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Know your acronyms

With so many obscure acronyms in use such as ABS, BHP and EBD it’s easy to feel bewildered. Here’s a quick guide:

  • ABS – anti-lock brake system. Before ABS if you had to stop suddenly and avoid your brakes locking up you had to pump the brake pedal several times in quick succession. Now all you do is hold down the brake pedal and the system will do the rest.
  • EBD – electronic brakeforce distribution. Often fitted to cars with ABS, it gauges through the motion of the spinning wheels which wheels have the most grip and applies more braking power to them.
  • EBA – electronic brake assist. This ensures that when you do an emergency stop maximum pressure is applied to the brake even if you have not fully depressed the pedal.
  • 4WD, 2WD and AWD – four wheel drive, two wheel drive and all wheel drive. AWD vehicles apply power to all the wheels giving better traction on slippery and off road surfaces, but use twice as much fuel which is why 2WD cars are more popular. 2WD cars are divided into two categories:
  • RWD – rear wheel drive. Many sports cars have RWD making it harder to park but can drive faster round corners.
  • FWD – front wheel drive. Most family 2WD cars are in this category.