Things Only a Car Geek Will Tell You

For most of us, our cars are a convenient way to safely traverse the land with the added benefits of style and comfort. But to car geeks (who probably learned ABC as accelerator, brake and clutch), their car is the most important thing in the world. These car aficionados are the best sources to get practical advice about maximising your driving experience.

So, to celebrate the Embrace Your Geekness Day, we help you decipher some acronyms that car geeks swear by.


ABS tops the long, never ending list in a car geek’s lingo. And let’s admit it, all that you know about ABS is that it stands for Anti-Lock Braking System. We try to unravel this mystery and tell you how this potentially lifesaving feature works.

Applying brakes when you are traveling at high speeds or on surfaces with less friction will stop tyre rotation. However, since the car is in momentum or has reduced friction, the tyres will start sliding, preventing the vehicle from coming to a complete halt. This phenomenon is called locking of wheels. The function of ABS is to prevent this locking of wheels. It monitors the speed of each wheel and if it detects a mismatch in wheel rotation, it reduces or increases brake pressure to help you maintain complete control of your car, even in extreme conditions.

EBD or Electronic BrakeForce Distribution is a subsystem of ABS and optimises brake force on each wheel individually so to get maximum breaking power, without losing control. It can alter braking pressure on each wheel individually depending on the conditions and weight distribution of the vehicle at that moment.

All Ford cars offer ABS and EBD as standard safety equipment.


The Traction Control System or TCS, just like the ABS, also detects and controls wheel-spin but in an opposite way. While ABS controls wheel spin when you are braking, TCS detects wheel-spin during acceleration and uses various measures to counter it. Sensors in your car measure differences in rotational speed on each tyre and continuously assess if either of them is losing grip. When TCS determines that one wheel is spinning more quickly than the others, it automatically pumps the brake to that wheel to reduce its speed and lessen wheel slip.


Electronic Stability Program or ESP is a control unit that helps drivers whenever it detects a loss in steering control. It monitors the direction the driver wants to go versus the direction in which the car is actually going. If the system the car is not going in the intended direction, it tries to regain control by automatically braking and feeding corrective inputs to the steering.

Ford Freestyle extends the scope of TCS and ESP by offering Active Rollover Prevention or ARP technology. IT gives the car greater control during sudden lane changes and sharp turns by restraining the physical tendency of the car to rollover.


You’re sure to find tons of tips on how to increase mileage and save money on fuel. But car geeks know just how to use the Gear Shift Indicator (GSI). It’s a feature that indicates the optimum speed at which you should up-shift or downshift gears. Driving in the right gear ensures that you get the maximum mileage from your vehicle.


HLA is your best friends and helps make driving on the hills a tad easier. HLA or Hill Launch Assist, as the name suggests, helps drivers while driving up steep hills. The feature holds the car in its position and prevents it from rolling back. Ford Endeavour, EcoSport and Freestyle offer this feature. See how it works:


HDC or Hill Descent Control is exactly the opposite of HLA. It prevents the car from rolling down when you are coming down a steep hill. An advanced version of HDC, offered on the Ford Endeavour, automatically controls the brake too when the vehicle is coming down the hill. Watch this video to know how HDC works.


165/65 R16

You probably have heard your car enthusiast friends through cryptic phrases at you — like 165/65 R16 95H — when discussing the right tyres for their cars. Each of these codes divulge an important aspect of your car’s tyre which are important for you to know. For instance, in the code above:

  • 165 indicates the width of the tyre in millimeters
  • 65 indicates the aspect ratio, a comparison of the tyre’s height with its width. IN this case 65 simply means that the height is 65% of the tyres width. You will find tyres with many other aspect ratios.
  • R simply indicates that the particular tyre has radial construction. In such tyres cord plies are arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, or radially. Most tyres used on your vehicle are radial
  • 16 indicates the diameter of the wheel rim in inches. The higher the number, the bigger the tyre

Pro Tip: If you are craving for more and what to learn all about cars in a jiffy, click on the link below and check out the Know Your Car video series from Ford India. From knowing your engine to all important tech on board your Ford car, this series of 20 short videos will help you understand your vehicle and talk like a pro when you meet a car geek.