Have you ever gone to get an estimate to repair your vehicle and sat with a blank look on your face as the person reviewing your estimate with you attempted to explain what the estimate entailed? Or, perhaps, you smiled, nodded, and looked impressed as they are mentioning OEM, aftermarket, or LKQ terms. This week, we are going to explain a bit of the collision repair terminology used in the hopes that you, the customer, has a greater understanding of how your vehicle is repaired and what is involved.
Let’s look at the difference between OEM, aftermarket, and LKQ parts. OEM, or, Original Equipment Manufactured parts are parts made by the company who manufactured the vehicle. This could be Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Toyota, or any other vehicle manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are parts supplied by a third party vendor from a company who has purchased the right to the specific designs or molds from the manufacturer and then produced and sold the items themselves. LKQ, or, Like Kind and Quality refers to reusable OEM used parts. These parts tend to come from salvage yards and are taken from vehicles where the part is reusable and fits your car per the manufacturer.
A few other terms commonly used that some might be unfamiliar with are flex additive, blend panels, and car cover. Flex additive is a product added to the refinish procedure that allows for the pliability of the paint on flexible parts such as bumpers and moldings. A blend panel is usually the panel(s) adjacent to the panel being repaired. A blend / feathering process is applied during the refinish operation of the repairs in order to ensure a color match between the repaired panel and the adjacent panels. Car covering is a protective plastic sheeting used to cover the rest of the vehicle which is not being refinished during the repair process. Often, you will hear that your vehicle’s antenna has to be removed in order to not puncture this sheeting and thereby allow over spray to settle on your vehicle.
We hope that this weeks blog has helped to educate you to some of the items you would see listed on your estimate. Often, it is the choice of you, the customer, and your insurance company, by way of your insurance policy, that dictates which parts a repair facility is obligated to place on the initial estimate. Some of these parts descriptions, which may even be listed in your policy, really aren’t explained to you very well by your agent or company.
“A” AUTO BODY
10305 Hull Street Rd.
Midlothian, VA 23112
Phone: (804) 674-1173
Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.
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