If your car was ever in a collision or needed a repair, you know that taking it to your dealership is probably the best way to go. When you take your car to the dealership’s service department for repairs, you know you’re getting Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts. However, taking your car to an independent shop, they’ll more than likely use aftermarket car parts. So what’s the big deal right? Do more expensive parts really make a difference? These are some valid questions and to help answer these questions, we’ve created a list of pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision when choosing what parts go into your car.
When Should You Only Use OEM Parts?
When it comes to collision repairs, make sure you are getting OEM parts. This is because aftermarket body panels and the like may not fit properly or have not passed crash safety tests.
If you are leasing your vehicle, consider using OEM parts. It may cost more upfront, but you won’t lose your security deposit at the end of her lease term.
However, 21 states including the District of Columbia, a body shop’s repair estimate does not have to indicate whether aftermarket parts will be used. You’ll often find that your insurance company will favor aftermarket parts because they are cheaper. If you request OEM parts, some insurance companies ask you to pay an additional fee or the difference. Be sure you call your insurance company to see what kind of parts they will cover.
Pros & Cons of OEM Parts
OEM parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. These match the parts that came with your vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line.
- Easier to choose your part: If you go to the parts counter at a dealership and ask for any part, you’ll usually get one type. You don’t have to worry about assessing the quality of different brands and prices.
- Greater assurance of quality: The OEM part should work exactly as the one you are replacing. It is what the vehicle was manufactured with and provides a peace of mind in its familiarity and performance.
- Comes with a warranty: Most automakers back up their OEM parts with a one-year warranty. And if you get your car repaired at the dealer, they’ll usually stand by their labor as well.
- More expensive: When it comes to bodywork, OEM parts tend to cost about 60 percent more, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
- Need to be bought at the dealership: Even though there are other ways of buying OEM parts, most people will go to a dealership to buy their car parts.
- Quality may not be superior: You paid the extra money for an OEM part, hoping that it was vastly better than an aftermarket part. But that may not always be the case.
Pros & Cons of Aftermarket Parts
An aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not sourced from the car’s maker. If the parts are direct replacement parts, they will not void your car’s warranty. A number of companies make parts designed to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original.
- Less expensive: Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts.
- Same or better quality: In some cases, you may end up with a better part than you started with.
- More choices: Some specialize in specific parts, and other companies, like NAPA, make almost any part you can think of. More variety means greater selection and a wider range of prices.
- Quality varies greatly: The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here. Some aftermarket parts are inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials.
- Overwhelming selection: If you’re not familiar with aftermarket brands, the selection could be overwhelming. Consult your mechanic for advice or simply stick with the OEM part.
- May not have a warranty: To keep costs down, some aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty.
Which Is The Best Option?
All aftermarket parts are not created equal — but all OEM parts are. This creates its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re familiar with a number of brands or work on your own car, aftermarket parts can save you a lot of money. If you’re not familiar with aftermarket brands, prefer to have everything done at the dealership and don’t mind paying a bit extra for that peace of mind, OEM is a good choice for you. In fact, Central Ave Hyundai is offering a 10% OFF coupon on Genuine OEM Parts. So if you need some work done, act now!