Auto Parts

Are OEM parts better than after-market?

When you take your car to a dealership's service department for repairs or maintenance, you assume any parts needed will be original OEM parts,in other words parts made by the manufacturer of your car. But, if you take your car to an independent shop for let’s say brakes, you will assume you will be getting “after-market” or third party brakes. To clarify, an aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not purchased from the car's manufacturer. If the parts are direct replacement parts, they will not void your car's warranty.

Is there a difference between the car parts?

Will the brakes work as well even though they were not manufactured by the OEM? They were less expensive, does that mean they are lower quality. We have been doing this for 25 years on customer’s brakes, transmissions; power steering etc and we can truly say no, there is not a difference. If there was, we would never do a brake job with anything but the absolute best, and in many cases, the absolute best is actually the after-market brakes. Many times, they are the same quality because they are the same part. Here is what we found:

Make sure the after-market auto parts have a warranty on them. Some are sold without one. Avoid even going to any shop that will not stand behind their products. The state of Kentucky states that a repair facility does not have to disclose whether the part is OEM or after-market.

Quality.

(Measured by reliability and function) can be equal to or greater than OEM parts. In some cases, you may end up with a better part than the part you started with.

More variety.

There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts and independent shops can strike a balance between cost, convenience, reliability and functionality. Some auto parts manufacturers specialize in specific parts like transmissions or brakes, and other companies, like NAPA, make almost every auto part there is.

Convenience.

You can walk into any auto parts store or local independent shop, and they will have the part you need. A trip to a dealership, which is usually inconvenient, is not always an option.

FYI.

If the parts are direct replacement parts, they will not void your car's warranty. An estimated 80% of parts that independent shops use are after-market parts. Stated another way; taking your car into an independent repair shop while it is under warranty will not void the warranty.

Another FYI.