A new chapter of a book on "Thai Lingo" I've been working on for a few years:
Lesson 20: Vehicles
Cars are roat yohn (rot yon or roht yawn); on the news, motorcycles are rot jakayan yon (jakayan are bicycles). Otherwise they’re roht-kreuang or rot motor-sai. Pick-ups can be that (roht pick-up) or roht ka-bak.
One particularly Thai vehicle is the rowt ee-taan, flat-bed vehicles with the length of the steering column (kaen phuang ma-lai; the steering wheel itself, just phuang ma-lai) usually fully visible, often no roof, maybe a few boards for sides, and usually cluttered with old junk. Farm vehicles, they’re quite slow, not driven on busy roads, and typically have no license plate (tambian rot, which electric bikes, jakayan fai fai, don’t need either). Not so long ago farmers used quai lek (metal buffalos, which one walks behind) to plow fields; now they use roht tai na tractors.
A roht back-hoe is also called a roht makro, but I’ve yet to discover why. A front-end loader is a roht-tak or rot krat-din, a wrecker a rowt-laak, and a crane, roht crane. 10 wheelers are roht ban-tuk or rowt sip-loh. When two trailers are connected and pulled by one cab, that’s a rot-pheuang.
The trunk of a car is tii sai khong tai roht, usually simplified to tai roht. From British English, it can also be the boot (but on my car at least, a boot is also something at the inside of the two front-axle halves). Turn signals are sanyan fai, brakes, kreuang ham law or just brake, brake shoes, rong-tao break or pah-brake. Radiator, moh-nam. Spare parts, khreuang alai or just alai (low tone), as in yang alai, spare tire. Spark plugs are hua-tian (candle heads), transmission fluid nam-man geah. The horn to honk, tray (alternately shown as trae). Accelerator, ti raeng nam-man or just kan-raeng.
The seat of a motorcycle is boh-nang. Inner-tubes, yang-nai, while the outer tire, yang nok. The classifier for tires is sai. To increase tire air pressure, term lom.
Sai-fai-phuang are jump cables, a dent roi bup, and chon to hit something. So, tam rot boop jak gan chon kan means Make a dent by hitting another car. To coast is dap kruang roht lae ploi hail en long nin khao.
Dern mai ree-up (or riap) means it’s not running smoothly.