OEM Versus Aftermarket Auto Parts

  • Jul 9, 2015
  • Resources & Tips

Do you know the difference between OEM and aftermarket car parts? More importantly, which one should you use when it comes to the proper maintenance of your automobile?

The answer is, it all depends.

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. These are parts made by your vehicle’s manufacturer designed specifically for your vehicle.

Aftermarket parts are manufactured by independent companies, they are almost always cheaper.

When purchasing new parts for your car, you do have options. You can buy OEM parts direct from your vehicle’s dealership. Alternatively, you can select aftermarket parts from any number of suppliers in person or online. Your aftermarket choices are plentiful.

When looking to save money, aftermarket parts are the smart way to go. However, when it comes to the performance of your vehicle, it’s not advisable to go with the absolute cheapest part.

There are other considerations, too.

For many car enthusiasts out there—those who are likely to lift their hood for the inspection and admiration of others—only OEM parts will do.

Or, in the case of a leased vehicle, you would hate to be penalized financially simply for using an aftermarket part. Always remember to double check with the dealer about the terms of your contract.

Our advice?

Unless you’re interested in doing the work yourself, and you have the time and desire to conduct the research, we suggest finding a reputable mechanic who is familiar enough with all the options to make the best decision for you.

This is where your friends at Warrenton Auto Service can help.

Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with using OEM parts. You pay a bit more, but you know exactly what you’re getting: a part that works with your vehicle.

Does this make OEM parts better? Not necessarily.

In our experience, we’ve noticed a lot of aftermarket products are on par, if not superior, to their OEM counterparts. Many aftermarket products offer warranties, too.

Over the years we’ve seen our fair share of inferior OEM parts come through the shop: genuine defects that were seemingly missed by the manufacturer.

That being said, our team has also installed aftermarket parts in the past that just don’t work for the vehicle. As such, we’ve had to go back and reinstall a new OEM part. It can happen. If your mechanic experiences this problem, make sure they DO NOT charge you for replacing the part again. It is the shop’s responsibility to get the job done right the first time.

Warrenton Auto Service is committed to providing the best workmanship and customer service in the business. Our certified auto mechanics have the know-how and experience to make the right call for you. Do you have a preference between OEM or aftermarket parts? Let us know. Rest assured we stand behind the quality of parts we select to use in our shop.

If you have any questions about the parts going into your car, feel free to ask us.

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