Buying aftermarket parts for your vehicle can save you a lot of money. Buying OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts from the dealership can be costly, and the more money you can save the better. You can purchase parts online or at any chain or specialty auto parts store. Doing some research online can give you an idea of the price, as well as give you some manufacturers for the parts you are looking for.
If you need the part right away, you may want to search a local auto parts store’s website to check the availability of the part and the price. If it is something that you do not need right away, and you find a cheaper price than the auto parts store quotes, by all means, save the money buying it online. There are things you need to keep in mind before you buy any parts for your car. You always want to be sure that you are getting a quality part that you can depend on at a good price.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
First, you need to know the difference between the terms aftermarket and OEM (original manufacturer equipment). You may or may not know that auto manufactures do not make their own parts. They hire outside companies to manufacture the parts they use to build the vehicles, the sell them through dealerships with the auto manufacturers logo on the box. There are, however, a few manufacturers that make the parts they use, and if you own one of these cars, chances are you are not fixing it yourself. So any part you buy from a dealer is made to the manufacturer’s specification to be identical to the original part you are replacing, but the extra cost is for the box with the carmakers name on it. Aftermarket parts are less expensive, but usually, not of any less quality than an OEM part. Aftermarket parts are produced by companies that buy the patent to the specifications for the original part, and produce it at a lesser cost. They also use their own name on the product, leaving the extra cost of having a “brand” name on the part. There are companies that cut corners in making aftermarket parts, so you want to do some research before you take advantage of what may not end up being a good deal after all.
Search the net and read reviews
Now that you know that aftermarket parts are supposed to be made to the exact specifications that the dealer designed, you can check some online reviews for parts makers. Most legitimate online parts sites will allow customers who have purchased a part to offer a review. It is sometimes worth spending a little time reading them to make sure you are getting the quality part that you should be. You want to check prices on a few different sites as well as the customer reviews to determine which is the best one to buy. Do not let the price be the only aspect of why you decide to purchase a specific part, the cheaper part may be better quality than the one that is a little more expensive and vice versa. Once you find the best reviews and best price on the parts you need, look on the site for any special offers they have as well. Sometime they will offer free shipping if you purchase over a certain amount, or include a coupon in your order for a discount on your next purchase. You also want to make sure that the parts are guaranteed, and the guarantee outlines the procedure in case there are problems with the part. If there is no guarantee on the part, find somewhere else to buy it. One you find a website that offers good parts at good prices, it is a good idea to keep using them and take advantage of other money saving offers they may have.
Aftermarket performance parts
If you are buying aftermarket performance parts, you want to stay with a company that does nothing but that. You obviously do not want to buy an air intake from a company that sells dog collars as well. Most aftermarket high performance parts can be expensive no matter where you look. This is one time that you want to find a good manufacturer and stick with them. Buying aftermarket performance parts from an unknown manufacturer or one that sells things other than parts can cost you more than just the price of the part. Finding aftermarket performance parts is not difficult as there are many sites for car enthusiasts that will give unbiased opinions on parts. If it works for them, it will probably work for you as well. The same principle applies to high performance parts as well as replacement parts, the most expensive is not always the best and the lease expensive is not always the worst. Pay attention to customer reviews, and be realistic about what you want to spend.
Taking you time to research aftermarket parts, both replacement and high performance can save you a lot of time and money. Find reputable sites and read the customer reviews; they are one of the best ways to make sure that you are getting a good product at a reasonable price. Do not skimp on price when you should not, it will just ending up costing you more anyway.