“Non-reusable parts—sometimes referred to as one-time-use parts—are parts that are designed to be installed only once.” —Eric Mendoza, Assistant Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota does not recommend that you reinstall non-reusable parts. Items such as glass, fasteners, gaskets, emblems, clips, grommets, garnishes and decals are often designated as non-reusable parts because of how they are designed. This means that if you are repairing a vehicle and you remove any of the parts mentioned above, you must replace them if they are specified as non-reusable in the vehicle repair manual.
“Non-reusable parts shouldn’t be reinstalled because they won’t operate as they were originally designed to upon second use,” explains Mendoza. “Reusing these parts can lead to customer dissatisfaction and a failed repair. It can cause water or air leakage, rattling, or can accidently damage other nearby parts.”
FIRST TIME’S THE CHARM
Toyota one-time-use parts can be identified by checking the Toyota Service Repair Manual for the vehicle you are working on. The parts are called out in the components section. Non-reusable parts have a black dot next to them and the key for the diagram will indicate that the black dot means the part is non-reusable. Estimators and technicians should review this material before work begins on any vehicle. This will ensure that all necessary work is captured in the estimate and that you have all parts needed to complete the repair.
For more information on non-reusable parts, reference Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #188. Toyota repair manuals can be found on the Toyota Technical Information System (TIS) at techinfo.toyota.com.
Non-Reusable Parts: Know Your Facts
Non-reusable parts come in all shapes and sizes and the reason for their non-reusable designation varies. Here are some examples of common non-reusable parts:
- Headlight Washer Nozzles—These parts are usually made of plastic that has spring to it. They are designed so that when they are installed, the plastic bends in, then bends back out again. The part will be squeezed and bent again during the removal process for a repair. However, the part is not built to withstand being squeezed during removal and reinsertion. If so, the plastic will lose its springiness and may fail to perform as originally intended. The part may then rattle around, break, or even fall out.
- Tail Light Gasket—The gasket in the tail light is an important component because it creates a seal that keeps water from entering the vehicle and prevents wind noise. The tail light gasket is commonly made of foam material that is designed to squish together to form the seal. Once crushed, the material will not bounce back and therefore cannot be reused to create another seal. A good rule of thumb for all gaskets is to check to see if they are one-time-use and always replace them if they are designated non-reusable by Toyota.
- Moisture Barrier—The moisture barrier is a plastic barrier that you will find when you remove a vehicle’s interior door trim panel. This piece is intended to protect the interior of the door from moisture. When the moisture barrier is removed it becomes deformed and can no longer perform its function properly. Moisture barriers should be replaced every time they are removed.
- Emblems—During the course of a repair your shop may be asked to clean and re-tape vehicle emblems. In the factory, emblems are precision-made. It is almost impossible to recreate this process in the shop and if you attempt to re-tape emblems you most likely will not get the same fit and finish as the original decals. Technicians are advised to replace rather than re-tape all emblems.
As with any collision repair related issue, it is important to be transparent with your customer/bill payer about the work necessary to deliver a high-quality repair. If customers question the necessity of replacing rather than reinstalling a non-reusable part, help them to understand that replacing one-time-use parts is part of the manufacturer’s recommendation for the repair you are carrying out and provide them with OEM supporting documentation.