OEM vs After-Market: What to Put in Your Chevy

September 13th, 2019 by

A black Chevy emblem, which can be found with other genuine Chevy parts, is on a red 2019 Chevy Blazer in Cincinnati, OH.

When it comes to vehicle ownership, there is nothing more irritating and downright unfortunate than repairs. Vehicles can be quite costly as is, with high sticker prices and monthly insurance payments. Factor in the costs of repairs and your vehicle can quickly turn from an amazingly convenient form of transportation to a money pit overnight. While some repairs and servicing are inevitable with all vehicles, these are mostly minor and are generally cost-efficient. When it comes time to repair your Chevy, there is nothing better to put in it to ensure long-term satisfaction than genuine OEM Chevy Parts. The upfront cost for purchasing genuine OEM parts is generally higher than buying aftermarket parts, but the quality and dependability of OEM parts more than make up for the difference in price. While you can always strike gold and find aftermarket parts that rival their OEM counterparts in quality, it requires a lot of research and a good eye for quality. With OEM parts, there is no guesswork involved because the parts are up to the standards of the original vehicle makers.

What Exactly Does OEM and Aftermarket Mean?

In order to make the most educated decision when it comes to shopping for Chevy parts, you must first understand what OEM and aftermarket parts are. The term “OEM” stands for original equipment manufacturer. In this case, parts that Chevrolet uses to create their vehicles. These can be made directly by the manufacturer or by a separate company, and were the exact parts installed at the factory. When you purchase a brand new vehicle from a dealership, every single part on it is an OEM part. Aftermarket parts are vehicle parts that are made by a separate, 3rd party company. These are typically designed for certain vehicles, in imitation of their original parts or for drastic modification purposes. Due to the ways they are created and distributed, they are widely available and generally cheaper than OEM parts. Now that these two are understood a bit more, we can compare them to see some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

A close up of a front bumper is shown on an off-road ready Colorado.

OEM Parts

One of the best things about OEM parts is that they are created directed by the dealer or are selected for your vehicle when it’s being designed and built. There is no guesswork involved or worrying about proper sizing, as they were hand-selected by the people who created your vehicle. You can be assured that the parts you are getting for your car, truck, or SUV are of the highest quality. Vehicles are required to undergo very stringent safety regulations and require an extensive amount of various safety tests, such as braking and crash testing. By getting the parts that were specifically used for the vehicle while it was undergoing and passing these various safety tests, you know that the parts have been thoroughly tested. Another positive to OEM parts is that they are sold directly by the dealer. Not only will the people selling the parts be directly familiar with them, but they can provide the best service available for your vehicle. While there certainly are many benefits to OEM, there are also a few drawbacks as well.
Due to the various testing and the overall quality of OEM parts, they can tend to be pricier than aftermarket parts, sometimes up to 60% more expensive. While you do generally pay for quality, the price tag for some parts can turn some people away and are not the best option if you have a tighter budget. Due to some OEM parts being designed and created directly by the vehicle makers, the quantities can be quite scarce at times and can fluctuate with vehicle production. Often when vehicle companies are creating a new fleet or shipment of vehicles, the parts can become quite difficult to locate and can get even more expensive. Certain OEM parts are only sold directly by the dealer, which means that you do not have very much room to budge when it comes to negotiating prices. It is not like you can go anywhere else if the only person who sells that part happens to be the person who makes it.

Aftermarket Parts

More often than not, aftermarket parts can be considerably cheaper than the parts they are replicating. This can be particularly useful if you find yourself requiring multiple different parts, as to not drown yourself in repair costs. Frequently, aftermarket parts are mass-produced in large quantities rather quickly. Not only does this help immensely in availability for when you are really in need, but it helps to drive the price down. Many different stores are able to keep a constant stock of most parts and can have them delivered quickly if they run out. Due to the sheer amount of aftermarket parts that are produced, there are a number of different stores which specialize in automotive parts. Not only does this increase availability and access for different vehicle owners, but it also gives the prospective buyer several different options. However, aftermarket parts are not without their own set of drawbacks.

Aftermarket parts are created in large quantities by a company who did not create the vehicle initially. Parts can also be designed to fit multiple vehicles fro various manufacturers, which means the precise fitment for your model is not guaranteed. The sizing of the part is not always accurate, which can create quite the headache for whoever is installing it. While OEM parts go through extensive testing during the vehicle’s initial crash and safety testing, aftermarket parts do not. Though they are tested by the companies making them, that testing is nowhere near as extensive as the ones experienced by OEM parts. Unfortunately, aftermarket parts will also not have as good of a warranty on them as their OEM counterparts. While no one ever expects new parts to fail on them, it can happen to anyone. Aftermarket parts may not be the best idea if you want long-lasting protection.

When it comes to purchasing parts for your Chevy, there are a few different options at hand. You can opt for the OEM parts that Chevrolet themselves uses to build their vehicles. Or, you can dive on into the ocean that is aftermarket parts, and shop around for the best deal. In other circumstances, the best price is usually what should be prioritized, but your vehicle is something that you should really go the extra mile for. Not only can a vehicle with faulty parts rack up a large bill quickly, but it can also be downright dangerous. Safety is something that should always be number one when it comes to vehicles. The consistent quality and durability of OEM parts is something that will go a long way. They increase the safety of your vehicle while simultaneously decreasing the total cost of ownership by reducing the amount of repairs. When it comes to purchasing genuine OEM Chevrolet parts, there is no place in Cincinnati, OH better than McCluskey Chevrolet. The service department stocks genuine Chevy OEM parts and is staffed by professionals who can help you with anything related to your Chevy.

Posted in Chevy parts