Glossary of Automotive Terms

Click on any letter to find automotive-related entries beginning with that letter.

Handling
The ease of vehicle steering and maneuverability around turns, up hills, etc.
Hatchback
A passenger car with a full-height rear door that includes a rear window. Usually has a rear folding seat.
Hazard
A situation that may increase the probability of a loss or damage.
Head Room
The distance from the top of an occupant's head to the headliner.
Headliner
The interior covering of the roof. Headliners often contain consoles with slots for garage-door openers and other devices, as well as dome lights and wiring for electrical and electronic components attached to the headliner. The covering usually includes a sound-absorbing material.
Highway Loss Data Institute
Sister organization to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Funded by insurance companies.
Hip Room
The allotted room between a passenger's hips and any other part of the vehicle.
Hold Harmless Agreement
An agreement where one party assumes responsibility.
Holdback
Manufacturer refund to a dealer after a vehicle is sold. Usually a percentage of the MSRP.
Home Equity Loan
A loan secured by the equity in your home. Interest paid is usually tax-deductible. Increasingly, consumers are using home-equity loans instead of consumer loans to purchase items, such as cars, for which conventional-loan interest is not tax-deductible.
Horsepower (hp, bhp)
Abbreviated as hp, as in 200-hp engine, or bhp (brake horsepower or net horsepower) to designate power produced by an engine. In general, the higher the horsepower, the higher the vehicle's top speed. One horsepower is the power needed to lift a 550-pound weight one foot in one second.
Hot Rod
A normal vehicle that has been altered to improve speed and overall appearance or look.

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