Aftermarket, OEM, OE Auto Parts Explained

Aftermarket, OEM, replacement parts–you see these words in almost all auto parts stores online. What do these terms mean?

For a passive buyer, these things are but ordinary terms used in the automotive market but for someone meticulous and who wants the best for his auto, these things matter considerably. Deciding which among these to purchase is just like deciding what car to buy.

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufactured. This means that OEM Ford parts are manufactured by Ford itself, Chevrolet parts are manufactured by Chevrolet, Toyota parts by Toyota, BMW parts by BMW and so on. The terms O.E.S. and OE are also used; these mean Original Equipment Supplied and Original Equipment, respectively. While in many cases, OEM and OES mean the same, OE is more general referring to any part that came as original equipment on the car. Some of OE car parts and components are not actually made by the car manufacturer but are purchased and assembled by the automakers to create a vehicle.

Those referred to as “aftermarket auto parts” are not made by the original car manufacturer; furthermore, they are bought and added to the vehicle only at the dealership or after the vehicle left the dealership. In terms of design and function, aftermarket products are almost the same as the stock auto parts since they are primarily used to replace a damaged original part so that the vehicle can continue to run. If you need replacement parts for your car, however, you can either buy O.E.M. or aftermarket auto parts. There are numerous sources of aftermarket auto parts. Stores like Auto Parts Discount give you a great variety of parts for almost all makes and models.

Some cars, especially the base models are not completely equipped so users just add aftermarket parts later on. For example if you have purchased an old Toyota Corolla, you can add aftermarket Toyota fog lights, Toyota spoiler, Toyota turn signal light or Toyota mirrors. Aftermarket products can also help you give your car a fresh new look. Even if your original parts are not yet damaged or worn out, you can replace them with or add specially designed aftermarket auto parts like Honda taillights, Ford center cap, Chevrolet chrome bumper, and Mercedes Benz Front Cover Towing Eye found at Auto Parts Discount.

Enthusiasts, on the other hand would opt for custom parts and specialty equipments. Compared to a universal fit auto part, which can be installed to any vehicle make, year and model, custom aftermarket products are designed to fit only a particular application. Examples of custom parts are your Ford hood, Ford fender and Ford doors. Specialty equipments on the other hand, are intended to make the vehicle more stylish, comfortable, convenient and more up-to-date.

Most auto users prefer aftermarket products because they are less expensive than OEM replacements. While it is true that there may be some aftermarket auto parts that do not meet high standards of original equipments, it is not right to say that aftermarket products are generally inferior in terms of quality and style. Replacement parts sold at Auto Parts Discount, for example are made by car parts manufacturers that are mandated by high international standards.

Which is better, OEM or aftermarket replacement part? It depends on the product. Some OEM parts are not durable enough while the aftermarket parts you use to replace them could last for many years. If you want to give your car a different look and also, if you want to save, aftermarket products are worth a try. However, make sure to get these replacement parts from trusted sources.

Buy Gently Used Car Parts for a New Car Feel

Do you have an older car that’s running great but looks kind of dated? Give it an automotive do-over without dropping a lot of cash in the effort by shopping for gently used car parts, to make it even more comfortable and attractive as your neighbor’s new Hyundai.

You can shop online and hope for the best, but there’s nothing like browsing in an organized wrecking yard and seeing for yourself well-preserved inventory good enough to put in your classic (or not-so-classic) ride. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save when you bypass the dealership and go to a car parts yard.

Take Front Desk Service–or Do It Yourself at the Parts Yard

Customers can decide for themselves if they want to use a wrecking yard’s service to find a part or browse the inventory themselves. If you’re in a hurry or you’re new to this, go ahead and consult with onsite staff. Tell them what you’re looking for, and they will know the right questions to ask you for specifics you might not even know about. They will bring inventory that matches your request for you to inspect.

Or, you can just wave hello and go straight to the yard to search for new bucket seats for the front or a sleek bench style for the back. Other popular parts you can search for that can spruce up your ride include:

  • Bumper guards
  • Door handles
  • Floor mats
  • Gearshift handles
  • Hubcaps
  • Mirrors
  • Spoilers
  • Steering wheels

If you can see it, chances are very good that you can find it at a wrecking yard, in good shape and at a price that’s going to be considerably less expensive than a brand-new part.

How to Make Those Second Hand Parts Look New

Don’t be dismayed if the parts you find are a bit dirty. It’s not that difficult to clean up parts yourself-just be sure you use the right cleaning product.

For example, if you find leather seats that might be perfect in your car, imagine how they would look cleaned up. Leather can be cleaned with store-brought products or a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. When it dries, apply sunscreen to prevent discoloration (advises carsdirect.com).

Headlights can be cleaned with cheap white toothpaste applied with a rag and rinsed with water, says the Krazy Coupon Lady. Car.tips.net says to clean chrome with a less-abrasive scouring pad and a little cola; use steel wool or crumpled aluminum foil for larger areas.

Numerous auto parts shops and possibly even your salvage yard sell paint to match parts.

Dealers Don’t Always Stock Parts for Older Vehicles

Another reason to check out a salvage space is the fact that many car dealerships don’t stock parts for older cars, and some manufacturers stop making them after a few years.

This situation is not only short-sighted but a money loser. According to IHS, the combined age of all light vehicles on the road in January 2014 was about 11.5 years old and is expected to rise to nearly 12 years by 2019. You are hardly alone as a driver of an older vehicle. Chances are, you may even see some familiar faces picking around the headlights!

Soup Up Your Toyota, Let Toyota Parts Online Help You

Fortunately, more and more auto parts stores are emerging in the market, readily providing replacement auto parts for different car makes and models and even aftermarket products that are designed to boost the car’s performance, increase safety, improve gas mileage and fuel efficiency, enhance style and lower emissions or simply put, to make the vehicle better.

The use of the Internet has made things a lot easier and more convenient for an ordinary consumer. Now, even hard-to-find parts for older autos are just a click away. What used to be more favorable to dealers or distributors is now a market more favorable to buyers, especially ordinary car users who occasionally work on their own minor vehicle problems.

Among the friendliest stores online that sell high quality automotive parts is Toyota Parts Online. This store specializes in selling the choicest Toyota parts for various Toyota models including the most up to date Toyota 4Runner parts, Highlander parts , Toyota Tacoma partsand Toyota Corolla parts.

Toyota Lights(Euro Altezza). You probably thought there’s no need to replace your lights until they get busted or smashed up in an accident. Most lights are designed to last longer than all other parts in the car, but you can replace them to make substantial changes to your auto’s exterior looks. Especially when your car is already old–say you have a 1995 Toyota Camry — its lights might have already lost their dazzling appeal. Replacing them with new and stylish lights like Toyota taillights can make your car look elegant and more sophisticated than it used to be. Replacing your Toyota headlights with more focused and brighter lights can also help you significantly reduce risks of meeting road accidents.

How to Find Classic Car Parts

The Classic Car Club of America distinguishes a classic car as those between 1925 and 1948. They note that classic cars are produced in limited quantities and sold at a higher price. They further explain that a 25 year-old car will qualify as classic since the normal shelf life of a vehicle is 10 to15 years only.

Owning a classic car is a great investment for car enthusiasts. The price value appreciates as it ages. The only problem or challenge most collectors encounter is when they need to change some car parts and accessories. The classic car parts are not usually available in typical automobile shops.

Owners can still look for specialty stores that carry car parts for outdated models. Shopping for a classic car part is now easy with the use of internet. They can search the internet for dealers who are engaged in restoring and selling classic car parts. They can look at the classic car classifieds for easy access on complete lists of sellers.

Placing an order through the internet is easy. It will only take a few minutes. The buyer will have to use his credit card to pay. The product will be sent through courier service once the payment is received and confirmed. Deliveries usually only takes a couple of days depending on the courier service provider.

Join groups and organizations having the same interest in classic cars. You will be able to get a lot of tips from them regarding where to go for hard-to-find parts, what shop best restores a classic car, or maybe recommend an excellent mechanic who offers door to door service.

It is also fun to hangout with people of the same interest. You can do things together like watching car racing competitions, going to exhibits, or sharing each other’s experiences on how you got your collection. You might be able to influence them positively in some way.

Some automobile shops are providing catalogs for their classic cars and parts. They could be ordered online and is to be sent through mail. Included in the catalog are photos and specifications of available parts.

Most of these shops restore and recondition old parts. A few manufacturers make new parts for classic cars. Normally however you will find parts that actually came from a dismantled classic car.

Here are a few Classic Car Part Suppliers for your reference:

Speedway Motors

This is the America’s oldest speed shop. This store provides parts for street rods for over 56 years.

Select Motor Car Restoration Parts & Gifts

This shop offers parts restoration for Chevelle, Impala, Corvette, Firebird, Camaro, and Nova ChevyII.

Paragon Corvette Reproduction

It is licensed by General Motors and provides reproduction and reconditioning of Corvette parts.

Dallas Mustang

This shop is involved in classic car restoration for 28 years. It specializes in Mustang parts and accessories restoration. It also offers on-site Dynojet Chassis Dynamometer tuning.

Obsolete Classic Auto Parts

This shop specializes in antique, classic, street rod, and obsolete Ford and Chevrolet parts since 1974. Below are the lists of the car models with available parts:

1. 1909-1927 Model T

2. 1928-1931 Model A

3. 1932-1948 Pass & 32-47 Pickup

4. 1948-1979 Pickup & Bronco

5. 1949-1972 Full-size Ford & Mercury

6. 1955-1966 Thunderbird

7. 1960-1970 Falcon & 60-65 Comet

8. 1962-1972 Fairlane/Torino

9. 1964-1973 Mustang

Heinzman Street Rod Shop

This shop is a supplier of street rod parts and components for over 30 years.

Restoration Specialties & Supplies, Inc.

The company started since 1974 and is now a leading supplier of hard to find car parts. They sell window channels, belt weather strips, rubber weather stripping, rubber bumpers and grommets, fender welt, hood lace, door panel board, and cowl board.

Kanter Auto Products

The company is a worldwide supplier of new mechanical automobile parts for 1930 to 1990 American car models.

How To Shop For And Find Any Auto Parts You May Need For Your Vehicle

Inevitably, if you own a vehicle you will eventually need parts for it. It doesn’t matter if your car is 30 years old or 5 years old, sometimes you have to get additional replacement parts even if it is something as simple as a light bulb. Whatever the case may be, there are numerous places you can look into to find the parts but you want to try to find them at the best price as well.

Many people feel compelled to pay the price for brand new parts if they have a newer vehicle and if they shop at their dealer or at a local auto parts store they will probably pay the highest price possible. The thing to remember however is that there are probably tons of cars just like yours with the same parts that will work perfectly on your car lying around in wrecking yards or even on the internet. The best thing about this is that these parts can be found at a fraction of the cost of a new part and in most cases will work just as good and last just as long.

For vehicles that are only ten years old or so you will be able to find all kinds of parts for them at a local auto wrecker. They usually have a plethora of parts like windshields, mirrors, radiators, wheels, and even motors! You can save a ton of money this way. I remember having to buy a shift assembly for a Dodge Neon for my son, the dealer wanted nearly $200, I got it at a local salvage yard for $20 and they removed it for me! Some of the better ones will even have the parts they have available listed on a computer so all you have to do is ask if they have the part or not.

If you have an older vehicle it is sometimes difficult to find the part at a reasonable price due to supply and demand and the fact that they just don’t keep that many parts around for vintage vehicles. If this is your situation the best place may be the internet. There are numerous online parts stores that will have access to parts like these and if all else fails you can also try eBay. I have had great success finding parts for rare vehicles there.

If you own a vehicle that was made in the early sixties or before you will probably have a tough time finding parts that are inexpensive. In most cases the parts will be rare and difficult to find and the rarer they are the more they are going to cost. It may be best to check all of the salvage yards in your area first, and then check out used car locaters online who may be able to help you find what you are looking for. Many of these sources have networks of parts houses that may have what you need.