OE, OEM, OES and Aftermarket Parts

Does the terminology involving parts confuse you?

We are sure you heard the terms

  • OE (Original Equipment)
  • OEM quality parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
  • OES quality parts (Original Equipment supplier)
  • Aftermarket parts

Let us explain –

OE (Original Equipment): The original equipment is your car
OEM Parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) refers to the car manufacturer, for example: BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen etc. The car manufacturer (OEM) makes the body, frame and sometimes the engine block and cylinder head. The OES (Original Equipment Supplier) supplies all the other parts in your vehicle.

The OEM designs the car. The OES designs and manufactures parts, and then supply those parts to the car manufacturer in order for them to produce the vehicle (OE).

OES sell their parts to the OEM as well as to Part Wholesalers.

The OEM then supplies these parts to their Dealerships.

Independent Service Providers like Autoworks as well as any other consumer can buy these parts either from the dealership or from a part wholesaler.

The part wholesalers will mostly keep popular or fast moving parts in stock, this is one of the reasons why some parts are only available from the Dealership.

OES (Original Equipment suppliers)

It is important to remember that often only the OES has the specialised knowledge to develop certain components, not the car manufacturer. It is not feasible for car manufacturers to build an entire manufacturing network for the parts they require. They use different manufacturers, whose sole purpose is to make spares for various car brands.

OES parts are made on the same assembly line as the “Genuine parts” except that the “genuine part” is branded with the car’s logo, and then gets wrapped and labelled in the agents packaging. This part has just become more expensive to you as the consumer.

For example, Bosch, Bilstein, ATE, to name a few, are all (OES) Original Equipment suppliers to the car manufacturers. They make different parts from spark plugs to brake pads.

If ATE makes the brake pads on your car, they will also make additional units. The additional units do not have the cars branding but are for sale  at various part wholesalers like Alert, Diesel Electric etc. These are manufactured while maintaining the same quality and precision levels. They also come with a warranty.

What are Aftermarket parts?

Aftermarket parts are just that, parts made for the aftermarket. So this includes the parts sold by the car dealerships.

These parts are not made for the car manufacturers. Sometimes, OES companies like Bosch and Valeo manufacture these parts, and other times its by a completely different manufacturer like Meyle. The main difference is they are not made completely to the cars manufactures specifications. This is not always bad. One example is Bilstein. They are not an OEM/OES supplier, but they offer parts of matching quality also.

Aftermarket parts sometimes even offer a technically superior alternative to the original parts. Whether a prime aftermarket part is made of materials that would have been too costly to mass-produce, or simply better designed.

There are definitely many quality parts and brands in the aftermarket segment, but Autoworks recommend taking the advice of your service centre when it comes to fitting these parts.

Beware of low quality spare parts

Sometimes you will see spare parts costing only a fraction of OEM/OES parts. Beware of low quality spare parts. These spare parts are manufactured using inferior tools and materials. They are not built to your car’s specifications. This can lead to mechanical problems and breakdowns. Worse yet, they can cause damage and major safety concerns.

A reputable service center like Autoworks will not make use of these parts. With Autoworks you get a warranty on our parts and workmanship,   by using an inferior part, we take the risk of double cost, new parts as well as the labour to fit a new part.

As a general rule, if a price seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. So rather ask your independent service provider what warranty they provide, because that way you know if they stand behind the quality of the parts they sell.

Autoworks stands behind the parts we buy and the service we offer. We therefore offer a 60 000km/1 year warranty on all the work that we do. We use OE-quality parts and our technicians are qualified and work strictly according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Fill in our online quote request and we will email you a quote for your vehicle maintenance or repair shortly.

For any other technical advice, feel free to contact your closest branch.

Autoworks | OE, OEM, OES and Aftermarket Parts

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