UK/US Glossary of terms

Info and utilities

Unfortunately, the motor car (automobile) was invented after the UK and US versions of English began to diverge, and before the advent of global communication that is starting to bring the two versions of English back together. Consequently, a number of automotive terms are different on opposite sides of "the pond". This page lists some of the automotive terms I have come across in UK English along with their US equivalents. If you have any suggestions for additions to this page, or you have come across a term you don't understand on the site, please contact me.

UK term
US equivalent
Anti-roll bar Sway bar
Bonnet Hood
Boot Trunk
Brake disc Brake rotor
Bulkhead Firewall
Dipped beam Low beam
Earth (electrical) Ground
Engine mounting Motor mount
Estate Station wagon
Gear lever Shifter
Gear linkage coupler Shifter coupler
Indicator Turn signal
Main beam High beam
Mineral oil Fossil oil
Motorway Freeway, turnpike etc.
Number plate License plate
Petrol Gasoline
Pinking Pinging
Saloon Sedan
Side light Parking light
Silencer Muffler
Spanner Wrench
Sump Oil pan
Tappet Valve lifter
Tyre Tire
Wheel bolts/nuts Lug bolts/nuts
Windscreen Windshield
Wing/mudguard Fender