OEM Vs. Aftermarket Car Parts – Which Ones Are Better for Your Ride?

By Ava Brown, November 1, 2019

Auto Parts

When you are trying to find new parts for your car, you have two options. You can either buy them from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM parts) or you can get aftermarket auto parts. Both of these options have their benefits – people who like to have a guarantee of their parts and have them installed at a dealership, go for OEM parts. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are plenty of aftermarket parts that you can find with essentially the same quality – all you have to do is do a little more research to find good ones. People who have knowledge of how their car works and are not afraid to fix certain things themselves tend to order from aftermarket stores. However, it doesn’t hurt to have the security of knowing that each part is the perfect replacement when ordering from original equipment manufacturers.

OEM Car Parts

Auto Parts

If you choose to take your car to a dealership, you can be certain that everything will be installed properly and that they will only use vehicle parts that are brand new. This is a bit more pricey, of course, but the dealership takes full responsibility for the quality of the parts and their installation, so if something goes wrong soon after the replacement, you are covered. The reason why many people choose to spend a bit more money and order from OEM is that it makes things simpler than ordering the part from an aftermarket store. OEM parts work exactly the same as the parts you are looking to replace, while when ordering from an aftermarket automotive parts store there are parts that are designed to fit a range of cars and this is where people try to save a few bucks. However, this overlap is where a lot of mistakes can happen. If you don’t want to worry whether your part will fit or if it will work properly, ordering from an OEM provider and paying a little extra will give you total assurance that you will get your money’s worth.

Aftermarket Car Parts

Auto Parts

If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on OEM parts and risk getting ripped off in your local dealership, you can try and fix the problem yourself. If you are a tinkerer and you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, then probably your best bet is to simply find a reliable auto parts online store and start from there. Buying aftermarket car parts is much cheaper than ordering your parts from an original equipment manufacturer. Plus, since you will most likely be installing the parts yourself, you don’t have to worry about paying for installation fees additionally. The reason many people choose this option is that if you are persistent enough you can find the vehicle parts you are looking for at a pretty-much same quality as you would from OEM providers. Granted, this requires a bit of knowledge on your part to know which parts are better and spend some time browsing the web to find them, but considering the difference in money – this option is worth the hassle.

What Is the Best Choice?

Auto Parts

Here is where things can get a bit tricky, depending on the type of car parts you are looking for. If, for example, you are looking for a new pair of breaks, then you’re better off investing in aftermarket parts. If however, you need to find more specialized parts that will require more specialized tools than the set of rusty Phillips screwdrivers you have tucked underneath your spare tire, finding a dealership to install and provide you with OEM parts is your best bet.

A general rule to keep in mind is that there is no need to spend money on OEM parts if the vehicle parts you are looking for are not too specialized (don’t have too many working parts) and don’t require a car mechanic to have them installed. Parts such as mirrors, handles, grilles, weather shields, lights or any exterior parts should be purchased from an aftermarket store. Usually, they can be removed and installed with tools found in any home garage and with a little elbow grease and persistence, you will save some money and get the job done.

Airconditioning compressors, head gaskets, camshafts, and timing belts are considered to be more specialized parts for cars. Some of these parts require a diagnostic run after they have been installed to make sure everything is running smoothly. You can find these parts in aftermarket shops as well but you will need to take them to a dealership to be installed and most dealerships will not give out a guarantee if they don’t function properly. For that very reason, your safest bet is to have the dealership order the parts and install them.