Many car owners opt for do-it-yourself repairs rather than taking their problems to an auto repair shop. With an older car, those trips to the mechanic can get expensive, and you don’t get the same feeling of accomplishment that comes from restoring your car yourself. When your vehicle needs a replacement part, though, how do you know which parts to buy? Depending on your needs and budget, where a part comes from could play an important role in the life of your car.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts
Many dealerships offer their own auto repair departments. Newer cars purchased from these dealerships will usually come with a lifetime warranty that covers maintenance. From oil changes to recalls, dealership auto repair shops will take care of it. These mechanics will use the newest manufacturer provided parts available, called original equipment manufacturer parts, or OEM parts. OEM parts come directly from your car’s manufacturer and are fresh off the assembly line. Many repair situations may call for an OEM part because there simply isn’t an off-brand alternative available. Using OEM parts is more expensive, but it’s the best way to ensure you don’t experience problems due to low quality or an inadequate fit.
If you’re replacing a recalled part or a vital engine piece, always purchase OEM and have your dealership install it.
New Aftermarket Parts
Most independent mechanics will use new aftermarket parts. Sources for aftermarket parts include NAPA, AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto parts. These parts are of similar quality to OEM parts but are much cheaper. Aftermarket parts may be less expensive but may also be more difficult to install because they are made to fit as many cars as possible. If you have a model with unique parts or measurements, you may want to shop OEM parts. If your goal is good quality with a smaller price tag, however, aftermarket parts are the way to go.
Used Secondhand Parts
So, your transmission died and you aren’t prepared to drop a pretty penny on a brand new one. Used auto parts are a great option for those big-ticket items that no one will see. They are often even less expensive than aftermarket, making them ideal for the DIY mechanic. Because they are used parts, however, they may prove less reliable than OEM or aftermarket parts. Before purchasing each used part, ask questions about its quality. Is there a warranty? What condition is it in? How many miles did the donor car have? Each of these questions can give you insight into whether or not you are purchasing a part that will last.
Which Fits Your Needs?
Each car owner is different with their own preferences for how to take care of their babies. Some prioritize frugality while others hold reliability above all else. To schedule your car’s next repair, contact Seabreeze Ford or call (888) 574-7685.