To make sure your car receives optimal care, it's helpful to know some of the different options you'll come across as a consumer, including whether to use OEM or after-market parts. In this article, we'll provide you with a little more information on both options and what you can do to further inform yourself.
What are OEM Parts?
They say that cars are terrible investments, and that they only fall apart over time. While this is true in some cases, it doesn't have to be true in all cases. The quality and level of care and attention we put into our cars is what makes them last, retain their value, and remain reliable and consistent over time. That's why it's important to consider that each time your car has a repair and a replacement part is used, it's best to use the highest quality parts possible.
OEM parts, or original equipment manufacturer parts, are known for providing drivers and automotive technicians several advantages when it comes to automotive repair and maintenance work, although after-market parts are also typically used by repair shops. As an informed consumer, it's important that you know a little more about your options when it comes to replacement parts and what you can do to ensure that your car gets the best care possible.
What are the benefits of using OEM parts?
OEM parts tend to be slightly more expensive, depending on where you get them from and the type of car you drive. Manufacturers usually recommend that original parts are replaced with OEM parts to retain the quality and consistency of the vehicle.
Guaranteed parts with perks
OEM parts generally come with warrantees from the manufacturer that can wind up saving you money in further repairs if the time comes. Furthermore, if the part is replaced with an after-market part, coverage under warranty for repairs may be limited. By following your manufacturer's suggestions, your repairs are more likely to be covered.
High quality; reliable and durable
OEM parts are made from the same products and materials as the original parts that the vehicle came with. Often after-market parts aren't made with the same quality and integrity as OEM parts and don't always fit perfectly with your car's structure, which can compromise the vehicle's performance and function.
Since many car parts are technologically managed by on-board computers, sensors, and other mechanisms, it is critical that replacement parts are able to adapt to the vehicle's technology. OEM parts are designed to meet the requirements for simple technological adaptations and adjustments to replacements.
What are the advantages of after-market parts?
The alternative to OEM parts is after-market parts, which can also present a few advantages over OEM parts that you should know about:
After-market parts are famously less expensive than OEM parts, as they are not made with a brand-name stamp on them. Although these parts are generally similar to OEM parts function and quality, they may not always meet the requirements of the manufacturer's high standards.
May make up for design deficits
On rare occasions, design deficits can account for an OEM part not working as well as an after-market part. Under these specific circumstances, it's important to collaborate with your vehicle specialist and manufacturer on the best course of action to take.
What you can do to ensure your car gets the best quality parts
Aside from reading this article, there are a few things you can do to further inform yourself and make sure your car gets the best care possible:
- Hire a shop that specializes in the car you drive
- Ask questions about the shops policies and parts
- Conduct minor research to stay in the loop
By following these simple suggestions, you'll be able to better anticipate your car's needs, including troublesome repair work that may include tough decisions about what parts to use. It's important to choose an automotive shop that provides clients with options and doesn't limit their choices to only one or the other type of replacement part.
Our philosophy on replacement parts
Here at Fast Lane European in San Jose, CA, it is our mission to provide the highest quality repairs, which often includes making tough decisions about what parts to use for replacements. We collaborate with our clients to ensure their car performs consistently and reliably without financial burden. Specializing in BMW, MINI, and Volvo services since 2001, we offer quality, OEM parts and services to our clients at an affordable rate. To schedule an appointment with us, please contact us today.