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Car Care and Mechanic Terms You Should Know

Unless you are familiar with the ins and outs of car care, any mechanic service recommendation might come with some unfamiliar terms. The local car care technicians at Chapel Hill Tire are here to help with a quick reference guide for drivers. 

General Car Service Terms

Here is a look at some of the more general service terms you might hear from your local mechanic. 

  • Service Interval: It can be concerning when you see several lights suddenly pop up on your dashboard. In these cases, take a look at your vehicle mileage. You could be reaching a service interval. What is a service interval? Some routine car services (like brake services or maintenance flushes) are recommended at certain car milestones—or service intervals. Mostly, this will either be a certain number of years or (more frequently) miles. 
  • Maintenance Flush: Your car has a variety of specialized fluids that all serve a unique function for your vehicle. The list includes brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, and so much more. Over time, any of these vehicle fluids can become depleted or contaminated. 

Car Tire Service Terms

Tires require regular maintenance and care. Our experts are here with a glossary of some key tire terms:

  • Tire Tread: What is tire tread? This is the vehicle grooves and patterns on the surface of your tire. They are designed to keep your tires in controlled contact with the road. 
  • Tire Rotation: A tire rotation is a routine service wherein a mechanic will rearrange your tires so they can wear more evenly.
  • Tire Patching: When you have a nail, screw, or other sharp object stuck in your tire, you may need a patch. Tire patching service is when a mechanic removes the tire obstruction, patches the hole it created, and reinflates the tire. 
  • Tire Pressure PMI: Your tire PMI is the current or recommended air pressure in your tires.
  • Tire Valve Stems: The tire valve stems are small access points on each wheel where you can refill your tires with air.

Car Parts Glossary of Terms

It would be nearly impossible to unpack all of the terms relating to your vehicle, but here is a closer look at some of the lesser-known car parts: 

  • Catalytic Converter: The catalytic converter is the vehicle component that helps convert toxic vehicle emissions into less harmful compounds. Catalytic converters contain precious metals, which makes them prone to theft. 
  • Radiator: Your radiator is the engine component that uses freon to help keep your engine from overheating. 
  • Transmission: Your transmission is like the heart of your vehicle. It connects your tires and your engine while distributing and regulating your car’s power. Click here to read more in our guide to what your transmission does
  • Differentials: The rear and front differentials are vehicle components that help your wheels move at different speeds. This part plays a vital role in helping your vehicle turn. 

Car Care and Mechanic Insight from Chapel Hill Tire

If you have any questions about your vehicle, service recommendations, or any additional car terminology, please do not hesitate to ask our local mechanics. We proudly serve the greater Triangle area with 10 locations across Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. Our professional mechanics also commonly serve surrounding communities, including KnightdalePittsboroWake ForestHillsboroughMorrisville, and beyond. We invite you to make an appointmentbrowse our coupons, or give us a call to get started today! 

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