Your Go-To Glossary for Auto Body Repair Terminology

Posted by Chris Medine on Sep 28, 2018 11:18:00 AM

auto body glossaryEvery industry is guilty of it.  We have our own jargon that becomes so familiar to us that we can sometimes take for granted that it is completely foreign to others.  This may not always be problematic, but when your industry is something like collision repair, and your customers are victims who are trying to sort through an already difficult insurance process, the last thing you want to do is add to their confusion or frustration.  For that reason, we have decided to compile a small glossary of terms which are often used throughout the world of auto body repair and provide some insight on what exactly those terms mean.

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

Actual cash value is the amount a vehicle is worth as determined by the insurer’s own proprietary software. 

Aftermarket Parts

Parts that are mass produced by third party manufacturers for use on a variety of vehicle makes and models.  Most aftermarket parts are produced in Taiwan or other areas of China.  All Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are patented and CANNOT be replicated exactly.  Aftermarket parts may look the same but will have one of the following:  thinner metal, plastic tabs in the wrong places, lesser quality materials, bolt holes out of alignment, incorrect size or several other inaccuracies.   As the cheapest option, insurance companies frequently attempt to use these parts.

DRP (Direct Repair Program)

Direct Repair Program (DRP) Shops are shops that are under contract with the insurance companies and MUST abide by the requirements of the insurance company.  In exchange for insurance companies sending their DRP shops work, the shops will repair the vehicles by the rules of their contract – not by the manufacturer requirements or recommendations.  Medines chooses NOT to be under contract with any insurance companies.  Medines feels that we cannot look out for our customer’s best interest and stay within the confines of a DRP contract.


Aspects of a repair that are not covered by insurance or warranty.

LKQ (Like, Kind and Quality)

Parts that are not original to the vehicle but are similar in quality and composition (aftermarket parts).

OEM Parts

Original manufacturer parts that were produced by the maker of the vehicle for use on that particular model.

Pre-loss Condition

The condition a vehicle was in immediately prior to an accident. 

Reconditioned / Recycled Parts

Parts that are original to the make and model of the vehicle but that have been used previously.  They must be considered “insurance quality” but they are junk yard parts.  They are usually less expensive but generally are not in perfect condition.  Insurance companies put used, recycled or reconditioned parts on their estimates to save money.  Medines will reject any recycled sheet metal parts or bumpers that are not in pristine condition.  Medines Collision Center will NOT install used or recycled suspension or mechanical parts on our customer’s vehicles.

R&I (Remove and Install)

Parts (often trim pieces) that will be removed from the vehicle while repairs or painting are completed and reinstalled after.

R&R (Remove and Replace)

Damaged parts that are removed from the vehicle and replaced with OEM, reconditioned or aftermarket parts.

RO (Repair Order)

Documentation of all the collision center’s work including parts used, repairs performed, and hours of labor.

Total Loss

According to Louisiana law, a total loss is a vehicle which has sustained damages that are equal to or greater than 75% of its market value as defined by the most recent National Automobile Dealers Association Handbook.  The exception to this rule is any vehicle damaged by hail for which the cost of repairs is significantly impacted by broken glass, exterior paint, and dents to the auto body.  These automobiles will be salvaged and issued a new title indicating the hail damage.

While this list is certainly not comprehensive, it does give an overview of some of the most commonly used auto body repair phrases and terminology.  At Medines, we believe it is our responsibility to keep our clients informed.  This means we always strive to be clear in our communication and transparent throughout the repair and insurance claims process.  If you have recently been involved in an accident, call us to schedule a free estimate.

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