OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts: What’s the Difference?

Whether it’s an everyday, family vehicle or a vintage car you’ve been working to restore, you’ll likely have to replace some parts throughout the vehicle’s lifetime. And in some cases, you may just want to upgrade to improve your vehicle’s appearance or performance.

Regardless, you need to understand the difference between aftermarket auto parts and OEM parts so that you can select the best parts for your vehicle. 

the rear portion of our auto parts warehouse

What are OEM Auto Parts?

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, also known as factory or stock parts,  are made by the same company that makes the vehicle, and the parts that are present when you first purchase a new vehicle. 

And if you visit a dealership to purchase your replacement parts, you’ll likely be purchasing OEM parts, as dealerships typically source parts directly from the original manufacturer. 


Quality Assurance

Factory parts are present in millions of vehicles around New Zealand, and for good reason. If you’re looking to simply replace a broken part, this is the way to go. It will be the exact same part, just with less wear & tear. 


Most OEM parts come with a product warranty, typically x-years or x kilometers. And, if you get it replaced at a dealership, there’s often a similar labor warranty. If the product breaks under warranty, you’ll be able to get it replaced at no additional cost.  

Simple & Straightforward

If you’re looking to purchase a factory part, you won’t have to spend hours at the dealership researching and comparing different brands, models, etc. You’ll just get one type and you can be sure it will work. 


More Expensive

More often than not, OEM parts are significantly more expensive than aftermarket parts. As stated before however, the higher cost is directly associated with a higher quality product. You really do get what you pay for.

Good Quality, but Not Always Great

If you’re searching for an upgrade, OEM parts may not be your best bet. Auto manufacturers that design factory parts often build parts that perform well, while also ensuring the company meets their bottom line.

On the other hand, aftermarket products undergo extensive development and testing to work out the weaknesses found in factory parts. So in some cases, aftermarket parts can improve your vehicle’s performance.

Fewer Options

Especially for older vehicles, factory parts are not always easy to find. If you need a part for a vintage car that is no longer being produced, you may have a difficult time locating it.

As such, aftermarket products might be your best choice.

What are Aftermarket Auto Parts?

Aftermarket parts, also known as generic parts, are parts made by any company that is not the original manufacturer. 

Though these parts are often cheaper and can improve performance, here’s a few things you should know about them.


Less Expensive

Speaking generally, aftermarket parts are less expensive than factory parts. This is great if you’re on a budget and the aftermarket part offers similar performance. 

Higher Quality

Because they have to compete with stock part manufacturers, aftermarket companies often perform extensive testing & research to deliver a better product than the original. 

This can include eliminating weaknesses, improving durability, or a combination of other factors.

More Choices

With stock parts, there is just one model made by one company. It’s simple and straightforward. 

But with aftermarket parts, especially in the case of older vehicles, you have more options.

You can compare performance, prices, company reputation, and more when looking at aftermarket options.

And in the case of older vehicles, especially those no longer in production, aftermarket products might be your only option.


No Warranty

To offer the best price value up front, these parts often are sold without a product warranty. Not to mention, your local mechanic may not offer a labor warranty either.

Mixed Quality

Some aftermarket products are great. Others, not so much.

Low-quality aftermarket products are built using low-quality materials, and may break down easily or not perform as well as OEM parts. 

Stick with reputable brands or those recommended by mechanics and other industry experts. 

And always remember, you get what you pay for.

Too Many Options

Though there are more aftermarket options than factory parts, it can be overwhelming.

If you don’t know much about vehicle parts, reach out to your local mechanic to help you make an informed decision.

Or, if you’re uncomfortable purchasing an aftermarket part, stick with the factory part that is guaranteed to work.

Which is Best?

The short answer is, it depends. 

Replacement vs. upgrade, performance vs. durability, and appearance vs. safety should all play roles in your decision-making process when selecting the best part for your vehicle.

And if you decide on an aftermarket auto part, check out our extensive parts selection for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles.

All Rights Reserved - Hi Tech Auto Parts