Repair Estimate Glossary of Terms

Updated: 6 days ago

We know that it can be incredibly frustrating when industry folks throw a bunch of acronyms or terminologies in face and expect you to just “get it” then and there? Well, thankfully these days, consumers have better access to online resources and information. Deciphering jargon is now easier than ever and we at Flow Autobody want to make it even easier for you when it comes to reading your autobody repair estimates. We’ve put together this glossary of commonly used repair terminologies, acronyms, and abbreviations found in bodyshop estimates (Note: These may vary depending on your repairer).

  1. A Pillar – The A-shaped front part or the sides of your car’s the windshield. It is made from rigid steel material that is made to withstand collisions.

  2. Aftermarket or A/M Parts – Non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Usually not of best quality as they are often reversed engineered by lesser known or generic companies.

  3. Alignment – a computerised process of bringing a car’s wheels and suspension back to their proper position and configuration . It also involves adjusting your car’s axles, re-centering of the steering wheel, and pinpointing worn out components (e.g. suspension, tires, etc.) that need to be replaced.

  4. Audanet Generated Times – is an online quoting system powered by OEM Times that complies with OEM-approved methods.

  5. B Pillar – Centre steel pillar of your car’s framework. Because it is welded to the top and bottom panels, it provides structural support. Some car models especially sports cars do not have this pillar.

  6. B/Bar – bumper bar installed in the front and rear of the car

  7. Blend or Blending – is the process of matching a car’s new base coat (colour) with the existing surrounding paint.

  8. C Pillar – The rearmost pillar that is located behind the rear door in most cars with the exception of SUVs and wagons.

  9. Client Contribution – addition payment to get extra work done on top of the existing insurance repairs

  10. D & A – refers to the disassembly and assembly of parts and components for grouped line items on the estimate

  11. D-Pillar – for SUVs and wagons, it is the rearmost pillar of the car that support the rear window and the rear windscreen

  12. Denibbing – is the process of smoothing out dirt ‘nibs’ or tiny bumps, particles and imperfections, trapped on the panel’s finished surface.

  13. Dis/Con – refers to disconnecting and connecting of electrical components

  14. Environmental Levy – this is the shop’s hazardous waste disposal fee

  15. Excess Amount – the amount you pay your insurance company if you want to make a claim (e.g. minor damage) on your policy, it’s the amount you are willing to contribute to the overall repair costs.

  16. FTFN – stands for “Funny time funny money”. It is a quoting methodology that involves lower hourly rates that are offset or inflated, often unrealistically.

  17. Genuine – These are “branded” parts supplied by your car’s manufacturer in their original packaging.

  18. L/H/F – Left hand front

  19. L/H/R – Left hand rear

  20. LTAR – means “Luxury times and rates”, a quoting methodology similar to NTAR however is specific to luxury vehicles not on the NTAR vehicle list.

  21. Mechanical Pre-scan/Post Scan and Reset – A diagnostic scan done before and after repairs to ensure that all electronic equipment and systems are working properly and that there are no error codes or malfunctions.

  22. NTAR – stands for “New times and rates” which is a quoting methodology that utilizes a specific online software or system developed by insurance companies to arrive at data-driven rates.

  23. OEM– means “Original Equipment Manufacturer”, or parts produced by the manufacturer or for the manufacturer by an OEM-approved company. These parts generally better priced that genuine parts but do not have your car’s brand logo on them nor do they come in branded packaging.

  24. R + R – Remove and refit, refers to the general labour operations that involve the removal and later on re-fitting of parts

  25. R/H/F – Right hand front

  26. R/H/R – Right hand rear

  27. Re-feed – involves re-wiring the electronic components of removed panels once refitted.

  28. RTRM – stands for “Real time real money”. It is a quoting methodology that’s generally more transparent as actual labour rates, costs and times are indicated.

  29. SMART Repairs – is short for “Small and Medium Area Repair Technique.” This is a strategic repair process wherein specialised tools, products, and techniques are used to repair a specific damaged area without affecting other surrounding areas or panels as much as possible.

  30. Sublet – this also called subcontractor labour, it refers to work the bodyshop needs to outsource. Typical sublet work includes mechanical, windscreen, wheel alignment, A/C regassing or decal installation work.

  31. Trim Code – this is a 4-digit code used to identify to your vehicle’s interior special features and styling. Usually located below the VIN.

  32. VIN – stands for “Vehicle Identification Number”, your car’s unique identifier.

We hope this list helps you understand your estimate a lot better. If you have any questions or comments, write them below or email us at

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