Lately there’s been a slightly disturbing commercial airing on Youtube and on TV networks. Said commercial talks about the importance of being able to “choose” to buy parts from the original manufacturer. While obviously consumer choice is part of a healthy market, when it comes to anything involving cars, there are so many scams out there it’s not even funny.
Ironically enough, often the people most guilty of overcharging and borderline illegal business practises (sometimes crossing over into downright illegal territory) are the dealerships themselves. This is especially ironic because the dealerships are the ones people tend to trust the most, and often pay needless amounts of extra money just for the privilege of doing business with them.
I’m even willing to bet that many people read that title and thought that this article was going to advocate for buying the cheapers and lowest quality parts out there! The facts are, nothing could be further from the truth.
But what a lot of us don’t realize is that OEM is actually a MINIMUM standard. There are many 3rd party parts suppliers that set the bar higher than OEM, in some cases way higher.
What To Replace:
Sometimes, in fact, it can be in the interest of safety and also save you money in the long run to replace OEM parts with better parts. In general, here are some parts to think about replacing on your car, even if they are still in working condition, and especially if the car is more than 5 years old:
Tyres: Go somewhere like TyrePlus and get some real tires on that car, and you will see the difference immediately. Not only will your car handle better, especially in nasty weather, it will obatin better fuel efficiency instantly, and be much safer on the road.
Rims: People often think of these things as a way of showing off your car and impractical, but nothing could be further from the truth. And OEM rims are often mediocre at best. These also go a long way as far as improving handling, fuel efficiency and safety.
Brake Pads: Proper brake pads are a must, and they are not that expensive. At the very minimum, your car should have a set of nice new ceramic brake pads on them. Steel ones are not recommended.
In Case Of Repair:
So if you need to repair your car and the repair includes replacing old parts, what should I look for? Here are some simple guidelines:
-If replacing brake pads, always go for ceramic, (unless you are driving a big truck or planning to race your car) and don’t look at the price, look at their rating.
-If replacing shocks, go for gas shocks all the way, even if your car didn’t have them. On paper, they usually represent a 25% improvement in performance over the original part, but in practise it can feel like 100%.
-If a mechanic starts suggesting ripping critical parts off of a wreck in the junkyard, run, don’t walk away. Non-critical parts like, for example, a cover to the light assembly are fine to buy second hand, but nothing critical to the car’s operation.