If you love cars like we do, you want the best for them. Car dealerships know this and sometimes they take advantage of your desire to want the best for your baby. Sometimes there is no substitute for the real thing, from the people that know and made your car. So how do you know when it’s worth the extra cost to buy from a dealer or O.E.M. (which stands for original equipment manufacturer)?
The first question to answer is what part(s) are you buying or replacing? If it’s something like an oil filter, spark plugs, or wiper blades, you should know that those parts are almost never manufactured by your auto maker. Instead, they are re-branded or in some cases, the OEM doesn’t even hide the fact that they didn’t make the part (spark plugs for your 2010 Hyundai Tucson anyone?). These are the times when you should definitely shop aftermarket. You can sometimes save over 50% in price, and you’re getting the EXACT same part.
Generally speaking, anything with electronics, sensitive components or patented design (lifter components on some GM applications for example) are things to buy directly from the OEM.
But – buying OEM doesn’t mean you always have to buy from a $tealership. If you can get the OEM part number, you can do a search for that part, and sometimes land it from an official OEM vendor for much less. Walmart has started selling some OEM products online, as has Amazon.
For a recap, and some examples, watch our video.