OEM Parts Vs After Market Parts

Car body parts in storage in car factory
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OEM parts and after-market parts are both options for repairing your vehicle after an accident. You have to make a choice as to what kind of parts are used to repair your vehicle. Both types of parts are good options, but which is the best? What is the difference between OEM parts and after-market parts? Does it really matter what kind of parts are used to repair your vehicle? Find out a little more about the auto parts used to repair vehicles before getting your vehicle fixed.

What is the difference between OEM parts and after-market parts?

OEM Parts: OEM is an abbreviation for Original Equipment Manufacturer. It means the parts are made directly by the car manufacturer, not a third party.

  • Fit Perfectly
  • Cost More $$$
  • Original from the Manufacturer

After Market Parts: Are parts manufactured by a company other than your car manufacturer. They can produce a high volume of parts for different types of vehicles not just a single car make and model.

  • Similar to OEM parts in Like, Kind, and Quality
  • May not be a Perfect Fit
  • Cheaper than OEM parts
  • Made by a Third Party

Which parts are the best?

It is easy to guess OEM parts are the better parts because they come straight from your car's manufacturer. But, are they the best parts for you? It really comes down to personal preference. People usually very concerned about getting OEM parts are car enthusiasts, body shop repairmen, or owners of a brand new vehicle.

The rest of us tend to not know the difference or care. We just want our vehicle fixed. The lower cost of after-market parts make them a very appealing option and often the best option.

Does it really matter what kind of parts are used to repair your vehicle?

To some people, it most definitely matters.

OEM parts keep the vehicle closer to its original state. The point I always like to make is your vehicle is "5 years" old. It is not new. Why do you need OEM parts when used parts or after-market parts can get the job done so much cheaper. The parts on your vehicle are not new currently...they are five years old. But, that is coming from someone who is not a car enthusiast, body shop repairman, or owner of a new vehicle. It is up to you whether the kind of parts used to repair your vehicle matters.

Will the parts used for repairs affect the future resale value of my vehicle?

A vehicle damaged in an accident can be valued lower than one never damaged, especially if there was structural damage or airbag deployment. However, the parts used to make the repair probably will not have much of a bearing on your vehicle's resale value. Going with OEM vs after-market parts will really only be for your own benefit and peace of mind. Weigh the cost against the potential difference, which is small, to help you decide which parts are the best for you and your family.