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If you have to have parts replaced when your car is repaired, it’s likely you’ll have a choice of parts: OEM, aftermarket, or salvaged.

You may have heard the general difference: OEM is the exact part your car had when it was new, aftermarket parts are like off-brand replacement parts, and salvaged or recycled parts have been used on another car.

In general, that’s true. But there is a little more to aftermarket parts than meets the eye.

There are other names for aftermarket parts.

You might hear aftermarket parts referred to as non-OEM parts, generic parts, or competitive replacement parts.

Sometimes aftermarket parts are the best option.

Just because they’re not made by the original parts manufacturer doesn’t mean aftermarket parts aren’t high quality.

Sometimes, they may be made of higher quality materials or included added technology that the original parts didn’t include. Sometimes, they look the same but fit your budget better simply because they are made by a different manufacturer.

Some of the major benefits of aftermarket parts include:

● Non-OEM parts are generally less expensive,
● They’re often more readily available,
● Aftermarket parts generally have great warranties.

Aftermarket parts can come with a warranty.

If you’re worried about the warranty on your vehicle, check with your warranty provider. Sometimes, aftermarket parts come with their own warranty that surpasses your original warranty! Each part is different so always ask.

You can find certified aftermarket parts.

If you’re wondering about the quality about aftermarket parts, look for a certification. CAPA and NSF International are two reliable certifications you can check for.

You may have to ask about the parts used on your car.

If you want to decide whether your car is repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts, ASK YOUR REPAIR SHOP. In some states, insurance companies can choose for you without your consent. In other states you have to be notified or approve the parts used on your car.

It’s not uncommon to use aftermarket parts and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, as a vehicle owner, it’s in your best interest to know what’s going on with your car.

If your have questions, as your repair technician.

If you’re not sure about what’s going on with your car, ask! A great repair shop will help you understand and make an educated decision about your auto repair.

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After you’ve been in an accident, you have a lot going on. The last thing you need when you’re worried about getting your car repaired quickly, safely, and affordably is a bunch of confusing car insurance terms to work through! Check out our guide to auto insurance words you might hear in a collision repair shop.

Act of God

When something out of human control or influence happens (that damages a vehicle) it’s called an Act of God. Things like forest fires, tornadoes and other storms, earthquakes, floods, or a volcanic eruption fall into this category. Acts of God are generally covered under comprehensive coverage, not collision or liability.

Additional Insured or Additional Interest

A person other than the main insured person who is also covered on an insurance policy is an additional insured. For example, if your car is leased, your leasing company is likely an additional insured on your policy.

Carrier

The insurance company, or insurance carrier, is the entity that issues an insurance policy. It’s called a carrier because it carries certain risks in lieu of the main insured person.

Claim

Any request or demand for the carrier to pay according to the insurance policy is called a claim. The person who makes the claim is the claimant.

Coverage

The benefits and protections that are named in an insurance policy constitute the coverage. Each portion of the policy is subject to the terms and conditions of that specific policy, so your coverage may not be the same as your neighbor’s even if you use the same carrier.

No Fault Insurance

Some states require insurance companies to pay losses of their policyholders that are covered in the claims without regard to fault in an accident. This doesn’t mean they have to pay for everything, it just means that the policy kicks in when a covered accident happens and not when fault is determined.

Comparative Negligence

This legal principle is applicable in certain states and means that even when a driver is partly at fault for an accident, they’re still able to make a partial claim. The negligence of each party is compared to that of the other party and the claim depends on the percentage of responsibility.

Contributory Negligence

This legal principle is applicable in certain states and means that a driver who is at fault, even a little bit, is not able to make a claim on their insurance policy.

Deductible

Insurance policies include a deductible, or a set fee that the covered party is responsible to pay toward damages before the insurance can be paid out.

Exclusions

An exclusion is something that is not covered under an insurance policy. It may be a certain event, person, property, situation, or something else. For example, it’s unlikely that damage caused by drag racing is covered under an auto insurance policy, even if an accident occurs.

Loss

This is the amount the insurance company pays out on any given claim.

Steering

If an insurer tries to get a vehicle owner to use a certain repair shop, it’s called steering. Steering is illegal in most states and vehicle owners have the right to choose their own repair shop.

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Your car has been to the collision shop, it’s been repaired, made to look new, and you’ve taken it home. If it had a new paint job, your body shop technicians were meticulous in ensuring that the new paint matched the old paint. Paint is tasked with protecting your car from rust, so it’s up to you to keep it in shape.

Look for Flaws

As with any repair, if you notice something isn’t right, say something as soon as possible. This goes for paint too! One of the hardest parts about painting a car after a repair is matching the original paint.

  • Look at the color on a bright sunny day.
  • Check up close and from a distance.
  • Look for hairs, dirt and overspray.
  • The paint should be smooth and even.

Take Extra Care for 30-60 Days

When your car was new, you were probably extra careful with it, protecting its shiny new paint and treating it with some fragility. After a major repair, this is a great way to treat fresh paint! It needs time to cure and harden before it can truly protect your car. While new cars have time in a protected environment before they’re sold, a fresh repair is back out on the road ASAP. Make sure to give your paint a little extra love and care.

The following are some everyday things that can damage your paint.

Dirt Roads & Construction Zones

Loose gravel and dirt is on the road, it’s unavoidable. If you can avoid dirt roads and major construction zones while your paint is fresh, it will go a long way in protecting your paint, which is vulnerable to chips and scrapes from flying debris.

Scraping or Chipping at Snow or Ice

In winter (or long-lasting spring), chipping away at snow and ice on your windshield is necessary. Make sure you’re not scraping it from the paint too!

Splattered Bugs

Splattered bugs on the windshield are an obvious annoyance, but thanks to the acidity of bug splatter (ew!) they’re also damaging to your paint and can become permanently etched into the surface.

Bird Droppings

As gross as it is go find bird poop on your car, the droppings can also be full of acidic berries, hard seeds, and other grainy bits that can dull and scratch the paint on your car.

Tree Sap

Parking under a tree leaves your car vulnerable to more than damage from animals, it might leave your car covered in sap! Sticky and full of chemicals that aren’t meant to interact with car paint, it’s best to find another shady spot to leave your car.

Sunlight

Sunlight can also damage your paint. The UV rays cause paint to dull and fade, just like they can damage your skin.

Commercial Car Washes

Keeping your car clean is an important part of protecting the paint! It’s best to hand-wash new paint in cool water with mild soap with a soft sponge or cloth. Don’t use chemicals, avoid dish or laundry detergent, and make sure your water is clean and not full of dust and pebbles. Avoid leaving it to dry in the sun.

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