Manufacturer versus Aftermarket Parts



Whenever you have to make repairs to your vehicle, you have to decide whether to buy aftermarket parts or buy original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts often cost more money but are usually backed by some type of warranty. Aftermarket parts are often cheaper and in some cases improve performance but they rarely offer any type of warranty and are sometimes of poorer quality.


Aftermarket Parts 

Aftermarket parts are any parts that are not sourced from the car’s manufacturer. These parts are less expensive than OEM parts; it does depend on the brand and if the part is designed to increase performance. In some cases, the quality of aftermarket parts is actually much greater than OEM parts, but this is not always true. Aftermarket parts are also readily available, if you cannot find a part at a local shop, you can almost always find something on the Internet. Aftermarket parts are often more plentiful and varied, which has advantages and drawbacks. This can be a problem for customers when trying to pick a high quality aftermarket product.


OEM Parts

All OEM parts are made by the car manufacturer. One of the great things about these parts is that customers can be sure that the parts will work well on their vehicle. Also, OEM parts are almost always of very high quality. Another big plus for OEM parts is that most come with at least a one-year warranty, so if you do get a bad part you can send it back to the manufacturer. A downside to OEM parts is the cost. OEM parts are almost always more expensive than aftermarket parts. Also, OEM parts usually have to be bought at a dealership, which limits the number of places you can buy from. There are a few places on the Internet to purchase OEM parts, but they are not any cheaper, and you will have to pay for shipping.


Which is the Best Way to Go?

When making the decision on what to buy, you need to determine what the part is for. If you need to do a collision repair, you need to get OEM parts. Aftermarket body panels may not fit properly and rarely have the crumple zones that OEM parts have. Most other types of repairs can be adequately fixed with aftermarket parts, but it is up to you.


What do you usually use for your vehicle? When do you choose aftermarket over OEM?

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