The US aftermarket car part industry is set to be worth $281 billion by 2023. These are car parts that independent companies produce to help auto-owners improve their vehicles’ looks and performance.

The biggest question you’ll face as a car owner is OEM or Aftermarket. There are pros and cons for both, and the source you choose will depend on several factors.

This guide will help you decide whether OEM or aftermarket parts are better for your modding goals.

What Are OEM Parts?

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. The vehicle’s original manufacturer designs and develops the parts. You can buy them from the manufacturer, a local dealer or service center, or an authorized dealer.

What Are Aftermarket Parts?

Car parts that a third-party company makes are called aftermarket parts. Common examples of these are wheels, windshield wipers, seat covers, and performance parts.

You can buy these in person or online from any company that makes parts. Some parts have a universal fitment, meaning you can use them on almost any vehicle. Other parts are specifically designed for use with a particular make, model, and year.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?

Typically, aftermarket parts are more affordable than the OEM option. As long as you aren’t buying fake car parts, the quality will be about the same.

However, you’ll see more consistency with quality when buying OEM parts. Quality can vary greatly in the aftermarket market because each seller sets its own standards.

If performance is important for you, then consider aftermarket parts. Manufacturers must follow government regulations and inspection requirements. Aftermarket parts manufacturers don’t, which means they can push your vehicle’s performance to the limit.

This leads to aftermarket parts helping you achieve better performance stats. However, keep in mind that these parts may not be legal everywhere.

Using aftermarket parts can also void any warranties that are in place. This may not be an issue if your vehicle is older, but it can be an issue if your car is newer.

OEM parts are designed with your specific car’s make, model, year, and trim in mind. This means that your new parts fit perfectly. Unfortunately, aftermarket parts may not have the compatibility necessary to make installation simple.

When to Only Buy OEM?

If you want to preserve the integrity of your original vehicle, then working with a company like My Japan Direct will help you only buy OEM parts. You can also be confident that you purchased genuine car parts that fit perfectly with your vehicle.

Is OEM or Aftermarket Right for You?

Deciding between OEM or Aftermarket parts requires you to consider your budget, modification goals, mechanical experience, and vehicle age. If you have an older vehicle and mechanical experience, then you’ll benefit from buying aftermarket parts. On the other hand, car owners with newer vehicles and less experience will do better with genuine OEM parts.

Check out our other car articles for more helpful advice on customizing your ride.

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