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Semi-Elliptic Springs
Type of leaf spring that takes its name from the shape which is part of an ellipse.

Semi-Floating Axle
Drive axle construction where the axle shaft supports the weight of the car in addition to being the means of propulsion.


Slick
A treadless tire used for racing on dry surfaces.


Slip Joint
A variable length connection that permits the dive shaft or axle shaft to change its length as the shaft moves up and down.

 Solenoid
An electrically operated magnetic device used to operate some unit. A movable iron core is placed inside a coil of wire, which moves because of magnetic attraction when electric current is fed to the coil. When current flows through the coil, the core will attempt to center itself in the coil. In so doing, the core will exert considerable force on anything it is connected to.

Space Frame
Type of frame construction offering high rigidity for minimum weight, used for some racing and low production cars.

Spark Plug
A device inserted into the combustion chamber of an engine that provides the gap across which the high-tension voltage jumps, creating a spark that ignites the compressed fuel-air mixture.

Speedometer
An instrument for measuring and indicating the speed at which a car is traveling.

Stroke
The distance the piston moves from bottom dead center to top dead center or vice-versa.

Suspension
Refers to the various springs, shock absorbers and linkages used to suspend a car's frame, body, engine and drivetrain above the wheels.

Subvented Lease
A subvented lease is a lease offered by manufacturers with special incentives to make it more attractive. Special incentives often take the form of a lower base interest rate, higher residual values, and manufacturer discounts. In many cases, a subvented lease will have a lower net interest rate than other leases. Subvented leases are usually only available for a limited time and the terms are not negotiable. Any negotiated change in the terms will result in a different net interest rate.

Subsidized Lease
A subvented lease is a lease offered by manufacturers with special incentives to make it more attractive. Special incentives often take the form of a lower base interest rate, higher residual values, and manufacturer discounts. In many cases, a subvented lease will have a lower net interest rate than other leases. Subvented leases are usually only available for a limited time and the terms are not negotiable. Any negotiated change in the terms will result in a different net interest rate.

Spoiler
An aerodynamic device attached to a vehicle (usually under the front bumper or on the decklid) to either reduce drag or induce downforce on the vehicle. So called because it spoils the normal flow of air over or under the vehicle.

Supercharger
An air compressor designed to force air, under pressure, into the cylinder. Can be mounted between the carburetor and cylinders or between the carburetor and the atmosphere. It boosts the power of the engine.


Sway Bar
Sometimes called the "anti-sway bar," "stabilizer bar," or even "roll-bar." It is usually a round bar, which connects the left wheel suspension assembly with the right side. It may be found at the front and/or rear. Its main function is to keep both wheels rolling at the same rate when meeting bumps; but it also affects handling. A front anti-roll bar increases understeer and a rear bar increases oversteer.

Skidpad
A large area of smooth, flat pavement used for various handling tests. Roadholding is measured by defining a large-diameter circle (Car and Driver magazine uses 300 feet) on the skidpad and measuring the fastest speed at which the car can negotiate the circle without sliding off.

Scoop (Air)
A forward facing aerodynamic device or opening used to duct cool outside air to some part of the vehicle such as the carburetor intake, the brakes, the radiator, or an oil cooler.

Strut
A single, self-contained pivoting suspension unit that integrates a coil spring with a shock absorber. Struts are used on front wheel drive automobiles.

SOHC (Single Over-Head Cam)
Refers to an engine with a single overhead camshaft to operate both intake and exhaust valves.


Single Over-Head Cam (SOHC)

Refers to an engine with a single overhead camshaft to operate both intake and exhaust valves.

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