mechanic looking for car parts

Car Parts: Stock vs. Aftermarket

At some point in car ownership, you might feel the need to improve your automobile’s features by incorporating different parts and accessories. Also, malfunctions and repairs require you to acquire replacement parts.

You have the option to either buy aftermarket or stock components. Below, we’ll tackle several perks of installing both types of car parts, but before we dive into the details, let’s briefly discuss what these products are.

Stock vs. Aftermarket

Stock parts are products that are offered by the same brand that produced your car. By getting your auto parts from the manufacturer itself, you’re assured that the quality is top-notch, and the item suits your vehicle perfectly.

As for the aftermarket, Diesel Performance System states that it merely pertains to car components that have been manufactured by or distributed through external retailers. Don’t be misled into thinking that aftermarket parts are inferior to stock parts in terms of quality. Many independent merchants source their items from an assortment of reputable automotive brands such as Chevrolet and Ford.

Why Opt for Stock Components

With standard stock parts, you don’t have to be as meticulous and wary when choosing stores, because you already have a clear idea of which chain retailers to contact when you need to place an order.

Moreover, some performance upgrades and complex modifications require certain parts that fully match your car’s specifications, such as computer chip installations, transmission shifting alterations, and electronic programmers.

Of course, you can also find suitable parts in aftermarket shops. However, you’ll need the assistance of a professional when selecting products, especially if you don’t have adequate knowledge of the processes that the modifications entail. Thus, it’s a smarter move to entrust your unique needs to the brand’s primary sellers to get your hands on items that are tailor-made for specific applications.

The Downsides

It’s a bummer when you’re told that your car needs a specific part, only to find out later that the sole branch that provides stock parts in your location are unable to order it in or closed for the day. Thus, you’ll be forced to wait for the part to be in stock again before proceeding with the repair.

Furthermore, stock auto parts have standardized prices since they are produced in the same factory with the same resources.
worker inside an automotive warehouse

Why Choose Aftermarket Items

Stock parts are usually limited. Hence, you might be forced to settle for what is currently on-hand. With aftermarket parts, you have a significantly wider range of options. You can acquire components from an extensive line of car brands and at different price points.

Moreover, you don’t have to deal with restrictions on location, because you can shop for aftermarket parts in several stores. You can also pre-order an item online and have it shipped directly to you or your mechanic’s garage. 

The Drawbacks

Quality assurance can be a problem, primarily since many retailers operate without business permits and don’t have in-house mechanics. A lot of sellers don’t offer warranties, so you can be in trouble when your items turn out to be defective or don’t perform as promised.


Instead of stressing on where to purchase car parts, it’s more vital to choose the right upgrades. Always consider their long-term impact on your car and put less priority on aesthetics.

For example, updating your exhaust and intake systems is a sure-fire way to increase horsepower. If you need a new Ford Mustang exhaust system, it’s best to go for high-flow types with wider diameters so that exhaust gas can exit more efficiently. This leads to improved air circulation and decreased heat accumulation.
Also, remember that what matters most when shopping for car parts is ensuring that they are ideal for your vehicle. Research and read reviews before buying any part.

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