Car aficionados love to show off their knowledge, and will often discuss terms that normal people are clueless about. Also, as car manufacturers continue to upgrade the cars and add new technologies, the catalogues are becoming loaded with a never ending list of numbers and letters which seem like gibberish, and typos at first glance. If you want to buy a new car and come across these catalogues, you just might feel totally puzzled and lost.
To upgrade your knowledge, and to fall under the category of “car savvy”, we have compiled a list of a few common car abbreviations, along with their meanings. Read ahead to know more.
- 4×4- Four Wheel Drive
Cars with 4WD indicate a system in which all 4 wheels of the car are powered uniformly by the engine. It is usually developed for off-road driving, and is useful in rocky terrains, snow, and muddy roads. While it seems fun to be stuck in mud and revv the car, it is only useful if you have a 4×4 drive. Some cars switch to 4×4 drive automatically, depending on the terrain, and others have a switch to turn on or off.
- 4×2- Two Wheel Drive
The 4×2 drive cars only make use of two of the four car wheels. There are two kinds of 2WDs, either the front wheels, or the back, but they are usually the back wheels. While 4×4 drives are generally available in SUVs, most cars on the road are 2 wheel drives.
- ABS- Anti-Lock Braking System
ABS is a protective feature in the cars which prevents the tires from locking up when the brakes are applied suddenly. This safety feature prevents the car tires from skidding, so it can steer away from the obstacle, thereby avoiding a crash. Considering how we are always in a hurry nowadays, it is a good thing that almost all cars come equipped with ABS.
If, like us, you are mostly used to driving manual cars, it is intimidating to sit behind the wheel of an automatic vehicle, and stare at the gearbox in confusion. We got you, and will explain the seemingly random letters that are printed on it.
P – Parking – P locks the car tires, and it will go in parking mode.
R – Reverse – Put the gear in R when you need to back the car.
N – Neutral – Keep the car in N when you are in idle mode at a traffic signal
D – Drive – D is the most used, and will move the car forward.
- BHP- Brake Horse Power
In layman terms, BHP is the measure of the engine power of the vehicle. Higher BHP cars are more powerful, and the acceleration is faster. Basically, if speed is your language, go for a car with higher BHP.
- CBU- Completely Built Unit (Import)
CBU means when the car is imported from another country, fully assembled. Most of the high end cars and bikes that are imported in India, come as a CBU. The cute Beetle from Volkswagen is the best example of a CBU. The taxation system of CBUs are different, and hence much more expensive.
- DRL- Daytime Running Lights
Most new cars come with DRL, which are lights in the front of the vehicle that are turned on, whenever the engine is running. The purpose of DRL is to improve visibility of the vehicle, even in daylight, so that it is easier for oncoming traffic to spot the car, especially during winter seasons, and foggy weather. Now you know, the headlights that are on during the daytime, are not just for show!
- MUV- Multi-Utility Vehicle
MUVs are like vans, and are mostly 7 seaters. MUVs are commonly used as family vehicles, or for comfortable travel over long distances. If you plan a road trip, consider hiring a MUV. It will make all the difference. Toyota Innova, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Honda Mobilio, and Renault Triber are a few MUVs that are spotted on the Indian roads.
- ORVM- Outside Rear View Mirror
The ORVM are mirrors located outside the vehicle, and are used to see the cars coming from behind. The mirrors that have “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” written on them, are actually ORVMs! Some cars have automatic ORVMs, while the others can be closed manually. I personally call them the ears of the car, as they stick out from the two sides!
- PDI- Pre-Delivery Inspection
One of the most important processes, PDI, is the final inspection of the car that is done at the dealer’s before the handover. The car’s exteriors, interiors, electrical parts, fluid levels, mechanical parts, and accessories are examined, and the vehicle goes under a quick test drive to identify any issues. It is a must for all new cars to undergo a PDI.
- SUV- Sports Utility Vehicle
Bigger sized vehicles that are mostly used for self-drive, and for off road drives are classified as SUVs. These vehicles usually come with an option of 4×4 drive. Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass, Skoda Kushaq, Kia Seltos, and Toyota Fortuner are common SUVs that are becoming increasingly popular. SUVs are comfortable and easy to drive. Also, if someone is messing with you on the roads, it is easier to fight back behind the wheel of an SUV.
Now that we have made you car savvy, go forth into the world, and show off your knowledge! Not only will people be impressed when you throw these jargons their way, but it will also be beneficial when you decide to buy a new car.