If you choose to take your car to a mechanic other than the dealership, or if you do repairs yourself, you need to know the difference between aftermarket parts and new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. Aftermarket parts are made by different manufacturers but work on many types of cars, and OEM parts are made for that specific automobile by the manufacturer. If you aren't sure which is right for you, check out these five aspects.
One of the biggest reasons people choose aftermarket parts is because they are more affordable. It's the same with purchasing anything: name brands tend to cost more than off brands. If you take your automobile to a mechanic who isn't the dealership from which you purchased it, you may pay even more for OEM parts because the garage needs to make a profit. The exact price varies depending on the part you need and the aftermarket brand, but you'll typically spend significantly more if you choose OEM parts instead of aftermarket.
When it comes to quality, you can find both excellent aftermarket parts and OEM parts. In most cases, you can rely on OEM parts to be high-quality, but in some cases, the same aftermarket part may be just as good or better. Again, sometimes you end up paying for a name rather than quality and features, but at least you know the OEM part should work as good as the original did. The reason some aftermarket products are so good is because manufacturers only focus on specific parts instead of entire cars. Plus, they are able to reverse-engineer the part to find more flaws. Unfortunately, some aftermarket parts are not good quality, so you need to do research and make sure you don't just get the cheapest parts you can find.
OEM provides little variety because you buy the one part you need from the original auto manufacturer. There are not multiple options from which to choose because the auto manufacturer can't focus on making several different versions of the same part for the same car. With aftermarket providers, however, you do have many options. For starters, you can choose from different manufactures. Some companies, especially those who focus on a handful of parts, may have different styles and versions of the same part you need, so you have a better chance of finding just what you need without anything extra to boost the cost. Of course, for some people, especially those who aren't interested in automobiles, the amount of options may be overwhelming.
Availability for both aftermarket parts and OEM is good. If you want an OEM, it is best to take it to the original dealership because they are the only ones who can supply the parts. They should have no problem getting the part you need, and in some cases, they may already have it on hand, so you can get it fixed as soon as possible. Aftermarket parts can be found just about anywhere: online, at auto stores and at mechanic shops. However, you may have to wait to for the mechanic or auto parts store to order the part you need, especially if it is a rare aftermarket brand.
When you purchase OEM parts, they come with a warranty, and in some cases, the warranty may even cover the labor for up to a certain amount of time. If you get an aftermarket brand, there may not be a warranty. This is mostly to reduce the cost of the parts. Many people believe that getting an aftermarket part voids the original warranty on the car, but this isn't always the case. In most cases, the dealer has to prove the aftermarket part caused the damage or the issue that led to the necessary repairs. This includes proving the part was installed incorrectly.
When your car needs replacement parts, you can get new OEM parts or new parts from aftermarket providers. Typically, you'll save money with aftermarket parts, but you need to do a lot of research to ensure the part is high-quality, and it is installed correct. For more information about OEM or aftermarket parts, contact a mechanic, auto dealer, or supplier like Rusty Acres Automotive Inc.