Abbreviations and What They Are

Abbreviations and What They Are


Here’s a listing of some of the different common vehicle abbreviations and what they are. It will help you to understand things better when you read things in regard to vehicles, such as parts and things. 


DIY – Do It Yourself

HID – High Intensity Discharge (Headlights on newer cars)

ECM – Engine Control Module (Main Computer in the vehicle)

EGR – Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR Valve – Emissions)

IAC – Idle Air Control Valve (air/fuel mix)

VIN – Vehicle Identification Number

ABS – Automatic Braking System (brakes)

4WD – 4-Wheel Drive

A/C – Air Conditioning

ACM – Airbag Control Module (sensor)

ALT – Alternator (keeps the engine running and the battery charged)

A/T – Automatic Transmission

AWD – All-Wheel Drive

CEL – Check Engine Light (engine codes that come up on dashboard)

CO – Carbon Monixide

C02 – Carbon Dioxide

TPS – Throttle Position Sensor (regulates air/fuel mixture)

E4OD – Electronic 4-speed Overdrive

EVAP – Evaporative Emission

F4WD – Full time 4-wheel Drive

TACH – Tachometer (measure of engine speed)

PASS – Passenger

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer (what originally came on the vehicle)

OBD – Onboard Diagnostics (this is where the code reader is plugged in)

OBD II – Onboard Diagnostics, Generation 2 (this is where the code reader is plugged in)

CAT – Catalytic Converter (exhaust)

M/T – Manual Transmission (Stick shift)

MAF – Mass Airflow Sensor (part of the air flow system)

LED – Light Emitting Diode (light)

MPH – Miles Per Hour

MPG – Miles Per Gallon

TB – Throttle Body (fuel injection)

TEMP – Temperature


For the bigger list of those current abbreviations, please visit Car Bibles. I found some of the abbreviations I couldn’t remember there. A lot more abbreviations listed there for more of the devices on these cars than we tend to realize.

I hope you were able to learn a few more things. Please feel free to leave a question or comment below. 

Thank you for visiting today!


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4 responses to “Abbreviations and What They Are”

  1. AJ says:

    I have to say these are very helpful. I have heard of a few but not all of them. Which ones do you usually use?


    • Hi AJ,

      If you mean the abbreviations, I use a few. There are a lot of the ones we hear all the time such as VIN (vehicle identification number), AWD-all wheel drive, A/C-air conditioning, just to name a few.

      I’ll come up with a basic list and put them on the site.

  2. Brandon says:

    This is so helpful it’s not funny. I need to send my wife to this site right now! She’s ALWAYS asking me what’s wrong with her car, how to change her tire, etc. I think this will help her understand everything tremendously. I just checked out your link and will begin reading those abbreviations as well. Thanks for all of this!

    PS: Do you have any articles for changing tires?

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