Why use OEM parts?
We’re referring to fit and function here. Yes, you can find an M10 x 1.25 bolt at Home Depot, but is it made from the same material as the original? Does the thread pitch really match? This is a simplistic example, but it applies even more so in the case of complicated parts and assemblies. Have you ever gone to install a new replacement part and the holes didn’t match up? This won’t happen with OEM parts designed by the manufacturer. Safety is a main concern as well. Did you know that non-original parts can make your air bag deploy unnecessarily, faster, or slower than it should?
Often the installation of a non-OEM part poses a threat to warranty coverage on a vehicle. If your hydraulic system fails because someone changed with fluid that doesn’t match manufacturer specifications, you may be on the hook to rebuild it yourself rather than filing a warranty claim. OEM parts themselves may also have a better guarantee than those from 3rd-party suppliers or non-original parts.
With the increasing use of connected sensors and integrated data collection to monitor and record operating conditions, making sure related components are compatible is a primary concern. Manufacturers commonly use proprietary software to control machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and other aftermarket suppliers may not have access to the code that makes everything work together.
Large OEM vehicle manufacturers have been around for years, meaning they’ve had a long time to refine their supply chains and distribution networks. While you may believe you’re saving a few hundred dollars by buying that expensive part from a “disruptive” vendor, the only thing likely to be disrupted is your work schedule when the part doesn’t show up on time, fit correctly, or lead to a dangerous repair condition.
A part is a part, right? Except you have no idea what’s in the alloy or plastic that the part is made from. Auto makers have spent over 100 years formulating recipes for sheet metal and coatings that resist corrosion and contribute to increased safety standards. Is that fender produced in Malaysia made of the same stuff? Nobody knows (and it’s highly doubtful.)
Three-C Body Shops is certified Assured Performance. This means we are officially Certified-Recognized by Ford, FCA, Nissan, Infiniti, Hyundai, GM, and a number of others manufacturers. Fewer than 1 in 10 shops meet or exceed the requirements for this Certification.
Three-C Body Shops is a Subaru Certified Collision Center, having obtained the proper training and utilizing the equipment necessary to restore your vehicle to its original factory specifications. We use the proven fit and quality of Genuine Subaru Collision Parts for replacement to help ensure that your Subaru is returned in like-new condition along with the protective capabilities that kept you safe in the first place.
Three-C Body Shops is a ProFirst Certified collision repair facility, ensuring that we have the tools, equipment, training, knowledge, and other resources to provide highly-qualified repair services for your Honda or Acura.
The first thing that drives a lot of people to choose non-OEM parts is the thought that it might be cheaper—but, in the long run, it’s not. When you factor in shipping costs and the inevitable costs of when you have to do the same repairs again several weeks later, non-OEM parts end up costing you more, and they can be a huge safety risk. Choosing OEM parts means that you’re getting the approved, correct part: it works the way it’s meant to, and you are much less likely to have problems later down the line or do permanent damage to your car.
In most cases, non-OEM parts will have to be fitted by third-party mechanics and this immediately puts you at risk as a vehicle owner. If you’re having it installed by someone who isn’t approved by your car manufacturer, then you’re risking the fact that they might downright screw up the job, which can cost you thousands.
This can also impact other things such as your car insurance and it puts you at a lot of unnecessary risk. This is also commonly seen when unregistered auto repairpersons attempt to repair cars they don’t have proper knowledge of and this can cost you just as much money.
Responsible car owners have their cars insured. Insurance doesn’t just protect you and your wallet, but also protects other people on the road should anything happen. Nobody means for an accident to happen; that’s why they’re called accidents in the first place. When they do happen, you want to ensure that you are protected.
If your car is found to have non-OEM parts installed in the event of an inspection by your insurance company after an accident, then they could refuse to insure the claim at all; of course, the same is true for the other party in the accident. Installing parts in your car that aren’t covered by your manufacturer puts you at risk; not only do those parts make accidents more prone to happen on the road, your insurer will likely refuse to cover the claim because of the risk caused when installing these parts in the first place.
Fitting these parts is something very few people think of when they buy non-OEM parts off the internet. Should you really be surprised when parts that aren’t designed and approved by the car manufacturer turn out not to fit your car? The real answer here is no.
Non-OEM parts might not fit, because they were usually designed with a similar model at best, and this definitely isn’t what you should be looking for when you’re repairing a part on your car.
Using non-OEM parts in your car puts you at unnecessary risk on the road. These parts haven’t been designed with your car in mind and they might not even be manufactured with safety standards in mind at all. Is this really a risk that you want to take, considering how many accidents occur every single year?
If you’ve never thought of this before and might have non-OEM parts in your car right now, you can still contact your car manufacturer and let them know; they are usually happy to fix this and install safer, approved parts in your car—though they will not cover this if the part malfunctions and causes an accident or needs to be repaired after one.
Did you know that different states also have different laws on non-OEM parts? In some states, you can even be heavily penalized for being found to have non-OEM parts in your car if you are an accident and you could be held responsible for damages you didn’t possibly factor in.
If you want to know what your state says about non-OEM parts, take a look at this handy guide from SEMA about aftermarket parts by-state.