BMW OEM vs Aftermarket parts

At times you may be forced to replace some of your BMW’s parts – and it only makes sense that you only purchase those that would not cause additional problems. Most people are confused by whether they should go for the, most often than not, pricier OEM car parts or opt for the comparably cheaper aftermarket parts.

Basically, BMW OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer car parts are those that are produced by BMW or other BMW-sanctioned parts manufacturers. They usually align to BMW’s mechanical design specifications and quality standards.

On the other hand, aftermarket parts are what you will find in most independent shops. They are not sourced from BMW and neither do BMW-authorized companies produce them. They are made using the underpinnings of the original parts but outside an OEM production contract.

Now that you understand their differences let us look at the pros and cons of each so as to aid you to make the right decision.

Pros of OEM Parts

  • Assured quality – that guarantees you peace of mind as you are confident that it will serve you as well as the part that you are replacing.
  • Eliminates confusion – because most times there will be one type available for a specific part. Therefore, you need not worry about assessing its quality or its comparison with the initial part.
  • Offered with a warranty – that backs the part for at least one year. At times BMW also caters to the labor fees if the car part is replaced at an authorized dealership.
  • Warranty remains intact – as using BMW OEM car parts rarely leads to a void of the warranty.

Cons of OEM Parts

  • More expensive – as they are ordinarily priced above aftermarket parts. For example, OEM bodywork parts often cost about 60 percent more than similar aftermarket parts. That is assumed to be because dealerships are increasingly using the money accrued from the parts and service departments to compensate for their stagnant sales units.
  • Quality might disappoint – especially in those cases when a similar, lower priced aftermarket part matches or surpasses its quality.
  • Limited availability – as most can only be bought from BMW authorized dealers. Some BMW owners request for them from their local mechanics, but they usually have to wait for a tad longer.

Pros of Aftermarket Parts

  • More affordable – than most BMW OEM parts. Be cautious, though, when the price difference is too great as that might mean that the aftermarket part offers questionable quality.
  • Matching quality – to those of the same BMW OEM parts, in some cases. It is even possible to find parts that are of better quality than those that you are replacing.
  • More variety – which translates to a wider range of prices and a greater selection. That is because hundreds of companies specialize in the production of BMW aftermarket car parts.
  • Better availability – means that you are presented with more options on where to repair or service your BMW.


  • Varying quality – because some manufacturers make use of lower quality materials in a bid to produce lower-priced parts that will quickly sell. It is important that yo adhere to your mechanic’s recommendation, even if it might force you to spend more.
  • Lack of warranty – because some manufacturers are out to minimize costs and maximize profit.
  • Overwhelming selection – that may lead to confusion for those who are unfamiliar with aftermarket brands.

Which is the Best for your BMW?

Unfortunately, it is not so simple because both are suitable in different situations.

OEM parts are ideal for collision repairs because they fit well. They should also be used on leased BMWs since aftermarket parts decrease their values.

Similarly, aftermarket parts possess their advantages, and they can save you a lot of money but only if you or your mechanic are familiar with the reputable brands.

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