OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts: Pros and Cons

When it’s time to make repairs to your washer, dryer, or dishwasher, you have two majors options: fix it your self, or pay top dollar and take it to an independent shop. You probably already knew this, but there is an important difference between both.

Typically, appliances will work better with OEM parts you can install your self, and an independent shop will work with aftermarket parts. The difference is that OEM parts are made by and for the manufacturer of an appliance, and aftermarket parts are similar, but not made by the manufacturer.

OEM parts are designed exactly like the original parts put in your appliance. Aftermarket parts, however, are designed only similarly. Sometimes they can function better than OEM parts. Sometimes they don’t. If you know a lot about your own appliance and its parts, then you may be ready to dive into aftermarket parts. If you don’t know much about the parts in your appliance, OEM is a safer choice. But it all depends on what you want.

Here we go over some of the biggest pros and cons with aftermarket and OEM appliance parts. Ultimately, the decision is yours when you need to replace a part or when you’re considering fixing your appliance.


OEM

Pros

  • Easy and simple to choose – unlike aftermarket parts, they will usually come in one type.
  • Quality guaranteed – these parts will be designed to function exactly like the original part.
  • Warranty – most suppliers and manufacturers offer warranties for their parts.

Cons

  • Higher cost – compared to aftermarket parts, these parts will cost a little more.
  • Limited availability – these parts are purchased through the factory or select suppliers.

Aftermarket

Pros

  • Lower cost – these parts are usually less costly than OEM parts, depending on the brand.
  • Potentially better quality – these parts might function equal to or better than OEM.
  • Variety – more variety of parts mean more functionality and a range of prices.

Cons

  • Potentially worse quality – these parts also might not function as well as OEM parts.
  • Extra selection – the increased variety might be overwhelming, and increases your risk.
  • No warranty – some of these parts are sold without a warranty, depending on price.

At the heart of it, OEM parts are all created equal, and aftermarket parts are not created equal. The best option depends on what you are looking for or what you need. Read over the pros and cons of both options, and this will help you make a more informed decision and ultimately get the most out of your appliance.

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