U

U-Joints

Also known as “Universal Joints,” flexible joint parts used within a vehicle’s drive shafts and spanning across multiple vehicle makes, models, and manufacturers. They enable rear axle up-and-down flexibility without causing the connecting parts to break. Faulty U-Joints may cause the shifter to vibrate within a driver’s hand.

ULEV Program

Also known as the “Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Standard,” a distinction for motor vehicles which produce extremely low levels of emissions in comparison to other models. The standard is higher than the “LEV” distinction, but the precise measurements may vary for it. In some states such as California, explicit emission levels are required to advertise a vehicle as ULEV.

Under Seat Storage

Additional storage consoles that are located underneath a vehicle seat and provide an extra bit of space.

Underbody

The underside of a vehicle which is usually not visible while standing and viewing it. This area is exposed to the road, and it often includes various installations such as plates to protect vulnerable underbody parts from road damage.

Underhood Label Identification

A label which is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to identify a vehicle’s engine family and the associated EPA vehicle test group. This ID must be placed on the underside of a newly manufactured vehicle’s hood for a clear indication of its testing family. This data may be used in cases of vehicle fault or recall and technical bulletin notices.

Understeer

A handling error where a vehicle may physically move its wheels and turn less sharply than a driver was intending through steering. This type of misalignment often occurs due to the front wheels sliding to the outside while a turn is being completed. It can create a dangerous driving environment due to the driver’s tendency to overcorrect and become further out of control.

Underwriter

A specific company which provides insurance underwriting services. Refer to “Underwriting” for more information.

Underwriting

The process of determining total risk exposure for an insured party. Evaluation of risk includes assessment of past accidents or violations, history of usage, and multiple other factors. The insured could include a class or category of factors, and the evaluation will determine whether the risk is acceptable enough to offer coverage. If coverage is offered, this will also establish the premium which will be charged for it as well as the terms of the agreement.

Universal Remote Control

A remote control used within a vehicle’s entertainment system which can be programmed to operate all the available functions. Not all entertainment or audio systems are equipped with remote functionality, so owners should verify compatibility before buying a new unit.

Universal Remote Transmitter

An electronic device used within a key fob or the key itself used to control the remote-operated functions and accessories within a vehicle. Common accessories include door locks, trunks, windows, and even the ignition in some systems.

Upholstery

The type of material which is used to cover the seats, arm rests, head rests, and door panels within a vehicle. The most common types of upholstery include leather, cloth or fabric, and other synthetic materials.

Up-Sized Wheels

Refer to “Plus Size Wheels” for more information.

Upside Down

A denotation of a vehicle’s loan status when the actual owed amount of the loan is a greater value than the actual current value of the automobile. This debt can be addressed by rolling it into a new car loan or participating in a buying incentive which pays it off.