Total Care Accident Repair Blog

Auto Body Parts are Parts, Right?

Posted by Brian Bernard on Wed, Mar 07, 2012 @ 04:54 PM

Almost all collision repairs require the replacement of at least some car parts.  Often the "parts list" can be quite lengthy.  But what kind of parts go onto your car and why?  Do you know the difference?

Parts fall into four primary categories; Original (OEM), Aftermarket, Used (LKQ) and Reconditioned.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) - These are parts supplied directly from the manufacturer for your car.  Basicly they come from Nissan, Subaru, Ford, Honda etc. or their licensed supplier.  These are exact replacement parts for your car.

Aftermarket Parts - These are parts made by a company other than your car manufacturer.  They are made to replace the parts that come off your car, but they are a replica of the part, not the original.  The benefit here is lower cost.

Used or LKQ - LKQ is an acronym that stands for "like kind and quality".  These are parts that come from donar cars at a slavage yard.  The auto body industry is a "very green" industry and we like to recycle nearly everything!  Note these parts are not damaged, just used. 

Reconditioned - These parts had some minor prior damage or blemish that was repaired by a reconditioning factory and resold.  This is another way our industry recycles.  Bumper covers, wheels and some mechanical parts are often reconditioned in this fashion.

Many times a repair will utilize a blend of different part types to get your car back to pre-accident condition.  Massachusetts regulation requires us to use these alternative parts because it helps to lower the total cost of repair.  When repair prices are lower, insurance premiums are lower too and this is good for all consumers.  But if a car has less than 20,000 mile on it, then the Massachusetts regulation states that it is OK to use all OEM parts because the car is basically new. E  DCIM 100OLYMP P3070007 resized 600

Our preference is to use OEM parts all of the time because it reduces the amount time to complete the repair.  The alternative parts generally are of good quality and there is no discernable difference in the overall quality of repair.  Regardless of the mixture of parts used, Total Care Accident Repair provides a Lifetime Written Warranty and will ensure a high quality repair for new cars as well as old.

If the utilization of OEM parts is important to you, ask your insurance agent about getting a rider to your policy that ensures only OEM parts are used for insurance repairs.

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Topics: Auto Body Parts