Does Your Houston Estimate Include OEM, Salvage or Aftermarket Repair Parts And What Does That Mean For You?

When you take your car to be repaired at a body shop in Houston, they typically have three options for where they are going to get the parts. They can be from a junkyard, directly from the dealer (OEM), or from an aftermarket parts supplier.


If you are unfamiliar with the parts used for car repair, you may not know what each one is and what it could mean for your car. We’re here to tell you that there are significant differences between OEM, aftermarket, and junkyard parts. In this post, we’ll go in-depth over each part so you have a better understanding of what may be put on your car. We do this to let Texas drivers like you know of the importance of having your vehicle properly repaired and precisely as your car’s manufacturer instructs. 


Many auto repair shops still approach repair from “experience” instead of making a unique repair plan for every car. This is an outdated process, especially since each car that comes in is different from the next. The best body shops know that no repair is ever the same and only performs the highest quality repairs out there for your car.

With that said, here’s what you need to know about auto repair parts:


OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer)


OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.” OEM parts are the same parts your car was manufactured with. These are only available from the dealer because they are direct from the factory. OEM parts are constructed specially for each vehicle and are guaranteed to maintain the same level of safety they were designed for. Because of this, OEM parts are also the most expensive option, which insurance companies are hesitant to put the money up for. Your insurance policy might state that you agree to the use of non-OEM parts sources, such as salvage or aftermarket. This is extremely common, especially since many drivers are unaware of the difference in repair parts.


Salvage Parts


Next, we’re going to discuss what Salvage parts are and what that can mean for your car. Salvage parts are purchased from a local junk/salvage yard and have already been used before. Many times, salvage parts are previously used OEM parts, but that isn’t common and can’t be guaranteed. If your car needed a door or hood part repair, using salvage parts is less of an issue than other part replacements (i.e., bumper, windshield, and more). However, some insurance policies require that auto repair shops use salvage suspension parts. But, this is the absolutely last thing a car manufacturer would want for any of their vehicles. In fact, some brands such as Volvo suggests that the steering rack gets completely replaced if there is ANY front or side damage.

The biggest problem with salvage yard parts could need some repair before they are used on your car. They are not “ready to go” like OEM parts and can be quite damaged, requiring individualized repair before placed on our car. We guarantee we’ll paint them to match your vehicle if it’s just some wear and tear, but they could also require some additional metalwork. This is far from a desirable option when you can simply use an OEM repair part.


Aftermarket Parts


Lastly, that leads us with aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are, by far, the least desirable option for both the repair shop and the customer. However, some policies only cover aftermarket parts for your repair. This is why it’s best to check with your policy to see what you’re covered for. That said, you might be wondering what are aftermarket parts, and why are they so undesirable?


Aftermarket parts are made by a company other than the original part manufacturer. These parts can sometimes be lower quality and not fit as well as option parts options. In fact, aftermarket parts are regularly recalled for warranty issues and are the cheapest option out there. However, manufacturers do recommend against the use of aftermarket parts, and their use could also void your warranty. This is why it’s important to understand what parts are being put back on your car and why.


What are your options as a car owner here in Houston?


If you are against using anything other than OEM parts for your repair, the easiest thing to do is to pay the difference out of pocket. This can be a reasonable amount or more expensive, depending on the repair that needs to be done to your car. Currently, there are no laws requiring technicians only to use OEM parts. However, nearly every state has some form of legislation pending that could require their use on newer vehicles.

Another option would be to contact your insurance adjuster and see if they would be willing to reconsider the parts usage of your car. Some insurance companies are easier to deal with than others, and if you are the right customer, they might make some special considerations in your case.


Where Can I Get My Car Repaired In Houston?


All in all, OEM parts are the safest and highest quality repair parts for your car. We at Total Auto Services know this is a stressful time for you, which is why we’re here to help! Our team of technicians are highly trained in auto body repair and know the importance of following repair procedures laid about by the car manufacturer. We never take any shortcuts in the repair process and want to provide Texas drivers with the best auto body repair out there for their car.


Our motto is, “we may not be related, but you’ll feel like we’re family!” Feel free to give us a call at anytime at (713)-433-7745. Or, if you’d like to schedule an appointment or to get an online quote, click any of the buttons below!