Part Basics: OEM vs. Aftermarket | News | NamAuto

Parts: OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts


​First thing’s first – definitions. We have all heard about OEM’s and aftermarket parts but what exactly do these terms mean? OEM, abbreviation for Original Equipment Manufacturer, parts are normally supplied by the dealerships and are specifically manufactured for the brand, usually with the brand’s logo on the part. Aftermarket parts are provided by independent shops, and have a wide variety of brands that offer all kinds of parts for most vehicles.

Now that we have that information but want to know why it is such a big issue? Well it mainly comes down to quality and price, but let us look at the full list of pros and cons of both.

OEM Parts

Pros

  • Only one option – so no need to shop around
  • Quality assurance on functionality
  • Warranty on the parts

Cons

  • Pricey compared to aftermarket.
  • Limited stock means that they will have to order the part and it could be a week or more before you will get your much-needed part.

Aftermarket Parts

Pros

  • Lower cost – you can save!
  • Potentially better quality than the OEM, or will function the same.
  • Variety! You can list pros and cons of the various brands, and choose what will work better for your vehicle.
  • Availability! The parts are readily available, thus you do not have to wait forever for that much needed part.

​Cons

  • Variety… It can be overwhelming, especially if your knowledge of aftermarket parts are limited. A trustworthy mechanic or auto tech can come in very handy when making choices.
  • Warranty does not always come with these parts, so make sure you ask about it before purchase.
  • Potentially worse quality. Just as a part can be better than OEM, it can also be much worse and not last at all.

So there you have the basics! Need more help? Ask away at your favourite dealership, or any independent mechanic or parts shop.