The Different Types of Auto Parts Explained

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of auto replacement parts that flood the market these days. Not only are there vehicle parts that are made by the actual manufacturers of cars, trucks, SUVs, and off-road vehicles, there are also auto replacement parts that are produced by third-party companies according to the manufacturers’ specifications—components that are made specifically for the automotive aftermarket industry. As you may very well know, there are other types of auto parts in between, which should already give you an idea about the diversity of products out there that customers can choose from.

That being said, wouldn’t it be convenient if you had a handy guide that explains the distinctions between these different kinds of auto parts? If your mind is in the same direction, then you’re in luck because that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing in today’s blog entry. Let’s get on with it!

auto parts

OEM Auto Parts

OEM means “original equipment manufacturer,” and this is the case not just in automotive industry parlance but in many other sectors as well. As the name suggests, OEM auto parts are produced by the vehicles’ actual manufacturers, usually at a time when a particular vehicle model is still currently in production.

However, “OEM” doesn’t necessarily mean “original” in the strictest sense of the word, since an OEM auto part can also be reproduced by the manufacturer sometime in the future, even after the production of their matching vehicle model has already ceased.

This can happen when there continues to be a strong demand for the auto part, like when a vehicle has become a popular collector’s item, or when there’s a shortage of available third-party auto parts in the market. Such situations that engender consumer demand can pretty much compel manufacturers to continue producing auto parts for obsolete vehicles.

NOS Auto Parts

NOS stands for “new old stock,” and it usually refers to never-been-used auto parts that were manufactured at a time when now-obsolete vehicles were still in production. Such auto parts are made by the vehicles’ actual manufacturers, but for whatever reason, they were never sold and instead remained sitting in various warehouses.

NOS auto parts are usually no longer produced by the manufacturer, which is why they can be highly sought after products, and their prices can skyrocket well beyond their original market value. Take for example how vintage car collectors, in their desire to maintain the integrity and original character of their treasured vehicles, would easily pay a premium for new old stock auto parts. 

It is important to note, however, that while NOS auto parts are original products made by the actual manufacturers of their matching vehicles, they are not necessarily the best products to buy. Some NOS auto parts have individual components that can degrade over time. For instance rubber can deteriorate due to exposure to heat, oxygen, ozone, and ultraviolet radiation, while metal can experience corrosion, especially in environments with elevated airborne salinity. As such, it is important to get your NOS auto parts from suppliers who have a good track record of sourcing and supplying new old stock products. 

NORS Auto Parts 

NORS means “new old replacement stock” or “new old reproduced stock.” Like NOS auto parts, NORS auto parts are also never-been-used products that were manufactured sometime in the past. However, unlike their manufacturer-made NOS counterparts, NORS auto parts were produced by third-party vendors, usually as aftermarket replacement parts for vehicles that were no longer in production. 

Note that NORS auto parts are practically identical to OEM and NOS auto parts, but since they were not made by the manufacturer and are usually more available than their original counterparts, they also tend to be less expensive to acquire for consumers.  

Remanufactured Auto Parts 

Remanufactured auto parts are used components that have been thoroughly disassembled, cleaned, and modified to be brought back to proper working condition. Problem areas on these used auto parts are identified, old and faulty components are replaced, and the final products are tested to ensure that they meet or even exceed OEM specifications. 

Remanufactured auto parts typically represent significant cost savings for consumers since these products are essentially recycled from items that would otherwise just be garbage if they were not salvaged. 

Used and Tested Auto Parts 

Sometimes, a used auto part will require no refurbishment because it’s still in reasonably good enough condition as to not need any modification. These used auto parts are thoroughly cleaned and properly tested to ensure that they meet the required tolerances. 

Like remanufactured auto parts, used and tested auto parts can be very affordable to purchase for consumers. However, it is important for buyers to make sure that they are getting their auto parts from reliable suppliers who have a proven history of providing high-quality products to customers.  

If you're in need of auto parts in New Zealand, Hi Tech Auto PartsWorld can help you. We offer a wide range of OEM, NOS, NORS, refurbished, and used auto parts for all your vehicle repair and maintenance needs. Call us today at 0800 244 832, or fill out our contact form to send your enquiries.

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