OEM Vs. Aftermarket Parts: Pros and Cons

When it is time to repair or replace some of your car’s parts, you are often torn between aftermarket parts and OEM. In what instances should you only invest in OEM car parts? Is there anything wrong with taking your ride to an independent shop and getting aftermarket parts? If you struggle to decide which option is better for your car, here is everything you need to know about OEM and aftermarket car parts and their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts

These car parts are engineered, designed, and created by the manufacturer who built your specific car model, not a third party. The OEM parts you purchase from spare shops like Monaco Motorsports are the exact-matching parts of your automobile and ideal replacements when your car is damaged.

Pros

  • Excellent quality assurance: Original equipment manufacturer car parts are the exact replacement for what is already in your automobile. These car parts’ fit is 100% guaranteed because it’s made by your car’s manufacturer, giving you peace of mind as you know it will work as guaranteed.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty: Most manufacturers provide a one-year warranty for all their OEM car parts, which repair shops often pass on. They could also stand by their labor if you take your car to a dealer for repairs.
  • Easy replacement part selection process: You do not have to spend a lot of time second-guessing whether or not a part will match the one you need. OEM parts come in one type.
  • Long-term cost savings: While OEM parts have a higher initial cost, they last longer than aftermarket spare parts. They also do not cause wear to other car parts because they are a perfect fit. This means you do not need frequent repairs and replacements, enabling you to cut costs and extend your car’s lifespan.
  • More reliable: Since most aftermarket parts are not made according to the manufacturer’s specifications in terms of materials and design. Some companies may alter basic specs and thickness to save money, resulting in an inferior quality product that impacts the whole vehicle. However, OEM parts meet standard requirements in terms of materials and design, so they do not wear quickly and promote long-term reliability.
  • Performance: Investing in OEM parts enables you to maintain your vehicle’s safety and performance. Thanks to their guaranteed higher quality, original spare parts do not compromise performance or cause damage to your car.
  • After-sale customer support: Whether you need specialized OEM parts delivery, training, technical advice, or on-site services such as part installation, the OEM part manufacturers and their customer support team can provide exceptional support whenever you need it. These customer services, combined with high-quality parts, give you peace of mind when making such an expensive investment.

Cons

  • More expensive: OEM costs are significantly higher than aftermarket parts. According to a recent report, OEM automobile parts are 60% more expensive than aftermarket parts.
  • Limited availability: You can only purchase OEM parts from select vendors or automakers.

Aftermarket car parts

Aftermarket parts, also known as generic parts, are automobile replacements engineered, designed, and built by companies other than the primary car’s maker. It is worth noting that these parts are not second-hand or used parts. They are brand-new replacement parts. However, since aftermarket parts are not sourced from the vehicle’s manufacturer; they may not be an exact fit like OEM parts.

Pros

  • More affordable: Aftermarket parts are significantly less expensive than OEM parts. Before purchasing, shop around and compare costs to find the best price and avoid paying more than you should.
  • Better selection: Thousands of companies make aftermarket car parts. Some companies make general spare parts, while others specialize in a specific part. This provides you with a variety of car replacement parts.
  • Better availability: Unlike OEM parts that can only be purchased from select suppliers, aftermarket replacement parts are readily available. You can get aftermarket parts from your local mechanic, gas station, or auto parts store.
  • Quality: Most aftermarket companies reverse-engineer OEM design, enabling them to produce parts equal to or more outstanding quality than original equipment manufacturer parts.

Cons

  • Their quality varies: Unlike OEM, where you are always guaranteed excellent quality, the presence of numerous aftermarket companies in the market means you could also encounter parts with a significantly lower quality.
  • Overwhelming variety: Unless you are familiar with reputable and reliable aftermarket brands, the increased variety could result in investing in low-quality replacement parts.
  • No warranty: Most aftermarket companies sell their parts without a warranty to keep prices at the minimum to gain a competitive advantage.

Endnote

OEM and aftermarket parts are all excellent replacement parts for your car. Familiarize yourself with the different types of automobile replacement parts, and weigh their pros and cons to choose spares that meet your needs and budget.

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