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Leaf Springs  A length of flat spring steel plates bent in an arch usually with curled ends to allow mounting to the frame. Two holes are drilled in the center to mount a u-bolt shackle which surrounds the axle. Some

applications need only one leaf spring; but most have several leaves, each smaller than the other, nested together. Only the longest one is mounted to the frame. The ends are attached to the chassis, and the middle is fixed to the axle.

Also called semi-elliptic springs.



[1] A weak air/fuel mixture that has less fuel to air ratio. The opposite is rich.

[2] A lateral movement where one side lists more than the other.

Lean Air Fuel Mixture (Lean air-fuel mixture)  A mixture of air and fuel in which there is more air and less fuel. See air-fuel ratio.

Lifter Body The valve lifter body houses the valve lifter mechanism. The valve lifter is the unit that makes contact with the valve stem and the camshaft. It rides on the camshaft. When the cam lobes push it upwards, it opens the valve.

Lift Kit  A kit designed to increase the space between a vehicle's suspension and its frame, or between its body and its frame. A lift kit makes it possible to fit larger wheels and tires under the vehicle, for increased ground clearance and suspension travel. A lift kit might include blocks, add-a-leafs, new leaf springs, coil spring spacers, lifted spindles, replacement control arms and special brackets to mount suspension components lower on a frame.

Lighting Circuit The automobile lighting circuit includes the wiring harness, all the lights, and the various switches that control their use. The complete circuit of the modern passenger car can be broken down into individual circuits, each having one or more lights and switches. In each separate circuit, the lights are connected in parallel, and the controlling switch is in series between the group of lights and the fuse box. The parking lights, are connected in parallel and controlled by a single switch. In some installations, one switch controls the connection to the fuse box, while a selector switch determines which of two circuits is energized. The headlights, with their upper and lower beams, are an example of this type of switch. Again, in some cases, such as the courtesy lights, several switches may be connected in parallel so that any switch may be used to turn on the lights.

Limited Slip Differential  A differential that uses cone or disc clutches to lock the two separate axle shafts. This forces both driving wheels to transmit the same drive torque regardless of the traction available. It still allows differential action under normal driving conditions but improves traction in mud and snow.

Limiting Coil and Operating Coil

The limiting coil passes the current from the battery to the common connection of two coils at the lower terminal on the dash unit. This current may pass from either the operating coil of the dash unit and the other over to the tank sending unit. When the fuel tank is low or empty, the sliding brush cuts out all resistance in the tank unit. Then the current will passes through the tank unit circuit because of the low resistance, and only a small portion will pass through the operating coil to the dash unit. This coil is not magnetized enough to move the dash unit pointer, which is then held at the "Empty" position by the limiting coil.

When the tank is full or partly full, the float of the tank unit will rise to the surface of the fuel and move the sliding brush over the rheostat, putting resistance in the tank unit circuit. This results in more current will then passing through the operating coil to give a magnetic pull on the pointer, which overcomes some of the pull of the limiting coil. When the tank is full, the tank unit circuit contains the maximum resistance to the flow of the current. The operating coil will then receive its maximum current and exert pull of the pointer to give a "Full" reading. As the tank empties, the operating coil loses some of its magnetic pull and the limiting coil will still have about the same pull so that the pointer is pulled toward the lower reading.

Linkage  Any series of rods, yokes, levers, bars or links used to transmit motion from one unit to another.

center steering linkage 

gearchange linkage 

parallelogram steering linkage

progressive linkage

shifter linkage 

shift linkage 

steering linkage 

watt linkage

progressive linkage 

shift linkage 

steering linkage 

watt linkage

Linkage Power Steering:

A linkage-type, power-assisted steering system in which a conventional manual system is assisted by hydraulic or pneumatic effort applied directly to a steering linkage such as a relay lever or track rod

Live Axle   An axle that transmits power either by separate half shafts or by side chains, as opposed to a dead axle.

Load Sensing Proportioning Valve (LSPV)  A brake hydraulic system control valve that works like a proportioning valve, but also takes into consideration the amount of weight carried by the rear axle.

Locknut  A nut used to lock an adjustment nut, or other threaded component, in place. For example, a locknut is employed to keep the adjusting nut on the rocker arm in position.

Lockwasher  A form of washer designed to prevent an attaching nut from working loose.

Louver  A slatted air intake or air outlet. Slats used to capture and control the air flow.

Low-Profile Tire  A tire with a short sidewall. Tires with an aspect ratio of 55 or lower are considered low profile. This type of tire improves handling, but also produces a noticeable increase in ride firmness and tire noise. Many people also swap to low-profile tires because they look sportier, since they commonly are found on sports cars and exotics.

LPH  Abbreviation for liters per hour. A measurement commonly used to indicate the flow rate of a fuel pump. See also gph. Engines that have been modified to produce more horsepower may require a higher-flow fuel pump, as well as an adjustable fuel pressure regulator.

Lug Nut  One of several nuts which hold the wheel and tire assembly on the car and are screwed on the studs. The inner face of the lug nut is a tapered (conical) nut to help center the wheel. On modern wheels for passenger cars, lug nuts and corresponding studs are less frequently used than bolts. On commercial vehicles, however, lug nuts are very common. A lug wrench is necessary to remove the nuts.

Lug Wrench
Lugnut  Wrench
Lug Nut Wrench

A wrench used to remove the lug nuts which secure the wheels to the vehicle. Some are L-shaped while others are X-shaped. They are usually found in the trunk of the car with the tire jack.



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The objective of this Web Page is to familiarize you with basic auto maintenance
-  in some common emergencies -
not to make you an expert in auto mechanics

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