truck
  • LDT1: a light-duty truck with a loaded vehicle weight of up to 3750 pounds.
  • LDT2: an LEV II light-duty truck with a loaded vehicle weight of 3751 pounds to a gross vehicle weight of 8500 pounds
  • LED: Light Emitting Diode
  • LEV: Low-emission vehicle
  • LPG: Liquified petroleum gas
  • LVW: Loaded vehicle weight


  • MAC: Mobile air conditioning
  • MDPV: Medium-duty passenger vehicle
  • MDV: Medium-duty vehicle
  • mg/mi: Milligrams per mile
  • ModHEV: Moderate hybrid
  • MIL: Malfunction Indicator Lamp


  • NMOG: Non-methane organic gas
  • N2O: Nitrous oxide
  • NOx: Oxides of nitrogen


  • OBD: On board diagnostics


  • PB: Power brakes
  • PC: passenger car
  • PS: Power steering


  • RPM: Revolutions Per Minute
  • R-134a: Refrigerant 134a, tetrafluoroethane (C2H2F4)
  • R-152a: Refrigerant 152a, difluoroethane (C2H4F2)
  • RPE: Retail price equivalent
  • RWD: Rear Wheel Drive


  • SULEV: Super ultra low emission vehicle
  • SUV: Sport utility vehicle


  • TBI: Throttle body injection
  • TCS: Traction control system
  • TRR: Tire rolling resistance
  • Turbo: Turbocharging


  • ULEV: Ultra low emission vehicle
  • ULEZ: Ultra low emission zone (UK)


  • V6: V-formation six-cylinder
  • V8: V-formation eight-cylinder
  • VDC: Variable displacement compressor
  • ZEV: Zero-emission vehicle
  • VVT: Variable valve timing


  • 4WD: Four-wheel-drive
  • 42V ISG: 42-volt integrated starter-generator system
  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer.He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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