Australian Automotive Glossary

Air Suspension

A type of suspension that uses air springs (bags) instead of conventional steel springs. Computer operated vents on the air springs, suspension sensors and an on-board air compressor allow the system to maintain ride height and vary the suspension's ride characteristics....
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Alignment

Generally refers to wheel alignment, which is the proper adjustment of the car's front and rear suspension for camber, toe, caster and ride height....
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Alignment Shims

Metal or plastic spacers used in the alignment process to alter camber, caster and/or toe. Some shims are adjustable or can be indexed various ways to provide incremental alignment corrections....
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All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

This drive system features four, full-time active drive wheels to reduce wheel slippage and provide greater driver control over the vehicle. All-Wheel Drive automatically splits engine torque between the front and rear wheels as needed, improving on-road traction in unfavourable road conditions. Unlike Four-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive is an on-road system and is not designed for off-road use. AWD does not require the driver to actively engage the system. It is operational at all times, and requires no switches, lights or visor instructions for system operation....
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Allen Key

A tool made from hexagonal section steel to tighten or loosen bolts or set screws, made with a corresponding socket in their heads....
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Alloy Wheels

A generic term used to describe any non-steel road wheel. The most common alloy wheels are cast aluminium. Technically, an alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. These wheels are known for their light weight and strength....
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Alternative fuel

Fuels other than petrol, this includes methane, ethanol, compressed natural gas and electricity....
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Alternator

An electrical device located in the engine compartment of the motor vehicle that generates electricity....
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