The Aftermarket Gamble


More often than not we see arguments spring up over whether it is worth it to use generic parts in place of the OEM part. This is in no way a new debate, and it still rages on. Here at CleanAudi, we tend to lean towards the OEM side, but that doesn’t mean we won’t rock some knock off gear every once in a while. Typically the rule of thumb is, if it has moving parts or is of great importance, then OEM it is. However for more cosmetic items or less complicated items, we will look for an aftermarket part to help save some cash. Why are we telling you this? Well we recently had both a positive experience with aftermarket parts as well as a negative one. It was only after, that we realized when you pay more for OEM parts, more often than not you are paying for the guarantee that they will last. Sure both the OEM part and its cheaper knock off will perform the same a few days after the install. (Well, sometimes. Other times the aftermarket part is just junk) But what about a year? Two? Our point is if what that extra cost means is a more consistent and reliable part, then just buy it. Or, don’t be surprised or disappointed when the cheaper version didn’t live up to the expectations set for it. That being said when you do take a gamble (Which is exactly what you are doing with any part, aftermarket or OEM) and come out on top, it is a nice feeling. Take for example our carbon fiber mirrors, we had picked them up because the price was good. However we had very low expectations, and didn’t think that they would be of a particularly high quality. Turns out, we were wrong. They have held up and fit very well, and the product is the real deal. On the other hand we have aftermarket mirror glass. Those of you that have had to replace it, know how costly the glass can be from the dealer. So we took the gamble and used an aftermarket brand. The result? Well in less than a year, we have replaced both sides because of stress cracks. The mirrors also lacks certain features the OEM ones had. So if ever the saying “you get what you pay for” stands true, then it’s no surprise to us. From our point of view, we rather gamble less and use OEM and if we don’t, we have to remind ourselves to not be overly expectant. Something to think about, the next time we balk at the price of the dealer part.

-CA Staff


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