What are the advantages of aftermarket suspension parts?
There are many advantages to using aftermarket steering and suspension parts over factory-made suspension parts on most makes and models. A lot of it has to do with being price competitive and having better than OEM (original equipment manufacturer) warranties. The other reasons are availability and ease of purchase. You can get reliable steering and suspension parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, and struts and shocks at any local parts store or most automotive aftermarket websites instead of having to go to your local dealership to order the parts you need while your vehicle sits and waits to be repaired.
One of the major advantages is that the aftermarket companies compete for your business by doing research development and subsequently creating higher quality parts than the manufacturer. The parts they create repair the flaws in the factory suspension parts. The companies spend billions collectively on this to ensure proper fitment and longevity of the suspension parts you are purchasing. They also give you the best pricing they can to stay competitive in the aftermarket suspension world. Moogparts and Monroe both have some of the quality suspension and steering parts you need.
The manufacturer makes one specific suspension part for a vehicle designed for regular everyday use and it meets the requirements set forth by the government. Factory parts work as they are designed to but they are sometimes double or triple the cost of aftermarket suspension parts and chances are they will last as long as the first factory part. Meanwhile, an aftermarket part is designed for extreme uses and will exceed the government standards.
The manufacturers are making quality parts but there are some major differences. For example, most aftermarket ball joints and tie rod ends are serviceable with grease fittings (zerk fittings) so you can put grease into the aftermarket parts to help them last longer. They also use different metal compounds and neoprene inserts to combat wear. The factory made suspension parts mostly do not and they are not grease able. The factory puts a synthetic high temperature grease inside the components that they feel will last the life of the vehicle. Your mechanic can help you to choose the right parts and install them for you. They can also help to educate you on how your suspension works and can repair your car wherever you are with their master technicians.
But buyer beware, you do not always get what you pay for. There are some aftermarket companies that do not build such quality parts, in an effort to make the pricing lower than the competition. In order to make something less expensive there has to be a trade-off. The lowest price suspension part may not always be the best option if you are going to keep the vehicle’s suspension in tip top shape. Before making any purchase with aftermarket suspension parts do your research and make an educated decision or ask a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to check out your steering and suspension to see what he or she would recommend for your vehicle.
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.