When you take your car in to get repaired, the type of parts that you will get will depend on where you go for your service. If you go to a licensed dealership, you will get manufacturer parts, often referred to as OEM or original equipment manufacturer. If you go to an independent repair shop and automotive oil wholesaler, you will get aftermarket parts, which aren’t sourced from the car’s maker. There are pros and cons to both situations – here’s what you need to know to make the best decision in any circumstances.
Aftermarket parts are typically cheaper than their OEM counterparts, which is why many people like to go to independent shops for their repairs. Generally, aftermarket parts and parts from a commercial oil distributor offer similar quality to the ones made directly by the manufacturer, and in some instances may be even better. There’s much more variety when you are dealing with aftermarket parts, so the key is to go to a shop with expert mechanics that will use the best quality on your car. Aftermarket parts are also much more widely available than OEM parts, so your chances of getting your car fixed fast are greater. However, it can be difficult to know which aftermarket parts to choose if you aren’t familiar with cars, and they don’t always come with a warranty.
For many people, purchasing the new part from the manufacturer is an assurance of quality. Even though they are more expensive, you know exactly which parts you need to get. They also typically come with a warranty. However, the parts will need to be purchased at the dealership, which is often less convenient. The biggest instance where you should always use OEM parts is during crash repairs. Manufacturer parts are going to fit your car much more effectively than aftermarket options and commercial oil products, keeping you safer.
Both of these options have pros and cons, depending on what type of repairs you need to be done. The best option is to check out a few local repair shops and automotive oil distributors in your area and see which makes the most sense for you. Talk to experts to see what they would recommend for your unique situation.