When your car needs fixing, you either have the option of choosing genuine parts when making repairs, or aftermarket ones. If you take your car to the dealership, you will always be given genuine replacement parts, however, if you do take your vehicle to an independent garage you will usually have the choice of various different parts.
So what is the difference, and which should you opt for? Read on for three reasons why we think you should only ever use genuine replacement car parts.
First and foremost, safety is paramount when driving any vehicle, and genuine parts really do give you the best peace of mind.
We spoke to VW Motor Parts who told us: “Genuine parts are manufactured specifically for your make and model of car, whereas aftermarket parts are often produced to fit several different cars. This means that they may not perform the same way as the parts your car was built with.”
In some cases, this is deliberate. For example, some aftermarket parts are made by reverse engineering the original and altering it to give better performance. But in many other cases, parts are just mass produced from cheap materials or are not entirely compatible with your vehicle.
Unfortunately, if you do not have a good knowledge of different makes of aftermarket parts, you run the risk of not being safe on the roads. If you are repairing collision damage and you use bodywork that is not made from the same material or that is a different weight from the original part, your car may not be able to calibrate things such as the deployment of the airbags accurately and this could put you at risk.
Many people buy aftermarket parts rather than genuine ones in a bid to save money, but could actually end up short changing themselves in the long run.
Not only do parts made from cheaper materials break more easily and need replacing more often, they can also end up causing additional damage to the vehicle if they do not work properly with other parts, which could end up being quite costly.
When it comes to newer vehicles, you could actually end up voiding your warranty if you use aftermarket parts, and although this is not always the case, you should definitely check with your dealership before opting to use aftermarket parts over genuine ones.
Sometimes if you are having repairs done through your insurance company, they will have a preference for the cheaper aftermarket parts so be sure to ask questions to determine what is being fitted to your vehicle.
Additionally, while official parts may cost a little more, they usually come with a one-year warranty and your dealership may even honour the labour costs if you need it replacing
We hope this has given you some insight into the reasons you may wish to choose genuine parts in your vehicle if you ever need to make repairs. If you still need a little more info, this article from Green Flag explains the difference rather well.