Collision Repair Glossary

Aftermarket Parts (Non-OEM Parts)- Aftermarket parts are new replacement parts that were not produced or supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Aftermarket parts may not provide the same fit as OEM. The auto insurance policy signed determines whether the insurance company will approve aftermarket parts or OEM. If the part does not fit or perform properly, Airpark Collision Center will contact the insurance company in hopes of gaining approval on an OEM part.

Alignment – Front and/or rear suspension and steering mechanisms adjustment. Computerized equipment is used and produces a print out showing measurements and factory specifications.

Base Coat/Clear Coat System – A base coat is a highly pigmented coat of paint. The clear coat provides gloss and durability to protect the base coat.

Betterment – Betterments are mostly on wear items like batteries and tires. The insurance company is only obligated to return the vehicle to it’s pre-accident condition. For example, if a tire has used up 1/2 of it’s tread, the insurance company will only cover half the cost of a new tire. All insurance companies do not apply betterments and not all have the same guidelines.

Blend Time – The paint is blended into adjacent panels to achieve an even color match. For example, when a door is repainted the fender and quarter panel may get blended. This procedure produces an even color for vehicles that are not brand new and where paint may have faded.

Bumper Absorber – Bumper repairs might include a bumper absorber which is an energy-absorbing foam that is placed between the outside bumper fascia and the inner bumper reinforcement. This can be found on both front and rear bumpers of a late model vehicle.

Bumper Reinforcement – This part of the vehicle attaches the outer bumper and bumper absorber to the vehicle’s body rails on both the front and rear of the vehicle.

Color, Sand, and Buff (Polish) – Sanding and buffing paint to remove dirt, particles etc. in clear coat. This process will restore glossiness to match the original OEM finish.

Competitive Estimate or Competitive Bid – The act of requiring more than one bid for collision repair work. No law requires a consumer to obtain more than one estimate, especially if you obtain an estimate from an auto body shop that does not participate in that insurance company’s direct repair program. If you are paying out of pocket you may want to secure more than one collision repair estimate, just be sure you are comparing the same type of parts used and labor operations.

Deductible – The amount the insured is liable on each loss before an insurance company will make payment. The collision repair facility collects the deductible directly from the customer.

Direct Repair Shop (DRP) – An agreement between an insurance company and collision repair facility in regards to repair parameters, parts used, and billing. Collision repair facilities with high-quality standards may not be on every DRP program and will still offer a lifetime labor warranty. Check out our blog “Which Body Shop Provides the Best Collision Repair Service”.

Estimate – An approximate calculation of collision repair cost. Once exterior panels are removed and vehicle is diagnostic scanned, the estimate may be updated to reflect any additional required collision repairs.

Hazardous Waste (Toxic Waste) – Any unusable by-product originating from the collision repair and/or painting process that cannot be discarded through normal waste management operations. These products may be harmful to the environment and require special handling as well as professional disposal. Local, state and federal laws apply and may differ in their scope.

OEM Parts  (Original Equipment Manufacturer) – These components are parts the manufacturer used to originally build the vehicle. This does not mean every part is made by the manufacturer but could be purchased by the manufacturer from other companies.

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) Removing a dent without refinishing. Not all dents are candidates for PDR. Size and location of dent is a major factor.

Prep – This process will take place prior to painting and will include washing, degreasing and lightly sanding a panel.

Remove and Install (RI) – A part is removed, saved and then reinstalled. Many times an exterior part must be removed to make a proper repair. For example, to install a new headlight the bumper may require removal, the headlight is installed and then the existing bumper is reinstalled.

Remove and Replace (RR) – A part is removed that cannot be acceptably repaired and is replaced.

Repair VS Replace – The choice to repair or replace depends on severity of damage and sometimes the cost to repair. In some cases, it may cost more to repair than replace. However, safety and following industry or OEM procedure is first priority. For more information read our blog, “Major Car Collision Damage: To Repair or Replace?

Salvage Parts (Reconditioned) – Salvage parts are often from a total loss vehicle and very well may be OEM. A collision repair shop with a high-quality standard will inspect the salvage part and reject it if the condition is substandard.

Subrogation – An insurance company will try to recover collision repair expenses from another insurance company.

Supplement – Additional repairs needed to complete the collision repair that was not listed on the original estimate. It is often impossible to identify all damage until disassembly. Collision repair facilities must gain supplement approval from the insurance company before proceeding with additional repairs.

Touch up – A targeted repair for stone chip damage, etc. Not a guaranteed or perfect remedy but sometimes is an improvement in appearance. Airpark Collision Center cannot send home a container of touch-up paint because the paint does not last and is not pre-mixed.

Two Stage Paint – Paint colors requiring a base coat (color) and a clear coat.

Three-Stage Paint – A topcoat that consists of three parts-a base coat, a mid-coat and a clear coat. The vehicle identification number or VIN will identify whether a vehicle has a two or three stage paint finish. A three-stage finish is more expensive because of the additional material and labor.

Tint (Color Match) – A procedure involving mixing toners to match the existing paint color and finish.

Unibody – A type of vehicle body construction where the outer skin, roof, and floor are formed and assembled to produce one unit that creates structural strength.

Water-borne Paint – There are two types of paint in the auto body industry, solvent based or water-borne. Water-borne is environmentally friendly and excellent for color matching. Water-borne paint is more expensive and therefore used by mostly high end or quality minded collision repair facilities.