There are a lot of reasons you might want custom auto parts, but unless you have your own hydraulic press and manufacturing equipment, you’re probably going to have to go to a third party to get them.
With that in mind, the following are some of the main things to know about custom car parts and how to select and buy them.
Understanding Aftermarket Parts
You might need car parts to repair an issue, or you could want to improve performance. You might also have some other particular objective in mind when it comes to car parts.
Aftermarket parts can be cheaper than what’s called original equipment manufacturer or OEM parts.
Aftermarket parts, as you might imagine, are any car component built by someone that’s not the original manufacturer of your vehicle.
Sometimes they’re called generic parts, but in strictest terms, aftermarket parts are not used. They’re brand-new parts.
While they do tend to be less expensive, they are usually as safe as OEM parts.
Most often, aftermarket parts are either sheet metal or plastic, and they’re the parts of your car that make up the exterior, like the bumpers and hoods, although they don’t have to be.
Aftermarket parts can be as much as 60% less expensive than OEM parts, so insurance companies sometimes don’t mind if you’re using them if you’re getting repairs because it saves them money.
Along with a lower price, another benefit of custom parts is that you have many makers that you can choose from. An extensive selection of any product is going to mean you can shop around and find what works for you based on pricing and convenience.
There’s an independent testing organization called the Certified Automotive Parts Association or CAPA. The organization tests and certifies replacement parts. If you find a part that has its seal, it’s a great indicator that the part will meet or even exceed any quality standards, that it will be safe, and that it’ll fit.
What Are the Downsides of Aftermarket Parts?
Nothing is perfect, and aftermarket parts are no exception.
You do have more options because there’s more competition, as we noted above. However, it’s also very possible that because of that wide selection, you end up with items that don’t fit your particular vehicle or that are low quality.
If you do buy a part that doesn’t fit or work for your car, your car insurer may pay for you to replace it.
When you use an OEM part, it usually has a minimum of a one-year warranty, but an aftermarket part may have a limited warranty or not have one at all.
How Can You Determine Quality?
If you’re shopping for aftermarket parts, how do you know what’s quality and what isn’t?
It’s a good idea to talk to an expert in this area, such as your mechanic. You can also browse reviews of the retailer online and look into the reputation of the manufacturer.
How Does An Aftermarket Part Affect Vehicle Value?
Your car’s value would be the worth of your vehicle on the open market if you were to sell it or trade it in.
There are a lot of different factors that weigh into the value of a vehicle, including the make and model, features and the condition it’s in.
Using OEM parts if you need repairs or want to customize your vehicle isn’t going to affect the value much, if at all.
Using aftermarket parts can, however.
Sometimes it can add value. For example, if you were to add something like custom alloy wheels, that’s likely going to increase your car’s value.
With that being said, if you overly personalize a vehicle, then while you might be theoretically increasing the value, it’s going to limit the pool of interested buyers if you ever do need to sell it because you’re making it so particular.
Performance parts are something that we haven’t gone into specifically, but these are parts that are used for better performance, as you might guess from the name, as well as more efficiency.
Performance parts can vary widely and can be anything from putting lighter wheels on a vehicle to have a completely new engine.
There are many general circumstances where using custom car parts or aftermarket parts will decrease your car’s value, so you need to be aware of this before you make any changes.