Automotive Acronyms Explained

It seems that more and more people are starting to use acronyms for just about everything, even laughter has its own acronym, lol (laugh-out-loud).  The same is true in the automotive industry, it’s shortcuts to the long words or phrases are used often.  Here is a short list of common acronyms you can expect to hear in an automotive shop and some of their definitions.

  • ABS (anti-lock braking system):  A safety anti-skid braking system.
  • ACC (adaptive cruise control):  Transforms cruise control into a system that can be programmed to maintain a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you and to provide protection if a crash seems imminent.
  • BA (brake assist):  A system that electronically boosts braking power.
  • CNG (compressed natural gas):  An alternative fuel designed to replace gasoline as a source of automotive power.
  • CV joint (constant velocity joint)
  • CVT (continuously variable transmission)
  • DCT (dual-clutch transmission): Transmissions that offer the driver the choice of shifting gears manually or letting the vehicle do it automatically.
  • EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution): A system that distributes brake power proportionately among the four wheels.
  • ECM (electronic control module): A generic term for an on-board computer that is responsible for controlling the operation of one or more electronic systems.
  • ECS (emissions control system):  Parts on a vehicle that reduce or remove harmful substances from the exhaust gases and recycle unburned fuel vapors before they get into the air.
  • ECU (engine control unit):  The most powerful computer onboard a modern vehicle.
  • ESC (electronic stability control): A system designed to help prevent a vehicle from skidding, spinning, or rolling over and to help return it to its intended path when it goes out of control.
  • EV (electric vehicle): An alternatively powered vehicle designed to use an electric motor as an environmental improvement over the internal combustion engine.
  • HID (high intensity discharge lamps):  Headlamps filled with halogen or xenon gas that are brighter and use less power.
  • ICE (internal combustion engine):  An engine that works on power released by vaporized fuel and air burning inside the engine itself, rather than on an outside source of combustion.
  • ICM (ignition control module)
  • IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • MIL (malfunction indicator lights)
  • mph (miles per hour)
  • NGV (natural gas vehicles): Vehicles powered by compressed natural gas.
  • NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • NOS (new old stock):  New parts made in the past for out-of-production vehicles that are used in their restoration.
  • OEM (original equipment manufacturer):  Parts supplied by the original manufacturer of a particular vehicle.
  • OHC (overhead cam):  A camshaft located above the cylinder head.
  • PCM (powertrain control module):  A computer that controls the operation of the fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems on newer vehicles.
  • PCV (positive crankcase ventilation): Part of the positive crankcase ventilation system.
  • psi (pounds per square inch)
  • PZEV (partial zero-emission vehicle): Vehicles with internal combustion engines that are so clean-running that they almost meet California’s zero-emission standards.
  • R&R (removal and replacement):  A common term used by service facilities for “removal and replacement” of parts in order to access the site of needed repairs.
  • RSC (rollover stability control):  A safety system that identifies situations in which a vehicle that’s taking a turn to sharply or to fast could roll over, and then helps to prevent the rollover.
  • TCS (traction control system):  A feature that senses when one wheel is spinning faster than the others and corrects it.
  • U-joints (universal joints)
  • VIN (vehicle identification number):  A unique number found on the left-hand corner where the dashboard meets the window as well as the registration and other paper work for each vehicle.
  • ZEV (zero-emission vehicle):  Vehicles that produce no emissions when running.

We hope this helps clear up any confusions and if you need more of the 411, drop us a line and we will try to help you out.

“Had to get my front bumper and fender repainted and I’m very glad I came to the right place. Jaider was great to work with and was very reasonable with pricing. Even with my paint color being complicated to match and some other issues that came up he stood by what he said. He was very honest and actually told me more information on the process than he needed to and I really appreciate that. Needless to say my car came back looking FLAWLESS! Immaculate paint job I am extremely pleased.”

-Jean C., 4/26/2019

Thank you for taking the time to read this page.  

As of January 2022 we have some good news and some bad news…  

The BAD NEWS is we have moved out of our location and are in search of a new home for the West Coast Body and Paint shop.  

The GOOD NEWS is that we have a West Coast Body and Paint mobile paint repair service unit that will come to you!  The mobile paint unit provides auto services for minor body and paint repairs.

Our estimates are free.  Once we receive your images we will provide you with an initial estimate.   The estimate is a ballpark figure, and after we assess your vehicle’s damage in person, we will review the estimate with you.  If you agree to the final estimate, we will begin repairing your car.  Fill out the form below or contact us through WhatsApp to request an estimate.


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Are looking for a trustworthy body shop in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area?

Look no further!  West Coast Body and Paint is one of Van Nuys, Ca best body shop.  We work on all car makes and models, foreign and domestic.  Our body shop services include collision repair, insurance claims, auto body work, custom paint, body kit installation, muscle car and car restorations.  Check out our gallery and read our reviews.

West Coast Body and Paint has been family-owned and has been one of the best in the business since 2007.   We have worked with all car insurance companies and when you bring your car to us, we treat it as if it were our very own vehicle.  We guarantee our work and keep you in the loop with the repairs.

Call or text me 818.793.7728 to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.  You can always follow us on social media @westcoastbodyandpaint #wcbpshop.

-Jaider A. West Coast Body and Paint, Owner

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