When your car breaks down, or just needs a new part, it's often a stressful situation -- not just on your mind, but also your wallet. Fortunately, there are plenty of paths you can take to get your car back on the road to recovery. If your car is still under warranty, then going directly to the dealership is your best bet so you don't void the warranty. However, if your vehicle is out of warranty, then you have an option to use aftermarket parts through an independent repair shop or sticking with OEM parts at the dealership. There are pros and cons for each, and this article is here to help you decide which path is best for you.
Shopping Aftermarket Parts
The market for aftermarket parts is expansive, but shoppers can find great products that are high in quality while still being low in price. If you're looking for performance enhanced parts, then the only only place you're going to find them is by shopping from aftermarket manufacturers. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) build vehicles to spec and aren't in the business to push a vehicle past the limits it was manufactured for.
Price is also another factor, and more players not only means more variations but also lower prices for the consumer. Be careful, however. You typically get what you pay for when it comes to auto parts, so do your research. If anything sounds too good to be true, it probably is. On the same topic, the extra competition means manufacturers are incentivized to produce better quality parts so they can get ahead of the competition.
Going with the Dealership
An expansive selection of parts can seem overwhelming to some buyers, so if you're flat-out unsure about what to get, it's always safe to go with OEM parts from the dealership. OEM parts are a known quantity, so you know your money is being used well. But you sometimes have to pay a little extra for that piece of mind. Going to the dealership relieves you from the headache of possibly purchasing the wrong part, the part not fitting, or the part just straight up breaking.
In the end, both routes will get you to the same place and going aftermarket might even save you a little money along the way. Buying OEM parts will also buy you peace of mind since you know you're getting a part that is factory tested and made specifically for your car. If you have any questions, visit an auto repair shop like Wilson & Bell Transmission.