If you are in a car accident and your car needs repair afterwards, you are going to have a major discussion about what kind of auto parts to use, probably with several different people. Here are your choices:
- Original Equipment Manufacturer or “OEM” parts: these are parts that are brand new, direct from the factory that made your car, just like your the car’s original parts when it rolled off the assembly line. They are high quality, and the most expensive.
- Aftermarket parts: these are new parts that are made by other manufacturers that are “like” the parts your car manufacturer makes, but not made specifically for the make and model of your car. They are more generic, and meant to fit many different models and makes of cars. Sometimes, we will have to mold or adjust the parts to make them conform to your car’s specifications. They are good but not as great as the OEM parts, so they are not as expensive.
- Used or LKQ (Like, Kind, and Quality) parts: these are parts that have been taken off a vehicle that was probably totaled or sold for parts, thus, used, thus even less expensive.
- REMAN parts: these are parts that are of the original brand, make, and model of your car, but have been refurbished for resale, again – used, again – less expensive.
If you want your car returned to it’s pre-accident condition, you will need to use OEM parts. It is true that they will cost more than aftermarket, used, or REMAN parts, however, if you have a 2012 Audi, you would be crazy to go with anything but the OEM parts. If you have a 2005 Toyota that your daughter drives to school, then you may want to consider other options for parts. The bottom line is – you may not have a choice about what parts you use as it will depend on what kind of coverage you bought with your insurance policy, and what your insurance will – and will not – pay for. If your insurance policy does not cover OEM parts, then you will have to pay the difference out-of-pocket if you want to use them.