OEM Parts Defined
The letters OEM are short for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Auto parts that are OEM carry the manufacturer’s official branding. The manufacturer itself may create the parts, or these parts may be made by a subcontractor of the manufacturer. OEM auto parts are installed during a vehicle’s assembly, so any parts that carry an OEM tag will be identical to the original parts.
Aftermarket parts, in contrast, are not made by or officially approved by the manufacturer or one of its subcontractors. You might think of aftermarket parts as the generic versions of name-brand products.
Aftermarket parts, by their nature, are designed to work with various makes and models. As such, they’re more of a one-size-fits-all rather than a perfect and complementary fit. Parts that are OEM, on the other hand, are made to meet the precise specifications of a vehicle. With OEM, you will not need to worry about a bad physical match between the part and the auto itself. The installation will be more seamless.
Parts backed by the original manufacturer carry that manufacturer’s seal of approval. With OEM, you can rest assured that the parts put into your vehicle are of the same quality as the parts that made the vehicle operational in the first place. After installation, the auto should perform in much the same manner as it did before issues arose.
With aftermarket parts, you will not know exactly how well the part you purchase will work with your vehicle or how it will impact performance. And you cannot be sure of the design quality of the part itself, nor will you benefit from a parts warranty.
Aftermarket parts will often necessitate a prolonged search for products that fit your auto’s unique needs. Plus, these parts may need to be ordered, which can lengthen the time you’re waiting on urgent repairs. But if you invest in OEM, the parts will only be a short drive away. Dealerships typically have these parts on hand and ready to go.