Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts or the so-called Factory parts are considered the best solution for any vehicle repair. Those are the car parts you will definitely receive at an official dealership, and logically, they are supposed to be of the highest quality and guarantee you smooth, seamless work.
However, addressing an independent Bodyshop, you will probably receive aftermarket parts. In some independent services, mechanics offer you to choose between OEM and aftermarket parts.
In this article, we decided to go through the PROS and CONS of aftermarket and factory car parts, so you could make an informed decision, and the repair that you will pay for will fit your expectations and demands perfectly.
Factory (OEM) Parts
As you might have already understood, OEM parts are made and sold directly by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Not only do they match all the original parts of your car, but they actually are the original parts.
Let’s go over the main advantages of choosing OEM Factory parts for your vehicle’s repair:
- You cannot go wrong – getting a factory part for your vehicle guarantees you a perfect match and performance;
- Peace of mind – nobody knows your car better than the manufacturer. It means that the Factory part will work exactly the way it is supposed in your car, giving you additional guarantees and peace of mind;
- Warranty – talking about guarantees, Factory parts often come with at least a 1-year warranty. In case you are doing the repair at the official dealership, you may receive an additional labor warranty.
Although factory parts seem like the only reasonable solution to most car owners, this decision may have certain pitfalls that people often don’t know about:
- The price – Factory OEM parts will naturally cost you much more than aftermarket analogs. In fact, the difference may be up to 60%. However, such a price is not always justified by higher quality. Many manufacturers simply have to compensate for losses because more and more drivers prefer to address cheaper solutions;
- Harder to buy – Although you may get lucky and buy the exact needed Factory part at eBay or from your local mechanic, in most cases, getting them is a long and complicated procedure of contacting the manufacturer directly, ordering the part, and waiting for it. Not the best variant if you have to get back on the road as soon as possible.
An aftermarket part is any car detail that does not come directly from the car’s manufacturer. Statistically, over 80% of independent mechanics in the United States today are using aftermarket parts.
It is essential that you address a credible and reputable body shop to make sure that you are fully informed about the true origin of the parts installed in your car and get all the necessary quality and safety guarantees.
Using Aftermarket Parts has certain obvious benefits:
- Lower price – naturally, aftermarket parts are less expensive than the Factory ones. However, the lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality. The price is often a result of competition, which is naturally much higher when we talk about aftermarket parts;
- Chance for better quality – aftermarket parts manufacturers often reverse-engine their products. It means that they start the process with eliminating bugs and issues with the original parts;
- A wider choice – OEM parts don’t have any competition, and therefore you don’t really have any choice installing them. The market of aftermarket parts is pretty wide and competitive. Here you may choose between manufacturers, get reviews, compare prices and make a truly informed decision.
However, there are several things you may want to consider before choosing Aftermarket Parts over the Factory ones:
- Quality – the quality of aftermarket parts varies greatly. You will have to spend some extra time and effort on the research if you want to make a truly informed decision. In other words, to save money, you will have to spend some extra time;
- Harder to choose – if you are not a professional mechanic, the choice between dozens of brands and manufacturers may be truly overwhelming. The only way to deal with it is to address a mechanic you truly trust;
- No guarantees – unfortunately, choosing aftermarket parts is often a pure lottery, especially if you are not familiar with the Bodyshop that offers you those parts and don’t trust them entirely.
If you are looking for a credible and reputable body shop with experienced and responsible personnel, contact OHS Body Shop. Our branches are located all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. We offer all sorts of maintenance services as well as urgent repairs and towing services. Our qualified mechanics are always ready to answer all your questions and help you make a truly informed decision to make sure that your car is safe, comfortable and you get the most out of your driving experience.