What Is an Automotive OEM Part?

What Is an Automotive OEM Part?

July 8, 2020

When you’re building or upgrading your vehicle, you have a choice between OEM or aftermarket parts. OEM or “original equipment manufacturer” parts in Santa Rosa, CA are those that come from your vehicle’s manufacturer, while aftermarket parts are from other manufacturers, including custom designs and builds. So, what exactly is an OEM part, and should you always opt for them when you want or need to replace a part in your vehicle?

What is OEM?

OEM parts are automotive parts made by your manufacturer for your specific vehicle—if you buy an OEM part for your car, you know it’s the same as the part that was included in your car when it rolled off the assembly line. This is opposed to aftermarket parts, which often are used in various vehicles and do not necessarily have the same quality assurance or warranty that OEM parts do.

OEM parts are usually found through dealerships and directly from the manufacturers themselves. However, they tend to be much more expensive (by about 60 percent) than aftermarket components.

Why would I choose OEM parts?

Aftermarket parts have plenty going for them, particularly because they can often be just as good quality as OEM parts, at a lower price. However, OEM parts offer a specific kind of reassurance that some vehicle owners prefer.

First, when you buy an OEM part for your car, you know that it was the exact piece intended to work with your vehicle. Aftermarket parts may or may not fit precisely—some can be specifically manufactured for your vehicle, but more often than not they will be designed to work on many different makes and models. If you’re dealing with collision repair, you should probably opt for OEM parts, while aftermarket may be more appropriate for cosmetic or performance upgrades.

OEM parts also won’t void your warranty. To be fair, many aftermarket parts will not affect it either, but you should check your owner’s manual to make absolutely sure, if that is a concern for you.

Another great feature: OEM parts narrow down your selections to one or two pieces that are meant for your car, whereas people can easily get overwhelmed by the choices that aftermarket parts present. If you’re not a car aficionado and don’t have specific goals in mind for your parts, OEM is the way to go—you know it will fit and work as intended, and that your warranty will be safe.

Finally, OEM parts may not always be more expensive than aftermarket—many manufacturers are experimenting with 3D printed parts and other ways to work around the supply chain. In the future, they may be more competitively priced, given the wealth of opportunity the aftermarket already provides.

Are you have trouble deciding between aftermarket and original equipment manufacturer parts in Santa Rosa, CA? Fine Line Imports can help you determine which path is right for you. Call or stop by our shop today to learn more about our selection and services, or browse our available parts on our website. We look forward to helping you find the right parts for your vehicle.

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