While owning a car gives you a sense of convenience, it, of course, comes with plenty of responsibilities. All automobiles require occasional repair and regular servicing from time to time. However, no matter the level of service you give to your car, it will likely need replacement parts at some point. Car maintenance is solely a personal responsibility, and you have to make an informed decision to find the best replacement parts for your car. Experts recommend the use of factory-equivalent parts, but you still need to factor in other considerations.
Whether your car has scheduled maintenance, needs a complicated repair, or is due for a hose replacement or oil change, it's imperative to use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. But some people will also use aftermarket parts to service their vehicles. That said, what is the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts?
OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts
OEM parts are a typical duplicate of the original parts in your car. The aftermarket parts are designed similarly. While the OEM parts are commonly found in a dealer's shop, aftermarket parts are sold in independent shops. The two types of vehicle parts often complement each other; sometimes they can function better than the other, and other times they don't.
Some of the benefits of working with OEM parts include the fact that they're simple and easy to use, guarantee the quality, and come with warranties. However, the OEM parts are costly and limited, and you can only find them through the auto manufacturer or selected suppliers. On the other hand, aftermarket parts offer more varieties, are potentially high-quality, and come at a relatively lower price. The cons of these parts are that they have no warranty, can potentially be of worse quality, and increases risk due to the extra selection.
Common Replacement Parts Needed
There’s many easy parts that are needed for fixing a car. Some of the most common parts you can pick up to make simple fixes include:
- Fuel filter – Fuel filter is responsible for preventing impurities and contaminants from entering the engine via the fuel line. A blocked fuel filter can prevent the engine's proper flow to the engine, potentially resulting in hard starts or stalling.
- Car battery – Car batteries often need occasional replacements. An average vehicle battery will last between 2 – 5 years, based on the type your car is using.
- Starter – The starter is tasked with getting the engine spinning. When it fails, it will start producing a series of loud clicks once you turn the key.
- Air filter – The air filter prevents dirt and other elements from getting into the engine. A dirty filter can prevent proper air circulation and lead to poor engine performance.
- Alternator – The alternator is the power behind most parts of your vehicle. If the miles run high, the alternator can fail, causing problems with your car's radio, lighting, and start.
- Tires – Tires play a crucial role in getting your vehicle from one point to another. They require a regular inspection to see if they have sufficient traction.
Best Parts Retailers
When your vehicle develops mechanical issues, you want to get the best service possible. Here are some of the best parts retailers you can find the most reliable parts for your car.
- Advance Auto Parts – Advance Auto Parts is the most established and best retailer to buy car parts. It has more than 5,000 stores throughout the country and deals with almost every vehicle part, including cleaning products, maintenance parts like batteries, brakes, and suspensions.
- eBay Motors – eBay is a platform that allows you to buy anything, including car parts. The platform provides a full selection of parts for any car make or model. eBay also allows you to narrow your search down to specific items and provide diagrams to help you visualize parts.
- Pep Boys – Besides providing a range of car parts, Pep Boys also offer complete repair services. When shopping for your parts on their website, you can book an appointment to have the parts installed or choose to pick the parts.
- Walmart – You can also shop for all auto parts and accessories at Walmart. They offer a plethora of products at the most competitive prices paired with their ability to provide customers with easily accessible services. Although Walmart is not a popular place for parts, you should consider checking out products. Whether you're looking for wiper blades, motor oil, car battery, or fuel filter, you're likely to find these items cheaper at Walmart than any other place.