Here at Frederick Auto Body we see LOTS of collision repair estimates! A major component of any vehicle repair is replacement parts. There are 3 basic options repair shops and insurance companies can choose from: OEM (original equipment manufacturer), LKQ (Like Kind Quality, or used), or aftermarket.
Of course the best quality parts are OEM as they are made by the same company that built the car in the first place. These parts are usually the highest quality, with perfect fit and finish. Using LKQ parts is always a bit of a gamble – sometimes they are perfect, other times they come in damaged or worn out from use. There is a wide spectrum of aftermarket parts from very good to extremely poor. At Frederick Auto Body, we only use CAPA Certified aftermarket parts. This means the parts have been independently certified to have the proper fit, finish, and quality of the OEM parts. There are cheaper options, but just like everything else you get what you pay for. These cheaper aftermarket parts usually do not fit well, or are such low quality that they will not last.
So how is it determined what parts are used? In many cases the insurance company decides what parts to use. If you check your policy, you will usually see how they determine what parts to use. Newer cars most often get OEM parts, once they are a few years old many insurance companies turn to used or aftermarket parts. At Frederick Auto Body, we discuss the different parts options with our customers to make sure they are comfortable with the replacement parts we use. Since we have a full lifetime warranty on all of our work, we only use the highest quality part option available no matter what.
If you have an insurance estimate, bring it by Frederick Auto Body at 310 E 4th St or call us at (301) 698-0008. we will be more than happy to explain the estimate to you and make sure the best possible parts are being used.