At some point in your vehicle’s life, you will probably need to replace certain parts, whether they be small or significant. There are a few different paths for you to take, but your biggest choice will be between OEM parts and aftermarket parts. Not all parts are created equally though, so you should know what exactly you will be putting in your vehicle, and Elmer’s Auto Body is here to help you make this important decision for you and your family.
What Are OEM Parts?
OEM parts are automotive parts made by the manufacturer (OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer). There may be many reasons for you to want or avoid OEM parts, but the choice should be simple once you understand what OEM parts are, as well as the pros and cons of using them.
Advantages of OEM Parts
OEM parts come directly from the manufacturer and are made specifically for your make and model of vehicle. You can be assured that any OEM part you purchase will fit perfectly and perform exactly as if it had been there since the car was first put on the lot. Aftermarket (non-OEM) parts are usually designed to fit a wide variety of different vehicles, so the fit won’t always be as superior as with OEM parts. Most OEM parts will also come with a one-year warranty and can be replaced (within a year) if any issues arise, with no additional cost to the customer. You must also be aware of your vehicle’s existing warranty, as the use of aftermarket parts on your vehicle may void your vehicle’s current warranty coverage. Aftermarket parts may also come in numerous different levels of quality with different brands and prices, and OEM parts usually only have a single type, the perfect fit for your vehicle.
Besides the peace of mind you get from knowing your part will be an exact fit, as well as the safety net of the warranty, you can be assured that OEM parts are made from high-quality materials and you can rest easy knowing that you are getting exactly what you pay for. OEM parts usually will be acquired from a dealership as well, which will promise a level of quality that can be guaranteed, as opposed to a chain or independent body shop which may have varying levels of quality and care with your vehicle. One reason purchasing aftermarket parts may be cheaper is that quality is sacrificed, and often any savings the driver may have from avoiding OEM parts are negated by the lack of quality in the aftermarket parts.
Disadvantages of OEM Parts
An OEM part will usually be the best option for consumers, but sometimes the cons of OEM parts outweigh the pros, depending on each consumer’s specific situation. OEM parts will usually cost nearly sixty percent more than aftermarket parts (according to a study by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America), and despite most OEM parts being of superior quality than their aftermarket counterparts, this is not always the case– as there may be aftermarket parts of equal or greater quality with a lower price (for those willing to hunt for them).
Because the OEM parts are so specifically made for your make and model, that means there will be fewer parts available which may cause some trouble finding OEM parts. OEM parts can be found online and may even be requested from a local mechanic, but it may take longer to get these parts, and it limits the number of places that you could acquire OEM parts from. Since aftermarket parts are manufactured to fit many different styles and types of cars universally, there will usually be an abundance of aftermarket parts to choose from (though this may lead to an overabundance of choices sometimes). This may lead to aftermarket parts fitting a more specific need, as you could sacrifice aesthetics for quality, comfort, or better overall performance.
So When Should I Request OEM Parts?
For repairs following a collision, OEM parts should be prioritized, as aftermarket body panels may not fit and may compromise the vehicle’s structural safety. Customers that lease a car may have additional issues to consider, as aftermarket parts will decrease the value of your vehicle, and may cost you all or part of your security deposit. Aftermarket parts may provide value in rare cases, but if you aren’t one to work on your own car, or if you are unfamiliar with all the different brands and levels of quality, OEM parts will provide a solid fool-proof fix with the previously stated peace of mind that a warranty and guaranteed quality and fit will provide.
Things to Consider About OEM Parts
Tom Torbjornsen, who was the host of America’s Car Show, has stated that the gap in pricing between OEM and aftermarket parts seems to be closing, as he claims that dealers have begun to compete with independent shops when it comes to parts. So the advantage of saving money may be less appealing than it previously has been. Additionally, in twenty-one states (as well as the District of Columbia), a body shop’s repair estimate doesn’t have to indicate whether or not an Aftermarket or OEM part is used. Your insurance company will probably prefer you to choose an aftermarket part because of cost, and some companies may add an additional fee if you do decide to choose OEM parts for your vehicle. Before purchasing parts, always check with your insurance provider to see what parts, if any, will be covered (as well as your vehicle’s lease agreement, if it is a lease).
Get Your Car Repaired With OEM Parts
So are you ready to make your decision between OEM and aftermarket? Or do you still have questions on whether OEM or aftermarket parts may be right for you? Either way, our professionals at Elmer’s Auto Body will be available to assist you! Call (609)-714-4050 or contact us through our website today to book your free consultation, or to book an appointment now!