Automotive Glossary

Automotive Glossary

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Reed Relay

Thin steel contacts that are joined when they become magnetic. The magnetism is created by a small coil, usually in series with a bulb.

Reed Switch

Thin steel contacts that are joined when they become magnetic.

Reference Voltage

A voltage value used in an electronic control module that is conducted to a sensor and against which the return voltage is measured in order to determine the signal value.


Repair of an OEM or previously painted substrate.


Body or surface reflecting rays, particles, objects. Legal requirement on rear of vehicles.


Deflection at a certain angle when light enters obliquely from another medium of different density (light lens).


The gas in an air conditioning system. It is condensed to a liquid by pressurisation and the heat in the refrigerant is taken in or passed out during the changes of state from liquid to gas and from gas to liquid. Two refrigerants are used for vehicle air conditioning. These are R12 and R134a. These must not be mixed or allowed to escape to the atmosphere.

Regenerative braking

A regenerative brake is an energy recovery mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy and/or potential energy (due to elevation) into a useful form of energy instead of dissipating it as heat as in a conventional brake.


An electronic device for controlling the output voltage from a generator.

Regulator Terminals

Terminals on the regulator that connect to, for example, a warning light, field windings, sensing supply and ignition. Some also output signals to the engine management ECU.

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