Aftermarket Car Parts vs. Manufacturer-Installed Parts

We understand that it can be tough to decide what parts goes into your car. To help you make a more informed decision, we've created a list of pros and cons so you can find the perfect balance between cost and quality.

Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts are automobile components that aren't supplied by the car's manufacturer. If they're direct replacement pieces, your car's warranty won't be voided if you use them. A number of businesses make parts that work just as well or better than OEM ones. Tom Torbjornsen, host of America's Car Show, estimates approximately 80 percent of independent shops employ aftermarket parts. " educate yourself about what you're buying," said Torbjornsen."Research thoroughly, ensure you're dealing with a reputable mechanic and request high-quality aftermarket parts."

When Should You Request OEM Parts?

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to collision repairs. First, make sure you get OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. Aftermarket body panels may not fit properly or have the same crumple zones for crash safety. Second, if you lease your car, there are economic considerations to take into account as well. Since aftermarket parts decrease a vehicle's book value, using them to repair your damaged car may cost you part or all of your security deposit at the end of your lease term.

However, in 21 states and Washington D.C., a body shop is not required to indicate whether they will be using aftermarket or OEM parts in their repair estimate. Oftentimes, insurance companies prefer aftermarket parts because they save money. If you would like them to use OEM parts instead, some insurers make policyholders pay an extra fee. To avoid any misunderstanding, check with your insurance company before repairs begin about which types of carparts they will cover the cost for.

Which Is the Best Way To Go?

Aftermarket parts have the potential to save you money, but they are not all created equal. On the other hand, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are guaranteed to be high quality — although they come with a higher price tag. If you're experienced with different brands or if you work on your own car often, aftermarket parts may be a good option for budgeting reasons. However, if this is your first time encountering Aftermarket brands or prefer convenience over saving some cash, it might be worth it to stick with Original Parts that will be installed by professionals at the dealership.