Fix Your Car Parts in Spanish: A Trip to the Mechanic
Are car parts in Spanish really that important?
Think about this:
Finally, the time has come for you to go on that amazing trip to Antigua, Guatemala where you plan to rent a car and explore as much as you can.
But what happens when suddenly your rental car starts making weird noises and—boom!—it slows to a halt.
What will you do? How will you communicate with a mechanic about the problem? Do you happen to know any car parts in Spanish?
While getting your car fixed can be a wild (and somewhat uncomfortable) adventure in a Spanish-speaking country, if you’re one of the millions of drivers who take to the roads in a rental or personal car, you’ll want to equip yourself with the right vocabulary and awareness of basic mechanics of your vehicle.
After all, if you’re in a Spanish-speaking country knowing how your car works and the names of car parts in Spanish, you’re already one step ahead of ensuring your own safety as well as avoiding potential scams.
Not only is this a lesson in Spanish vocabulary—it’s a preparation for car-related emergencies!
Let’s Cover the Basics
Spanish-speaking countries have different words for referencing a car as well as the names of car parts in Spanish. There’s also plenty of local slang that’s specific to each country, but three common terms come in handy:
- El carro
This word is most frequently used in most of Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia and parts of Venezuela.
- El coche
Common in Mexico and parts of Spain.
- El auto
Short for automovil, this word is mostly used in South America, from Ecuador, Chile, Perú, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Variances in Spanish Slang Words
In Spain and Chile, the words el coche and el carro can also reference a baby stroller, a horse-drawn carriage or shopping cart.
Outside of Spain and Mexico, the word el coche is slang for pig or dirty. So during your trip to Guatemala, make sure you don’t ask the mechanic to fix your pig!
All joking aside, instead of stressing about the differences in regional slang, it really won’t matter if you use el carro, el coche, or el auto, as any of the three are easily understood by most native Spanish speakers.
Car Parts in Spanish You Should Know
While cars are incredibly complex and have many different parts, knowing the names of some of the major car parts will come in handy if you encounter an issue. Here’s a list of vocabulary to give you a head start in learning car parts in Spanish!
Visible Car Parts in Spanish
The visible car parts are anything you can identify in your car at first glance. This table will help you with the names of those parts that are easily spotted.
|Car seats||los asientos|
|Seat belt||el cinturón de seguridad|
|Steering wheel||el timón / el volante|
|Glove compartment||la guantera|
|Handbrake||el freno de mano|
|Gear shift lever||la palanca de cambios|
|Horn||la bocina / el claxon|
|Rearview mirror||el retrovisor|
|Car mat||la alfombrilla|
|Tire||la llanta / el neumático|
|Exhaust pipe||el tubo de escape|
|Blinker||la luz intermitente / el pide vías|
|Trunk||la cajuela / el maletero|
Non-Visible Car Parts
Non-visible car parts are those that are inside the hood, below the car or are part of the electric system. This table has the names of those parts that require a little more effort to locate.
|Spark plug||la bujía|
|Engine head||la culata|
|Shock absorber||el amortiguador|
|Gasoline filter||el filtro de gasolina|
|Water pump||la bomba de agua|
|Four wheel drive||la doble tracción|
|Airbags||las bolsas de aire|
Other Useful Terms for Car Troubles in Spanish
Some car troubles require way more explanation and details, this table has some of those words that will help you be more specific when it comes to giving more details in case of an emergency.
|Tow Truck||la grúa|
|Flat Tire||la llanta desinflada|
|Wrench||la llave inglesa|
|Cooling fluid||el refrigerante|
|Gasoline||la gasolina / el combustible|
|Spare parts||las refacciones / los repuestos|
|Spare tire||la llanta de repuesto / el neumático de repuesto|
|Car workshop||el taller|
|Car tools||las herramientas|
Solving Your Car Troubles in Spanish Conversation
Learning car parts in Spanish is essential, but preparing for a conversation with your mechanic will definitely step up your game. Here are a few useful phrases and scenarios you can use for when you’re driving as well as others that describe common car troubles in Spanish.
Encender el carro.
Start the car.
Conducir el carro.
Drive the car.
Estacionar el carro.
Park the car.
Pisar el acelerador / el freno.
Step on the accelerator / brake.
Cambiar de velocidad.
Retroceder el carro.
Back up the car.
Echar gasolina al carro.
Pump gas in the car.
Abrochar el cinturón de seguridad.
Fasten the seat belt.
Quitar el cinturón de seguridad.
Remove the seat belt.
Quiero rentar un carro.
I want to rent a car.
Necesito devolver el carro.
I need to return the car.
¿El carro está asegurado?
Is the car insured?
¿El carro tiene doble tracción?
Does the car have four wheel drive?
¿Dónde queda el taller más cercano?
Where is the nearest car workshop?
¿Hay alguna gasolinera cerca?
Is there a gas station nearby?
¿Dónde puedo cambiar mi llanta?
Where can I change my tire?
Mi carro no arranca.
My car won’t start.
Tengo una llanta pinchada.
I have a flat tire.
Me quedé sin gasolina.
I ran out of gas.
La batería está muerta.
The battery is dead.
Necesito una grúa para mi carro.
I need a tow truck for my car.
El carro hace un sonido extraño. ¿Podría revisarlo?
The car is making a strange sound. Could you check it?
¿Podría revisar el radiador?
Could you check the radiator?
¿Están disponibles los repuestos?
Are the spare parts available?
¿Cuánto cuesta un cambio de aceite?
How much is an oil change?
¿Cuando estará listo el carro?
When will the car be ready?
Estaba conduciendo y el carro se detuvo.
I was driving and the car stopped.
¿Podría cambiar la llanta?
Could you change the tire?
Se encendió una luz en el tablero. ¿Podría ver que es?
A light on the dashboard came on. Could you check what it is?
¿Podría revisar los niveles de agua y aceite?
Could you check the water and oil levels?
Necesito inflar las llantas.
I need to inflate the tires.
Time to Practice (Without the Actual Car Trouble)!
How are you feeling after studying these words and phrases? ¿Estás listo para hablar con el mecánico?
Now you have the necessary knowledge for discussing your car parts in Spanish for when the time is right! I hope this blog post helps you expand your vocabulary and prepares you for getting behind the wheel.
If you’re ready for a live, 1-on-1 conversation in Spanish about your car troubles, sign up for a free class with us at Homeschool Spanish Academy where you can start talking about cars, car parts, or renting a car during your trip to a Spanish-speaking country. Our professional, native-speaking teachers from Guatemala can’t wait to improve your fluency after just one class!
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