Author Topic: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?  (Read 8396 times)

Making Cookies

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Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« on: February 14, 2016, 06:32:16 PM »
Just returned home from getting a replacement set of spark plug wires from Auto Zone.

The factory Honda wires lasted nearly 200K miles. These replacement wires lasted about 36K miles.

This isn't the first time I've seen after market parts fail to measurement up to the OEM parts that came with the car when I purchased it new in '99.

I went through this with aftermarket radiators too. Factory lasted ~160K miles, discount replacement lasted 13 months, next replacement (NAPA) lasted 8 years, and I'm running the replacement for that radiator (lifetime replacement).

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 11:59:58 PM »
Just returned home from getting a replacement set of spark plug wires from Auto Zone.

The factory Honda wires lasted nearly 200K miles. These replacement wires lasted about 36K miles.

This isn't the first time I've seen after market parts fail to measurement up to the OEM parts that came with the car when I purchased it new in '99.

I went through this with aftermarket radiators too. Factory lasted ~160K miles, discount replacement lasted 13 months, next replacement (NAPA) lasted 8 years, and I'm running the replacement for that radiator (lifetime replacement).

I stopped buying Auto Zone after market parts long ago. Auto Zone starters, alternators, radiators, and the like, they are all trash. I've had ok luck with their batteries, provided you buy their best (but Sears, K-Mart and Costco batteries are better). Brand names, like motor oil and spark plugs are fine.

I have found NAPA to be better quality for replacement parts. You have to ask for their best quality part, as they carry cheaper stuff too.
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Primm

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 03:39:18 AM »
I've had mixed results with aftermarket parts. On one car I went through two aftermarket water pumps, both of them ate themselves out from the inside and I ended up putting in a genuine one.

On another car I replaced something (suspension bushes? Can't remember.) with aftermarket ones on the advice of a mechanic friend because they were better than the original, and he was right.

So short answer is, it depends.

mies

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 04:10:58 AM »
I usually go OEM unless it's not easily available.
Less is more.

lthenderson

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 07:27:07 AM »
As I age and my wealth has increased, I go with OEM if at all possible. It seems with modern car computers, things are regulated so tightly that even if manufacturers say it is a direct replacement, I've had non-OEM stuff throw faults. The last time was a couple years back when I had the spark plugs changed in my car while other work was being done. They put non-OEM ones in that threw a fault. After replacing with OEM, the problem went away. Had this happen with sensors in the car as well. Plus, the OEM stuff just seems to last longer offsetting the price premium.

Jack

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 08:08:49 AM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.

ketchup

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 08:23:17 AM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
This.  Also, you can usually figure out who really made the "OEM" part and get it cheaper without the car manufacturer markup.  For example, I figured out that the oxygen sensor in my '92 Buick was made by Delphi, so instead of buying the GM part, I bought the Delphi part and saved a few bucks.

Unless a car is knowingly on its way out, then I'll string it along with the cheapest parts, not caring if they crap out early because it won't matter.

Syonyk

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 09:00:23 AM »
OEM or high grade NAPA at this point.

College? Cheapest part I could find that might work. :)
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acroy

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 09:23:16 AM »
OEM or high-grade aftermarket (often via Amazon!)
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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 12:51:56 PM »
Lots of quality answers. I have a buddy that works for an independent shop.  On many specific repairs, they will tell you that if you do not want spend the extra for an OEM replacement, you need to find another shop to do the work. Prior to that they would have issues like aftermarket radiators that failed 3X in the same vehicle, and alternators with failure rates approaching 50%.

As others stated, it's not everything, but if you don't know what to avoid, it can be a huge waste of time.

Gibbelstein

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 11:13:55 AM »
Interesting to see how everyone else feels.  One more data point:

I often use aftermarket without a problem.  Most people do, I think, but the bad examples stand out more. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Availability_heuristic ) Plus no story is as boring as "I changed this part and it met or exceeded my expected lifespan for it." My buying patterns have changed some with the decreasing shittiness of cars I own and increasing availability of inexpensive, higher quality parts online.  I also think that following the word of shops is of limited use because their reasoning also involves things that the individual is not as worried about (we don't mark up the price of the part to ourselves, right? =) ).  Personally, I avoid NAPA when possible because I think their counter person 'expertise' is as exaggerated as the cost of their merchandise. I spent many hours (always on a Sunday night, somehow) of my youth calling all of the parts stores in town to compare price/availability of the part we needed to get someone to work the next day. (I'm not as old as that makes me sound, I swear.)

For me the calculation involves:
  • COST
  • Whether it is a wearable part (i.e. brake rotor)
  • How frequently I reasonably expect to replace it (i.e. oil)
  • Whether it is critical to operation (i.e. Timing belt)
  • Whether it is difficult to replace (i.e. water pump)
  • Whether there is a known recommendation from a forum*, etc. (i.e. spark plugs)
  • How much of an emergency is it (i.e. need it to get to work tomorrow)

Most of the time, if the prices are within range, I try to use Ketchup's method of looking up the OEM and try to get the best of both worlds.  If you have time to wait for delivery, Rock Auto can be pretty great for this.

*Forum recommendations, this post included, should be taken with a very large grain of salt.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 12:29:46 PM by Gibbelstein »

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 11:23:20 AM »
Oh, one more thing!

I think the lifetime warranty of some places is underutilized.  For some reason, they offer this on brake pads. My last car needed brakes about 2x a year.  I spent a bit more to get some better ceramic pads once, and then had free brake replacements for several years. It's slightly more work to buy the new ones each time and take the used pads back in for the warranty 'refund', but for $50+ each time it was worth it. (This was O'reilly's, but I have done the same at Advance or whatever they are called now.)

As far as I can tell, they can get away with this because they expect you to change cars frequently (your new car will likely use different pads) and they got to squeeze a bit more out of you for the warranty you'll never use. I think people on this forum in particular are in a good place to take advantage of this, since keeping one car forever is valued properly here. =)

jlh992

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2016, 11:52:49 AM »
I think my purchases are split fairly evenly between OEM dealer parts and parts-store quality.

Brakes and related parts are almost always Rockauto or Amazon, cooling system components are usually OEM ((Subaru's are picky) radiators are the exception here), OEM electrical parts can almost always be found from other sources than the dealer for much cheaper.

On a related note Walmart always has the best prices on good oil.

Chris22

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 01:17:53 PM »
Brakes and related parts are almost always Rockauto or Amazon

For my Hondas I go through TireRack, and find the brake rotors are actually better than OEM (which are always crap on Hondas for some reason).

Quote
On a related note Walmart always has the best prices on good oil.

This, x10000.  Oil is about the only thing I'll buy at Walmart, but the deals there are smoking.
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lthenderson

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2016, 01:25:01 PM »
For my Hondas I go through TireRack, and find the brake rotors are actually better than OEM (which are always crap on Hondas for some reason).

Just had the original rotors replaced on my Honda Odyssey at 140,000 miles. My Honda Civic with 135,000 still has the original rotors. I though both of those were more than acceptable life spans.

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2016, 01:39:32 PM »
For my Hondas I go through TireRack, and find the brake rotors are actually better than OEM (which are always crap on Hondas for some reason).

Just had the original rotors replaced on my Honda Odyssey at 140,000 miles. My Honda Civic with 135,000 still has the original rotors. I though both of those were more than acceptable life spans.

I've had 5 Hondas, and they've all warped their rotors prematurely, giving a judder in the steering wheel.  The cheapo Chinese Centric brands I buy from Tire Rack have always been better.
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BudgetSlasher

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2016, 03:22:49 PM »
If don't go OEM as in I do not go to honda/chevy/toyota ect and get the part in a branded box, but I will buy/order ac delco (GM OEM, but after market for others), bosch, moog, ect.

I've found you get what you pay for . . . sometimes its the name sometimes its the quality.

Syonyk

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2016, 03:33:01 PM »
I've had 5 Hondas, and they've all warped their rotors prematurely, giving a judder in the steering wheel.  The cheapo Chinese Centric brands I buy from Tire Rack have always been better.

Rotors don't "warp" in normal use.

You make uneven pad material deposits, usually by standing on the brakes after coming to a stop when they're hot.

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths
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JLee

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2016, 04:22:49 PM »
It depends on the parts.  Brakes, usually Centric C-Tek rotors and Centric ceramic pads.  Timing belts, water pumps - OEM or OEM manufacturer (e.g. Aisin makes parts for Toyota, so I will buy Aisin parts instead of OEM).

Other stuff varies, but I don't generally do generic/Autozone branded stuff anymore.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2016, 07:38:54 AM »
I've had 5 Hondas, and they've all warped their rotors prematurely, giving a judder in the steering wheel.  The cheapo Chinese Centric brands I buy from Tire Rack have always been better.

Rotors don't "warp" in normal use.

You make uneven pad material deposits, usually by standing on the brakes after coming to a stop when they're hot.

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

The end result is the same, and quality rotors make a huge difference.  Our latest Honda needed new rotors at 20K. I bought the best Raybestos product that Rock Auto had, and they have lasted twice as long, so far.

otter

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2016, 12:56:35 PM »
This depends on the car, on the part, and on the part manufacturer.

OEM parts cost more, but often this is an up-front cost well worth paying, both for the sake of quality and durability.

Some cars have certain parts that should never be replaced with anything different. For instance if you've got, say, an early-GM-era Saab with the Ecotec-based 4-cylinder, then there is one, and only one, spark plug that you should use on that engine.

My Porsche more or less demands OEM parts when needed, except for aftermarket systems on the car, but this one is old enough that there is a really good parts network for the car.

My Nissan has always gotten OEM parts, but sometimes aftermarket are fine. Sometimes aftermarket are both better-quality and cheaper, e.g. the Brembo rotors on the front. I used to avoid cheap Chinese rotors, then I heard (from the community) of racers getting a whole weekend out of a set of cheap Chines rotors - if they're good enough for that, they're more than good enough for street use.

Within the aftermarket world, all brands are not created equal - some manufacturers make much better parts than others.

For charging-system parts, alternators especially, OEM is the way to go. Aftermarket remans are notoriously bad; it's a crap shoot whether that alternator will last 6 months or 5 years, but it's not going to last like an OEM reman. Or if you know a good rebuild shop that uses high-quality parts, get the old one rebuilt yourself. Or, if you can still get the parts from the automaker, rebuild it yourself.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 12:58:19 PM by otter »

BlueMR2

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 05:17:51 AM »
Generally speaking, I prefer OEM, but it depends.  Electronic parts, yeah, I'll spend the extra 50% for OEM.  Same for replacement body panels, etc.  They're just made better.  Spark plug wires, there are some aftermarket brands that are OK, but many are not.  Bearings, there are also some good aftermarket, but a lot that aren't.  Bolts, mostly don't care (with some exceptions).  Brake rotors and pads, aftermarket all the way.  $20 for autozone rotors (just big chunks of metal) vs. $250 for OEM and I can't tell any difference in use.  $40 for O'Reilly ceramic brake pads, yes please (vs. $120 for factory semi-metallic).

guitar_stitch

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2016, 02:57:51 PM »
OE, unless there is compelling reason to believe that the OE part has a defect and has not been revised.  There are some cases where OE is not an option, especially on older vehicles.

Pro tip: You can find many OEM parts on Amazon for boat loads less than what you would pay at the dealer.

Joggernot

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 03:38:06 PM »
I use OEM parts purchased online from a Honda dealer in GA.  Even with shipping the cost is 50% less than the local Honda dealer.  For the Toyota Tacoma, I've found that Rock Crawler parts are better than OEM parts.  They are rugged and cost less than the OEM parts locally.

Making Cookies

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2016, 11:35:22 AM »
For my Hondas I go through TireRack, and find the brake rotors are actually better than OEM (which are always crap on Hondas for some reason).

Just had the original rotors replaced on my Honda Odyssey at 140,000 miles. My Honda Civic with 135,000 still has the original rotors. I though both of those were more than acceptable life spans.

I've had 5 Hondas, and they've all warped their rotors prematurely, giving a judder in the steering wheel.  The cheapo Chinese Centric brands I buy from Tire Rack have always been better.

I'll second the warped rotors on Hondas. The factory set has always lasted me well past 100K miles before they warped and then I start trying aftermarket replacements. They never stay straight for me. I imagine that there is not enough steel in the hub section of the rotor but I'm no expert.

Am still on the original rear drum brakes on our current Honda as we approach 300K miles. I took them off and "turned" them (had them machined) about six months ago for the first time.

I also do the Honda parts via online dealers. Yep, about 50% cheaper than the local dealer. I was told by my local Honda dealer that there is a 100% markup over their cost.

Found that I can buy a 100 month Honda branded battery as cheap as an Autozone battery and in my car it's lasted that long from my local overpriced dealer no less. This is the same dealer that had a CR-V LX (base model) in their showroom with a $35K pricetag. Truecar says I could buy the best of the best CR-V for $35K.

$35K for a car? Can't quite come to terms with that notion... ;)

Once spent a 6-8 month period working evenings at Advance Auto. Still won't shop there for anything but branded supplies. At that time (~15-20 yrs ago) their replacement electrical parts were hit or miss out of the box. Some worked, some were DOA, some lasted a year before they needed replacement - - - again... Was interesting to discover that some of the expensive NAPA parts came in the same white box that Advance Auto also carried with a different sticker on the box at a lower cost.

Had a customer come in one day with a micrometer to check replacement rotor thicknesses. He was shopping all the stores for rotor thicknesses. He was not happy with Advance Auto stock. They were either barely thicker than the minimum thickness spec stamped right on the rotor or in the case of a couple rotors he checked - were already thinner than the minimum thickness spec! Keep in mind Chinese and quality could not be used in the same sentence back then. Its better now but not always.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 11:48:34 AM by Jethrosnose »

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2016, 11:52:46 AM »
Aircooled VW aftermarket parts have at times been the worst. For a while years ago it seemed like a person couldn't buy quality parts anywhere but the dealer. Things have gotten better now.

Nothing like repeating a repair multiple times per year.

A Corvair driving buddy reported a few years ago that he had three new fuel pumps from O'Reilly leak fuel right out of the box new. He kept trading them back in until he got a good one.

guitar_stitch

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2016, 11:25:49 AM »
A Corvair driving buddy reported a few years ago that he had three new fuel pumps from O'Reilly leak fuel right out of the box new. He kept trading them back in until he got a good one.

I had an Autozone fuel pump short out within 2 months of installation.  On top of scaring the piss out of me, it burned up the wiring harness all the way to the firewall.  This is one of those things I prefer to get OEM or equivalent. 

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2016, 08:01:36 AM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
This.  Also, you can usually figure out who really made the "OEM" part and get it cheaper without the car manufacturer markup.  For example, I figured out that the oxygen sensor in my '92 Buick was made by Delphi, so instead of buying the GM part, I bought the Delphi part and saved a few bucks.

Unless a car is knowingly on its way out, then I'll string it along with the cheapest parts, not caring if they crap out early because it won't matter.
I always go OEM, but also try to find out who the original manufacturer/what their part number was and get it for a lot cheaper on Amazon or RockAuto. RockAuto has the cheapest prices you will find anywhere for damn near any part, but their shipping costs get pretty high for larger items.
I just bought an air filter for my scion on amazon for #16 that costs almost $30 at a stealership. Exact same part number from the same manufacturer.

I don't generally trust anything sold by Advance/AutoZone/O'Reilly's for parts that I want to last. I'll go there for hoses, fluids, and other odds and ends wear items, but their markup is damn-near dealership prices on most of their parts and they are generally lower quality.

There are always a few exceptions though. Depending on how you drive your car, you can almost always find aftermarket brake rotors and pads that will last longer than oem if you are a conservative driver, or you can go the other direction and get rotors and pads with more stopping power (but shorter life) than OEM if you are an aggressive driver. Both options can generally be cheaper if you go to the right parts store.
Any time you replace bushings, you should go with aftermarket polyurethane bushings. They aren't that expensive, they last longer, and they are stiffer than OEM rubber.
Tires are dependent on the environment you drive in, but you can almost always find a factory-equivalent quality tire for less than you would spend on the same rubber they install on the assembly line.
As a general rule of thumb though, unless you are modifying for performance purposes, the car was designed to use the OEM parts by engineers that know a lot more than we do and they are usually the best option for replacement when something goes out.

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2016, 08:30:14 PM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
I go aftermarket unless car forum gurus say the OEM part is substantially better.

And for aftermarket, I order from rockauto.com and base brand selection on their user reviews.

Primm

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2016, 05:34:06 PM »

As a general rule of thumb though, unless you are modifying for performance purposes, the car was designed to use the OEM parts by engineers that know a lot more than we do and they are usually the best option for replacement when something goes out.

The above is very very dependent on the age of the car though. If you're talking something built within the past 10 years? Probably. Prior to that not necessarily.

My newest car was built in 1988. I've replaced a whole lot of things with aftermarket parts - the original water pump was made with some sort of alloy that causes the impeller to rust up and seize if you don't use it often enough, the new one has a ceramic liner to prevent this happening. The OEM parts are still available. The gearbox seals (still available) are made from some sort of shitty rubber that deteriorates fairly quickly, the new ones (aftermarket) are high-tech polyurethane.

So the car was designed by engineers who knew a lot more than we do, but were constrained by the materials and technology of the day, is probably more appropriate for anything a bit older.

patrat

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2016, 12:45:32 PM »
Depends on whether I plan to keep the car, and the item. Light bulbs? Any brand name, if you are sure it isn't counterfeit. Engine oil, whatever meets the spec. Oil filters, OE or check with Bobistheoilguy forums. Air and cabin filters, tranny filters, etc go OE. Body panels and trim, OE. Spark plugs, OE. Belts, OE or high end aftermarket with a brand name (such as Gates). Tires, brand name high end. Battery, buy the top tier of the store brand whose warranty you want; optima is a waste.

Unless the car is a short term use. Then whatever keeps it running for my time of use, I will never recover the cost premium of high end parts when I sell a car.

JLee

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2016, 01:34:28 PM »
Depends on whether I plan to keep the car, and the item. Light bulbs? Any brand name, if you are sure it isn't counterfeit. Engine oil, whatever meets the spec. Oil filters, OE or check with Bobistheoilguy forums. Air and cabin filters, tranny filters, etc go OE. Body panels and trim, OE. Spark plugs, OE. Belts, OE or high end aftermarket with a brand name (such as Gates). Tires, brand name high end. Battery, buy the top tier of the store brand whose warranty you want; optima is a waste.

Unless the car is a short term use. Then whatever keeps it running for my time of use, I will never recover the cost premium of high end parts when I sell a car.

Side note, I can't recommend Gates water pumps.  I had one fail after I sold a car to a friend (the pump lasted ~20k miles) and my former roommate's Gates failed in his Saturn as well. I warned him about my failure, he didn't want to spend the money on OEM/equivalent...and not two years later, it failed again. :P

ncornilsen

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2016, 03:57:25 PM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
This.  Also, you can usually figure out who really made the "OEM" part and get it cheaper without the car manufacturer markup.  For example, I figured out that the oxygen sensor in my '92 Buick was made by Delphi, so instead of buying the GM part, I bought the Delphi part and saved a few bucks.

Unless a car is knowingly on its way out, then I'll string it along with the cheapest parts, not caring if they crap out early because it won't matter.
...
Any time you replace bushings, you should go with aftermarket polyurethane bushings. They aren't that expensive, they last longer, and they are stiffer than OEM rubber.

I agree with most of what you said, but this I disagree with, to the ends of the earth.  Aftermarket poly bushings are garbage.DO NOT use them in a daily driver. Only use them in a racecar if you hate your life and want a shitty handling car.

-they start to squeak unless lubed constantly
-They cold flow and become loose in their retainers after a year or two, which is WORSE than a softer OE bushing
-The transfer NVH to the cabin a lot, exacerbated by the above.
-Since they have much less give, the tend to cause potholes to disturb the car's alignment (assuming slotted adjuster holes)
-Most car suspensions are designed to require some deflection of the rubber to prevent bind, the poly bushings don't give and change the effective spring rate, often in a non-advantageous way. (Example - 1999 Camaro: had poly bushings in front. Because of how the castor bushing was oriented, it relied on deflection of the bushing to let the suspension cycle. One side, the bushing was hammered and only fragments remained. The other side had CRACKED the control arm, since it gave easier than the bushing.)

OE rubber bushings are all anyone should ever use, until they're racing seriously enough that they're willing to sacrifice any NVH isolation and go with solid spherical bearings or delrin bushings.

Chris22

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2016, 11:03:17 AM »

As a general rule of thumb though, unless you are modifying for performance purposes, the car was designed to use the OEM parts by engineers that know a lot more than we do and they are usually the best option for replacement when something goes out.

The above is very very dependent on the age of the car though. If you're talking something built within the past 10 years? Probably. Prior to that not necessarily.

My newest car was built in 1988. I've replaced a whole lot of things with aftermarket parts - the original water pump was made with some sort of alloy that causes the impeller to rust up and seize if you don't use it often enough, the new one has a ceramic liner to prevent this happening. The OEM parts are still available. The gearbox seals (still available) are made from some sort of shitty rubber that deteriorates fairly quickly, the new ones (aftermarket) are high-tech polyurethane.

So the car was designed by engineers who knew a lot more than we do, but were constrained by the materials and technology of the day, is probably more appropriate for anything a bit older.

Not even age dependent, sometimes the aftermarket fixes known OEM issues.  For instance, BMWs have shitty plastic parts in their cooling systems.  You can either replace a BMW radiator and other parts like clockwork every 60k miles, or do it once for a little more money with metal parts that should last indefinitely after that. 
"If I could get all the money back I ever spent on cars, I'd spend it on cars." - Nick Mason

Arktinkerer

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2016, 09:40:21 PM »
Surprised no one has suggested the junk yard (pick-n-pull).  Not for everything, but lots of parts are cheap enough and reliable enough that you are better off pulling a used one than going aftermarket.  I wouldn't do it for rotors/pads but starters, alternators, compressors (have to find a fairly new one recently brought to the lot).  Certainly for lots of body and trim parts junk yards are the way to go.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2016, 10:53:48 AM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
This.  Also, you can usually figure out who really made the "OEM" part and get it cheaper without the car manufacturer markup.  For example, I figured out that the oxygen sensor in my '92 Buick was made by Delphi, so instead of buying the GM part, I bought the Delphi part and saved a few bucks.

Unless a car is knowingly on its way out, then I'll string it along with the cheapest parts, not caring if they crap out early because it won't matter.
...
Any time you replace bushings, you should go with aftermarket polyurethane bushings. They aren't that expensive, they last longer, and they are stiffer than OEM rubber.

I agree with most of what you said, but this I disagree with, to the ends of the earth.  Aftermarket poly bushings are garbage.DO NOT use them in a daily driver. Only use them in a racecar if you hate your life and want a shitty handling car.

-they start to squeak unless lubed constantly
-They cold flow and become loose in their retainers after a year or two, which is WORSE than a softer OE bushing
-The transfer NVH to the cabin a lot, exacerbated by the above.
-Since they have much less give, the tend to cause potholes to disturb the car's alignment (assuming slotted adjuster holes)
-Most car suspensions are designed to require some deflection of the rubber to prevent bind, the poly bushings don't give and change the effective spring rate, often in a non-advantageous way. (Example - 1999 Camaro: had poly bushings in front. Because of how the castor bushing was oriented, it relied on deflection of the bushing to let the suspension cycle. One side, the bushing was hammered and only fragments remained. The other side had CRACKED the control arm, since it gave easier than the bushing.)

OE rubber bushings are all anyone should ever use, until they're racing seriously enough that they're willing to sacrifice any NVH isolation and go with solid spherical bearings or delrin bushings.
I honestly wasn't even thinking about suspension components. My main thoughts were in shift linkages (to give a tighter feeling shift in a manual transmission car) and motor mounts (to help transfer more of the car's torque to the drive shaft instead of into compressing the softer bushings). I totally agree that poly bushings would be a nightmare on control arms and other parts of the suspension.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2016, 10:56:38 AM »
Surprised no one has suggested the junk yard (pick-n-pull).  Not for everything, but lots of parts are cheap enough and reliable enough that you are better off pulling a used one than going aftermarket.  I wouldn't do it for rotors/pads but starters, alternators, compressors (have to find a fairly new one recently brought to the lot).  Certainly for lots of body and trim parts junk yards are the way to go.
I personally try to avoid used engine components unless it's absolutely necessary (extremely tight budget and need to get the car running asap or discontinued parts), but other long-use items are usually available in great numbers at a salvage yard. Door assemblies, seats, lights, body panels, latches, you name it.

JLee

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2016, 03:06:59 PM »
I go aftermarket if (and only if) car forum gurus say the name-brand aftermarket part is as good as or better than OEM.
This.  Also, you can usually figure out who really made the "OEM" part and get it cheaper without the car manufacturer markup.  For example, I figured out that the oxygen sensor in my '92 Buick was made by Delphi, so instead of buying the GM part, I bought the Delphi part and saved a few bucks.

Unless a car is knowingly on its way out, then I'll string it along with the cheapest parts, not caring if they crap out early because it won't matter.
...
Any time you replace bushings, you should go with aftermarket polyurethane bushings. They aren't that expensive, they last longer, and they are stiffer than OEM rubber.

I agree with most of what you said, but this I disagree with, to the ends of the earth.  Aftermarket poly bushings are garbage.DO NOT use them in a daily driver. Only use them in a racecar if you hate your life and want a shitty handling car.

-they start to squeak unless lubed constantly
-They cold flow and become loose in their retainers after a year or two, which is WORSE than a softer OE bushing
-The transfer NVH to the cabin a lot, exacerbated by the above.
-Since they have much less give, the tend to cause potholes to disturb the car's alignment (assuming slotted adjuster holes)
-Most car suspensions are designed to require some deflection of the rubber to prevent bind, the poly bushings don't give and change the effective spring rate, often in a non-advantageous way. (Example - 1999 Camaro: had poly bushings in front. Because of how the castor bushing was oriented, it relied on deflection of the bushing to let the suspension cycle. One side, the bushing was hammered and only fragments remained. The other side had CRACKED the control arm, since it gave easier than the bushing.)

OE rubber bushings are all anyone should ever use, until they're racing seriously enough that they're willing to sacrifice any NVH isolation and go with solid spherical bearings or delrin bushings.
I honestly wasn't even thinking about suspension components. My main thoughts were in shift linkages (to give a tighter feeling shift in a manual transmission car) and motor mounts (to help transfer more of the car's torque to the drive shaft instead of into compressing the softer bushings). I totally agree that poly bushings would be a nightmare on control arms and other parts of the suspension.

I put a set of poly steering rack bushings in my Tacoma when the OEM ones were falling apart (it was so bad they couldn't align it). At ~270k miles, I suppose it earned a new set of bushings. :P

Joggernot

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2016, 03:53:36 PM »
I honestly wasn't even thinking about suspension components. My main thoughts were in shift linkages (to give a tighter feeling shift in a manual transmission car) and motor mounts (to help transfer more of the car's torque to the drive shaft instead of into compressing the softer bushings). I totally agree that poly bushings would be a nightmare on control arms and other parts of the suspension.

I put a set of poly steering rack bushings in my Tacoma when the OEM ones were falling apart (it was so bad they couldn't align it). At ~270k miles, I suppose it earned a new set of bushings. :P
When my manual linkages (and one bushing at the top of the transmission) loosened I went on the Tacoma forum and learned there were better replacement parts available from Crawler, who makes stronger parts for people who do rock crawling.  I liked the new parts and the shifting is very positive.  No, I don't rock crawl.

JLee

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2016, 04:47:27 PM »
I honestly wasn't even thinking about suspension components. My main thoughts were in shift linkages (to give a tighter feeling shift in a manual transmission car) and motor mounts (to help transfer more of the car's torque to the drive shaft instead of into compressing the softer bushings). I totally agree that poly bushings would be a nightmare on control arms and other parts of the suspension.

I put a set of poly steering rack bushings in my Tacoma when the OEM ones were falling apart (it was so bad they couldn't align it). At ~270k miles, I suppose it earned a new set of bushings. :P
When my manual linkages (and one bushing at the top of the transmission) loosened I went on the Tacoma forum and learned there were better replacement parts available from Crawler, who makes stronger parts for people who do rock crawling.  I liked the new parts and the shifting is very positive.  No, I don't rock crawl.

I replaced the rubber bushings in my MR2's shift linkage with these. They're amazing.

Telecaster

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2016, 04:55:13 PM »
I spent many hours (always on a Sunday night, somehow) of my youth calling all of the parts stores in town to compare price/availability of the part we needed to get someone to work the next day. (I'm not as old as that makes me sound, I swear.)

I literally laughed out loud.  That's how you sources parts back in the day.  Figure out what you need and then sit down and start calling people.  The bad old days I called them.   Then I decided I didn't like working on cars.  Life got much better.     


(I'm not that old either)

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2016, 05:29:35 PM »
Does it count as OEM when I go to the local bone yard and salvage a part? That's always my first option for replacing something out here. I get most other things from Amazon because they are almost always willing to ship to bush Alaska. When I lived in civilization I split purchase between quality aftermarket parts and buying salvaged OEM parts or going to a "You Pick It" yard.

I recently had a bad experience with an after market door handle. The original lasted 15 years and the replacement only last 8 months before it cracked. It turned out the latching mechanism was dirty and required a good cleaning. I'm sure some aftermarket parts are just made as cheaply as possible, but the experience made me wonder if some of the other "quality problems" attributed to them are really just other parts being worn out and putting more stress on the replacement.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2016, 06:19:19 AM »
I spent many hours (always on a Sunday night, somehow) of my youth calling all of the parts stores in town to compare price/availability of the part we needed to get someone to work the next day. (I'm not as old as that makes me sound, I swear.)

I literally laughed out loud.  That's how you sources parts back in the day.  Figure out what you need and then sit down and start calling people.  The bad old days I called them.   Then I decided I didn't like working on cars.  Life got much better.     


(I'm not that old either)
I've had to make calls to parts stores to find something I needed before they closed on a Sunday several times within the last year or so. Online inventory is almost never accurate.

sudharam

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Re: Car Parts - do you use OEM or aftermarket?
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2017, 02:41:02 PM »
HI, My Nissan pathfinder 2015 met with collision .. My insurance agent quoted the After market parts for below items..
1) Front Bumper (Repl A/M CAPA Lower molding)
    A/M CAPA Bumper cover
2) GRILLE (A/M  CAPA Grille w/o Around view)
3) Front Lamps (A/M NSF Headlamp assy
4) AIR Conditioner & Heater (A/M Condenser assy)
5) HOOD (A/M CAPA HOOD)
6) FENDER (A/M CAPA LT Fender)

Please advise whether it would be worth to go with After market items or OEM will be good.