Term Abbreviations

Below is a directory that includes abbreviation terms that are related to the automotive field. Abbreviation terms are common in the car repair field to help facilitate system, parts, service and repair. These abbreviation are also used for various sensors and tools used for feedback data to the PCM and repair procedures accepted throughout the vehicles repair industry. The beginning letter should match the first letter used in the term you are inquiring about. Understanding car related abbreviations, trouble codes, and diagrams is an important part in understanding a repair or problem. For example: if a technician has informed you that you have had a malfunction in the ABS system of your car there is no way to tell what they are talking about. After looking up the "ABS" abbreviation you will find that the technician is referring to the anti-lock brake system of your car.

The abbreviations for the automotive terms that start with the letters "A through Z". These terms are used to provide the most popular term associated with the letter beginning with these letters. Most manufacturers have adopted a "common usage" style of identification that is used to avoid confusion. Definitions below are the most recognized terms available for the abbreviation used in the car repair field to date.

Each of these industries might have the same abbreviations but they could have different meanings. Never assume the definition of any car term because every industry is different. The difference between abbreviation can be extreme for example: KS in the auto repair field means "kilovolt", whereas KS means "K member support" in the construction field. If these terms below obviously do not pertain to your car problem some car manufacturers have unique meanings and specific inquires are required to the manufacturer. When an abbreviation is presented it can be confusing unless the one, two, three or four letter code is identified. In some instances there are multiple entries for a particular abbreviation. In this case we have listed them from most popular to least popular. Please follow the tables below:

"A" Car Term Abbreviations

A - Amperes

ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes

ABRS - Air Bag Restraint System

AC - Alternating Current

A/C - Air Conditioning

ACCS - A/C Cycling Switch

ACCUM - Accumulator

ACCY - Accessory

ACT - Air Charge Temperature Sensor

ADJ - Adjust or Adjustable

ADV - Advance

AFS - Airflow Sensor

A/F - Air/Fuel Ratio

AI - Air Injection

AIR or A.I.R. - Air Injection Reactor

AIS - Air Injection System

Alt. - Alternator or Altitude

ALDL - Assembly Line Data Link

Amp - /amp/amps: Ampere

APS - Absolute Pressure Sensor

ASCS - Air Suction Control Solenoid

ASD - Auto Shutdown

ASDM - Air Bag System Diagnostic Module

ASV - Air Suction Valve

A/T - Automatic Transmission/Transaxle

ATC - Automatic Temperature Control

ATDC - After Top Dead Center

ATF - Automatic Transmission Fluid

ATS - Air Temperature Sensor

AWD - All Wheel Drive

Aux. - Auxiliary

Avg. - Average

AXOD - Automatic Transaxle Overdrive (Ford Models Only)

"B" Term Abbreviations for Cars

B+ - Battery Positive Voltage

BAC - By-Pass Air Control

BAP - Barometric Absolute Pressure Sensor

BARO - Barometric

Batt. - Battery

Bbl. - Barrel (Example: 4-Bbl.)

BCM - Body Control Module

BHP - Brake Horsepower

BMAP - Barometric and Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor

BOO - Brake On-Off Switch

B/P - Backpressure

BPS - Barometric Pressure Sensor

BPT - Backpressure Transducer

BTDC - Before Top Dead Center

BTU - British Thermal Unit

BVSV - Bimetallic Vacuum Switching Valve

Auto Terms that Start with the letter "C"

C - Celsius (Degrees)

Calif. - California

CAN - Controller Area Network

CANP - Canister Purge

CAS - Crank Angle Sensor

CARB - California Air Resources Board

CAT - Catalytic Converter

CB - Circuit Breaker

CBD - Closed Bowl Distributor

CC - cubic centimeter

CCC - Computer Command Control

CCD - Computer Controlled Dwell

CCOT - Cycling Clutch Orifice Tube

CCW - Counterclockwise

CDI - Capacitor Discharge Ignition

CEC - Computerized Engine Control

CID - Cubic Inch Displacement

CM - Centimeter

CMP - Camshaft Position Sensor

CO - Carbon Monoxide

CO2 - Carbon Dioxide

Cont. - Continued

CONV - Convertible

CP - Canister Purge

CKP - Crankshaft Position Sensor

COP - Coil On Plug Ignition

CPI - Central Port Injection

CPU - Central Processing Unit

CSSA - Cold Start Spark Advance

CSSH - Cold Start Spark Hold

CTS - Coolant Temperature Sensor

CTVS - Choke Thermal Vacuum Switch

Cu. In. - Cubic Inch

CVC - Constant Vacuum Control

CVR - Control Vacuum Regulator

CV - Check Valve or Constant Velocity

CW - Clockwise

CYL or Cyl. - Cylinder

C3I - Computer Controlled Coil Ignition

C4 - Computer Controlled Catalytic Converter


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


Please use our question form if you have a specific question about your car as we are not able to give you a full answer on this page.

Article first published (Updated 2013-08-16)