What You Need to Know about OEM and Aftermarket parts

If you’ve been in an accident, you’ve likely faced a tough decision: should you buy OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for your vehicle or go with aftermarket solutions that appear to be the exact same offering? There are distinct benefits to choosing each path, but the good thing to know is that — in most cases — your car will emerge fully repaired and perfectly fine no matter which option you choose.

Aftermarket Parts: Benefits and Other Considerations

Perhaps the number one benefit of choosing aftermarket parts for your vehicle repair is the amount you’ll save at the point of sale: up to 60 percent in some cases. That’s huge savings, especially in the world of vehicle parts where prices can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. If cost savings is your number one deciding factor, there simply is no contest: you need to shop for aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle properly.

However, the potential savings on aftermarket parts can be a negative thing, as well. First and foremost, for OEM enthusiasts, insurance companies are not on your side. Like other corporations, they seek to save money wherever possible. For this reason, insurance companies will almost always complete repairs of a vehicle with aftermarket parts made by a third-party supplier.

Another consideration is that aftermarket parts vary widely in quality, unlike OEM parts, which are produced in a standard fashion by one company — typically in one factory, as well. While this is not generally an issue for most drivers, it can and does affect quite a few each year when their repairs don’t last.

OEM Parts: The Good, the Bad, the Expensive

Buying OEM parts for a repair is a guarantee of quality for your vehicle. It’s the exact same part installed before, only newer — in most cases. You’ll have peace of mind that simply doesn’t exist with standard aftermarket parts. However, it’s worth noting that these parts can be extremely hard to find as your vehicle ages. And, as their rarity increases, so does the price you’ll have to pay to pick them up and use them for your repair.

And that’s to say nothing of the fact that these parts are, on average, much more expensive than competing aftermarket brands. However, deep pockets will be heartened to know that a thorough search and a big wallet can likely secure any piece of OEM equipment, no matter how rare. And there is something to be said for consistent quality throughout an entire vehicle’s parts.

Aftermarket parts are the discounted option that most drivers will definitely want to pursue, and they’re certainly the option of the nefarious insurance industry. However, OEM parts offer the peace of mind that comes with quality and consistency, which can’t be overrated in something as important to your safety as a vehicle. There’s no harm in trying aftermarket solutions, but those with the wallets and desire to avert the risk will want to stick with OEM replacements.

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