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Warranty
The basic guarantee that comes with a new vehicle. All vehicle manufacturers today offer a bumper-to-bumper (covers everything!) warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles (which ever comes first). Separate warranties may be provided on emission controls, body r
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Waste Gate
A trap door-like device on the exhaust side of a turbocharger that limits the amount of boost a turbo can produce (See Turbocharging). The waste gate consists of a spring-loaded diaphragm. A vacuum hose connects the diaphragm to the intake manifold. When
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Water Pump
A small impeller-like pump that circulates coolant through the engine's cooling system. The waterpump is mounted on the engine and is driven by the fan belt, alternator belt or overhead cam timing belt. The pump shaft has a large bearing and seal, which a
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Wheel Bearings
Inside the wheel hubs are either roller or ball bearings that carry the vehicle's weight. On RWD vehicles with solid axles, the rear wheel bearings are mounted on the axles. The front wheel bearings on older rear-wheel drive cars and trucks usually requir
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Wheel Lockup
The action of a wheel that is skidding, that is to say, one that has ceased rotating even though the car is still in motion.
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Wheel Sensor
Device that electronically monitors the speed at which a wheel is rotating. Usually it forms part of an anti lock braking system, though nowadays wheel sensors increasingly supply information for traction control systems as well.
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Wheel Spin
This is when one drive wheel spins uselessly while the other doesn't turn. It can happen when one wheel is on a slippery surface (ice, snow, mud, slush) and the other on dry pavement. The reason it happens is because the differential always routes power t
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Wheel Tramp
The up-and-down bouncing motion of a wheel or spindle due to static imbalance or an out-of-round tire or wheel.
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Wheel Weights
A weight used to balance a wheel and tire assembly. Most are metal (usually lead) and clip to the wheel rim. Wheel weights come in various sizes and styles, and must be properly attached to the rim so they don't move or fall off. Different style clips are
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Windshield Washer Fluid
The detergent solution used by windshield wipers to remove dirt and debris from the windshield.
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Wing Nut
A nut with wing like protuberances that allow it to be turned by hand. Also known as a butterfly nut.
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Winterizing
The process of preparing one's vehicle for the ravages of winter. The annual fall ritual includes checking, replacing and/or replenishing the antifreeze in the cooling system (See Antifreeze), mounting the snow tires, waxing the body to protect it against
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Working Viscosity
the viscosity of oil in an operating engine (i.e., the viscosity of the oil after all permanent and temporary losses and taking the operating oil temperature into account).
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Wrist Pin
A polished steel pin that attaches a connecting rod to a piston. Some wrist pins are press fit into the small end of the connecting rod while others are a "free floating" loose fit.
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Water Jacket
Refers to the hollow space inside the engine block and cylinder head where coolant flows.
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Water-Spotting
The ruinous effect of water droplets on a new car finish.
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Wear Sensor
Device to warn a driver (usually via a dashboard light) that the brake linings need replacement.
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Wheel Alignment
See Alignment.
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Wheel Balance
The even distribution of weight around a wheel so that it rotates without vibrating or shaking. See static and dynamic balance. It is achieved by positioning weights on the rim that offset heavy spots on the wheel and tire assembly.
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Wheel Balancing
A procedure that improves tire performance by ensuring that the weight of the wheels is evenly distributed.
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Wheel Base
The distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels. Measuring and comparing the wheelbase on both sides of a vehicle can identify rear axle misalignment or front wheel setback.
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Wheel Cylinder
Found in the automotive drum brake assembly, it is a device, actuated by hydraulic pressure, which, through internal pistons, pushes the brake shoes outward against the drums.
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WOT
Wide Open Throttle. Some carburetors and throttle bodies have a switch that signals the engine computer when the throttle is wide open.
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Winding The Engine
The process of running the engine at top rpm.
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