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Car tech words explained

Some of the most commonly used car words in India and the most frequently asked questions about cars in India are explained. We have a list of common Car Questions below. Click on any of these Questions and page will jump to the answer further down.

Hybrid Car, What means Hybrid car, Maruti new car Ciaz Hybrid model SHVS

What a hybrid car means is that it has more than one power source to drive the car. Normal cars have only one source of power: the engine, which is usually a petrol or diesel engine. But a Hybrid car will have a second source of power, usually an electric motor driven from a big battery, which works with the main engine to reduce the load on the main engine. The electric motor also acts as a generator to charge the battery when the hybrid car is braking or decelerating or going down hill. The stored power in the battery is used to drive the electric motor to reduce fuel consumption while a hybrid car is accelerating or going up a hill. This is how a hybrid car recycles energy and is so fuel efficient.

The advantage of the hybrid car is that it is more efficient and consumes less fuel (petrol, diesel, etc.). In a hybrid car, the electric motor is using power from a battery which is charged with wasted energy of the car, when braking or decelerating or going down hill.

Maruti's new Ciaz Hybrid car uses an upgraded high powered starter motor connected by a belt drive to the main engine. This arrangement makes for a very silent starting of the car.

The starter motor in the Maruti Ciaz Hybrid also serves as the hybrid drive for the car and serves three purposes: starter motor, hybrid electric motor to help the main engine and as an electric generator to charge the battery when the car is braking or slowing down or going down hill.

The Maruti hybrid Ciaz SHVS (SHVS stands for Smart Hybrid Vehicle System) model car also has an arrangement to stop and restart the engine when the car is stopped, for example at a red signal light. The engine will restart in an instant and is very silent because the starter motor starts the main engine through a belt drive rather than the noisy gear drive. This auto stop-start feature of Hybrid Ciaz saves diesel. Maruti Ciaz SHVS hybrid car is fail safe in this start stop cycles, because the multipurpose starter motor in the Maruti hybrid Ciaz is more powerful and the battery is about three times bigger than in normal cars. There is the facility of turning off the Maruti Ciaz Hybrid auto stop-start function.

With all these features the Maruti Ciaz Hybrid has a mileage of over 28 Kilometers to one liter of diesel. The video below is from Suzukhi explaining the working of the Maruti Ciaz Hybrid car.

Maruti Ciaz SHVS engine explained

Common car short form words or abbreviations used in India

We have below explanation and meaning of some of the most commonly used words and abbreviations associated with car technical specs. These are some of the most commonly used car jargon in India

The Full form of the following car abbreviations:

ABS: Anti-lock Brakes
AWD: All Wheel Drive
cc: Cubic centimeter (1000 cc = 1 Litre)
CVT: Continuously Variable Transmission
EBA: Emergency Brake Assist
EBD: Electronic Brake Distribution
ESP: Electronic Stabilisation Program
MPV: Multi Purpose Vehicle
RPM: Revolutions Per Minute
SUV: Sports Utility Vehicle
TCS: Traction Control System

Meaning of Nm torque in cars

Nm stands for Newton Meters and is a measure of the torque of a car. Torque is the twisting force exerted by the cars engine to turn the wheels of the car, and is like the twisting force when you are using a spanner to unlock a bolt.

Torque is measured by multiplying the force in Newton (1 Kg = 10 Newtons approximately) by the length. For example, a force of 1 Kg at a distance of 1 meter would be 1 Kg.meter or a force of 5 Kg on a spanner 20cms long would also be 1 Kg.Meter (5Kgx0.2m=1 Kg.Meter). Torque is usually given by car manufacturers in Newton Meters or Nm. Theoretically 1 kg. force = 9.80665 Newtons but it is generally taken as 1Kg is equal to 10 Newtons force. The greater the cars torque especially at lower engine RPM speeds, the better.

Is PS and HP the same and conversion of KW to HP or PS

For all practical purposes PS is the same as Horse Power. The British first started to use the term Horse power.

In the old days when mechanical steam engines were invented, they were used to replace work being done by horses. So people wanted to know how many horses could be replaced by the steam engine. Thus steam engines were rated in Horse Power from those old steam engine days and is still being used by us. It was calculated that an average horse could do 550 foot pound of work per second, that is a horse could lift a weight of 550 pounds to a height of 1 feet in one second (BHP stands for Brake Horse Power and is the same as HP).

The German translation of Horse Power is “Pferdestärke” and is abbreviated as PS. So you will find the power of German cars expressed as "PS".

The British HP is slightly more than the German PS which is based on a metric Horse Power calculation of 75 meterKg per second. Theoretically 1 HP=1.014PS, but for all practical purposes HP and PS is the same value.

The Metric unit of power is called Kilo Watt and abbreviated as KW. One Kilowatt = 1.341 Horse Power. So if you want to convert the power of a car given in Kilowatts to Horse Power, just multiply the Kilowatt unit by 1.341 and you will get the HP of the car. For example if a cars Power is given as 40KW then the Horse Power of that car is 40x1.341=53.64 HP

What is Turning circle of a car

Turning Circle of a car is the diameter or radius of the inside of the circle that a car would form if run with the steering wheel turned completely to the left or right. Turning circle of a car is important, especially when trying to take U turns on a narrow street. A smaller turning circle for the car is better.

What is Wheelbase

Wheelbase is the distance between the centre of the front wheels to the centre of back wheel of a car.

Turbocharger and Supercharger difference explained

The function of both Supercharger and Turbocharger is the same, that is to supply compressed air to the intake of the car engine in order to make the car engine more powerful and efficient. With a higher air pressure at the intake valve of the car engine during the suction stroke, more air gets into the cylinder and thus more efficient combustion takes place. This improves the overall performance of the car both in power and in efficiency.

The supercharger is driven by an electric motor running on the cars batteries while the Turbocharger is driven by a turbine using the exhaust gases of the engine. The problem with the turbocharger is that at low speeds there is not enough exhaust gases from the engine to run the turbocharger efficiently. So the engine must put on speed for the turbocharger to function properly and this takes little time. This delay in the turbocharger’s performance is known as “Turbo-lag”. The supercharger does not suffer the problem of “lag”, because it is driven by an electric motor and runs at full speed almost instantaneously to give the engine maximum air pressure. The problem is that the supercharger uses battery power and makes the fuel efficiency of the car less, whereas the turbocharger is using the waste energy of the exhaust gases and thus improves the fuel efficiency of the car. To overcome this problem, high end cars have dual chargers, both a supercharger and a turbocharger inline. The supercharger cuts in at lower speeds and stops at higher engine speeds when the turbocharger takes over and performs efficiently.

What is Projector-Beam Headlights

In Projector-Beam Headlights the light-bulb in the head lights is facing backwards towards the headlamp reflectors and the reflectors project the light beam on to the road. Projector-Beam Headlights are much more powerful and have accurate beams focusing on the road to give maximum visibility to the driver. These Projector-Beam Headlights are more expensive than the regular sealed-beam halogen headlights.

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