01 May 2019

Is OEM really better than aftermarket?

The truth about aftermarket parts and your car's warranty
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  Clever marketing campaigns and creative wording in warranties have led many to believe that non-genuine parts will void their warranty. The truth is, they actually present an affordable and viable way to repair your vehicle.

There is a school of thought that quality car parts have to come from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

There are many reasons for this, as car dealers will often try and persuade customers with clever language that OEM is the only way to go.

Customers often leave the dealership thinking they must use genuine parts or risk voiding their warranty, a frightening prospect which ultimately makes them stick to OEM.

But in actual fact, aftermarket parts will not void your warranty in most instances and present a readily available, more affordable and high-quality replacement for parts in your vehicle.

Here are the benefits of aftermarket parts and why you should not fear voiding your warranty by using them.

The benefits of aftermarket parts

These parts are any that are sourced from outside of the car’s manufacturer.

There are many high-quality aftermarket brands out there providing quality parts for most brands of cars in Australia.

These come with many benefits saddled to them. They are usually cheaper, they are of high-quality standard (it is a competitive industry, after all), there is greater availability and you have more scope for choice.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here, though. Less reputable or unknown brands with drastically reduced prices are unlikely to deliver quality products.

Will aftermarket parts void my warranty?

There is a common perception that aftermarket products will void the warranty on your vehicle, but this is not always the case.

If you are purchasing a like-for-like part, it doesn't matter if the part comes from your car's manufacturer or not—despite what your dealer may claim.

Often dealers will list preferred parts and accessories that come from the manufacturer. You are free to purchase aftermarket parts (which are often cheaper and, in many cases, higher quality) without it voiding your warranty.

The only time you will not be entitled to warranty repairs is if the aftermarket part causes the fault.

This is validated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s own statement on vehicle warranties.

It states that replacing parts in a service with aftermarket products is fine as long as your mechanic is: "using appropriate quality parts where required".

“Provided you service the vehicle in accordance with any such requirements, the warranty will remain valid,” the statement reads.

“If the manufacturer’s warranty states that the vehicle can only be serviced by an authorised dealer, this is likely to raise concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act.”

Will vehicle modifications void my warranty?

This is another area where people generally get confused.

Nissan recently ran a marketing campaign espousing the dangers of aftermarket products with the tagline “Would you trust a stranger with the people or things that you love?”

The campaign had people dressed as criminals pretending to be car parts like roof racks and bull bars.

This was a simple scare campaign to get drivers using only genuine parts.

Vehicle modifications using aftermarket parts are perfectly fine, as long as they meet appropriate Australian Design Rules or Australian Standards.

As long as they meet this compliance, they will be perfectly safe for your vehicle and will not impact your warranty.

It is important to notify your insurer of any modifications, though.

Ensure your aftermarket products have their own warranty

While you are free to replace parts in your vehicle with aftermarket products without fear of voiding your warranty, your car’s manufacturer has no obligation to replace these parts should they fail.

Ensure that your aftermarket products come with their own individual warranty to cover you in case they fail down the track.

 
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