There are roughly 290 million registered cars in the US nowadays.
And guess what, almost all of them will break down and need replacement parts at some point in time! But not all vehicle parts are made equal…Want to learn more about the two main types you find?
You’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going through the primary differences between OEM vs aftermarket parts.
OEM parts, short for “original equipment manufacturer”, are made by the car manufacturer’s own factory. Aftermarket parts are not! These ones are manufactured by third parties instead.
It could be the same factory that sold the parts to your car manufacturer, but they’re often entirely separate. Likewise, they’re usually designed to fit as many car makes and/or models as possible as opposed to your specific vehicle.
Another important distinction comes down to quality. Take the OEM route and the part will be made using the same materials and to the same specifications as the original one used in your car. In other words, you can all but guarantee that it a) will fit/function properly and b) is of a high standard!
Alas, thanks to the cheap knock-offs sold by some unscrupulous vendors, the quality of aftermarket parts has a reputation for being worse than their OEM equivalents. This isn’t always the case though. Many reputable companies sell aftermarket parts as good as (and sometimes even better than) the originals- a fact that’s particularly useful if you buy canams or other atypical automobiles.
The main downside of using original equipment parts comes down to money. Basically, their quality and brand name come at a cost.
Expect to pay much more for OEM vs aftermarket parts, but be very wary if the cost of the latter seems too good to be true. It probably is!
Another thing to keep in mind is the warranty. OEM parts do cost more, but they’re also usually covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, protecting you if something malfunctions. The same can’t always be said for aftermarket varieties.
The decision-making process is simple when you’re dealing with OEM parts. Go to any dealership and there’ll probably be a single part available to repair your problem!
It’s the complete opposite with aftermarket parts, though. You could have dozens to choose from! If you lack expertise in this field, then this selection can feel overwhelming- especially when you realize that some of them are substandard.
Choose Between OEM vs Aftermarket Parts
Almost every vehicle owner goes through the rigmarole of sourcing and/or paying for new parts at some point in time. It’s never fun, but life feels much easier when you understand the options at your disposal.
We hope the information on the key differences between OEM vs aftermarket parts will help in this regard. Keep them in mind and it should be a little easier to settle upon the best course of action for you.
Read more blog posts like this one in the “Automobiles” section of our website now.