Knowing the differences between OEM and aftermarket parts will help you decide what to use when your vehicle is in need of repair or replacement.
Original equipment parts (OEM parts) are parts that can be used in vehicles and come directly from the manufacturer. Knowing the differences between the two will help you decide what parts you should use when your vehicle is in need of repair or replacement.
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Various Types of Auto Parts
Automobile manufacturers used to manufacture every component that was needed for the cars they named. This is no longer true as many companies have outsourced their parts production. Outsourcing doesn’t affect the quality of the products, as the companies creating these products are often specialists in specific parts for particular manufacturers. It depends on the manufacturer of the replacement part whether it is OEM or aftermarket.
Some parts may need to be replaced if a vehicle has been in an accident or has had normal wear and tear from driving. Although the repair shop that you take your vehicle to will usually be able to get the necessary parts, the type of parts you receive will depend on many factors. Your auto insurance can have an impact on what parts you get depending on where you live. There are three types of parts that can be used for automotive repairs: OEM, aftermarket, and “recycled”.
Main Differences between OEM Parts and Aftermarket Parts
The type of parts you receive will depend on where you had your vehicle repaired. If you bring your vehicle to a dealer, you can be certain that you are getting OEM parts. Although this is not always true, independent auto repair shops are more likely than others to use aftermarket parts.
OEM parts are provided by the original equipment manufacturer. This is the company that makes the parts for the vehicle’s new model.
OEM is the name of the company that made the original parts for the vehicle’s construction. OEM parts are manufactured by a specific manufacturer and fit perfectly in the vehicle’s space. Because they are made by a specific manufacturer, OEM parts can be more expensive than aftermarket.
Aftermarket parts are those that are made by companies other than the one the manufacturer has contracted to make its parts. Aftermarket parts are made by companies that can produce them in higher volumes. One part may fit multiple make and model vehicles.
Which Parts Are Better?
OEM parts may seem superior to aftermarket because they are made to fit your specific make and model. Your personal preference will determine which parts are best for you. The lower-priced aftermarket parts may be more appealing to those who value cost. It is important for some vehicle owners to know that each component of their car is an OEM part. But, after you drive your car off the lot, it is no longer brand new. This means that spending more on OEM parts may not be a wise investment.
OEM Parts Pros and Cons
Consider the pros and cons of both OEM and aftermarket parts before you make a decision about whether to use them.
Quality assurance: When you order an OEM part, it must fit and function exactly like the replacement part. This part is identical to the one that was installed in the manufacturing process. This can give you peace of mind about how it will perform and the quality.
Price: OEM parts are almost always higher than that of comparable aftermarket parts. OEM parts are usually 60 percent more expensive than aftermarket parts for bodywork. Dealerships are trying to be more competitive with independent repair shops so auto owners may see a shift of pricing discrepancies.
Where to buy: While OEM parts can be purchased online, most drivers just go to their local dealership to get them. Local mechanics might be able to repair your car, but they will need to order OEM parts in most cases. This can prolong the repair process.
Higher quality: Sometimes, an aftermarket part may be better than the OEM part. Aftermarket parts manufacturers might be able reverse-engineer the part to fix any weaknesses and make it more efficient. brake pads is an example. It must balance cost, durability, noise level, and price. Although they might be louder than OEM brake pads, aftermarket brake pads will still perform as well or better than OEM pads. They also cost less.
Huge Options: There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts. Some companies are specialists in certain parts while others can make almost every part for all makes and models. You will find more options and lower prices when you have more choice.
Extensive selection: Although more options are a positive thing, they can make it difficult to choose the right one for you. You may choose a part of lower quality because there is so many options. Spark plugs come in many different brands and all types.
It’s up to you to decide whether OEM or aftermarket parts are best for your vehicle. The cost, quality and recommendations of your service technician will help you make a decision.