Why OEM, and What’s the Difference Between That and Aftermarket Parts?


What does OEM stand for? This means Original Equipment Manufacturer for vehicles. So if you get a Jeep, for example, this is the term used to describe Jeep-produced replacement parts. Aftermarket parts are often created and sold by third-party vendors and will vary in quality, design and compatibility.

If you?re wondering whether you should replace your car?s damaged or old parts with OEM parts, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

OEM Parts Tend to be More Expensive Than Aftermarket Parts

Not surprisingly, OEM equipment is often going to have the highest price since it?s coming from the manufacturer — similar to choosing between a generic brand ice cream and something like Ben and Jerry?s. On some parts the price differentiation will be very small; on larger or more complex parts, the price difference might be noticeable enough to affect your decision. Also worth noting: if this matters to you, you?re going to want to have a clear conversation with your auto parts specialists about it. Many will simply go with what they have in stock, or what is quickest to obtain, otherwise.

The Importance of OEM Varies by Brand

Have you ever heard that luxury brands are a bad vehicle to buy used? This is true if affordability is your goal, because luxury brands often have no option available other than OEM parts — and their OEM parts can be quite expensive. Unlike with a Honda, the parts are not easily interchangeable and because it is a luxury vehicle, often comes with extras. Audis, as an example, have electronic sensors in their breaks — so a simple brake pad change can cost more in labor, totalling an average of $250. A non-luxury vehicle would cost about $150 on average.

What Should You Look For?

The cost of vehicle neglect is collectively about $2 billion every year. It?s possible you simply don?t have money for an OEM part, and this is okay, especially if you don?t mind the parts not coming with a 1 year warranty. In this case, you should look for parts that are made with the same metal content as your original parts — and read reviews online. These will give you an idea of how precisely the parts are cut so that they are as close as possible to an exact fit.

Are you getting repairs for your car? Keep these points in mind so that you get a quality part — for a fair price.

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