How to choose between Genuine (OE), OEM or aftermarket parts?

When your car is due for service or repair, sometimes you are faced with a dilemma – what type of parts should I use – OE, OEM, or aftermarket? Does it really matter what type of parts you are installing on your car? Yes, it does. Let’s see what the difference between them is:

OE (Original Equipment) or Genuine parts

OE parts are parts that come from the company that designs the parts and the cars. This company owns the design of the parts, but there is another company that actually produces the parts (for example: spark plugs, Audi part #06K-905-601-M). These parts usually come in Audi-marked packaging. The automotive company dictates the specifications to the manufacturer, and these parts reflect the high-quality standard of the automotive company regulations. Usually, these parts have higher costs, due to the high-quality standard that the manufacturer set. If you want to install a highest-quality part on your car, the one that is more reliable especially when you are planning to keep the car for a long period of time, the OE parts are the ones you should choose from.



OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts

OEM parts are parts that come from the same factory that makes the OE parts, but you can’t find the manufacturer logo on them, and they are boxed in their respective brands (example: spark plug, NGK Part #SILFER8C7ES, which cross-references to: Audi Part #06K-905-601-M). The manufacturer sells these parts directly to distributors, suppliers, or retailers. This usually means savings for the end consumer, while still having the almost the same OE standards that the vehicle manufacturer specified (even though sometimes there are slight differences and slightly lower quality). They are almost identical to the OE part – and in rare cases you can find where the OEM part had the Audi logo removed! In order to be labeled as an OEM part, it must meet the exact same design as the original part, regardless of where in the world it was manufactured. Any deviation from the original Audi spec is not an OEM part.

Aftermarket parts

Aftermarket parts are produced by manufacturers that have no connection with the car manufacturer or their design. The manufacturer sometimes copies the OE part or other times changes it (e.g. performance parts) and sells it for less than the OE/OEM part. They are not necessarily inferior, unsafe, or poorly made, but they don’t have the same quality as OE/OEM parts and sometimes, we have seen that these parts wear faster than OE/OEM parts.
When dealing with aftermarket parts, the quality will vary WIDELY. It takes a lot of experience or research to get an idea of what to buy and what to avoid.

At Bestiale, we highly recommend using OE/Genuine parts since they have the best quality. The automotive manufacturer is the one designing the car and the parts and knows best how the part should be manufactured and what standard it should have. However, if cost is the driving factor, OEM/aftermarket parts could be the answer for you. When we offer OEM/aftermarket brands, we have done detailed research on the brand before offering it to our clients. If you have trouble deciding what type of part to get, we are happy to help.

Leave a Comment