Automotive Glossary

Automotive Glossary

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Potential Difference

Difference of electric potential between points (pd) volts.


A variable resistor with manual operation that provides an output voltage from a sliding terminal on a resistor block.

Pounds Feet

Old unit of torque. Also foot pounds. Torque is now given in the SI units of Newton metres Nm.

Pour Point

Applied to fuel oils (diesel) to indicate the temperature where it will still flow under its own weight. The pour point specified value is 3 degrees above the point where it will only just flow.

Powder Coatings

Any protective coating which is applied to the surface as a dry, finely ground powder and then carefully heated above its melting point so that the powder particles flow together to form a continuous film.


The rate of doing work. It is measured by the standard unit called the watt (W) and is equal to one joule per second. This is a very small unit and kilowatt (kW) or megawatt (MW) is more often used. Also, Horsepower which is the old term for power.

Power Assisted Steering

The use of a hydraulic or electrical system to increase the driver's effort on the steering wheel thus reducing the effort that the driver has to apply.

Power Booster

Hydraulic or pneumatic brake pedal or hydraulic pressure booster.

Power Distribution

A central point from which various components are supplied.

Power Output

Power developed by an engine.

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