That time has come when something failed on your vehicle and now you need to purchase replacement parts. The next question is, do you want to purchase OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket products? We have put together this guide to clear up the aftermarket vs OEM debate.

Read on to learn the ins and outs of both options for your car repair.

What Is OEM?

First, let us clear up what OEM means. This stands for original equipment manufacturer which means that the parts are made by the manufacturer that originally made the genuine parts in the specific car.

Since the same manufacturer made the OEM parts they are guaranteed to fit and work in your vehicle. Keep in mind that for marketing purposes there are retailers that use the word “genuine” OEM parts. This doesn’t mean that the part is better because there is no such thing as an OEM part or not an OEM part.

What Are Aftermarket Parts?


Aftermarket parts are made by manufacturers that didn’t make the original car parts, so they don’t qualify as OEM parts. You can use aftermarkets parts in place of OEM parts, but you have a situation where they might not be 100% compatible with your vehicle.

Keep in mind that even though it’s not the manufacturer that makes the parts they are still regulated and inspected. Sometimes you will notice that these parts come with longer warranties than OEM products.


When it comes to performance, OEM parts are designed specifically for a certain make and model of a vehicle. Aftermarket parts are made for a wider range of vehicle models. Keep in mind that these performance parts still come with a warranty and are backed by plenty of reviews.


Aftermarket parts are a bit less expensive and this is usually because the materials used are a bit cheaper. OEM materials tend to be made with the highest quality products. The materials used for aftermarket can sometimes lead to parts failing which can negate the initial savings unless it’s covered by the company’s warranty.

Pros of OEM Parts

One of the pros of opting for OEM parts is that they tend to have a longer life. Since they are made the same way as the original parts on your vehicle they are typically more reliable and will last for more years.

Another pro is their compatibility. They are made to fit your specific vehicle, so they work exactly how they are supposed to work with your vehicle’s systems.

Cons of OEM Parts


The biggest con is the price because OEM parts cost more because they tend to be made with better quality and the same quality as the original parts. Another con is that the demand for OEM parts is higher. Because of this demand it can lead to limited availability in certain places.

This limited liability means that they can take longer to order and get into stock.

Pros of Aftermarket Parts

A major pro of opting for aftermarket parts is that you have a lot more options because these parts can be made by any company out there that wants to manufacture vehicle parts. When you are looking for a part this can give you plenty of options, so you can compare prices and warranties to choose what you think gives you the most bang for your buck.

Another pro is that because there are more options, this competition drives prices down. Aftermarket parts are normally cheaper than OEM because you have options.

Cons of Aftermarket Parts

The biggest con is that the quality is inconsistent because the car manufacturers are not in charge of overseeing the quality when they are being made. This equates to not having a guarantee that the part will fit on your vehicle or that it will work 100%.

Be careful because there are some companies that will not give you any type of warranty with your aftermarket parts. You want to make sure you ask about the warranty to ensure you have peace of mind that you are not throwing your money away.

What If I Have a Warranty?

If you currently have a vehicle that is under warranty you probably want to stick to OEM parts. Using aftermarket parts can affect your warranty if it stops working or if it causes another part to fail. If a dealership can prove that the problem was caused by the aftermarket part you put in they can deny warranty coverage for that repair.

What If I Need a Quick Repair?

after market

For a repair that you need to be done ASAP, you might be better off choosing aftermarket parts because they are more widely available. Of course, it all depends on the part because there are certain parts that are more commonly in stock than others. Aftermarket options are pretty much always more readily available than OEM parts.

Feeling Like an Aftermarket vs OEM Pro?

We hope that we have cleared up the aftermarket vs OEM debate so that you are feeling confident about your decision. You can make an informed decision and choose what’s the best option for both your vehicle and your budget.

Keep in mind that if you are repairing your vehicle after an accident your car insurance might have the final say on the types of parts the repair facility can use.

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