Debating whether to buy VW OEM parts or try your luck online for some aftermarket parts? If your beloved Volkswagen has suddenly broken down, or you’re starting to hear squealing and clunking noises when braking and rounding corners, finding replacement car parts can be a bit of a mission.
Luckily, our team of VW mechanics in Perth are here to help you navigate the market for replacement VW parts. In this article, we’ll run through the key differences between OEM and aftermarket parts, how to tell whether a part is genuine, and how Elite Euro can help you get your car up and running again.
What is the difference between VW OEM and aftermarket parts?
Firstly, let’s break down what ‘OEM’ means: Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts are what you would also call ‘genuine parts’, as they are made (or approved for use) by the same manufacturers who made your Volkswagen car.
With this said, OEM parts are the best quality replacement parts you can get, as well as the safest.
As they have to meet strict manufacturer specifications, OEM parts are rigorously tested for their performance in crashes, extreme environmental conditions, and usage in assistive driving technologies such as autonomous emergency braking.
An added plus is that you can usually also get a new warranty on the parts, for extra peace of mind.
Typically, you can source OEM parts from the same dealership where you bought your car or by paying a visit to your trusted Perth VW specialists.
The only downside of OEM parts is that they will generally be more expensive than aftermarket parts, and aren’t always available locally or within the timeframe that you need them.
Next, let’s get into aftermarket parts. These are non-branded, ‘generic’ parts that can be easily found at most auto parts stores, and are designed to fit multiple makes and models of vehicles.
Given that they are mass-produced without the need to meet certain standards of quality and testing, they tend to be cheaper to buy than OEM parts and have varying levels of quality.
You may also be wondering: Can aftermarket parts void your car’s warranty? In some cases, yes – it really depends on the original manufacturer’s policy on your car.
For example, if a new part shows a significant difference in quality, dimensions, and functionality, this may be considered a ‘modification’, which could impact the performance of other genuine parts in your car. In this instance, you might lose your warranty.
When it comes down to it, we’d recommend getting some OEM parts for your VW to ensure a perfect fit and optimal performance.
How to tell OEM Volkswagen parts from aftermarket
The most obvious way to tell genuine parts from aftermarket ones is to do a side-by-side comparison. For example, are the two parts made from the same material? Do they weigh about the same? Are there any key features that look markedly different?
If you can see the parts and its packaging in person, check for a serial or batch number on each: do they match each other and the number that’s on your old part?
In some cases, it may be best to ask for the part’s original Certificate of Authenticity from the seller so that you are sure the part you get is genuine.
If you’re planning to order replacement car parts online, you’ll want to make sure you order the right parts (and if you’re paying for genuine parts, you’ll want to avoid accidentally buying a cheap counterfeit!)Before you place an order, take some time to look into the online store you are buying from.
How long have they been around for? Do they have real, positive customer reviews? What is their return policy? Do they have additional photos of the part that you can look at to determine if it’s the right one for your Volkswagen?
While you most likely need your replacement parts urgently, it pays to check all of these things before handing over your hard-earned money, especially if something sounds too good to be true.
Need OEM parts for your Volkswagen? Talk to a Perth VW specialist at Elite Euro
As a luxury European car owner, we know that quality ranks highest on your list. At Elite Euro, you can be confident that our Perth VW mechanics only use genuine VW parts and will ensure that your Volkswagen gets a proper service, in line with manufacturer requirements.
While the above tips may help you in your search for replacement car parts, it can be difficult combing through the parts market without a lot of background experience and mechanical knowledge.
If you need assistance finding and installing VW parts in Perth, get in touch with our friendly team here.