Glossary of Automotive Terms - E

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

Early Termination

Ending the lease before the contracted time. May be involuntary, due to theft or accident.

Early Termination Charge

Additional fee charged when a lease is ended before the agreed-upon term. Often represents a substantial penalty.

Earned Premium

The portion of the premium which is already paid from an expired policy term.

Electric Vehicles (EV)

Vehicles powered by electricity, generally using a rechargeable battery.

Electronic Control Module (ECM)

The computer that controls the engine's fuel and emissions systems. Among the devices it controls is the idle air control, or IAC, which regulates the idle speed in fuel-injected engines. Also called the Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

Electronic Fuel Injection System

Injects fuel into the engine's cylinders with electronic control to time and meter the fuel flow.

Electronic Valve Timing (EVT)

System in which a computer controls the timing of the opening and closing of cylinder valves.

End of Lease Payment

In an open-end lease, the amount the lessee pays at the end of the lease; the difference between the vehicle's residual value, which was used to calculate lease payments, and the actual market value.

Engine Displacement

The total of the volume used for combustion inside the cylinders of an engine. Measured in liters on newer models, or in cubic inches on older models.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The federal agency that regulates air quality and sets automotive fuel-economy and emissions standards.


The value left in a used vehicle after subtracting the outstanding loan balance from its market value. For example, if $4,000 is still owed on a car worth $8,000 on the open market, then it has an equity of $4,000.


A process in which a neutral third party takes care of the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

Evaporative Emissions

Evaporated fuel from the carburetor or fuel system which mixes with the surrounding outside air.

Evaporator Core

Part of the climate-control system that contains a liquid refrigerant which turns to gas to absorb heat from the air.

Excess Mileage

Any mileage over the amount agreed upon within the lease. Generally incurs a per-mileage charge at the end of the lease. Experts recommend a yearly mileage limit, or Mileage Cap, that exceeds normal driving needs.

Excess Mileage Charge

Additional charge at the end of the lease for every mile on the odometer over the limit stated in the lease. A typical charge is 15 cents per mile, but the fees can be from 10 cents to 25 cents a mile. It costs less to figure your expected mileage use (or mileage allowance) realistically and prepay than to pay for excess mileage at lease end.

Excess Wear and Tear

Visible damage to a vehicle that is above and beyond what is considered normal wear and tear. Usually specified in the lease contract. Will incur additional cost at lease-end. If possible, negotiate as specifically as you can in the lease what the lessor will consider excess wear and tear.


Any cause, condition, or property which are not covered by the policy.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)

Part of the emissions system, it recirculates exhaust gases into the intake manifold, cooling the combustion chamber.

Exhaust Manifold

The passages that route the exhaust gases towards the muffler and exhaust system.

Extended Coverage

A policy that covers any extras that are not in the original policy.

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Glossary of Automotive Terms E - Autotrader