automotive gearsAfter your car is involved in an accident, you start a claim with your insurance carrier and go to the local auto body shop for repairs. Throughout this process, most people don’t give much thought to parts, assuming their insurance carrier wants the car in safe, road-ready shape before it leaves the shop.

Unfortunately, many carriers also look to cut corners. Measures may include asking customers to submit photos of the damage through their mobile app or requesting aftermarket parts in place of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. In fact, a great deal of carriers specifically will not cover higher quality OEM parts.

The Case for OEM Parts

OEM versus aftermarket parts is often up for debate among auto repair specialists and enthusiasts. OEM is often preferred, as these parts are an exact match to the manufacturer’s original construction and performance. On the other hand, aftermarket parts may be close to OEM and backed by a warranty or they could be subpar, fit poorly and have no warranty at all. Unless you do your research, aftermarket quality and performance are often a gamble.

Until the 1970s, auto body shops repaired cars exclusively with OEM parts. Then there was a push for aftermarket, which lowered part prices but also resulted in an unregulated industry, where not all parts are tested for quality before going to stores. As such, you might pay less when aftermarket parts are used, but flimsier materials and poor fit mean they often wear away quicker.

Know Which Parts You’re Getting

The next time you need repairs, ask the auto body shop if they use OEM or aftermarket parts. More often than not, a shop will use aftermarket but DaSilva’s Auto Body uses OEM parts for all work performed. Yet it’s important to note that not all states are required to disclose this information – including Connecticut.

If you decide to use aftermarket parts, check to see if they’re covered by a warranty. For those that are, make sure you have all terms in writing.

Check With Your Insurance Carrier

The auto body shop is only one part of the equation. The other part involves reaching out to your insurance carrier to ask about coverage and repairs. In this scenario, you may:

  • Have to update your policy to one that covers OEM parts for repairs. In this case, coverage typically comes with a higher premium.
  • Need to reach a consensus with your carrier regarding the work performed. They might cover the cost of repairs with aftermarket parts, but you’ll have to make up the difference for OEM.

OEM Not Available For Older Vehicles?

For cars at least 10 years old, the manufacturer may no longer make corresponding parts. Although you can attempt to track them down, chances are that aftermarket and used parts may be the only options available. Before repairs are made, ask the auto body shop if they have OEM parts available for your make and model.
Not only does DaSilva’s Auto Body perform repairs with OEM parts, but we work with your carrier and keep you in the loop regarding your insurance claim. Whether you need repairs or basic maintenance, make an appointment today.