Toyota OEM parts - are they really better for your car?
Toyota OEM Parts
If you're in the market for replacement parts for your Toyota, chances are you'll hear the term "OEM." Toyota OEM parts are widely available at auto supply stores, mechanics, and online. Before you purchase OEM, it helps to understand exactly what the term means and whether or not it's a good choice for your driving needs.
The term "OEM" refers to "Original Equipment Manufacturer." A common misconception is that Toyota manufactures all of the parts used to assemble Toyota cars and trucks. In fact, Toyota and other car companies hire independent manufacturers to create their parts. Each manufacturer is given a specific set of instructions regarding the design of the vehicle, and often the manufacturer will work in tandem with the car company to create the most efficient part. That company is then given the job of creating all of those parts for a certain line of vehicles.
Once the car or truck is sold to the public, these parts are boxed up and marked as genuine Toyota parts. They are sold exclusively to dealers and authorized repair shops, which are the only ones authorized to carry them for a certain timeframe.
After that timeframe is up, the original manufacturer is given selling rights to the part, and the Toyota name is removed. At that time, the parts are re-marked with the manufacturer's name and sold to the public as Toyota OEM parts.
So, how do you know if you're purchasing OEM parts? The truth is, it's difficult to tell unless you specifically ask for them. The names of these manufacturers aren't necessarily released, and just because your Toyota uses a certain OEM for one part doesn't mean the same company made all of the other parts.
If you're intent on purchasing OEM parts, your best bet is a reputable auto supply store. They will be able to sell you genuine OEM parts and you can be assured of what you're getting.
So, are Toyota OEM parts really better for your car?
The answer is generally yes, although in certain circumstances aftermarket parts can be just as good. Aftermarket parts are made by various manufacturers and, although they are generally the same design, they are not necessarily made of the same materials as the originals. If the original part had a design flaw, an aftermarket may be able to improve upon it. On the other hand, sometimes after markets contain modifications that don't work out so well.
With Toyota OEM parts, you know for a fact that you are getting a replica of the original part that was in your car when it was first built. You know that the part was made by a reputable company in conjunction with Toyota. Toyota OEM parts also make the repair process a little easier. Because aftermarket parts can differ slightly from original parts in how they look and feel, buying OEM means that you can compare the replacement part to your original and ensure you're getting the right piece.
If you're a car purist, or if you've had issues in the past with aftermarket parts that didn't work correctly, it's worth a little extra effort to buy Toyota OEM parts. You might spend a little more money, but knowing exactly what you're putting into your car makes it well worth the expense.
If you've been involved in a car accident and you're looking for car accident advice, here's some great info on the topic at Car Accident Advice.com.
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