Collision Glossary Terms


Calling an auto repair shop or bringing your vehicle in for a quote isn’t just time consuming, we understand it can also feel confusing if you’re unsure exactly what’s wrong and having a hard time describing the symptoms. At Dents Unlimited, we want to make it as easy as possible and be the shop you call for all-things automotive!

This is why we compiled a list of the most commonly used terms in our industry into a glossary to help you feel more comfortable having a conversation with our automotive professionals.. The Dents Unlimited glossary covers everything from paintless dent repair to regular auto body repair services, plus a few key auto insurance terms.

Common Collision Terms Used in the Auto Body Repair Industry

Aftermarket Parts or A/M

Vehicle replacement components made by a third-party manufacturer, not the original equipment.

Air Drying

Process of drying the paint applied to the vehicle by exposing it to air under normal room temperature.

Basecoat and Clearcoat System

A paint scheme utilizing a highly pigmented base coat and a clear coat for a gloss effect and durability.


A heavy metal platform which is used to restore the automotive’s structure back to its original specifications.


A detailed summary of the work needed to be done to repair and restore a damaged vehicle.

Chip Guard

A chip-resistant coating applied to the vehicle’s panels to protect it from chipping or removal of paint caused by sharp objects, stones or other debris.

Claims Adjuster

A person assigned by the insurance company to settle claims by assessing the claims made and recommending a payment process in accordance with the coverage of the policy.


This is the amount paid by the insured after a collision incident which is still not covered by the insurance policy. The insurance company assumes the cost over the deductible amount up to the specified limit.


Refers to the final cleaning process done inside and outside the vehicle including the finishing touches, removal of overspray and polishing before the car’s delivery.

Direct Repair Shop

These are repair shops preferred by insurance companies that are included in the direct repair program of your provider.

Edge-to-edge Repair

A restoration process which refers to a complete panel repair and not just spot repairs.


A repair process which removes rust and old paint from the vehicle’s surface.


An acronym for Like Kind and Quality, used part recovered from a scrapped vehicle.


The process of covering areas of the vehicle which should not be painted.


Stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, replacement parts distributed by the original manufacturer.


Also means overhaul which includes different processes such as disassembling, inspection, replacement and reinstallation of parts.

Paintless Dent Repair

Techniques used to remove minor dents from the body panel without damaging the paint.

R & I

Acronym for remove and install which refers to the parts that are being removed during repair process and installed back to the vehicles.

R & R

Acronym for remove and replace which refers to the parts removed from the vehicles and replaced with a new or reused car parts.


This refers to the used original parts repaired or restored by a licensed manufacturer or third party merchant.

Total Loss

The condition of a collision-damaged vehicle wherein the cost of the repair is greater than the market value of the vehicle

Water-borne Paint

The use of water to adjust the paint’s viscosity for automotive refinish painting.

We hope this glossary helps you better understand some of our most commonly used terms regarding diagnostic and repair service, but please do not hesitate to ask us any additional questions you might have about the process! As Columbia, Mo’s premier auto body repair shop, we value our customer’s satisfaction and strive to meet expectations in a timely manner.


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