When it comes to maintaining or upgrading a Jeep or truck, a lot of decision-making needs to be done. From selecting the right tires and shocks to choosing between premium parts or cheaper alternatives, SUV and truck owners must understand the difference between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket parts. Today we'll go over what separates OEM from aftermarket parts.
What are OEM parts and Aftermarket automotive parts?
OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” These parts are made by the same company that built your car, SUV, or truck. Aftermarket parts are car parts made by a different company and may or may not be as good as their OEM counterparts.
Aftermarket parts can be a great alternative to OEM when you need to replace something on your vehicle — especially if it's an older model without a lot of options available in the aftermarket. However, you should always check the reviews before purchasing an aftermarket part because some companies produce cheap imitations of popular brands.
When to use OEM or aftermarket parts
- If your vehicle is still under warranty
Your warranty will cover OEM parts if they fail prematurely (within a specific time frame). Most aftermarket parts have no warranty coverage, so you may pay for repairs or replacements if something goes wrong, and it could cost you thousands of dollars.
- If you're on a budget
Aftermarket parts are cheaper than OEM parts because they are mass-produced. They are also made with cheaper materials, making them less durable.
OEM parts are made for specific vehicles, so you can be sure they will fit your car perfectly when it's time to install them. In addition, these parts are made from high-quality materials that will last longer than aftermarket ones.
Aftermarket parts are mass-produced in factories, while OEM parts are made specifically for each vehicle by a manufacturer or dealer.
If you want to save money on repairs and maintenance, then aftermarket parts may be right for you. Aftermarket truck parts and Jeep accessories can cost significantly less than OEM parts.
- If you are looking for readily available parts
If you are rushing to get your vehicle fixed, it is highly recommended that you go for aftermarket parts. Aftermarket Jeep and truck parts are more readily available than OEM parts because different companies manufacture them, while OEM parts are only produced by one company.
- If you want assurance that a part will work
OEM parts are made by the same companies that make the vehicles, designed specifically for those vehicles. So if you want assurance that a part will fit your vehicle and work, OEM is usually your best bet.
Pros of OEM parts
OEM parts are durable because they are made from higher quality materials than aftermarket parts, and they go through more rigorous testing before they're released to the public. The manufacturer tests each OEM part to ensure it is safe, reliable, and durable.
- Proven compatibility
OEM auto parts are made by the same company that manufactured your car. These parts are designed to be used in your vehicle and are compatible with it. You can trust OEM parts to work right out of the box without additional modifications or adjustments.
- Covered by the vehicle warranty
Because OEM parts come directly from the manufacturer's factory line to your dealership, they are generally covered under warranty coverage. If there is an issue with an OEM part after it's installed in your car, you can take it back to where you bought it and have them fix it free of charge. It could sometimes include replacing the part for free because it was defective when you got it (but only if you purchased it from an authorized dealer).
OEM parts are factory-made parts that are designed to fit your vehicle. These parts are built and tested to the exact specifications of your vehicle model, so they will fit and work as the original part did.
Cons of OEM parts
- Limited availability
Manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand for different vehicle types. It is because of the difficulty in producing enough parts for each car model. They can only build OEMs for a few models at once, so it might be hard to find replacement parts if you have an older car or truck.
In addition, many companies have stopped manufacturing certain types of cars altogether due to low profits or poor sales numbers. It means they no longer have any reason to manufacture replacement parts for these vehicles.
Manufacturers invest a lot of money into research and development for their products. That's why you'll notice some OEM parts are more expensive than aftermarket parts. They also have to pay for the rights to use the name of their product on it. They need to sell their product at a premium price to make money.
Pros of aftermarket parts
- Offers more options
Aftermarket parts can be manufactured by anyone, including third parties who aren't affiliated with any auto companies. It means there's more variety in what's available for consumers. They're not made by one company, and there aren't any supply problems or long wait times. Even if you want to order a part from overseas, it's easy to find a reputable supplier who will ship your order quickly and safely.
Aftermarket parts are often inexpensive compared to OEM parts because many companies manufacture them. The companies that sell aftermarket parts don't have to pay fees to the car manufacturer. They can charge less for their products and can afford to mass produce them.
The price difference between OEM and aftermarket parts can be significant, especially when you need to replace multiple items at once. For example, a pair of truck wheels may cost over $1,000 if they're OEM parts, while a similar set of aftermarket wheels like Black Rhino Wheels could cost only half the price. These savings can add up quickly if you need to replace more than one part at a time.
Cons of aftermarket parts
- Inconsistent quality
The quality of aftermarket parts is inconsistent. While some aftermarket parts are as good as OEM, others aren't. Different companies make aftermarket parts, and the quality varies from one company to another.
- Warranty coverage is not guaranteed
Warranty coverage is not guaranteed with aftermarket parts. While some companies offer limited warranties for their products, many do not cover them under warranty when installed on your vehicle.
In conclusion, when it comes to auto parts, it all depends on what you want. If you're a car enthusiast or dealing with a new vehicle, going with OEM parts is the safest and best choice because of their strict quality standards and assurance that they will fit your vehicle correctly. On the other hand, if cost is more important to you, then aftermarket parts are the way to go. Whichever type of automotive parts you choose, make sure to thoroughly research and get advice from an experienced mechanic to know what would work best for your particular car model. Taking care of your vehicle can be daunting, but with knowledge, patience, and diligence, it doesn't have to be complicated.