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OEM Or Aftermarket Parts – Does It Matter?

When it comes down to it, the primary difference between OEM and aftermarket parts is that the former are created equal and the latter are not. Used auto parts dealers provide both types of used auto parts.

Vehicles have around 30,000 parts and some of these parts will need repairs and replacement at some point or the other. Be it a collision, damage or regular wear and tear – it’s a toss up between using an OEM part or an aftermarket one. Let us understand the difference between the two options before sourcing the appropriate used auto parts for sale.

As the name goes, OEM (or Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are the official genuine parts for an automobile as they carry the seal of the vehicle’s maker. As these parts are made by the same company that made the vehicle, they are obviously designed based on the specific factory specifications of your make and model and will provide the same optimal fit and function as the original. The replacement is usually a straightforward job and it will work just like the part being replaced. Most OEM parts are covered by a warranty from the maker and the replacement will not void the vehicle’s original warranty coverage either.

On the other hand, aftermarket parts can be manufactured by any other company apart from the original vehicle maker. These are generic versions that are usually designed to fit a diverse range of automobiles. They may not provide a perfect fit and some parts may need to be cut or modified depending on the make and model. The performance is also bound to vary when compared to the original parts. They may not necessarily be covered by a warranty by the manufacturer and may even interfere with the vehicle’s original warranty.

The debate

It is usually noticed that aftermarket parts are considerably cheaper than their OEM counterparts. The price variation can be as high as 60% in some cases!

But does this difference in price translate to discrepancy in quality is debatable. While the general preconception is that aftermarket parts are way inferior, it is true that the quality can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. While some may use poor quality materials, some others may actually turn out to be better than the original as many aftermarket companies try to reverse-engineer the part to work out the weaknesses! Therefore, if you are opting for aftermarket parts, it is better to select an established manufacturer, certified parts or heed a reliable mechanic’s recommendations.

Moreover, there is often a wide variety in aftermarket parts with varying functionalities. Some may even be designed to upgrade the appearance or performance of the vehicle. They are widely available and can be purchased from any auto parts store, independent repair shops, gas stations, etc. In contrast, OEM parts have to be sourced from the automaker or select suppliers only. At times, the dealer can take a long time to source the exact OEM part from the manufacturer.

While the argument over OEM and aftermarket parts continues unabated, leading used parts suppliers like Big Mouth Direct (www.bigmouthdirect.com/) provide access to both kinds of used auto parts for sale. They can source the exact used spare parts from a range of junkyards and warehouses across USA and it is up to you whether you want an OEM part or an aftermarket one!