Revolution Automotive has created a list of pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision when choosing what parts that go into your car.
Which Is the Best Way To Go?
All aftermarket parts are not created equal but all OEM parts are. This creates its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you're familiar with a number of brands, aftermarket parts can save you money. If you're not familiar with aftermarket brands and don't mind paying a bit extra for that peace of mind, OEM is a good choice for you.
An aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not sourced from the car's maker. If the parts are direct replacement parts, they will not void your car's warranty. A number of companies make parts designed to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original. Be an informed consumer. Shop around, make sure you're dealing with a good Automotive Technician (The BEST are at Revolution Automotive!) and request high-quality aftermarket parts.
Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts; how much you save varies by brand. Shop around to find the best price and to get an idea of how much that part usually costs. If the price of a part seems too good to be true, ask questions about its quality. Quality can be equal to or greater than OEM: In some cases, you may end up with a better part than you started with. Aftermarket companies reverse-engineer parts, and in certain situations will work the weaknesses out. For example, when a parts manufacturer designs its brake pads, it has to strike a balance between cost, durability, noise levels and performance. If you want standard performance and don't mind occasional brake noise (some brake pads squeak even though they are stopping the car effectively), an aftermarket pad set may be your best choice. There are many different options when it comes to brakes, make sure you are being informed.
There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts. Some specialize in specific parts, and other companies, like Autochoice, NAPA and Worldpac, distribute almost any part you can think of. More variety means greater selection and a wider range of prices.
You can walk into any service facility, auto parts store or local mechanic, and they're bound to have same-day access to most parts that fit your car. This gives you more options on where to take your car for service.
Quality varies greatly:
The saying "you get what you pay for" rings true here. Some aftermarket parts are inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials and manufacturing that is performed in countries with no quality control or safety standards. Stick with aftermarket brands you're familiar with or are recommended by a mechanic you trust, even if these parts cost a bit more.
If you're not familiar with aftermarket brands, the selection could be overwhelming, and there's some chance you may get a bad quality part. Even a part as simple as a spark plug can be made by dozens of different companies and comes in numerous variations. Consult your mechanic for advice or simply stick with the OEM part when the price difference isn't significant.
May not have a warranty:
To keep costs down, some aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts
OEM parts are distributed solely by the vehicle's manufacturer. These match the parts that came with your vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line.
Easier to choose your part:
If you go to the parts counter at a dealership and ask for any part, you'll usually get one type (OEM – original equipment manufacturer branded parts). You don't have to worry about assessing the quality of different brands and prices.
Greater assurance of quality:
The OEM part should work exactly as the one you are replacing. It is what the vehicle was manufactured with and provides a peace of mind in its familiarity and performance.
Comes with a warranty:
Most automakers back up their OEM parts with a one-year warranty. And if you get your car repaired at the dealer, they'll usually stand by their labor as well.
OEM parts in most cases cost more than an aftermarket part due to distribution / logistics / supply vs demand and a host of other factors. In the dealership world cost is often associated with perceived quality.
"Need to be bought at the dealership":
Only dealerships in Canada have the distribution rights for Genuine OEM Parts. At times third-party resellers will list OEM parts on the internet (eBay, online wholesalers), most are found at the dealership. This limits the number of places you can buy from. However, you can request OEM parts from Revolution Automotive, but it may take slightly longer to get your vehicle repaired since the parts must be ordered and we have no control over the supply chain.
Quality may not be superior:
You paid the extra money for an OEM part, hoping that it was vastly better than an aftermarket part. But that may not always be the case. Some aftermarket parts are equal to or in some cases better than OEM parts. So you might be paying extra just for the name.
When Should You Request OEM Parts?
When it comes to collision repairs, always request OEM parts when possible. Aftermarket body panels may have fitment and general quality issues. If you lease your car, it is an excellent idea to make sure the manufacturer supports the suggested repair of your vehicle to minimize any penalty when your lease matures. You'll often find that your insurance company will favor aftermarket parts because they are cheaper and have greater accessibility. If you request OEM parts, some insurance companies ask you to pay an additional fee.