Below are common auto body repair terms and descriptions that will help smooth your way through your auto’s repair from beginning to end.
aftermarket auto body parts
Auto body repair parts not made by the original manufacturer. Aftermarket auto body parts are made to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) auto body parts. Some aftermarket auto body parts have been redesigned to increase the performance of your car, truck, van or minivan. Some auto parts stores sell wholesale auto body parts. These aftermarket auto body parts include car antennas, new vehicle bumpers, car mirrors, new car doors, auto fenders and fender flares, automotive grills, new car and truck hoods, hubcaps, replacement and new running boards, truck tailgates and truck tonneau covers.
Also known as: aftermarket parts, aftermarket auto body parts, functionally-equivalent auto parts, off-brand auto parts, off-make auto parts, performance aftermarket parts, aftermarket body parts, aftermarket auto body parts
auto body repair shop
An automotive repair shop that specializes in repairing the body, or outside, of vehicles. Auto body repair shops restore vehicles damaged in automobile accidents and those that have sustained damage to their exteriors due to vandalism, weather and corrosion.
Also known as: auto body repair shop, auto collision repair shop, auto body paint repair shops, collision auto repair shops, auto body repair services, automotive body repair facilities, collision centers, auto body shops
basecoat / clear auto paint
Automotive paint process in which the basecoat is highly colored and shows through the durable and glossy clear coat. Popular manufacturers of automotive basecoat and clear auto paint include 3-M Automotive, Diamont Auto Paint, Duramix, EZ Mix Cups, GCI Alkyd Enamels and Matrix Auto Paint.
Also known as: basecoat clearcoat painting, base coat clear coat automotive paint, 2 part clear coat, urethane base coat
Auto bumpers are among the most important safety features of your vehicle. Bumpers are located on the front and back of all cars, trucks and mini vans, and they are designed to absorb the shock of a collision or car accident. Some bumpers are designed with crumple zones that flex and bend during a collision to provide better car accident protection. Bumper repair and replacement are common because of the frequency of major and minor car accidents that cause damage to the front and rear bumpers.
ChipGuard is a chip resistant, protective coating applied to cars, trucks, minivans and vans to avoid paint chipping. Chip Guard is normally applied to the lower panels at the front of vehicles and near the tires. This clear car paint protector keeps automotive defends against stones, bugs and road debris that can damage your automotive finish. 3M Automotive Chip Guard, SEM Chip Guard and StonGard are three of the most popular types of ChipGuard available.
Also known as: auto paint protector, auto paint protector guard, bumper guard, auto paint protector, automotive paint protection film
chipping (auto paint chipping)
Auto paint is said to chip when stones and other debris cause the colored paint finish to break off in small pieces. Auto body paint shops can buff out and refill chipped areas with matching paint to make the damage invisible.
Also known as: auto paint chips, auto paint chipping
Clear coat is the top layer of auto paint applied to add shine and protect the colored basecoat. A clear coat does not have pigment added to it, so the color of the auto paint basecoat shows through. PROFIX automotive paints, DuPont auto paint, PPG, ICI, BASF vehicle paints and Sherwin-Williams car paints are the more popular clear coat auto paint suppliers.
Also known as: clear coat paint, clear coat spray, car clear coat, auto clear coat, automotive clear coat, urethane clear coat, acrylic clear coat, epoxy clear coat, clear coat painting, enamel clear coat, base coat clear coat paint, lacquer clear coat, acrylic urethane clear coat
Single layers of auto paint are referred to as a coat of paint.
Also known as: paint coat, paint layer, layers of auto paint
Corrosion happens to the bodies of metal vehicles when the metal is exposed to oxygen and water. Some corrosion appears as rust and causes visible degradation of metal surfaces. Auto paint helps curb corrosion and offers protection against water and oxygen.
Also known as: auto body rust, auto body deterioration, weathering, oxidation, car corrosion
Auto body shops offer dent repair for trucks, vans, cars and minivans. Auto dent repair is a method of removing car dents by pushing or hammering them out from the underside of the vehicle. Vehicle dent repair is effective for large and small dents, and may or may not require the application of fresh auto paint depending on the severity of the dent and the condition of the paint surrounding it.
Also known as: paintless dent repair, auto dent repair, car dent repair, dent auto repair, mobile dent repair, bumper dent repair, automotive dent repair, door dent repair, hail dent repair, scratch and dent repair
Auto paint topcoats that contain pigment and gloss are referred to as direct gloss. Direct gloss auto paint doesn’t require an application of clearcoat, and it protects vehicle bodies from weathering and corrosion.
Also known as: DG
direct repair program
DRP insurance programs are usually an agreement between auto body shops and auto insurance companies. These DRP repair shops agree to repair collision damage using a standardized set of rules and procedures including repair techniques, parts and materials used, warranty coverage and billing practices in exchange for the insurance company directing customers to their cooperating direct repair program body shops.
Also known as: DRP, direct repair programs
New auto paint must undergo drying, where it hardens and becomes a protective coating on the vehicle. Air drying takes place when paint is applied and exposed to air at normal temperatures. Force drying and low-bake are the terms for the process of drying auto paint at low and medium temperatures. High-bake auto paint drying occurs when the air is heated to accelerate drying.
Edge-to-edge repair is a complete auto body repair for trucks, cars, minivans and vans. This type of auto body repair requires the removal and replacement or restoration of an entire vehicle panel. This is the opposite of car body touch-up or spot repairs, which are possible for damaged auto body panels and auto paint when only a small area is damaged, chipping or removed.
enamel auto paint
A clear or colored topcoat automobile paint that has a shiny finish is called enamel vehicle paint. Enamel auto paints are available in gloss or semi-gloss finishes. Popular brands of enamel auto paint include those by PPG, DuPont, Maxx 2K and DupliColor.
Also known as: urethane enamel paint, auto body paint, auto paints, touch-up paint, lacquer auto paint, acrylic enamel auto paint
Van, truck and car fenders are the auto body panels located on the sides of the vehicle in front of the doors. Vehicle fenders serve aesthetic and practical functions. Fender-benders are a common, yet minor auto accident that damages the fenders of vehicles as a result of a collision. Some modern cars and trucks are designed with fenders that are easily replaced because fender benders are so common.
Finish coats are the last coats of auto paint layered onto vans, trucks and cars during auto body repairs.
Gloss is the term used to describe how shiny or reflective vehicle paint is. Matte, semi-gloss and glossy are the common levels of reflectivity found in auto body gloss paints.
Also known as: high gloss paint, semi gloss paint, gloss painting, enamel gloss paint, acrylic gloss paint, water-based gloss paint
like kind and quality (LKQ)
Salvaged auto body parts removed from one vehicle and installed on another are often denoted as LKQ on estimates and invoices for auto body repairs. These car body parts rarely come with warranties and are often much less expensive than new auto body parts. LKQ auto parts may be the best option for owners of rare or specialty vehicles that have a hard time finding new auto body parts for their van, car or truck.
Also known as: salvaged auto parts, used auto parts, refurbished auto parts, rebuilt auto parts, LKQ auto parts, car salvage, auto salvage parts
Temporarily covering areas of vehicles that are not to be painted with plastic or tape. Masking should be done carefully to avoid overspray and uneven edges. However, most auto body repair shops agree that masking is not a proper substitute for removing parts of the vehicle such as car mirrors and auto door handles that can create gaps in the paint application that cheapen and weaken a new auto paint job.
Also known as: auto taping, pre-paint taping, pre-paint masking, masking for painting, mask-out paint, auto paint mask, car paint mask, car paint masking
metallic auto paints
Metallic auto paint is standard colored vehicle paint that has fine metallic particles mixed in to add shine and sparkle. DuPont car paints, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, Trinity 1945, 3M, Krylon and SEM Paints are some popular makers of metallic vehicle paints.
Auto parts made by vehicle manufacturers including Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Honda and BMW. While they may cost more than aftermarket auto parts, OEM parts usually fit better, last longer and are covered by more extensive warranties.
Also known as: Original Equipment Manufacturer parts, stock vehicle parts, stock parts
The first layer of an auto paint application is called primer. Auto primer is applied to an unpainted surface to protect the body of the vehicle and help the layers of vehicle paint adhere to the surface.
Also known as: base coat, auto paint primer
Primer-sealer is the auto paint undercoat applied to seal underlying layers of paint and adhere the topcoat to the base.
Auto body damage to minivans, trucks, cars and vans is often disguised by primer-filler. It’s a colored material that evenly fills scrapes and gashes and acts as a primer to attract and hold the topcoats of paint to the vehicle body. Primer-filler is most often used on bumpers, car doors and vehicle body panels that have been damaged in car accidents and fender-benders.
Used to fill auto body damage such as gaps and holes, auto putty is a plastic material that can be sanded and painted over. Auto body repair putty is generally used to hide car crash and vehicle accident damage to bumpers, car doors, bumper trim and auto side panels.
remove and install
Auto body parts that are not damaged can be removed and installed back on the vehicle after the other collision repairs are completed. This is usually referred to on estimates and invoices as Remove & Install or R&I.
Also known as: R&I, remove & install
remove and reface
Auto body parts that are damaged beyond repair are itemized as Remove & Reface, or R&R. These car, truck, minivan and van parts are replaced with new body parts.
Also known as: R&R, remove & reface
salvage auto body parts
Auto parts taken from recycled vehicles are called salvage auto parts. These are often inexpensive auto repair parts, but they usually don’t come with warranties because they haven’t been repaired or altered so their reliability can’t be guaranteed. Salvage auto parts for trucks, cars and minivans are often a last resort for vehicle owners looking for hard-to-find parts for rare or older vehicles. Commonly salvaged auto body parts include car and truck bumpers, vehicle doors, car body panels and car mirrors.
Also known as: salvage auto parts, salvage car parts, salvaged parts, used auto parts, replacement parts, used car parts
Surface coatings on vehicles are often sanded using an abrasive process to provide better adhesion to topcoats of auto paint.
Also known as: grit sanding, wet sanding, disc sanding, belt sanding, car sanding, paint sanding, automotive sanding, finish sanding, refinishing
The undercoat of auto body paint, which improves the adhesion of the topcoat and seals existing painted surfaces to prevent damage and corrosion.
Also known as: auto sealant, auto paint sealant, auto paint sealer, auto sealants, acrylic sealer, spray sealant, sealcoating
Spot repair is possible for damaged auto body panels and auto paint when only a small area is damaged, chipping or removed. Minivan, car and truck spot repair is generally much less expensive than edge-to-edge auto body repair, which requires the removal and replacement or restoration of an entire vehicle panel.
Also known as: auto paint ding repair, scratch repair, auto paint chip repair
three coat auto body paint
This type of auto paint repair includes a basecoat, a colored middle coat and a clear topcoat. 3M, PPG, SEM, VHT, Krylon and Dupli-Color are popular makers of auto body paints used in three-coat auto body paint application on cars, trucks and mini-vans.
The final layers of auto body paint. Topcoat often includes UV light absorbers that protect the auto body paint underneath from fading.
Also known as: clear coat, lacquer clear coat, acrylic topcoat auto paint
A localized auto body paint repair that only covers a small area. Touch up paint jobs usually hide nicks, dings, chips and scratches that occur on car hoods, vehicle doors, bumpers and fenders.
Also known as: scratch repair, scratch removal, auto touch up paint
used auto body parts
Auto parts that have been used and rebuilt, refurbished or reinstalled in another vehicle. Some of the most common used auto body parts installed on trucks, cars and mini vans include used car doors, vehicle hoods, auto bumpers, used trunk lids and vehicle hubcaps.
Also known as: refurbished auto parts, rebuilt auto parts, used car parts
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