What parts will be used for your auto body repair?
Auto body part usage is a huge part of your repair. Have you checked your bill? It could be as high as half of the cost. There’s no question why part types are so important or why there has been so much talk about collision repair part usage in the recent years. Indiana has even gone as far as to enact part usage laws for newer vehicles. At 14/69 Auto Body, we don’t feel that any car part type is all good or all bad. Each type has its pros and cons. Some insurance companies have even opted to extend the part warranties when customers choose a less expensive alternative. So, as the consumer, you have many choices. Check out the options below and then contact your Customer Service Rep to help determine the best parts choice based on the law and your needs.
- OE, OEM or Original Equipment Auto Body Parts – These parts are directly from the manufacturer of your car and are made specifically for the make and model of your car. For example, Acura, GM, Toyota, or Ford. They are made of the same material as the original parts and OE sheet metal parts come with factory e-coat already applied. These parts are often the most expensive option, the warranty is typically 60-90 days and using them can sometimes make the repair cost higher than other alternatives.
- Aftermarket Auto Parts – Aftermarket parts can be compared to generic food in the grocery store. Inherently they are the same products as the original but they may be packaged differently, produced with different raw materials, and manufactured by a different company. These parts are usually less expensive than OE parts, often have a lifetime warranty and can help keep the repair costs down; however, occasionally the shape or fit may be off slightly and require additional costs to align them properly. Most consumers are unaffected by the slight differences.
- Like Kind Quality (LKQ) or Used Auto Body Parts –True LKQ parts are OE parts that have been removed from another car. Basically they’re used. This is typically the most economical choice and perfect when price is an issue; however, they typically have no or a very short warranty. When parts are purchased from a reputable vendor and thoroughly checked for damage or corrosion prior to use, LKQ parts can be a good choice. One downfall is that most used parts come with minor scratches and dings that must be repaired prior to use and can increase the cost.
- Reconditioned and Remanufactured Auto Parts – These parts are used parts that have already had any existing damage repaired prior to being sold. Bumpers, headlights and wheels are commonly reconditioned. Remanufacturing is common on many mechanical parts too such as steering gears and drive axles. The price of these parts is typically similar to Aftermarket but since they are still considered (used) OE parts, many customers choose this option when available.