You’ve been involved in a minor fender bender and your vehicle is under 10 years old. What can you expect when ordering parts? The adjuster may be okay that the replacement parts are ‘generic’. What does this mean to you?
First there are three sources for auto body parts. First OEM, meaning new original equipment manufacturer, or parts supplied new from your auto’s manufacturer. Second is used parts either from a salvaged vehicle ore rebuilt, made by the manufacturer, so the fit is assured and is otherwise as good as new. There really isn’t anything wrong with a part in good condition but used. Even a new part needs to be painted to match the paint job on your auto. Third there is aftermarket parts manufactured by a loosely or unaffiliated maker.
Does Insurance Cover OEM Parts?
Most insurance carriers write their policies to only cover the use of ‘generic’ parts. If you think your insurance covers the use of OEM parts, most likely you are wrong. If you are shopping for a new insurance policy be sure to request OEM parts in advance in case of an accident. Some carriers don’t offer OEM replacements at all. You need to request OEM coverage as part of the policy. You need to have it written into your policy. You will in most cases be responsible for covering the cost difference between the generic part and the OEM part in most cases. These costs can and do accrue rather rapidly, so make sure your carrier knows your preference.
New or Used Auto Parts?
OEM parts are more pricey than generic, aftermarket parts. Ask yourself this: “If I was paying for this repair out of pocket would I insist on OEM parts or cave and use the more inexpensive parts?” There is a caveat to this. Older aged vehicles may no longer have new OEM parts available. Manufacturers only need to support parts for the first 10 years of the vehicle life. After that many parts availability issues result in drying up of bulky body parts. These vehicles will benefit from either salvaged parts or aftermarket generics.
Can the Average Motorist Tell the Difference Between OEM & Aftermarket Parts?
For the body shop there is more profit in OEM parts. Most average drivers would be hard pressed to tell the difference between aftermarket and OEM once they’re installed and painted over. Have them tell the difference in the repair cost using OEM and aftermarket or used parts to determine if the OEM difference is important. There are times when the fight for OEM is just not worth the effort for both your wallet and the vehicle. You may want to alter your mental space before fighting the OEM fight. Remember you are fighting for the most expensive option. Why? Nine out of ten times you will find its not worth paying more for a part that is only subjectively better anyway.
Minor Mechanical Repairs, Auto Body & More in Dallas, Texas (Just Minutes Away from Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale & Wylie, TX)
In most cases insisting on OEM parts will not only cost more but delay the time of your repair. Insurance companies will only cover the OEM part if no other source is available. And if you request OEM only, you will pay a premium for your insurance. The insurance companies are looking at repairs to be like, kind and quality of the original. Your adjuster has the responsibility of making whole your vehicle but do it as inexpensively as possible. Aftermarket parts when installed by a competent auto body shop will be indistinguishable from OEM parts after the paint job and they are new parts. So, you may find that though you prefer OEM parts, the battle may go easier on your morale and pocketbook to accept the alternatives, aftermarket or salvaged parts. Call Top Notch Auto Body & Mechanic for all your minor mechanical and auto body needs.