Aftermarket/OEE vs OEM Parts – What’s the difference?


Post created: 24 March 2023

Your motor vehicle can prove to be one of the most valuable assets you’ll own, which is why proper maintenance is essential. In the event you break down or its time for your annual service – you’ll want the very best maintenance or repair job you can afford. One of the key decisions you’ll have to make is whether to make use of replacement original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive parts or to opt for Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) instead.

In our handy guide below, we discuss the differences between OEE and OEM parts, as well as pros & cons for each:

What are OEM automotive parts?

OEM parts are custom engineered by the vehicle manufacturer for a particular make and model of car. They’re produced to match the specifications of the vehicle with absolute precision and are often the only components offered by proprietary car dealerships.

What are OEE car parts and components?

OEE vehicle parts are often not made by the original manufacturer of a vehicle. Instead, what characterises them is that they’re made specifically for sale after a vehicle has been sold. This includes replacement parts and accessories, other than those designed to be included in a new vehicle at the time of its sale.

OEE parts may be produced by third-party manufacturers and can be designed for a diverse range of vehicles. As a result, the fitment and quality of OEE spares and components are not standardised. Despite not being recognised as being equivalent to OEM parts in terms of quality and functionality, OEE car parts are usually cheaper.

Advantages of OEM car parts

OEM parts supply you with the perfect match for your vehicle. Additionally, there is only one OEM component of a particular kind for your car, which means there is no need to compare the quality and price of dozens of different variants.

Typical disadvantages of OEM spares and parts

OEM parts can be pricey – expect to pay up to 60% more for OEM automotive parts than for generic OEE parts. Furthermore, OEM components are not always of a superior quality when compared to OEE components.

Potential advantages of OEE parts

The main advantage of most OEE parts is that they are a more cost-effective option when compared to OEM parts. Also, OEE parts are much more widely available. This is thanks to the fact that they are not limited to use by a select amount of authorised dealerships, who will often charge inflated prices. With OEE parts, customers can choose where they have their vehicles serviced, repaired or customised based on their budget.

Potential disadvantages of OEE parts

It is important to note that not all aftermarket parts are created equal. If you don’t stick with well-known, trusted brands, there’s the risk that you’ll end up with an inferior part – which may perform poorly or fail – compromising the performance and safety of your car. As a result, it’s important to choose only OEE spares and components made by reliable brands.

As long as the seller can provide traceability and integrity of the parts, the consumer is not at risk. For further information about how customers can protect themselves and ensure they are purchasing genuine auto parts, find out more via RightToRepair –

Where to buy the best OEE parts for your car

AutoZone stock a comprehensive range of high-quality OEE automotive spares, parts and components from leading brands. Race on down to your nearest store to browse our range of products that are compatible with the majority of vehicle makes and models on South African roads today –

INDEMNITY: These hints and tips are for information purposes only. For more details please consult the relevant workshop manual for your vehicle. Neither Auto Parts Distributors Pty (Ltd) nor any of the AutoZone outlets will be held liable for any damage or injury whatsoever resulting from the use of the information contained in this pamphlet.