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Jun 7th 2022

​What Is the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts?

What Is the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts?

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer, which means OEM parts are backed by the company that made your parts originally. Aftermarket parts are manufactured by a third-party company.

This slight difference creates many variables in your decision between OEM and aftermarket parts. If you're choosing parts now, it can help to go a bit deeper into the nuances of OEM vs. aftermarket parts.

OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts

The main difference between these types of parts is that OEM parts come from the original company that manufactured your vehicle, while aftermarket parts do not. This difference affects several other aspects, including price, specifications and performance:

  • Price: Typically, OEM parts tend to be a bit more expensive than aftermarket parts, and for a good reason — with OEM parts, you're getting the products that you know will work on your vehicle.
  • Specifications: OEM parts match the original parts on your vehicle and are made specifically to your make and model. Aftermarket parts may not meet all the same specifications.
  • Performance: OEM and aftermarket parts also may differ by performance. Since OEM parts are meant for your vehicle, they may operate better than a third-party part that might not fit perfectly.

Price, specifications and performance are some of the main differences between OEM and aftermarket parts. Still, there is a lot more to look at when it comes to these two types of parts.

Benefits of OEM

If you're still unsure whether to get OEM or aftermarket parts, take a look at the many advantages of buying OEM products. From quality to easy selection, there is a lot to entice a buyer.

1. Quality

One of the best benefits of OEM parts is the quality. Since you know exactly where the parts are coming from, you can be confident in their quality. Instead of buying from a seller that you may not be familiar with, you can purchase OEM parts that you know come from a trusted seller you've likely already done business with.

2. Reliability

OEM parts offer unmatched reliability, especially when compared to aftermarket parts. The original equipment manufacturer builds these parts to last — and even if there are issues, you can always take it back to the company, and they'll likely help you out. With a third-party seller, you may not have this luxury.

3. Longevity

If you want your parts to last a long time, you're better off choosing parts from the original manufacturer. OEM parts are built to last. Even though OEM parts are usually a little more expensive than aftermarket parts, OEM parts generally also last longer, while aftermarket parts may start developing issues early on.

In that way, investing in OEM parts can actually save you money in the long run.

4. Great Fit

Many people choose OEM parts because they're the perfect fit for their vehicle. You don't have to worry about whether or not the new parts will be good for your car. The original manufacturer likely has exactly what you need, and you can easily add these new parts to your vehicle without trouble.

5. Easy Selection

Compared to the aftermarket selection, the OEM parts selection is tiny — that's because they offer the exact parts you need. There's no need to browse through hundreds of different parts to find what you need. The OEM can get you what you need promptly.

6. Warranties

OEM parts will also frequently come with a warranty, so you're protected if you have problems with the new products. This creates a lot of trust between buyer and seller and ensures that you get the quality you need.

7. Convenience

When you choose OEM parts, you get a convenience that you wouldn't get from a third-party seller. The original manufacturer knows exactly what you need. They have a deep knowledge of your vehicle's specifications and expertise in your vehicle from the beginning. They can offer you the exact part you need without the hassle of browsing through hundreds of options.

Cons of Aftermarket

While that lower price point may make it seems tempting to buy aftermarket parts, there are many disadvantages you should be aware of with these products:

1. Overwhelming Selection

The aftermarket parts selection can be overwhelming. If you have the time for it, you can scroll through hundreds if not thousands of parts, trying to figure out which one is right for you. This can be an exhausting and time-consuming process. Most of us would rather spend that time in other avenues in our life, which is why many people prefer that small, quality selection of OEM parts.

2. Questionable Quality

You don't fully know the kind of quality you're getting until the aftermarket parts are on your vehicle. It may be only a few months before you start to have issues, and by then, it might be too late. This is part of the challenge of buying from a third-party seller — since it's not the original equipment manufacturer, the same level of trust isn't there. The quality of the parts is always in question.

Quality can also vary significantly from seller to seller. While one seller might be offering serviceable parts, another could just be trying to take your money. You'll likely spend a lot of time in the third-party seller market trying to decide which parts you can trust and which ones may break down early.

3. Lack of Warranties

Aftermarket parts typically don't come with warranties, further building the distrust between buyer and seller. This lack of warranty may drive the price down, but it also means you may be left out to dry if a part breaks.

Shop OEM Leaf Springs Today

Deciding which route to go when getting new truck parts can be challenging. One of the most difficult parts of the process is finding the right seller. Buying OEM parts means you'll already have that trusted relationship built-in and can have faith in the quality of the parts.

At General Spring, we offer quality OEM leaf springs. You can trust us to provide you with parts specifically matched to your truck. Take all the hassle and worry out of choosing the right part and work with General Spring — our expert team will guide you to the best part for you and make the process easy.

With many advantages like in-stock, high-quality products, fast shipping and fair pricing, General Spring is your ideal choice for OEM parts. Contact us today!