Even the best vehicles will need maintenance or repair from time to time. When shopping for parts for a BMW, a buyer has a choice between Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and aftermarket parts. While each of these different types of parts are similar, there are some key differences between BMW OEM Parts and parts from other part makers that buyers should understand when choosing which part to use on their vehicle.
Aftermarket parts will fit BMWs, but these parts are made to fit a variety of vehicles to make the parts cost efficient. While aftermarket parts will fit, they may not fit exactly like the original part. For example, the case of an aftermarket alternator may need to be turned to line up with the mounting brackets in different vehicles and aftermarket brake pads may need filed to move smoothly in some brake calipers. The adjustments needed to use an aftermarket part on a vehicle can cause some usage problems and can also cause the replacement of the part to take longer. Conversely, BMW OEM parts will fit exactly the same as the original part because they are identical to the original part. Even worse than the standard aftermarket part is the universal part. Universal parts are made to work in many different applications. For example, while a universal oxygen sensor may fit into a BMW sedan and a work truck, the universal sensor will not perform in the same way as the part that was designed for a specific use.
Aftermarket parts are known for their low cost, but there are some tradeoffs that part manufacturers have to make to achieve these cost savings. One way that aftermarket parts makers cut costs is through the use of materials of lesser quality than OEM parts. The lesser quality material may make a part that is usable, but it is likely that the part will wear faster and fail sooner than the original part. Whether the part is a windshield wiper blade, a turn signal bulb or a wheel bearing, the high quality part from BMW will result in better performance now and will make the vehicle safer to drive over time.
Aftermarket parts retailers have big stores with bright lights to entice buyers inside. The clerks working the stores sometimes know a lot about the parts that they sell, but more often the clerk is just a salesperson who knows little to nothing about cars. Sales clerks with little automotive knowledge are more likely to make mistakes and give customers the wrong part. However, when buying from Score BMW, the clerks only deal with BMW parts and will work diligently to provide customers with the right part on the first trip. In addition, being a BMW dealer allows Score employees to have the knowledge and experience to help their customers that the big parts stores cannot offer to their customers. In addition to sales service, most OEM parts are sold with at least a one year warranty. Many aftermarket parts have no warranty or only have a warranty for 30 days.