When you need a replacement part, you have two main options: OEM parts and aftermarket parts. While both OEM and aftermarket parts are both considered good options, they offer certain pros and cons for buyers. Which type of part will consumers buy from repair shops and auto body shops? We outline the differences between OEM parts and aftermarket parts.
What are OEM Parts?
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are produced by the company that manufactures the vehicle. These parts are specifically designed for your vehicle by its original manufacturer.
Benefits of OEM Parts
Compared to aftermarket parts, there can certain benefits to buying OEM parts. Here are some of the advantages of choosing OEM over aftermarket parts:
- Guaranteed compatibility – the dimensions and specifications of the part are designed to function as the original part.
- High quality – because OEM parts are designed specifically for a vehicle, you can ensure a replacement part of higher quality and meet performance expectations.
- Warranty – practically all OEM parts have a warranty.
What are Aftermarket Parts?
Aftermarket parts (generic parts) are made by a company other than a vehicle’s original manufacturer. These parts are new parts made by a third-party manufacturer. Because aftermarket parts are more generic, they might not be a perfect fit like OEM parts do.
Benefits of Aftermarket Parts
Aftermarket parts can offer some advantages that OEM parts do not. Here are some of the benefits of choosing aftermarket parts:
- Lower cost
- Selection – with aftermarket parts, you’re not just limited to one manufacturer with OEM.
- Availability – aftermarket parts are more widely available for purchase.
- Variety – there are many companies out there that manufacture aftermarket parts.
Access to Parts
When it comes to finding replacement parts, the type of parts offered can vary by type of auto body or repair shop for a replacement shop. Learn which shops carry OEM parts, aftermarket parts, or both.
- Dealership repair shops – dealership repair shops only offer OEM parts. They have no reason to offer aftermarket parts.
- Independent garages – these shops will specialize in your type of vehicle will likely have both, but with quicker access to OEM parts, including used OEM parts, which can save you.
- Independent repair shops – most independent shops will offer both OEM and aftermarket parts for consumers. By offering both options, it allows buyers to save money. It’s important to note that not every independent shop offers aftermarket parts.
- Auto body shops – can offer both OEM and aftermarket parts. However, if your collision repair is part of an insurance claim, insurers will typically opt for aftermarket parts to save money.
Which One Should You Buy?
Whether it’s an alternator, engine, or transmission, it is ultimately the buyer’s choice to choose between OEM and aftermarket parts. For buyers, there are advantages and disadvantages for each part type. The decision will likely be based on the cost and quality of a replacement part.
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