Different Types of Parts Used in Collision Repair

Our policy at Body Works Plus is to always use genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts whenever possible. Insurance company policies are the main deterring factor. They often specify the use of aftermarket and used parts.

Body Works Plus prefers and recommends the use of OEM parts for many reasons, including the fact that the use of genuine parts benefits our customers financially in the long term. Watch the video below for more information about genuine parts, and their value for your investment in your vehicle…

Video courtesy of K&M Collision

The differences in these types of parts is explained below:

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts / Original Equipment (OE) Parts – Referred to as Original Equipment Manufacturer collision replacement parts, Original Equipment collision parts, or simply OE parts, these parts are designed by your vehicle manufacturer and are produced to the same specifications and tolerances as the parts on the vehicle when it was manufactured. These parts meet stringent requirements for fit, finish, structural integrity, corrosion protection and dent resistance. They are the only parts proven during vehicle development to deliver the intended level of protection as a whole system.

Aftermarket Parts (same as Copy, Imitation and Non-OEM Parts) – New replacement parts that were not produced or supplied by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Aftermarket collision parts may offer a price-based alternative, but may not provide the same fit, finish and structural strength, and may not perform to the OEM’s exacting specifications. Only Original Equipment parts, supplied by the vehicle manufacturer, are backed by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. Aftermarket parts are often referred to on your estimate with these names or abbreviations:

  • A/M Aftermarket / Automotive replacement parts
  • QRP Quality Replacement Parts
  • CAPA Competitive Parts

Refurbished Collision Parts – Refurbished collision parts generally means parts removed from an existing vehicle that are repaired and/or refinished, such as bumper covers, wheels, or lamps.

Remanufactured Mechanical Parts – Remanufactured generally means parts removed from an existing vehicle that are repaired and/or refinished. Generally speaking, parts remanufactured by the OE manufacturers (vehicle maker) begin with a used part that is completely disassembled, inspected, diagnosed and cleaned, while any worn or inoperative parts are replaced. The part is reassembled and tested to ensure the part meets the same specifications as the original part. Remanufactured mechanical parts are produced by OEs and non-OE remanufacturers.

Salvage Parts – Refers to parts salvaged from a vehicle, often from one that was deemed a total loss. Quality concerns may exist with salvaged parts because the source, condition and durability of the parts are not known. In some cases, the part could be a salvaged aftermarket part. This category commonly includes large body assemblies, such as complete bumper assemblies, doors or complete front ends, from the windshield forward.

Salvage parts are often referred to on your estimate with these names or abbreviations:

  • Salvage
  • Used
  • Recycled
  • LKQ Like Kind and Quality

Repair time, also known in the industry as “cycle time,” or how long your car will be in the body shop, is determined by a number of factors, not the least of which is the severity, nature snd extent of the damage.

Generally speaking, the use of OE or Original Equipment parts can help speed repairs. Here are a few reasons why:

  • When a part fits properly, like an OE collision part should, the technician can install the part and move on to the next operation. When a part does not fit correctly, the technician must either take more time to attempt to make the part fit properly—possibly compromising the quality of the repair and the final appearance of the vehicle—or try another part. Ordering another part can cause a delay of a day or more.
  • Vehicle manufacturers don’t recommend the use of salvage parts. Sometimes, however, a salvage part is specified for the repair. When this happens, the salvage part may need to be reconditioned, cleaned-up, have small dents removed, and have the paint completely sanded before it is ready to be fitted to your car. This could cause delays.
  • The use of multiple parts suppliers may slow the repair process.

In some cases, the body shop is authorized to write an estimate for repairs and the insurer will accept that estimate. In other cases, your insurance company may require its own estimator or adjuster to look at the car. This usually consumes a day or more.

Be sure to ask the shop how long repairs will take. Generally speaking, everyone involved in the process—you the customer, the shop and the insurer—wants you to get your car back as soon as possible. It’s a win-win for everyone.