At some point during the life of your car, something will go wrong, no matter how well you take care of it.
When it comes, if you take your car to an independent garage rather than the service department of your car’s official dealership, you are most likely going to get aftermarket car parts. But what does that mean, and is it a bad thing?
While it is usually cheaper to buy aftermarket parts, they are not all created equal. With so many different companies making parts in numerous variations, not only can you be overwhelmed for choice, but the quality can vary greatly.
Some people (especially those that work on their own cars) know a lot about different manufacturers of parts and try to strike a balance between cost and quality, but you are generally better off buying official replacement parts and paying that little bit extra for peace of mind.
We talked to genuine VW parts dealer, who told us the top three reasons you should choose official replacement parts over their aftermarket counterparts., a
Safety is of course the most important issue, and we all expect to be safe when driving. Before new cars are released, they are tested for safety by organisations like Euro NCAP so that we can make an informed decision when buying.
Unfortunately once you have replaced parts with aftermarket parts, you can no longer be sure your car is as safe as it was before. This is because you are not replacing like for like, and the parts aren’t designed specifically for your model of car.
As, this can have very dangerous consequences with a difference in materials potentially causing the car’s safety systems to miscalculate when the airbags need to be deployed, meaning passengers are not necessarily protected. A scary thought!
New cars come with a warranty, meaning that if anything does go wrong within the given period, the manufacturer pays for and sorts out repairs. This is great for peace of mind, as you know you won’t have any nasty financial surprises should anything go wrong.
Some people, however, may end up voiding their warranties if they have their car repaired elsewhere with aftermarket parts. If, for example, a service is done at another garage in a bid to save on the cost of official dealership service charges, and a part is replaced, you could run into trouble if the car then malfunctions and it is deemed to be as a result of the part used not being fit for purpose.
This is not the case in all instances, and there is some leeway allowed for non-factory parts to be used, but it’s important to read your warranty and be aware of this when making a decision you may potentially regret further down the line. You can read more about warranties in.
Quality of aftermarket parts can be so hit and miss that it’s hard to ensure you are going to be getting the same performance you would from genuine parts.
Additionally, aftermarket parts are made to fit more than one make or model of car. They likely won’t be as efficient for your vehicle as the genuine part which is made on the same production line as your car itself.
Because aftermarket parts are not optimised to one model of car, they often need to be replaced more often, and can even cause extra problems. So they may save you some money in the short term, but could end up costing you more in the long run.