14 April 2016 · Motoring Tips & Advice

How to speak the same language as your mechanic | Phil Gilbert Toyota

With cars, trucks and bikes, there will always be a plethora of acronyms and car jargon to get your head around. However, it’s important to understand some of the basics for yourself, to make sure you can communicate well with your mechanic or car sales rep, and know exactly what products and services you’re paying for. You’ll also want to know what all these cool features can do for you! Let’s look at some of the most common Australian car acronyms and auto talk terms.

In alphabetical order:


An Anti-Lock Braking System helps you gain control of your brakes if your wheels suddenly lock up and go into skidding. ABS applies and releases your brakes quickly, allowing you better steering control under heavy braking and keeping you safe.



Air Conditioning, or simply air con in classic Aussie lingo, provides cold air through the heating vents inside your car. You’ll need to know how to use the AC in our hot Sydney Summers.



Airbags are installed in your car to protect you in the event of a crash. You’ll most often find them inside steering wheels, in front of the front passenger seat and in some newer cars, on knee level. If you have a crash, the airbags will immediately inflate, protecting you from hitting the dash or seats in front and slowing your forward movement down.


Alloy Wheel

Alloy wheels, sometimes called ‘mag wheels’ also, are made of aluminium, rather than steel. Drivers mainly choose alloy wheels to jazz up their car a bit, making them an aesthetic choice rather than an extra safety or practicality feature. Alloy wheels come in a huge range of attractive and contemporary styles to suit all tastes.


CO2 Emissions

This one’s important if you’re interested in making greener choices with less environmental impact. CO2, or carbon dioxide, is one of the gases that comes out of all car exhausts, both petrol and diesel. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that largely impacts climate change, therefore it’s very important for car manufacturers to lower their cars’ CO2 emissions, and for consumers to choose these cars for themselves and the planet.

Cruise Control

Sounds cruisy? Well it is. Cruise control allows you to set a fixed speed for the car and then take your foot off the accelerator. The cruise control will automatically maintain a fixed speed until you brake or accelerate. Really great for commuters who regularly drive long distances on relatively quiet stretches of road or highway.



Hybrids are an increasingly popular choice for Australian drivers, as they have excellent fuel efficiency and produce lower emissions from their exhausts. This is a result of having an engine that runs on both a traditional petrol or diesel engine as well as an electric motor with batteries.


Pre-Collision Alerts

The pre-collision alert system, sometimes also known in Australia as ‘forward collision avoidance technology’ or ‘autonomous emergency braking’ (AEB) is an advanced safety feature to protect you and your car from collision. The safety system constantly monitors the area in front of your vehicle, and if a potentially dangerous situation is detected, your car will warn you. If you don't brake in reaction to the hazard, your car will automatically engage the brake to help reduce potential damage.



Sports Utility Vehicle. More Australians have started referring to 4WDs as SUVs. Your SUV will generally have a sporty, powerful appearance and 4-wheel drive allowing for both on-road and off-road driving. Very handy for camping trips and adventuring.


We hope this helps you out a bit next time you’re talking to your mechanic or auto salesperson. For any more help with Aussie car jargon or further information on the features we discussed, contact Phil Gilbert Toyota, Sydney’s premier Toyota Dealership.