If you've ever taken your care into a used auto parts store looking for a part, the service technician may have asked you if you want OEM, aftermarket, or genuine auto parts. Although the differences are often subtle, there can be a significant difference in the level of quality.

Below, we explain the differences between each and which is best for your car. Ace Auto Parts carries a wide selection of auto parts. If you are looking for a specific auto component, please ask us.

Do Auto Manufacturers Make Their Parts?

There was a time when auto manufacturers built every part of their cars. Those days are long past, however, as most manufacturers now contract other companies to produce parts for them. 

This is not necessarily bad because many companies specialize in developing and creating these parts for specific manufacturers. Therefore, they're designed no differently and with no less quality.

Breaking Down 3 Different Types of Auto Parts

Replacement auto parts are categorized by the company that built them or how and when you buy them. Let's describe and compare the parts.

1. Genuine Car Parts

A genuine part is an auto component installed in your vehicle when it was first manufactured. Genuine parts are more expensive than other auto parts because they carry the company logo. 

Keep in mind that genuine parts are not necessarily better than OEM or aftermarket parts. 

Ace Auto Parts can give you recommendations on which parts to buy based on their quality and performance rather than who made them. 

2. OEM Car Parts

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are built by the company that initially made the parts for the auto manufacturer. Our OEM parts are precisely the same as those that came with your car. 

The difference is that they don't carry the manufacturer's logo. OEM parts are just as reliable as genuine parts, but you get them for a better value. 

3. Aftermarket Car Parts

Once a car is built, companies can manufacture parts that will work for that vehicle. To do this, they buy the rights to make the parts. The aftermarket parts we sell do not always look like OEM or genuine parts, but they perform the function needed to operate the car. 

Just as you can trust OEM parts, you can rely on aftermarket car parts to work well.

Pros of OEM Parts

What do OEM parts offer? 

Authentic Car Parts

OEM parts will come straight off the assembly line and were specifically created for your vehicle.

Warranty Covered

More often than not, your vehicle's warranty plan will cover OEM car parts shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Simple Choices

Car owners will have fewer part options, allowing for straightforward repair work.

OEM Cons

A few drawbacks that come with OEM…

Higher Price Tag

OEM car parts will always be a more expensive repair option, typically costing on average more than 50 percent higher than aftermarket car parts.

Quality Not Guaranteed

Because of the higher price tag, OEM car parts tend to lack quality because vehicle owners are simply paying more for the car manufacturer's name.

Limited Accessibility

OEM car parts need to be purchased and installed through licensed dealership repair shops, meaning you might have to travel further and longer for your desired car part.

Pros of Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts are a fantastic alternative, and here's why. 

Save Money

As previously stated, aftermarket car parts will save you significant money while not sacrificing quality or assurance.

Ample Accessibility

Independent auto part stores and repair shops are more widely available to accommodate you with any repair or installation needs.   

More Variety

Professional car service workers will provide you with more car part options to suit your vehicle and financial needs.

Quality Upside

Aftermarket car parts can often leave you with equal or greater quality than paying more for OEM car parts.

Aftermarket Cons

If you are considering aftermarket parts, there are a few potential drawbacks.

Varying Quality

It's possible to experience varying degrees of quality depending on mechanic experience or aftermarket car part price.

Warranty Coverage

Depending on the warranty plan, aftermarket car part expenses may not be covered, but you may be able to add on addicitonal coverage for a cost. 

Immense Options

Having more options of car parts to choose from may prove overwhelming or stressful. Ultimately, choosing between OEM or aftermarket car parts depends on what you're comfortable with for your vehicle, be it quality assurance, maintenance budget, or repair urgency. 

The main thing to keep in mind is that it's always a good idea to get a second opinion on car part solutions.

Ace Auto Parts Has What You Need in Minnesota 

No matter what type of part you need, Ace Auto Parts has it. We carry a large selection of used auto parts, tires, and batteries. If you have a specific part in mind, you can download our app and instantly find it. 

You can also call us at 651-717-4299, or you can message us on our contact page. We provide used auto parts for Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota vehicle owners.