Collision Repair Parts Terms

When you’re having your car repaired after a collision, there are bound to be a lot of auto parts related terms thrown around. We’ve put together a list to help you understand some of them that are less common outside of the collision repair world.

Aftermarket Parts - Replacement parts for a vehicle that were not built by the original equipment manufacturer.

Basecoat - This is a layer of highly pigmented paint that goes over the primer and under a clear coat. It provides color, but requires the protection of a clear coat.

Body Filler - A material that is used to fill in dents on car panels.

CAPA - The Certified Automotive Parts Association, located in Washington D.C., exists to manage testing and inspection of auto parts used in collision repair.

Clear Coat  - A top layer of clear paint (it contains no pigment) that protects and covers a pigmented basecoat.

Collision - The loss that occurs when a vehicle hits or is hit by another vehicle or moving object.

Competitive Parts - This is another term used for aftermarket parts.

Ferrous - This describes metal that contains iron.

Filter - A filter removes contaminates from a material. Your vehicle contains many kinds of filters, like an oil filter, a fuel filter, and an air filter.

Finish coat - Another name for a top coat, clear coat, or gloss coat. However it can also be flat, or without gloss.

Frame - The skeleton of the vehicle is called the frame. It is usually made of steel or other strong metals and holds things like the suspension system, the engine, and the body together.

Galvanized - A steel that is coated with zinc is galvanized.

LKQ - Like Kind and Quality describes an auto part that was salvaged from another vehicle - usually another of the same make and model, or one that uses the same exact part.

Panel - The outer parts of a vehicle. The painted surface that you see on a completed vehicle is made of different parts, each of these is called a panel.

Putty - A plastic material used to fill deep holes and wide gaps.

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturers make auto parts for new cars. If your vehicle is damaged and the part is replaced with an OEM part, it’s being replaced with a piece made by the same place that made the original part.

Substrate - An unpainted and uncoated panel.

Quality Recycled Part - An auto part salvaged from a yard.

Quality Replacement Part - Also called an aftermarket part, this is a new part that was not made by the original equipment manufacturer.


The repair on my car was done very quickly, and the car was returned clean on the inside and out - beautiful work!

Sarah B.

Awesome and professional from start to finish! Couldn't have been happier.. Thanks to a great team!

Paul B.

This was the third time in the past 10 years we had to have one of our cars fixed at Clarkstown International Collision. It’s never a pleasant situation but luckily with Clarkstown, you always get your car back in better condition than before. Same this time. From the moment Elias – our customer rep met us to explain the process and start the repair, you could tell they know their business. The office area, and the repair shop itself look very clean and organized despite all the vehicles being worked on. Elias was in constant contact with me providing updates and expected completion time. Always professional and courteous. In the end, my truck looks so nice I could not believe my eyes. The quality of their work is amazing. I honestly believe that it looks better than when it left the factory when new. I would recommend them to anybody. You can be assured that the job will be done beyond your satisfaction.


Excellent service. Thorough. Body work repair was great. Looked like a new car

Shirley Washington