Aftermarket Parts Automotive replacement parts that were not made by the original equipment manufacturer. Are still covered under shops Lifetime Guarantee on workmanship and paint.


Basecoat ( BC ) / Clear Coat A paint system in which the color effect is given by a highly pigmented basecoat. Gloss and durability are given by a subsequent clearcoat.

Betterment Term used to describe an item replaced due to an accident that has some wear. The practice is often applied to tires and batteries that are several years old. If a battery has used up 3/4 of its life, the Insurance company will pro-rate the item's cost and in this case will pay 1/4 of the cost to replace the battery and will ask the insured or claimant to pay the remaining 3/4. The premise being that the Insurance Company is only obligated to return the vehicle to its pre-accident condition.


Chip Guard A chip resistant, protective coating normally applied to lower panels to avoid sharp stones etc. chipping the paint finish.

Chipping The removal of paint from a substrate by means of impact of sharp stones etc.

Clear or Clear coat The clearcoat imparts gloss and protection to a basecoat clearcoat system. It is essentially a pigment-free paint.

Coat A single layer of paint on a surface.

Compounding The action of using an abrasive polishing material either by hand or by machine. Alternate Term(s): Polishing

Corrosion Degradation of the metal substrate by oxidation. That is the formation of an oxide layer on the metal surface. This process requires that the metal surface be exposed to oxygen, and is favoured in the presence of water. In the case of iron and steel, corrosion is often referred to as rusting.


Degreasing The removal from the substrate of contaminants which would otherwise give rise to surface defects and performance failures. E.g. poor adhesion.

Detailing Final cleaning both inside and outside of vehicle, application of pinstripes, removal of overspray from underhood, trunk lids etc. as well as polishing.

DRP Acronym for Direct Repair Program. These programs often involve a contractual agreement between an Autobody Repair Center and an Insurance Company. For the most part, the agreements set the rules of repair and standardized procedures such as warranties, billing practices and record keeping.

Drying The process of change of a coating from the liquid to the solid state by evaporation of solvent, chemical reaction of the binding medium, or a combination of these processes. When drying takes place during exposure to air at normal temperatures, it is called 'air-drying'; if it can be accelerated by the application of a moderate degree of heat it is called 'Force-drying' (or Low-bake), as distinct from High-bake. Alternate Term(s): Binder, Air-drying, Force-drying, Stoving, Low-bake, High-bake


Four Wheel Alignment Generally appears as a line item on a repair estimate or repair order. It will sometimes be accompanied by 4-W or 4-Wheel alignment. This simply means that the vehicle needs to have all wheels aligned.

Frame Rack A heavy metal platform used to restore a vehicle's structural geometry to factory specifications. This is done by securing a portion of the vehicle to the platform, then pulling appropriate areas of the vehicle into place using special clamps, chains and hydraulic winches. Alternate Term(s): Bench, Frame Machine


Gloss The degree to which a painted surface possesses the property of reflecting light in a mirror-like manner.


Hazardous Waste Any unusable by-product derived from the repair and/or painting process that cannot be disposed of through normal waste disposal streams. These products can be potentially harmful to the environment and require special handling as well as professional disposal. Federal, State and Local laws apply and may differ in their scope.


LKQ (Used Part) Acronym for Like Kind and Quality. Refers to a used part salvaged from another vehicle. It is inspected by the seller and re-inspected by the shop upon receipt and accepted if it is deemed appropriate.


Masking Temporary covering of areas not to be painted.

Metallic A term used for finishes incorporating fine metallic particles, usually aluminum, in the paint.

Mica A naturally occurring mineral, based on silica, which after treatment, is used as an effect pigment in coatings. Their special property is that light falling on a mica particle, depending on the angle of illumination, reflects the light with a change in color. Because of this they are sometimes referred to as pearls. Alternate Term(s): Pearl


Pearlescent See "Mica". Alternate Term(s): Mica

Pigment The coloring matter in paint. A pigment is different from a dye in that a pigment is insoluble in the media in which it is used.

Prep The process of washing, degreasing and lightly abrading a panel prior to applying paint.     Alternate Term(s): Prep Work

Pretreatment (metal) The chemical treatment of unpainted metal surfaces before painting, for enhanced adhesion and corrosion resistance.

Primer The first layer of a coating system. Applied to an unpainted surface. It's role is to protect the substrate and to prepare it for the application of a surfacer or topcoat. It must therefore have above all, excellent adhesion to the substrate and to the coating which will follow.

Primer-Sealer An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.

Primer/surfacer primer/filler A pigmented composition which acts as a primer and at the same time has filling properties such that it may be sanded to provide a smooth surface for the colour coat that is to follow.

Putty (Plastic Body Filler) A plastic material with a high mineral filler content - used for filling deep holes or wide gaps.


R&I Acronym for Remove and Install. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle to be saved and reinstalled after the repair has been completed.

R&R Acronym for Remove and Replace. Refers to a part removed from the customer's damaged vehicle that cannot be acceptably repaired. It is replaced with a new part.

Repair Authorization The point at which a Consumer authorizes the repair to their vehicle (and in some cases contingent upon the Insurance Company settlement process).

Rubbing Compound An abrasive paste that smoothes and polishes paint films.     Alternate Term(s): Polishing compound


Sanding An abrasive process used to level a coated surface prior to the application of a further coat. Alternate Term(s): Flatting

Sealer An undercoat which improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces that have been sanded.

Solid Color A coating which contains colored pigments only, i.e., does not contain pigments such as aluminums and micas.

Solvent A liquid, usually volatile, which is used to reduce viscosity. This is essential in both manufacturing and application processes. Solvents evaporate during application and drying of paint and therefore do not become a part of the dried film. In conventional coatings the solvents are organic compounds (Alcohols, Esters and Ketones) whilst in waterborne systems there is a mix of organic solvents with water.

Substrate The uncoated/unpainted surface.

Supplement Additional repairs needed to complete the repair that were not identified on the original estimate


Tack Rag Cotton fabric, such as cheesecloth, lightly impregnated with a resin, used to remove dust from a surface after rubbing down and prior to further painting. Tack rags should be stored in an airtight container to conserve their tackiness.

Thinner A blend of volatile organic solvents added to the paint to reduce it to the correct viscosity for application.

Three Coat Color A topcoat color which consists of 3 parts, a basecoat, a midcoat and a clear. Alternate Term(s): Tri-coat

Tint and Blend The process of mixing toners to match the existing paint finish, then blending or overlapping the color into the adjacent panel to avoid color match problems.

Top Coat The final layers of a coating system whose role is primarily decorative. However the topcoat often imparts protection to ultra violet light present in sunlight.

Touch-up A localised repair usually confined to the smallest area possible (for example, repairs due to stone chips damage).


U.V. Absorbers Chemicals added to paint to absorb Ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight.

Ultra Violet Light That portion of the spectrum which is largely responsible for the degradation of paint films. Invisible to the eye, causes sunburn.

Undercoats A first coat; primer, sealer or surfacer.

Unibody The structural support found in most late model vehicles.


VIN Acronym for Vehicle Identification Number. This is a unique number that identifies your vehicle. Although its primary purpose is to identify your vehicle, it often contains important information concerning the equipment and options that were installed on your vehicle at the factory. This information allows the Repair Center to order the correct parts for your vehicle. Any professional estimate or Repair Order will have this number on it.

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