Tagged: definitions

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What is an Engine Control Unit?

An engine control unit is essentially the “electronic brain” that makes sure your engine is always working properly. To that end, these electronic control units can be responsible for everything from setting the air/fuel mixture to adjusting variable valve timing.

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What is a Transmission Control Unit?

A transmission control unit is similar to an engine control unit, but it is specifically responsible for the efficient operation of modern transmissions. In order to accomplish this, a TCU has to take inputs from a variety of sensors and controllers and then delivers output parameters to a number of electronically-controlled components.


What is a Transaxle?

Transaxles have been around almost as long as the automobile itself, but they have really started to gain traction over the last few decades.

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What is a Heater Core?

Heater cores are like tiny radiators that use the hot coolant from your engine’s cooling system to warm up the interior of your car.

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What is a Transmission?

Transmissions represent one of the two main components in automotive powertrains. They can be either manual or automatic, but there are also a few other variations on the theme.

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What is a MacPherson Strut?

The MacPherson strut was invented in the 1950s, but it didn’t really pick up steam until a few decades later. Today, MacPherson strut suspension systems are exceedingly popular, especially in smaller cars. They are both simpler and cheaper than other suspensions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are superior.


What is a Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Mass air flow sensors come in a handful of different flavors, but they’re all designed to help your ECU determine the mass of the air that’s entering your engine. Although they are relatively simple, these innocuous little components are instrumental in the proper operation of your engine.

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What is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters are major components in both exhaust and emission control systems. Through oxidation and reduction, they turn harmful pollutants into less dangerous compounds. They are also prime targets for theft due to the precious metals that they contain.

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What is Monocoque Construction?

Monocoque designs originated in aircraft construction, and they first appeared in the automotive industry in the 1920s, but body-on-frame continued to dominate for decades. Today, a modified type of monocoque construction, known as unibody, is dominant.