Parts-New vs. Aftermarket vs. OEM

Parts replacement choices are many times not fully understood by the consumer. Many feel that anything less than a brand new factory part will result in problems. Although in certain areas of repair this is true, this is not a fact with many others. Of courses a brand new part from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sounds like the best choice but give this some thought. Lets say your car requires a headlamp and a bumper for replacement. If you were to replace the bumper with new parts you will buy at least three major components to put it back together. The outer bumper cover, the impact absorbing cushion & the inner bumper bar. These items if purchased as a recycled or LKQ (Like Kind & Quality – used) part would arrive complete with all the major parts & at least most parts of the bumper assembly. As for the headlamp, the same question comes up. Is it the same as what was on my car before? If the answer is yes than by choosing this option your parts cost savings could be up to 50% or even more.

Now consider Quality. Prior to the accident were your vehicles now damaged parts exactly the same year & quality of the recycled part available if purchased from a reputable recycler? Once this recycled part is taken apart painted & reassembled, is it any less than you had before? If it is the same then perhaps this is a very good repair choice for your car.

Aftermarket parts are also a misunderstood product sometimes. Consumers may not know there are levels of quality when it comes to this choice. There are also areas where aftermarket parts should never be considered due to safety. A quality shop may refuse if asked to use a part they feel is not proper due to safety or knows from past experience that there is a very good chance for problems.