What OEM Means and Why It’s Important

There are two types of replacement parts: OEM and aftermarket. What is each type of part, and which one delivers the most value? Read on to find out.

What OEM Stands For

Parts box

Image Credit: 123rf

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and OEM parts are branded with the automaker’s name and/or logo. They also come in the automaker’s packaging. Many consider OEM parts to be the best choice. They’re built with high-quality materials and to the automaker’s specifications.

Contrary to popular belief, most OEM parts aren’t made by the automaker but rather a third-party contract manufacturer.

What are Aftermarket Parts?

Aftermarket parts don’t have the automaker’s name branded on them. Instead, they’re made and branded by a third-party manufacturer. Aftermarket parts vary widely in quality and fitment. Some manufacturers offer inexpensive alternatives, while other manufacturers try to surpass OEM quality.

How to Find an OEM-Quality Replacement Part

OEM parts are known for being more expensive, so many people turn to aftermarket options in order to save money. If you’re considering going the aftermarket route, we suggest proceeding with caution.

Many aftermarket parts manufacturers claim that their parts are OEM-quality, but how do you know if you’re actually buying an OEM-quality replacement part?

Here’s a little secret: the aftermarket manufacturers that make OEM parts often also sell their own line of the same parts. The only difference between OEM parts and aftermarket parts made by the OEM’s manufacturer is the brand name on the part. In other words, OEM parts are actually aftermarket parts in an OEM box.

The best way to ensure that your aftermarket replacement part is as good as the OEM part is to buy directly from the manufacturer that made the OEM part. Take GMB, for instance. Even though we’re an aftermarket brand, we produce OEM:

  • Water pumps
  • Fuel pumps
  • Wheel bearings
  • Fan clutches
  • U-joints
  • Tensioner and idler bearings

We’ve been making some of these parts for more than 70 years, and we supply many major automakers. In fact, there’s a good chance your water pump was manufactured by GMB. That means our parts are identical to their OEM counterparts in term of quality, design, and fitment.

Why GMB is the Leading Brand for Water Pumps

At GMB, we know water pumps inside and out. We develop and build high-quality water pumps that are made to last. Our own line of water pumps is just as good as the OEM water pumps we make for auto manufacturers. We follow strict OEM specifications, and we thoroughly factory test our pumps to ensure that they meet or exceed OEM specifications. We conduct the following tests on our water pumps:

  • Leakage
  • Dimensional precision
  • Bearing noise
  • Bearing durability
  • OEM pressure and flow rate during operation

Having a GMB water pump in your car brings numerous benefits. The main benefit is that you’ll get to enjoy the perks of having an OEM-quality water pump in your car (which includes reliability and longevity) at aftermarket prices.

Read more about GMB water pumps here.

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