When you’re buying parts to make repairs or upgrades to your vehicle, you have two options – OEM or aftermarket car parts. OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer, essentially, the manufacturer of the vehicle. OEM parts usually need to be purchased from a dealer, while aftermarket parts can be purchased from many different retailers. Take a moment to learn more about the two types, the benefits of each and how to make sure that you get quality aftermarket parts that you can be confident in.
What Is the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Car Parts?
The key different between OEM and aftermarket parts is the manufacturer. OEM parts are exactly the same parts that are on your car currently. There’s no comparison shopping. You can be guaranteed that the part will work for your car. Generally, you’ll also get a warranty on the part. The downsides are that OEM parts cost more than aftermarket parts. Sometimes, there may limited availability. Many OEM parts need to be ordered, which takes time when you’re trying to make repairs.
Aftermarket parts are direct replacements, made by a company that isn’t the actual manufacturer of the car. Aftermarket parts can often be better than OEM parts, because the company can fix design flaws from the original. You often have a large selection, especially when choosing parts like wiper blades. Aftermarket parts are usually readily available, and you can see significant savings over OEM parts. However, there are a lot of choices. Finding a high-quality option can be daunting. The other downside is the warranty. Using an aftermarket part won’t void your car warranty, but the part itself may not have a warranty or it may have a short one.
How Do I Know If an Aftermarket Car Part Is Good?
At AutoZone, choosing parts for your vehicle is easy. You enter the make, model and year and our database finds the replacement parts that fit your vehicle. When you buy from a trusted retailer, you have more confidence in the parts you get. You can also do a little research about the manufacturer by looking at their reviews and longevity in the business. Wondering what size windshield wipers do I need? Use the selection tools to find the right size for your vehicle.
Aftermarket Buying Tips
There are a lot of places to find aftermarket car parts. Start with a trusted retailer or talk to your mechanic. Online forums often have many opinions about car parts and repairs. Although you can shop by price, don’t use cost as your only comparison. Look for information about performance and quality. Check the warranty information and return policy. Spending a few dollars more on a part that is higher quality will save you money in the long run when you don’t have to replace it as often. Always double check the part for fit on your vehicle. If you can find the OEM part number, you can use that information to help you make sure that you’re getting the right aftermarket part.
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