Automotive Terms - I

In-Line Engine

Cylinders are arranged side by side in a row and in a single bank. Most four-cylinder and some six-cylinder engines are in-line engines. In V-6, V-8 or V-12 engines, the cylinders are divided into two banks, each of which is angled away from the other in a 'V.'

Independent Suspension

A suspension design that lets each wheel move up and down independently of the others. A vehicle can have two-wheel or four-wheel independent suspension; sportier models have four-wheel independent suspension. See also Multi-Link Suspension, Live Axle.

Instrument Panel

The instrument panel contains the gauges in front of the driver; the controls for the sound system and climate-control system; the glove box; vents for the windshield defroster; and the front passenger-side airbag. The instrument panel is often delivered to the factory as a complete module with electronic components already installed.

Integrated Child Seats

May also be called integrated child-safety seats or integrated child-restraint seats. Built-in child seats that fold out of the seatback of a rear seat. Sedans with this option usually have one in the center of the rear seat; minivans may have one or two in the middle seating positions. While NHTSA and every other safety organization stress that any child-restraint seat is better than none, built-in child-restraint seats are considered the safest alternative because they are more securely anchored than a seat attached to seat belts.

Intercooler

Device that cools air as it leaves a turbocharger or supercharger before the air is blown into the engine air intake. Cooling makes the air denser and richer in oxygen, which lets the engine produce more power.

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