Aftermarket Auto Parts – What Are They And Where Are They Headed

What is it? An aftermarket part is any part of an automobile that is not obtained from that car’s manufacturer. For parts that are direct replacements, the vehicle’s warranty will stay intact.

Many companies nowadays make auto parts designed to operate very similar to the original, and in some cases even better used auto parts . Most performance parts are manufactured by aftermarket companies because they are specialized experts in that particular field.

Pros & cons? Whereby aftermarket auto parts are considered to be less pricier and widely available, they certainly boast a greater choice of auto parts to choose from with quality that’s equal to the stock parts or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts if not always better! The greatest con of aftermarket parts is the lack of warranty. Also if the car owner is not familiar with a variety of available brands, the selection could be tremendous. The quality of auto parts can also vary with each maker.

What is currently available? Drivers can opt for aftermarket parts which can convert their cars into exclusive machines. Options range from aftermarket engine components to car body styling; car owners do not have to endure the car manufacturers’ installations anymore. Aftermarket auto parts can be employed for three distinct reasons: boosting performance, altering the look and feel of the vehicle, increasing the vehicle’s efficiency.

To cater to any or all of the purposes of the car owner, market offers a variety of aftermarket auto parts for use in brakes and suspension, electronics, engine, exhausts, lubricants, gauges, interior, exterior, wheels and much more.

Some of the most sought-after parts for the above categories include catalytic converters, cat-back and turbo-back exhausts, headers, muffler’s, fuel filters and pumps, torque converters, gaskets and seal sets, spark plugs, throttle bodies, alignment kits, gauges, lights and lamps, chrome accessories, transmission fluids, shock absorbers, seat and steering wheel covers etc.

Future of aftermarket auto parts? Although the aftermarket industry is packed with auto upgrades, entertainment items and vehicle flair, an increased competition from OEM dealerships coupled with the economic climate, increases in gas prices and fewer miles driven is influencing the vehicle owner’s behavior. As more and more vehicle owners are transitioning to do-it-yourself repairs to save costs, OEM dealerships are also becoming aggressive for post-warranty service work.

The problem with cheap car parts has been increased even more due to the fact that there are very few regulatory agencies (private or government) that can test the used car parts before they are installed in a car as replacement. However, there are ways to obtain cheap auto parts that won’t break your bank balance, and yet be as reliable as new car parts. Many used car parts may seem cheaper on paper, but frequent repairs, lower mileage and missed car-days due to the car being in repair shop add up to quite a bit in the long run. As such, one must make the effort to avoid these parts. The alternative is using discount stores, both online and offline that provide new auto parts at discounted prices.

The auto parts bought from these stores have already undergone testing in many cases and the prices are lowered primarily by lowering overhead and reducing the profit margin. This allows such dealers to provide cheap auto parts, often at over 15-20% discount, and sometimes even more. The benefits of getting these parts over seemingly cheap auto parts are obvious. The parts are tested, and can be returned in case of defects. Since these parts are new, they often last far longer than used parts and provide optimum performance. As such, there is no danger of the hidden costs often associated with used car parts. These stores are often found online far more than offline since the overhead of running an online store is far lower than a brick and mortar business. Searching online for “cheap auto parts” and “discount auto parts” may yield some good results. However, be careful since many places online are auctions for old used parts, not discount stores for new parts at lower prices than others.

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