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Auto body repair shops use hundreds of terms to describe different car-repair parts and techniques. Before you visit a body shop, it helps to know some of the most common terms that the technicians will be using. Read this article to learn some useful auto body repair terminology.

Repaired Car


When you call your auto insurance company after a collision, they will refer you to an adjuster. This person is a representative for the company that investigates the details of the accident and determines how the company is going to settle the insurance claim.


The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a non-profit organization that certifies automotive technicians. In order to earn ASE certification, a car repair technician must prove that he or she has several years of experience and must pass a series of rigorous technical exams.


That glossy look that you see on a new car is achieved by a clear, urethane-based paint called a clear-coat. After repairing a car, an auto body shop will apply one or more layers of clear-coat to make it look like it just rolled off the showroom floor instead of the garage.

OEM Parts

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is the type of parts that you should insist on for your car when it is being repaired or serviced. These parts are tested and built by the manufacturer for your specific vehicle, guaranteeing that they fit and perform as expected.

Total Loss

When the total estimated cost to repair a vehicle exceeds the vehicle’s estimated value, the car is considered a “total loss” by the insurance company. The estimated repair cost usually includes the cost of all repairs and rental, while the value of the vehicle refers to its salvage value.

If your car has been in a collision recently, come to Michael J’s Body Shop of San Jose. For over 20 years we have provided the Bay Area with quality repairs for a great value. Call us at 408-279-2070 for more information about our state-of-the-art collision repair facilities.