The Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts

difference between aftermarket and oem parts

Oh no, the dreaded breakdown, or worse, you have been in an accident. With most drivers this type of occurrence is rare and there might be some words you have not heard in a while, like original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and “aftermarket”. But one thing is certain, you just want to get your vehicle back on the road, safe and reliable – and without breaking the bank! Along the way to getting your car repaired you might be presented with t the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts. This article explains the difference so that you can make an informed decision that fits your needs and budget.

At Quality Assured Collision Center we will help you get the right part for your next auto body repair or mechanical repair.


The Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts

OEM parts come from the manufacturer of your vehicle

Aftermarket parts come from third parties

It is obvious that the OEM part will be a perfect fitting part and a true replacement. The manufacturer that produced your vehicle will be manufacturing, or overseeing, the manufacture of the replacement part from the same mechanical drawings and specs as the original. As for the aftermarket part, an engineer copied the part and produced their best facsimile of it.

Aftermarket parts are limited by the skill of their designer in matching the specifications of the original part. But do not let this fool you. Car enthusiasts will spend big bucks on aftermarket parts to modify and improve their vehicles using aftermarket parts that are marketed to be superior to the OEM part. A common example is equipping an engine with an aftermarket air intake to boost performance. There are endless possibilities, so do not discount the idea of aftermarket parts all together. In some cases, aftermarket parts are considered luxuries.

Consider this performance air intake system that is marketed as “Custom-engineered tubes deliver better airflow than you get with a stock intake. More air means better performance.” This system is clearly better than the original.

But do not let the world of souped-up aftermarket parts fool you. In many cases they can be poorly made and unreliable. They can often be poor fitting or made with inferior materials. When purchasing aftermarket parts, it is usually wise to go with a brand that is reputable for their quality, especially if the difference in price is a few dollars.


Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts typically cost less unless you are purchasing the part as an upgrade.

Some brands are going to be poor quality and perform inferior to an OEM part. You want to use a reputable shop like Quality Assured Collision Center that uses only the best aftermarket parts that come with a warranty and our validation. We stand behind our work and when we can save you money with a reliable aftermarket part that we trust, then we will recommend aftermarket parts as part of our repair plan.


OEM Parts

OEM parts typically cost more. They do come with peace of mind that the part is a perfect fit. Another drawback is that sometimes OEM parts take longer to get because they must come through select vendors.


The Final Verdict: OEM vs Aftermarket Parts

  • Cost and quality: we will help you get the right part for your needs. There are always going to be tradeoffs and the choice depends on your circumstances.
  • Quality: we only use the best aftermarket parts with proven performance and reliability.
  • Lease: you may be required to use OEM parts