Save a dime. Spend a dollar.

OEM versus Aftermarket Illustration

Save a dime. Spend a dollar.

As your mechanic, I have to tell you that there are parts … and then there are parts.

Swedish Motors uses only OEM parts. If you didn’t know, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These are parts made to the specifications of Volvo and go into their brand new cars during assembly.

The alternative is known as Aftermarket. These parts are less costly. They are also lower quality, lower performance, and quicker to wear out.

Here’s the aftermarket parts that I have to replace in cars when they come to me after someone else did service-work:



7 Mass Airflow Sensor

Car will be “lurchy”, stall, misfire. All of which are hard on your engine, transmission, and gas mileage.

6 Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

Car will have a mis-reading on the ambient air temperature leading to incorrect fuel trim. Your car will run rich when it doesn’t have to or normal when it needs extra in cold starts.

5 Spark Plugs

Car will misfire, shake, have a lack of power.

4 Seals

Inaccurate fit or lower quality materials or thickness will cause leaks. Being messy is bad enough but this problem also robs your car of the fluids it needs in its systems.

3 Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor

Inconsistent communication to the car’s system will show false readings.

2 Brake Pads

One of the most obvious offenders, aftermarket brake pads rust, squeal, squeak, and less obviously, wear down much sooner than their OEM counterpart.

1 Oil Filters

One of the ways cut-rate shops lower the price of an oil change is to use aftermarket oil filters. Now, the oil filter has just one job. Filter the oil! Keeping all of the oil circulating in the engine’s systems clean to save on the engine’s wear and tear.

Aftermarket oil filters harden and or clog: drastically lowering the oil’s ability to flow through the filter putting stress on the entire system.

Aftermarket oil filters crumble: putting pieces of the filter (which is supposed to keep things out of the oil) into the oil.

I really hate these.

When it’s all said and done, aftermarket parts will lower your service bill. The reality is, however, that they will send your car in sooner for service. Either through early degrading or just plain failure.

Save yourself some time. Save yourself some hassle. Save your car the unnecessary wear and tear. You should only use OEM parts.

Swedish Motors does.