OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts: What You Need to Know


Though you can’t find it in a dictionary, purchasing car parts is synonymous with making challenging decisions. While the Automotive Aftermarket is overcrowded, competitive, and continuously growing, some prefer not to stand in line by picking OEM parts.

If you’re looking for someone to assist you in narrowing down your focus and finalizing your choices, you’re at the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss all there is to know about OEM and aftermarket parts and help you make the best decision for your specific needs. Let’s start!
An experienced mechanic disassembling a car to get OEM parts
An experienced mechanic disassembling a car to get OEM parts

Understanding OEM parts

Within the sphere of cars, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. These are identical to the original parts when the vehicle was newly constructed. The same manufacturer designs OEM parts, crafting them from identical, clearly defined materials and following the exact specifications, all while withstanding the same testing requirements.
Choosing them is a bespoke experience, as they’re made particularly for your car model. If you’re doubtful about their genuineness, check if they have an official certificate of authenticity.
Anyway, you’ll find their remarkable features below.
  • Easy Pick. When you enter an OEM store, you won’t be faced with making difficult decisions, as the product you get is tailor-made to fit your car. This means that you won’t have to worry about their compatibility like you might with aftermarket parts.
  • Remarkable Advancement. Since OEM manufacturers are experienced, they can significantly improve the car part that needs replacing. Remember, only they have access to the original sketches and drawings. They can work on them and develop a better version of what you’ve been used to years before.
  • Ensured Warranties. These are created solely for you to rest assured that the replaced part will do its job immaculately and efficiently. In a hazardous situation, the company will recheck and repair the part., so you won’t have to worry about wasting money on unpredictable outcomes. Most OEM parts come with a warranty of up to one year, but the specific period will depend on the manufacturer.
But let’s not forget to mention what can dissuade customers from buying them.
  • Limited Availability. Unlike aftermarket options, only a restricted number of companies can produce OEM parts, which increases their price and makes them less attainable to common people. Usually, it’s a common problem for those who don’t own brand-new cars from reputable brands.
  • Extremely Expensive. With their expertise and professionalism, OEM manufacturers value the time and effort they spend on their quality car parts. This is why their prices are higher than average, and not everyone can afford them. Their products are sought after by the picky ones who know what they want.
  • Lack of Diversity. If you’re willing to experiment with a range of alternatives, then OEM parts aren’t the right choice for you. The creator of OEM parts makes each of them unique. Naturally, this takes a lot more time and leaves no room for the production of thousands of replacement car parts.

Aftermarket Parts

These stand for car parts made by any manufacturer that differs from the original one. Their main task is to imitate OEM parts, both in function and form, while serving as a direct replacement. This brings us to their overall difference in quality and price due to the multiple creators. Unlike OEMs, their third-party items are generally not insured.
Now, let’s see what makes them stand out.
  • Speedy Service. Overall, aftermarket options are readily available because there are many of them. If you’re impatient and want a new part substitute immediately, this is the right choice for you. It can serve you well temporarily, considering they don’t spend much time creating, preparing, or testing their car parts.
  • Cheap Products. No matter how much you delay car part replacements, at some point, you’ll have to address the issue. However, if your bank account doesn’t allow costly investments, you can still choose economical alternatives. The aftermarket always has your back in such occurrences.
  • Improved Quality. Yes, they used to look shabby, but as years went by, we can see that this is no longer the case. Today, they’re crafted with advanced manufacturing techniques, so you can rest assured that these parts are nothing short of innovative.
However, make sure to also consider the following before purchasing.
  • Analyze Before You Act. Contrary to popular opinion, aftermarket doesn’t inherently indicate a bad quality. However, you must do deep research about the available shops or consult with mechanics who can tell a good aftermarket from a bad one. In a fast-paced world, this is especially tiring and time-consuming, especially if you’re new to this and don’t know the brands. What’s more, you’ll have to assess the importance of the car part that needs substitution to make a reasonable decision.
  • Many Options, None are Reliable. Many companies substitute originals with aftermarket car parts. As a natural outcome, they don’t make them identically – some are expensive, others aren’t; few are certified, and the majority aren’t. If you choose aftermarket products created by original equipment manufacturers, you’re good to go, but these are extremely rare cases. Unfortunately, the chances that you’ll make the right decision are small.
  • Low Resale Value. Even an amateur can spot the failures and irregularities of bad aftermarket car parts, not to mention the ones that are in the automotive industry. Potential customers won’t be impressed by the state of your car, and you won’t be able to persuade them to buy it. For them, a vehicle in poor condition is an indicator of potential accidents on the road.

Commit to Excellence by Choosing OEM Parts

The moment you choose an OEM product, you step into the realm of professional assistance. This may be the vital difference between it and its less reliable, amateurish aftermarket counterpart. Experts in the field are selflessly eager to collaborate with you.
They’ve gone through rigorous preparations to earn a certificate, so you can rest assured that their meticulous understanding of their equipment transcends the limited scope of knowledge of aftermarket workers who are trained only for the replacement part of the story.

Unmistakable Compatibility in Dimensions

We mustn’t question the value of something created through adherence to factory specifications. Greatness takes time, and unlike the quick production of aftermarket parts, making OEM parts doesn’t happen overnight.
This is why they always fit properly with the rest of your car and why problems such as tabs not sitting correctly with the bold or irregular body panel gaps almost never occur. Sometimes, the aftermarket might produce a good copy of the initial part, but OEM’s originality is the gold standard in car parts.
Production of a new modern car with unique OEM parts
Production of a new modern car with unique OEM parts

Ensured Longevity

As a matter of fact, quality is more valuable than mediocre performance products. Because OEMs undergo careful testing that results in flawless execution, they tend to be durable. You’ll no longer have to worry about potential damages, malfunctioning, or similar unpredictabilities. By investing in them, you get an OEM label, which guarantees their lifespan.

Thrifty Bargain in the Long Run

Although OEMs’ price is higher, you get what you pay for. Only they have the potential to last a long time, unlike their less-expensive aftermarket alternatives. Don’t let the attractive price lure you, as cheaper ones will cost you more than the initial sticker price for lost performance.

Don't Gamble With Safety

Some car parts can pass with a fragile, aftermarket option. However, most car parts cannot be risked or experimented with. Let’s face it – OEM isn’t reserved just for those who have fixations on cars – gearheads and car technicians but rather for all who value their safety.

For example, air-fuel sensors play a big part in fuel consumption and determining the air-fuel ratio, so they need to be of top-notch quality. The same goes for bad thermostats that can ruin your engine and flawed cover gaskets that can cost you repeated repairings.

Rely on A Plus Auto For the Best OEM Parts

Given all the above, we’re pretty certain you wouldn’t compromise on quality for inexpensiveness. If our guess is correct, then you should consider A Plus Auto LLC.
A Plus Auto serving Lexington, KY, is remarkable for having sold more than 140k high-quality car parts that can be shipped to your address within 24 hours. Our experienced team doesn’t merely make your car look amazing; we ensure it drives impeccably on the road.

So, if you’re after quality, make sure to take a look at our inventory and contact us if you have any questions. Let’s ensure you get the right replacement car parts for your needs!

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