A guide to understanding manufacturers’ jargon

Do you know what AEB is? How about a limited-slip differential?

With car terminology growing increasingly complex, navigating your way through an endless list of acronyms and motoring terms can be tricky.

Warranty Direct is here to shed light on some of the most complicated terms to help you differentiate your cabriolet from your coupe once and for all

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)

Autonomous emergency braking is a safety system built into vehicles which monitors the traffic and road conditions ahead for signs of an incoming collision.

AEB can warn a driver of imminent danger and apply the brakes should they not respond quick enough. When AEB is applied, the speed at which a collision occurs can be significantly decreased and the results could be life-saving.


Continuously variable transmission (CVT)

A continuously variable transmission works automatically to alter the speed of car wheels in relation to the engine. However, instead of relying on a box full of gears, it uses a pair of pulleys; one which is connected to the engine and the other to the wheels.

Benefits include simpler construction and the fact CVT can offer a wider range of gear ratios; making accelerating a smoother experience.

Drivers typically won’t be able to choose this feature, as cars that come with an automatic gearbox are usually already equipped with CVT.

Electronic stability control (ESC)

This feature works by fitting ESC sensors to each of a vehicle’s wheels, which analyses the rotational speed compared with other tyres. It automatically controls engine power and can apply braking if a loss of traction is detected. This enables the driver to regain control and pre-empt skids.

Electronic stability control is now standard on all mass-produced cars in Europe and studies indicate cars fitted with ESCs are less prone to accidents.

Head up display (HUD)

HUDs beam a digital display onto either the car’s windscreen or a piece of glass or plastic which appears on top of the dashboard.

Information featured is often customisable, but typically features sat-nav instructions and current speed and limit alerts.

It’s usually an optional extra as the same information can also be displayed on a dial or screen, so it’s worth weighing up how necessary you think it is before splurging.

Limited-slip differential (LSD)

If you’re a fan of sports cars, then you might have heard of the limited-slip differential.

Part of a car’s drive system, LSD is designed to help the engine apply its power to the road more effectively, enhancing a vehicle’s overall performance.

Though not essential, fitting a car with an LSD can positively impact its efficiency. It also provides an element of safety because it offers greater control over a car’s power delivery.

Naturally aspirated engine

Diesel engines typically make use of turbochargers to boost power and economy, but a naturally aspirated engine is an internal combustion engine which derives its oxygen intake solely from atmospheric pressure and not forced induction.

While naturally aspirated cars are notably cheaper to buy and more reliable than their turbocharged counterparts, the latter provides more power and a significant performance boost that’s also fuel-efficient and low CO2 emitting.

As these complicated terms demonstrate, car ownership can sometimes be confusing.

At Warranty Direct, our extended motor warranties help to take the guesswork out of owning a vehicle. With an Extended Warranty that covers you against costly repair bills of a surprising electrical and mechanical failure, helped by an easy claims process to keep you on the move

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