Budget Auto Repair: Should I Buy Used OEM or Aftermarket Parts?

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are factory installed parts. They are the original parts that came with your automobile when it was sent to the dealership to be placed in their new car inventory. One would think you would consider OEM parts to make repairs because they are new, but they are extremely expensive to purchase and depending on the age of your vehicle or the impact of the repair cost on your budget these parts may not be easy to come by or the most efficient choice. As your vehicle ages, automobile manufacturers are introducing new automobile models to the marketplace and may discontinue this option leaving you no choice but to find an alternative. Locating that alternative is easier than you think. Let’s take a look at an outstanding, favorable budget solution to fix your car or truck with a used part.

Used OEM parts can be an excellent choice in locating the best part selection for your automobile repair while securing the ideal budget friendly option. Used OEM auto parts are parts that are pulled from autos in which circumstances led for them to be submitted for salvage or recycling. Many salvage car parts have an extremely viable and productive life left and are readily available to be installed in your car. In general, because the part is a manufactured clone, the guarantee that it will be an exact match and the ideal fit leaves little room for error making for a smooth transition when making your repair. Used OEM auto parts are easily located for purchase online and many retailers have extensive inventory management systems like those incorporated by AutoPartSearch.com, an online recycled part marketplace. These retailers are able to will find your exact parts quickly and ship them promptly to your door. The cost associated with repairing or replacing non-functioning parts with a high-quality used OEM part can be 50% to 70% less than the purchase of new OEM parts. Used OEM parts are the right choice if you are looking for substantial savings on the cost of your repair and keeping manufacturer specifications intact in your automobile. Many salvage yards extend 30 to 90-day warranties on used OEM parts so the consumer is easily able to return or exchange a part if it does not meet their expectations. Concerns about the efficiency of the used OEM part is alleviated so that the customer can feel confident in what they are buying.

Purchasing used OEM parts for reuse is also an important way to contribute to environmental conservation and rehabilitation. The predominant goal of the Auto Salvage Industry is to recognize, treat and dispose of automotive waste and byproducts by encouraging the reuse of operable automotive parts, maintaining proper disposal of toxic fluids and eliminating waste piling up in landfills and decreasing air and water contaminants. According to the online article “Why Use Recycled Parts”, Automotive Recyclers Association, “Approximately 86 percent of a vehicle’s material content is recycled, reused or used for energy recovery.” The scrapping of steel reduces the need to acquire new iron ore and largely decreases the associated air and water pollutants born from the refinement of it in the automotive manufacturing industry. The consumer plays an extremely valuable part in this conservation effort when selecting and installing used OEM parts. Keeping the planet green for future generations to enjoy is a collaborative effort and both the automotive industry and the consumer can work together to take beneficial steps to accomplish this goal. Recycled OEM auto parts are a fine alternative for making factory specific repairs, however, when making custom or creative modifications on an automobile many customers may turn to Aftermarket Parts to fill the void.

Aftermarket Parts are made by outside manufacturers to be similar to the original part. This type of part seems to be the “middle of the road” option for most consumers and can be obtained easily for both new and used vehicles. They are fresh out of the box, but careful research may be needed when considering buying from an unfamiliar or unproven brand. In some cases, the Aftermarket part can be less expensive or will be sold at top dollar prices. They may feature specific refinements that may be put into place to allow it to perform better than the original, making them an attractive buy. Aftermarket choices can provide extremely positive results or a depressingly negative outcome for the consumer. The difference between the two seems to be in the quality of the part sold and paying particularly close attention to the quality evaluation and fit specifications of these parts. Aftermarket Parts are generally more expensive than used OEM but less expensive than new OEM parts. There are plenty of choices of manufacturers in the Aftermarket parts industry but not all are reliable sources and offer less or no warranty protection, unlike their counterparts. This can leave the customer holding onto a part that will not fit with no prospect of getting their money back. Aftermarket parts are popular when doing modifications that were not a part of the original manufacturer design, so if creative or advanced performance options are desired they may be the only option to perform these changes.

The automotive parts industry is diverse and the options for parts with which to make your repair seem to lie solely on what factors are important to you or are necessary to achieve the desired outcome. If budget repair is your top priority you would be well urged to buy high quality used OEM parts and take advantage of the associated warranties which make them an extremely attractive buy and contributes to the health of the environment. If this option fails to secure your desired result, the pursuit of Aftermarket parts may be the next best avenue for making repairs or replacements.

Aftermarket, OEM, OE Auto Parts Explained

Aftermarket, OEM, replacement parts–you see these words in almost all auto parts stores online. What do these terms mean?

For a passive buyer, these things are but ordinary terms used in the automotive market but for someone meticulous and who wants the best for his auto, these things matter considerably. Deciding which among these to purchase is just like deciding what car to buy.

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufactured. This means that OEM Ford parts are manufactured by Ford itself, Chevrolet parts are manufactured by Chevrolet, Toyota parts by Toyota, BMW parts by BMW and so on. The terms O.E.S. and OE are also used; these mean Original Equipment Supplied and Original Equipment, respectively. While in many cases, OEM and OES mean the same, OE is more general referring to any part that came as original equipment on the car. Some of OE car parts and components are not actually made by the car manufacturer but are purchased and assembled by the automakers to create a vehicle.

Those referred to as “aftermarket auto parts” are not made by the original car manufacturer; furthermore, they are bought and added to the vehicle only at the dealership or after the vehicle left the dealership. In terms of design and function, aftermarket products are almost the same as the stock auto parts since they are primarily used to replace a damaged original part so that the vehicle can continue to run. If you need replacement parts for your car, however, you can either buy O.E.M. or aftermarket auto parts. There are numerous sources of aftermarket auto parts. Stores like Auto Parts Discount give you a great variety of parts for almost all makes and models.

Some cars, especially the base models are not completely equipped so users just add aftermarket parts later on. For example if you have purchased an old Toyota Corolla, you can add aftermarket Toyota fog lights, Toyota spoiler, Toyota turn signal light or Toyota mirrors. Aftermarket products can also help you give your car a fresh new look. Even if your original parts are not yet damaged or worn out, you can replace them with or add specially designed aftermarket auto parts like Honda taillights, Ford center cap, Chevrolet chrome bumper, and Mercedes Benz Front Cover Towing Eye found at Auto Parts Discount.

Enthusiasts, on the other hand would opt for custom parts and specialty equipments. Compared to a universal fit auto part, which can be installed to any vehicle make, year and model, custom aftermarket products are designed to fit only a particular application. Examples of custom parts are your Ford hood, Ford fender and Ford doors. Specialty equipments on the other hand, are intended to make the vehicle more stylish, comfortable, convenient and more up-to-date.

Most auto users prefer aftermarket products because they are less expensive than OEM replacements. While it is true that there may be some aftermarket auto parts that do not meet high standards of original equipments, it is not right to say that aftermarket products are generally inferior in terms of quality and style. Replacement parts sold at Auto Parts Discount, for example are made by car parts manufacturers that are mandated by high international standards.

Which is better, OEM or aftermarket replacement part? It depends on the product. Some OEM parts are not durable enough while the aftermarket parts you use to replace them could last for many years. If you want to give your car a different look and also, if you want to save, aftermarket products are worth a try. However, make sure to get these replacement parts from trusted sources.

Aftermarket Auto Parts Vs Used OEM Auto Parts Vs Brand New Discounted Parts

Alright! The worst thing has happened to your car and that worn out / damaged part needs a replacement. What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I am sure it would be, “how do I get a replacement part that fulfills the need at the lowest possible price?” And believe me; most sensible people would think the same way.

Let’s face it; nobody likes to spend big bucks on car repairs and part replacements. In fact, if given a choice, nobody would even want to be in a situation where his/her car needs a repair or a replacement part.

This is basic human nature and we all exhibit it. As far as I am concerned, I would rather spend extra money on a fancy car stereo than go for a costly replacement auto part. I would any day prefer the cheapest possible repair or part replacement that does the job and so would you unless you are a celebrity and money sticks to you like a shadow.

So what are the options you can consider if your vehicle needs a replacement part?

In the current market scenario, we have 3 major options namely:

  • Aftermarket Parts
  • Used OEM Parts
  • Brand New Discounted Parts

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each so that we can make a decision.

Aftermarket Parts for a vehicle may be defined as auto parts made by a manufacturer other than the original vehicle manufacturer.

But that is not necessarily the correct definition as most vehicle manufacturers do not make all the parts themselves. They may ask a different company to manufacture a certain auto part for them. In that case, the first definition would not hold true.

I believe the following example would make the concept clear.

If you are fitting an Air Filter in your ABC car and that Air Filter is not manufactured, not considered a standard fitment (stock option) and not recommended by the ABC Company, it qualifies as an aftermarket part as far as ABC Company is concerned. In that case, all warranty from ABC Company for your ABC car is void.

That is not the only consequence of fitting aftermarket parts in your vehicle. These parts are not tested for compatibility with all makes and models of cars. As a result, an aftermarket part may not function properly in your car leading to unforeseen problems. For example, an aftermarket Air Filter can harm you car engine if it is not compatible with your car model resulting in low engine-efficiency or perhaps total engine damage.

Aftermarket parts don’t necessarily confirm to laws and regulations for quality and performance. For Example, aftermarket headlights may not confirm to the local regulations in your state or perhaps your aftermarket engine does not meet the emission standards in your state. It is imperative that you ascertain correct details and features of an aftermarket part before you purchase it.

Depending on factors like quality and brand-name, an aftermarket part can cost less, equal or more than a brand new OEM part.

A good quality aftermarket part manufactured by a company specializing in a particular domain qualifies as a performance enhancing auto part and usually costs more than what a brand new normal OEM part would. Unless you are willing to shell out money on car customization, you don’t need to tread that path.

One truth about aftermarket parts holds good even today; “use it at your own peril.”

Used OEM auto parts for a vehicle are manufactured by the same manufacturer that made the vehicle. The only factor being, these parts are not brand new. They have been used before, probably in another vehicle of the same make and somehow found their way to a scrap-yard or salvage-yard.

In this case, a fact that one should consider before purchasing a used auto part is that used parts from a certain ABC car most probably will fit only ABC cars of the same model and year as per company standards. This is because manufacturers might introduce slight changes or enhancements in auto part designs and specifications every year for any particular model.

Since all OEM auto parts from a particular car manufacturer are of the same quality and tested for optimum performance by the manufacturer, you don’t end up making any compromises on this front. Remember, this is not the case with aftermarket parts.

Used auto parts could be your best option in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality provided you select the correct auto part online and buy it from a recognized seller only. The advantage of buying from established sellers is that you get original quality tested parts at low prices and usually with no shipping charges.

The only worrying factor about used auto parts may be about their history. The part could be salvaged from a car that got destroyed in an accident or perhaps from a car that was scrapped after serving a lifetime. Then there are also some used auto parts available that were used by the original manufacturer for testing purposes.

Whatever be the history of the part, you can get a confirmation from the seller over the phone before buying. Major used auto-part dealers exercise quality control by maintaining a log about the condition and history of a particular auto part so that the customer knows about the exact age and origin of the part he/she is buying.

Moreover, vehicle’s manufacturer warranty does not get nullified if you install a used OEM part in your vehicle.

Used auto parts are the most cost effective out of all the three options since they cost just about one-third the price of brand new OEM auto parts.

Brand New Discounted Auto Parts probably don’t need any description. These are brand new auto parts sold at discount prices. Definitely a great option but these are not available everyday and at every store. In fact, they are available occasionally and at the sole discretion of the dealer. If you are lucky enough, you might find the part you need on discount but as is the case usually, the parts that are sold at a discount are the ones that have the least demand. Hence, if you desperately need a brand new replacement part for your car, you might have to wait till it is available at discount prices.

To conclude, you can choose any of these options depending on your need and suitability but please remember that in the case of repairs and part replacements, you should take a step only after weighing the pros and cons of each available option.

Happy Motoring!

James Rodham

www.QualityAutoParts.com