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Automotive engineers name the posts or “pillars” that support the roof in alphabetical order, working from front to rear. The A-pillar supports the windshield and the front of the roof.

Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS)

The ACIS is a two-stage intake manifold designed to switch between a long flow path for low engine speeds and large throttle openings, and a short flow path for small throttle openings and higher engine speeds, providing different airflow rates and producing more power and better fuel economy.

Acoustic Noise-Reducing Front Windshield

This windshield is essentially a sandwich consisting of a thin (3.8 to 5.2 mm) layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) bonded between two sheets of glass. By incorporating the polyvinyl layer, an acoustic noise-reducing windshield actually weighs less than a tempered glass windshield of similar thickness. The PVB insulator helps dampen vibrations and reduce noise, and is “tuned” in many respects to absorb chassis vibrations and specific sound waves for a quieter interior environment.

Active Front Headrests [1]

These headrests are designed to optimize headrest position during certain types of rear-end collisions. When a vehicle is struck from behind, the force of the collision causes the seat to move forward, while the collision force causes the occupant’s body to move rearward. This combination of movement tightens a vertical cable within the seat, and because the cable is attached to a pivot point below the headrest, tension on the cable causes the headrest to move slightly up and forward. This pivoting action helps reduce neck injuries in certain types of rear-end collisions.

Active Traction Control (A-TRAC)

A-TRAC is a four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction control system with two levels: TRAC (on-road), and A-TRAC (off-road). Both use a combination of braking force and reduced engine power to restore traction, but A-TRAC doesn’t reduce power to the same extent. When a drive wheel begins to spin, the system compares the speed of all four driven wheels, then uses ABS to slow the spinning wheel. Engine power is reduced, and power is simultaneously transferred to a non-spinning wheel on the same axle (or the opposite axle when both wheels on the same axle have lost traction).

Adjustable Power Liftgate

Automatic remote opens and closes your liftgate door with the push of a button.  Liftgate can be programmed to open to your preferred height.

Advanced Parking Guidance System [2]

A technology developed to aid drivers to maneuver their vehicles when parallel parking or when backing into a parking space.

Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) uses various classifications to identify the emissions levels of vehicles. As clean exhaust goes, an AT-PZEV comes closest to a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). The primary difference between a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) and an AT-PZEV is that the latter vehicle uses a type of technology that is advancing toward zero emissions.

Air Dam

An air dam redirects and smoothes the flow of air under the vehicle so the drivetrain, suspension and other underbody components don’t create as much wind resistance. That result is better fuel economy and improved stability.

Air Injection

Part of the emissions control system, air injection introduces fresh air into a hot exhaust manifold, which allows excess hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide to be burned before they enter the catalytic converter in the exhaust system. Igniting the unburned emissions creates cleaner exhaust and allows the catalytic converter to work more effectively. However, modern engine control systems are reducing the levels of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide to a point that air injection will soon be unnecessary.

All-Season Tire

A general-purpose tire for cars, minivans and 4WD trucks that’s designed for a wide range of on-road driving and weather conditions.

All-Terrain Tire

A general-purpose SUV and pickup truck tire designed for the street, but engineered to withstand off-road conditions.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

This on-road, all-weather drive mode delivers power to the front and rear axles but still allows the vehicle to maneuver smoothly on dry pavement thanks to a center differential. The center differential distributes power to the front and rear axles (at varying percentages according to traction needs) and also allows the axles to turn at different speeds when the vehicle is cornering, unlike a part-time four-wheel-drive system.


The engine battery is a bank in which to store energy; the tireless alternator is what supplies the juice. When the engine is started, a crankshaft-driven belt spins the alternator, which generates AC (alternating current) power to maintain a full charge on the starter battery and supply electrical power to a vehicle’s subsystems.

Aluminum Alloy Block and Cylinder Head

Toyota engines combine the long-term durability of iron cylinder liners in the block with the advantages of lightweight aluminum alloy in the engine block and cylinder head(s). This creates a lighter engine for the vehicle’s steering, suspension, chassis and tires, which translates into a better ride, and improved handling and responsiveness. Aluminum alloy also dissipates heat efficiently, which enhances engine performance.

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

ABS uses magnetic wheel-speed sensors and a computer to monitor all four wheels while a vehicle is in motion. When the brakes are applied, and a wheel (or wheels) begins to decelerate faster than the others, the system can recognize that it’s losing traction or locked up. In response, the system rapidly pulses the brake at that wheel until it begins to roll at the same speed as the others. At the same time it maintains brake pressure on the wheels with better grip to help prevent skidding.

Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror

When bright lights are behind you, this mirror can be your best friend. It uses two layers of glass with an electrochromic layer between them that changes color when a built-in sensor detects bright headlight beams. This dims the mirror and helps reduce glare.

Auto-Dimming Sideview Mirror

Integrated with the auto-dimming rearview mirror, these sideview mirrors also use two layers of glass with an electrochromic layer between them. When the built-in sensor detects bright headlight beams, all three mirrors (rearview and both sides) dim to reduce glare.

Automatic Climate Control

A true “set it and forget it” feature that incorporates a thermostat, automatic fan control and automatic vent selection to keep interior temperature exactly where you want it.

Automatic High Beam System [3]

With the headlight switch in “Auto” mode and the lamps on high beam, a small camera located in the front of the rearview mirror is designed to detect the headlights of an oncoming vehicle and can automatically switch the headlights to low beam, then back to high beam once the vehicle has passed. The system is also designed to detect the taillights of a vehicle in front of you and switch to low beam, then back to high beam when the vehicle turns off the highway or is passed.

Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD)

Some 2-Wheel Drive (2WD) trucks and SUVs come equipped with a second-level, low-speed traction control feature. The first level, Traction Control, is designed to reduce drive-wheel spin. The key difference in the activation of Auto LSD is that, along with brake application to a spinning wheel (which helps engage a non-spinning wheel), Auto LSD also allows engine power to spin the drive wheels faster than the non-drive wheels. This comes in handy on boat ramps and when driving in modest off-road terrain, where some wheel slippage is desired.

Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR)

An ALR can maintain a fixed seatbelt length, making it possible to secure a child seat without using a seatbelt locking clip. ALR is activated by pulling the shoulder belt all the way out, then letting it retract to the desired length before buckling the child seat in place. Unbuckling the belt and allowing it to fully retract deactivates ALR. Remember: Never use a rear-facing child restraint seat in the front passenger seat. Children should always be secured in the rear seat.

Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL)

ASL will adjust your tunes to the perfect volume. Used in audio systems, an automatic sound levelizer automatically adjusts volume and tone in accordance with vehicle speed. As speed increases, so does volume to compensate for ambient sound in the vehicle’s cabin. As the vehicle slows down, there is less ambient noise, so volume is reduced.

Automatic Transmission Shiftlock

This safety device requires that the ignition be in the On position and the brake pedal be depressed before the transmission lever can be moved out of Park. The shiftlock prevents a car from being put into Drive or Reverse and accelerating inadvertently.

Automatic Transmission TOW/HAUL Mode

An available feature on the Toyota Tundra’s 6-speed automatic transmission, TOW/HAUL Mode changes the shift logic of the transmission so it selects and holds lower gears during acceleration and deceleration to improve towing performance. With TOW/HAUL engaged, the transmission doesn’t “hunt” (awkwardly down-/upshifting), especially on mountain roads while towing or hauling a heavy load. Acceleration, downhill engine braking, pulling power and cruising comfort are also improved.

AWD With Active Torque Control

When the road is slick, muddy or icy, this system automatically shifts from 2WD to 4WD when a drive wheel slips. If the vehicle is primarily FWD, the system will engage the rear axle for extra traction, and vice versa. Active torque control systems allow the vehicle to drive in fuel-saving 2WD until a drive wheel slips, but instead of requiring that the driver shift into 4WD, the system shifts automatically.


A shaft on which a wheel revolves, or which revolves with the wheel. It’s also the word used to describe a solid beam that connects the two rear wheels of the vehicle, i.e., the rear axle. Axles help support the vehicle and, depending on the drivetrain configuration, may also transmit torque to the drive wheels.


Dashboard Indicators


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