Aftermarket parts are those that are mass-produced and sold for a lower price. It’s often described as the opposite of OEM parts. Aftermarket parts are affordable and easy to access, much so if you need immediate repairs. Still, you have to consider some factors to ensure that you’re getting a high-quality piece.
Aftermarket parts aren’t always dud pieces
Take note that aftermarket parts are also called competitive replacement parts or non-OEM.
Unlike OEM that’s made specifically for your car model, aftermarket parts could be salvaged from other vehicles, mass-produced as off-brand parts, or recycled from other vehicles. So does it mean that aftermarket parts are no-nos?
Definitely, not. On some occasions, aftermarket parts are better than OEM. But how is this possible?
First of all, premium aftermarket parts can come with a specific warranty. Sometimes, the warranty could surpass what an OEM part can offer.
Also, aftermarket parts are regulated. If you are to purchase aftermarket parts, always look for NSF International or CAPA certifications. These are the two standards that most aftermarket part manufacturers.
Benefits of aftermarket parts
If you’re thinking of using aftermarket parts, you can reap the following benefits.
*Low cost – OEM parts are expensive and may not be an accessible choice for many. Many aftermarket parts are durable even for half the price of OEMs.
*Readily available – the problem with OEM parts is that the auto shop will have to order it first. If you’re in a rush, aftermarket parts are handy.
*Good warranty – if you source the aftermarket parts from a reliable shop, you’ll enjoy better warranty terms than some OEM parts.
Will insurance companies cover aftermarket parts?
Most insurers will demand OEM replacements to grant your claim. This is an added assurance on their end that your car received the best possible repairs. It’s also a guarantee that your vehicle will not require additional repairs anytime soon.
Still, insurance companies vary. Some may cover aftermarket parts as long as it bears specific certifications. You should also expect that claims for aftermarket parts may have a higher deductible or additional cost.
How to know if your car is repaired with aftermarket parts
If you used an OEM replacement, you can check if your vehicle really received authentic parts. Some auto shops will try to rip you off by using aftermarket parts instead of OEM.
The first thing you have to do is to ask the auto shop for the OEM certification of the parts. Usually, each part will have a unique number assigned to it. That way, you will be assured of the authenticity of the replacement.
Also, you should clarify with your insurer if they are going to use OEM or aftermarket parts. That way, you’ll know what to expect.
Contrary to stereotypes, aftermarket parts can be great choices for your car. Just make sure that you’re getting a high-quality replacement. Also, see to it that you check with your insurance company which one they use for repairs. From there, you can decide if aftermarket parts suit your vehicle or not.