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Grading mechanical and other parts

Used BMW engine
Unified standards are essential if we want to build trade sales.
Back in August we took a look at ARA’s standard for body panels and how it allowed us to offer a uniform system of supply to the bodyshop and garage trades. Here we take a look at ARA’s classifications for mechanical and other parts.



The reason for the ARA Parts Grading and Description Guidelines is to improve communication between automotive recyclers and their collision repairer, mechanical repairer and insurer customers. Without the use of standard codes and descriptions, it is extremely hard for the buyer to accurately understand the condition of a green part. This can result in the sale going to another dismantler or the part returned because it did not meet the customer’s expectations.

The ARA document brings standardised part descriptions and terminology to the parts inventory process. It identifies common parts and terms used to describe part conditions and part options. By standardising part descriptions, the dismantling industry can more easily set customers expectations and increase sales of green parts to those involved in the repair sector.

The document categorises items as Body Parts (see previous article), Mechanical Parts, and Miscellaneous Parts. The categories are fundamental to ensure that parts are being graded by their appropriate format. Miscellaneous Parts are those parts where neither mileage nor units of damage best describe their quality.

Much of this information below has been taken from the ARA’s RECYCLED PARTS STANDARDS & CODES. Once you have read the article, Please take a look at the complete publication.


used light assembley
Definitions
Unit - A “unit” is defined as damage not exceeding the surface area of a standard sized credit card.
Hours - A common, but subjective, description of damage where hours represents the time needed to repair a part. Unfortunately Recyclers and collision repairers seldom agree on the hours needed for repair.
A Grade - The highest quality part. An A grade part contains a minimum amount of damage. Any non-mechanical part listed as 000 is considered an A grade part.
B Grade - A second level quality part. B grade parts contain a moderate amount of damage.
C Grade - The third level quality part. Although still usable, a C grade exceeds a moderate amount of damage.
X - An un-graded part.
NIB - Negative information term used to down grade an “A” grade part to a “B” grade part.
NIC/NIQ - Negative information terms used to down grade an “A” or “B” grade part to a “C” grade part.

Mechanical Part Grading

(Grading is based on mileage)
A Grade Mechanical Parts “A” parts have less than 60,000 total miles, or if over 60,000 miles, must be less than 15,000 miles per model year of age, eg an engine assembly with 50,000 miles.
B Grade Mechanical Parts “B” parts have equal to or greater than 60,000 and less than 200,000 total miles on them and have 15,000 miles or more per model year of age. “B” parts must have less than 200,000 total miles regardless of age, eg a 2003 transmission assembly with 90,000 miles.
C Grade Mechanical Parts “C” parts have equal to or greater than 200,000 total miles on them regardless of age, eg an engine assembly with 250,000 miles.

(Items below are Miscellaneous Parts)

Airbag Grading

ARA cover this in a separate document that we shall look at later.

Glass Grading

A Grade Glass An A grade glass is not cloudy, pitted, broken, cracked, or scratched, all included electronics are functional and all permanently attached mounting hardware is intact and undamaged.
B Grade Glass B grade was not created because professionals will not accept B grade glass.
C Grade Glass C grade glass is not broken or cracked, but may contain imperfections.

Lights Grading

A Grade Light An A grade light is one that has been visually inspected, has all seals and tabs intact and does not appear to be cloudy, pitted, broken or contain cracks.
B Grade Light A B grade light is one that has been visually inspected, has all seals and tabs intact and does not appear to be cloudy, pitted, broken or contain cracks, but may contain cosmetic imperfections.
C Grade Light A C grade light is one that fails to meet the requirements of an A or B grade, but is functional.

Mirrors Grading

A Grade Mirror An A grade mirror is not cloudy, pitted, broken, cracked, or scratched, all included electronics and mechanical components are functional and all permanently attached mounting hardware is intact and undamaged.
B Grade Mirror A B grade mirror meets all the requirements of an A grade mirror, but may contain scratches to painted surface only.
C Grade Mirror A C grade mirror fails to meet the requirements of the A and B grade but is still functional.

Cosmetic Parts Grading

Cosmetic parts would include parts such as Interior trim panels, dash and headliner.
A Grade Cosmetic Part An A quality cosmetic part is clean and undamaged without any visual imperfections. An A grade part is clear of scratches, cannot be ripped, cannot in any way impede the mounting of any component that it is going to go on. They need to be clean and undamaged without any visual imperfections.
B Grade Cosmetic Part A B grade cosmetic part is structurally undamaged but may contain minor imperfections.
C Grade Cosmetic Part A C grade cosmetic part does not meet the requirements of a B grade part but is functional.

Seats Grading Grading

A Grade Seat An A grade seat is clean and undamaged with no visual damage.
B Grade Seat A B grade seat is structurally undamaged but may contain minor imperfections.
C Grade Seat A C grade seat does not meet the requirements as a B grade part, but is still functional.

Is it really necessary?

Trade sales in the USA are much more significant than the UK and many put this down to the confidence that comes from standards. All other business sectors work to standards as they give the buyer or user a benchmark of expectation. We need to ensure bodyshops and garages know what to expect from the green part they order and that means working to a set standard. To find out more about the ARA please visit their website. In the UK, Andy Latham of Salvage Wire runs courses to help you intergrate these standard into your business. You can contact Andy on 07710 877411 or email him. It's also worth bearing in mind that software packages from both DH Systems and Pinnacle can already accomodate the ARA coding structure.

December 2014

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