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Using recycled parts to repair your vehicle

You’ve just had an accident and you file a claim with your insurance. The Adjuster comes out to inspect your vehicle and writes an estimate. If the Adjuster has done their job correctly, they will have gone over the estimate with you and explained what they have written. One of the items on the estimate, is to replace a body panel with a quality replacement part or recycled part. You respond to the Adjuster by saying, “I do not want used parts on my vehicle” It helps to understand the logic and benefit from using recycled parts to repair your vehicle.

For example, lets say that you drive a 2006 Chrysler 300, 4 door. Your vehicle has 45,000 miles and your vehicle is in clean mint condition. You have an accident and dent the right front door. The damage is severe enough to cause the beam inside the door to be bent, jeopardizing the safety of the door, which needs to be replaced. When the insurance Adjuster comes out to inspect your vehicle and writes an estimate, they are going to search for a recycled right front door. What this means is that a search will be done on a door off the same year and make vehicle. If a recycled door is found, it is from another, same make and year, vehicle that has been in an accident, possibly, and had damage to the left side of the vehicle, making all parts on the right side reusable or recycled. The color of the recycled door may be a different color, but the Adjuster will add blend time to match the paint.

Recycled parts are used because the insurance company, not only saves money, but wants to put your vehicle back to pre-accident condition. Buying a new right door from the manufacturer is not returning the vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. Remember, the vehicle from our example above is 3 years old. That damaged right door is not new anymore, the paint has a slight fade and it may have a few door dings or scuffs. Buying a new door would be putting you ahead or you would be benefiting from the collision. The insurance company will only pay for what they owe.

The benefit to replacing the right door, in our example above, with a recycled door, is that it is a manufacturer part. It is not a aftermarket part. The recycled part will fit perfectly on your vehicle because it was made from the same manufacturer.

When an insurance company uses a recycled part on your vehicle for repairs, they usually guarantee the part for the life of the vehicle. If the recycled part is not available, the insurance company will most often write your estimate to replace the part with a new part, but that’s after they do a major search, within a 200 to 300 mile radius, for the recycled part. One problem some people have is that they associate the word recycled with the word used, which takes away the perception of quality. Recycled should be perceived as good quality because it came from the manufacturer . The recycled part is just as good as the original part on your vehicle before the accident. Some people may think that using recycled parts will affect their vehicle manufacturer warranty. This is not true because using recycled parts does not have an effect on the integrity of the vehicle.

Remember, it’s the Adjuster’s responsibility to explain the estimate to you and disclose the use of recycled parts. Most estimates will have a line note, in correlation with the recycled part being replaced, explaining where the recycled part was purchased. This is to help the body shop locate the part to avoid delay.
It seems logical that using recycled parts is fair and beneficial. Your getting the same exact part,the fit is perfect and it’s warranted by the insurance company. And, your also helping the environment.