Automotive Glossary

Automotive Glossary

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Dip Switch

A switch used to select main beam or dipped beam headlights. Sometimes called a dimmer switch.

Dipped Beam

The lower of the two headlamp beams, dipped to avoid blinding the drivers of oncoming vehicles.


To apply paint to an article by immersing it in a container of the paint and then withdrawing the article and allowing the excess paint to drain from the part. Particularly useful for small parts, such as nuts, bolts, brackets, etc.


A stick used to dip in a fluid and check its level!

Direct Injection

Diesel engine design where fuel is injected directly into the cylinder.

Dirt Nibs

Small specks of foreign material in a dried paint film. They can be usually be removed by careful sanding and polishing.


Distributorless ignition system that uses an ignition coil or coils directly connected to the spark plugs. The ignition is triggered by the ignition module on signals from the ECM (Engine control module).

Disc Brake

Brake in which external friction pads are brought to bear on the faces of a rotor or disc, usually by the clamping action of a caliper.

Disc Sander

Power sanding tool used for grinding, sanding, and rough polishing of repaired metal areas.

Discard Dimension

The lowest safe value for a component before it needs to be replaced. Used for brake components such as drums and rotors.

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