Even the highest quality vehicle components don’t last forever. Over the lifespan of your car, at least one part of your vehicle will likely experience issues that a quick repair can’t fix. In some instances, the only option will be replacing the part entirely. In such a case, it’s important not to simply buy the first replacement part you can find. Depending on your budget, preferences, and vehicle model, there are many different types of auto parts to choose from. Here are some of the different categories of replacement car parts to familiarize yourself with before making a purchase.
Genuine car parts refer to replacement auto parts that are the exact component originally installed in your vehicle. These parts come with the emblem of the automaker and there is usually a low supply, as automakers build auto parts for use in new cars rather than replacements. As a result, genuine car parts generally come with a lofty price tag.
Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are components that your vehicle’s original maker produced. They are specifically made for your vehicle which guarantees that they will work seamlessly with optimal safety and aesthetic benefits. Unlike genuine parts, however, OEM parts don’t bear the manufacturer’s logo and typically cost less as a result.
Another different category of replacement car parts is aftermarket parts. Like OEM parts, aftermarket parts are specifically designed to suit your vehicle. However, such parts are made by a company other than the original equipment manufacturer. Because a third-party manufacturer makes them, their design may differ slightly from your vehicle’s original auto part. When purchasing aftermarket parts, make sure to do a fair amount of research on the company as aftermarket parts can vary substantially in quality.
Reconditioned or Refurbished Parts
Recondition parts refer to used auto components that have been refurbished or repaired. Such parts could be secondhand genuine, OEM, or aftermarket parts depending on their source. Because they have been previously used, the condition of reconditioned parts can vary significantly. That said, reconditioned parts must undergo a rigorous cleaning, servicing, and testing process to ensure their safety and quality before being sold.
Scrapped or Salvaged Parts
If you’re on a budget, scrapped or salvaged parts are typically the most economical option. These parts are removed from vehicles that have been junked or salvaged. There are several different reasons why a car might become salvaged. For example, the car could have gotten in a significant accident, been stolen and recovered, or sustained weather damage. While salvage vehicles have often sustained substantial damage, some of their parts may remain intact. In such a case, an insurance company or someone who purchased the salvaged vehicle can recover and sell the usable or repairable parts.