OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts

OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts

July 22, 2020

Are you trying to decide whether you should get an OEM or aftermarket part for your vehicle? Whenever you have your vehicle repaired, you should know whether your repair tech is using OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket parts, and what that means for your specific repair. Knowing what to expect from both varieties will help you decide whether to go to an OEM parts supplier in Santa Rosa, CA or opt for a third-party solution.

OEM parts

Original equipment manufacturer parts mean that if you choose to repair your vehicle with these, the new components will be exactly the same as if your car had just rolled off the assembly line. Your car’s manufacturer supplies these components to dealerships, repair facilities and even individual car owners. They’re the smart choice if you have an unusual car, your warranty requires OEM part replacement or you just want the part you need right away.

OEM parts are reliable, you won’t have to decide between similar solutions and your warranty will stay intact—this is often the easiest and fastest solution for most car owners. However, you should be aware that OEM parts are also more expensive—sometimes as much as 60 percent more expensive than aftermarket components.

Aftermarket parts

Aftermarket parts are designed to fulfill certain functions, just like OEM parts—but they’re not specifically designed for your car’s make and model. In most cases, as long as the part is well-made, it will be as good and occasionally better than OEM versions. On the other hand, you do run the risk of getting a part that doesn’t quite fit in your vehicle, which can slow down your car’s performance.

Depending on the type or part or what you plan to do with your vehicle (assuming it’s an upgrade and not a repair), aftermarket parts may void your car’s warranty. It’s smart to check your owner’s manual to see what the warranty policy is, and if you can safely use aftermarket parts to repair or upgrade your car.

Aftermarket parts are different from value-added resellers (VAR), too—VAR parts are OEM parts that have been altered or upgraded to increase your car’s performance. You get the benefits of the exact part for the job, but also enhanced performance or features.

Which should I choose?

Still not sure whether you should choose OEM or aftermarket parts? Evaluate your decision by thinking about what you need the part for, whether you will need your warranty intact, what your budget is like and what you’re hoping to get out of the component. If it’s a repair for a critical car component, OEM is likely the best choice. If you’re simply repairing a basic piece or want to upgrade your car’s performance, aftermarket options will present cost-effective and exciting solutions.

Of course, you can always talk to the team at Fine Line Imports. We’ll help you make a decision about whether to go aftermarket or work with an OEM parts supplier in Santa Rosa, CA.

Fine Line Imports