Navigating the world of car ownership can be complex, especially with the myriad of terms and jargon used by professionals in the industry. Understanding these terms can significantly enhance your communication with mechanics, improve your vehicle maintenance, and empower you to make informed decisions. Here’s a breakdown of essential automotive terms every car owner should be familiar with:


The powertrain encompasses all the components that propel your car forward, including the engine, transmission, driveshaft, and differential. Understanding this term is crucial when discussing major repairs or performance issues with your vehicle.

OEM and Aftermarket Parts

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, indicating parts made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are produced by third-party companies and can offer a wider range of prices and performance options for vehicle upgrades.

Torque and Horsepower

Torque refers to the rotational force your engine produces, while horsepower is a measure of the engine’s overall power output. Both are key indicators of your vehicle’s performance capabilities, especially when considering performance enhancements.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vs. Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

AWD systems deliver power to all four wheels automatically for improved traction, useful in various driving conditions. 4WD, typically found in off-road or heavy-duty vehicles, can be turned on or off and is designed for rugged terrain. Understanding the distinction is important when selecting a vehicle suited to your driving needs.

Transmission: Automatic vs. Manual

The transmission is responsible for changing the gears of your vehicle. Automatic transmissions shift gears on their own, while manual transmissions require the driver to manually select gears using a clutch pedal and gear stick. This knowledge is vital when discussing transmission repairs or replacements.

Brake Pads and Rotors

Brake pads and rotors are key components of your vehicle’s braking system. The pads press against the rotors (or discs) to slow or stop your car. Regular brake maintenance is essential for safety and performance.

Suspension System

The suspension system includes springs, shock absorbers, and linkages that connect a vehicle to its wheels, ensuring smooth rides and stable handling. Familiarity with this system is important when addressing ride comfort or handling issues.

Check Engine Light

This warning light on your dashboard indicates potential issues with your vehicle’s engine or related components. It’s a signal to get your car checked by a professional to diagnose and resolve potential engine problems.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency, often measured in miles per gallon (MPG), indicates how efficiently your vehicle uses fuel. Understanding this term is crucial for those looking to reduce fuel costs or considering eco-friendly vehicle options.


Grasping these fundamental automotive terms can greatly enhance your confidence as a car owner and facilitate more productive conversations with service providers. Whether it’s routine maintenance or exploring options for vehicle enhancements, being well-informed empowers you to make decisions that are best for you and your vehicle. Stay informed, stay empowered, and drive safely.


Follow us online to keep up on future updates, discounts, new products, and new projects.


Adam Gilbert
Adam Gilbert
Great people! Very happy with service and prices! Was done quickly! Thank you guys for a great job!!!!
Wade Benjamin
Wade Benjamin
Another Trophy winning job from Pickups Plus. The team did a fantastic job. Exhaust,windshield,window tint,dyno,cool air,wrap hood, tail band stripe. I take all my cars to Kyle and his team they always take excellent care of their customers. I highly recommend this company.
T. Hollett
T. Hollett
I’ve had multiple vehicles serviced by Pickups Plus over the years and most recently had under coating protection applied to a new vehicle. They worked me in quickly and did an excellent job. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them and will definitely be back!
the dad
the dad
Dan and Matt did a great job with my truck. Even when an issue arose, they got it sorted and taken care of. Couldn't be happier with the results. Will definitely be back for future mods!
Eric Alv
Eric Alv
Amazing work , Great Service and above all great results .
Came in from out of town - offered a price matched on a tonneau cover, brought in a tech to do a last minute Saturday install, reviewed other products and pricing online during the install. Joey very attentive with great follow-up. I am watching a leak (a little more than normal) and hope that it slows down as the cover gets in the heat and settles. I will contact Joey as needed.
Thomas Runyan
Thomas Runyan
Awesome place, great people to work with. Work has been done with excellence and at a great price. I'll be doing more work here in the future.
Tyler Wilson
Tyler Wilson
Pickups Plus Cars truly went above and beyond! From the flawless installation of new wheels on my Yukon to their quick thinking in providing black lug nuts when I forgot to get them, every aspect of my experience with them was exceptional. Their team's communication was outstanding, keeping me informed at every step and willing to accommodate my needs. I couldn't be happier with the outcome and highly recommend their services to anyone in need of automotive upgrades. Thank you, Pickups Plus Cars, for your professionalism and dedication to customer satisfaction!