OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts

African American auto repair mechanic (30s) with female customer (40s) looking under car hood. Focus on man.

If you’ve ever been in an accident, you may have been asked if you’d prefer OEM or aftermarket parts during the repair process. Even if you haven’t, accidents happen, and this handy discussion is relevant to any person that may be faced with the dreaded question, “Would you like OEM or aftermarket?”. 

Look, accidents are more than skin deep. It’s important for you to understand the difference so you can make the best decision for you and your car.

What Are OEM Parts?

Original Equipment Manufactured parts, (OEM) parts, are components that we use on or in a vehicle that come from the original equipment’s manufacturer. Understanding the difference between OEM parts and aftermarket parts can help you determine where you need to go for collision repair.

Different Types of Auto Parts

Automotive manufacturers once built every component used in the vehicles that bore their name. However, that is no longer the case, as many companies outsource their parts’ production. The outsourcing doesn’t necessarily impact the quality. The companies that create these products often specialize in parts for specific manufacturers. Whether a replacement part is OEM or aftermarket depends on who manufactured it.

If a vehicle suffers damage in a crash, it might need some of its parts replaced beyond cosmetic repairs. The body shop you take your vehicle to can typically get the parts needed, but the type of parts you get will depend on several factors. One of these is your auto insurance. The three types of parts for automotive repairs are OEM, aftermarket parts, and “recycled” – or used.

Differences Between OEM Parts and Aftermarket Parts

Where you have a repair done will impact what type of parts you get. For example, if you take your vehicle to a dealership, you can be sure you’re getting OEM parts. Independent collision repair shops link Burnside Body Shop are more likely to use aftermarket parts.

The original equipment manufacturer that provides OEM parts is the company that produces the parts used in the production of the vehicle.

In the auto parts world, OEM refers to the company that manufactured the original parts used when the vehicle was newly constructed. Because OEM parts are made by a specific manufacturer to align with a vehicle’s exact specifications, they fit perfectly into that space.

Aftermarket parts refer to those made by any company other than the company the automotive manufacturer contracts with to make its parts. Companies that produce aftermarket parts can make them at a higher volume, and one part might fit multiple makes and models instead of a single vehicle. Aftermarket parts tend to be “good enough”.

Which Parts Are Best?

At Burnside, we believe that OEM parts are better than aftermarket part. Simply put, they are a perfect fit for your vehicle’s make and model. OEM brings you back to that brand-new experience that you received when you first purchased the car. You can also expect these parts to be there for the long-haul. Also, for some vehicle owners, knowing that every component in their car is an OEM part is important. 

Pros and Cons of OEM Parts

As you decide whether to use OEM or aftermarket parts, consider the pros and cons of each:

  • Assurance of quality: When you choose an OEM part, it fits and functions exactly as the part it is replacing. It is the same part as what was originally installed during the manufacturing process. This can provide you with peace of mind knowing how it will perform and its quality.
  • Price: The price of OEM parts have historically been higher than the price of comparable aftermarket parts, but there seems to be a shift in the industry; prices of OEM parts are going down. READ
  • More variety: Hundreds of companies produce aftermarket parts. Some of those companies specialize in a particular set of parts, while others make nearly every part needed for any make and model. With more variety comes more competitive pricing and a wider selection of options.
  • Overwhelming selection: Although more options in aftermarket parts can be a good thing, it can also cause you to feel overwhelmed, especially if you’re not familiar with the different brands and their quality. The wide selection of choices could result in you choosing a lower-quality part. Even something as simple as a spark plug comes from hundreds of brands and in all variations.

At Burnside, we use OEM parts for your collision repair work. There is nothing better than having your car back to its original state. We know you want to keep your vehicle in superb condition for years to come and that is exactly why Burnside Body Shop is here for! You deserve peace of mind. 

Give us a call or check out our website HERE for more information on collision repair.

Tips For Driving to Grandma’s For Thanksgiving

We know how exciting it is to get on the road for the holidays and relive your childhood through memories, good food and family. We also know that before you embark on that road trip, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle maintenance checked so you aren’t inconvenienced during your trip. Because let’s face it, expenses happen when we least expect it. Here is Burnside’s checklist to consider before you take your trip.

What Should I Check For? 

No matter the age of your vehicle, before that road trip to Grandma’s you should be observing your car for any maintenance needs, both big and small. Are you up to date on your oil change? Have you checked your tires? Are your taillights and headlights working properly? 

Remember, a little prevention goes a long way! 

The Maintenance Checklist


  • Rotation: Make sure your tires don’t need to be rotated – unbalanced tires can wear unevenly and eventually impact how smooth your drive is. 
  • Have a Spare: It’s better to have a spare and not need it than to need a spare and not have it. Make your you equip your car with a healthy spare. 
  •  Air Pressure: Essential for a long drive, make sure your tires have a sufficient amount of air and are equal. 
  • Tread: Make sure your tire is free from bald spots or punctures. If you can have it repaired, do it before the trip. If your tire is irreparable have them replaced.


  • Engine Oil: Make sure that you are up to date on your oil change. 
  • Radiator: Check your antifreeze levels and make sure you have a sufficient amount for your trip. 
  • Brake Fluid: Critical and sometimes overlooked, having a sufficient level of brake fluid can make the difference in avoiding a crash. 
  • Transmission: Ensure your vehicle has a suitable amount of transmission fluid. 
  • Windshield: Don’t let the bugs take over your windshield! Make sure your windshield fluid levels are adequate so you can easily keep your visibility up while you drive. 

The Rest: 

  • Lightbulbs: Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety risk, so make certain they function normally. While you are at it, inspect your turn signal lights and parking lights. You could also update to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power usage. 
  • Air Filter: An inexpensive fix – keep your ride comfortable with cleaner air as you embark on your long trip and replace your filter. 
  • Belts and Hoses:  Have your vehicle inspected for any leaks and have them replaced. 
  • Battery:  Look to ensure the battery terminals are not worn away and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your automobile starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes:  Having the ability to stop your automobile capably is key in preventing collisions. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and obtaining new brake rotors could be needed to have a risk-free vehicle for your trip.

Burnside Maintenance 

Want to bring your car to us for an inspection? Feel free to call us and schedule your appointment: (209) 521-6570 or click here to send us your info

Road Trip Ready! 

Now that you have your maintenance done, you and your family are ready to drive safely to Grandma’s! So enjoy the food, fun and festivities that is he holidays.