OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts are made by the same manufacturer that made your vehicle. In contrast, aftermarket parts are made by a third party. Aftermarket parts are generally less expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should use them.
Here are just five reasons why.
The most important issue when deciding between OEM and aftermarket parts is quality. An OEM part will be made to the same high standards enjoyed by every other part of your vehicle – after all, the manufacturer is putting their own reputation on the line, and they’re not going to risk alienating future buyers just to save a few pounds on a cheaper part. With aftermarket parts, quality is far more variable.
Even if an aftermarket part has been made with the tenderest love and care, it won’t be an exact fit with your vehicle since it will have been made to fit with several makes and models. Even the smallest sizing issue can lead to problems, so choose an OEM part made for your exact make and model.
Shopping for aftermarket parts can be tough since you need to compare several options. When you pick an OEM part, all you need to do is contact the relevant service department and they’ll order in exactly what you need.
Aftermarket parts might be cheaper at first, but you’ll usually end up paying more for them in the long run since using one instead of an OEM part to repair your vehicle will generally invalidate the warranty. That could mean paying out hundreds or even thousands if your vehicle suffers damage in the future.
Finally, keep in mind that cutting corners with your parts and accessories could lower the value of your vehicle. If a vehicle history report shows that cheaper parts were used, your vehicle probably won’t be worth as much when you come to sell.