Aftermarket (A/M) parts are any parts, equipment, or accessories for a vehicle that are not made by the vehicle manufacturer. The A/M manufacturer attempts to duplicate the original equipment (OE) without infringing on patents. A/M parts can come in two varieties: certified and uncertified. CAPA is an organization that certifies them based on fit and quality. These are generally better quality than an uncertified part, but they are still not as good as OEM parts. OEM parts go through rigorous design and testing stages to ensure quality, longevity, and safety. Always remember, you get what you pay for.
Often after an accident, when your insurance provider is evaluating damages and writing their estimate, they will insist on using aftermarket or used parts. They are an insurance company and the bottom line is their priority. Hence they will always push for the more cost effective answer. The justification is they do this to keep the cost of repairs as low as possible, and in turn keep your insurance premiums down. (By the way, how’s that working for you? Do you feel your premiums are low?)
There are several problems when choosing the more cost effective part. Less expensive means poorer quality. Poor quality can affect the way the part fits on the vehicle. They may not line up quite right with the original parts still on the car. Poor quality can also mean the part does not react the same way an OEM part would react should the vehicle be in another accident. OEM parts are designed for safety. A/M parts are designed for aesthetics. It is also possible that your vehicle manufacturer will void their warranty coverage if A/M replacement parts are used.
In terms of your collision repair, dealing with these inferior A/M parts can be a hassle that ends up extending the repair schedule. When an insurance company writes for us to use an A/M part, we have to prove just how inferior they are by ordering them, fitting them, justifying it to the insurance company, and then negotiating for the proper OEM part. Sometimes an insurance company will even request we try multiple A/M vendors. All this adds up to additional days in the shop. And we don’t want that as much as you don’t! Going with OEM parts, not only is quality and safety ensured, but it’s a one and done ordering process.
Northern Westchester Collision is a Certified Collision Repair Center for many of the leading auto manufacturers. We hold our quality of repairs to a higher standard and hope that all the education, equipment, and other requirements to become OEM certified prove this standard to both insurance companies and customers. Will some repair centers appease the insurance companies and use A/M parts? Sure. But we work just a little harder to fight for customers and to show you just how important a quality, safe, and reliable vehicle is to us. It is because of these high standards that we won’t use inferior parts. We promise to only put out quality, certified, guaranteed repairs!