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OEM Products

For what OEM product is there a better non-OEM available.I can think of radios and tires,maybe lubricants (like Red Line products) or maybe gaskets.

Possibly Shock absorbers, and struts, but OEM have gotten much better.

Ball joint, and end links with actual grease fittings.

You can upgrade nearly any part of a car. Wiper blades, wheels, ignition wires, shifter knobs, you name it. Everyone has his own idea of what is ‘better.’ You and I might consider only functionality. Others will consider appearance, performance, or head-turning appeal. They too are right.

And definitely brakes.

But then you hear “due to liabilty issues some mechanics will only reccommend OEM parts” some people worry non OEM parts will cause warranty denial issues.

Then why would someone bring their car to someone other than the dealer (for non-oem parts) if the car is still under warranty?

IMO, it depends on what parts were talking about. Some after-market maintenance parts may be available in better quality than OEM (tires, brakes, fluids, filters, etc.). In general, I would only use OEM for critical parts.

Keep in mind that some of the dealer parts counter parts are not the same as supplied originally with the vehicle.

True, and in some cases there was more than one OEM supplier for a specific part. For example, my make/mode of car was shipped with two different turbocharger brands and two different brake caliper brands.

I just remembered one; I replaced my Bosch alternator with a Denso based on my shops advice.

In my line of work, I commonly use non OEM parts simply because most of the time, the non OEM’s are much better quality than OEM’s. For example, in the GM 4L60E transmission, the aftermarket sun shells are much higher quality, and stronger than the GM part. On this same transmission, valve body repair kits to cure common problems are much better than the GM fix. Honda automatics IMO require Genuine Honda clutch frictions only, while I would use aftermarket Borg Warner frictions in GM’s.

These are only a couple of examples.


Moog suspension parts are better than OEM.

i usually use after market parts. i find them to be better than oem!! the only thing i tend to use oem are sensors and switches!!!

Any name brand aftermarket part is fine IMO. Many of those OEM “as from the car factory” parts are made by outside companies who also manufacture and sell the same part under a dozen different names.

A good example could be ball joints, tie rods, etc. TRW provides these parts to many resellers who market them under different names and TRW also provides many car makers with the same part; Nissan, GM, Toyota, Ford, etc.
The ball joint you buy at the parts house under the XYZ brand name may have rolled off the same assembly line as the OEM ones you’re replacing.

The same thing with belts, air bags, brake parts, CV joints, fuel pumps, injectors, electrics, and so on.
Even many transmission assemblies are not made by the car maker. Companies like JATCO may provide transmissions for Nissan and Chrysler, Borg-Warner for SAAB, etc.

Most cars are pretty much a collection of sub contracted parts. I think that some car makers even farm out their seats and have no hand in making those.

You do have to be careful of some after-market parts, for example the McParts store (NAPA) belts for my cars are the approximate english equivalent of the correct SI width and tend not to last very long. Also, the after-market oil cooler hoses for my car have resulted in a few disasters that I’ve heard about (my shop refuses to touch them), same goes for after-market timing chains, and there are some very crappy after-marker half shafts on the market for my car from those McParts stores (the only ones that are any good are OEM and a couple of reputable re-builders). Some after-market cosmetic parts (light lenses, etc) are pretty marginal quality too.

OTOH, I recently replaced my ignition switch with an after-marker part that obviously came from the same source as the dealer part (I did buy a OEM tumbler to get the correct key). Also, I routinely use after-market windshield glass even though the markings are not correct (I consider windshields a maintenance item anyway).

As someone pointed out, part of the issue is what a specific person is happy with.

In my case, while I know there may be better after-market parts for my Toyota, I also know as a general rule, Toyota parts will usually give good service. And, I simply do not have the experience to know which parts would be better. So, Toyota parts it is.

One thing I will not do except in dire straits is use rebuilt parts. I have heard all my life how rebuilt parts are “just as good as new and cheaper.” Yet, over my lifetime, rebuilt parts have tended to last about 10 -20% as long as the original parts lasted. IMO, using rebuilt parts mean converting a good car to junk as rapidly as you install the rebuilt parts.

When my Sienna no longer has new parts available, it is time to get a new(er) car.

Oh, yeah, another thing they say is, “Our rebuilt parts are better.” Hahahaheeheeheehohoho.

Maybe the car is out of warranty, but the (previously replaced) parts are are under warranty.

When I changed the sparkplugs for it’s first time on my 4runner…The drivers side had Denso plugs and the passenger side had NGK.

GM had some major problems with intake manifolds and gaskets…ANY OEM replacement part for them was far better.

I’ve always found better aftermarket shocks, suspension parts, electronics then OEM. In fact it’s very very rare I’ll buy OEM parts. Usually the reason is because no one sells the part so it’s OEM only.

Any name brand aftermarket part is fine IMO. Many of those OEM “as from the car factory” parts are made by outside companies who also manufacture and sell the same part under a dozen different names.

No automanufacturer makes auto glass. AC/Delco makes sparkplugs and a lot of the other electronics for GM. NGK makes the plugs for Nissan, Toyota and Honda. In fact all of those manufacturers show the replacement plug as a NGK plug number. Manufacturers don’t make shocks…Koni and KYB are the OEM supplier for Nissan…Blistien for Toyota…the list goes on and on.

Companies like JATCO may provide transmissions for Nissan and Chrysler, Borg-Warner for SAAB, etc.

Also many parts are cross made. Chryco (New Process Gear) makes transfer cases for Ford and GM.