The world of car parts and accessories is as interesting and complicated as the cars themselves. If you think that all car parts are the same, you are wrong and even the simplest part or component can be ordered in various specifications. Sometimes, materials or manufacturing standards can vary and make an important difference between the parts. That is why there are two basic groups of car parts: OEM parts and aftermarket items.
What is an OEM car part?
You have probably already heard the term “OEM car part” and it is short for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” This means that the part with this designation is built by the same manufacturer or contractor which makes parts for new cars as the first installation. In short, an OEM part is the same type, material, and specification as the part that the car had when it was new. On the other hand, aftermarket parts are the same parts but made by other companies and from other materials. Aftermarket parts are often cheaper than OEM components and often are less durable.
The pros and cons of OEM parts
The main advantage of OEM parts is their quality and if the car manufacturer chose to install that specific part in their new car, it must have been the best one available. That is why if you want a perfect replacement part for your car, you should always choose an OEM one. This way you are sure that the part will fit and the quality will be up to the standards of the industry. The important thing about OEM parts is the warranty and almost all components are covered with one year warranty, which is good to know.
Two main disadvantages of OEM parts are price and availability. The OEM part is always more expensive than the aftermarket item due to materials and higher standards of manufacturing, and also a brand name company that produces it. To be honest, in some cases, the higher price of the OEM part is just not worth it since there is no actual difference between the parts or in the quality of the materials.
If you buy simple things like windshield wipers or coolant liquid, it really isn`t important who the manufacturer is. In case you have an older model or a specific version, OEM parts could be hard to find or discontinued, which can force you to turn to aftermarket spares.
If the money is no object and you want to be sure that your car is mechanically sound as the day it rolled off the showroom floor, use the OEM parts when needed. You can compromise when it comes to less significant parts like various accessories or tires but for important mechanical components like engine, suspension or breaks, always use OEM spares if possible.
By using more expensive parts you will not only be sure that everything is in perfect working order, but you will also prolong the life of your car since the OEM parts provide better quality. Using better and factory approved spares could fetch you a higher price when selling, especially if the buyer is knowledgeable and knows the value of proper servicing and using the right parts.