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Welcome to Auto Repair Estimating. These lessons are designed to provide you with the basics to Auto Estimating. I hope you enjoy the lesson. Donnie
Lesson 6 – Types of Parts
“I always say don’t make plans, make options.” ~Jennifer Aniston
What This Chapter Covers:
This chapter covers the different types of parts and quality of parts used in the automotive industry.
Why This Is Important:
An estimator must know the different types and quality of parts available to be able to determine the best option for each make and model being repaired.
Topics Covered In This Chapter Include:
• OEM Parts
• Availability of Parts
• Aftermarket Parts
• CAPA-Certified Parts
• Used Parts
• Remanufactured, Rebuilt, and Reconditioned Parts
This chapter has been aligned with the following 2013 NATEF/ASE tasks:
B:11 Select and price OEM parts; verify availability, compatibility, and condition. HP-G
B:12 Select and price alternative/optional OEM parts; verify availability, compatibility and condition. HP-G
B:13 Select and price aftermarket parts; verify availability, compatibility, and condition. HP-G
B:14 Select and price recyclable/used parts; verify availability, compatibility and condition. HP-G
B:15 Select and price remanufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned parts; verify availability, compatibility and condition. HP-G
When it comes to new parts, there are many options to choose from. Not all parts are created equal, but there is a place for them depending on the vehicle being repaired. This chapter will cover the different types of parts, which will help you determine which option is best for each make and model vehicle being worked on.
If you have determined that a part must be replaced, then replacement parts will need to be used. On the estimate, indicate the cost of the part, the part number, and whether a right or left part is needed. For example, a fender has a right side and a left side. However, a hood does not. If the part is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part, then all of this information will be listed in the estimating guide or the computer estimating system. If if the part is aftermarket, used, reconditioned, or an add-on part, then a call may need to be made to determine the cost. The labor time will give you an idea of the labor and paint time to replace the part, but additional time may need to be added to the estimate.
The labor provided in the estimating guide is for new and undamaged OEM parts. If an aftermarket part does not fit properly, additional time may be required to adjust and fit. Another example is when using used or recycled parts. The part may require cleanup time or additional time to repair damage. This additional time may need to be added to the estimate as well.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of parts you may use during the repair process.
OEM parts are the original parts made by the vehicle manufacturer. These parts meet the the crash-test standard for the vehicle. OEM parts also have the proper e-coat and corrosion protection the vehicle manufacturer intended. Most body shops prefer using OEM parts, as they fit well and meet all of the requirements the auto manufacturer requires.
OEM parts may be more expensive than aftermarket parts, and many insurance companies may recommend using aftermarket parts. Some auto manufacturers have programs to price match aftermarket parts. If you prefer to use OEM parts, you may do some research to determine if these are available. I have a website for this in the resource section.
Availability Of Parts
Occasionally, you may not be able to buy OEM parts because they may not be available. This is something that needs to be determined during the estimating process. If the parts are not available, the part will be listed as discontinued. If the part has been discontinued, other options include aftermarket, used, or remanufactured, which will require the estimator to check to see if the part is available with these options.
Aftermarket parts are made for companies other than the vehicle manufacturer. This allows many companies to manufacture the parts. Different aftermarket manufacturers means that the parts may be of different quality depending on the manufacturer. In other words, not all aftermarket parts are of equal quality. The price can vary greatly as well. Some aftermarket manufacturers may have parts that fit well, have been crash-tested, and have the proper e-coat for corrosion protection, but there may be other aftermarket parts that do not fit well, have not been crash-tested, and have a cheap black primer that does not provide adequate corrosion protection.
One thing to look for with aftermarket parts is if the part is a certified auto part (CAPA). This certification means that the parts have been tested and meet a certain criteria. To learn more about CAPA certification, visit our resource section.
For the price and part number, a separate aftermarket guide provided by the aftermarket part manufacturer will be needed. Many computer estimating systems intergrate aftermarket suppliers and parts in the estimating system. A call will often need to be made to the supplier to verify that the part is available and the cost.
Used parts may also be referred to as recycled or salvage parts. Used parts are parts removed from another vehicle. They may be a good alternative to OEM parts, but you could encounter many problems.
For example, a used part may or may not be an OEM part. If the part had been replaced previously, it may have been replaced with a used, aftermarket, or OEM part.
Another problem with used parts is that they could be damaged or have rust. The paint mil thickness and other paint problems may exist. The part will need to be inspected to determine if the part needs to be stripped to metal, partially stripped, or repaired.
If any of these used parts have any of these conditions, then additional time will need to be added to the estimate.
There are instances when used parts work well. For example, a used door usually includes the door shell, the glass, window regulator, door handle, door hinges, and most of the hardware. This can cost considerably less than a door shell and new individual parts, especially if several of the components were damaged on the door during the accident, which will need to be replaced.
The cost for used parts will not be listed in estimating guides. Some computer estimating systems may intergrate used parts, and some databases list used parts, such as www.car-parts.com, but it’s a good idea to give the supplier a call to verify the cost and availability.
Remanufactured, Rebuilt, and Reconditioned Parts
Some types of parts may be remanufactured, rebuilt, or reconditioned. For instance, some companies repair plastic bumper covers and sell them as reconditioned parts. A metal bumper may be straightened and re-chromed. Engines and other mechanical parts have been rebuilt and sold as rebuilt parts.
Usually, there is an option of buying remanufactured parts when you go to the parts store, such as alternators, starters, and even brake pads. Basically, this is a used part that has had the worn parts replaced.
When adding these types of parts to an estimate, an online search, a catalog from the supplier, or a call will need to be made to the supplier to verify the cost and availability of the part.
Determining the best option for parts, locating the parts, and ordering them can take a lot of time. Some body shops have a parts person who orders the parts. The time spent ordering parts must make revenue. This is usually done by charging retail to the customer, and the discount you receive from parts vendors is going to be the generated parts revenue, which generally amounts to 20% to 30% of the parts price, but this is going to depend on relationships with parts vendors and the discount the vendor will provide.