Whenever we need to have our car repaired, we can expect a significant expense, particularly because of the price of auto parts. For some, using original equipment manufacturer parts, also known as OEM, is the best way to go. However, many of us prefer to opt for the more affordable aftermarket parts. If this is our case, we need to make sure we understand the advantages and disadvantages of aftermarket parts before making a purchase that we might regret later. These are the pros and cons of aftermarket car parts.
What Are Aftermarket Car Parts?
Unlike OEM, aftermarket parts are those made by a company that is not the original manufacturer of your vehicle’s make. Many believe that aftermarket car parts are secondhand or bootleg parts, but this is really not the case. Aftermarket parts are brand new, and depending on the car we have and the part we are looking for, they might work exactly as OEMs would, or even better.
As a matter of fact, the build quality of aftermarket parts has significantly improved during the last couple of years. Therefore, many car owners are starting to choose these affordable and efficient options.
What Are the Advantages of Aftermarket Parts?
As we mentioned above, there are many advantages and disadvantages of aftermarket parts, and on the pros side, we have cost, selection, and quality. The main reason why we might choose aftermarket parts is that they are significantly more affordable than OEM.
Another reason is selection, as we have a wider range of options available when looking for aftermarket parts than that of OEM parts. Lastly, finding an aftermarket part that exceeds the quality of the OEM version isn’t really that uncommon, yet this depends on the type of part we need.
What Are the Disadvantages of Aftermarket Parts?
Even when cost, selection, and quality are all very attractive and convincing advantages of aftermarket parts, we need to consider the other side, too. More specifically, we need to think about the quality of aftermarket parts and the warranty they offer.
When we buy aftermarket parts, there are two sides to the issue of quality. We can either find parts of excellent quality or low-quality items that will simply not work for our vehicle. This is because we have many options to choose from, so we need to be careful, and make sure we have the right piece.
Another disadvantage of aftermarket parts relates to the issue of warranty. Pretty much all OEM parts come with a level of warranty or protection, helping you feel more comfortable and confident with the quality of their pieces. However, aftermarket parts usually come with little to no warranty, which might be reason enough for some to stick to particular brand names instead.
How Can I Determine the Quality of Aftermarket Parts?
In order to make sure you get the best parts and pieces for your car, regardless of OEM or aftermarket parts, you need to ask a trusted and knowledgeable mechanic. They will be able to guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision. Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages of aftermarket parts, at the end of the day what matters is choosing what is best for your car and your wallet.