As much as we don’t like to think about it, there will be times when parts on our car fail and need replacing. After taking our vehicle to a garage to get the issue rectified, we’re usually given the choice of using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts.

What is the difference between the two? Car radiator repair specialists Advanced Radiators explains, helping you make a more informed decision the next time your car encounters a problem…

An introduction to aftermarket parts

Any car part that is created by anyone other than the vehicle’s original manufacturer falls under the category of aftermarket parts. They are produced after an aftermarket company has bought the rights to create the parts, meaning that they will be made to fit and perform as well as the original part — even if they may have a slightly different appearance.

Any parts that are direct replacements for your vehicle should not void your vehicle’s warranty.

Advantages of aftermarket parts

There are many advantages to choosing aftermarket parts, with one being that they are often less expensive than other parts on the market.

You shouldn’t need to worry about quality being compromised though. This is because many aftermarket companies will conduct thorough research to establish why certain parts tend to fail and then design their parts based on their findings.

Variety is another positive aspect of aftermarket parts, due to the fact that there are hundreds of companies all making necessary replacement parts for your vehicle.

Disadvantages of aftermarket parts

It is important that you do plenty of research when looking at a part to ensure it hasn’t been made using low-quality materials. The golden rule is that if the price appears too good to be true, it’s likely that there will be a hidden catch.

Be aware as well that there are aftermarket parts on the market that are sold without a warranty — leaving you out of pocket should something go wrong with the equipment following a repair.

An introduction to OEM parts

OEM parts are those which have been manufactured by the same company that made the original parts for your car and its manufacturer. As a result, an OEM part will be identical to the one that came in your vehicle when it first rolled off the production line — only without the car maker’s logo etched on it.

Advantages of OEM parts

One advantage of selecting OEM parts is that you can eliminate hassle when choosing the part — simply ask for an OEM part at a dealership or garage and the engineer can easily source the item.

The fact that the new part is the exact same as the one that you will be replacing means that quality is assured too, as it will deliver the level of performance that you’ve become accustomed to. The majority of OEM parts come complete with a warranty too.

Disadvantages of OEM parts

One of the main drawbacks of OEM parts is that they will more than likely be more expensive than their aftermarket alternatives.

In addition, you are not guaranteed better quality when choosing OEM parts over aftermarket items either. This is due to a collection of aftermarket companies carrying out research to find out why original parts fail and then working to rectify the known issues when designing their equipment.