The English language can be perplexing, and much of this has to do with the way words are spelled. In many cases, spelling is phonetic, and you can figure out how to spell a word simply by listening to how it’s pronounced. But that’s certainly not always the case. Many common car parts, for example, are spelled differently from how they’re enunciated, causing them to be frequently misspelled or mislabeled.
If you’re looking for a car part online, and you’ve spelled it incorrectly, you may have a hard time finding the item you’re after. Here’s a look at some common car parts that are often mislabeled.
1. Carburetor, Not Carburettor
Internal combustion engines create power for your car by combining fuel and oxygen, and the carburetor makes this process happen. A carburetor is a tube that regulates the levels of air and fuel that are allowed into the engine. These days, carburetors have been replaced by fuel-injection technology, but you may need to get your hands on one if you have an older vehicle or motorcycle.
Carburetor is often misspelled as carburettor. And while carburettor is the correct spelling if you’re in the United Kingdom, it’s incorrect here in the U.S.
2. Catalytic Converter, Not Cadillac Converter
If you like breathing clean air, you’ll appreciate the value of a catalytic converter. Internal combustion engines produce exhaust that contains toxic gases. A catalytic converter heroically works to reduce the level of toxins contained in this exhaust.
Catalytic converters are sometimes mislabeled as Cadillac converter or cadalidic converter. It’s easy to understand how this mislabeling could take place. After all, catalytic isn’t a word commonly used in everyday conversation.
3. Chassis, Not Chassey
The chassis is the structure that serves as your car’s skeleton. It’s the base frame upon which all other components are placed.
Chassis is commonly misspelled as chassey by car buffs.
4. Gauge, Not Gage
The most commonly referenced gauge is the speedometer, but dashboard gauges also provide you with information regarding your car’s fuel level and oil pressure within the engine.
Gauge is commonly misspelled as gage to reflect the way it’s pronounced.
5. Grille, Not Grill
A grille helps give your car its lovely face. On a functional level, the grille facilitates airflow under the vehicle’s hood, which helps keep the engine and radiator cool.
Grille is commonly misspelled as grill. The latter spelling is correct if you’re looking to cook burgers in your backyard, but wrong if you’re on the hunt for a car part.
6. Tachometer, Not Tackometer
Your car’s tachometer is a gauge used to tell you how fast the engine is turning. This measurement is calculated in revolutions per minute, or RPM. A tachometer can provide useful information if you’re driving a car with a manual transmission and want to change gears in a way that optimizes fuel economy and performance. Understandably, it’s commonly misspelled as tackometer.
A lot of automotive parts have unlikely spellings. To avoid hitting a wall in your repair job, make sure you have your terms straight before searching for replacement parts.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on common car parts, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.