How to Decide Between Original Equipment and Aftermarket Parts
The average car has about 30,000 parts. Each one is important to safe and reliable operation. So, the quality of each part is crucial as well.
Competition between original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and aftermarket parts has become stiff, especially in the technology and automotive industries. There are many pros and cons to each, and it can be difficult to know which is best. The answer to that depends on your specific project requirements.
Fortunately, there are only a few factors to consider when trying to make this decision. The information below explains the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts and lays out the advantages of each. It will help you determine which is best for your personal or business needs.
Benefits of Aftermarket Parts
Aftermarket parts are not custom-made but produced in bulk. They are a cheaper alternative to original parts. Some aftermarket parts have different features or functions than OEM parts.
One advantage of aftermarket parts is that they provide businesses and consumers a wide range of choices. A disadvantage of aftermarket parts is that they can invalidate or alter warranties. This should be taken into account, especially when using these for new or almost new products.
The biggest downside to using aftermarket parts is that you cannot expect them to perform like the original. OEM parts are designed and made with a specific function in mind, and aftermarket parts are trying to fill that gap.
There are exceptions though. High-end aftermarket car wheels, for instance, can increase acceleration and handling. And they can be much more expensive than OEM wheels.
Keep in mind that there also are value-added resellers, businesses that buy OEM parts then perform upgrades on them. These might include software upgrades or special features. These businesses have become a popular resource but typically among very niche manufacturing sectors.
Benefits of Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts
Perhaps the biggest advantage of original equipment manufacturer components is that they are identical to the part you are replacing. You can expect them to function and be of the same quality as the original.
This corresponds to two other advantages of OEM parts: they tend to be more durable and last longer than aftermarket ones. Depending on the component, an OEM may come with a warranty or some other guarantee. This affords you the peace of mind that, should the part fail, the manufacturer will replace it for free.
Another reason to consider an OEM is that they will be more apt than aftermarket manufacturers to make orders specific to your request. A lot of businesses outsource parts production to OEMs for this very reason: they can specialize their operation to meet your needs.
One disadvantage of OEMs is that they tend to be more expensive than most aftermarket alternatives. They also may be more difficult to find or take longer to order. This can especially true for older vehicles or computers.
Find the Best Components for Your Project
Now that you have an idea of the distinctions between original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket parts, you can make the right decision for your business or personal needs. Determining when to choose aftermarket or OEM parts can be a key decision in the outcome of your project.
We hope this information on OEM vs aftermarket parts was helpful to you. If so, be sure to check out some of our other business posts. We cover everything from business news and trends to marketing and development advice.