Counting the cost of genuine versus replacement auto parts

Maintaining a motor vehicle is a costly business. Wear and tear takes its toll on all working auto parts, from brake pads, exhaust systems, CV joints to fuel pumps. Even without engine problems it’s advisable to service your vehicle every five to ten thousand kilometres.

To ramp up maintenance costs even further, auto manufacturers and car dealerships insist genuine or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts be used exclusively to guarantee longevity, functionality and to protect the warranty.

Some industry experts are of the opinion this is simply to lock clients in over the long term. The mandatory use of genuine parts not only generates a sustainable client base but guarantees a consistently tidy turnover year in and year out!


The resounding claim is that genuine car parts are of a far better quality than the all too familiar branded items that have been doing the rounds for decades. Who hasn’t heard of AutoStar, Ram, Holts, SKF and NGK; manufacturers and purveyors of high quality replacement engine parts that boast a significant and sustainable market share?

According to the grease monkeys and gurus of engine parts and car accessories, genuine parts are often replacement auto parts that have simply been rebranded as OEM parts. Packaging and sky rocketing prices appear to be the only disparities!


Dig around a little deeper and you’ll find a range of benefits for opting for replacement engine parts and car accessories over so-called genuine parts. The only rule of thumb is that you shop around for a reliable mechanic and insist on replacement parts renowned for their unerring quality.

Cost savings – replacement parts manufactured by reputable global brands are generally priced a lot less than their ‘genuine’ counterparts. Be aware however that there are manufacturers out there that do offer poor quality parts at low prices. Familiarise yourself with the big beneficial brands and if the price is too good to be true, it probably is!

Quality – you won’t be skimping on quality when you choose aftermarket replacement parts over genuine parts. In some cases you may even be better off as genuine parts are often reverse engineered by aftermarket companies to assess functionality and to iron out any inherent flaws.

Availability – notwithstanding your location anywhere in South Africa, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll easily be able to source a replacement part to fit your motor vehicle. The same cannot always be said for genuine parts. You’ll need to find the nearest car dealership or specialist garage and if you’re somewhere out in the sticks, you may have to have the parts couriered to you and that’s likely to burn a big hole in your pocket!

Cut your car maintenance costs by insisting on superior quality replacement auto parts marketed by a reputable automotive parts supplier.