If you're repairing your Toyota and need new parts, you might wonder how to find exactly the right parts. There are so many merchants offering car parts these days. Especially, you may come across the terms ĎOEMí and Ďaftermarketí. What are they all about?
OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer". It means that these parts are exactly the same parts that Toyota used when manufacturing the car, even if those parts are offered under another brand name, now.
How is this possible? Itís simple: Toyota, like other car companies, will usually contract third-party manufacturers to produce car parts for them.
When cars are new, they are considered to be Toyota parts even though in reality, itís the third-party manufacturer who made them. But after a while, Toyota allows the third-party manufacturer to sell those parts under their own brand name directly to consumers and the automotive industry.
So if you buy OEM parts, you are buying the original car parts. They may be a bit more expensive than copy-cats, but do have certainty that these parts will cause no problems in your car.
Contrary to OEM parts, aftermarket parts are made by companies that were not involved in producing the original car parts. They simply copy the original car parts.
Of course, aftermarket parts were produced specifically for a specific car model, and usually there will be no problem. However, small problems may still occur. Some aftermarket producers take some liberty with the original design. Sometimes, they do this since a part needed improvement, and then youíre even better off with aftermarket parts.
But sometimes, itís also a plain unsuccessful attempt to replicate an existing part. Thatís why you should always compare an aftermarket part to the original or OEM parts, and make sure the aftermarket part is delivered with a warranty.
Usually, an aftermarket part does the job. They are easy to find and are usually cheaper than OEM parts. However, if you want to be 100% sure of the quality, or you are a car purist and you want to keep the full integrity of your car, then buy OEM.