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)
Different engine speeds demand different airflow rates. The ACIS provides the best of both worlds: 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. By giving the engine what it wants, when it wants it, you benefit from 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.
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).
Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)
There are shocks, and there are adjustable shocks?and then there's AVS. This system uses a group of sensors and an electronic control unit to continually adjust the firmness of each wheel's shock absorber for optimum ride quality. The driver can adjust the overall ride firmness with a control switch.
Adjustable Shoulder Anchor
Ever had a shoulder belt that came uncomfortably close to your neck or seemed to slip off your shoulder? Whether you're small or tall, this feature helps you position the seatbelt so it fits you properly. The adjustable anchor mounts on a body pillar and adjusts vertically, allowing you to adjust the belt to cross the shoulder and chest between your neck and arm.
Your virtual co-pilot. It's a clever system that can help you maneuver the vehicle 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.
Like a dam diverts water, 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.
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.
A general-purpose tire for cars, minivans and 4WD trucks that's designed for a wide range of on-road driving and weather conditions.
A general-purpose SUV and pickup truck tire designed for the street, but engineered to withstand off-road conditions.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
Bring on the rain, sleet and snow?AWD is designed for road conditions that make other cars cringe. 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
Lighter is better. Instead of the heavy cast-iron material used in the past, 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). A lighter engine means the vehicle's steering, suspension, chassis and tires carry less weight, which translates into better ride, handling and responsiveness. Aluminum alloy also dissipates heat efficiently, which enhances engine performance.
Aluminum Alloy Wheels
A nice set of wheels completes the look of any vehicle. Made from a mixture of aluminum and other metals, aluminum alloy wheels are popular because they can be cast or forged in a variety of purposeful but sculptural forms to accent a vehicle's exterior design. Aluminum alloy wheels are not only attractive, they are also lighter than comparably sized steel wheels, which can enhance vehicle performance by reducing unsprung mass (weight that is not carried by the suspension).
Simple but effective and very easy to read, these gauges are the traditional round instruments with a rotating pointer and printed faceplate used in/on an automotive dashboard. Some examples include the speedometer, tachometer and coolant temperature/oil pressure gauges.
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
A skidding vehicle is hard to control?and that's why ABS was invented. 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 recognizes this condition as the prelude to a skid. In response, the system rapidly pulses the brake at that wheel until it begins to roll at the same speed as the others and simultaneously maintains brake pressure on the wheels with better grip so there's no skidding.
If you've ever locked your keys in your car (who hasn't?), you're going to love this feature. Used on vehicles with power door locks, it prevents the front doors from being locked if the key is in the ignition and either or both of the doors are open.
Oil changes are a fact of life?or are they? World Standard Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF-WS) is a low-viscosity synthetic transmission oil that can, under normal use, be used for the entire service life of the transmission. That means fewer hassles and lower maintenance costs for the owner, and less waste in our environment.
Atkinson-Cycle Gas Engine
Named after its inventor, James Atkinson, this engine uses a later intake valve closing event than a traditional four-cycle engine, which effectively shortens the compression stroke and reduces pumping losses. This makes the engine more efficient but less powerful than a traditional four-cycle engine?particularly in terms of torque. However, when a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle engine is teamed with a high-torque electric motor (as is the case with the Toyota Prius hybrid), the performance trade-off is practically eliminated.
It may sound like something psychedelic, but it's actually a second-level, low-speed traction control feature on some 2-wheel-drive (2WD) trucks and SUVs. 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.
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 Disconnecting Differential (ADD)
Helps shift a four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle into and out of 4WD by disengaging or engaging the front drive shaft (via the left front half shaft) without the need to unlock or lock the axle hubs.
Automatic Height Control (AHC)
Used on the Toyota Land Cruiser, Automatic Height Control (AHC) works in partnership with Toyota Electronically Modulated Suspension (TEMS). AHC is a hydraulic system that allows the driver to raise the suspension to negotiate rugged off-road terrain or lower the suspension to make it easier for passengers to climb in and out.
Turn your highbeams on and leave them on?this system does the rest. 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 Locking Front Hubs
The best invention in four-wheeling since the winch. When a vehicle with part-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) is shifted into 4WD mode, the axles automatically "lock up" in the differential, providing engine power at each front wheel. Old-style manual hubs were mechanical systems that required the driver to get out of the vehicle and turn a switch on each front wheel before they could be driven by engine power.
Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR)
A great feature for parents, 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)
Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel. 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
Designed for those occasions when you use your truck like a truck. 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.
Auxiliary Audio Jack
Connect your iPod® or similar device with this handy auxiliary audio jack (a female mini-jack) in a Toyota audio system. The audio jack accepts 3.5 mm audio plugs, the same size typically used for headphones. And because they're small and easy to place, audio jacks can be located on the faceplate of the audio head unit, nearby on the instrument panel or in the center console. Rock on!
Auxiliary Engine Oil Cooler
When you're towing or hauling heavy loads, engine oil temperatures can soar, reducing the oil's viscosity and lubricating effectiveness. The available Tow Package on Tundra 5.7L V8 models includes an auxiliary engine-oil cooler, which is mounted between the engine block and oil filter. This fluid-to-fluid type cooler uses engine coolant to reduce the temperature of the engine oil as it passes through the unit.
Auxiliary Power Steering Fluid Cooler
Most of the time, your steering system really doesn't have to work that hard. But during repeated steering inputs, such as driving off-road or parking a heavy trailer, the power steering fluid can overheat. That's why an auxiliary cooler is standard in selected tow packages. This U-shaped fluid-to-air cooler reduces and maintains the temperature of the power steering fluid, and looks like a mini-radiator with cooling fins along the tube to dissipate heat. It is usually located near the engine radiator with delivery and return lines to the pump.
Auxiliary Transmission Fluid Cooler
Hot automatic transmission fluid cooks gaskets and seals, shortening the service life of the transmission. The auxiliary transmission fluid cooler (usually part of a truck's towing package) is an air-cooled heat exchanger located near the radiator, where it is always exposed to incoming air. This helps the unit deliver consistently cooler fluid back to the transmission, which keeps fluid temperature in check when towing or hauling heavy loads.
AWD With Active Torque Control
When the road is slick, muddy or icy, this system's got your back. It 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.
No, not the lead singer of a heavy metal band. It's 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.
The suspension equivalent of your shoulder. Used primarily in the front suspension because of its wide range of motion,a ball joint is a flexible joint consisting of a ball in a socket.
Battery Saver Feature
A cool feature of the Smart Key System that helps reduce the likelihood of a drained battery when the vehicle is not in use. When the doors are locked, a Smart Key-equipped vehicle emits a signal every quarter of a second (0.25 second), seeking response from the Smart Key. Because these signals use a tiny fraction of the battery's power, the Smart Key System features a "stepped shutdown" that emits fewer and fewer signals until it eventually shuts down to save battery power. Don't worry?it can be easily reactivated by locking or unlocking the doors.
The name pretty much says it all. This clever accessory extends the usable length of the bed to accommodate long cargo like motorcycles and ATVs. Most commonly used in short-bed trucks, the extender is like a three-rail tubular fence that mounts to the walls of the bed on pivot points just inside the tailgate. With the tailgate lowered, the bed extender can be flipped outward to rest its rubber feet on the tailgate.
Dented, scratched and otherwise mangled truck beds are just plain ugly. A bedliner functions like a protective "armor" that's designed to protect the inner surface of a pickup bed. These come in several varieties, including spray-on and drop-in liners.
If your Toyota were human, this is where its belt would go. It's the line that runs along the bottom edge of the vehicle's glass area and contributes to the vehicle's styling and visual appeal.
What you get from eating blueberry ice cream. Kidding. Bluetooth® is wireless technology that integrates compatible cell phones with a vehicle's built-in phone controls, allowing drivers to make and receive "one-touch" voice-activated calls by pressing a button on the steering wheel or instrument panel. Bluetooth® is currently an integrated feature of the Toyota navigation system and some JBL® premium audio systems. Bluetooth® can also be used for music streaming or playing music wirelessly from your phone or MP3 player on your vehicle's audio system.
The plastic panels that cover the lower portion of the vehicle's doors, rocker panels, and bumper caps. Body cladding can be used for two primary purposes: protecting the lower door panels and rocker panels of off-road-capable trucks and SUVs, or providing aerodynamic/aesthetic improvements for on-road vehicles.
Rugged construction for rugged use. Describes a vehicle with a body structure attached to a separate frame (Toyota 4Runner is an example of a vehicle that uses this type of construction).
In an emergency stop, BA acts as your copilot. If it recognizes that you've suddenly hit the brake pedal very hard, but not quite hard enough for full stopping power, it increases the fluid pressure into the braking system, helping to provide maximum stopping power.
Remember the brakes on your ten-speed? The brake caliper works similarly, except that instead of grabbing the rim itself, the caliper applies clamping pressure on the brake disc (also known as a rotor). The caliper can have one or more pistons, which press the brake pads against the rotor to slow or stop the vehicle.
This unit serves as the messenger between a tow vehicle and the electric brakes of the trailer. When you apply the brakes, it tells the trailer to do the same for maximum stopping power. It can be inertia-activated or based on time delay from the activation of vehicle brakes, and is adjustable to compensate for varying trailer load.
A shaft (or shafts) in the engine driven by the crankshaft via gears, belts or chains. The camshaft incorporates egg-shaped "lobes" (bumps) that open the intake and exhaust valves, which are then closed with spring pressure. Most contemporary engines utilize single or double overhead cams, meaning that the camshafts are located in the cylinder head instead of the cylinder block, as is the case with some overhead valve (OHV) engines.
These let you and your crew ride large and in charge, with an upright posture. With armrests integrated into the backrest, these seats mimic a large, comfortable chair. Captain's chairs are specific to minivans and large SUVs because these vehicles have the interior height to accommodate a raised, upright design.
Carbon Fiber-Style Interior Trim
Designed to resemble the lightweight carbon fiber used in race car construction, this finish shows the characteristic diamond-mesh pattern of carbon fiber fabric, embedded within a glossy transparent surface. It's typically used to accent the dashboard, console, door surfaces and transmission shifter.
Cargo Area Side Panel
Need to store something small? This hidden compartment, built into the hollow space of a vehicle's inner fender, is the place to do it. Accessed via the trunk, cargo area or pickup bed, these compartments often incorporate shelves and may have Velcro® straps for securing smaller cargo (like a purse) that needs to be stored out of sight.
Secure cargo is safe cargo. These hinged eyelets are mounted flush with the floor or cargo area walls, and are usually bolted into the vehicle's chassis or bodywork. When heavy or bulky cargo needs to be tied town, the eyelets provide a convenient attachment point for bungee cords or rope.
Cargo Area Tonneau Cover
A retractable shade that extends across the cargo area of a liftback car, SUV or minivan, keeping items in the cargo area out of sight.
Cargo Bed Tonneau Cover
Attached to the rail of your pickup truck bed, it basically turns your pickup's cargo area into a giant trunk. Tonneau covers come in many varieties, from soft vinyl to fiberglass and aluminum, and can be opened/closed in several different ways depending on the design.
Perhaps the most important component in your vehicle's emissions control system, the catalytic converter (or "cat" for short) helps reduce harmful emissions like oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Catalytic converters require high heat and a very specific amount of air in the exhaust to operate efficiently, which is why they incorporate oxygen sensors (also called "O2 sensors") to monitor the amount of air in the exhaust before and after it enters the catalytic converter. This data is continually fed to the engine computer, which can adjust the air/fuel ratio controlled by the fuel injection system.
Center Armrest Pass-Through
A small door in the rear seatback that flips down so certain types of long cargo (such as skis) can be "passed through" into the passenger compartment from the cargo area.
Essentially the brains of a full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the center differential allows the front and rear axles to turn at different speeds (hence "differential") when the vehicle is cornering. By contrast, when a part-time 4WD system is in 4WD mode, the front and rear axles are locked and cannot turn at different speeds. As a result, a part-time 4WD vehicle should not be driven on dry pavement with 4WD engaged, as the vehicle will not corner smoothly.
Center High-Mount Stop Lamp
If you've never been involved in a rear-end accident, you've probably got this to thank. The center high-mount stop lamp is a third brake light positioned in the direct line of sight of the following driver, at a point higher than the taillights. On trucks and SUVs, it may be above the rear window; on sedans and coupes, it may be inside the base of the rear window. On newer vehicles, the center high-mount stop lamp is often integrated into the trailing edge of the trunk or trunk spoiler.
Center Stow™ Second-Row Seat
Works in conjunction with the Center Stow™system to enhance the vehicle's range of seating and storage capabilities. When not in use, the Center Stow™ second-row seat conveniently stows under the front center console.
Center Stow™ System
A busy family's best friend. When in place between the second-row seats, this king of consoles provides additional storage space, cup holders and a tray table for rear passengers. It can be removed, folded and stored in a compartment below the front-row center console, allowing walk-through access to the third-row seats or rear cargo area.
CFC-Free Electronic Air Conditioning
A vehicle air conditioning system that uses environmentally friendly R-134a refrigerant instead of CFC-based refrigerant (usually known as Freon).
Child Restraint System (CRS)
A standardized design of upper and lower anchors that can secure a CRS-compatible child safety seat without using the vehicle's seatbelts. The two lower anchors are U-bolt-shaped rods located in the seam between the bottom seat cushion and seatback. The upper anchor is a ring-like device at the top of the seatback where the child safety seat tether attaches. In the U.S., CRS may also be referred to as a LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), and in Canada, it is referred to as LUAS (Lower Universal Anchorage System).
Child-Protector Rear Door Locks
Activated by a switch on the perimeter of the rear doors, these locks prevent children from opening the rear doors using the inside handle, even if the door is unlocked. The outside door handle will still respond to normal locking and unlocking functions so that the door can still be opened from the outside, but the inside door handle will be disengaged. Flipping the door perimeter switch will reconnect the inner door handle for adult use.
Clutch Start-Cancel Switch
This safety device in manual transmission-equipped vehicles prevents the vehicle's starter motor from engaging unless the clutch is depressed.
A thick steel wire that has been coiled and heat-treated to form a very strong spring. Coil springs are used in most contemporary suspension systems in one form or another, and can vary in stiffness, commonly known as rate. Progressive-ratesprings offer varying degrees of stiffness in the same spring (getting progressively stiffer as the spring compresses), while a linear-ratespring has a single rate throughout its travel.
Coil-Over Shock Absorber
Combines a coil spring and shock absorber into a single, compact component. The coil spring is installed over the shock absorber, which is constructed with a spring "perch" to locate the bottom of the coil spring. During assembly, the spring is compressed and secured over the shock with a support assembly that also serves as the upper mount.
A column-mounted shifter (i.e., column shifter) is a traditional automatic transmission shift lever with a long lever attached to the right side of the steering column.
Combined Horsepower (Net)
Full steam ahead! When you want hard acceleration, the Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD) powertrain combines the maximum horsepower of the gasoline engine and the front motor/generator (MG2). Together, at maximum output, the gasoline engine and electric motor/generator create the combined horsepower figure listed for HSD vehicles.
When the air/fuel mixture in your engine ignites, this is where it happens. The combustion chamber is located at the top of the cylinder, in the cylinder head.
Metal rods that connect the pistons to the crankshaft. Need we say more?
A console shifter is located between the front seats or (you guessed it) in the center console of the dashboard.
Constant Velocity (CV) Joint
This joint is really jumping. Consider that a front-wheel-drive vehicle delivers power from the transaxle to the front wheels through short axles known as half shafts. Now, because the front wheels also steer the car and move up and down with bumps, the end of each half shaft must be able to articulate. So it is fitted with a special flexible coupling called a constant velocity universal joint, or simply, CV joint.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Instead of the perceptible shifting common in most automatic transmissions, the CVT changes ratios steplessly through an infinite number of gear ratios. By enabling the engine to run at its most efficient rpm for a wide range of vehicle speeds, a CVT can improve fuel economy. The Toyota Prius hybrid, for example, uses an Electronically Controlled CVT (ECVT).
A part of the suspension system designed to control wheel movement. May also be referred to as a wishbone or an A-arm, due to its triangular shape.
A wide-angle convex mirror that allows the driver to keep an eye on every seating position (read: child) in the vehicle. Perhaps it should be called a "Mom and Dad Mirror."
Located at the bottom of the engine in the engine block, the crankshaft is fitted with connecting rods, which in turn are fitted with pistons. During the combustion process, the piston and rod assembly is forced downward in the cylinder, which spins the crankshaft.
Crawl Control (CRAWL)
Like a low-speed, off-road cruise control, it helps you maintain slow, steady progress in difficult off-road driving situations. By automatically controlling engine power and the brake-actuated Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) system, CRAWL can ease the vehicle over uneven terrain with limited wheelslip and minimal strain on the drivetrain. CRAWL also allows you to focus on steering rather than throttle control.
The perpendicular roof rack rails that suspend cargo or serve as the attachment point for bikes, skis and other fun stuff.
Literally a "step" in a truck's ladder frame design. It is a horizontal or transverse frame member that joins the parallel longitudinal rails, providing additional structural support.
After hours on the road, your right ankle starts begging for mercy. Engage cruise control, and you can maintain a set speed on the open road without holding down the accelerator pedal. The control stalk has a master ON/OFF switch, a speed SET function, and a +/- function that provides moderate acceleration or coasting/deceleration.
Sections of the vehicle structure that are actually designed to bend and deform upon impact. By bending along predetermined lines, crumple zones absorb energy from the impact that might otherwise reach the passenger cabin. Toyota designs crumple zones into the front of all vehicles and, with the exception of body-on-frame pickups and SUVs, into the rear body structure as well. For body-on-frame pickups and SUVs, crumple zones can be constructed by gradually increasing the thickness of the frame side rails.
A sacrificial, high-tensile steel box (or boxes) built inside Toyota bumpers to help absorb a minor impact, thereby limiting or preventing damage to the body structure. Bolted inside the bumpers, crush boxes can be removed after a minor collision by a qualified body shop and replaced, which can help reduce repair costs. Crush boxes are used in the front and rear bumpers of some Toyota cars and crossover SUVs, and the front bumpers of Toyota trucks and full-size SUVs.
It'll make you feel right at home. This carpet is manufactured with synthetic loops of yarn that are trimmed at the top, so each tightly twisted strand stands alone, giving the carpet a loose, soft feel.
One of several holes (four, six or eight) in the engine block that houses a piston.
Day/Night Rearview Mirror
This mirror has two settings for optimal (and comfortable) rear vision during day and night driving. A toggle switch on the rearview mirror housing allows the driver to adjust the mirror between the two settings.
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Designed to help make the vehicle more visible on the road, Daytime Running Lights activate either the headlamps at reduced intensity or both turn-signal lamps during daylight conditions.
Sometimes you need to secure something in the bed of your truck, but there's no cleat or hook nearby. That's where the Deck Rail System comes in. This available feature boasts a robust C-channel frame mounted on the inside of the left- and right-side deck rails as well as the forward deck rail. Each C-channel has two sliding, lockable tie-down cleats. Combined with D-ring tie-downs on the cargo floor, the Deck Rail System offers exceptional versatility for securing cargo in the bed.
One of the unsung heroes of your vehicle's drivetrain. It splits power 180 degrees between the wheels or axles and also allows the drive wheels to be mechanically attached, yet still spin at different speeds when cornering or turning. It is located between the drive wheels on a front- or rear-wheel-drive vehicle, or between the front and rear axles on a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle.
Digital age, digital gauge, right? These use a liquid crystal display (LCD) that can provide large, highly visible readouts for vehicle speed, engine speed, engine temperature and fuel level. Additional information such as odometer readings and transmission gear selection may also be displayed on an LCD digital instrument panel. Digital gauges have the added benefit of low energy consumption because LCD displays use very little electricity.
Puts the fuel right where your engine wants it. Compared to a conventional fuel injection system, which sprays fuel into the intake manifold ahead of intake valves, a direct injection system uses an injector positioned next to the intake valve. It sprays fuel directly into the cylinder?and with pressure as high as 2000 psi, it delivers finely atomized fuel that burns more completely. Direct injection also cools the combustion chamber, which reduces combustion temperature and allows the engine to be designed with a higher compression ratio?and that improves both power and efficiency.
This system employs sensors that live in each wheel and exist to monitor tire air pressure and air temperature. If the sensor detects a tire is critically low in air pressure, it sends a radio signal to a central ECU, which in turn illuminates a warning light on the instrument panel. A TPMS is an early-warning system engineered to help drivers avoid blowouts or the unstable handling that can accompany underinflated tires. It does not eliminate the need to periodically check tire pressure and should not be relied on as a tire maintenance system.
The ruler of the brake world. As its name implies, a disc brake is a steel disc (also known as a "rotor") attached to the vehicle's wheel hub. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure acts on the brake calipers to press the brake pads into contact with the disc, creating clamping force to slow the wheel.
A dual-antenna system with real smarts. It allows the tuner in the audio head unit to compare the signal strength received by each antenna and then select the one with the best reception. A diversity system can combine a variety of antennas: a conventional mast antenna and an in-glass antenna; a roof-mounted short-pole antenna and an in-glass antenna; or on many SUVs, two in-glass antennas located on the rear window and a quarter window.
Double Overhead Cam (DOHC)
Hate to brag?but all Toyota engines use a Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) cylinder head design (sometimes referred to as "Double Overhead Cam"). DOHC means that the cylinder head (or cylinder heads in V6 or V8 engines) has two camshafts: one to open the intake valves, and another to open the exhaust valves. Unlike single overhead cam (SOHC) designs, with one cam actuating both intake and exhaust valves, a DOHC design uses fewer moving parts for reduced friction and more power.
Double-Walled Cargo Bed Construction
Keeps your Toyota truck lookin' good. With an inner wall for the cargo bed, and an outer wall that forms the rear fender, this design prevents the outer side body panels from getting damaged if a heavy load were to shift and slam into a sidewall.
Behold the modern suspension. It uses two A-shaped arms to help locate, align and control the position of a wheel. With two A-arms at work, it's easier to keep the tire perpendicular with the road while the vehicle is cornering or traveling over uneven surfaces.
Gravity, schmavity. DAC automatically and selectively applies the brakes to help a 4WD vehicle "creep" down steep and/or slippery hills at a controlled speed of two to four mph. Using the ABS wheel-speed sensors and brake actuator, DAC mimics the type of engine braking that was once only available on vehicles with a 2-speed transfer case and very low gearing. DAC is activated by a button, and on vehicles with a 2-speed transfer case, only operates in low range.
Used in rear-wheel-drive and 4WD vehicles, this rotating, tubular driveline member forms the mechanical connection between the transmission or transfer case and the vehicle's differential(s).
Driver Adaptive Shift Logic
Enter the age of the smart transmission. This technology enables the automatic transmission to "learn" the way you are driving and change its shift timing and performance in real time.
Driver and Front Passenger Dual Stage Advanced Airbags 
These airbags can deploy at full or reduced pressure, depending on the severity of the collision and the position of the driver's seat. When the dual stage system detects a frontal collision, it judges the severity of the impact and adjusts the inflation output accordingly. For example, in a lower-speed impact, the airbags may inflate at a lower speed with slightly less pressure, which can help reduce secondary passenger injury. The dual stage feature can also reduce airbag deployment force if it detects that the driver's seat is positioned close to the steering wheel.
A driver's-side airbag located below the steering column, just ahead of the driver's legs, that deploys from underneath the dashboard. In the event of certain severe frontal collisions, this airbag inflates to receive the impact of the driver's lower body as he or she shifts forward.
Driver's-Seat and Sideview Mirror Memory System
Perhaps it should be called "The Peacekeeper." This system automatically adjusts the preferred power-adjustable seat and mirror settings for up to three separate drivers. No need to make numerous seat and mirror adjustments every time a different family member drives?and vehicles with the Smart Key System  can even begin automatically adjusting the seat and mirrors as soon as the doors are unlocked. Each individual transmitter can be programmed for a specific power-adjustable seat and mirror setting that is immediately triggered when the doors are unlocked or opened.
More accurately known as auxiliary high-beam lamps, these additional lights turn day into night with the flick of a switch. Unlike fog lamps, which are mounted low and project a beam relatively close to the vehicle, driving lights throw a bright beam far down the road, so they are useful only in situations where they cannot blind oncoming traffic. Typical uses would be in remote areas such as mountains or deserts.
A simple, low-cost and low-maintenance brake design that utilizes a brake "drum" attached to the vehicle's wheel hub. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid acts on a piston that forces semicircular "brake shoes" outward into contact with the inside diameter, creating friction that slows the wheel. When the driver steps off the brake pedal, springs contract the cylinder and pull the shoes away from the drum so the wheel can resume rolling.
Dual Variable Valve Timing With Intelligence (Dual VVT-i)
Gives the engine what it wants, when it wants it, always. Toyota's Dual VVT-i system uses cam-phasing technology to adjust the intake and exhaust valve timing based on engine speed, engine temperature, engine intake airflow, throttle position and vehicle speed. The result? Maximum efficiency and power.
Dual Zone (Driver and Front Passenger) Automatic Climate Control
You like it around 70 degrees F. Your copilot likes it around 73. With dual zone climate control, you can have it both ways. By having the dashboard vents and floor vents divided into separate left- and right-side systems, and with individual left- and right-side temperature controls, the driver and front passenger can warm or cool the airflow on their own side of the vehicle.
Dual Zone (Front and Rear) Automatic Climate Control
When you really want to spoil your passengers, this is the system for you. With the rear climate controls, second-row passengers can adjust rear-seat temperature, fan speed and vent position. In addition, the systems often include a rear air conditioning evaporator to help cool and dehumidify rear airflow, along with a separate heater core, which allows for more effective rear heating.
Dust and Pollen Filter
A vehicle's climate control system continuously draws in outside air, which may or may not be so clean. This filter removes dust, pollen and other foreign particles before they reach the passenger compartment. Located in the climate control duct behind the glove box, the filter is made of polyester and includes two layers of filtering material. The first layer captures large particles such as dust and dirt, and the second layer helps capture microscopic particles such as pollen and smoke.
Think of it as cruise control for the space age. Like ordinary cruise control, DLCC is designed to maintain a preset vehicle speed?but it also uses a front-mounted laser sensor to detect and help maintain a preset distance between your vehicle and the vehicle traveling in front of you on the highway. If the laser sensor detects a vehicle within a preset distance, it can automatically reduce engine power and may even apply the brakes to help slow the vehicle and maintain the preset space. If the vehicle ahead pulls over or accelerates, DLCC can automatically accelerate back to the preset speed.
As if Prius weren't smart enough, this available feature helps to automatically maintain distance between Prius and the vehicle traveling ahead of it. When cruising at speeds above 25 mph, a radar sensor located behind the front logo badge of Prius projects a millimeter wave radar beam up to a range of nearly 400 feet. If the beam strikes a vehicle ahead, it bounces back to Prius and is collected by a receiver built into the sensor. The data is then analyzed, and signals are sent to the throttle, transmission and?if needed?brakes to maintain distance between the two vehicles.
Eco Drive Support Monitor
Makes driving more interesting, informative and fun. This specialized feature shown on the LCD screen in Hybrid Synergy Drive® vehicles helps a driver make the most of what the vehicle offers through several categories of information: Energy Monitor, Hybrid System Indicator, a 1-min./5-min. consumption monitor and a Past Record monitor. The real-time data analysis provided by the Eco Drive Support Monitor helps the driver maximize the economy of the Hybrid Synergy Drive® system.
Running low on fuel, or just want to see how far you can go on a tank? Press the ECO Heat/Cool switch. A feature found on some Toyota hybrid vehicles, this switch causes the electric air conditioning compressor to run at a reduced rate, which lowers the electricity draw and helps improve fuel economy. However, because the compressor is running at "part throttle," it may take longer than usual to cool the interior of the vehicle.
This drive mode in the Toyota Prius hybrid restricts throttle input so the engine uses less fuel and adjusts the air conditioning system so that it runs more efficiently. Use the Eco Mode to help you achieve better fuel economy numbers during trips that involve frequent accelerating and braking (like your daily commute).
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Literally puts the "power" in "power steering." EPS replaces the belt, pump and hydraulic system of a traditional power steering system with a simple, brushless electric motor. The electric motor is mounted to the steering column or the rack-and-pinion mechanism, and when the driver turns the steering wheel, an electronic control unit (ECU) tells the motor to turn right or left for assistance. The ECU also monitors vehicle speed, which allows the electric motor to vary the assist level as needed.
Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
EBD is the precursor to ABS, where brake pressure is reduced at wheels that are carrying the least amount of weight (i.e., the rear wheels during hard braking, when weight shifts forward) to prevent a skid. EBD uses the same actuator and wheel-speed sensors as ABS, but EBD only needs to detect subtle differences in wheel speed before it reduces brake pressure on a lightly loaded wheel (or wheels).
Electronic Control Module (ECM)
One of many "brains" in your Toyota, an ECM is a subsystem consisting of microprocessors and assorted signal inputs/outputs which can control different components within a vehicle (ABS, airbags, radar systems, etc.).
Electronic Throttle Control System With Intelligence (ETCS-i)
Replaces the traditional mechanical connection to the engine's throttle with an electrical one. This drive-by-wire system incorporates a sensor on the pedal that signals a small electric motor on the throttle, which in turn makes precise and rapid changes to the throttle based on the movement of the driver's right foot. And because the throttle is integrated with the engine computer, the fuel injection, direct ignition and Variable Valve Timing systems can all respond very quickly. The system also allows Traction Control (TRAC), cruise control and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)  to be integrated and coordinated more precisely.
Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission With Intelligence (ECT-i)
Like a traditional automatic transmission, but a lot smarter. These Toyota transmissions, which currently range from four to six forward speeds, are electronically integrated with the engine computer. Shifts are timed and executed according to precise information based on vehicle and engine speed, throttle position, and even engine temperature and terrain. By sharing data, the engine and transmission can work together more efficiently, reliably and smoothly. ECT-i transmissions are self-adjusting, with ongoing diagnostic programming that compensates for normal wear and tear.
Electronically Modulated Air Suspension (EMAS)
Say good-bye to your sagging rear end. In your vehicle, of course! EMAS is a vehicle height-control system that uses pneumatic (air) cylinders in the rear suspension instead of coil springs. EMAS enables the vehicle to maintain a constant vehicle height regardless of the number of occupants or load, contributing to driving stability and ride comfort.
Emergency Assistance Kit
The emergency assistance kit is a collection of tools and other useful items to help motorists in a roadside emergency.
Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR)
Allows the seatbelt to extend and retract when the occupant moves, yet locks the belt during a sudden stop or in certain types of collisions. In passenger seating positions, the ELR is usually combined with an Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) that can help secure some types of child safety seats.
Let's clear the air on this. Emission controls include sophisticated fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing and precise ignition systems, as well as catalytic converters, oxygen (O2) sensors and evaporative emission control for the fuel tank and fuel lines. Together, these technologies work to reduce the levels of hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emitted by the vehicle's engine.
Energy-Absorbing Steering Column
In the event of a mostly frontal collision, the steering column is designed to help protect the driver in two ways: by preventing intrusion of the column into the vehicle cabin, and by absorbing energy should the driver impact the steering wheel in a secondary collision.
Made from aluminum or cast iron, the engine block is the main structural element of any engine design. It houses the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons, and serves as a foundation for related accessories, such as the water pump, alternator, accessory belt drive, etc.
Engine Control Unit (ECU)
Practically the automotive equivalent of the human brain and nervous system. It coordinates and commands all the electronically controlled subsystems of the engine, accurately metering the fuel injection, precisely timing the ignition, and even turning the cooling fan on and off according to engine temperature and driving conditions.
Sorry, crooks. This theft-deterrent system disables the engine until a specially coded key is inserted into the ignition.
Engine Speed-Sensing Power Steering-Assist
Brains and brawn. This system increases steering-assist at low engine rpm to help you with maneuvers such as parallel parking, and decreases steering assist as engine speed increases for more stable handling and better steering feel at highway speeds.
Enhanced Engine Cooling
Towing a trailer places more demand on the engine, increasing operating temperature. To compensate, selected tow packages may feature a larger radiator with increased coolant capacity or a larger, more powerful cooling fan. In some 4-cylinder applications, the tow package includes a larger radiator that is standard on the 6-cylinder model to improve cooling. More powerful fan motors may also be used to improve cooling performance.
Enhanced Seatbelt System
This system uses a mechanical motor to cinch the front shoulder belts if the system detects emergency braking or the onset of intervention by the Vehicle Stability Control system.
Hydrocarbons (HC) that escape into the atmosphere when gasoline evaporates from the fuel system of a parked vehicle. To control evaporative emissions, new vehicles have sealed fuel systems designed to keep evaporating fuel from entering the atmosphere. Evaporating fuel is captured in a canister filled with activated charcoal, and when the engine is started, this vapor is fed into the intake manifold, where it is burned and then processed by the vehicle's emission control system.
The system through which your Toyota's engine exhales. It consists of the exhaust manifold or manifolds, which collect exhaust gases from the individual cylinders; the down pipe, which routes the gases behind the engine compartment and under the car; the catalytic converter, which treats and cleans the exhaust; the muffler, which reduces exhaust noise; and the tailpipe, which routes exhaust to the rear of the vehicle. Some vehicles may also have a resonator, which acts as a second muffler to quiet certain exhaust noise frequencies.
During the combustion process, these valves control the flow of exhaust gases out of the cylinder head and into the exhaust system.
Federal Tier Bin Rating
The Federal Tier II rating places vehicles in categories according to their exhaust emissions. The categories are called "bins" and range from bin 1, a zero emissions vehicle, to bin 8, a vehicle with relatively high levels of exhaust emissions.
Final Axle Ratio
Also commonly referred to as a "final drive ratio," this figure refers to the number of teeth on a ring gear divided by the number of teeth on a pinion gear, both of which are inside the vehicle's drive wheel differential. For example, if the ring gear has 40 teeth and the pinion has 10, the axle ratio is 4:1. This means the pinion gear must make four revolutions for every one revolution of the ring gear.
Fog Lamps (If equipped)
Positioned low and aimed at the pavement directly in front of the vehicle, these lights are designed to shine "under" the fog rather than into it, and are therefore less prone to reflect light beams back into the driver's eyes.
Fold-Flat Second-Row Seat
There are some things you just don't want to put in your pickup's bed?like a new flat-screen TV, for instance. Not to worry?this seat with a backrest folds flat and locks against the lower cushion to create a level load space inside the cabin.
Fold-Up Second-Row Seat
It's raining, and you've got groceries. Thanks to this pickup truck seat, with a rear-hinged lower cushion that can flip 90 degrees rearward, you can put them inside?safe and dry.
Used in some models of Sienna, these clever, multi-function rear seats feature folding seatbacks, sliding capability and quick-release frames that allow them to be easily removed for trips to the local home improvement super center.
Your right foot's on the gas pedal. Where's your other foot? On the footrest, of course?a stationary "dead pedal" located to the left of the brake pedal (with automatic transmission) or clutch pedal (manual transmission).
A passenger-side airbag that deploys from underneath the dashboard and responds to the same sensors and under the same conditions as the driver knee airbag. In addition, the front passenger knee airbag responds to the Occupant Classification System (OCS): The knee airbag, along with the front passenger airbag, seat-mounted side airbag and seatbelt pretensioner, can be activated or deactivated according to the OCS weight sensor in the seat.
Located in the outer bolster of the front seatbacks, these airbags are designed to help provide torso and upper arm protection for the driver and front-seat passenger during some types of severe side-impact collisions.
Front-Seat Side Bolsters
Seat and seatback cushions designed to hold the driver and passengers in place when cornering.
Literally injects precisely metered gasoline into the intake manifold (just above an intake valve), or directly into the cylinder (the latter is known as direct injection). Modern fuel injectors fire sequentially, delivering finely atomized fuel at the exact moment the intake valve is opening. This precise timing prevents fuel from "puddling" in the intake manifold. With fuel injection, fuel is measured so accurately and burned so completely that exhaust emissions are reduced while power is increased.
The pump that draws fuel from the fuel tank and delivers it to the fuel injectors.
Full-Time 4-Wheel Drive (4WD)
It's always on, so you're always ready. Designed primarily for on-road use, this system continuously delivers power to the front and rear axles while allowing the vehicle to maneuver more smoothly on dry pavement. A center differential distributes power to the front and rear axles and also enables the axles to turn at different speeds when the vehicle is cornering. Although often interchangeable with the term "All-Wheel Drive" (AWD), "full-time 4WD" is typically applied to trucks and truck-based SUV drive systems.
Fully Boxed Frame
Strength where you need it most. "Fully boxed" describes the cross-sectional view of a frame, where the rails are completely closed in the shape of a box. A fully boxed frame provides maximum torsional rigidity to support weight, provide solid mounting points for suspension/steering components and improve impact protection. That's why the second generation Toyota Tundra uses a fully boxed frame section up front.
Gas-Filled Shock Absorber
Fast driving over rough roads or terrain generates heat in the shock absorber, which can lead to foaming or aeration in the fluid. When bubbles form, the shock's fluid becomes mushy and less effective. A gas-filled shock absorber contains a charge of compressed nitrogen that takes up space inside the shock housing that normally would be filled with air, reducing the chance of bubbles forming.
Gated Console Shifter
Instead of a straight line between Drive and Park, a console-mounted shifter incorporates detents or "gates" to make it easier for the driver to select specific forward gears in an automatic transmission.
Help you keep tabs on your Toyota's vitals. They display important vehicle information such as vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine temperature and fuel level.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
(see "Satellite Navigation System")
Handy hangers attached to the sides of the cargo area or the back of the second- or third-row seats that help secure grocery and shopping bags.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
Everything has limits?and the GVWR is the manufacturer's maximum allowable weight of a fully loaded vehicle, including cargo, passengers and tongue weight of a trailer, if the vehicle is used for towing. Listed in pounds, the GVWR can be found on the certification label usually located on the driver's doorjamb.
No, the other half isn't missing. It's just the name of the short axles that deliver power from the differential to the drive wheels in front-wheel-drive (FWD) or rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicles with independent rear suspension. In a straight-axle vehicle (one without independent suspension), the term "axle shaft" is often used.
Hard-Drive Navigation System
This system stores its map and address data on a hard drive like your home computer, rather than on a DVD.
Similar to the technology used by fighter pilots, the Head-Up Display projects certain information (e.g., speed) onto the windshield, where reflection makes it visible to the driver.
Headlight Cleaner System
Headlights are the "eyes" of your vehicle?but when they're dirty, you're the one who can't see clearly. The headlight cleaner uses a high-pressure pump to lift sprayers from the front bumper and then rinse the headlights with windshield wiper fluid. The headlight cleaner pump and fluid reservoir are interconnected with the windshield washer and are located in the left front fender of the vehicle.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps
A bright idea. These bulbs are filled with pressurized xenon gas that is "stimulated" by a pair of high-voltage electrodes. In effect, the gas becomes a filament that quickly ignites, turning other gases in the bulb into white-hot plasma light. Xenon bulbs are capable of producing up to three times the light of a traditional halogen bulb of the same size, use less electricity, and last several times longer.
Perfectly suited to San Francisco residents, this feature can help prevent a vehicle from rolling backward on a steep hill when the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator. With the vehicle at a standstill, HAC is automatically set when the driver presses down forcefully on the brake pedal for approximately three seconds. A chime sounds and the brake lights illuminate when HAC is activated. After approximately three seconds, or when the driver steps on the accelerator, HAC releases the brakes. A chime sounds twice when HAC releases brake pressure.
HomeLink® makes your Toyota an extension of your home. This system learns the codes for up to three remote-controlled devices through a simple training process. HomeLink® can then activate those devices at the push of a button?all from one permanently mounted unit in the vehicle's sun visor, overhead console or rearview mirror. HomeLink is rolling code compatible, is powered by the vehicle's charging system, can be reprogrammed at any time, and can activate home lighting with the available HomeLink® Lighting Package.
A functional or cosmetic addition to the hood of a performance-oriented vehicle that can draw in cool air, or just make you look cool. Often, a vehicle with a functional hood scoop has a turbocharger, supercharger or high-performance intake system that benefits from high volumes of cool air. Cosmetic hood scoops provide the aggressive look of a high-performance vehicle, but do not open into the engine compartment.
Nope, not a dance?this is a manual or pressurized gas rod that holds the engine hood in the open position.
Horizontally Sliding Rear Pickup Window
Can be a window incorporating a single pane of glass that slides left or right, or two panes of glass that are split in the middle. Designed for ventilation, but also perfect for talking to your dog when he's/she's riding securely fastened in the bed.
Coming home late? Your neighbors will love EV mode. It's a feature of some Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD) vehicles that enables you to operate the vehicle as an electric vehicle (EV) without using the gas engine. EV mode is engaged by pushing a switch on the dashboard, but will only activate if certain conditions have been met. Some of these conditions relate to hybrid system temperature, coolant temperature, road speed, battery charge, accelerator pedal position, distance traveled, etc. When in EV mode, an indicator light on the dashboard illuminates.
Hybrid Power Mode
Perfect for squeezing in and out of traffic, this driver-selectable feature adjusts the throttle pedal input to power output relationship, known as the throttle-response curve. When Power mode is engaged, the power control ECU raises the percentage of engine power produced by a given pedal input. For example, depressing the accelerator halfway produces more than half of the engine's maximum power. Power mode is turned on and off by a button on the dashboard, and turning the vehicle off automatically cancels Power mode. An indicator light in the instrument cluster illuminates when Power mode is active.
Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD)
Where man, machine and nature exist in harmony. HSD® refers to a Toyota hybrid drivetrain that combines a gasoline engine, two electric motor/generators, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and a high-voltage battery pack that powers the larger of the two motor/generators when it's driving the wheels. Depending on the situation, Hybrid Synergy Drive® can operate in electric-only, gas-only, or combined electric/gas modes.
Hybrid System Indicator
Accessible via the Multi-Information Display of Prius, these three graphic screens make it easy (and fun) to monitor the hybrid system for better fuel economy, or just to keep tabs on the system's function.
If you've ever driven a car without power steering, you can appreciate hydraulic power-assist. This system uses a hydraulic cylinder to exert pressure on the rack to turn the vehicle in the desired direction. Hydraulic power-assist makes steering the vehicle easier, especially during low-speed maneuvers such as parallel parking.
Provides the spark to light your engine's fire. Depending on the vehicle, system components may include the battery, coil, distributor, ignition switch, spark plugs and spark plug wires.
Illuminated Entry/Exit Fade-Out System
A welcome greeting that turns on the vehicle's interior lights when the doors are opened or unlocked with the remote keyless entry system. A Smart Key System  transmitter will also trigger the illuminated entry/exit fade-out system.
(see also 4-Wheel Independent Suspension)A contemporary suspension design in which each wheel is mounted to a separate suspension member with no rigid axle connecting them. Therefore, each wheel reacts independently to changes in the road's surface, which improves ride and handling.
The system that delivers the air/fuel mixture to the engine's cylinders. Some component examples include the air filter and related ducting, throttle body and intake manifold.
An engine configuration (typically four cylinder) in which the engine block has cylinders arranged in a single line.
Valves in the cylinder head(s) that admit air and fuel into the combustion chamber.
Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Sometimes, there isn't quite enough rain to keep the wipers on, but too much to turn them off. Enter the intermittent setting. It has the wipers perform one wipe cycle, then pause for a short time before the next wipe cycle, thus allowing enough moisture to build up before the blades wipe across the glass. The intermittent setting results in cleaner glass and less wear on the wiper blades during light rain, snow and mist conditions. On some vehicles, the wipers automatically switch into the intermittent mode when the vehicle stops.
Iridium-Tipped Spark Plugs
The Superman of spark plugs.Equipped with an iridium-tipped electrode, it resists performance-robbing wear and corrosion for up to 120,000 miles. Iridium is more durable and up to eight times harder than platinum, the material previously used in premium spark plugs. Iridium is also a superior electrical conductor and reduces the chances of misfire.
A feature designed to automatically reverse a one-touch power window, sunroof, power sliding side doors, rear door or power liftgate if it touches a foreign object while closing.
JBL® Audio System
Prepare to rock the house. An available upgrade on many Toyota models, JBL® audio systems feature a powerful external amplifier with digital processing, seven, eight and even nine speakers in some models, and a range of sophisticated audio technologies that can deliver crisp reproduction of a wide range of musical genres.
JBL® Synthesis Audio System
Basically, it's musical magic. JBL's proprietary digital programming converts 2-channel signals from a CD player or other input into a multi-channel format that can be delivered to multiple speakers, helping to create a "surround sound" experience.
Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)
On- or off-road, KDSS is the best of all worlds. Plus, it's kinda fun to say. A standard feature in the Toyota Land Cruiser and optional in the Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition, KDSS features hydraulically linked front and rear stabilizer bars that remain firmly engaged while the vehicle is cornering on-road, helping to limit body roll. But when negotiating rough roads and rugged terrain, the stabilizer bars can be disengaged via KDSS for a much wider range of suspension movement.
Knock Control System (KCS)
This might just be an engine's best friend. It detects high-frequency vibrations that are a precursor to pre-ignition ("pinging"), a condition that is potentially harmful to the engine. KCS can retard the ignition timing until the knock ceases, which allows an engine to take advantage of a high compression ratio (for more power) while reducing the risk of pre-ignition damage.
As its name suggests, a ladder frame resembles a large stepladder, with parallel longitudinal (side) rails that are connected with a series of cross members. Ladder frames are popular in trucks and SUVs for their strength, ease of assembly and economical repair.
Laminated Safety Glass
Used in windshields, this glass consists of two panes bonded together with a sheet of plastic sandwiched in between. This design helps keep the windshield together during an impact, reducing injuries from sharp edges.
This system works in concert with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) when the vehicle is cruising between 30 and 50 mph. At all speeds, a camera mounted near the rearview mirror monitors the vehicle's position relative to the lane markers on the road. If the system senses that the vehicle will veer out of the lane within one second, a warning buzzer sounds and counter-steering torque is applied for up to three seconds. LDW complements Lane Keep Assist (see below).
Lane Keep Assist works in concert with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and is similar in function to Lane Departure Warning, except that it is activated when the vehicle is cruising above 50 mph.
LCD Touch-Screen Display
Everything you need on one, compact panel. It allows you to access audio, ventilation, navigation, phone and multi-information functions by simply touching images on a flat, illuminated screen.
A long, thin, narrow strip of steel curved into a semi-elliptical arc and connected at each end to the vehicle's frame. Usually, more than one strip (or "leaf") is used to form a multi-leaf spring. Rugged and simple in design, leaf springs are extremely flexible and can be layered according to weight application. The rear leaf springs on Tundra and Tacoma 4x4 and PreRunner models are located above the axle for added ground clearance.
LEDs aren't just for flashlights anymore. Headlamps powered by LEDs (light-emitting diodes) produce a brighter, whiter light, consume less energy and last longer than conventional halogen headlights. The 2010 Prius was the first mid-priced car to offer LED headlamps as an option.
Taillights powered by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are highly efficient, long-lasting and look cool, too.
More vertical than the sloping hatchback on sedan-based vehicles, this top-hinged door provides easy access to the cargo area of an SUV, minivan or 5-door wagon.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
By definition, an LCD uses liquid crystal cells that change reflectivity in an applied electric field. In Toyota vehicles, it is used in navigation screens and rearview backup systems.
Locking Center Differential
Bring on the mud and snow. Found on full-time 4WD or AWD vehicles, a locking center differential enables the driver to lock the front and rear wheels together for 50/50 power distribution. This helps create maximum traction when the vehicle is stuck or in extremely slippery conditions. It should only be engaged at low speeds.
For serious off-road business. With the flip of a switch, a locking differential (typically used in the rear axle) forces both wheels on an axle to turn at exactly the same speed, whereas an open differential allows both wheels to turn at different speeds. When activated, a locking differential causes both drive wheels to receive exactly the same amount of engine torque and power, which is ideal for low-traction conditions. When the unit is "unlocked," it operates like an ordinary open differential.
Lockup Torque Converter
(see also Torque Converter) A torque converter is a component of the automatic transmission that forms a fluid coupling between the engine's crankshaft and the input shaft of the transmission. With a lockup torque converter, a clutch inside the unit "locks up" at a predetermined speed, forming a solid (direct) connection between the engine and transmission. This action reduces friction and lowers engine rpm for improved fuel economy.
Low Emission Vehicle (LEV)
A category of vehicle that passes a baseline exhaust standard set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). LEV-II followed the less stringent LEV-I standard of 1994-2003. In addition, LEV-II also includes large SUVs and pickups with a gross vehicle weight of up to 8500 pounds.
Lower Anchor and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)
A standardized design of upper and lower anchors that can secure a Child Restraint System (CRS)-compatible child safety seat without using the vehicle's seatbelts. The two lower anchors are U-bolt-shaped rods located in the seam between the bottom seat cushion and seatback. The upper anchor is a ring-like device at the top of the seatback where the child-safety-seat tether attaches. In the U.S., LATCH may also be referred to as CRS, and in Canada, it is referred to as LUAS (Lower Universal Anchorage System).
An innovative suspension component comprised of a coil spring that supports the vehicle's weight, an internal shock absorber that helps to control the vertical motion of the wheel and body, and a structural tube that helps align and position the wheel. The top of the strut is attached to a reinforced mounting structure inside the fender, the bottom of the strut is attached to the top of the wheel hub, and the bottom of the wheel hub is connected to the vehicle frame by a lower control arm that can pivot up and down.
Manual Climate Control
Think of it like deluxe air conditioning. Manual climate controls operate the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and defrost/defog features of the vehicle. Temperature, fan speed and vent settings must be manually selected.
A fixed or retractable radio antenna mounted on the front fender or roof of the vehicle.
Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
Helps you get a grip. Used in the rear axle of an RWD vehicle, this unit incorporates internal clutches or gears to limit the torque delivered to a spinning wheel or axle, while adding torque to a non-spinning wheel or axle for improved traction.
Automotive paint mixed with metal flakes such as brass or aluminum to provide a sparkling finish.
They take power, they make power. They're the magical electric motors that also serve as electric motor/generators in the Hybrid Synergy Drive® (HSD) powertrain. All HSD® vehicles have a minimum of two electric motor/generators, and HSD® vehicles equipped with 4WD-i add a third motor/generator. All three of the motor/generators used in HSD® vehicles can operate as high-torque electric motors, taking electricity and transforming it into rotating motion. They can also serve as electric generators, taking rotating motion and converting it into reusable electricity.
An automotive finish that has more reflective quality than solid paint, but less sparkle than metallic paints. During its manufacture, it is mixed with silicate flakes that are used for their consistent structure. These flakes are uniform in size and shape, and lie in the paint like tiny reflective fish scales. This consistency makes the finish bright without making it too intense, and also contributes to the paint's durability.
Micron Air Filter
A particulate air-filtration system that reduces airborne particles larger than three microns (a human hair is 40-120 microns). This helps prevent pollens, spores and road dust from entering the cabin, providing a more comfortable environment for those who suffer from allergies, asthma or other breathing difficulties.
A certain model (Corolla, Avalon, etc.) may come in several varieties ("grades") or levels of "trim." These are often designated with letter combinations, like CE or XLE. The model grade is usually based on features that come standard with a vehicle, though some stylistic differences may also factor in, such as body treatments, wheels, etc.
Three-dimensional trim pieces added to protect or accent the vehicle's body?like the automotive equivalent of a chair rail in your home. Moldings can be added as parking lot protection for doors and fenders, chrome or black accents for window frames, or styling elements for the trunk/cargo door. Moldings are added to the body rather than stamped-cast, or styled into the exterior panels.
MP3, WMA, AAC
They could be aircraft call letters, but they're not. They're audio coding formats that allow audio files to be compressed and stored to digital media at a fraction of the size of the uncompressed source files, with no perceptible loss in quality.
Typified by an aggressive design with deep rain channels and large tread blocks, you can tell that these tires are made for the slushy stuff. This designation can refer to an all-season, all-terrain or dedicated winter snow tire.
More than what their name implies, mudguards help protect the vehicle body by blocking any type of debris thrown upward by the tires. In particular, mudguards work with aggressive, deep-tread tires (typically found on trucks and SUVs) that might throw mud and small rocks.
You could also call it a "silencer," but that sounds a little too sinister. A component of the exhaust system, the muffler quiets (or muffles) noise engine by routing exhaust gas through a compact "echo" chamber that helps to cancel combustion noise from the cylinders.
This compact LCD screen can practically do it all. It can display trip information such as driving range, fuel consumption, elapsed time and outside temperature. The same screen can also be used to display audio system and air conditioning system settings.
Multi-Link Live Axle Rear Suspension
Suitable for hardcore off-road action, the multi-link live axle rear suspension designs in the Toyota 4Runner and FJ Cruiser have two upper and two lower trailing arms, plus a Panhard rod. Coil springs and shock absorbers are mounted between the frame and axle.
A multi-link suspension design uses multiple steel or aluminum arms to connect the wheel hub with the chassis, precisely controlling the position and alignment of the tire. Multi-link is always a fully independent suspension on cars and crossover SUVs and is usually used at the rear of the vehicle, where the links can help to control caster, camber, toe-in and toe-out.
Multi-Mode 4WD System
A seriously deluxe drive system that includes the following selectable modes: rear-wheel drive (RWD), full-time 4WD, part-time 4WD and low-range gearing.
It knows when you're getting dirty and plays along. This system, used on certain trucks and SUVs, can detect a loose surface such as sand, gravel or deep snow and adjust the braking response. On loose surfaces, moderate wheelslip is actually a good thing, as the tires are able to build up a "wedge" of sand, gravel or snow that can help slow the vehicle.
Imagine if you could breathe through more than one mouth or nose. Sure, you'd look funny, but that's beside the point. By using more than the traditional two valves per cylinder (one intake and one exhaust), multiple valves (usually four per cylinder) increase the flow of the air/fuel mixture into the engine and exhaust gases out of the engine. This arrangement also allows a centralized location of the spark plug for more uniform combustion.
The multitasker of the electrical world, this technology allows one electrical wire to control numerous features. For example, a power window switch that includes one-touch up, one-touch down and jam protection would require up to five wires: power, ground and a separate wire for each individual function. With multiplexing, one wire can communicate with the power window motor and tell it to roll up, roll down or reverse direction if it encounters resistance while closing. By multiplying the data streams running on a single wire, multiplexing reduces the cost, complexity and weight of a vehicle's wiring harness.
Naturally Aspirated Engine
An engine that draws in air on its own without the assistance of a supercharger or turbocharger (forced induction). Natural aspiration usually produces less power than either turbocharged or supercharged engines of the same engine displacement, but generally operates with better fuel efficiency.
The greatest gift to commuters since the car pool lane, this optional, subscription-based service adds periodically updated traffic and roadway information to a vehicle's navigation system display. On roads with coverage, this system can help the driver avoid congestion, accidents and lane closures. Data for the NavTraffic™ system is gathered from a variety of sources including police, highway patrol, roadway cameras, freeway sensors and other government services.
NiMH HV Battery
This high-voltage battery serves as the electricity "fuel tank" for the Hybrid Synergy Drive®(HSD) powertrain. It stores electricity for use by Motor/Generator 1 (MG1), which starts the gasoline engine; Motor/Generator 2 (MG2), which helps power the front wheels; and the rear Motor/Generator (MGR), which drives the rear wheels of 4WD-i vehicles. The battery also supplies power to the air conditioning compressor and Electric Power Steering (EPS) system, allowing both systems to operate when the gasoline engine is not running.
Short for oxygen sensor, an O2 sensor (or sensors) detect the amount of oxygen in the vehicle's exhaust, determine if the engine is running rich (too much fuel) or lean (not enough fuel) and signal to the engine control unit (ECU) to adjust the air/fuel mixture accordingly.
Occupant Classification System (OCS)
OCS operates on the front passenger seat, using weight sensors to detect how much weight (if any) is present. If the four weight sensors at the base of the seat frame detect no weight or very little weight, such as a purse or personal computer on the seat, the system deactivates the front passenger airbag, seat-mounted side airbags and front passenger seatbelt pretensioner.
Are we there yet? This instrument measures and registers the miles and tenths of miles the vehicle has been driven.
Okay, gonna get a bit techy here. This is a crankshaft that is offset from the engine's cylinder bore centerline, keeping each connecting rod aligned with the cylinder bore centerline at the peak of the engine's power stroke. This arrangement reduces side force on the cylinders and pistons, which in turn reduces friction, increases efficiency and improves durability.
(See "Auxiliary Engine Oil Cooler")
Sounds sort of like a political debate, doesn't it? In fact, an open differential delivers power to the drive wheel or drive axle with the least resistance, allowing the vehicle to corner smoothly under power. It offers no traction enhancing features, however, and is therefore not as effective on slippery surfaces as a limited-slip differential.
One look at these babies and your passengers will know you're living right. These gauges use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide vivid, high-contrast meters that are easy to read and offer a unique, upscale look.
One of the reasons why today's Toyota engines last longer than ever (and that's a looong time). An overdrive transmission has a high gear in which the output shaft (power to the wheels) spins at a faster rate than the input shaft (power from the engine). As a result, the engine doesn't need to turn as fast for a given speed, resulting in better fuel economy and increased engine longevity.
The mark of a serious off-roader. Unlike fender flares, an overfender is not a styled-in fender bulge, but an added fender extension designed to cover an off-road tire. Overfenders are specific to SUVs and trucks, and along with accommodating aggressive tires, they provide some body protection against brush and other light off-road obstacles.
There are a few engine designs that have made their mark on automotive history, and this is one of them. An overhead cam engine places the camshaft(s) directly above the combustion chamber in the cylinder head, instead of in the engine block (as is the case with an overhead valve or OHV engine). Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) engines use one overhead camshaft to operate both intake and exhaust valves. A Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) engine uses two camshafts: one to open the intake valves and another to open the exhaust valves.
Provides a ceiling-mounted location for storage compartments, reading and maplamps and various accessory controls and displays.
Parking Assist Sonar
It's got your back. Toyota Parking Assist uses sonar sensors in the bumper to detect and then warn the driver about objects he or she might not see while parking or maneuvering at low speeds.
The choice of serious off-roaders. Unlike full-time 4WD or AWD systems, which use a center differential to distribute power between the front and rear axles in varying percentages as conditions change, a part-time system is only in 4WD mode when selected by the driver. Part-time 4WD effectively locks the front and rear axles together for a 50/50 power split, which offers optimum traction, but limits turning on dry surfaces because the axles cannot slip or turn at different speeds. Therefore, part-time 4WD is not recommended for everyday driving or for use on dry pavement.
Part of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rating system, a PZEV has a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) exhaust emission rating, plus zero evaporative emission and a 150,000-mile emission system warranty.
Passenger Airbag Cutoff Switch
Some Toyota models feature a passenger airbag cutoff switch that can manually be set in the "on" or "off" position by turning the ignition key in the cutoff switch located in the center console.
The maximum allowable cargo weight that a vehicle can carry, as determined by the manufacturer.
A premium finish that has a slightly iridescent quality (like a pearl), or the ability to change color when exposed to sunlight or viewed from different angles.
Illumination around the outside of the vehicle that can come from a number of sources, including lights in the sideview mirrors ("puddle lamps"), door handles, lower interior door panels (used when the doors are opened), running boards, tailgate license plate garnish, and in some cases, the Reverse lights. Perimeter lighting is usually triggered by the remote keyless entry system.
A cylindrical casting that moves up and down in the cylinder, pushing the engine's air/fuel mixture in and out while transmitting energy to the crankshaft via the connecting rod.
A 21st-century weapon used against microscopic enemies. Seriously. This air purification system charges ions so they can help neutralize microbes, fungi, mold, allergens, bacteria and germs. By converting humidity (airborne water) into positive hydrogen ions and negative oxygen ions, the oppositely charged ions can use their magnetic attraction to cluster around foreign particles in the air and eliminate them.
Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) Heater
This fantastic invention lets you thumb your nose at Old Man Winter, thanks to an electric element that warms the cabin before the engine has reached sufficient operating temperature. Located above the regular heater core, the PTC not only heats the air in the cabin while the engine is warming up, it also helps the heater core reach operating temperature faster. The PTC is automatically turned on when the engine is cold and the climate control is adjusted to warm. In extremely cold temperatures, the electric element may even assist the heater by "multiplying" the warmth created by the heater core.
Yet another amazing feature of the Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain, this device converts the battery's direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), and also changes the battery's output to higher or lower voltage as required by the system.
Power Folding Third-Row Seat
Makes deploying/stowing the third-row seat almost completely effortless. In fact, this seat can be raised or lowered by controls in two different locations. If you're in the right sliding side door opening, you can reach buttons located at the forward edge of the seat cushion. From the cargo door, you can reach a second set of buttons located at the upper edge of the door opening. There's also a separate button for the left- and right-side seats, and an indicator light on the instrument panel informs the driver when the seats have been fully raised or lowered.
Power Tilt and Telescoping Steering Column
Whether you're short or tall, big or small, this feature puts the steering wheel right where you want it. Controlled by a small joystick mounted on the lower steering column or dashboard, it uses two motors to adjust the steering wheel position: one to tilt the wheel, the other to telescope the steering column (move it closer/farther away from the driver).
Power-assisted brakes use a reserve of vacuum or hydraulic pressure in the brake system that helps the driver apply the brakes without a great deal of pedal effort.
A catalytic converter requires high heat to work effectively?so many contemporary emissions systems incorporate a pre-catalyst, a small catalytic converter mounted upstream from the main (or secondary) catalytic converter. Because of its close proximity to the engine's exhaust manifold, the pre-catalyst heats up much more quickly and can begin treating exhaust emissions before the secondary catalytic converter reaches operating temperature. Once hot, the secondary converter then captures any untreated emissions before they exit the vehicle's exhaust system.
Using a radar sensor located in the vehicle's front grille, PCS monitors the position of the vehicle relative to other vehicles and certain objects directly in the road ahead. If PCS determines that a collision is imminent, the Brake Assist (BA)  system is placed in standby mode, a warning is displayed and a buzzer sounds. If PCS determines that a collision is unavoidable, the system will still alert the driver via a warning light, warning display and buzzer, apply the brakes and automatically retract the driver and front passenger seatbelts.
Pretensioner With Force Limiter
A pretensioner automatically retracts the seatbelt and helps secure the occupant at the moment of severe forward deceleration. If the shoulder belt forces applied to the occupant reach a predetermined amount, then the force limiter allows the webbing to extend to help reduce pressure on the occupant's chest.
Roll like a celebrity. These dark-tint windows offer some "one-way" visibility, so passengers can see out, but pedestrians and people outside the vehicle will have difficulty seeing in.
Programmable Automatic Door Lock
Locked doors are not only better for safety, but also security. Programmable Automatic Door Locks can be set to lock or unlock depending on the position of the transmission shifter or ignition switch, or based on vehicle speed. For example, the doors can be programmed to unlock when the shifter is moved into Park or when the vehicle reaches approximately 12 mph. In a separate mode, the doors can be programmed to unlock when the ignition is switched off or the key is removed from the ignition and then the driver's door is opened within 10 seconds.
Projector Ellipsoid System (PES)
It's not as complicated as it sounds. A PES is simply a compact headlight that combines both the low and high beams within one reflector/magnifier unit. A moving "shade" between the bulb and ellipsoidal magnifying lens can create a "cutoff" that directs the lights in a low-beam or high-beam pattern. Using a solenoid, a shade moves either forward or back inside the headlight, directing the light down for low beams, or up for high beams.
Projector-Type Low Beams
These headlights are small but bright. They incorporate a deep reflective dish that "projects" the beams through a frontal "condenser" lens that both focuses and magnifies the light. The deep profile of the reflective dish allows the headlight to have a very small diameter, which in turn frees the designer to make lower, more highly stylized and aerodynamic front bodywork.
When you walk up to your Toyota at night, these exterior lights shine down from the sideview mirror housings to illuminate the area around the driver and front passenger doors.
Push Button Start
You'll wonder how you've lived without it for so long. Part of the Smart Key System , the process begins when the vehicle detects the key fob within approximately two to three feet of a door. It then activates the door handles and unlocks the vehicle when a handle is pulled. The key fob also signals that the engine can be started, and from there, the driver simply depresses the brake and pushes the Start/Stop button. As long as the key fob is inside the vehicle and the driver's foot is on the brake pedal, the engine can be started.
An elegant exercise in simplicity. This incredibly responsive steering system consists of only two primary components: a steering rack and piniongear. The pinion gear is located at the end of the steering shaft, and turns left or right with the steering wheel. The teeth of the pinion gear mesh with the horizontal rack, which is mounted near the centerline of the front wheels. When you turn the steering wheel, the rack moves left or right, changing the vehicle's direction.
Helps your Toyota keep its cool. In automotive terms, a radiator is a device that transfers engine heat from the liquid coolant to the atmosphere. Located at the front of the vehicle, the radiator is exposed to the incoming air, which passes through the radiator and cools the liquid within. The radiator, along with the cooling fan(s) and thermostat, helps prevent the engine from overheating.
Radio Data System (RDS)
A boon for your tunes. RDS is a communications protocol for embedding small amounts of digital information in conventional FM radio broadcasts, including time, station identification and program information. Most commonly, an FM station will embed the name of the artist and title of the song currently playing.
Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers
People of Seattle, this one's for you! Using a combination of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that send out infrared rays, and photo diodes that receive the rays, the sensor on a rain-sensing windshield wiper system is designed to detect water on the windshield and adjust the wiper speed accordingly.The wipers are fully automatic, but also have a manual control for conventional operation.
RCA Video Jacks
Located on the video terminal included on rear-seat DVD entertainment systems, RCA video jacks allow pampered rear-seat occupants to play video games through the rear display screen (lucky them!). The video terminal can be located in the rear of the center console or in an interior side panel.
Rear Differential Lock
(see "Locking Differential")
Rear Leaf Spring
(see "Leaf Spring")
Rear License Plate Garnish
A piece of parsley? A radish, lovingly carved into a rose, perhaps? That would be cute, but no. This garnish is a stylized frame that is usually stamped into the trunk, cargo door or rear bumper of a vehicle, creating a home for the license plate and license plate lights. The vehicle's make and model may also be stamped or inscribed into the garnish.
Rear Load-Leveling Suspension
A sagging rear end isn't attractive?so this suspension system on Toyota Sequoia uses the internal pumping action of specially engineered shock absorbers to help raise the rear suspension ride height when carrying heavy loads or towing . When the vehicle is in motion, the internal piston of the shock functions like a pump, moving hydraulic fluid through a series of chambers controlled with check and relief valves. A leveling port in the hydraulic system stops pumping the hydraulic fluid when the rear suspension reaches the correct height.
Rear Ride-Height Control Air Suspension
Load it down?it'll pump you up. Available on some Toyota body-on-frame SUVs, this system replaces the rear coil springs with inflatable cushions or "air springs" designed to automatically adjust the rear ride height based on driver control, vehicle load, speed and terrain. Sensors measuring ride height feed information to a computer that controls a small air compressor, which can inflate or deflate the air springs to adjust ride height as needed.
Look fast even when you're standing still. This visual and functional element mounted on the roof or trunk helps to reduce aerodynamic drag by controlling the airflow exiting the rear of the vehicle.
Rear Window Defogger
You can see clearly now. Using a wire-heating element that's built into the window, rear window defrosters can help remove a light layer of snow, ice or fog.
Rear Window Sunshade
Let the sun shine in?or not. Retractable mesh blinds that scroll down into the rear parcel shelf of a sedan or the side door panels of a sedan, minivan or SUV.
Rear-Seat Audio (RSA)
You like classical, they like to rock. With this system, the driver and front passenger can listen through the speaker system to audio from any source: satellite radio, AM/FM/CD or digital audio device like an iPod®. At the same time, the rear passengers can listen through headphones  to audio played in an alternative media source. Problem solved!
Rear-Seat DVD Entertainment System
Long drive? Lucky for your family, this system allows passengers in the second- and third-row seats to watch video or play games on the DVD player's display panel while the driver and front passenger listen through the speaker system to audio from another source, such as satellite radio, AM/FM/CD, etc.
The counterpart to rack-and-pinion steering, this durable design transmits turning forces through ball bearings from a worm gear on the steering shaft to a toothed metal block, thereby activating the steering linkage.
Recline Flat Seat
It's a seat! It's a bed! Use it to increase cargo-carrying flexibility or create a comfy resting place when the vehicle is parked.
Your engine would like it, but can live without it. Recommended fuel is gasoline with a higher octane rating than the vehicle's required fuel. In vehicles that recommend a higher grade of fuel, the increased octane rating can enhance engine performance and possibly fuel economy.
Yes, another amazing feature of Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive® system. Regenerative braking uses resistance within the main electric drive Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) to slow the vehicle, spin the motor/generator, and send electricity back into the HV battery. Simply stated, when the driver steps on the accelerator, MG2 acts as a drive motor, and when he or she lifts off the accelerator, MG2 reverses polarity and acts as a generator.
A cool feature?literally. Toyota Prius models equipped with this system have a button on the remote-controlled key fob that activates the air conditioning system without turning on the engine. The air conditioning will operate for three minutes or until a door is opened, cooling the cabin to a preset temperature.
Remote Engine Starter
Impress your friends and confuse bystanders with this available feature. When it's particularly hot or cold outside, the Remote Engine Starter allows you to start the engine from a distance using the key fob. If the heater or air conditioner was left on when the car was last shut down, it will turn on when the car is restarted, helping to heat or cool the car.
Remote Keyless Entry Panic Alarm Button
When activated, the panic/alarm button on the remote keyless entry system fob will sound the vehicle horn intermittently, turn on selected interior lights and flash the headlights, taillights and turn signals. A great way to scare off baddies, or to find your car at Disneyland.
Required fuel defines the minimum octane rating required for safe and efficient engine performance.
A secondary muffler designed to cancel certain frequencies of engine noise that escape from the main muffler. Resonators can be built into the main muffler or fitted to the end of the tailpipe.
Ring and Pinion
The main players in a differential. The engine drives the pinion gear via the drive shaft, the pinion gear drives the ring gear, and the ring gear drives the left- and right-side axles, which ultimately drive the wheels.
Tell the world your 4-wheeling exploits extend beyond gravel driveways. Rock rails look sort of like running boards, but help protect the lower panel of the body between the wheels when rock crawling.
The lower body panels that run the length of the wheelbase below the doors.
Rocker Panel Extensions
Side spoilers that look cool and prevent air from creating turbulence under the vehicle. Also referred to as side air dams.
RSCA are integrated with additional sensors including two roll-rate sensors and a lateral deceleration sensor. Coupled with the conventional side curtain airbag sensors in the b- and c-pillars, Roll-Sensing Side Curtain Airbags can be triggered by a vehicle rollover or an initial collision that results in a rollover. In addition, the supplemental sensors provide unique deployment logic for the curtain airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners.
The main load-bearing component for attaching cross bars or a roof rack system, these rails run from front to rear along a vehicle's roof.
Got a flat? No need to call a tow truck?a run-flat tire is designed to be driven on for up to 100 miles with no air at speeds up to 55 mph. Constructed with extra stiff sidewalls that can support the vehicle's weight, a run-flat tire allows the driver to continue to a dealership or repair shop for replacement of the damaged tire. Run-flat tires eliminate the need for a spare tire (which in some cases provides more space in the cargo area), and they help the driver to get off the road without damaging the vehicle's rim.
When you think about it, they should really be called "stepping boards." These are side steps that help passengers climb into high-riding vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
Also known as parking lights, running lights are low-intensity exterior lamps used to help make the vehicle more visible to other drivers.
Satellite Navigation System
Makes maps a thing of the past. This system depends on a network of 24 U.S. Defense Department communication satellites. Their orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on the planet, a receiver can communicate with four of the satellites simultaneously. On-board radio signal receivers determine the position of the vehicle, which is then located on a DVD-based or hard disc drive map within the vehicle's navigation system. Amazingly, the satellites help to determine location and heading from a distance of 12,000 miles, and provide tracking that is accurate to within several feet.
Music from space. It begins with an encrypted digital data stream that is sent from the studio to uplink to satellite dishes. These dishes beam their signal to geostationary satellites located more than 22,000 miles above the earth, which then send the signal back in a span of about a quarter of a second. Hundreds of ground-based repeaters pick up the satellite signal and rebroadcast it in order to fill gaps in the signal and deliver tight sound reproduction in crowded urban areas or mountainous regions. Satellite radio signals blanket the continental U.S., so a driver can listen to the same channel coast to coast.
Sealed Pressurized Fuel Tank
(see also Evaporative Emissions) When fuel evaporates, it creates harmful emissions. A sealed, pressurized fuel tank prevents them from entering our atmosphere by either venting the vapors into the engine's intake system (when the vehicle is running) or a storage canister (when the vehicle is parked). Either way, the vapors end up being burned as fuel.
Second Gear Start Switch
Activating this switch causes the automatic transmission to start in second gear instead of first gear, which is useful on slick surfaces like ice, snow or mud. With second gear start selected, the driver often has better control of the throttle, allowing them to ease the vehicle away without losing traction.
These airbags are designed to help provide torso and upper arm protection for the left- and right-side second-row passengers during certain types of severe side-impact collisions.
Ever had your headlights point at the sky when towing or hauling a heavy load? These lights incorporate a level sensor and motors to keep light focused on the road surface?where it should be.
Used primarily on light duty trucks, a semi-floating axle uses an axle shaft and hub that are one piece, with the axle shaft supporting a great deal of the vehicle's weight. The axle shaft only "floats" at the point where it is splined to the differential.
Sequential Sport Shift Mode
The convenience of an Automatic, the fun of a Manual. By simply moving the transmission shift lever to the Sport position, the driver can manually up- and downshift through the gears.
Shift Link Automatic Lock/Unlock
This feature locks the doors when the automatic transmission shifter is moved out of Park, and unlocks the doors when the shifter is moved into Park.
Used on Toyota hybrid vehicles,shift-by-wire replaces a shift lever with an electrical switch and uses a computer to control the Park, Neutral, Drive and Reverse functions.The shift-by-wire system has the same appearance and feel as a regular shift lever, but there is no mechanical connection between the lever and the transmission.
More than the sum of its parts, a shock absorber is basically a sealed cylinder with a sliding piston inside. The cylinder is most commonly filled with hydraulic fluid that helps absorb energy from bumps, potholes and other road imperfections. Shock absorbers are often "tuned" to provide specific ride/handling characteristics, depending on the vehicle and its intended use.
Located in the header, above the side windows of front, second-row and some third-row seats, side curtain airbags are designed to help provide additional protection for the front seat driver and passenger and outboard rear passengers during certain types of severe side-impact collisions.
Side-Impact Door Beams
To help provide extra protection when a vehicle is hit from the side, steel beams are located inside all doors to absorb energy and help protect the driver and passenger. Mandated by federal law, side-impact door beams are designed to reduce the chance of intrusion into the passenger cabin.
Single-Piece Body Side
A one-piece steel stamping (with no seams or welds) that forms the door frames and rear fender of a vehicle. Single-piece body-side construction contributes to the quality and strength of a vehicle's overall architecture, reduces wind noise, and over years of use, can help prevent squeaks and rattles.
Your first line of defense when driving off-road, a skid plate is a steel or aluminum panel located under some off-road vehicles that helps protect vital components from off-road hazards. Skid plates can be used to protect the engine oil pan, steering linkage, automatic transmission, transfer case, fuel tank and differential. They are usually mounted to the frame, although they may also be mounted to an individual component.
Simply put, this system allows you to open a locked door and start the engine without a key. When the driver is within two to three feet of the vehicle, an advanced transponder/transceiver key fob in the pocket or purse signals a central computer that the doors can be unlocked and the engine started. The vehicle is unlocked by pulling a door handle, and the engine can be started by placing a foot on the brake pedal and pushing the Start/Stop button. When exiting, a simple touch of an exterior button or door handle locks the vehicle and triggers the anti-theft system.
Every Tacoma pickup has the outer fenders and outer tailgate of the bed formed in steel, but the SMC inner structure brings many key advantages, including dent resistance, lighter weight, better impact strength and corrosion resistance.
Like chrome, but a little more subtle. Smoked trim is used on grille trim or grille inserts, headlight and taillight bezels, side molding inserts, and trunk or cargo door garnish panels. Smoked trim may also be accompanied by "smoked" headlight and taillight reflectors, a treatment that changes the appearance of the lights without compromising illumination.
Harnesses the power of the sun to cool your interior. An available feature on the Toyota Prius, this system uses energy from roof-mounted photovoltaic cells to power fans that circulate outside air through the interior while the vehicle is parked in direct sunlight. This helps reduce interior temperature, and speeds cooldown when you turn on the air conditioning.
Uses one primary color with no additional reflective ingredients, such as metalflake, mica or pearl. Therefore, the color appears the same from all angles.
Creates the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine's combustion chamber.
The speed rating is a designation of the sustained high-speed capability of the tire. The speed rating is the letter on the sidewall in the tire's size; for example, on a P205/65HR15 tire, the H equals a 130-mph rating.
Unlike traditional smooth cloth upholstery, sport fabric has a textured weave designed to help hold occupants in place when cornering. This fabric may also come in unique colors and patterns that accent or compliment other Sport interior trim.
Look at these, and you'll know you're sitting someplace special. Used in high-performance vehicles or performance-appearance packages, Sport gauges are designed with unique colors or high-contrast lighting that complements the instrument panel, dashboard trim and seats of a Toyota high-performance vehicle.
Sets you apart from the pack. By finishing exterior accents in black, body color or smoked trim, the vehicle is distinguished from traditional models in the lineup. Sport trim may be used on the grille, headlight, and taillight bezels, and the trunk or cargo door garnish.
Designed to deliver greater road feel and higher cornering performance, a Toyota sport-tuned suspension can include any and all of the following components: higher rate (or progressive-rate) springs, firmer shock absorbers with higher compression and/or rebound rates, and firmer bushings. With a sport-tuned suspension, a rear stabilizer bar may be added or the stock stabilizer bars may be increased (or in some cases actually decreased) in diameter. Sport-tuned suspension is often teamed with lower-profile tires, revalved power steering, faster rack-and-pinion steering gears, and chassis reinforcements, including front strut tower and rear V-braces.
A hollow or solid bar that connects the left- and right-side suspension, keeping the vehicle body more level (flat) during cornering. Stabilizer bars can help the suspension provide smoother, more predictable handling, and that can translate to a greater feeling of stability and responsiveness for the driver.
Staggered Shock Absorber
By placing the shock absorbers at opposing angles and on opposite sides of the axle housing, this suspension layout on a rear live axle is designed to control "wheel hop" during acceleration and improve vehicle stability.
Those square holes along the deck rail of a pickup bed where wooden or metal stakes or poles can be posted to create a "stake bed," a wooden/steel-tube fence that extends along the sides of the pickup bed.
Star Safety System™
Standard on all Toyota vehicles, the Star Safety System™ is a network of active traction, cornering and braking technologies consisting of Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA)  and Smart Stop Technology (SST) . These technologies help the driver to accelerate, steer and stop, especially in slippery conditions or during emergency maneuvers.
This feature continues to crank the engine until it's running, even after the driver has released the key.
A small electric motor that initially turns the engine during start-up.
Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls
A second set of controls on the steering wheel that may include the audio system, heating and air conditioning system, and trip computer, depending on the vehicle. If the vehicle is equipped with Bluetooth® wireless technology and voice-activated features, the primary controls are also located on the steering wheel. Steering wheel-mounted controls help the driver to operate certain functions of the audio and ventilation systems without taking their hands from the wheel or diverting eyes from the road.
Straight (Live) Axle
Places the differential and axles in a solid case that connects the left and right drive wheels. Often called a solid axle, this design is part of a nonindependent suspension usually found in pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs.
Strut Tower Brace
On vehicles with a MacPherson strut suspension, cornering loads are transmitted from the springs and shocks into the fenders. By connecting the two inner fenders, a strut tower brace effectively stiffens the body structure, eliciting sharper response from the suspension.
Steel or alloy structures that bolt to the bottom of a unibody vehicle and serve as the foundation for the engine, suspension and steering system on some models.
Super Long-Life Engine Coolant
100,000 mile coolant? Yes indeedy. Mixed in a 50/50 ratio with deionized water, this special coolant does not cause corrosion in an aluminum-alloy engine block and cylinder head(s), so it can last up to 100,000 miles in a new engine. This helps limit maintenance costs by reducing the need for periodic coolant system flushes. In addition, super long-life engine coolant has environmental benefits, because performing fewer engine flushes produces less waste.
Because "low" isn't good enough. A Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) has the lowest tailpipe emission of any gasoline-powered vehicle in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rating system, and may be up to 70 percent cleaner than a Low Emission Vehicle II (LEV-II).
Also known as synchromesh or just "synchros," these are cone-shaped copper clutches inside a manual transmission that allow each gear to be engaged smoothly, quickly and quietly, regardless of the driver's skill with a stick shift.
Pronounced "tack-AH-meter," this instrument is usually mounted next to the speedometer and indicates the engine's crankshaft rotation in revolutions per minute (RPM, not "RPMs"). On vehicles with manual shifting, the tachometer can assist the driver in selecting the appropriate gear for the existing conditions. On a dial type (analog) tachometer, speeds above the safe operating limit are typically indicated by a red mark. This is why the maximum safe operating speed of an engine is called the "redline."
Useful, thoughtful, wonderful. A feature on the second-generation Tundra, Tailgate Assist consists of a gas-charged strut that helps reduce the effort needed to raise and lower the tailgate. To help protect it from the weather and from cargo during loading/unloading, the assist strut is housed inside the bed near the taillight assembly.
Tempered Safety Glass
Heat-treated glass used in side and rear windows that breaks into small, blunt pieces to reduce the likelihood of injury in the event of an accident.
Refers to a material's ability to stretch without tearing or fracturing, such as the high-strength steel used in a vehicle's body and chassis. Under severe loads, such as collision impact, high-tensile-strength steel can stretch and absorb energy, resisting breaking or tearing away from other structures it is attached to.
Tie that mother down! Located in the lower corners of a pickup bed, these cleats are a secure anchor point for tie-downs and rope that can help hold cargo more securely in place.
Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel
Because not all drivers are created equal, this feature allows you to move the steering wheel forward or back, up or down, to find the most comfortable driving position.
Tipped Leather-Trimmed Seat Material
A textured leather with a wavy pattern and high spots that are highlighted with a color that differs from the rest of the material, resulting in a rich, structured look.
Small, underbody spoilers positioned in front of each wheel that reduce wind resistance by diverting air around the tires.
A contraction of Torque Sensing, this differential design automatically sends greater torque to the wheel or axle with more grip or resistance (usually more traction). Torsen® limited-slip center differentials can be used on the front axle of a FWD, the rear axle of a RWD, or between the axles of an AWD or 4WD vehicle. Toyota currently uses a planetary-type Torsen® limited-slip center differential in the 4-wheel-drive system of some SUVs.
Torsion Bar Suspension
A type of front suspension that incorporates torsion bars, or straight steel rods that absorb energy when twisted. One end of the torsion bar is rigidly mounted to the vehicle frame and the other is attached to the suspension, most often at the lower control arm. As the control arm pivots up and down, it twists the bar. Spring action occurs because the rod will untwist when pressure is released, much like a coil spring will rebound after compression.
Torsion Beam Rear Suspension
Consisting of two longitudinal trailing arms and a lateral torsion spring between them, a torsion beam resembles a giant steel "H." The leading ends of the trailing arms are attached to the chassis below the rear seat, and the trailing ends are attached to the wheel hubs. The trailing ends of the "H" are also the attachment points for the weight-bearing coil springs and the shock absorbers. This simple, lightweight, cost-effective suspension is both a spring and the main locating and aligning device for the rear wheels.
Touch Tracer Display
This feature places a duplicate image of the steering wheel-mounted controls in the instrument panel. A quick glance at the display allows the driver to confirm which button was pushed without having to look down at the steering wheel.
Touch-Screen Climate Controls
Say goodbye to dials and buttons. This LCD panel operates the heating, ventilation and air conditioning functions, and is often part of the navigation system.
Easily access most functions by simply touching buttons, numbers, words or icons displayed on a flat LCD screen. With this capability, the number of additional buttons and controls is dramatically reduced.
Touch-Select 4WD System
Allows the driver to choose 2WD, 4WD or low range (4WD low) with the touch of a button. Touch-Select eliminates the need for a separate 4WD shifter.
The starting point of your heroic gesture. Fitted primarily on 4WD vehicles, a tow hook is an exposed metal loop attached to the front or rear of the truck frame, and is used to secure a recovery strap so a stuck vehicle can be pulled free.
Sideview mirrors that telescope outward to give the driver an improved field of vision down the side of a wide trailer. Tundra's tow mirrors include premium features like remote control, a mirror heater, turn-signal light and running light. Tow mirrors are part of the Tundra Tow Package, available only on models with the 5.7-liter engine.
Includes all the good stuff you need to tow a trailer that falls within your vehicle's tow rating. A basic Tow Package starts with the hitch and prewired trailer brake controller, while more advanced packages may include auxiliary coolers for the engine oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid; a larger radiator and upgraded fan; and a heavy-duty alternator, depending on the application. Special tow mirrors that telescope outward for increased visibility are offered on select packages.
The icon of towing. The receiver attaches to the truck frame and can accept or "receive" different types and sizes of hitches (or "ball mounts"). Receiver openings are usually square and range in size from 1.0 to 2.5 inches, depending on the weight class of the hitch. The receiver can also be used to mount utility accessories such as bike racks or winches.
Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI) System
Direct ignition systems like TDI have replaced the conventional rotor, distributor, coil, condenser and spark plug wires with a single ignition coil for each cylinder. With this arrangement, the accuracy and reliability of ignition timing are both improved. Direct ignition systems receive primary timing signals from the intake and exhaust camshafts and crankshaft position sensor.
Traction Control (TRAC)
It'll help you get a grip. By interpreting data from the ABS wheel-speed sensors, TRAC can tell if a drive wheel is turning faster than a non-drive wheel, which indicates loss of traction. When TRAC detects slippage, the system can automatically reduce engine power until the wheel that is slipping slows and regains traction. If reducing engine power isn't enough, the braking system will gradually slow that wheel through pulsed brake action.
A suspension component consisting of a longitudinal member that pivots from the body at its forward end and has a wheel hub attached at the other end (the trailing end, that is).
Part transmission, part axle. Get it? Typically used in FWD vehicles, this arrangement integrates the differential with the transmission, while half shafts connected to the differential drive the front wheels. Transaxles are also used with some front-engine, all-wheel-drive vehicles like the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander.
Essentially a second transmission for a second set of drive wheels. On a FWD-based vehicle, the transfer case takes power from the transaxle and delivers it to the rear wheels via a drive shaft. On a RWD-based vehicle, the transfer case takes power from the transmission and delivers it to the front wheels via a drive shaft.
Trapezoidal Leaf Springs
A unique feature of the second-generation Toyota Tundra, the rear leaf springs are mounted in a "toe out" or trapezoidal arrangement. That is, the front spring eyes are mounted wider on the frame than the rear shackles, which improves overall stability. The advantages of the trapezoidal arrangement include reduced lateral (side-to-side) movement of the axle, reduced body roll and improved straight-line tracking while towing.
TRD Off-Road Suspension
No road? No problem. Designed for pickup trucks and SUVs that will be used in challenging terrain, this suspension includes Bilstein® shock absorbers, progressive-rate front springs and BFGoodrich® off-road tires. On some vehicles, it also includes a unique front stabilizer bar.
TRD Sport Suspension
Throw the curves a curve. Designed for pickup trucks and SUVs that will be used primarily for on-road driving, the TRD Sport Package enhances handling and responsiveness with Bilstein® shock absorbers, a 30-mm front stabilizer bar, linear-rate front springs and 265/65R17 tires.
Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control
A combination of two systems: the dual zone (driver and front passenger) and rear climate controls.
Toyota's unique design of longitudinal frame rails for the second-generation Tundra, incorporating three different styles of construction to address different vehicle dynamics: a fully boxed front section, a rolled-lip, reinforced C-channel in the middle section, and an open C-channel design under the cargo bed. By taking advantage of each of these frame designs, a Toyota TripleTech™ frame provides strength where it's needed most, yet delivers a more comfortable ride and is lighter than a comparable fully boxed frame.
Trunk Entrapment Release Handle
Designed to allow a person to escape from inside a locked trunk, this handle is made from phosphorescent plastic that is visible in the dark and also features easily recognizable graphics to indicate the release function. Starting in 2001, trunk release handles were required on all passenger vehicles equipped with a trunk compartment.
A performance-oriented variant of a standard cast-iron exhaust manifold, a header has an individual, equal-length pipe for each cylinder, with the pipes specially shaped to reduce back pressure. These low-restriction pipes help the engine exhale with little resistance, and in turn, the reduced back pressure helps the engine develop more power.
Tumble-Flat Second-Row Seats
The acrobat of the seating world, the rear seat cushion can be flipped 180 degrees so the hard undersurface of the cushion becomes level with a hard load surface below. Now you've got a flat, level space for storing bulky items inside the vehicle. Flipping the 50/50 split seat cushion also reveals storage compartments that are otherwise hidden when the two separate seat cushions are in place.
Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)
Lower than low. In the hierarchy of California Air Resources Board (CARB) ratings, an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) is one step cleaner than a baseline Low Emission Vehicle II (LEV-II). A ULEV vehicle will emit roughly 50 percent less carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons than an LEV-II-rated car, pickup truck or SUV.
Another term for air dam, this body piece helps reduce wind resistance and lift by directing airflow around the front and sides of the vehicle. By reducing underbody turbulence, these spoilers may help improve fuel economy and highway stability control.
A chassis design where the structural strength is built into the body of the vehicle, eliminating the need for a separate frame. By strategically reinforcing the body, it becomes a type of self-supporting hard shell into which the engine and suspension can be mounted?and the passenger compartment is virtually surrounded by framework.Unibody vehicles tend to be much lighter than vehicles of a comparable size built with a separate ladder frame.
Uphill/Downhill Shift Logic
Part of the electronic control and intelligence function of a Toyota automatic transmissionthat helps the transmission automatically select and hold the best gear for climbing and descending hills.
UV Reduction Glass
Called High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass in Toyota vehicles, this automotive glass was specifically designed to help reduce or stop the ultraviolet and infrared rays that penetrate the windshield, door windows, quarter glass, rear window and sunroof (if equipped). Ultraviolet and infrared rays cause sunburn, increase the temperature inside the vehicle, and can also damage interior materials. UV reduction glass can reduce ultraviolet ad infrared rays by as much as 70 to 100 percent.
A V-shaped brace mounted vertically behind the rear seat that helps to reinforce the chassis. More specifically, it helps the vehicle body resist torsional and/or twisting forces exerted by the suspension during cornering.
An engine configuration in which the cylinders are configured in a V formation instead of a single row.
Vacuum Brake Booster
A component of power-assisted braking that multiplies the pressure in the brake lines so the driver can produce hard braking with little pressure on the pedal. It is so named because it uses an engine vacuum in its function.
Valet Trunk-Locking System
When you give your car to a valet, you're handing your keys to a stranger. For security, this system uses two sets of keys: a valet key for the door locks and ignition, and a standard key for all locks, including those for the glove box, trunk/rear hatch, and the ignition. On cars with folding seatbacks, this locking system also includes special seat latches to help keep the contents of the trunk or hatch secure.
All components related to operation of the intake and exhaust valves of the engine, including camshaft(s), rocker arms/cam buckets or followers, valve springs and the valves themselves.
Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
In changing weather, a fixed intermittent setting may sweep too slow or too fast for conditions. With a variable intermittent setting, the driver can dial in the best speed for the wipers. From very slow (with a long pause between wipes) to very fast (with just a momentary pause between wipes), the intermittent setting can be tailored for the weather with a quick twist of the wiper control.
Variable Torque Converter Flex Lockup Control
A rather long name for the progressive locking of the torque converter, which is located between the engine and automatic transmission (see Torque Converter, Lockup Torque Converter), the torque converter acts as a fluid clutch that "slips" so the engine can multiply torque from a standing start. As the vehicle builds speed, the torque converter gradually locks, providing a mechanical connection between the engine and transmission. When the coupling is finally locked, it provides improved fuel economy because it eliminates energy-consuming slip between the engine and transmission.
Variable Valve Timing and Lift With Intelligence (VVTL-i)
Based on the VVT-i system, the VVTL-i system also incorporates a cam changeover mechanism that varies the intake amount and exhaust valve lift while the engine is operating at high speeds. In addition to achieving higher engine speeds and more power, this system enables the valve timing to be optimally set, resulting in improved fuel economy.
Variable Valve Timing With Intelligence (VVT-i)
Toyota's VVT-i systems use cam-phasing technology to adjust valve timing based on engine/vehicle speed, engine temperature, engine intake airflow and throttle position, which results in greater efficiency and more power. Signals from these sensors comprise the "intelligence."
This steering system is a mechanical means of keeping steering wheel response slower and steadier in the straight-ahead position, but quicker and more responsive in tight turns.
A proactive safety system that integrates and activates the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) , Traction Control (TRAC) and Electronic Power Steering (EPS) to help avoid skids.
Vehicle Intrusion Protection (VIP) Security System 
The Toyota VIP Security System integrates with remote keyless entry, providing an alarm system. Features include auto rearm, door lock/relock, interior light activation, rolling code and panic mode. Unlike aftermarket security systems, the VIP Security System is designed to integrate seamlessly into a Toyota vehicle with no wire cutting or compatibility issues.
Vehicle Speed-Sensing Power-Assisted Steering
Modulates the level of steering-assist based on the actual speed of the vehicle, rather than the speed of the engine. So as vehicle speed increases, steering assist decreases, and vice versa. The logic is that when a vehicle is moving slowly, or not moving at all, it's harder to steer the front wheels, so there's more need for power-assist. As vehicle speed increases, the front tires are easier to steer, so there is less need for power-assist.
Part of the Star Safety System™ standard on all Toyotas, this feature interprets data from a steering wheel position sensor and the ABS wheel-speed sensors to determine if the vehicle is following the driver's intended path. If the vehicle is deviating from the direction in which the driver is steering, VSC is designed to reduce engine power and pulse the left- or right-side brakes to help correct the situation.
Ventilated Disc Brake
Incorporates radial, air-cooled vanes in the center of the disc that expel the heat generated by high brake pad friction and heavy-duty use. For additional information, see Disc Brake.
Ventilated Front Seats
Cools you where air conditioning can't. Ventilated seats have two small built-in fans that force air up through the lower cushion and forward from the seatback. The fans recirculate cabin air and do not directly "air condition" the seats. However, air current passing through perforated leather trim does help to cool the skin and reduce perspiration. The ventilation feature has multiple fan-speed settings and integrates with the controls for the seat heaters.
A type of hydraulic, limited-slip clutch pack that can help keep a front or rear axle (or left or right drive wheel) from spinning on slippery surfaces.
At your voice's command. With a Toyota voice-activated DVD navigation system, the driver presses a button on the steering wheel to activate the voice recognition. With the system engaged, the driver or front passenger can give commands for the navigation system, including map, compass and route commands. In addition, the Toyota system provides verbal commands for points of interest, including restaurants, shopping locations and pharmacies. The voice-activated system also provides verbal commands for the audio system and Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.
A hitch that was engineered to carry all of the tongue weight of the trailer.
A hitch that incorporates spring bars that "distribute" some of the weight from the rear of the tow vehicle forward, and some of the trailer tongue weight rearward. This helps keep the tow vehicle and the trailer at the same even level for better handling. A weight-distributing hitch may also incorporate a cam- or friction-type sway control that helps prevent or reduce trailer "whip."
Keeps you well coiffed, even with the top down. This clear acrylic or mesh panel mounts upright behind the rear-seat headrests, helping to create a calm pocket of air in the open passenger compartment of a convertible.
A small vertical panel that rises along the leading edge of an open moonroof, helping to reduce unpleasant wind buffeting in the passenger cabin.
Windows Media Audio (WMA)
A music media format that can be played in vehicles with MP3/WMA capabilities.
Windshield Wiper De-Icer
Frozen windshield wipers won't do you much good, will they? So this heating grid is built into the lower part of the windshield on some models, right where the wipers park. The de-icer activates when the heated mirrors are turned on (in some vehicles, it activates when the rear defroster is activated), helping to melt ice that forms on the wipers.
Windshield Wiper-Activated Headlights
Makes sense when you think about it. Poor weather conditions can impact a driver's view down the road, not to mention a driver's visibility. With these facts in mind, on some Toyota models the windshield wiper switch is linked with the headlights. This way, when the wipers are turned on, presumably in poor weather, the lights come on too.
This system uses infrared signals coming from the rear video display assembly to allow rear-seat passengers to listen to audio programs without the use of wires.
The physical network of wires needed to power and connect a vehicle's electric and electronic features.
The X-brace is a patent-pending angular bracket developed exclusively for the Tacoma X-Runner to help stiffen the chassis at key suspension points for improved handling.
X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension
A simple but effective hydraulic suspension system on the 4Runner that balances the damping pressure inside the vehicle's shock absorbers to maintain level ride characteristics. X-REAS stands for "RElative Absorber System," and the "X" refers to the system's cross-linking of the shock absorbers. That means that the right front shock is linked to the left rear shock, and the left front shock is linked to the right rear shock. Fluid flows back and forth to active reservoirs from the bottom of the front shocks to the top of the rear shocks, dampening diagonal roll/pitch motions and limiting body sway.