Differences Between OEM & Aftermarket Parts

If you have taken your car to your local mechanic or dealership for repair, you may have heard the term “OEM parts” when trying to replace a defective car component. Of course, you may have also heard about aftermarket parts. But what does OEM stands for, anyway?

This article will explain the meaning of OEM and also outline some OEM automotive examples. We’ll also explain the differences between OEM and aftermarket parts to clarify misconceptions about these terms.

We’ll also examine brands like Tesla, Apple, and Bosch to see if their products are OEM or aftermarket parts.

what does oem stand for cars

What Does OEM Stand For?

Whether you’re asking what does OEM stands for in Computer, what does OEM stand for in Aviation, or what does OEM stands for in automotive, the term ‘“OEM” stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

In the automotive industry, OEM parts are the original parts used in cars. They are, however, identical to the factory-fitted parts in vehicles. Moreover, OEM parts are not only identical to the factory-fitted parts in cars, but they are also compatible and of the same quality standard.

The car manufacturer does not necessarily produce OEM parts. But a car OEM company can be the automaker or a recommended producer by the automakers. However, OEM companies are not just recommended producers; they are the suppliers of the original parts in a car.

Car OEM parts are usually sold by car dealers, part producers, or car manufacturers. These products are hardly seen in the market to prevent other producers from bringing in fake parts. You can also see them in the markets, but you should beware of them. Most OEM parts on the market shelves are fake.

Similarly, if you were asking what does OEM stands for in manufacturing or what does OEM stands for in sales, or business, it invariably means original equipment manufacturer. So, let’s see the difference between OEM and aftermarket products.

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What is the difference between OEM parts & aftermarket parts?

We have already explained above that the OEM is the original product used in cars. It is either manufactured by the automaker or produced by another producer but recommended by the automakers.

However, OEM and aftermarket products are equivalent to each other. The only difference is the quality. Aftermarket parts are not of the same quality as OEM parts, though there are several high-quality aftermarket parts in the market.

Aftermarket parts drive market prices low, making products competitive. Aftermarket parts are usually available in local auto stores, and various online stores, while OEM parts are only available at dealerships, car manufacturers, or the OEM part producer.

The car manufacturers usually certify and guarantee the OEM parts that will be compatible with your vehicle. But, on the other hand, your car manufacturer will not certify the aftermarket products for your vehicle even though it is identical to the factory-fitted parts.

There are several aftermarket part producers with wide price ranges, which gives customers enough options to choose from. Unfortunately, this also leads to a confusing experience. But there are likely two OEM producers with fewer options but with quality customer experiences.

However, OEM and aftermarket parts are essential in the automotive industry. OEM parts are recommended products by the car manufacturer or the automakers’ products. This means that OEM parts meet the industry specification.

On the flip side, some aftermarket products meet or even exceed industry standards, while other producers offer inferior parts at cheaper rates.

Here are some OEM examples; Toyota genuine parts, Michelin, BFGoodrich, Firestone, Goodyear, Tesla, Apple, Bosch, etc. Meanwhile, it’s important to note that an OEM part for a specific vehicle may be an aftermarket part for another car.

Read Also: Parts of A Car – A Guide to Car Parts & Functions

oem automotive example

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Is OEM the same as the original?

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are the original parts built by the company that produces the factory-fitted parts for the car manufacturer. Therefore, OEM parts are the same as the component that comes with your car.

Car manufacturers do not produce all the parts that come with their vehicles. For instance, most car makers do not manufacture car tires. Instead, they only certify, guarantee and use a specific tire on a particular car.

This particular tire is certified and guaranteed as OEM on that vehicle, invariably making it original. Therefore, it is safe to say that OEM is the same as the original. The only difference is that some originals are not certified or guaranteed by the car manufacturer.

What is the difference between ODM and OEM?

As reiterated above, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are parts produced by another producer and used as a part of a complete product by another manufacturer. For instance, Ford Motors uses Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT tires, 256/70R17 115T, on the Ford F150 XL and XLT trims.

ODM, on the other hand, means original design manufacturer. It is referred to a white labelling or private label products. Here, a manufacturer has designed the product, but a customer changes it to its brand name with slight changes to the branding, packaging, or colors.

Is IT safe to buy OEM products?

It is pretty safe and legal to buy OEM products in the IT industry. The original equipment manufacturer produces certified and guaranteed parts for your hardware or software.

For instance, since intel produces processors for DELL, HP, and others, and AMD produces graphic cards for DELL and others, it is absolutely safe to buy a replacement processor from intel and a replacement graphic card from AMD.

Is Apple an OEM?

Apple is an OEM producer. Apple produces its products, though they outsource some iPhone manufacturing productions from contract electronics producers. However, they outsource the iPhone production to leverage cost to scale.

They are known for designing, manufacturing, and marketing smartphones, computers, and wearables. Their products include iPad, Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, HomePods, Beats Products, iPod touch, and accessories.

Is Tesla an OEM?

Tesla is energy and an automotive company that designs, develops, produces, markets, leases, and sells energy generation and electric cars. They manufacture and sell Tesla Roadster, Tesla Semi, Cybertruck, Model S, Model Y, Model 3, and Tesla Model X.

They also manufacture, install, and maintain energy and solar systems. It also offers end-to-end clean energy products. Tesla produces most of its products, making them OEM producers in the automotive and energy industries.

Is Bosch an OEM?

Bosch is a world-renowned and trusted multi-national equipment manufacturer in the engineering and technology industries from Germany. It is headquartered in Gerlingen, close to Stuttgart, Germany. Bosch, however, is a significant supplier to major automotive industry manufacturers, including Volvo.

Bosch produces OEM products like alternators, starters motor, fuel delivery parts, oxygen sensors, spark plugs, electrical components, and ECUs. They also produce aftermarket products like HVAC management, brakes, and car filtrations.

What is better, OEM or replica?

OEM products are often produced by the car manufacturer or certified and guaranteed by the automakers. This means that OEMs are original or have the same quality and function as the original, making them a better option than replica products.

OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts – Which one to go for?

By now, you have got all your answers to what OEM stands for in auto parts or what does OEM stand for in general. To avoid repetition and to rephrase in more straightforward language, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. An OEM company manufactures parts or systems used in another company’s products. For example, Ford Motor Company is an OEM for many parts used in Honda vehicles.

OEMs are important to the automotive industry because they provide companies with parts and systems they can use in their products. This allows companies to focus on their core competencies and outsource the production of other components.

As for the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts, OEM parts are often more expensive than aftermarket parts, but they’re also usually of better quality. OEM parts are also more likely to be compatible with your car since they’re designed for it specifically. Aftermarket parts may not fit or work as well with your car, but they’re often cheaper and easier to find.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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