When you send your car for extensive repairs, you are sure that your car is only getting the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts. However, if you take your car somewhere else, repairs will definitely be cheaper… with aftermarket car parts. Is it better to stick with using only OEM parts?
An aftermarket part is a car part that is NOT from the manufacturer. These things are not sourced from the car’s maker. Aftermarket parts do not automatically void the warranty. So, you know you can shop around for parts if you want to.
The Advantages of Aftermarket Parts
- Less expensive than OEM: Let’s get into the most obvious: aftermarket parts are cheaper OEM parts. There is a variety of brands so you can save as much depending on your preference. You have the liberty to look for the best price and choose what you think gives you the value for money. However, if the price is too good to be true, you wonder about its quality.
- Aftermarket parts have more variety: Numerous companies continue to manufacture aftermarket parts, and some even produce car specific parts. With a bigger selection of parts, it would also mean more variety to choose from.
- Parts are practically available anywhere: You can find aftermarket parts at a local auto parts shop, or even at a gas station. You will find something that fits your vehicle. You can take your car anywhere for repairs.
The Disadvantages of Aftermarket Parts
This is where it gets tricky. Will the disadvantages overpower the advantages?
- Quality not guaranteed: Like I said earlier, aftermarket parts are cheaper. However, quality is an issue. Some parts, not all, may be poor quality because they are made from cheap materials. If you bought it for a low price, obviously, the material is not something you can expect to last for quite some time.
- There’s just TOO many: If you’re not familiar with car parts, the wide selection is just too overwhelming. Then, you could end up choosing a bad quality one. There are dozens to choose from so if you don’t know a thing, you better ask an expert or your local mechanic.
- NO warranty: For me, this is the deal breaker. Do know that there are aftermarket parts out there with NO warranty. If the car part does not work, it’s not covered by warranty. It’s like throwing away money!
What should YOU choose?
If you are taking about collision repairs, it is best to choose the OEM parts. Aftermarket body panels may not have right crumple zones to save you in any case of a crash or road accident. Keyword here is safety, and the OEM parts are the safest bet even though these parts could be more expensive.
My advice: stick with the OEM parts especially if there’s not much difference in terms of price. Remember, not all aftermarket parts are the same. For OEM parts, they all are created equal.