When you drop your vehicle off at the shop for a repair, you probably here a phrases like genuine, aftermarket, OE, OES, or OEM. So, what do these words mean to you?
These acronyms are very important in the automotive world, especially more in the German automotive world. They pertain to automotive parts and there are some small and large differences when it comes to quality, reliability, and safety. So, let’s break them down:
If the part is genuine, this means the part is direct from the auto maker. These authentic parts are usually built by an auto parts supplier or manufacturer to the auto makers specification. These genuine parts are usually the highest quality and the most expensive to purchase. For example, Audi genuine spark plugs are made by Bosch or NGK depending on the application.
If the part is an aftermarket, this means it is made by a secondary auto parts supplier. These replacement parts are usually remanufactured or are a copied part from the original. In some cases, these parts are lower cost, but are lower in quality. And they usually end up having additional hidden cost once the part fails prematurely. For example, using aftermarket parts is a common way some shops undercut a competitive shop’s estimate in order to be the lowest price in town. So, they may use an Autolite Spark Plug application for Audi instead of a genuine or authorized part. While it can save money in the short-term, aftermarket parts can have major repercussions in the long term.
If the part is an Original Equipment (OE), Original Equipment Supplier (OES), or an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), this means the part is made by the original supplier or manufacturer for the auto maker. Most parts in your German auto are not made by the auto maker, but by an equipment supplier or manufacturer as per their request. For example, Porsche does not make brake components, they buy them from the brake manufacturer Brembo. BMW and Audi do not make transmissions, they buy transmissions from ZF Friedrichshafen. And Audi does not make spark plugs, so they buy them from Bosch and NGK. OE parts have the same quality as the genuine parts but without the middle-man price. OE parts are not the lowest price, but the best balance of price and quality. By using OE parts, we not only save our customers money but also use the best parts on the market for their vehicle. For example, we recommend Bosch OE or NGK OE spark plugs for an Audi or Brembo brake parts for a Porsche 911.
Have questions about a replacement part? Contact our experienced team at JA Autowerks today by visiting www.jaautowerks.com or calling, 732-268-7381.
- John Andryszewski, Owner/ASE Master Technician