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C-Post (C-Pillar)
The rear or back-window pillars that support the rear window and rear portion of a car's roof.

Caliper
That part of a disc-brake assembly hat straddles the discs and contains the cylinders, pistons and brake pads. When the brakes are applied, brake fluid flows to the cylinders in the caliper and pushes the pistons out, forcing the pads against the disc. Also, an adjustable measuring tool for determining the diameter of a shaft, cylinder bore, etc. by contact and retaining the dimension for measurement or comparison.

Cam
A rotating or sliding mechanism or a projection on a rotating shaft for imparting or receiving exact movements. A cam on a camshaft is also referred to as a lobe. A rotating or sliding mechanism or a projection on a rotating shaft for imparting or receiving exact movements. A cam on a camshaft is also referred to as a lobe.

Camber
Inward or outward tilting of the wheels from vertical as viewed from the front or rear of the car. If the wheels are closer together at the top than at the ground, the chamber is negative; if the wheels are further apart at the top, the chamber is positive.

Chamber Thrust
Side force generated when a tire rolls with camber. Camber thrust can add to or subtract from the side force a tire generates.

Carburetor
A device through which air is drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel to form a combustible mixture that can be burned in the engine's cylinders. The carburetor changes the ratio of fuel and air according to varying engine operating conditions such as starting, idling, cruising and maximum power.

Caster
The angle between the steering axis and the vertical, as viewed from the side. It is considered positive when the steering axis is inclined rearward at top.

Clutch
A friction-operated device used to connect a driving to a driven member. In an automotive drive train the clutch, when engaged, connects the engine crankshaft and flywheel to the gearbox and thus the remainder of the drive train. It allows smooth coupling and uncoupling of the engine and drive train by slipping as its driving and driven discs come together.

Clutch Disc
The rotating circular metal plate splined to the transmission input shaft: it has friction material on each face. The disc is located between the flywheel and the clutch pressure plate and is clamped tightly between these two members when the clutch is engaged, thus transmitting power from the flywheel through the clutch and into the gearbox.

Coefficient Of Friction
The ration of the frictional force between two surfaces to the perpendicular loading at their junction. The coefficient of friction depends primarily on the nature of both surfaces in contact, being relatively large if the surfaces are rough and small if they are smooth.

Combustion Chamber
The space at the top of the cylinder, in the head and/or piston top, remaining above the piston when it is at top dead center. Combustion of the fuel-air mixture begins here.

Combustion Ignition
Combustion of a fuel-air mixture without spark. In the diesel engine (after Rudolf Diesel, the inventor) air is drawn into the cylinder and compressed to a temperature sufficiently high that fuel oil injected at the end of the compression stroke burns in the cylinder without a spark to initiate combustion.

Compression Ratio
The extent to which the combustible gases are compressed within the cylinder: the ratio of cylinder and chamber volume with the piston at bottom dead center to the volume of the combustion chamber at the end of the compression stroke.

Compression Ring
A piston ring at the top of the piston, forming a seal with the cylinder wall to prevent compression loss or gas blowby. Compression rings also help transfer heat from the piston into the cylinder walls and thus to the water jacket surrounding the cylinder.

Compression Stroke
Second stroke of the four-stroke cycle, in which the piston moves upward from bottom dead center, compressing the fuel-air mixture.

Compressor
The mechanism in a refrigerator or air conditioner that pumps vaporized refrigerant out of the evaporator, compresses it to a relatively high pressure and then delivers it to the condenser.

Condenser
A device for changing vapor into liquid, as in an air conditioning system. Applied to an electric circuit, a device (also called a capacitor) for temporarily collecting and storing a surge of electrical current for later discharge. In a car's ignition system the condenser is connected across the contact points to reduce arcing by providing a storage place for electricity as the points open.

Connecting Rod
The link between the piston and the crankshaft, by which the reciprocal motion of the piston is changed to rotary motion.

Constant-Mesh Gearbox
A type of transmission in which all or most of the gears ate always in mesh with one another as opposed to a sliding-gear transmission, in which engagement is obtained by sliding some of the gears along a shaft into mesh.

Coolant
The mixture of water and antifreeze that picks up heat from the engine and transfers it to the air passing through the radiator.

Counter Shaft
That shaft in a manual gearbox that carries power by means of gears from the clutch shaft to the driveshaft, turning opposite to them.

Counter Weight
Weight added to a rotating shaft or wheel to balance normal loads on the part and offset vibration. Counterweights are used on the crankshaft and are often found on the flywheel and driveshaft.

Counter Balance
Weight added to a rotating shaft or wheel to balance normal loads on the part and offset vibration. Counterweights are used on the crankshaft and are often found on the flywheel and driveshaft.

Cowl
The portion of a car's body between the engine compartment and the driver which ordinarily houses the instruments and the plenum chamber for the heater-ventilation system.

Crank Case
A box or case that encloses or encases the crankshaft.

Crank Pin
The bearing surface on a crank of the crankshaft to which the connecting rod is attached.

Crank Shaft
The main shaft of an engine, so named because of the U-shaped cranks. It delivers rotary motion taken from the reciprocating pistons and rods.


Cylinder
The hollow tubular structure in the cylinder block in which the piston travels and combustion takes place.


Cylinder Block
The basic framework of the engine to which other engine parts are attached. It is usually a casting and includes the engine cylinders and the upper part of the crankcase.

Capitalized Cost
This is the total price of the vehicle, in effect, its purchase price. In theory, the cap cost should equal the amount you would pay for the vehicle if you were purchasing the vehicle. When a lease is made, the dealer sells that vehicle to the leasing company (for the cap cost), which then leases the vehicle to you.

Cap (Capitalized) Cost
This is the total price of the vehicle, in effect, its purchase price. In theory, the cap cost should equal the amount you would pay for the vehicle if you were purchasing the vehicle. When a lease is made, the dealer sells that vehicle to the leasing company (for the cap cost), which then leases the vehicle to you.

Capitalized Cost Reduction
This is a fancy name for a cash down payment, money you pay up front that is applied to the final purchase price. A large cap cost reduction will, of course reduce the monthly payments, but it will also negate one of the big advantages of leasing. However, if you own your present car, you may be able to use it, as a trade-in, to satisfy the cap cost reduction to start the lease. Remember that you must pay sales tax on any cap cost reduction you make. Another source of capital cost reduction may be dealer or manufacturer participation. Dealers and manufacturers will sometimes lower the cap cost or offer a rebate that reduces the cap cost. A dealer or manufacturer cap cost reduction does lower your total out-of-pocket dollars, unlike a cap cost reduction that you must pay.

Cap (Capitalized) Cost Reduction
This is a fancy name for a cash down payment, money you pay up front that is applied to the final purchase price. A large cap cost reduction will, of course reduce the monthly payments, but it will also negate one of the big advantages of leasing. However, if you own your present car, you may be able to use it, as a trade-in, to satisfy the cap cost reduction to start the lease. Remember that you must pay sales tax on any cap cost reduction you make. Another source of capital cost reduction may be dealer or manufacturer participation. Dealers and manufacturers will sometimes lower the cap cost or offer a rebate that reduces the cap cost. A dealer or manufacturer cap cost reduction does lower your total out-of-pocket dollars, unlike a cap cost reduction that you must pay.

Closed End Lease
Most leases offered today are close-end leases, meaning that the residual value is fixed and stated in the lease contract. The lessee's financial obligations are unaffected by what the vehicle is actually worth when the lease ends. In other words, the lessee assumes no risk for the depreciation of the vehicle.

Camshaft
A shaft with bumps which is driven by gears, a belt, or a chain from the crankshaft. The bumps push on the valve lifters to cause the valves to open and close. The camshaft turns at half the speed of the crankshaft.

Cruise Control
A feature that keeps your vehicle moving at a set speed.

Carbon Fiber
Threadlike strands of pure carbon that are strong and flexible. Carbon fiber can be bound in a plastic resin matrix to form a strong composite. It is lightweight and stronger than steel.

Coil
Metal bands or strands of wire wrapped in a circular fashion. A device for increasing the voltage to fire the spark plugs.

Coupe
An enclosed single-compartment body with two doors and varying passenger capacity depending on seat arrangements. The SAE standard J1100 defines it as having less than 33 cubic feet of interior volume. Larger coupes have rear quarter windows. Coupes have fixed permanent back panels and top, as well as a luggage compartment in the rear deck.

Clearance
A given amount of space between two parts such as between piston and cylinder, bearing and journal , etc.


Cycle

A vehicle with one or more wheels (usually spoked) where the rider/driver straddles the vehicle as a bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, etc.

Cold Air Intake
The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is denser than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.

Cold Air Induction
The induction system forces cold air into the combustion chamber. Because cold air is denser than warm air, it contains more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen, fuel will burn more effectively and thus increase horsepower.

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