OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
When you take your car to the dealership’s service department for repairs, you know you’re getting Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts. However, if you take your car to an independent shop, you’ll most likely get aftermarket car parts.
OEM parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. These match the parts that came with your vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line.
PROS OF HAVING OEM PARTS INSTALLED
- Easier to choose your part: If you go to the parts counter at a dealership and ask for any part, you’ll usually get one type. You don’t have to worry about assessing the quality of different brands and prices.
- Greater assurance of quality: The OEM part should work exactly as the one you are replacing. It is what the vehicle was manufactured with and provides a peace of mind in its familiarity and performance.
- Comes with a warranty: Most automakers back up their OEM parts with a one-year warranty. And if you get your car repaired at the dealer, they’ll usually stand by their labor as well.
CONS OF OEM PARTS
- More expensive: OEM parts will usually cost more than an aftermarket part. When it comes to bodywork, OEM parts tend to cost about 60 percent more, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). There is more of a burden on parts and service to increase a dealership’s profit, since the sales departments have been underperforming. But the gap in pricing might be closing, says Torbjornsen. “We’ve seen a balance in the scales; dealers are now trying to compete with independent shops.”
- Need to be bought at the dealership: Even though there are other ways of buying OEM parts (eBay, online wholesalers), most people will go to a dealership to buy their car parts. This limits the number of places you can buy from. You can request OEM parts from your local mechanic, but it may take longer to get your vehicle repaired since the parts must be ordered.