What do Aftermarket Parts Mean?

Aftermarket parts are items that weren’t made by the original equipment manufacturer but were made by another company.

These parts are typically more affordable, don’t offer the same protection and warranty as OEM parts, and could be what you’re offered during a car repair. If you go to a repair shop that isn’t attached to the dealership for your car’s brand, you might not have any choice but to have aftermarket parts used during the repair. Now that you know what this term means, we should look at whether or not you’ll want to have aftermarket or OEM items used when you need your vehicle repaired.

Going Generic Isn’t All Bad

Remember shopping at the store with your parents and seeing the black and white labels on some of the products? These generic items were typically more affordable and just as good as the brand name versions. Of course, as kids, we want the cereal with the cartoon bunny on the front or the leprechaun riding the rainbow, not the boring no-name stuff. Now that you’ve grown, you should consider the benefits of a generic item versus a brand-name version when it’s time for your car to be fixed for you.

Pros of Aftermarket Parts

They Cost a Lot Less

Nearly every generic part costs less than the OEM version. There can be as much of a difference as up to 60 percent when you’re looking at larger, more expensive parts. This means a part that costs $100 as an aftermarket version could be $160 for the OEM part. Is that worth it? If you need multiple of these parts, you might spend a lot more than you should.

Selection and Available for Non-OEM Parts

The Original Equipment Manufacturer made one part for your car. That is the part you’ll receive if you select OEM parts during your repair. What happens if that part is out of stock or delayed? You have to wait to get your car fixed. The selection of aftermarket items is much more extensive. Often, you’ll have several manufacturers to choose from that will have the parts you need to ensure you have the part much sooner. You’re much more likely to find the right part when you select one that doesn’t come from the original manufacturer.

Some OEM Parts Aren’t as Good

It doesn’t happen often, but there are instances when an aftermarket item offers better overall quality than an OEM version of the part. That means you’ll have a much better part in your vehicle and know that you can continue to drive for a lot longer. If you need to get your car fixed, check out the available parts and see if any aftermarket items offer you a higher level of quality than the OEM models.

Cons of Aftermarket Parts

Typically, the Quality isn’t What You Want

Although you have many more options with parts not made by the manufacturer, you need to realize some are cheaply made and will not stand up to the quality you desire. If you go to a repair shop to get work done, you should receive a warranty on the parts and work, which gives you a sense of security. On the other hand, if you plan to do the work yourself, you might find items that don’t fit right or haven’t been certified by the manufacturer to work for your vehicle.

OEM Parts Offer a Warranty

Very few aftermarket items offer a warranty. Because parts can be sold over the counter, improperly used, or are made poorly, companies that make these parts typically don’t back them up with a warranty of any kind. If you want the benefits of warranty protection, you need to look for the OEM parts that give you that sense of satisfaction you desire.

Sometimes the Right Option is the Brand Name

Were there some items your parents bought that were always name-brand products? This typically happens because they learn those items are much better quality and function properly when compared to the generic items. The same goes for car parts. Some items are always better when purchased as the brand-name item, so you might want to use OEM parts in your vehicle.

Pros of OEM Parts

These Parts are Made to Work

Sometimes, aftermarket parts are made to fit many vehicles and offer adapters and items to make them “universal,” which is a fancy term for difficult to work with. The simplicity and perfect fit of OEM parts make a difference, especially if you’re doing the work yourself. When working on your car, don’t you want the parts to fit right and go in smoothly? This is a reason to use OEM parts.

Proper Functionality

The items made by the manufacturer are made to work in your car. They were designed to fit in the space, work to specific standards, and function right with the rest of your vehicle. This is why many automakers offer quality guarantees with their OEM parts. These items are ideal for your car and give you the best performance.

These Parts Come with a Warranty

We covered this already. You’ll have a warranty that backs the OEM parts used for your vehicle.

Cons of OEM Parts

OEM Parts are More Costly

It’s easy to see the price differences when you want to have your car repaired. The higher cost of OEM parts can be significant. This is where you will ask yourself whether or not these parts are genuinely worth the added cost when compared to aftermarket parts.

Availability Can be a Problem

The availability of the OEM parts comes into consideration when fixing your vehicle. If the car being repaired is the only one you have, you’ll want to use whatever parts are available to you. If not, you might want to wait for the OEM parts to become available to put them in your car.

Will you use OEM parts, or can you allow aftermarket parts to be used when your car is being repaired? This is a question you’ll have to answer at the repair shop.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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