OEM Versus Aftermarket Parts

What Kind of Parts are Body Shops Using on My Car?

If you’ve ever had auto body work done, you may have heard the terms “OEM” and “aftermarket” used to describe the types of parts that may be used in your repair. But not everyone knows what these terms mean or how insurance companies decide which type of parts they’ll pay for, so here we go …

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, so OEM parts are produced by the company that originally manufactured your vehicle, whether Ford, Honda or whatever make you drive.

Aftermarket refers to replacement parts that are made by other companies after the vehicle is manufactured. These parts are built according the manufacturer’s specifications, and while some people have the impression that they are not as good as OEM, this isn’t always the case. In fact, they may be equivalent to or better than OEM parts.

But aftermarket parts are often less expensive than their OEM counterparts, which can represent a cost savings to insurance providers. In some cases, your insurance company may only be willing to pay for aftermarket parts for your repair.

Does that mean you’re getting stuck with lower quality parts? No. In this situation, the insurance company is legally required to warrant, in writing, that the aftermarket part is at least as good as its OEM equivalent. This warranty should appear on the paperwork your adjuster gives you.

The body shop is legally required to clearly identify every part listed in your repair estimate as either OEM or aftermarket, so you’ll always know which ones are included in your cost quote. You can still tell the body shop to use the OEM part, but you’ll probably be required to pay the cost difference out of pocket.

The important thing to remember is that aftermarket parts are often as good as—or even better than—OEM parts. At Auto Craft, we want nothing more than to return your car to the condition it was in before your collision (or better condition), and these legal requirements allow us to make sure this is always the case.

Hope that helps! Give us a call, if you have other questions about insurance or collision repair. And remember, we have lots of locations in the Wichita area, a shop in Junction City, and our newest location, Auto Craft Collision Repair in Tulsa, Oklahoma.