Cars require regular maintenance to keep them running properly—maintenance is an important step for vehicle owners who want to avoid the high costs of replacement car parts. However, even with proper care, there will come a time when repairs are needed. Where do you go for new parts? When you visit the dealership’s service department, what you get are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) car parts. Take it to a small auto shop, meanwhile, and they’ll most likely offer aftermarket car parts. Some people have a preference, while others don’t. Below, the knowledgeable team at our foreign auto repair shop in Conway, AR breaks down the pros and cons of OEM and aftermarket car parts.
Original equipment manufacturer auto parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. OEM parts come on every brand-new vehicle, and that’s what you drive off the dealership’s lot with.
- You get one option: Go to a dealership for a replacement part and they will most likely present one option in the form of the OEM part made for your vehicle. No need to compare the quality of different brands and prices.
- Good quality: Because the part is specifically intended for your car, it should work just like the original. It’s what the vehicle was manufactured with and gives you peace of mind, since you are familiar with its performance.
- Warranties: A majority of automakers back up their OEM car parts with a one-year warranty. Oftentimes, the dealership includes a labor warranty.
- Costs more: Most OEM parts are more expensive than aftermarket parts—as much as 60 percent higher.
- Only available at a dealership: Although some OEM parts can be purchased online, most people go to a dealership. Requesting an OEM part from an independent shop is possible, but the part will have to be a special order.
- Quality not guaranteed: You paid more for OEM parts, so you assume it’s better quality. This is not always true, though—in some cases you’re just paying extra for the brand name.
Aftermarket car parts are not sourced from the vehicle’s automaker. Many aftermarket companies design their parts to function the same as OEM, sometimes even better than the original.
- Less expensive: These parts usually cost less than OEM. Compare a few brands, but always buy from a legitimate business.
- Near equal quality: The quality of some aftermarket parts can be equal to or better than OEM parts. Research your specific part before choosing an aftermarket brand.
- Availability: There’s a good chance that an auto parts shop or local mechanic has your part in stock, meaning you have more choices when it comes to where you can have your vehicle serviced.
- Quality varies: Some aftermarket parts are made from lower-quality materials. It’s best to choose a well-known aftermarket brand.
- Too many options: You might become overwhelmed by the selection of aftermarket parts. Too many options can unfortunately make it easier to choose something of lower quality.
- No warranty: Some aftermarket parts do not come with a warranty. This keeps costs down for the maker.
Riverdale Automotive is your go-to foreign auto repair shop in Conway, AR. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for your vehicle!