Fleet management glossary: get down with the automobile industry lingo

Fleet management glossary: get down with the automobile industry lingo

Auxiliary features

Often referred to as Aux In, this component is installed by the automotive factory itself or added afterwards. It supplies additional electricity from the vehicle battery through an outlet to power coolers, an extra fuel tank or points for cellular chargers. Whether your fleet comes equipped with auxiliary inputs or you install them yourself, you want them to function optimally especially if you’re using coolers to transport fresh produce and frozen goods.

Brake caliper

We all know what brakes are, but part and parcel of ensuring your fleet runs optimally is knowing the little details that make up the important parts of a vehicle. The brake caliper is the part that actually squeezes the brake disk to slow down the rotation of a wheel and brings a vehicle to a halt. Whether you’re in the automotive industry or not, we’re all aware of the importance of brakes, but rarely think of the mechanics behind them.

Catalytic converter

Introduced in the early 1990’s this automotive part – also casually known as cats – is fitted to a vehicle’s exhaust and helps in reducing the release of harmful carbon emissions by turning them into a less-harmful gas or water. Ensuring that the converters on your fleet are properly maintained will help ensure that you comply with CO2 regulations and also get you tax breaks for reduced carbon emissions.

Constant-velocity joints

More commonly referred to as CV joints, these components join the wheels of a vehicle to the drive shafts and the transmission at a variable angle. CV joints are often found in front-wheel driven cars and there are both outer and inner CV joint connections. The outer CV joints connect the drive shafts to the wheels, while the inner CV joints connect the drive shafts directly to the transmission.

Leaf spring

Leaf springs are part of a vehicle’s suspension. A leaf spring consists of several flexible metal strips that are arranged on top of one another and held together to form a single curved component that absorbs bumps in the road. In heavy duty vehicles leaf springs are subject to a fair amount of wear and tear, especially when transporting heavy freight.

Load capacity

Load capacity refers to the maximum weight that a vehicle can transport. While you aren’t likely to exceed this weight in a normal passenger car, it’s important to be aware of your fleet’s capacity when transporting goods as it influences the wear and tear and overloading can result in increased maintenance being required.

Prop shafts (drive shafts) 

This is a mechanical component for transmitting torque and rotation, usually used to connect other components of a drivetrain that cannot be connected directly because of distance or the need to allow for relative movement between them. The components are essential for the movement of any vehicle and any damage can result in costly downtime, and possibly serious accidents – so ensure that your routine maintenance includes an inspection of the prop shafts on all the vehicles in your fleet.


Every vehicle manufactured has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN comprises of a unique combination of letters and numbers that can be found on a metal plate in the bonnet of the vehicle. When purchasing a new vehicle for your fleet you have to ensure that the VIN on the plate matches the vehicle's registration document. You don’t want to risk having a potentially stolen or fraudulent vehicle in your fleet.

At Avis Fleet, we have over 30 years’ experience in providing expert fleet management solutions. We are well-versed in all of the automotive industry lingo and are able to assist you with the administration that goes along with acquiring and managing a fleet. When procuring vehicles with us, you can rest assured that we’ll guide you every step of the way – whether you’re experienced or new in the fleet management industry. Find out more about our fleet management services including fleet reporting and other solutions here, or get in contact with us to discuss your unique business needs.