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Glossary of terms you will come across during your Phase 2 training.


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Typical wasted coil coil packThis refers to one type of ignition system in use on modern petrol engines. In a 4 cylinder engine, a system using one coil pack, with 2 coils, each coil producing the spark for two cylinders. Becuase each coil produces a spark for a pair of cylinders (1 and 4; 2 and 3), one cylinder will be compression and the other will be on exhaust. Both will get a spark, so the one going to the cylinder on exhaust is 'wasted', hence the term 'wasted spark' ignition system.
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Device in a turbocharged engine that controls the maximum boost pressure that is provided to the inlet manifold.
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James Watt

The Watt is the measurement of power, and gets its name from James Watt. This is the modern metric way of measuring power.

The old way of doing it was to measure the power of something relative to the power of a horse:

  • HP: Throughout the United Kingdom, and in many other parts of the world - horsepower
  • CV: In France and other areas of the world under French influence, 'cheval vapeur', or 'steam horse'
  • PS: Often referred to as 'the metric horsepower', this is a German version of measuring power and means 'the strength of a horse'

If a force of 1 Newton moves an object through a distance of 1 metre in 1 second, then 1 Watt of power is said to have been expended.

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Waveforms showing the camshaft and crankshaft sensors, primary ignition and fuel injection.Oscilloscopes measure voltages, and plot these values against time. The voltage is on the vertical axis and the time is along the horizontal axis. The resulting graph is known as a waveform.

In automotive diagnostics, capturing and analysing these waveforms can be very useful in diagnosing faults. The waveform show is from a Ford Fiesta engine at idle (click image for a larger view). The waveforms are, from the top:

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A vertical force exerted by a mass as a result of gravity.
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An electrical device devised by Charles Wheatstone in 1843, and used for finding the value of an unknown resistor.

A Wheatstone Bridge

Check out Page 34 of Hillier's Fundamentals of Automotive Electronics for more information.

Charles Wheatstone

More on Charles Wheatstone.

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WhitefingerThis describes fingers that have suffered nerve damage as a result of handling or using vibration equipment such as vibrating pokers and pneumatic chisels and hammers.

Read more about white finger on Wikipedia...

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Wikipedia is a web based encyclopedia that anyone can log into, make new entries, or improve and expand on existing ones.

Check Wikipedia for more information on wikipedia!

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The Wilkinson electrical trainerAn automotive electrical trainer originally designed and built by Wilkinson. AG Block in the UK now provide modern versions of the trainer. Basically, it contains a complete automotive electrical system - lights, indicators, starter, alternator and wipers. It has built a built in ammeter and voltmeter, and can accomodate any one of four ignition systems: 

  • Conventional contact breaker ignition complete with ignition ballast
  • Ford DIS
  • Ford inductive
  • Hall effect distributor

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When used in the context of computers, the operating system (OS) which allows a user to interact with the machine. There are many different versions, for example: Windows 95; Windows 98; Windows 2000; Windows XP.

The machines the apprentices use whilst in Cabra on Phase 2 of their training all have Windows 2000 OS installed on them.


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