When trucks are brought in for repairs, the type of replacement parts you get can depend on the service department you visit. Local dealerships use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, whilst you may get a choice between OEM and aftermarket parts from independent shops. OEM parts are built by the original car manufacturers, meaning they are generally the same part as that found in your vehicle. Aftermarket products, on the other hand, are ones generally produced by a company other than the original manufacturer. Typically, aftermarket is cheaper than OEM.
So, the question should be asked: what type of replacement part offers the best value and quality?
Easier Choice: Since OEM parts are the same as the original, purchasing these means you'll usually get one type. There is no worry or stress about researching the best brands and quality, or comparing prices. These parts have a warranty and come from the same manufacturer as the vehicle, however they would most likely be more expensive than aftermarket parts.
Quality Assurance: There is comfort with OEM parts, as they are guaranteed to work exactly the same as the ones being replaced. The familiarity and performance of the original manufacturer can bring with it a peace of mind.
Less Expensive: Aftermarket parts are usually less costly than their OEM counterparts. The cost difference can vary depending on the brand, thus if the price seems too good to be true, make sure to ask questions about its quality.
Quality: Some aftermarket products perform as well or better than the original in certain cases. Companies producing the parts disassemble and find ways to improve upon the weaknesses of OEM parts, sometimes resulting in superior quality.
More Variety and Availability: Furthermore, there are many different companies that produce aftermarket parts. The large variety of parts in the market means there is a greater selection and wider range of prices for the customer to choose from. Additionally, these parts are sold in auto parts stores, local mechanics and many other outlets that allow easy access and servicing.
Not all aftermarket parts are created equal, while OEM parts are. This should give customers important factors to consider.
It should be noted that OEM parts are single-sourced. This means they most likely need to be bought at the dealership. While there are options to purchase OEM parts online or from local mechanics, it would not be unusual to wait weeks for certain, less common parts to arrive. This certainly limits the number of places they can be purchased from.
With aftermarket parts however, the greater variety means customers should be wary when purchasing them. Some products may be of a lower quality due to the use of cheaper materials to keep costs down. It is important to research reliable brands and take advice from trusted mechanics on their recommendations when choosing between aftermarket parts.
In the end, it is up to you to decide which option is the best for your needs. Depending on the quality, budget or performance you seek, the answers will differ. When in doubt, be sure to listen to reliable professionals for their advice.