What‌ ‌Are‌ ‌Aftermarket‌ ‌Parts?‌

If you own an automobile, chances are that you will have to make repairs to that vehicle at some point in time.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in 2020, the average age of an automobile in operation in the United States was 11.9 years old. With vehicles staying on the road longer and longer, aftermarket parts have become more and more important.

When you take your car in for repairs, you will have the choice between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket parts. While aftermarket parts are usually a more economical option, many people wonder, are aftermarket parts as safe as OEM parts

Not only is Mach1 Motorsports a full-service automotive facility, but we also supply aftermarket parts for repairs and customization. 

Today, we will take a look at what aftermarket parts are and the pros and cons of OEM vs aftermarket parts. By the end of this article, you will be able to make an educated decision the next time you have to decide what kind of parts to use in your automotive repairs.

What Is an Aftermarket Part?

Aftermarket parts are replacement parts used in auto repairs and customization. Third-party companies manufacture aftermarket parts, not the automobile manufacturer. Usually, aftermarket parts replace a part that has been damaged or worn out, but they can also enhance or tune up a vehicle.

Are Aftermarket Parts Safe?

The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) was established in 1987 to oversee the testing and quality of aftermarket auto parts. When looking into using aftermarket parts, look for the CAPA Quality seal (if there is no seal on the part, it is not CAPA Certified). And don’t be afraid to ask the repair shop for proof that the part is CAPA Certified.

What Types of Aftermarket Parts Are There?

There are two different types of aftermarket parts. Knowing the difference between them can help you decide if you would feel comfortable using aftermarket parts or if you would prefer OEM parts.

  • Cosmetic Parts: Cosmetic parts, such as fenders and trim, affect your vehicle’s looks but do not affect the safety of your car in a crash.
  • Structural Parts: The hood and the safety cage are examples of structural parts of your car. You will want to make sure that any aftermarket structural parts are CAPA Certified.

How Do OEM and Aftermarket Parts Differ?

Aftermarket parts function exactly like the OEM parts and typically will not void your car’s warranty. In addition, manufacturers of aftermarket parts design their products to not only function the same as the OEM parts, but sometimes they are better than the OEM version.

The Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Parts

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of choosing aftermarket parts for your auto repairs.


  • Aftermarket parts almost always cost less than OEM parts.
  • You have many manufacturers to choose from. Think of it this way, when you choose an OEM part — you only have one option. However, if you choose an aftermarket part, you have a more extensive selection of manufacturers to choose from. Having a bigger selection of manufacturers will keep costs down and make it easier to find the parts you need at your local auto parts store. If you choose to use an OEM part, the repair center may need to order it, causing you to be without your car for longer.
  • When using CAPA Certified aftermarket parts, you can rest assured that the aftermarket part you chose is quality.


  • Not all aftermarket parts are created equal. Quality can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
  • Some aftermarket parts will not come with an extended warranty. These parts tend not to have a CAPA certification. However, when you choose a high-quality aftermarket part, it will usually come with a warranty.

The Pros and Cons of OEM Parts

Choosing OEM parts for your auto repairs guarantees that they will match your vehicle. However, there are still pros and cons of choosing OEM parts for your repairs.


  • It’s typically easier to find OEM parts.
  • The quality of OEM parts is more consistent, where the quality of aftermarket parts can differ between manufacturers.
  • Carmakers provide a warranty for their replacement parts.


  • They tend to cost more than aftermarket parts.
  • The number of places you can find OEM parts is sometimes limited. Although you can sometimes find OEM parts online, they are typically sold through dealerships.
  • Some people purchase OEM parts because they expect consistent quality. But, unfortunately, that is not always true. In some cases, aftermarket parts are higher in quality than OEM parts.

Do You Still Need Help Deciding? Call the Professionals!

Backed by a consistent one-year, 12,000-mile warranty, Mach1 Motorsports is the preferred source for diesel and off road parts and repairs. 

Whether you are a seasoned professional in the off road game or looking to start a custom build, the experts at Mach1 Motorsports are focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction. We know that each vehicle’s situation and every client’s needs are different, so we remain consistently equipped with the latest in diagnostic equipment, vehicle parts, and automotive knowledge. 

Schedule an appointment online with us today to see our quality workmanship and knowledge in action.

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