Not every part of a car is integral to its operation. Some parts exist for purely cosmetic reasons, think spoilers, while other parts of a car exist purely to help protect your car's auto body from extensive damage in collisions. These type of parts are called crash parts, and they are imperative to ensuring that during minor crashes your car's inner workings don't incur debilitating devastation. After an accident, when you are getting collision repair for your car, your insurance agency might want you to use aftermarket crash parts in your car's repair. You should be aware of what aftermarket crash parts are, and potential issues that come with using aftermarket crash parts rather than parts directly bought from your car's manufacturer.
What Are Aftermarket Crash Parts?
Aftermarket crash parts are parts that are commonly damaged in car accidents, such as fenders, hoods, bumpers and the panels of doors, manufactured by a company other than the original auto manufacturer. These parts are created independently solely to be used as replacement parts, and not by auto companies that manufacture whole automobiles.
Why Are Aftermarket Crash Parts Beneficial?
One of the greatest benefits of aftermarket crash parts are their price. It used to be that the only crash parts that could be used during collision repair were crash parts direct from the car manufacturer, known as original equipment manufacturer parts, or OEM parts. Due to the fact that only OEMs used to be used for replacement crash parts, the auto manufacturers could charge high prices for these parts due to the lack of competition. Aftermarket crash parts are much less expensive than OEM parts, and the direct competition has also caused the price of OEM crash parts to drop 30%.
If you are paying for your repair out-of-pocket and are short on cash, aftermarket crash parts are an appealing option if you can do your own research and select parts that you know are manufactured to a high standard. However, often times insurance agencies will use aftermarket crash parts that are much lower quality without ensuring that the part is optimal for your car just in order to save themselves a bit of money.
What Are The Problems With Aftermarket Crash Parts?
Although aftermarket crash parts are a lot better than they used to be, they still can be prone to some issues. Due to the fact that they are not created directly from the manufacturer, they may be prone to fit issues. Aftermarket crash parts might not be affixed with the right placement tabs or holes for screws, or they might be cut to the incorrect shape. Instead of just installing an ill-fitting part, most mechanics will alter the part so that it fits correctly, which lends itself to a higher repair cost due to the time that must be spent altering the parts.
In addition, many aftermarket car parts might be made of less durable and lower-strength metals. Lower durability is not an issue until you are involved in another crash and your hood or bumper crumbles on impact. In addition, the lower-quality metals can be more prone to rust and corrosion, which can set in and ruin a replacement part prematurely.
Not all aftermarket crash parts won't work well for your car or are detrimental, but some are. Do your research and insist on direct from the manufacturer parts for any crash parts that might not fit as well, or may be damaged more easily if aftermarket parts are used. You may have to do some finagling with the insurance company, but it will be better for your car in the long run.