Learning Norwegian For Members

Forty-three essential words you need to get your car fixed in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Forty-three essential words you need to get your car fixed in Norway
Whether you're facing a flat tyre, engine trouble, or just in for routine maintenance, here's the essential automotive vocabulary you'll encounter at a car repair workshop in Norway. Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

Even seasoned foreigners who've called Norway home for years can still find themselves stumbling over the right words when faced with car troubles. That's why we've curated a list of at 43 Norwegian terms to help you in tackling car issues with confidence.


Navigating car repairs in your home country can be a daunting task, so it's no surprise that things can get even more tricky when you're faced with a language barrier in a foreign country.

For international citizens in Norway, understanding the essential words related to car repairs can help make communication with mechanics and technicians smooth (or at least smoother).

QUIZ: Would you pass the Norwegian driving theory test?

Whether you're dealing with a flat tyre, a malfunctioning engine or simply need routine maintenance, this is the basic automotive vocabulary you can expect to encounter at a car repair workshop in Norway.

The basics and the general automotive terms

Bil refers to the automobile that you're dealing with. When seeking out professional car-related help, you'll likely need to find a verksted (workshop) to help you with reparasjoner (repairs).

Once you get them on the phone or once you get to the workshop, you'll need to look for a mekaniker (mechanic) to handle your kjøretøyet (vehicle).

If you suspect troubles with the motor (engine) or batteri (battery), share the information with the mechanic.

Other words that might come in handy if you suspect serious car issues include bremser (brakes), bremseklosser (brake pads), bremsevæske (brake fluid), and problemer med bil start (car starting problems).

Furthermore, being able to identify unusual lyder (sounds) and lekkasjer (leaks) can aid in diagnosing motorproblemer (engine issues).

For more routine tasks or maintenance, it's good to know terms such as an oljeskift (oil change), dekk kontroll (tyre inspection), kjølevæske (coolant, essential for regulating engine temperature), and styrestag (steering rod).


The tyre vocabulary

In Norway, it's crucial to have appropriate tyres, especially in winter, when icy roads can significantly reduce grip.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about winter tyres in Norway

In some remote regions of the country, where heavy snowfall and limited road maintenance are common, many drivers opt for studded tyres to improve traction.

For newcomers to Norway, it may come as a surprise that most drivers have two sets of tyres: one for winter and one for summer.

So, when it's time for a dekkskifte (tyre change), it's helpful to familiarise yourself with terms like vinterdekkene (winter tyres), sommerdekkene (summer tyres), dekkhotell (a "tyre hotel", where you can store your off-season tyres, for a fee, until you need them again), and piggdekkene (studded tyres).



In the world of car problems, engine issues are quite common. Photo by Christian Buehner on Unsplash

Engine issues: Diagnostics and monitoring

When it comes to engine issues, diagnostics and monitoring play a vital role in identifying and addressing problems effectively.

The mechanic is likely to start by running the OBD-diagnose. This acronym is taken from the English "On Board Diagnostics", along with diagnose, the Norwegian word for "diagnostics."

By doing so, they'll be able to connect to your vehicle's system and check what fault warnings and error codes have been triggered. This, in turn, allows them to diagnose engine-related issues accurately.

In this context, being familiar with other monitoring instruments within your vehicle is also useful.

The turteller (tachometer) measures the engine's speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), while the hastighetsmåler (speedometer) displays the vehicle's speed in kilometres per hour (km/h).

By monitoring RPM levels, mechanics can assess engine performance and identify potential issues such as misfires or faulty components, while monitoring speed is essential for maintaining safe driving conditions and can also provide valuable information about engine performance.


Electrical problems?

To no one's surprise, one of the most common electrical problems is a dead battery (et tomt batteri).

After running some tests, your mechanic might conclude that the battery is just utladet ("drained" or "empty"), which probably means there's a fault somewhere else in the electrical system.

If, on the other hand, the mechanic describes it as ødelagt, that is, "broken" or "ruined/destroyed", this means it cannot be repaired, and you'll almost definitely need to replace it.

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If the battery is fine but the car just whirrs on and on and won't start when you turn the key, there could be an issue with your startmotor (starter motor). Otherwise, you might find you just need to replace or clean the tennpluggene (spark plugs).

Alternatively, you might have trouble with the ignition coils, or tenningsspoler, which power the spark plugs.


Other car-related vocab you might need

In terms of specific components, brems stands for brake and bremseklosser refers to brake pads, which are essential for ensuring proper braking functionality.

Lys refers to lights, including frontlys (headlights) and baklys (taillights). Luftfilter is Norwegian for air filter, a crucial component for maintaining engine performance.

Eksos refers to the exhaust system (eksossystemet is also used), which expels gases from the engine.

Understanding that hjul means wheel is important for addressing tyre and wheel alignment issues while servostyring stands for power steering, which assists you in steering the vehicle.

Additionally, it's good to know that warning lights are called varsellamper (as it might pop up during your initial call to the workshop), while the words vindusviskere (windshield wipers) and dørhåndtak (door handles) might come in handy if you're experiencing issues with any of the two.


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