Last Updated on November 29, 2016 by Roger David
Genuine VS Aftermarket Car Parts
When you take your vehicle in for repairs, do you ever consider whether the mechanic is using genuine car parts or aftermarket ones? Do you know the difference? Does it even matter?
All most people really know is that aftermarket parts are usually cheaper, so if they’re given the chance, that’s what they usually go for!
Is it worth cutting corners to make a bit of a saving though? We’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of genuine and aftermarket car parts and try and decide which you’re better off opting for.
Genuine (OEM) Parts:
Genuine car parts (also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer parts) are parts which have been created by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
They’re exactly the same as the parts which came with your vehicle when it came off the production line and will be an exact like for like swap.
This of course, means that it’s a fairly simple purchase decision, as you don’t have multiple brands to choose from.
The main benefit of purchasing genuine parts is that you get a greater assurance of quality, as the part will work exactly the same as the one which it is replacing.
We spoke to genuine Volkswagen parts dealers at VW Motor Parts, and they said: “When you choose genuine car parts, you can count on the highest quality.
“For example, the parts we sell here are manufactured to strict quality standards imposed by Volkswagen engineers for an exact fit and precise operation.”
For more information on the dangers posed by aftermarket car parts, check out this article from Your Mechanic.
Finally, genuine parts will usually come with a warranty of at least a year, so you’ve got that little bit of extra peace of mind.
The reason many choose not to opt for genuine parts is that they’re often slightly more expensive, however, the gap might not be as big as you’d think, as dealerships try to compete with the independent garages.
On the other hand, aftermarket parts are ones which are not sourced from the vehicle’s manufacturer, although they are designed to function similarly.
These are usually found in independent garages and are a cheaper alternative to OEM parts, however, exactly how much you save will depend on the brand which you opt for.
And much like the price, the quality of an aftermarket part will also vary greatly, which is the main reason we would recommend avoiding them.
As with anything else, you get what you pay for with aftermarket parts, and opting for cheaper ones will likely mean a lesser quality, as inferior materials are used to keep the cost down.
You’ll also notice with aftermarket parts that there’s often a huge variety of different options and brands even for the simplest of car parts, and this can be very overwhelming if you’re not an expert when it comes to cars.
Finally, according to this article from Autotrader, there’s also a chance that aftermarket parts could void your vehicle’s warranty, so they’re probably worth avoiding!
Featured image by Mike Bird