Joke Car Terms


by A. R. Bunch

The other day, in the local big box hardware store, I overheard a young man in a yellow construction vest ask an employee where he could find a “mile of shoreline.” The grey-haired employee smiled broadly and said, “go down to isle 10 and ask Ted, he’ll fix you up.”

“Great,” exclaimed the young man. “’cause then I also need to find a two-by-four bender.”

The employee rested his chin in his hand, covering his grin, and his eyes gleamed with the effort of holding back laughter.

“Go ahead and ask Ted for that as well. He’ll know right what to do.”

As soon as the young man left, both the employee and I laughed. Of course, I felt sorry for the young guy, but it’s a right of passage. We’ve all paid our dues, as “old hat” employees prank you into saying or doing something absurd because we don’t know the ropes yet.

For me, it was taking apart an old (and much hated) cash register so I could retrieve a part I’d never heard of, that needed to be recycled separately. The rest of the machine could be thrown away, or so I was told. When my manager eventually hunted me up to see why I’d left my post for so long I was up to my elbow in a machine the size of an office copier that could have just been drug out back for maintenance to haul away.

To save you similar embarrassment, here are a few common car industry pranks.

Items to never ask for at your local auto part store:

  • Headlight fluid
  • Windshield lubricant
  • Bumper tape or anti-scratch tape
  • Headrest accelerant
  • Spark plug magnifier
  • Trailer hitch swivel
  • Microwave compression unit
  • Screen filter for the cabin floor drain
  • Waterproof roof-valve assembly package


And for the record, your seat cushion doesn’t expire so don’t look for the date.

  • There is no hand crank back up for a modern electric starter.
  • There is no exhaust malfunction on your electric car.
  • There is no button on your dashboard to automatically jack up your car.

If your mechanic says you have a loose nut behind the wheel, he or she is saying that the grinding noise you hear can’t be heard by any trained professional.

However, there are some things you’ll be tempted to think are BS which actually are true.

  • Internal combustion engines do technically have a tiny amount of fire under the hood.
  • Cars can and do burn a percentage of alcohol (up to and including 100% on rare occasion).
  • There are actually two colors of deasil which results from a dye added to deasil sold for farm equipment (indicating that no road tax was charged on that fuel).
  • Bio-deasil is used oil that’s been altered primarily by filtering it.
  • The rubber on your tires does have an expiration date on it and does go bad sitting on the shelf even if it’s never put on a car.
  • Many car scratches can be buffed out with wax
  • Undercoating can come in handy but only in places that rely on salt to prevent road ice
  • Hitler did not invent the VW bug, but most Germane and Japanese did make warplanes or tanks, as did most allied car companies. At one point GM was the largest defense contractor in the world.
  • Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, he adopted a process of manufacture that reduced the cost and therefore the price.
  • There is a separate air filter for your cabin and your engine.
  • There is such a thing as a branded title (meaning the car has been totaled once.)
  • New cars do lose most of there value when driven off the dealer lot.

Well, hopefully, you’re now equipped with the basics so you won’t look ridiculous around people who do know cars. If you know one we missed please let us know in the comments. We promise we’ll keep you anonymous.

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