What to watch out for when getting your car fixed: Replacement parts
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Many people have questions about replacement parts. There are generally two types of replacement parts: original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts and non-OEM or aftermarket parts. Non-OEM parts are often cheaper in both cost and quality. Even parts endorsed by the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) may be inferior. Always insist that your damage estimate be based on OEM replacement parts and that these parts are used for a quality repair job. Please be aware that many OEM parts may have been previously used, and they are often still superior to new non-OEM parts. Beware of telling the adjuster that you do not intend to get the damage fixed or that you intend to fix the damage yourself. In this situation, adjusters will try to use the “phantom used parts” ploy and will write a damage estimate based on the value of non-OEM parts that are supposedly available at the company-favored salvage yard, thereby reducing the dollar value of the claim. Adjusters use this ploy effectively on claimants with low or fixed incomes, who often spend the insurer’s insufficient check and sell the damaged car before anyone discovers the problem.