You’re having car troubles and the only solution is a new car part. You know what you need, but when faced with the decision of buying a factory or aftermarket part, will you know what to choose? If not, Toyota of Orlando is here to explain and make you an informed consumer. That way, if you’re faced with this decision you’ll know how to weigh your options and make the best selection, cost-wise and quality-wise.
The pros & cons of factory and aftermarket car parts
First off, you need to know the difference between factory and aftermarket. Factory or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) car parts are just as they sound, parts manufactured by your car’s maker specifically for your model. While aftermarket parts are not created by your car’s maker.
There are several companies that manufacture car parts to function the same as brands’ originals. Their goal, be of the same quality or exceed the original’s quality. You’ll find most aftermarket parts at independent auto-body shops. The key to working with the aftermarket is to make sure you’re at a well-respected auto-shop and you’re getting high-quality parts.
Now that you know the difference, let’s look at some of their pros and cons.
- Warranty: The majority of car maker’s place a one-year warranty on any parts they supply. When you go to the dealership to get OEM parts replaced they’ll usually waive the labor costs as well.
- Easy process: Buying an OEM part is as simple as going to the dealership, getting the part you need and signing the check. There’s no need to compare qualities or worry about poor performance replacements.
- Guaranteed quality: When you buy an OEM replacement, the part is guaranteed to work just as the original did.
- More expensive: Due to convenience and specificity, factory parts often cost more than aftermarket ones.
- Limited buying options: Your options for buying OEM parts are more limited than your options for aftermarket ones. There are other ways you can purchase original parts (eBay, online wholesales, or special ordering through a mechanic), but the majority of car owners buy at the dealership.
- Availability: Aftermarket parts are easier to find. You can purchase these parts in auto-stores, gas stations, or with local mechanics.
- Less expensive: These car parts are usually cheaper than factory parts. The difference in cost will vary by the maker of your car. With this, our technicians recommend researching the needed part’s cost at multiple shops to ensure that you’re savings are not due to low quality design.
- Options: With so many aftermarket companies, you have a greater selection of parts with a larger range of prices.
- Possible better quality: Since aftermarket parts are reverse-engineered, mechanics have the opportunity to improve problems original parts may have.
- No Warranty: To maintain the low price, most aftermarket parts do not come with a warranty.
- Too many options: With so many different aftermarket companies to choose from it can be hard to weed out the good from the bad. That’s why Toyota of Orlando suggests purchasing OEM parts or consulting a trusted mechanic for an aftermarket brand recommendation.
Toyota of Orlando’s suggestion
All in all, what you choose to go with, factory or aftermarket, boils down to what kind of car owner you are. If you’re auto-savvy and will do the proper research, aftermarket parts can be a great option for you. If you’re not a car wiz or don’t have the time to do the extra research, we recommend sticking with factory parts.
Whatever your car needs may be, our Toyota Service Center in Orlando is here for you. We can answer your car maintenance questions, get you the service you need at, or get you a new set of wheels. We’re open seven days a week and are always running car service specials!