Trucks will always require repair and maintenance. But when you take yours to the body shop, do you bother to find out the type of parts they use for repairs? Your body shop will use either OEM parts or aftermarket parts in most cases.
If you wonder what differentiates both types of parts and which one is better for your truck, then this article is for you.
Unlike OEM parts, aftermarket parts are manufactured by various manufacturers. Therefore, availability is never a problem, and they cost way less than parts made by the original car’s manufacturer. In addition, you have tons of options to choose from.
However, you shouldn’t expect the same level of quality in OEM parts from aftermarket parts. The only case where this expectation holds is when the original parts are flawed. Since the flaws have been removed from the aftermarket parts, they are better options in this case.
Aftermarket parts are hardly equal to OEM parts in quality and durability. So, when next you take your truck to a body shop that uses aftermarket CAT parts, monitor the repair process to ensure they only use the best quality parts.
NB: Truck owners may choose aftermarket parts over OEM parts despite the former’s superiority. This is especially true if the truck owner just wants to replace worn-out parts or repair their vehicle.
OEM Vehicle Parts
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are replacement parts made by the original car’s manufacturer. Choosing OEM parts for your truck repairs come with many benefits. For example, they are of the best quality and exactly the same as the part you are replacing. Therefore, they ensure 100% fit and compatibility.
In the case of trucks that have been in a collision, the new OEM parts often have the necessary crumple zones, making them even more ideal. Crumple zones are the special parts of the part that absorb the energy a collision generates. The only downside of using OEM parts is their cost and availability – they are not always available, and they can be more expensive when they are.
Why Choose Aftermarket Parts?
They are cheaper.
You will be spending way less on aftermarket parts compared to OEM parts. The lower cost is because the manufacturers of aftermarket parts are not trademarking their products, so it is cheaper to implement their products. The production also happens in different places worldwide, helping to minimise production costs. The production guidelines are also less strict than OEM parts production, so a lower production rate is possible in some cases.
Quality can be higher.
The absence of strict guidelines in the aftermarket parts’ production process means manufacturers can produce parts of higher quality. Likewise, aftermarket manufacturers have enough time to study the original parts, pick out the flaws, and fix them in their own productions, thus turning out even better-quality parts.
Should You Buy Aftermarket Parts Over OEM Parts?
Every vehicle has its own required components. Aftermarket parts will come in handy during common repairs or basic maintenance. You can find them easily, ensuring you do not spend all day with your vehicle grounded. The costs of these parts are also affordable. However, the real costs lie in the freight charges, estimated arrival time, and how soon you need the parts.
Choose A Reputable Aftermarket Parts Manufacturer
There are several aftermarket parts companies out there. That can be an upside and a downside. You must take your time to sieve through the long list and find a company you can trust. Once you have done the hard work and chosen your go-to aftermarket company, you will save considerably from buying from them compared to buying OEM parts.
Buying Aftermarket Parts Is Smart, And Here Is Why
Aftermarket parts are usually designed as the perfect replacements for original OEM parts. Provided you are working with a reputable and trustworthy aftermarket company; you have nothing to worry about. Excellent aftermarket parts will keep your truck on the road for as long as possible while helping you save considerably.
There are more aftermarket parts companies out there. The competition is getting fiercer by the day, forcing companies to come up with the best output possible. It is even more impressive considering most aftermarket manufacturers now go the extra mile to correct the flaws in original parts, ensuring their products are better and more quality than the original ones.
OEM manufacturers always stick to just one part and one design. However, aftermarket manufacturers can make different forms of this same part, giving you more options to pick from. As a result, you will never run out of options with aftermarket parts, and you can be confident of meeting your needs, however specific they are.
You have several options.
Your vehicle can enjoy a great deal of variety with aftermarket parts. Although each product from different companies has its own downsides and upsides, they are cheaper than OEM parts. You have almost nothing to worry about if you buy your aftermarket parts from a reputable manufacturer.
Finding Excellent Aftermarket Parts
Finding good-quality aftermarket parts can be challenging for most truck owners. Understandably, it requires some homework and checks here and there. But it is always worth it in the end because you can save time and money in the long run.
Here are some tips to help you find good quality aftermarket parts in today’s world:
Read industry publications, including trade magazines, vehicle magazines, and vehicle repair magazines. You may just find the right information you need about a top aftermarket parts manufacturer. You can also reach out to authors of articles on refurbishing or rebuilding articles – they may be able to point you to the right manufacturers.
There is a lot of information online about aftermarket parts and their manufacturers, which can be of great help to your search. You will find people within and outside your network who have worked on similar issues before while saving money. Reach out to your family and friends, social media followers, and associates for more intentionality. Ask questions in your social circles and online forums, and you will be surprised at the feedback. You should also consider using Craig’s List but with caution to avoid running into frauds. Any listing you are taking from Craig’s List should be thoroughly researched on the internet before deciding.
Local Bulletin Boards
You cannot rely on the internet only when looking for a top aftermarket product manufacturer to pitch your tent with. Offline, you should check out bulletin boards around you, especially in shopping malls, grocery stores, community centers, and truck stops. You should also not ignore those free newsletters they throw around in grocery stores. In addition, companies often include their business cards on bulletin boards. So, if you find one for an aftermarket parts company, all you have to do is call them and ask further questions.
Attend Car Shows
Attend car shows to get a chance to meet people who can offer advice on how to repair your trucks and offer recommendations on which companies you should work with. Do not be surprised if most car shows are all about vintage cars. But even as a truck owner, attending gives you a chance to meet people who might be able to offer some assistance.
Attend Community Events
Community events are one of the places to be if you need answers to the question of which manufacturers you should patronise. From fundraisers to cultural events and meetings, these gatherings present you with good opportunities to network. You might just meet someone who knows more about the aftermarket parts industry and can point you in the right direction.
Go to Truck Trade Shows
Similar to car shows, truck trade shows are also regularly organised. You should attend those organised for vehicles – there are mostly people associated with aftermarket parts companies. For instance, you may meet vendors with information about the aftermarket industry. All you have to do is speak with them and get their business card while at it. It doesn’t matter if they are in that industry or not; these people usually have extended networks they can always leverage to give you the right contact you need.
To Wrap Things Up
The OEM parts vs. aftermarket parts comparison has been around for a long time, and it does not look like it will be going away any time soon. Both options are great – your choice will mostly depend on your preferences. If you have no problem spending on OEM parts, the quality they offer is well worth the cost. However, you can save more money and explore more options if you go with aftermarket parts without sacrificing much on quality.
If you have decided on the latter, ensure you do your due diligence, gather relevant information, and let them guide you on which aftermarket parts manufacturer you are pitching your tent with. Getting it right from the start will save you a lot of stress and future expenses.