Aftermarket auto parts offer a vast array of choices for car owners looking to repair, maintain or upgrade their vehicles.
For first-time car owners, collectors, and modders, these refer to any parts of a car manufactured by third-party providers.
Usually, a new roll-out comes with its own set of parts in its make and model. If these break down, they cost a lot in repairs and replacements.
For that reason, aftermarket parts are currently popular as a cost-effective alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) pieces. With their great accessibility, customizable aesthetics, and boost in performance, it’s understandable that many car enthusiasts turn to them for their automotive needs.
How To Find The Best Parts
The sheer variety of aftermarket parts and manufacturers can be overwhelming if you’re looking for a specific car component. You also have tons of factors to consider, such as compatibility, quality, and legality of use.
For example, you may be thinking about the benefits of aftermarket gaskets, mufflers, brake pads, and spark plugs, which may help you modify specific aspects of your car’s powertrain performance. But you can’t simply switch parts around because the specs sound good.
Using the incorrect components can lead to compatibility issues, voided warranties, or even diminished vehicle safety.
Navigating the aftermarket landscape can be daunting, with its share of surprises and potential risks. As a car owner, it’s essential to be well-informed and make the right decisions to ensure the best possible outcome for your car.
Here are some valuable insights to remember to help you find the best parts.
Quality should be one of your primary concerns when purchasing aftermarket parts.
This tends to vary since some aftermarket manufacturers develop components that comply with or exceed OEM specifications. Meanwhile, others produce low-quality parts so long as they look the same.
The best way to ensure you’ll get good parts is to research the brand and scrutinize reviews.
It’s best to go for a reputable manufacturer with proper certifications. Check the credentials of the providers you have shortlisted. A manufacturer with a history of producing superb parts while providing good customer service is the best choice.
Manufacturers usually follow the standards of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or CAPA (Certified Automotive Parts Association) for valid certifications. Look for these to know if they actually follow industry regulations.
Today’s aftermarket pieces can be categorized as replacement and performance components.
Replacement pieces are designed to replace damaged or worn-out OEM parts. Some common components include spark plugs, suspension, filters, and spark plugs. The best ones offer the same level of functionality and longevity as the original parts.
Meanwhile, performance pieces aim to improve both performance and aesthetics. Most parts in this category include body kits, exhaust systems, and wheels. If you plan on giving your car a facelift, you typically go for this.
- Price Ranges
Unless you’re a high-roller, price is also essential when buying aftermarket parts.
In general, aftermarket parts cost less than OEM pieces. For budget-conscious car owners, that makes them a truly worthwhile option. However, it’s crucial to note that the price difference may reflect on the quality.
Strike a balance between quality and affordability. Be mindful of components with a lower price tag than others since they may be poorly made. Furthermore, if you need a specific piece after being involved in a car accident, avoid settling for choices with low prices.
Aftermarket parts are more readily available than OEM components, especially if you have an older vehicle. Most aftermarket manufacturers produce pieces for a vast array of makes and models. Car owners, especially those currently using classic or older models, find this a welcome convenience.
For many car owners, compatibility is something to consider with aftermarket parts. Not all parts you find will fit your vehicle, after all.
If you decide to invest in an aftermarket component, verify its compatibility with your car’s model and make. Doing so ensures you can actually use it safely for the long term. Inspect the product description or consult a professional mechanic to learn more.
As mentioned, aftermarket pieces may be an option over OEM parts to boost your vehicle’s performance. Many car enthusiasts prefer the former with the power output, handling, and braking specs they now offer.
However, keep in mind that not all will give a significant boost to performance. Research the parts you have in mind and their intended effects on your vehicle. Some components may require additional tuning or adjustments to achieve the best results.
Similar to their OEM counterparts, aftermarket components typically have a warranty. Before buying, you must review the details.
It’s crucial to compare the length and terms of the warranty to OEM options. Check if it covers any defects in the workmanship and materials. Limitations or exclusions influence your coverage, so get all that down before settling for a purchase.
- Legalities And Insurance-Related Concerns
Depending on state regulations, there are legal and insurance-related concerns to consider before buying aftermarket parts.
In some areas, aftermarket components mods may not be allowed or even harm your insurance coverage.
Know the local protocols for vehicle modifications, such as noise restrictions, emission standards, and safety requirements.
You should also consult your insurance provider before investing in modifications to your car. Some policies don’t offer aftermarket part replacement or repair coverage, though they may be available at higher rates.
Don’t forget to store records or documentation of all the modifications on your vehicle. These may be required by your insurance provider or a shop when you’re putting it through inspection.
Know How To Use Them
The aftermarket industry offers a vast selection of parts that can cater to the specific needs of car owners. They’re affordable and generally reliable as long as you know where you’re getting them.
Whether you’re using them for upgrades or repairs, these insights should help you make good choices for your vehicle. Finding the best aftermarket pieces can make all the difference.
Compare sellers near you and consult the experts for more information.