So You Think You Know The Names?

Parts of a vehicle, unless you're technically incline, is as easy as it can be but even enthusiasts or petrol heads can get them wrong!

Do not worry if you aren't any of the above, because after reading this post, you'll be the 'Car Guy/Gal' in no time!

We will only be touching on a few sections in this post, otherwise it'll be too lengthy, boring and more like a theory class than a blog post.

1) Mudguard

Examples of mudguards

Examples of mudguards.

Ask most workshops or panel beaters and they tell you the red areas below are mudguards.

The actual names are fenders for the front and quarter-panels for the rear.

2) Headlamp or Headlight?

Google "Headlamp" and below is what you'd get

I wanted headlamps!

Screenshot Courtesy of Google.

Key in "Headlights" and below are what you'd find.

Headlights of all shapes & sizes.

Screenshot Courtesy of Google.

Do not quote me but these are just examples of what you'd find if you key in these names, there is no right or wrong, just information to help you understand better.

3) Windscreen or Windshield?

It's just the difference between US English speakers, who usually use the word windshield, and windscreen for UK English.

In case you don't know, despite being called "Windscreen Excess" that you see in your vehicle insurance policies, it'll also often cover all other windows and possibly sunroofs/moon-roofs of the vehicle too.

4) Side mirror/ Wing Mirror/Rear-view Mirror

Side/Wing mirror

This, to us, is our version of a side mirror. It is also referred to or known as fender mirror, door mirror, outside rear-view mirror.

But what about rear-view mirror?

Consult rear-view mirror, signal intention....

Above is what we know as a rear-view mirror but for mirrors on bicycles and motorcycles, it is also referred to as rear-view or rear vision mirrors.

5) Boot or Trunk?

The trunk, (again a case of American English) or boot (British English) of a car is the vehicle's main storage compartment.

6) Bonnet or Hood?

It is another case of, the hood (American English) or bonnet (British English), is the hinged cover over the engine of motor vehicles that allows access to the engine compartment (or trunk on rear-engine and some mid-engine vehicles) for maintenance and repair.

7) Wheel or Rim?

It may seem easy or obvious that it's another case of different terms or different English but we couldn't be more wrong.

A wheel is comprised of a hub, spokes and rim.

The hub is the center portion of the wheel and is what attaches the wheel to the suspension. The spokes radiate out from the hub and attach to the rim. The rim is the outer part of the wheel that holds the tire. While many people refer to wheels as "rims," this is technically incorrect.

But heck, it's just for your information and knowledge, as long as we know what we are talking about in the Singaporean context ya? Lol!

8) Tyre vs Tire

Tire and tyre both mean a covering for a wheel, usually made of rubber. Tire is the preferred spelling in the U.S. and Canada. Tyre is preferred in most varieties of English outside North America. Of course, all English speakers use tire in the sense to grow weary. - (Grabbed from


9) Suspension or Absorber or Damper?

In actual fact, suspension is the system of tires, tire air, springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two.

So the shock absorber, sometimes called a shock "damper", reduces the effect of travelling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling by absorbing and dissipating vibrations.

10) Fan belt or Serpentine belt?

Whether it is sometimes referred to as a fan belt, alternator belt, or water pump belt, it is most properly called an accessory drive belt, V belt, or serpentine belt. Each vehicle has its own belt configuration, depending on its engine and optional accessories. When purchasing replacement belts, it is important to know your vehicle's year, make, and model, engine size, and in some cases, whether it is equipped with certain accessories such as air conditioning.

Image Courtesy of

BUT they are VERY different from the engine's Timing Belt! You have to be very clear on that!

So timing belts should not be confused with accessory drive belts. Unlike drive belts that run accessories mounted on the outside of the engine, timing belts are encased inside the engine. They are designed to mate with the teeth on the crankshaft and camshaft drive gears.

Image Courtesy of

A spring-loaded pulley provides constant tension to ensure that this belt remains slip-proof so it maintains a fixed relationship among the gears for camshaft timing. Because of their necessity in engine operation, all timing belts have a fixed replacement interval (determined by the manufacturer.)

11) Exhaust or Muffler?