OEM vs Aftermarket Auto Parts
What Parts Should You Choose?
When it comes time to repair your vehicle, you have a bunch of choices. When you look into things, whether you’re looking for something for the engine, or the auto body, you will notice that you often get the choice between OEM and Aftermarket.
If you’re like most people, you may base your decision almost entirely on the cost of the part. But there is a little bit more that you should be aware of before just buying the cheapest parts for your rig. When it comes down to it, not all parts are created equal.
What are OEM Parts?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These parts are made by the manufacturer, and specifically designed just for your vehicle. For instance, suppose you need to put a new fuel pump in your Chevy pickup. You can head down to XYZ Auto Parts store and get their brand of part, or you can go to Chevy and buy the pump that is made by Chevy and for Chevy.
Here’s the catch though. Some manufacturers won’t supply OEM products to the general public. This means that in order to do work on your own vehicle, you have to settle for aftermarket, or find a used part off a similar vehicle.
OEM parts are simple and easy to choose: there is one part made for that specific vehicle. You always know the quality you get, and most manufacturers will offer a warranty on the part. The downsides, however, is that they are often more expensive than aftermarket parts, and as your vehicle ages, the manufacturer may discontinue making replacement parts for it.
What are Aftermarket Parts?
Aftermarket refers to a wide range of any part not made by the original manufacturer. So, as in our scenario above, you need a new fuel pump for your Chevy pickup. You have the choice between a dozen different products, all of which are designed to fit your rig. You can order online or go to any of the auto parts stores. Each store carries a brand unique to their store, and possibly their own brand as well.
Aftermarket parts almost always cost less than original manufacturer parts. The reason: they have more competition. There is a chance that you will get one that is a better quality than an OEM part, but equally you may end up with worse quality. There is a large variety to choose from, which is both good and bad. Often you don’t get a warranty backing up the part in case of manufacturer defects.
Big Sky Collision Center Uses OEM Parts
When you bring your vehicle to be repaired at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is to restore the vehicle to exactly how it was before the accident. That means putting the parts back in and on it that were damaged. Any time an OEM part is available, we make sure to use that part. If OEM isn’t available, we check our networks to see if a used original part is around. Finally, if original is not an option, we use aftermarket.
If you have been in an accident, then give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we will get you scheduled for auto body repairs at our Billings shop.