Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Car Parts: Which One Should You Buy?

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Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Car Parts: Which One Should You Buy?

close up of new car parts

Replacing broken or worn parts of a car is an essential step in vehicle maintenance and repair. Failing to do so will eventually result in significant risks that may demand a more extensive and costly fixing.

Fortunately, options are already available, and all that’s left to do is make a smart choice. When it comes to car parts, you have the option of using aftermarket or OEM parts. 

But the real deal is, which one should you buy? 

In this article, you’ll find out…

  • Pros and Cons of Original Equipment Manufacturer 
  • Aftermarket car parts’ advantages and disadvantages
  • The difference between OEM and aftermarket car parts
  • The best choice between aftermarket car parts and OEM

What Is the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Car Parts?​

The difference between OEM and aftermarket car parts is that Original Equipment Manufacturer car parts refer to the identical components produced by the original manufacturer. While aftermarket auto parts are made by third-party manufacturers and designed to be generic or compatible with many vehicle models. 

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

An OEM is an abbreviation of Original Equipment Manufacturer. The OEM car parts are produced by the same initial manufacturer of the car’s original parts. Other companies are allowed to buy the OEM car parts from the original manufacturer and resell or rebrand it. That’s why we can find them online, in a dealership, or sometimes in local auto repair shops

Although OEM is made by the original manufacturer, it has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Starting from the…

Advantages of OEM:

1. Identical Copy 

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are perfect for use as replacements for damaged automobile components since they are exact replicas of the originals. This indicates that a replacement OEM should fit exactly the same as the one that was previously used.

2. Guaranteed High-Quality

Since OEM is made by the original manufacturer, it’s guaranteed that you’ll get the same quality standard as the parts that came initially with your vehicle. Aside from that, you can trust that OEM replacements will perform at their best since they have been tested for your specific car model.

3. Improves Vehicle Performance 

Choosing an Original Equipment Manufacturer’s vehicle components will provide you with better driving performance and vehicle efficiency. It’s like giving the car a second chance or yourself the opportunity to drive your car brand-new again. So there’s no need to be concerned about a car malfunction following an OEM replacement.

4. Longevity

Guaranteed high-quality parts and improved vehicle performance will result in a longer component lifespan. It’s because OEMs are designed to be durable, they can withstand regular vehicle usage for a longer period of time.

Disadvantages of OEM:

1. Limited Accessibility

OEM’s supply and demand do not match. There are only a few pieces available on the market, but they are in high demand. Because of this, it can be rather challenging to get your hands on an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) piece.

2. High-priced 

The main reason why OEM auto parts are expensive is because of their limited availability. Even though they are available through dealerships and online, it is rare to find one that has the parts that you’re looking for at the moment. There are instances when you have to wait for weeks or months before you can get one.

Aftermarket car parts 

The auto aftermarket parts are made by non-original manufacturers who produce generic car parts that can fit a variety of vehicle models. They are typically third-party companies that provide a less expensive option for car part replacement. However, aftermarket vehicle parts also have their own share of pros and cons. 

Advantages of Aftermarket parts:

1. Affordable

Aftermarket parts serve as a cheaper option for car owners who need an immediate solution for their vehicle’s part replacement. Since it is produced by other companies, the material used may differ from the original. That’s why the price is not the same as OEM.

2. Excellent quality

Other manufacturers may produce the best quality aftermarket parts. So, it’s still safe to purchase aftermarket auto components. However, keep in mind that it is going to be dependent on the quality of the material and manufacturing standard.

3. Accessible 

Unlike OEM, aftermarket parts are available everywhere. Because of this, they are an excellent choice for getting immediate repairs done. Visit a local shop and you can easily find them there. 

4. Variety of options

Since there are a lot of aftermarket car parts manufacturers, there’s also a lot to choose from. Each of these companies designs a unique touch to its product and offers it to the market. Look around and find what fits your vehicle and preferences the best.

Disadvantages of Aftermarket parts:

1. Quality is not guaranteed 

Contrary to what’s mentioned in the advantage, some manufacturers may produce the lowest quality of aftermarket parts for cars. So here’s some advice; examine the aftermarket parts you’re considering purchasing carefully or seek assistance from a mechanic. 

2. Difficult Decisions

Getting overwhelmed with the wide range of options is possible when you opt for aftermarket car parts. Making a concrete decision might be challenging when confronted with a plethora of aftermarket car component brands and types.

3. Poor performance 

Aftermarket parts are designed to work with a wide range of automobiles, so it’s not precisely made for your car. Chances of poor performance might arise if you don’t pick the right kind for your vehicle.

What Is the Best Choice Between OEM or Aftermarket Car Parts?

The best choice between OEM or aftermarket car parts will always depend on the situation. OEM is your best bet for vehicle performance and longevity. However, when it comes to a less expensive and faster car component replacement, aftermarket car parts will meet your vehicle’s minimum requirements.

How can you identify aftermarket auto parts from an OEM?

You may spot the difference between aftermarket car parts and OEM parts by comparing them to your original car component. If it’s identical to the initial one, it is OEM. If it doesn’t match but still fits in your vehicle, there’s a great chance that it is an aftermarket car component.

Can I trust OEM and aftermarket car parts?

Yes, you can absolutely trust both OEM and aftermarket car parts. It’s because they are designed to function as car component replacements. Aftermarket and OEM parts for cars only differ in terms of quality, price, availability, and performance.

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