Your car is a valuable asset. When it breaks down or becomes due for service, you’ll want the very best maintenance or repair job your money can buy. One of the key decisions you’ll have to make is whether to choose original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicle parts or to opt for generic aftermarket replacements instead. Most often than not the OEM replacements will not be readily or widely available in the market. Moreover, these OEM parts tend to be expensive and may cause a dent on your savings.
Apart from the challenge of pricing and availability, the whole process of searching for parts can take up so much of your time and be very stressful. This is where aftermarket parts come in as a solution to costly and unavailable replacement parts. But how do they measure in terms of your car performance in the long run? Are there any pros and cons to consider?
Scroll below to find out the true ‘aftereffects’ of using aftermarket car parts.
Automakers are not the only ones making car parts. Rather, there are plenty of third-party companies that develop their own parts. Therefore, an aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not sourced from the vehicle’s maker. Some companies design the vehicle parts to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original.
Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts. It is very rare that an aftermarket car part has costed more than an OEM part. However, how much you spend will differ on the brand you go for. Some research on the options available in your local market should help you make that comparison.
One of the perks of going for aftermarket parts is that they are readily available in the market more than OEM parts. You can just walk into any gas station, auto parts store or a local mechanic, and they’re likely to have a part that fits your car. However, the sheer variety of aftermarket parts to choose from can be overwhelming. If you’re not familiar with aftermarket brands chances are that you could end up with a low quality part in the guise of clever packaging, instead of a well-engineered product worthy of the money spent.
Speaking of quality, the phrase, “You get what you pay for” holds true to aftermarket car parts. There have been cases where one may end up with a better part than they started with or the aftermarket part may turn out to be inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials. In my own case, I once sought an aftermarket clutch as a replacement for my broken clutch of my car. While it was able to handle more power than the original clutch, over a period of time it started to vibrate and produce noise which the OEM part did not.
Hence, quality differs to a great degree depending on the aftermarket part maker and the product.
Insurance coverage of aftermarket parts are subjective to the said policy taken. Most insurers do cover aftermarket parts because they accomplish the same job for less money than OEM parts. With some insurance companies, comprehensive coverage will automatically include some small amount for aftermarket parts. With other policies, no aftermarket parts are covered.
If you’ve added a lot of aftermarket parts and haven’t bought special coverage, you’re not covered.
However, in order to minimize costs, most aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty.
A vehicle damaged in an accident will likely have a lower value than one that has never been damaged, especially if there was structural damage or airbag deployment. However, the parts used to make the repair probably won’t have much of a bearing on your vehicle’s resale value.
Bottom-line, if you are the kind of person who does not wish to compromise on quality or long-term durability of the said part and wish to maintain their vehicle closer to its original state when you bought it, then OEM parts are what you should be going after. On the flipside, if you’re familiar with a number of aftermarket brands or and work on your own vehicle, aftermarket parts can save you a lot of money.