Parallel Hybrid

Vehicle which is powered by both an electric motor system as well as a combustion engine. Both engines operate in line with each other. They can be driven using 100% electric power, 100% combustion, or a combination of both depending on the driving circumstances. The modes are usually switched automatically by the vehicle’s control system depending on current conditions, battery power, engine demand, and other factors. Most hybrid vehicles operate in this fashion within the current automotive market. They offer consumers the opportunity to reduce emissions and improve their environmental footprint without losing the power, performance, and driving range that may not be present with a 100% electric vehicle.

Parking Assist

A vehicle’s electronic system which allows it to automatically park itself with limited or no driver control required. Electronic sensors, which can be lasers, radar, or sonar technology, help to orient the car’s position to the curb, other vehicles, and related obstacles.

Parking Lights

Also commonly known as “Daytime Running Lights,” lights which are equipped on a vehicle and remain lit during normal daily operation. Additional daytime lighting can improve a vehicle’s visibility to other motorists and potentially improve safety potential.

Parking Sensors

Sensors equipped on the front and rear bumpers of a vehicle which detect its proximity to other automobiles, the curb, and additional objects. When a driver comes too close to an obstacle, an alarm is activated using lights or a sound. These sensors are used to assist drivers by improving their alertness while parking.

Passenger Memory Settings

Power seat positions which are set by specific drivers and saved within a vehicle’s computer system memory. Many cars allow multiple passenger memory settings to be saved depending on the occupant. When specific occupants get into a vehicle, they can recall their settings to quickly adjust to their desired positions.

Passenger Volume

Total amount of available space for all passengers within the seating areas of vehicles. This includes front and rear seating as well as row seating for larger vehicles.


Total carrying capacity of a vehicle, measured in pounds and including both cargo and occupants. The payload measurement equals the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) minus its curb weight. The amount can help vehicle owners and prospective buyers understand the weight limitations a specific vehicle has for safe operation.

Payoff Amount

Also referred to as the “Buyout Amount,” this is the total amount in dollars which is required to fully pay and satisfy a vehicle’s finance or leasing agreement and discharge any remaining payment obligation. The current Buyout Amount is usually available to see within a leasing or financial institution (frequently listed with an online account). Many people opt to pay off a car loan or lease in full on some occasions like receiving a large sum of money or a tax return.

PCV Filter and PCV Valve

Filters and valves equipped within a vehicle’s Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Each one of these components allows combustion gases to be ventilated from a vehicle’s crankcase into its intake system rather than into the atmosphere with other emissions. This improves the overall fuel efficiency of a vehicle’s engine system while also reducing harmful pollutants from being released into the environment.

Pedal Adjustment

A mechanism which allows the driver to control the precise positioning of a vehicle’s brake, gas, and clutch pedals. These adjustable settings can make vehicle operation more comfortable for drivers.


A vehicle support structure, frequently a shaft, which stabilizes the roof. A-Pillars are the first structures which help to frame the windscreen. Moving toward the rear of the vehicle, a series of successive structures are used for added stability with each one named for the next consecutive letter in the alphabet, e.g. B-Pillars and C-Pillars.

Pilot Bearing

Bearing used to support the tip of a manual transmission’s input shaft. It is press-fit directly into the rear of the crankshaft and spins while the engine is operating. A well-lubricated pilot bearing is essential for optimal transmission functionality.

Plenum Chamber Water Drain Valve

Valve which is used on several makes and models of vehicles to drain excess condensation away from an intake plenum. Reducing excess water can keep it from following the intake into the engine and improve its performance and efficiency.

Plug In Vehicle

Vehicle which is powered solely by electricity and must be plugged into a standard domestic AC power outlet for battery recharge. Many cities, metropolitan areas, and highly traversed highways also have charging stations available for recharges.

Plus Size Wheels

Also referred to as “Up Sized Wheels,” these tires and wheels have a larger diameter than those which are standard equipped on a vehicle. Larger wheels may be installed on a vehicle as a style accessory. However, overly large wheels may handle less accurately in snowy or inclement weather.

Polarization Coating

A coating placed on side view mirrors to help reduce glare and improve visibility. The polarizing effect modifies how the light reflects off the glass to reduce light reflection.

Post Collision Communication

An installation within a vehicle’s telemetrics system which automatically alerts authorities when a collision has been detected. This added safety measure can help bring emergency services to an accident site much more quickly – an especially helpful feature when occupants are incapacitated or injured.

Post Crash Safety

Devices, systems, and other safety installations which help decrease the chance and severity of vehicle occupants sustaining injuries in the event of a crash, collision, or accident. An example of these systems is post collision communication which alerts authorities when a collision is detected.

Power Activated Release

An electronic system which releases a vehicle’s trunk or hatch. These electronically-controlled systems contrast traditional trunk releases which use a cable to activate and release the hatch.

Power Extending Mirrors

Side view mirrors which are electronically controlled to move further away from a vehicle to add visibility when it is towing a trailer or other object. The further distance allows for a greater field of vision to completely see to the back of the towed object.

Power Steering

Hydraulic or electronic system which smoothes out steering and makes it easier for the driver to operate a vehicle. The system multiplies the total force a driver may place on the steering wheel. This amplification means that the driver has to apply less force to the wheel to achieve a specific turning motion.

Power Steering Fluid

A hydraulic fluid which is used within a vehicle’s power steering system. This fluid is essential for proper and effective operation of the steering system.

Power Steering Hoses

A series of flexible hoses which are used to transport power steering fluid among all the components of a power steering system. Malfunctioning or leaking hoses can cause widespread steering problems within a vehicle.

Powertrain Warranty

Commonly referred to as a “Drivetrain Warranty,” this vehicle warranty covers most of the primary components of a vehicle’s operation and usage. This includes the engine, transmission, driveshaft, drive axles, and other parts. Much like other basic warranties, parts designated as “consumable” like belts and hoses are not covered under the Powertrain. These types of parts are commonly replaced at relatively inexpensive prices, and they do not usually indicate a major automotive defect. However, other components within major vehicle parts like pistons remain covered by a Powertrain Warranty even though they also are also subject to regular depreciation over time. Powertrain warranties are common in many newly manufactured makes and models. The general standard is a 10 year or 100,000 mile span of coverage – whichever comes first. This coverage adds buying confidence for consumers as a selling point. Specific terms for a warranty are covered under a vehicle’s purchasing contract.

Precrash Safety

Various safety measures, devices, and systems which help to prevent a collision or reduce the potential injury drivers and passengers may sustain in a collision. This could include warning systems when shifting lanes, sounds or alerts to indicate a potential collision, and automatic brake engagement when an imminent collision is detected.

Precrash Safety Seats

A seating system which engages and moves occupant seating into a safer position when a vehicle’s precrash safety system detects an oncoming collision. The quick change of seating position can reduce injury and enhance the level of occupant safety while operating a vehicle.

Precrash System

A series of devices equipped within a vehicle all designed to sense an oncoming collision and make several adjustments to enhance occupant safety. Sensors on a vehicle detect an impending accident using radar or laser technology. Upon detection, systems are engaged to make occupants safer such as tightening of seatbelts, repositioning of seats, and the automatic application of brakes.

Premium Audio

A vehicle-equipped sound system provided to manufacturers by brand name audio system producers. These are then installed into a vehicle as an enhanced feature. Some vehicles come equipped with Premium Audio as a standard, and others have this as an additional amenity.

Privacy Glass

A vehicle window which includes a factory-installed tint to enhance the privacy of the cabin. The tint is comprised of either a mylar covering or smoked glass. It increases the opacity of the glass to prevent people from seeing into a vehicle’s cabin. This glass is frequently seen in luxury vehicles like limousines.

Private Party Price

The average price buyers are paying to private sellers for similar vehicles. This amount can give a baseline average of a vehicle’s current value on the private seller market.

Program Car

A car or other vehicle which was initially owned by a manufacturer and provided to employees for use in company business and operations for a short period of time. These cars are later sold at auction to other used dealerships for sale to the consumer. Program cars are typically only used for a short period of time by manufacturer employees to keep their overall depreciation relatively low. In some cases, former rental vehicles may be sold at auction and falsely or mistakenly advertised as Program Cars. However, there is a significant difference in wear and tear on rentals compared to Program Cars. Prospective buyers can reveal the truth by running the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through a verification service such as AutoCheck and CARFAX. While this is frequently completed for the consumer at reputable used auto dealerships, an independent verification may be necessary to confirm a vehicle is accurately presented.

Purchase Option

An option for lessees to purchase a leased vehicle outright at the termination point of the leasing term. Purchase price after the leasing period is determined through the vehicle’s residual value which is an amount a vehicle is worth subject to specific depreciation factors. Refer to “Residual Value” for additional information.

Purge Valve

A valve within an evaporative emissions control system which enables fuel vapors from the charcoal canister to ventilate into a vehicle’s intake system. This purging process prevents the charcoal canister from becoming saturated with these vapors as it can directly impact its performance and functionality. Improperly ventilated canisters can become nonfunctional if left unaddressed over time. And this will directly impact a vehicle’s overall performance and engine efficiency.


Acronym for “Partial Zero Emission Vehicle.” These vehicles produce no evaporative emissions during operations to meet the EPA’s standards to be classified as a “Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle” (SULEV).