Mechanics Jargon 101

A Brief Lesson

Naturally with all vehicles - whether electric or fueled by petrol or diesel - they will have to be serviced every twelve months. When discussing what has been serviced, the car mechanic may use certain terms that sound like a completely different language to a casual car owner. This could most certainly cause confusion, especially when perusing the bill.

Common Phrases

Here are a couple of phrases you may have heard or will hear in the future:

“Your bushes on the wishbone are going.”

Bushes are the little rubber parts attached to suspension parts, including the triangular components called wishbones; because they are rubber, they can perish and wear out.

“There's signs of mayonnaise under the old cap.”

If water or condensation under the oil cap mixes with engine oil, it creates a thick, white-coloured gunk that collects there; this could indicate that there’s an issue with the head gasket.

“Your big end has gone.”

This is phrase used to describe when a large bearing in the engine has worn out and failed. A large bearing is semi-circular sleeve of metal inside the engine. If the big end is worn, a loud knocking sound can be heard from under the bonnet, especially when the car is accelerated.

“I needed to access your CAN-bus.”

A CAN-bus refers to the Controller Area Network (electronics system) which allows the vehicle’s engine management computer to communicate with other parts of the car.

At the next maintenance check, you’ll be sure to follow the car mechanic’s report as well as make inquiries of your own.