The Debate About Car Parts Never Ends
While those who insist on buying only new spare parts for their car deride those who would rather source guaranteed used spares, both camps have a valid point. In fact, for the final resolution of the debate about which is better and so on and on, the reality is that every repair, each time, is a unique situation. There are definitely times when only a new component will do, and that’s usually because there simply aren’t good used components for that make and model available at the time you need them. Then there are times when the new OEM component costs the earth (think gearboxes, computers, even engine blocks), while virtually new versions are available from the used spares market at a vastly reduced price.
Indeed, sometimes the costs of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) gear will mean you cannot repair your car right now, not without taking out a loan from the bank, and you’ll lose the utility entirely if you don’t make another plan. When the cost of a new Golf GTI engine from VW, for example, is five or ten times the price of an engine taken out of an almost new car that someone unfortunately wrapped around a pole last weekend, it’s misguided to be insisting on a new engine, because it’s not going to give you any better performance or lifespan than the secondhand version. This is always the case that each repair should be evaluated for the various remedies available, their cost, and the benefits each version brings.
The Difference Between Genuine, OEM, and Aftermarket Car Parts
If you’re looking to the long-term value of your car for resale as a classic one day, you might feel compelled to buy only genuine or OEM parts. That’s fair enough because you’ll want top dollar in 30- or 40-years’ time for your classic car, and the buyer will want an original vehicle with no modifications. That’s seldom the case, however, and motorists are best served by formulating a route to their needed repairs by factoring in genuine, OEM, aftermarket, and good used car parts as options. To further clarify what each camp is talking about, the difference between replacement part options needs to be clear. That’s not always an easy task, however. Genuine car parts are the car parts that were fitted by the automaker at the time of building the vehicle. They are the parts that came with the car. Genuine spares, therefore, are those made by the same automaker that the completed cars come from. A genuine Ford part, for example, is made by Ford and branded as Ford and sold by Ford. No ambiguity there. Except that it’s not likely to be made by Ford, or VW or whoever the automaker is, but rather by a nominated subcontractor.
Is that a big deal? Yes and no. Yes, because it kind of takes the wind out of “genuine” parts having any greater value to you, in spite of their usually huge price tag. And no, because as long as those parts carry the automakers’ stamp of approval, you can be sure that they meet or even exceed the quality stipulated by the automaker. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) car parts confuse things too, as OEM component manufacturers typically produce the same spares under license from the automaker, very much like the subcontractors who produce genuine spares. Typically. OEM parts carry the same approval from the automaker as genuine parts, but they land cheaper, as the manufacturing model allows for greater flexibility on price.
Evaluating Used Car Parts
Is there a difference between genuine and OEM parts, both of which seem to imply that they’re straight from the automaker? Not really, except that difference in price that, on a long shopping list of car parts, can make or break a repair. Already, you can see that there’s a lot of room for confusion and heated debate looking only at genuine and OEM car parts, but there’s, unfortunately, more to come. Aftermarket car parts stem from the same kind of relationship that genuine and OEM component manufacturers have with the automaker.
Aftermarket component manufacturers have paid for the right to make that automaker’s components, and while they often look a little different to genuine and OEM parts, they perform just as well and meet all required quality standards too. They are often the cheapest of new spares. The alternative to all three options above, of course, is used spares – secondhand car parts that are sold as still-good and fit for purpose. Even here, some terms are important, and some considerations even more so. For one thing, what you can repair your car with depends on what you need to repair. Bumpers and panels that will be fitted and sprayed are best replaced with used parts. They have no real working role, or rather, are far more of an aesthetic consideration than a life-saving component like a steering column might be.
Some Used Car Parts Are Refurbished, and Some Are Rebuilt
Something like a bumper or door handle can be visually appraised and then fitted, without any testing or refurbishing necessary. With secondhand car parts, “used spares” implies components that have simply been lifted from another vehicle, cleaned, and offered for sale. This is not the best approach to other car parts, however, which is why reputable outlets will typically also refurbish and even rebuild many used car parts, to ensure their integrity and long-term performance.
Refurbishment implies that car parts have been cleaned, perhaps tweaked slightly with new gaskets or machine screws or bolts and nuts and offered for sale. Refurbished parts are mostly those that don’t demand a complete rebuild but do take a moment to rework somewhat so as the ensure all components within the part are solid. Rebuilt car spares have gone a step further, where the spares dealer has dismantled the component completely and rebuilt it with all new fittings as required. This is as close to a new component as used car parts get, but again remember that not all components demand rebuilding.
A.S.A.P. Spares Will See You Right
Whether genuine or OEM, aftermarket or used car parts will be your best bet on any repair you’re facing, will depend on many things. Insisting on a single route to repair is self-defeating, as no matter your desire to cling strictly to a single stance on car parts, there are going to be times when you would benefit more and be better served by the alternatives. This is why A.S.A.P. Spares offers you the whole tutti – every kind of new part (genuine, OEM, aftermarket) and every form of used spare parts too, including those we either refurbish or rebuild completely.
Our mission is simple – to take the sting out of car part prices and keep you rolling as safely and cost-effectively as possible. We’re a hybrid supplier of whatever you might need, and our long-term customers are testimony to the fact that we provide what we say, we give you the options unambiguously and with their respective pros and cons, and we do it all with great service and a smile! Call on us first when spares become an imminent purchase, and we’ll give you a great deal, and all the reassurance you need that you’re fitting quality components.