Have you ever wondered when it is okay to purchase auto parts from the dealership vs aftermarket parts? Well, personally, I have learned it all depends on what part is being replaced. By definition, an aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that is not sourced from the car maker.

A number of companies make parts designed to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original. Lets start off with a actual example. About two months ago I drove one of our rental vehicles and I heard a slight clicking sound in the front end, right side. I took the vehicle to the company mechanic, he test drove the van and then placed it on a lift. The slight clicking sound was from the right side shock tower bearing. The shock tower bearing needed to be replaced.

I replaced the tower bearing with a aftermarket product. Two months later after a customer returned the rental I heard the identical clicking sound. I was surprised because the company replaced the part just two months earlier. The company mechanic recommended that I replace the same part with a part from the dealership, as opposed to aftermarket so I did.

Two months later, the replacement part from the dealership is holding up pretty good. That is not to say one is better than the other because I can give other examples where I have been happier with aftermarket purchases.

Most aftermarket products performs very well, and even better than the dealership parts. I think it all depends on what part you are replacing. So, if you have purchased aftermarket products for your vehicle and you are happy or a little disappointed in the performance of the product it is best to take note of what products works well from the dealership and what products works well from aftermarket. Both can save you a ton of money down the road.

Here are some pros & con for after market parts

1) Less expensive:

2) Quality can be equal to or greater than OEM: In some cases, you may end up with a better part than you started with. “The aftermarket companies reverse-engineer the part, and work the weaknesses out,

3) More variety: There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket parts

4) Better availability:

1) Quality varies greatly: The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here. Some aftermarket parts are inferior because of the use of lower-quality materials

2) Overwhelming selection:

3) May not have a warranty:

Pros & Con from Dealership parts

1) Comes with a warranty: Most automakers back up their OEM parts with a one-year warranty. And if you get your car repaired at the dealer, they’ll usually stand by their labor as well.

2) Easier to choose your part: If you go to the parts counter at a dealership and ask for any part, you will usually get one type.


1)More expensive

2) Quality may not be superior: You paid the extra money for an OEM part, hoping that it was better than an aftermarket part. But that may not always be the case. Some aftermarket parts are equal to or in some cases better than OEM parts. So you might be paying extra just for the name.

3) Need to be bought at the dealership: most people will go to a dealership to buy their car parts. This limits the number of places you can buy from.