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OEM Car Parts vs Aftermarket Car Parts

Purchasing parts for a vehicle requires thorough contemplation. Although we hope that the frequency with which we find ourselves needing to replace parts is low, replacing parts at some point or another in your time as a car owner is pretty likely. Weather and time naturally wear on a vehicle and sometimes, overcompensation for undetected error prompts a larger, permanent problem.  


When the need for parts does arise, it’s usually unexpected, and given some degree of reluctance by our bank account. But replacing parts when they start to fail is important. When one piece of equipment begins to falter, other parts of the car begin to compensate. Eventually, the helping parts are overcompensating, draining their lifeline. The result? The need to replace multiple new parts.


Time is of the essence when changing parts, but it is still important to allow yourself an adequate window for researching what is best for your vehicle.


You will find two options for new parts: OEM (what does OEM mean?) Original equipment manufacturer parts) and aftermarket parts. At the dealership, you get OEM car parts. They are reliable, brand spanking new and probably run a little (sometimes a lot) higher in the price range. Aftermarket car parts are more common when you take your car into to an independent servicer. These parts are created outside of a dealership and are less expensive, but often suit the situation more than sufficiently.


So, how do you know which to choose?


Let’s look at both and see how the pros and cons stack up against one another.


Aftermarket Parts

What are aftermarket parts? Aftermarket parts just mean that that the part did not come from the car’s maker. There are many companies out there who specialize in making car parts that service the same functions as those made by dealers. Many aftermarket parts are completely reliable and excellently sourced. However, as in any industry, some are not. It is vital when replacing and shopping for car parts that you do your homework on the brand of part you are buying. Seek an expert’s opinion before selecting it for installation. The last thing you want to do is infect your automobile with a poorly produced car part that ends up costing a whole lot more than a more reliable aftermarket part.


Pros of using aftermarket parts

  • Availability

Aftermarket parts are almost always available at a gas station, local mechanic or auto parts store. At any of these locations, there should be a part that fits your vehicle. This is a huge convenience when it comes to parts that take the dealer weeks to get in.

  • Quality

As long as you are shopping the right brands, aftermarket parts can be even better quality than dealership parts. Because aftermarket parts mirror OEM parts, their makers reverse engineer the OEMs. Then they work out all the kinks detected in the parts and make it better. Automakers usually have to compromise when manufacturing parts because they need a balance between function and consumer preference. Aftermarket manufacturers don’t make these compromises because they don’t need to.

  • Variety

There are many companies that make aftermarket parts. This means that there is more variety and better price competition.

  • Price

As mentioned, aftermarket parts are usually less expensive that OEM parts. The price shifts between brands. Cheaper does not always mean worse quality- consult your mechanic or another expert.  


Cons of using aftermarket parts

  • Warranty

Because they are not from the manufacturer, they disrupt the validity of a car’s warranty, which is why some owners avoid them.

  • Variety

Variety is a good thing in many cases, but sometimes it is overwhelming and the stress of selecting the right part leads to a rash decision and the wrong part.

  • Quality

The quality on aftermarket parts varies greatly! We cannot stress enough how important it is to do thorough research and consult expert opinions.


OEM Parts

OEM car parts are made by your vehicle’s manufacturer. They are the same parts that came with your vehicle upon initial purchase. OEM parts are especially reliable because they are covered under your car’s warranty. However, they can be overpriced and take an awfully long time to get to you.


Pros of using OEM parts

  • Choice

Oh, it is much easier to choose your part. These parts are mass produced from just the one dealer you’re dealing with, so there is usually just one type to choose from.

  • Quality

Because the part is the same as the one your car had upon assembly, you know that this part will fit work in your vehicle. You don’t need to anticipate any changes in familiarity or auto performance.

  • Warranty

Most OEM parts come with a one-year warranty. You could often expect this warranty to include labor, too.


Cons of using OEM parts

  • Price

OEM parts cost about 60 percent more than aftermarket parts.

  • Location

You can’t get an automaker part everywhere; often you need to get it directly at the dealership. Depending on your proximity to a dealer, the limited number of purchase locations can be deterring.

  • Quality

You can rest assured that the part will work in your car just as well as it did before, but you are not always paying top dollar for top product. There are often many superior parts that are not produced by the automaker and at a much more affordable price.


Weigh the pros and cons to determine with replacement parts are best for your situation. If you opt for aftermarket parts, just make sure that you work with a reliable mechanic who knows their parts and cars inside and out. As long as you request high-quality parts, you can expect to get them. For a trustworthy discount car parts dealership, come into Discount Parts Monster.