St Helens Motor Auctions
St Helens Motor Auctions

Jargon

We try to explain everything you need to know about the terminology used by advertisers.

E/W - Electronic Windows Make sure these work before you buy the car. On many cars only the front windows are powered, be wary of add-on aftermarket fitments because repair may be difficult if they fail. Late model cars often have a pressure-sensitive cut-off to prevent damage to fingers, arms etc. that might be caught in a closing powered window.

S/R - Sunroof Make sure you know what you're getting - some sunroofs are glass panels, some body-coloured metal, some tip up but don't open, while some have to be removed and stowed in the boot. Simplest are wind-back or electrically-powered. Check for signs of staining on roof or seats that might indicate sunroof leaks.

E/S/R - Electric Sunroof Common in Japanese and higher specification cars, but again make sure you're getting what you expect because on some smaller coupes these tilt but don't slide. Make sure the mechanism works before you buy, and look elsewhere if it appears to be an aftermarket add-on fitted to an older car.

FSH - Full Service History Essential on a late-model car that you're likely to want to sell it on in later years. A properly serviced car demands a higher price premium. If you're mechanically adept and intend to keep the car a while use the lack of a service history to beat the seller's price down. Carefully check the service book yourself to make sure the mileage and rubber stamps look genuine.

C/L - Central Locking One turn of the key in the door locks all the doors - at least in theory. Some systems work only from the driver's door, some don't include the boot. Some aftermarket add-on systems might work only on the front doors.

REM C/L - Remote Control Central Locking Central locking system operated by a push-button usually on the ignition key fob. Some of these work by sending an infra-red signal, others use a radio signal. Infra-red signals are easier for villains to "grab" so use sparingly in public places. Remote central locking often also works in conjunction with an alarm or an engine immobiliser. If the remote sender's battery fails you'll be stuck because even though the key will allow you to open the door the alarm and immobiliser will still work. Be sure you know how to replace the battery before you take the car.

ASC - Anti Skid Control Prevents wheelspin either during hard getaway acceleration or when traction is lost in hard cornering. Usually works through the antilock brake system, using the same sensors to detect sudden wheelspin and applying the brakes gently to control the loss of contact and prevent skidding. Sophisticated systems I high performance cars sometimes also automatically cut engine power until the danger of skidding has passed.

LHD - Left hand Drive Indicates the car was probably imported privately wither fromthe US or from Europe. Belgium was a popular source for private imports as cars were priced considerably lower than in the UK. Check service data carefully, because private imports might not have had proper main dealer service. Also check the specification matches the asking price - cheaper European cars often had lower equipment specification than British cars.

H/Seats - Heated Seats A luxury you'll welcome during the winter. Usually confined to more expensive cars, make sure they work before you buy, though failure is usually nothing more serious than a blown fuse.

SRS - Airbag (Safety Restraint System) Now fitted to most new cars. Housed in the centre of the steering wheel, the bag blows up in a fraction of a second in the event of an accident to cushion your head as it lurches towards the steering wheel. A passenger airbag may also be housed in the dashboard. Don't sit too close to the airbag, because your face could be struck by the plastic lid covering the bag as it bursts open. Never place a rear facing child seat, in a passenger seat, if a passenger airbag is installed.

OBC - Computer Usually refers to an on-board computer which mainly keeps tabs on fuel consumption, giving readouts showing distance travelled since last refuelling stop, current consumption and projected range before refuelling but can also give readouts on external temperature, internal temperature etc.

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