Monday Column - Original vs After market | Namibia | NamAuto

Original vs After market


Garwin Beukes - It’s a sad reality that the average Namibian car owner maintains their car with original parts only while their car has a service plan provided by the dealership or is still under factory warranty. Thereafter we run to the cheapest option - aftermarket parts.

What's the difference?

Well, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts is what your car was designed with, made to give you maximum output. The saying “there's a reason why it's cheaper” usually comes in play. 100% of the time after market or pirate parts are cheaper. When we get something to be cheaper we neglect certain elements. We use cheaper material, leaving out certain elements and use cheaper labour to create the parts.

All fine if you want a quick fix but with quick fixes come consequences. Using tape to fix a leaking roof could lead up to you having to replace the entire ceiling.

Here's a list of reasons you would go OEM or After market

OEM

PROS

  • 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. 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.

CONS

  • More expensive: OEM parts will usually cost more than an aftermarket part.
  • Need to be bought at the dealership: You can request OEM parts from your local mechanic, but it may take longer to get your vehicle repaired since the parts must be ordered.

AFTER MARKET

PROS

  • Less expensive: 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.
  • More variety: There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts. Some specialize in specific parts, and other companies make almost any part you can think of. More variety means greater selection and a wider range of prices.
  • Better availability: You can walk into any gas station, auto parts store or local mechanic, and they're bound to have a part that fits your car. This gives you more options on where to take your car for service.

CONS

  • Quality varies greatly: Some aftermarket parts are inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials. Stick with aftermarket brands you're familiar with or are recommended by a mechanic you trust, even if these parts cost a bit more.
  • Overwhelming selection: 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.
  • Reckless: At times companies will give you a part not intended for your car because of the possibility of it fitting. Numerous times i've had to come back to a company because of the part received nt being for my specific car.
  • May not have a warranty: To keep costs down, some aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty.

In the end, the choice is yours. But before you buy, make sure you understand what problems might incur.