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Parts: New vs. Aftermarket vs. OEM

Parts replacement choices are not always understood by the consumer. Many feel that less than a brand new, factory part will result in problems. Although in certain areas of repair this may be true, this is not a fact across the board. 

Of course a brand new part from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sounds like the best choice, but let's look at this more closely. Say, for example, your car's headlamp and bumper require replacement. If you were to replace the bumper with new parts, you would have to buy at least three major components to put it back together, including the outer bumper cover, impact absorbing cushion and the inner bumper bar. These pieces, if purchased as a recycled or Like Kind and Quality used (LKQ) part, would be available complete with the major parts, or at least most of the bumper already assembled.

As for the headlamp, the same issue arises as to whether the replacement will be the same part that the car had before. If it is, it can result in a cost savings of up to 50 per cent.

Quality should also be considered when it comes to replacement parts. Prior to the accident if your vehicle's damaged parts were exactly the same year and quality of the recycled parts available to replace them, and purchased from a reputable recycler then the part should be just as good as what you had before the accident, providing it was taken apart, painted and reassembled properly, making it a very good repair choice for the car.

You will want to count on the experience of your auto repair centre to select and use only quality aftermarket parts. There are many incidences where Aftermarket parts should not be used, mainly for safety concerns, but your repair shop should be aware of these issues and refuse to use such parts. For your own peace of mind make sure you always ask about the parts being used. A reputable shop will always be happy to go over the information with you.

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