Are OEM Alternators Better Than Aftermarket?

An alternator is like a mini power plant that creates electricity. This electricity powers your car’s systems and keeps the battery charged. Without it, your lights and several other electrical and accessory systems would not work. However, not all alternators are created equal.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) alternators usually come out on top against aftermarket alternatives when it comes to:

  • Quality
  • Fit
  • Warranty

Let’s explore why OE parts often outshine aftermarket parts in these three categories.

Better Quality and Consistency

First off, OEM alternators generally offer better quality and consistency. These parts are installed on the assembly line by auto manufacturers, who want to be very sure they don’t have warranty expenses for the alternator. Because of this, they have to meet the high standards set by the auto manufacturer. This means they often last longer and work more efficiently than aftermarket alternators.

Image Credit: BMWRepairGuide

Aftermarket alternators might have lower initial costs, but poor quality can lead to frequent replacements and other car troubles down the road. (Check out this article if you need to diagnose your alternator issues.) A popular technique that’s often used in the manufacture of aftermarket alternators is “reverse engineering.” This is essentially when a manufacturer closely examines another manufacturer’s product and attempts to create a reproduction or duplicate that will act and function in the same way. As you might guess, these products rarely meet the standards of the original.

Perfect Fit for Your Car

Secondly, OEM alternators are made specifically for your car’s make and model. They’re designed to fit and function perfectly within your car’s electrical system. This reduces the risk of poor fit or compatibility issues often found with aftermarket parts. It also means you’ll avoid having to make any alterations or modifications to make the part fit or work properly. When an alternator fits right, it does its job right. That translates into a car that runs smoothly and efficiently, giving you less worry and more enjoyable rides.

Many aftermarket manufacturers create their alternators using a “one-size-fits-all” design. The hope is that they can save on manufacturing costs by making a part that will fit many makes and models. This attempt at universal fitment usually sacrifices quality.

Reliable Warranties and Support

Finally, OEM alternators from Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts come with solid warranties and support. When you shop our online selection of alternators you get to view images of the exact part and/or the donor vehicle to be sure you’re getting a part that will work with your exact make and model.

At Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts, we offer a standard 6-month guarantee and an optional lifetime guarantee on all our parts. You’ve got peace of mind knowing you’re covered if anything goes wrong. We only sell high-quality recycled OEM parts. We take pictures of every part we pull and take videos of every vehicle we buy and part out.

By comparison, aftermarket parts usually offer a very limited or no warranty at all. You’re left with no safety net protecting your investment or your car’s health.

Quality Used OEM Alternator At Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts

When it comes to choosing an alternator, OEM options – even used ones – are superior to the aftermarket options. Check out our alternator offerings for ToyotaBMW, and many other popular makes and models.

We’re one of only a handful of salvage yards that offer our entire – and huge – inventory online. We’ve been in the auto parts business for over 30 years, and you can save up to 75% off new OEM prices on thousands of auto parts when you shop online with us.

Have questions about finding an alternator for your vehicle? Contact us online or browse parts by make here. Hard-to-find parts are our specialty, so start your search for a high-quality OEM replacement alternator at Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts today.