Do you know what OEM stands for? It stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.” When an auto body shop talks about repairing your car with OEM parts, they’re talking about parts that are the same as those that were installed when the vehicle was first built. On the flip side, you may hear the term “aftermarket” parts, which refers to parts that may be similar but are of a different brand or type than those that were originally used in the making of the car.
You may be wondering what the difference is. In truth, many aftermarket parts are perfectly fine and usable in a variety of cars. However, a good auto repair shop will always opt for the OEM Manufacturer Recommendation, whatever that recommendation happens to be. That’s because OEM parts are frankly higher quality, as well as the fact that they’re the parts that were originally intended to be a part of the vehicle. When a vehicle is designed with certain parts in mind, replacing those parts with different versions can have an effect on the car’s performance.
OEM parts require a very stringent certification process, which is part of what makes their cost higher than cheaper aftermarket parts. That certification process includes requiring that technicians be certified in welding steel and aluminum, ensures they have proper equipment, and that they must use software to access the OEM repair guidelines. Furthermore, an OEM shop must use a CSI platform to track customer reviews and maintain a clean shop with adequate space. This helps to make sure that OEM parts are installed and repaired correctly.
As you can see, operating as an OEM shop is a much more involved process, but in the end it means that a car will be repaired to its original factory specs — it’ll be “good as new.”
Insurance companies don’t require shops in their “preferred” network to be OEM certified, and in fact often recommend against it. Their ultimate goal is getting cars in and out with the cheapest, fastest repairs in order to keep their costs as low as possible. We don’t believe that’s the way to do things, and we refuse to do it that way. Your car deserves better than a fast and loose repair job, and so do you.
If you’re concerned about the higher price tag that comes with using OEM parts in repairs, please feel free to ask us questions and have us explain the benefits. This isn’t a decision we came to lightly, but it’s one we truly believe is in the best interest of our customers.