HomeAFTERMARKET NEWSA Mechanics opinion on OE vs Aftermarket car parts

A Mechanics opinion on OE vs Aftermarket car parts

The below statement is written by a mechanic in Portugal, for the use of BGA & BGA’s customer base.

Comparisons and generalizations are always unfair; we are going to be debating the old popular debate on whether OE (Original Equipment) or aftermarket car parts are a better choice for your vehicle.

Purists claim that OE parts are justifiably more expensive and better than aftermarket parts as aftermarket components are often inferior copies of the originals. Dealership repair shops, specialized journalists, bloggers, and communicators claim that “OE parts will never disappoint you”.

Many end-users without any mechanical knowledge make choices on what spare parts to buy based solely on other people’s opinions, vehicle manufacturers and brands marketing campaigns. These end-users end up spending more than twice on an OE part while customers which are on a budget often buy aftermarket parts as a last resort and are extremely doubtful about their decision as there are a lot of different opinions on this subject.

What are OE & aftermarket parts?

OE parts are built by the vehicle manufacturer or by companies that source the vehicle manufacturer. They are generally sold by the brands’ dealerships or authorized shops. The sales pitch for these parts is that they perfectly match the ones that came with your vehicle when it left the assembly line and that is why they are so expensive. The truth is that when you are buying OE parts you end up paying for all the branding and marketing associated in selling the part, the parts often also have a long distribution chain before reaching the end-user which further contributes to its price.

You may assume that aftermarket parts are exact copies of the original parts and are made of cheaper materials with a lower-quality standard. If you were to do a quick Google search you will probably find lot a lot of articles supporting this theory.
As a professional in the auto repair industry, I am confident that these assumptions are incorrect. My experience is also backed up by many articles written by colleagues and experts across the field.  There are hundreds of aftermarket part factories that make products of different qualities, prices, and characteristics. Some companies will sell the same OE components in a different box with the automakers logo and OE part number scratched out. These parts are often cheaper and have the same quality controls as OE as they are sourced from the exact same location as OE. Several factors also affect why these may be cheaper such as a shorter distribution chain, being produced in larger numbers than OE parts, profit margins etc.

To buy or not to buy aftermarket parts?

In my professional experience, some companies produce aftermarket parts which are more expensive than their OE equivalent while others produce aftermarket parts which give the vehicle superior performance. Varying qualities of aftermarket parts are on the market which of course depends on the company manufacturing it.

As some experts claim that ‘OE parts will never disappoint you’, I would like to emphasise that after years of experience in the auto industry I have seen OE parts with severe design and material flaws. I have seen customer cars which have broken down after being repaired by an authorised dealership auto garage using OEM parts.
Automakers sometimes have to bring parts back to the drawing board stage, redesign them and/or use improved materials to fix the design flaw. This could have been avoided by purchasing from a well-known aftermarket manufacturer which is likely already aware of the initial design flaw.

Aftermarket parts are described by people as a cheap part alternative made with a quality standard that does not fit well which is likely to be true for some brands. Good judgement in determining whether the part is too cheap by a professional mechanic will ensure that your car is repaired to the highest standard.

Spending some time researching and comparing between OE and well-known aftermarket parts will ensure that you make the best decision in regards to your vehicle. Getting advice from a trustworthy mechanic will be beneficial to ensure that you are making the right decision.

In most cases, you will end up saving a good amount of money when buying an aftermarket part which will last the same or more than the OE equivalent.

BGA are one of the best choices when it is time to choose an Aftermarket supplier to replace an engine or steering parts…

BGA range of quality aftermarket auto products on a white background.

About BGA (BG Automotive):

BGA is an Automotive Aftermarket parts supplier, celebrating over 90 years of OE manufacturing heritage as the aftermarket division of the largest privately owned OE supplier, 4BG Group, established in 1929.

BGA focuses on providing one of the largest ranges of high quality, competitively priced parts in the aftermarket containing Auxiliary Drive, Camtrain, Cooling, Gaskets, Lubrication, Power Steering, Steering & Suspension, Timing Belt Kits, Timing Chain Kits and Transmission.


Most Popular