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A Guide to Aftermarket Versus OEM Auto Parts
If you take your car to the dealership for service, you will get OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. If you go to an independent shop, you will need to discuss what options are available to you. Keep in mind, many repair shops are OEM certified for particular models of vehicles. In fact, Sernio’s Auto Body is OEM certified for Acura, Chrysler, Infiniti, KIA, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan. Let’s take a moment to review the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts so you can determine what is best for you.
OEM parts are made by the manufacturer. They are exactly the same as the parts that your vehicle was built with.
- Only One Option
If you request a particular part at a dealership, you will receive the one that matches your vehicle. You don’t need to worry about comparison-shopping.
- Quality Assurance/Warranty
You can be 100% certain that the OEM part works identically to the one it’s replacing. You will normally receive a one-year parts and labor warranty as well. Be sure to check before you order.
OEM parts typically cost more than aftermarket parts, in some cases in upwards of 60% more. However, as independent collision repair shops become more and more popular, this gap is closing. Be sure to check on pricing. Think in terms of purchasing generic vs. name brand prescriptions.
- Limited Availability
You can always ask an independent shop to use OEM parts, but they generally have to order them, which can significantly increase the repair time. OEM parts are typically either purchased at dealerships or sourced online. Supply and demand can play a major role in your collision repair timeline.
An aftermarket part is any part that is made by someone other than the vehicle manufacturer. Using aftermarket parts does not void the car’s warranty as long as they are direct replacements, contrary to a popular myth. Many aftermarket parts serve their function just as well as, or even better than, OEM parts.
Aftermarket parts can save you money, often times less expensive than OEM parts and the savings can be significant. Of course, an incredibly low price could signal a lack of quality, so ask your auto tech about any savings that seem too good to be true.
Aftermarket parts are made by reverse-engineering the OEM part, which can sometimes mean fixing some original weaknesses. For example, you might find an aftermarket brake pad that stops the car even more efficiently than the OEM pad, but at the cost of a little extra noise. If you are a hands-on, decision maker, this is good news. You get to decide whether the improved stopping distance is worth the noise.
Aftermarket parts are readily available at your choice of independent shop. As long as you trust your auto tech to make good choices regarding quality, you can get the work done quickly wherever you like.
- Too Many Choices
Auto collisions are overwhelming in and of themselves. Now you throw in aftermarket parts choices you could be adding to your stress. There are quite a few options to choose from and it can be overwhelming. Your auto collision repair shop can narrow down the options and help you find the right high-quality aftermarket part at the right price.
If you’re a warranty fan, aftermarket parts may not be a suitable option for you. Not all aftermarket parts come with a warranty. Be sure to advise your body shop of choice to use only parts that come with a warranty. If you are willing to pay slightly more, the option is almost always available and will give you peace of mind.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should choose OEM vs. aftermarket parts for your auto collision repair needs. Some individuals opt to pay a premium to have all OEM parts installed in their vehicle, while others are cost-driven, and will gladly accept the least expensive aftermarket parts.
If you’re like most, you probably fall somewhere in the middle. Most people fall somewhere in the middle to balance between cost, convenience, and quality. Sernio’s Auto Body is here to assist with the best options for your particular situation.
You drive home our reputation. That’s why we go the extra distance to make sure both our workmanship and customer service are the best anywhere. Give us a call today at 201.795.1673, or stop by our shop located at 896 Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, NJ Mon. – Fri., 7am – 6pm or Sat. 7:30am – 1pm. We look forward to meeting you!