Painters Collision Centers

Body Shop Terms You Might Hear (Part 1)

Whether you’re dropping your vehicle off initially for repairs, picking it up, or anywhere in between, you’re likely to hear a whole new vocabulary that may not make a lot of sense. While we have to use this “jargon” to communicate with each other, with your insurance company, parts vendors, and others, we decided to pull back the curtain and give you a peek into what all of these words, acronyms, and phrases mean. 

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s our goal to discuss your repairs and provide updates to you in a manner that’s easily understood. So, if at any time you want us to clarify the meaning of something or explain it differently, please don’t hesitate to ask. Transparency is in our DNA. 

  • Adjuster: This individual works for an insurance company and is responsible for reviewing damaged vehicles and its accompanying estimate to verify repairs are accurately documented. Not all repairs require an adjuster, but some do. Nonetheless, we work closely with these insurance claims representatives to ensure your vehicle is repaired properly and as promptly as possible. Not always, but sometimes these are the individuals in the cars driving on the roads branded by their insurance companies.
  • Aftermarket: Parts are classified into three groups: aftermarket, LKQ (see below), or OEM (see below). Aftermarket parts are manufactured by organizations other than the brand who made your vehicle. The goal with these parts is often the same item we would buy from a dealer, but they might cost less or be available for quicker delivery. Nonetheless, these parts are intended to perform just as OEM parts.
  • Audatex: Like CCC and Mitchell, Audatex is used by certain insurance companies to review estimates. This estimate is exported and imported straight into CCC.
  • Authorization(s): These are all of the verbal or signed releases we need during the repair process. For example, we’ll need you to give us a verbal or signed authorization (we’ll provide everything), so your vehicle can be released from the tow yard. Another example of an authorization is needed for us to begin repairs; especially if you’re paying for repairs out of pocket.
  • CCC: We’ll sometimes call this “CCC One” or “C ONE.” Either way, it’s the software the industry uses to write estimates, upload photos as part of your insurance claim, buy parts, look up and confirm repair procedures, provide you updates, run and manage production, and also review reports to help us understand data. The “One” comes into play because we can perform a variety of tasks inside “one” application. CCC One is the industry’s most utilized software platform that enables body shops to operate.  
  • Mirror Matching Parts: Have you ever taken something–a screw, lightbulb, or knob–to Home Depot, so that you have a real-world reference of what you need to buy? That’s essentially what mirror matching parts are. Because we can’t see the parts we buy until we unbox them, it’s policy and procedure to make sure the newly delivered part matches the part we’re replacing 100%. Imagine a body technician placing the new part side-by-side to the damaged part and you’ll have a mental visual of mirror matching. This is done so that we can ensure what was delivered is what’s needed. The days of waiting to take the taillight out of the box only to discover it’s for the right side and you need the left are over. 
  • Mitchell: Like CCC, it’s used by some insurance companies as part of the estimating process. Once an insurance company reviews the estimate, we export and import it into CCC, so we can manage your vehicle’s repairs from there. 
  • LKQ: This one actually has two meanings. 
    • As an acronym, it stands for Like, Kind, and Quality. For parts that are non-structural, it’s commonplace for shops to buy and use parts from other vehicles that are not in operation. When we say non-structural, we’re talking about things like mirrors, mouldings, or lights, for example. These are items that, while important to the vehicle’s overall operation, they’re not structurally keeping the integrity of the vehicle intact. By comparison, structural items are parts like rails, bumpers, or even airbags. The easiest way to differentiate the two would be: if you took all of the non-structural parts off a vehicle it would still perform per manufacturer standards and expectations in an accident.  
    • The second meaning is in reference to a company body shops buy parts from and it’s conveniently called “LKQ.” Since most shops receive daily deliveries, you’ll likely see one of their trucks or vans in our lot while you’re here. 
    • Note: because many auto dealers are competitive with pricing, we’ll sometimes buy an “original” part from a local dealer regardless if it’s structural or not.
  • OEM (also OE or original): This is an acronym that stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. While not a term that only applies to body shops, it’s our way of labelling a part we buy from a dealership (OEM) from others. These parts are made by the same company who made your vehicle. 
  • PartsTrader: You’ve likely shopped on Amazon for a variety of items: cleaning products, clothes, soaps and detergents, school or office supplies, books, etc. Think of PartsTrader as a marketplace where buyers (body shops) and sellers (companies who sell parts) come together and transact. As a body shop, it’s a very easy way for us to check what parts are available, at what price, and how long it’ll take for delivery. 

R & R: No, that doesn’t mean we’re going to go take a nap and catch up on our rest. It means “remove” and “replace.” Whatever we’re doing, we’re going to take that particular part off your vehicle, continue with the repairs, and put that part right back without a scratch. Many times we need to get to something behind, for example, a bumper cover. So, we’ll take the bumper cover off, store it safely, complete our repairs, then put that same bumper cover back on. 

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