Whether you need a repair, it’s time for some maintenance, or you’re looking for a performance upgrade, you’ll have an important decision to make — do you spend the money on OEM or do you opt for aftermarket parts? Before you make your decision, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and whether your choice will impact the longevity of your BMW. Here’s what you need to know.
The term “OEM” stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.” OEM parts have been approved by BMW for their vehicle production. However, the parts are not always made by BMW.
Many vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, outsource part production to other companies. BMW provides quality requirements and mechanical design specifications and allows multiple companies to place bids. When a company is chosen, they’re the only manufacturer officially authorized to make the part for the vehicle’s original production.
This means that your spark plugs may be made by Bosch or NGK, shocks made by Sachs or Bilstein, and brake pads made by Jurid or Pagid. While they’re not made by BMW, these are the same parts that were in your BMW when it left the factory.
Pros of OEM Parts
OEM parts are often the best choice because they’ve been tested and approved by the car company. This ensures that they meet the company’s high quality and safety standards. They’re also guaranteed to fit your vehicle correctly.
In most cases, OEM parts are also covered by the car company’s warranty policy. For example, most BMW OEM parts are covered for 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Cons of OEM Parts
The biggest complaint about OEM parts is that they typically cost more than a comparable aftermarket part. You also need to pay close attention to what you’re buying. Some providers will throw out terms like “OEM Quality” or “Meets or Exceeds OEM Standards.” This does not mean that you’re purchasing an OEM part. In fact, there’s a good chance that these parts are subpar and won’t last.
After-market parts are made by companies that don’t have a contract with the vehicle manufacturer. For example, Sylvania may have the contract for producing your BMW’s turn signal, but if you look online, you’ll find hundreds of alternatives for replacing your original bulb.
You can find after-market versions of almost every vehicle part. While some are excellent, others are definitely not anything to get excited about.
Pros of After-Market Parts
One of the biggest benefits of after-market parts is that they give buyers plenty of options. You can do a lot of customization with after-market parts and can sometimes find parts that will give you exceptional performance upgrades.
There’s also the matter of price. In almost all cases, after-market parts are going to be the least expensive option. However, this comes with a trade-off.
Cons of After-Market Parts
While after-market parts are typically less expensive, it’s also true that you often get what you pay for. Choosing after-market parts could end up costing you more in the long run. Since they’re not made to BMW’s exact specifications, there’s a chance the parts you buy won’t fit quite right. They may also be defective or simply won’t hold up for as long as an OEM part would.
After-market parts also don’t usually come with a warranty. If there’s a problem with a part you bought, you’ll often end up spending more money than you would if you had purchased an OEM part in the first place. This is particularly true when you have to pay labor costs multiple times.
Finally, the wide variety of choices can be intimidating to the average person. When you choose OEM, you never have to wonder whether you’re getting the right part.
Trust the Experts at The Haus
At The Haus, we only use BMW OEM parts or equivalent. This is a standard of our businesses. We believe this decision helps ensure the highest quality experience and vehicle service. However, when it’s time to make the choice for your vehicle, you don’t have to do it on your own.
Our experienced, qualified technicians will help you weigh the pros and cons of both options so you can make the best choice for your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more!