Autobody Replacement Parts Decoded

So you’ve been in an accident. You go to a body shop for a quote and the estimator tells you that your vehicle needs some parts replaced. He hands you back a sheet with all sorts of foreign words on it. OEM? LKQ? Aftermarket? What does all of this even mean? Let’s take a look!

What kind of replacement parts will be used on my vehicle?
That all depends! There are many replacement part types that can be used when repairing a vehicle. The type of part that your insurance company will pay for depends on the kind of coverage you’ve purchased.

What are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts?
These are brand new, never-before-used parts made by the manufacturer of your vehicle, and designed for your specific year, make, and model. OEM replacements parts are highly recommended by vehicle manufacturers because they do the best job of maintaining the integrity of your vehicle and keeping passengers safe in the event of an accident. Because they are new, they have never been compromised and can be safely trusted to bring your vehicle back to pre-accident condition.

*It should be noted that some insurance companies offer what’s called an OEM Parts Endorsement. It is additional coverage policyholders can purchase that ensures only OEM replacement parts will be used during a repair. Be sure to contact your agent to see if your insurance company offers this coverage*

What are LKQ parts?
Like Kind Quality (or Used) parts are exactly what they sound like: used parts. Used and LKQ parts come off other vehicles and are typically refurbished or remanufactured before being resold as replacement parts. While they are technically OEM parts, they are not brand new and have more than likely been taken from a vehicle that was in an accident and deemed unrepairable. Overall quality can vary greatly amongst used parts.

*Insurance companies have many different labels for used parts. They may appear on an insurance estimate as “LKQ”, “Remanufactured”, “Recycled”, “Reman”, “Quality Recycled”, or simply “Used”*

What are Aftermarket parts?
These are parts that were made by a third-party manufacturer, not the manufacturer that built your vehicle. Aftermarket parts are often the cheapest option available, however they, like certain used parts, can vary greatly in quality as the third-party manufacturer may not have the same quality control measures and crashworthiness indicators as the original equipment manufacturer.

*Like used parts, aftermarket parts have many different labels. They may appear on an insurance estimate as “A/M’, “PXN”, or “Aftermarket”

Check back regularly for more articles about insurance and auto body repair. In the meantime, if you have any questions or inquiries about auto insurance coverage or auto body repairs in general, feel free to call us at (630) 860-0010 or email us at We hope to hear from you soon!