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Glossary of Automotive Terms - B

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


Vertical metal roof support between front and rear side windows on the side of the vehicle.

Balance Due

The amount currently due, minus previous payments, plus cash advances and purchases.

Bank Rate

The amount the bank charges the consumer, expressed as a percentage.

Base Price

The price of a vehicle without options but including standard equipment, factory warranty, and freight or destination charge. This price is printed on the Monroney sticker.


A coat of paint acting as the base for other layers to be applied.

Basic Rate

The rate from which discounts or additions are calculated.


(Slang) A car for everyday transportation. Usually not in perfect condition.


A horizontal line, usually imaginary but sometimes indicated by a feature in the body design, just below the window openings on a car or truck body.

Bench Seats

Full-length seat that can usually seat two or three people.

Blanket Insurance

A property-liability insurance that covers more than one piece of property.

Bodily Injury Liability

Any liability that may result from the injury or death of another person.

Body Style

The type of exterior shell or shape to a vehicle (sedan, coupe, truck, etc.).

Booster Seat

This child-safety seat is designed for children who are too large for a baby seat, but not big enough to sit safely in the vehicle's seats.


Diameter of an individual engine cylinder.

Borg Warner Trophy

Victory in the Indianapolis 500 secures this, the most coveted trophy in Indy Car racing.

Boxer Engine

The cylinders are opposite (180 degrees apart) from each other. Also called flat engines, these are relatively flat compared to In-line or V engines.

Brake Booster

Device or system that helps reduce the force the driver must exert against the brake pedal. May be hydraulic or electric.

Brake Caliper

A hydraulic (liquid-pressured) piston assembly that holds disc-brake pads.

Brake Drum

The large circular surface that the brake shoe presses against to stop the vehicle.

Brake Pad

Used in a disc system, it is a replaceable piece of backing plate and additional friction lining.

Brake Pull

Occurs when the vehicle pulls suddenly to the left or right as the brake pedal is depressed. It indicates the brakes may be out of adjustment.

Brake Rotor

Shiny metal disk that brake pads squeeze to stop the vehicle; hence the name disc brakes.

Brake Shoe

A curved, replaceable piece of friction material used on drum brakes. The wheel cylinder pushes the brake shoes against the brake drum.


A person who represents the insured to solicit or negotiate for contracts. A broker may deal with many agents or companies on behalf of his or her client.

Bucket Seats

Individual driver or passenger seats.


A type of warranty that covers the entire vehicle for a limited amount of time.

Busch Series

Just one level below Winston Cup, some drivers race at both this and Winston Cup level. These races, often run the day before a Winston Cup race, have gained popularity and are now all televised live, nationally.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Glossary of Automotive Terms B - Autotrader