Sooner or later preventive maintenance is no longer going to be of much use. It could be the result of rough driving or the car aging that causes a need for parts to be replaced. The repair work is not always cheap and sometimes an automotive center will try to cut corners on the overall costs. Before you determine if genuine or other parts are being used, you should know a little bit more about automotive components in general.
Salvage parts are the lowest common denominator when it comes to repair work. These are taken from other cars and are probably not in the very best condition. Frankly, it is risky business to use salvage parts for something like the distributor or the alternator. Brake repair is also something that you shouldn’t risk using salvage parts. Ordinarily, an automotive center is going to be using either Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Aftermarket parts. There is a difference between these two it comes to both quality and price.
The automobile manufacturer makes OEM parts. These are the same that are put in your car as it is being made. These are brand new, never been used, components. They are very high quality parts. They are more expensive than other types of parts but they ordinarily come with a one year warranty.
The Aftermarket parts are not made by the automobile manufacturer. These are created by another company and are intended to function as if they were original parts even though they are not. These do not cost as much as the OEM parts, and the quality may not be as good. This is also a situation where the Aftermarket offers a very wide selection of choice. That can be a problem because you may end up getting inferior part due to making the wrong choice.
Where do problems happen? A major area deals with the warranty you may have on your car. The manufacturer could stipulate in the warranty only OEM parts may be used in a repair situation. If your automotive center does not use the OEM parts, the car manufacturer may not honor the warranty. People think that Aftermarket parts are not going to be any problem because they are close to the original. In fact, some are more inclined to Aftermarket parts because they cost less. Nevertheless, while the Aftermarket parts may work well in ordinary repair situation a collision repair is entirely different. The Aftermarket parts may not be able to properly fit and that can cause difficulties later on. Salvage parts, used in a collision repair are definitely a risk to the point of even being a safety hazard.
Your warranty may insist on your using OEM parts. If you have a higher price car Aftermarket parts can decrease the resale value of your vehicle. Something to keep in mind is that automotive centers will not automatically use OEM parts. It is cheaper to use the Aftermarket variety, and insurance companies encourage the use of the Aftermarket parts. Insurance companies will go so far as to insist that you pay for the difference in cost between the Aftermarket and the OEM part. Still, if you feel that an OEM part is what is necessary, or if the warranty says it is necessary, you have every right to insist on it being used. The best way to know if the OEM parts are being used is to bluntly ask the service center technician what parts are being used. The technician has no choice but to tell the truth or risk a lawsuit for fraud. If this same person tries to convince you to use Aftermarket parts either stand your ground or just go someplace else. The insistence by insurance company of using Aftermarket parts only is sufficient reason to change companies.
It is your car that is getting serviced and you have a right to expect those parts you request are being used. If you’re shopping around for an automotive service center, you can ask what parts are typically used in any repair or replacement. This can help you determine whether or not the place is worth your while. Aftermarket parts may be of good quality but warranties very rarely cover them. OEM parts usually have a warranty and that is a plus in their favor. Asking the service technicians what parts are used is a question they need to answer. If they refuse to, then that service center is the last place with whom you should do business.