This Car Care Mania article is provided by Auto Craft Collision Repair with auto body shops in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Junction City, Kansas; and Wichita, Kansas.
Did you know that body shops don’t necessarily use original factory parts when they repair your car, and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing? But why would they choose one or the other? It's initially the insurance company’s decision, but ultimately it’s your decision, as we’ll explain below.
When insurance and collision repair professionals use the term aftermarket they’re describing parts made by a company other than the car manufacturer. They’re designed and built to be the same as the original parts, and sometimes they are. Sometimes they’re better, and sometimes not as good as the original parts.
When you hear the term OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), this describes parts from, as the name indicates, the company that made your car.
The collision repair shop has to identify all parts as one or the other in writing, on your estimate.
OEM parts often cost more, so insurance companies often choose to pay only the cost of an equivalent aftermarket part. But if they do, they have to provide you with a written warrenty stating that the aftermarket part is equivalent to or better than the OEM version. You should see this on your paperwork from the insurance company. You can still tell them to use the OEM part, but you may be required to pay the difference.
Want to learn more? Check out Auto Craft’s Collision Repair Blog.