When your car needs repairs, or if you're making any modifications to a vehicle, you'll need to choose between aftermarket parts, and what is called original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Simply put, OEM parts are made by the car's manufacturer, and you might consider them as "brand name" parts. Aftermarket parts are "off-brand," or those made by another manufacturing company, and not the company that actually made the car itself.
Very often, aftermarket parts are much cheaper than OEM parts, but when you're buying parts for a car, you might not want to make your decision based on price alone. Note a few considerations to keep in mind when determining if aftermarket parts are a good investment for your car.
Claims versus warranties
Aftermarket car parts may have many claims on their packaging or in their advertising that make the part seem durable and a good investment. For example, the part may be described as "severe duty," "premium," or "long-lasting." However, while claims like these may make a part sound very durable and high-quality, these are not actual warranties! An actual warranty is obviously much more important to note than a sales gimmick, when you're buying car parts. Always make sure you understand the difference between these two when considering which parts to buy, and invest in an OEM part with an actual warranty or guarantee for its durability and performance.
Some vehicles tend to vibrate more than others; a larger exhaust system may mean more vibrations around a tailpipe, as it expels more air, and some very small engines may have more room in the engine compartment, so that they then move around more freely. Aftermarket or off-brand parts may be more affected by those vibrations, as they may not fit as precisely on the vehicle as an OEM part. In turn, those off-brand parts may then wear out sooner rather than later, or may cause added wear and tear to the parts around them.
Too much selection
Having too much selection for your needed car parts may sound like a good thing, but it can actually make shopping for a part very overwhelming. Even smaller car parts might be made by many different manufacturers, with no way to tell which company offers a quality product, and which company cuts corners during the manufacturing process. You can read dozens of consumer reviews and ask around to various mechanics you know, or you can save yourself that time and effort and simply invest in a quality OEM part.
If you are interested in finding out how you can get the most out of your car, you have come to the right place. My name is Peter Gunn and I live in Sydney, Australia. If there is one thing I love to do, it is to spend the weekend playing around with my car. I am not a trained auto mechanic but I do have a good understanding of everything which is required in order to keep a car running, to repair its bodywork and to modify the interior so you can experience superior comfort. I have learnt all of this information from visiting auto garages and reading repair and modification manuals.