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Home > Blog > Replacement > Should you use (OEM) Original Equipment Auto Parts vs. Aftermarket Auto Parts when repairing your Vehicle? Blog
Charles J. Bonfiglio

Charles J. Bonfiglio

Charles J. Bonfiglio is the President and CEO of the Meineke Car Care Centers in Weston, FL and Sunrise, FL, as well as Franchise President/CEO/Owner of TintWorld Automotive Styling Centers.

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July 25th, 2011

Should you use (OEM) Original Equipment Auto Parts vs. Aftermarket Auto Parts when repairing your Vehicle?

Should you use (OEM) Original Equipment Auto Parts vs. Aftermarket Auto Parts when repairing your Vehicle?

When taking your vehicle for service, do you ever think about what kind of parts are being installed on your vehicle? If you take it to the car dealership for service, you can expect Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you take it to an aftermarket repair shop you'll most likely expect Aftermarket auto parts, although quality aftermarket service centers will offer consumers the option of using OEM Auto Parts or Aftermarket Auto Parts, which is an advantage for consumers, because Car Dealerships only offer OEM Parts.

  • What is the difference?
  • Which has better quality?
  • Which has better warranty?
  • Should you only use OEM parts?
  • Does a less expensive part mean a poorer-quality part?

To help you evaluate when to use OEM parts and when to use Aftermarket parts, we created a list of Pros and Cons:

Aftermarket Auto Parts - are made or sourced by companies other than the car manufacturer that makes the vehicle.

  • Low Price: Most Aftermarket parts are priced lower than OEM parts with many choices to get the best price.
  • OEM Quality: All Direct-Fit Replacement Parts meet or exceed OEM part specifications and using Aftermarket parts does not void the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.
  • More Choice: There are many Aftermarket part companies offering a wide variety of choices from valued parts to improved performance parts that outperform OEM parts.  
  • Performance Parts: Aftermarket performance parts are made with higher quality materials, upgraded design, improved performance, more durable and come with extended warranty terms.   
  • Better Availability: Aftermarket parts more available to purchase with many parts stores and service centers that carry them in-stock for all makes and model. Car Dealers usually only have one kind of part for one brand car only offered at the car dealer.


  • Quality Choices: There are many Aftermarket parts brands with varying options of quality and prices, making it difficult choose from inferior lower-quality materials and improved performance parts.

OEM Parts - are made by the vehicle manufacturer and match the original parts that came with your vehicle.


  • Easy Choice: OEM parts offer only one choice of part that fits your vehicle.
  • Fewer Concerns: OEM parts will work and perform exactly as the original part that came in the vehicle.
  • Consistent Warranty: OEM parts offer a standard OEM parts one-year warranty.


  • More Expensive: OEM parts usually cost more than an Aftermarket parts.
  • Limited Parts Access: OEM parts can usually only be purchase at the Car Dealership, limiting where you can buy them, and in many cases need to be special ordered.
  • Standard Quality: OEM parts are perceived as the best part for your vehicle, but in many cases; Aftermarket parts are superior to OEM parts.

Which Is the Best Way To Go?

My experience has proven OEM parts are the best choice to use for some applications; however some Aftermarket parts can improve and/or add performance and durability over the OEM parts; which is why Auto Parts Network offers both OEM and Aftermarket parts options providing consumers with the best product for their application and budget.

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