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Mercedes OEM Parts
A serious question that many serious Mercedes owners debate frequently is whether it is best to use only Mercedes OEM parts or if it's okay to use their less-expensive aftermarket equivalents. Now, if you've ever filed a claim with an auto insurer and had to use one of their repair shops, chances are that you'll be expected to accept aftermarket components over Mercedes factory parts – because, of course, original Mercedes parts cost more, and that would cut into someone's profit margins. You, of course would insist on Mercedes OEM parts – and might even be willing to shell out more for them.
But is it really necessary? Is it even a good idea?
As you probably know, the OEM in "OEM Mercedes parts" is an acronym for "Original Equipment Manufacturer." Now, if you are able to take your vehicle to a Mercedes dealer, they will of course use only original Mercedes parts – which can naturally cost more. If you are one of those people who do their own repairs and maintenance, you can get those components from our online Mercedes OEM parts catalog; you'll discover that we offer some very generous discounts on Mercedes factory parts. (Dealers could do that if they wished, but they'd be putting their own markup of our Mercedes parts – which wouldn't help you out a whole lot.)
Now, taking your Mercedes to an independent shop is another matter. These folks, trying to maintain a higher profit margin, are going to use aftermarket components unless you specifically as for OEM Mercedes parts (and are willing to pay extra for them). You should know however that aftermarket products aren't necessarily worse than Mercedes OEM parts – and in fact, are often better than the original. This may seem counter-intuitive on the surface, but it actually makes sense; an aftermarket equivalent is manufactured after the original has been reverse-engineered and examined. During this process, design flaws are often discovered in the original, or areas that have room for improvement.
Because there are hundreds of aftermarket manufacturers competing in the marketplace, there is some serious incentive to put out a quality product at the lowest possible price. Furthermore, while an OEM part might not always be available when you need it, OEM parts are usually quite easy to obtain on short notice.
Finally, there's the question of warranty. For an older Mercedes, this isn't an issue. However, you need to be careful if the vehicle is still under warranty. As long as the aftermarket component is a direct replacement for an OEM Mercedes part that has failed, it shouldn't affect any warranty that may still be on the vehicle. (Making alterations that affect horsepower and handling one the other hand may void the warranty in some cases – be sure and check with a dealer before ordering performance parts from PartsGeek.com.)
Either way, you can depend on PartsGeek to have the Mercedes parts you need, when you need them.
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