OEM VS. Aftermarket BMW Parts – Which are Best?

Automobile aficionados have long debated on what type of parts to install into BMW cars. Parts range in quality and price, and it depends on the preferences of the driver and what they want to get out of their BMW. Of course, BMW recommends only installing genuine BMW parts. But does the average consumer really need to pay premium prices when there are other (cheaper) brands out there that can accomplish the same task?

Most drivers simply want the most cost-efficient means for getting their BMW back in proper running shape. But then again, there are those that want top-of-the-line parts installed in their cars. Whatever your preference, here are your options when installing parts on your ultimate driving machine:

Genuine BMW Parts: This label is given to parts purchased from a BMW dealer. As you probably guessed, this is the priciest option when seeking a replacement part for your car. Cost aside, genuine BMW parts can make your BMW just as good as when it rolled off the assembly line and are backed by BMW’s warranty. The bottom line is that genuine BMW parts offer peace of mind and consistency, but these factors are reflected in their high prices.

OEM Parts: For starters, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Though not technically designated “genuine BMW parts”, the quality of OEM parts can be as good or even better. Essentially, BMW puts out precise specifications for parts, and manufacturing companies bid to produce these parts. For example, your BMW’s spark plugs may not be made by BMW, but NGK. There are many renowned OEM manufacturers making dependable parts that go for less than genuine BMW items. In summary, OEM parts are great because they offer similar quality to genuine parts while maintaining lower prices. They are basically genuine BMW parts without the BMW logo.

Aftermarket Parts: This distinction is given to parts manufactured outside of an OEM production contract. Therefore, the standards and testing procedures for these parts are less rigorous. Aftermarket parts cover every category, from air filters to headlights, and the quality varies from total junk to totally awesome. It takes a trained eye to spot the junk, but once you obtain this eye, aftermarket parts are a great option when your BMW needs fixing. What it comes down to is that there is a myriad of aftermarket parts at low prices, but they can be risky to buy unless done so with proper research and knowledge.

North Bay Bavarian can consult with you about the best options for your car. It really comes down to your personal preference when considering Genuine BMW, OEM, or aftermarket parts. We are a Dinan certified BMW and Mini mechanic located in Santa Rosa, CA. Whether you’re just looking to get back on the road after a part fails, or want to make your BMW race ready, we have the technical know-how and skills to make it happen. For more information, contact North Bay Bavarian by phone at 707.545.0820 or shoot us an email at info@northbaybavarian.com.