New guide to garage jargon helps drivers decipher the mechanics’ code

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More than half of drivers are baffled by the language used by garages when describing faults with their cars, leaving many worried that they have been ripped off.

Fifty-six per cent of motorists said they had struggled to understand a mechanic’s diagnosis, according to research by the RAC, with the acronyms and specialist part names leaving them confused about what work needed to be done.

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In a world where cars are increasingly complex and fitted with an array of baffling technology it can be hard for owners to keep up and tell their ADAS from their EML or know the difference between a worn big end and some dodgy tracking.

Half of car owners told the RAC they thought they had been ripped off by a garage which flung lots of technical jargon at theme and fifteen per cent said they ended up paying for work they hadn’t approved.

More than half of drivers said they didn't fully understand what their mechanics told them (Photo: Shutterstock)

In response, the RAC has created a glossary explaining what some of the more common technical terms mean, covering functions and parts such as an AGM (a type of battery, not a meeting), DPF (a filter which helps clean up diesel exhausts) and TPMS (a system that monitors tyre pressure)

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RAC consumer roadside managing director Andy Baker said: “These figures show there’s a sizeable gulf between what garages say, and what the average driver actually understands. At best, this can be frustrating for drivers who need their vehicles repaired, but at worst it could mean they get a raw deal – with baffling language making it much more likely they approve any work, at any price they’re quoted.

“And at the end of the day, getting the right repairs at a fair price shouldn’t come down to how well drivers understand industry terms and acronyms.”

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