Strange Lingo You Might Hear Your Mechanic Say To Other Mechanics, And What It Means

18 February 2019
 Categories: , Blog


Every career has its own weird lingo used only by those in particular career paths. Nurses and doctors, for example, often speak in abbreviated medical term lingo. Police have their own lingo, too. Even auto mechanics have a lingo that only makes sense to them and to other people who have worked on cars. In fact, when you take your car or truck into the shop for transmission repair, you may hear some of the following weird automotive lingo. It helps to know what it means so that you understand what the mechanic is saying.  

The Tranny Slipped

When you first hear this, it may sound somewhat offensive to a cross-section of human culture. However, it is much farther away from that. This phrase simply means that the transmission slipped and that it is slipping so bad that it needs immediate repair. The transmission will stop slipping when the clutch, gears, and gear shift are all examined and replaced as needed. 

It Bottomed Out

This phrase means that either the transmission or the engine gave out completely. It can also mean that these parts of the vehicle literally bottomed out at the bottom/underside of the vehicle. Dropping out from underneath the vehicle causes the parts to drag and become heavily damaged. Subsequently, everything that drops needs to be replaced, and the missing brackets that bolted everything in place need to be replaced as well to keep the new parts from bottoming out. 

Part of the Planetary System

This automotive phrase really confuses people a lot. Until you know and understand that the "planetary system" in question refers to the various parts of a transmission, how the parts fit together, and why the parts are named for solar system bodies, you might think your mechanic is talking science, not automotive repair. Learning what each part of the transmission is called will help you understand exactly what the mechanic is talking about when he/she tells you that this part or that part of the "planetary system" of your transmission was bad and that he/she fixed/replaced it. 

Learning More Mechanic Lingo

There are plenty of ways to learn more about cars and more mechanic lingo. If you take the time to explore different things you overhear, you can become a little more fluent in understanding and "mechanic-speak." That way, the next time you have a problem with the transmission, or any other part of your vehicle, you will clearly be able to communicate with your mechanic.