Automotive glossary starting with letter B

Belt force limiters

The belt force limiter is located inside the inertia reel on the belt housing and consists of a torsion bar. When a force exceeding a certain level acts on the belt strap, the torsion bar produces a controlled reduction in the locking effect of the inertia reel. In other words, it automatically limits the stress on the occupants chest in the case of sudden braking or a frontal collision.

Bi-xenon headlamps

Bi-Xenon headlamps are actually normal xenon headlamps which use a single lamp to produce both the high beam and the low beam. The full light beam is used to produce the high beam, while the low beam is produced by moving a shutter between the bulb and the lens, thus blocking off a portion of the total light.

Body roll

The leaning motion of a vehicle's body while turning into a corner. Also known as yaw angle.

Body-side steps

The bars you can step up onto on the side of an SUV or an off-roader, making entry and exit a little easier. They are mostly found on American cars.

Bottom-end power

The power that an engine produces at low revs (at the "bottom end" of the rev range).

Brake Assist System

This Brake Assist System (BAS), developed by Mercedes-Benz to shorten emergency stopping distances, takes over if a driver doesn't apply enough braking power in a critical situation. The system automatically develops maximum brake boost, thus reducing the actual stopping distance by a significant margin (according to Mercedes-Benz in-house tests, by almost 45%).

Brake caliper

The brake caliper looks almost like a normal measuring caliper and is part of the disc brake. When brakes are applied, hydraulic fluid forces the brake pads using one or several pistons in the calipers towards the discs, causing the discs to squeezed.

Brake Fade

Any type of brake gets heated up after repeated or hard use. Apart from ceramic or any other ceramic alloy disc, all brakes diminish their effectiveness after they get heated up. This is called brake fade.

Brake Force Display

Brake Force Display is a system developed by BMW for alerting tailgating drivers of a potential hazard in front of their vehicle. It works by increasing the intensity of the brake lights under heavy braking. The extra lighting is triggered only after the ABS sensors detect a rate of deceleration in excess of 5 m/second (emergency braking), but not under normal braking in order to avoid unnecessary illumination.

Brake Horsepower

Brake Horsepower is the imperial (or British) measure of an engineÂ’s horsepower, and it is about 0.98 out of a metric horsepower.

Brake Lockup

In braking, lockup describes the point at which a wheel stops rotating while the vehicle is still in motion. This mostly happens in emergency stopping situations on vehicles which do not have ABS (Anti-lock Braking System).

Brake pedal travel

The distance that the driver's foot has to push the brake pedal before achieving optimum braking.