“Would you prefer an OEM or aftermarket part?” This is a question that can catch an auto owner off guard when it comes to squaring away the details of an auto repair in Madison, TN. When you bring your vehicle in for repairs, you just want the problem fixed, you might not necessarily care how it’s done… but when posed with the question of OEM versus aftermarket parts, it pays big to consider your options and which best appeals to you.
In order to make a sound decision about what type of part you want put in your vehicle, you need to understand what your options are. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- An original equipment manufacturer part—or OEM as it’s most commonly called—is a part that’s made to the exact specifications of the original part in your vehicle. It’s identical in every way to what you had before.
- Aftermarket parts are vehicle parts that are made to serve the same purpose as an original part, only made to different specifications. In many cases this means it’s a performance part or a component designed to exceed the capabilities of a stock option in a way that increases your vehicle’s capabilities.
Now, depending on your school of thought you might prefer one or the other outright, based on principle. But, understanding what you’re really getting when you choose OEM or aftermarket means delving a bit deeper into the decision. Take a look at a quick breakdown of the pros and cons for each:
As mentioned above, making the choice for an OEM part when it comes to auto repair in Madison, TN means opting for a direct replacement for the damaged part. You don’t have to worry about fitment options, adapters or compatibility issues: it’s as easy as swapping one thing in for another.
The bigger reason to choose OEM, however, is that it won’t void your warranty! If your vehicle is under warranty and needs service, OEM parts are covered, because they’re made to the same spec as the original part—they’re regulated for quality. Choosing aftermarket parts means opting for something not covered under your warranty, which can void the whole thing!
Now, the con of OEM parts is twofold. First, they tend to be more expensive because you’re paying for the regulatory aspect upfront. Second, they’re stock, meaning you can’t expect anything more than the ordinary when installing them.
If your warranty is long expired and you’re not afraid to push the boundaries of your vehicle, aftermarket parts are going to be a natural choice for you. Though you might have to battle with fitment kits or adaptive components, when you do finally get your aftermarket part installed you can expect new and exciting performance from your vehicle. As an added bonus, aftermarket parts are usually cheaper than their stock counterparts.
The downfall of aftermarket parts, aside from warranty issues and fitment, is that many times you’re going to limit your options on future repairs. Mechanics don’t always have a catchall solution to dealing with auto issues when they involve an aftermarket part and as a result, you could find that your repair bills are higher based on the work involved.
If you’re in a position to choose OEM or aftermarket parts for your next auto repair in Madison, TN, make sure you’re thinking long and hard about the pros and cons of both sides. Consider the above breakdowns and talk to your mechanic if you need help making the decision.