Automotive Glossary

Automotive Glossary

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See Keep Alive Memory.


Kick Down Switch.


A mechanical injection system from Bosch, but with some electronic control.

Keep Alive Memory (KAM)

Part of a microprocessor RAM that holds temporary data for a specified duration. The KAM requires a constant voltage to retain data. It is cleared when the power is turned off.


A kinetic energy recovery system is an electric generation, storage, and propulsion system used in Formula One (up to 2010 anyway), which generates electricity during slow down, stores energy in batteries or a flywheel, and boosts acceleration with electric drive motors assisting the engine. Many hybrid cars are similar.


A locating device that sits in slots on a shaft and pulley or gear wheel. Also known as Woodruff key.

Key Data

Important, relevant information.


The typewriter-like keys used to input data into a computer. An input device.



Kick Down

A switch of a cable on an automatic transmission signals that the throttle is at least 90% open. Under certain conditions this causes a downshift for improved acceleration.

Kick Down Switch

Switch on an automatic transmission that signals that the throttle is at least 90% open. Under certain conditions causes a downshift for improved acceleration.


The precipitation of dissolved binder or additive from solution as a result of solvent incompatibility.


Road shocks transmitted to the driver through the steering system.


1000 watts


Movement energy.

Kinetic Balance

The balance of a rotating component about the perpendicular to the axis. Wheel balance has both static and dynamic quantities.

Kinetic Energy

Energy in the form of a mass moving.

King Pin Angle

Alternative term for KPI (King Pin Inclination).

King Pin Inclination

The angle that the king pin axis tilts from the vertical. Used to provide centre point steering where the centre of the tyre tread is on the steering pin axis.

King Pins

A type of steering swivel fitted to beam axles.




Knock signal from an engine knock sensor to the ECM.


Advanced or quick detonation of fuel in a cylinder where the resultant pressure rise causes a shock wave through the piston, crankshaft and engine block.

Knock Sensor

A piezoelectric sensor used to provide sensor signals to an ECM when an engine is knocking. A closed loop control retards the ignition to prevent knock.


Used to describe engine knock or a noise produced that sounds like one object hitting another.


Knowledge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information; or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

Knuckle (Steering)

Steering stub axle assembly. Also known as a steering swivel.


''Key On, Engine Cranking''


''Key On, Engine Off''


''Key On, Engine Running''


Kilopascals - unit of pressure.


King Pin Inclination or the angle that the king pin axis tilts from the vertical.


Knock Sensor.



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