The Risk Of Aftermarket Parts
Even with regular routine maintenance and extra care, the time will come when your vehicle needs a replacement part. In some cases, a part is necessary for repair, while in other cases, the vehicle owner wants to add an upgrade or change out a current part. When choosing a part, owners must make sure the part is correct and compatible with the vehicle. While most people decide to purchase official parts from the manufacturer, called original equipment manufacturer (OEM), others choose to purchase products that are not officially produced by the manufacturer, referred to as aftermarket parts. Purchasing OEM parts requires working directly with the manufacturer or through an authorized dealership. There are risks to aftermarket parts that should be taken into consideration before purchasing.
Overview of Aftermarket Parts Risks
Any time you decide to purchase goods that are not made by the original name brand or manufacturer, you automatically take the risk that the part will not perform as intended. Some people consider aftermarket parts a risk worth taking since they are typically less expensive than OEM parts. If you choose to purchase an aftermarket part, it is important to make sure the company producing the part is reputable, using quality materials and provides a guarantee that the part will work with your vehicle. In many cases, aftermarket part companies that provide these guarantees of quality and functionality do not offer much of cost savings over OEM Volkswagen parts. This means that the main benefit of purchasing non-OEM parts is significantly reduced. Additionally, the majority of aftermarket parts producers are not able to make a guarantee that the parts will perform the same as OEM parts during the event of a crash. This is a considerable risk to take.
Understanding the Need
Volkswagen models are known for their well-engineered design and their quality construction, making them some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Even with the best intentions, the need for replacement parts for a repair caused by wear and tear, part malfunction or an accident is likely to happen sometime during your Volkswagen ownership. Why do people turn to aftermarket parts when they have the option to purchase a guaranteed and certified OEM part they know will be an identical replacement? Many individuals have turned to aftermarket parts because they are looking for an affordable alternative or one that can arrive more quickly than ordering directly from the manufacturer or a certified dealership. Unfortunately, taking this stance on parts can backfire since there is no guarantee the part is new, undamaged and completely compatible with the original piece.
Identifying the Issues
If you decide to consider an aftermarket part, there are many things to consider before deciding if it’s the right choice. Owners who choose aftermarket products typically choose them for one of two reasons, or a combination of both. As mentioned earlier, the cost is a determining factor for many individuals, and parts mass-produced with cheaper materials by third party companies are often less expensive than OEM parts. Another factor is the availability of parts. Using third party manufacturers means you may have several companies to choose from, and the parts may be more readily available, either with fast shipping online or at a local hardware store. Ordering specialized OEM parts sometimes means a longer wait, and there is only one manufacturer. After learning about the disadvantages and risks of choosing aftermarket products, you may decide that you don’t want to take on the risk.
- Aftermarket Parts Could Void Your Warranty. If your vehicle is still under warranty, you should always choose OEM parts for any upgrades or additions. Many warranties specify that damage or malfunction that can be traced back to an unapproved part would void your original warranty, which is a considerable risk. Another warranty issue is with the product itself. Most aftermarket products do not come with any guarantee, other than a return policy if the product does not fit. OEM parts, on the other hand, typically come with a warranty of their own that is separate from the vehicle warranty.
- Aftermarket Parts are Untested. OEM parts must complete a testing process since they are identical to the part that is being replaced. Original parts were tested under a variety of conditions, including crash tests. There is no guarantee that aftermarket products will perform the same way as OEM parts in the event of a crash since they may not be made of the same material or the same quality.
- Volkswagen Does Not Approve Aftermarket Parts. Any time you purchase a part that is not an official OEM part, you are choosing to carry a risk that is not backed by Volkswagen. In fact, most vehicle manufacturers warn customers of the risks of aftermarket parts since they can cause damage to your vehicle. The quality of non-OEM parts varies so much that the manufacturer would not be able to provide a recommendation or give approval for a specific company. Using online reviews to choose a company can be a risk itself since many companies now use marketing methods that include trading reviews for free products. If you want to make sure the part will work and will not cause damage, you need to stick with an official Volkswagen part.
- Aftermarket Parts Can Be Dangerous. The risk to your vehicle and to yourself is very real when you choose products that are not official OEM parts. The manufacturing materials could be of lower quality, or they could be of high quality but not appropriately tested for compatibility. The finishing could be sloppy, which means the part could wear out more quickly or unevenly. Poor copies of parts can compromise the safety rating of your vehicle and lead to costly repairs down the road.
Purchase OEM Parts for your Volkswagen
Although most consumers look for a bargain when dealing with expensive purchases like vehicle repairs or upgrades, potentially sacrificing quality and safety to save money in the short term can be a real risk. When it comes to purchasing OEM vs. aftermarket parts, you may be able to save on the cost of parts today, but down the road, it can be a costly mistake to repair the damage a poor product can cause. Another common issue with ordering parts that do not come either directly from the manufacturer or a trusted dealership that can order OEM parts is the rise in counterfeit parts. Some online companies claim to have OEM parts, but they are copies that can be dangerous if used.
If your vehicle is in need of a part and you want to make sure you are receiving an authentic original equipment manufacturer product, order your new parts online through Muller Volkswagen. The team at Muller Volkswagen can make sure you are getting the correct part you need and can help you schedule any repair appointments. Contact Muller Volkswagen today with any questions or to get assistance with ordering your OEM part.