Aftermarket Auto Parts vs. Used OEM Auto Parts vs. Discounted New Parts

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

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

Let’s be honest; Nobody likes to spend a lot of money on car repairs and part replacements. In fact, given the choice, no one would want to be in a situation where their car needs a repair or replacement part.

This is basic human nature and we all exhibit it. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather spend extra money on a fancy car stereo than buy an expensive replacement auto part. On any given day you’d prefer the cheapest possible repair or replacement part that does the job and so will you, unless you’re 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 main options, namely:

  • aftermarket parts
  • used OEM parts
  • discounted new parts

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

aftermarket parts for a vehicle can be defined as auto parts manufactured by a manufacturer other than the original manufacturer of the vehicle.

But that’s not necessarily the correct definition, since most vehicle manufacturers don’t make all the parts themselves. They may ask a different company to make a certain auto part for them. In that case, the first definition would not be true.

I think the following example would clarify the concept.

If you are going to install an air filter on your ABC car and that air filter is not manufactured, is not considered a standard accessory (stock option), and is not recommended by the ABC company, it qualifies as an aftermarket part as far as to the ABC company. In that event, the entire ABC Company warranty for your ABC automobile is void.

That is not the only consequence of installing aftermarket parts on your vehicle. These parts have not been tested for compatibility with all makes and models of automobiles. As a result, an aftermarket part may not work properly in your car and cause unforeseen problems. For example, an aftermarket air filter can damage your car’s engine if it is not compatible with your car model, resulting in poor engine efficiency or perhaps outright engine damage.

Aftermarket parts do not necessarily comply with laws and regulations regarding quality and performance. For example, aftermarket headlights may not meet local regulations in your state or your aftermarket engine may not meet emission standards in your state. It is imperative that you check the correct details and features of an aftermarket part before purchasing it.

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

A good quality aftermarket part made by a company that specializes in a particular domain qualifies as a performance enhancing auto part and typically costs more than a regular new OEM part would. Unless you’re willing to shell out money on car customization, you don’t need to go that route.

One truth about aftermarket parts holds true even today; “Use at your own risk.”

Used OEM Auto Parts for a vehicle are made by the same manufacturer that made the vehicle. The only factor is that these parts are not new. They have been used before, probably on another vehicle of the same make and somehow found their way to a scrap or junkyard.

In this case, one fact to keep in mind before purchasing a used auto part is that used parts for a given ABC car will likely only fit ABC cars of the same model and year by company standards. This is because manufacturers may make minor changes or improvements to auto part designs and specifications each year for any particular model.

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

Used auto parts could be your best option in terms of affordability and quality, as long as you select the right auto part online and buy only from a reputable seller. The advantage of buying from established sellers is that you get quality-tested original parts at low prices and usually no shipping costs.

The only worrying factor about used auto parts may be their history. The part could be salvaged from a car that was wrecked 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 the part’s history, you can get a confirmation from the telemarketer before you buy. Major used auto parts dealers exercise quality control by keeping track of the condition and history of a particular auto part so that the customer knows the exact age and origin of the part they are purchasing.

Also, the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty is not voided if you install a used OEM part in your vehicle.

Used auto parts are the most cost effective of the three options, costing almost a third of the price of new OEM auto parts.

Discounted New Auto Parts you probably don’t need any description. These are brand new auto parts being sold at discount prices. Definitely a great option, but these are not available every day and in every store. In fact, they are available from time to time and at the dealer’s discretion. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find the part you need at a discount, but as is often the case, the parts that are sold at a discount are the ones that are least in demand. So, if you’re in desperate need of a new replacement part for your car, you may have to wait until it’s available at discount prices.

To conclude, you can choose any of these options depending on your need and suitability, but 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *