Car terms to know when getting a service

A lot of people take their car to get serviced and come out of the experience having little or no idea what services they just paid for. A service attendant or mechanic can go through the process of explaining what was done but may throw out terms that aren’t fully understood by the average car owner.

Whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, or perhaps one who has never paid much attention to what goes on during a service visit, the following common car terms and their explanations may come in handy during your next trip through the service lane.

Wheel alignment and balancing
Wheel alignment – This procedure is an adjustment of the angles of the wheels in order to keep them perpendicular to the ground and ensure that they are parallel to each other. With straight track wheels, your car (and your pocket book) will benefit as you’re more likely to get the maximum life span out of your tires.

Wheel balancing – Wheel balancing is when lead weights are systematically distributed and attached onto the car rims to account for any damage or imperfections that might exist on a particular wheel assembly. They can be used to patch up blemishes or weigh down certain parts of the wheel so the weight is evenly distributed. This technique helps to improve the overall steering of your car, minimizing any vibrations and giving you a smooth ride.

Engine flush
An engine flush essentially gets all the gunk or engine buildup cleaned out of the engine. A flush entails pouring chemicals into the engine to clean out the debris and possible buildup from engine activity. The chemicals are later flushed out, leaving the engine nice and clean. Fresh oil is then poured back into the engine. This should result in noticeably improved performance and hopefully also lead to prolonging the life span of your engine.

Shocks and struts replacement
Shocks – They form a crucial part of the steering system that affects alignment angles. They are a device that helps absorb the oscillating movement of the springs, and keeps the car from excessive bouncing as you navigate the roads.

Struts – Together these form another component that helps absorb movement in the springs. Struts are also a structural part of the suspension system that helps keep the vehicle suspended above the wheels without too much pressure and vibration.

Worn shocks and struts may need to be replaced to keep your vehicle’s suspension system in good order, and can improve control, safety, stability and braking distance.

These are just a few common services that car owners may come across when taking their vehicles into the garage. Hopefully you will find these car terms helpful when next getting a service, and they will make you more knowledgeable about what is actually being done to your car.

And if you’re getting your oil changed during a service, our “Car terms to know when getting an oil change” article can help you understand the different options.

Written by:

Competitive Rates

Lower your monthly car payments by applying for a car loan with

Apply for a Loan

*View disclosures & offer information
Dodge Charger