Auto Body Glossary

Browse our glossary to better understand the following auto body repair terms.

DISCLAIMER: The following terms are provided as guides and may not apply in all circumstances.


A

Aftermarket Parts (same as A/M, Competitive Parts, Non-OEM Parts)

Replacement parts that are not made by the original equipment manufacturer.

Air-Drying

Make or become dry through contact with unheated air.

Alternative Parts (OEM Parts)

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that makes a part or subsystem that is used in another company’s end product.

Auto body

The outer fiberglass, metal, etc. shell of an automobile as opposed to the chassis.


Basecoat (BC) / (Clear Coat System)

The first coat of a surfacing material, as paint.

 Bench

A front seat which runs from the left door to the right door.

Betterment

The increase in value a vehicle experiences after a major mechanical repair.

Bumper Reinforcement

The part of the bumper that secures the outer bumper fascia and energy absorber to the vehicle’s body rails securing the bumper subassembly to the car, front and rear.

 


Chip Guard

A chip-resistant, protective coating normally applied to lower panels to help prevent sharp stones, debris, etc. from chipping the paint finish.

Clear (or Clear Coat)

An automotive painting technique in which a coating of clear lacquer or other synthetic liquid is applied over the base color to enhance the shine and durability of the paint.

Color Sand/Buff

Process of sanding a repainted surface with ultra fine sandpaper to remove minor surface imperfections in the paint, or to achieve the same texture of the paint finish as the rest of the vehicle. After sanding, the repainted parts are buffed to restore original gloss.

 


Degreasing

To remove grease, oil, or the like, from, especially by treating with chemical.

DRP (Direct Repair Program)

A network of auto repair shops and dealerships approved by an insurer.

Direct Repair Shop

An insurer-suggested or -preferred collision repair shop that participates in a direct repair program (DRP) with that insurance company.

 


Edge-To-Edge Repair

A complete panel repair as opposed to a touch-up or spot repair.

Estimate

A rough calculation of the repair cost based on your damage, model, etc.

Exclusion

A part that will not be covered by warranty.

 


 F

FEA (Front End Alignment)

Part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of wheels so that they are set to the car maker’s specification.

Full Frame

An automobile construction method that entails mounting a separate body to a rigid frame that supports the drivetrain.

 


Garage Location

Where your insured car is parked most of the time.

 


I

Indemnity

An obligation by a person to provide compensation for a particular loss suffered by another person.

 


L

LKQ (Like Kind and Quality)

Parts that are usually sold online or in car parts stores (Aftermarket).

 


 M

Masking

To cover your car before painting.

 


OEM

A company whose products are used as components in the products of another company referred to as the value-added reseller.

O/H (Overhaul)

Removing/disassembling an engine, testing the components, cleaning and replacing parts, then reassembling it.

Overlap

The section of the spray band that covers the last application of paint.

 


P

PDR (Or Paint-less Dent Repair)

The method of removing minor dents from the body of a motor vehicle.

Pre-Accident Condition

The vehicle’s condition prior to when it was damaged.

Prep

Washing, degreasing and lightly abrading a panel prior to applying paint.

Primer/Sealer (Priming/Sealing)

A paint product used for priming a material for future paint application while sealing it from moisture.

 


Rebuilt Part

An originally damaged/broken part that has been reconditioned by cleaning, inspecting, and being replaced.

R&I (Remove and Install)

The removal of trim pieces (moldings, door handles, emblems, etc.) from the vehicle so the paint may be properly applied.

R&R (Remove and Replace)

A part being removed and replaced with a new, recycled, or aftermarket part.

Repair Authorization

The point at which a consumer authorizes the repair to their vehicle.

Replacement Cost

The actual cost of the item with a depreciation calculation applied to it.

RO (Repair Order)

A document containing the charges for parts, labor, and other costs. This is approved by the customer before actual work is performed on the vehicle.

 


S

Salvage parts

Used auto parts.

Supplement

A section added to a book or document to give further information or to correct errors.

 


T

Total Loss

A judgment, by the insurer, that the lost value or repair cost of a damaged property exceeds the value of its policy.

Tint and Blend

The process of mixing toners to match the existing paint finish, then blending or overlapping the color into the adjacent panel to avoid color match problems.

 


U

Unibody

A single molded unit forming both the bodywork and chassis of a vehicle.

 


V

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

The identifying code for a specific automobile.

 


Waterborne paint

Alternatives to solvent-based paints. The volatile organic compound (VOC) content of waterborne paints is significantly lower than conventional solvent-based paints, thereby reducing VOC emissions.

Wet-on-Wet

When layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint.

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