Oh, that sweet ride, your baby, has seen better days, hasn’t it? It needs a little TLC, or maybe a lot. Whether it needs work inside or out, there are dozens upon dozens of auto repair shops to choose from. How do you compare one from another?
Why You Should Be Aware Of OEM:
Most people don’t spend their spare time thinking about auto parts. Usually the only time they think about parts are when they need them, and often the only time they need them is in an emergency. Everyone knows to call different shops for estimates, but do we really understand the difference between prices? Do we know what we’re getting from each shop? Do we even know there’s a difference between parts? When you get an estimate, you need to know if that includes generic parts or parts made by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Although generics may be cheaper, there is often a big difference in the way they work in your vehicle. They may actually cost more in the long run.
So What Are OEM Parts?
Whether they know it or not, drivers usually have a choice about what kinds of parts they want to buy. They can choose generic discount parts or they can choose parts made by the original equipment manufacturer, called OEM parts. Some vehicle manufacturers produce generic parts, but they take careful measures to leave off any indication of who produced them, so you can’t really tell where the generic part comes from. You also can’t tell if generic parts are made of the same material or same grade of material as OEMs, so how do you know if what you’re getting will really work in the long run? It’s important to note that if you’re working with an insurance company to get your car repaired, Nevada law doesn’t require insurance companies to pay for OEM parts. You can, however, pay the difference in price between generic and OEM product to get what’s best for your vehicle.
What Are The Other Factors To Consider With OEM Parts?
Although generic parts may cost less up front, it’s often better in the long run to choose OEM parts. Generics may not be made of the same grade of material as OEMs and those parts may break faster than OEMs, requiring replacement sooner. Generics may not fit quite right, requiring more time spent to make it fit and work properly, so where you may save in cost of parts, you pay more in labor. Sure, with generics you may save a few bucks up front, but how much more often will you need to replace that part?
Consider Warranties And Support
When considering generic parts versus OEM parts, you want to consider warranties. Most generic parts don’t come with warranties, whereas OEM parts do. The manufacturer that produced your vehicle will guarantee that when you buy parts from them for that vehicle, those parts will work properly and if they don’t, they’ll issue a replacement within a certain time period. The shop that installed the parts will confidently stand by those parts, as well, and will usually offer support if the part isn’t working correctly. Because generics are…so generic, and no one really knows what they’re made of, repair shops can’t guarantee how long they’ll last or that they’ll even work like they’re supposed to.
You also need to consider your vehicle’s warranty. If your vehicle is still under warranty, you need to know if that warranty is canceled if you choose generic parts. Manufacturers can’t guarantee a vehicle if it’s operating with parts that come from somewhere else. Engine parts, especially, are meant to fit together to work together. If a generic is put in, it may not fit just right which may eventually damage other parts.
What Questions Should You Be Asking?
When it’s time for some TLC for your vehicle, ask for referrals on repair shops from people you trust. Check the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are not complaints against the shops you’re considering. When you ask for a quote, make sure you know what you’re getting. Does the quote include OEM parts or generics? What is the price difference between the two? Does the repair shop you’re considering offer a warranty on parts on top of the warranty offered by the manufacturer? When you ask the right questions, you have a better understanding of what you’re paying for and the value you get when you choose OEM parts.