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Automotive Definitions & Acronyms (A-Z List)

Updated: May 25

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

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