The Big End is Gone, and your Tracking is Way off!

Published: 04/30/2024


Garage and mechanic jargon explained by your straight-talking Motor Dealer

In any industry there is a secret language. A list of technically correct names or slang terms that can sound like gobbledeegook if you are not familiar with the trade. These can be acronyms, shortened words or phrases and names used regularly in the business. Mechanics are no different. Motor trade people are so used to the common terms of their daily that they may tend to forget that not everyone knows the jargon. Often they are greeted with blank looks by customers trying to understand what is being said. Here at Peter Hanley Motors, we like to straight talk and always take the time to explain in layman’s or laypeople’s terms! Here are some jargon busting explanations to help you understand what your garage technicians are saying to you.

‘Bushes on the wishbone need replacing’.

Yep that’s a good one! The wishbone itself is part of the suspension of a car and connects the wheel mount to the axle. It helps absorb shocks from the road by keeping the vehicle stable, allowing the wheel to move up and down. The bushes are rubber mountings on this wishbone. They can wear out over time causing bumpy, noisy driving and sometimes a marked difference in the handling of the car.


‘The car needs a re-gas’.

The air condition system has a pressurised refrigerant gas. The air-con can lose pressure over time or can spring a leak. Re-gassing simply means replacing this gas so that the air con system blows cold again.


‘The tracking is off’.

Tracking refers to the wheels being in line according to the original manufacturer's specifications. Bumps, pot holes and general wear can knock the balance and the tracking of the wheels off. Getting them aligned assists in safer, smoother driving.

‘Brakes are spongy’.

This is a reference to brakes not working properly and there being no feeling of resistance when the brake pedal is pressed. The brakes can feel too free and without traction, almost with a loss of power. Often caused by a loss of brake fluid.


‘Brake pads are worn’.

The brake pads are the important metal backed plates that come into play when you press the brakes pedal. They push against the metal brake discs to slow or stop the car. Sometimes, they need replacing as they wear down through usage.


‘The Squib needs replacement’.

No, this is not a Harry Potter character, but an airbag squib which is a lesser known part within the steering wheel that allows all the electric components in that wheel to move freely.


‘We need to run a diagnostics check’.

The technician wants to connect your car's engine management system to a computer which can read important data. This is often done when warning lights are on and the source of the problem proves elusive.


‘The Big End is gone’.

The Big End a connecting rod in an internal combusting engine. It’s also called a piston rod and attached to the crankshaft. Big ends don’t go too often, but when they do, you hear a loud knocking noise, especially when going faster. It’s a rare problem in modern car.


‘DPF is clogged’.

The DPF is a diesel particulate filter. It traps particles in the exhaust of diesel cars. Sometimes this can get clogged and cause issues.

Of course, this is only a guideline to ‘garage speak’ and obviously doesn’t cover the colloquialisms and the real terms for thousands of engine parts and issues that can go wrong or missing on your average car.

But the good thing is that with any issue you may have, here at Peter Hanley Motors, we take the time to explain everything in simple and clear terms. So, while we will continue to speak the industry language alone with our expert sales and service, we will also continue to straight talk too. Quality and Good value is a language we all understand.

Peter Hanley Motors is a registered
member of The Society of the Irish
Motor Industry

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