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Old 07-03-2008, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Glossary Take II

Note 1: I think excessive use of acronyms & abbreviations is a problem that needs to be addressed. Whether used simply to save keystrokes, or as a conscious attempt to invent new jargon for whatever reason, they can be a barrier to easier understanding of the subject matter for newcomers.

I encourage people to use full words rather than acronyms in their forum posts, or if that's too tedious, at least add the full term in brackets once in a while - eg. P&G (Pulse & Glide). Yes, I'm guilty too, and will try to improve.

Note 2: This is a work in progress. Links will be added to posts where relevant. Feel free to request other explanations, or post your own to be added to the glossray.



Area (projected frontal area). Looking at a vehicle directly head on (or directly from the rear), A is the area within an outline traced around the vehicle's extremity. Used for calculating aerodynamic drag. See also: Cd, CdA.


Preferred test method for evaluating modifications/driving techniques under "as controlled as possible" conditions. (A) baseline data is gathered immediately before a change; (B) a change is introduced and further data is gathered; (A) the change is immediately removed and additional data is taken again under identical conditions. Identical results in the two "A" stages supports the quality of the "B" data. Without a second "A" data set, "B" data should be viewed more skeptically.


Brake Specific Fuel Consumption. Measurement of how much fuel is required to produce a specific amount of power from a given engine. Every engine has an efficiency "BSFC island" or "sweet spot" where a under specific load and engine speed (RPM) it uses the least amount of fuel per unit of power produced.


Cold Air Intake. (Generally not thought to be an aid to fuel effiency: more pumping losses are encountered moving denser air through an engine.)


Coefficient of Drag. A dimensionless number describing the aerodynamic drag of a body - e.g. the Honda Insight's Cd is 0.25; basjoos' AeroCivic is approximately 0.19. Sometimes expressed as Cx or Cw. (See also "A".)


Coefficient of Drag times frontal area. Total drag is the product of both the shape and size of an object.


Coast On Demand Forced Ignition Shutoff. Same as "EOC" (Engine Off Coasting). A joke acronym made up to poke fun at the ridiculous tendency of hypermilers to create and use an excessive number of acronyms/initialisms. Unfortunately, the person who made it up has since stopped participating in fuel efficiency forums, and taken his sense of humour elsewhere.


Deceleration Fuel Cut Off, a condition where fuel injection stops when the accelerator is released and engine speed is above a target determined by the computer. The engine continues turning via the transmission, driven by the vehicle's momentum. Once below the threshold engine speed (1300-1500ish rpm), fuel injection resumes allowing the engine to continue to run.


Driving With Load. I prefer to call it "target driving" because it essentially means you pick a target MPG figure to maintain, and you adjust the accelerator pedal accordingly to ensure you don't fall below it. IE you lift the pedal on inclines, and depress it again on declines.


Electric Block Heater


Engine Control Unit (engine computer). Also known as "ECM" (Engine Control Module)


Engine Coolant Temperature (see also FWT)


Electronic fuel injection (see also MFI)


Engine Off Coasting. See also CODFISH.


Electric Vehicle


Fuel Economy (or Fuel Efficiency)


Water Temperature (Farenheit) - this is a ScanGauge specific code for coolant temp. (See also ECT)


Hot Air Intake. See also CAI (Cold Air Intake) and WAI (Warm Air Intake).


Human Powered Vehicle


Intake Air Temperature


Internal Combustion Engine


kilowatt hours - unit of measure for electricity consumption. 1 kWh is 1000 watts used per hour.


Litres per 100 KM. "LPK" is improper notation of "L/100 km". L/100 km is the smarter measure of fuel consumption.


Low Rolling Resistance (tires)


Miles Per Gallon - measure of fuel consumption.


Mechanical fuel injection (see also EFI)


On Board Diagnostics - system of sensors & computer(s) in an automobile. Also known by specific versions, eg. OBD-I or OBD-II, OBD2, etc.


Pulse and Gluide. An old driving technique popularized most notably by some drivers of the Toyota Prius (but adaptable to nearly any vehicle). It's a repeated regimen of accelerating to an upper target speed under relatively high engine loads, then coasting down with the engine shut off to a lower target speed. The average speed of a Pulse & Glide pattern is often significantly more fuel efficient than cruising at the same constant speed.


Revolutions Per Minute (engine speed, usually)


Rolling Resistance. See LRR (Low Rolling Resistance).


ScanGauge fuel economy gauge/trip computer for use in 1996 and up North American market vehicles (predominantly). Also "SG1" "SGI" (denoting the first version of the "SG"). "SG2" and "SGII" denote the second version.


Super Multi Information Display. Custom "enthusiast-built" fuel economy/trip computer originally


Throttle Position Sensor


Vortex Generator - aerodynamic device


Vehicle Speed Sensor (signal used by the vehicle computer for speed/distance functions - eg. for the speedometer/odometer)


Warm Air Intake


Wide Open Throttle. Generally avoided in fuel efficient driving, since it causes a computer controlled engine to enter "open loop" mode, where it burns significantly more fuel than normal.

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