Are Aftermarket Parts OK to Use For Repairs?

A stock photo of random car parts.

Can You Use Aftermarket Parts for Auto Repairs?

Southside Dodge sells some of the most reliable vehicle platforms available in the global automotive industry. However, problems and breakdowns occasionally happen, and when you’re looking for repairs it’s important to choose a facility that you can trust. The Southside Dodge Service Department is such a place. Not only do we have decades of experience working on Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models, but we perform all work on those vehicles using factory-approved original equipment manufacturer parts and components. It’s not uncommon for people to ask us about using aftermarket parts to cut down costs. Let’s examine that idea a little.

READ MORE: What Tires Should You Use in Spring or Summer?

What’s the Difference Between Aftermarket and OEM Parts?

The automotive industry is filled with vague terminology that can easily confuse people not familiar with it. Aftermarket parts are automotive components that are built by a company that is generally not affiliated with an automaker. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are built by a company that is affiliated with an automaker. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles all fall under the Stellantis umbrella and use Mopar parts and components. 

When our service department works on customer vehicles, we use factory-approved parts. So, the answer to the question, ‘Can you use aftermarket parts for auto repairs,’ is a little complicated. Yes, there are some good aftermarket parts out there, but there are risks.

Why Should You Use OEM Parts?

First things first, using OEM parts is likely going to add a little bit of cost to repairs. However, it’s important to consider what those few extra dollars actually deliver. There are three distinct reasons why using OEM parts should be your first preference:

  1. Easier to Find: Whether you have the work done at our shop or do it yourself at home, finding OEM parts is as easy as walking into our parts department and asking for them. You won’t need to worry about comparing features.
  2. Quality Assured: Because the OEM parts are specifically designed by the automaker, you can have the utmost confidence that they will perform as promised. The peace of mind that comes with using familiar parts cannot be discounted.
  3. Warranty Protection: The best reason to employ OEM parts is that they are often covered by a warranty if there is some kind of accidental defect in the part.

Reasons to Avoid Aftermarket Parts for Repairs

Naturally, people want to save as much money as they can, anywhere they can. Certainly, there are some places where aftermarket parts can be used, but there are some things you should consider before using them:

  • Variable Quality: Not all aftermarket parts are built with the same quality as OEM parts. To be sure, some aftermarket parts makers do a great job that can rival OEM parts, but it takes time, trial and error to find those parts.
  • Overwhelming Options: OEM parts are only produced by a few companies using a few brand names. Aftermarket parts are found under the guise of a nearly endless list of brands. Again, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of these parts.
  • Unclear Warranty Protections: One of the reasons that aftermarket parts can cost less than OEM parts is a lack of warranty protections. If someone uses these parts and something goes wrong, the vehicle owner could be left out in the cold.

Make an appointment with the Southside Dodge Service Department if you have any questions about the best way to keep your vehicle running in peak condition.