Aftermarket Car Products: Which are Worth Buying and Which Aren’t?

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 29th February, 2024 IST

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aftermarket car parts

If you're a car enthusiast, then you're likely aware of the term "aftermarket parts." But for the uninitiated, aftermarket parts refer to any car part that's not made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). In other words, they're products that are made by third-party manufacturers.

Now, when it comes to aftermarket car parts, opinions are as diverse as the colours of the cars on Indian roads. Some people swear by them, claiming they're essential for boosting performance and enhancing aesthetics. Others, however, view them with suspicion, arguing that they're nothing but gimmicks that do more harm than good.

So, which is it? Are aftermarket car parts necessary or not? Well, that's what we'll be exploring in this blog. We'll take a closer look at some of the most popular aftermarket car parts, discuss their benefits and drawbacks, and help you determine which ones are worth the investment and which ones aren't.

Think of this blog as your ultimate guide to navigating the turbulent waters of aftermarket products. We'll be your GPS, steering you away from the products you don't need and towards the products that'll enhance your driving experience. And, if we're lucky, we might even have some fun along the way - after all, what's life without a few twists and turns? 

What are Aftermarket Car Parts?

Aftermarket parts are non-OEM parts that are made by third-party manufacturers for use in cars. These parts can include anything from engine components to body kits and accessories. Unlike OEM parts, aftermarket parts are not made by the original manufacturer of the vehicle. Instead, they are produced by companies that specialise in creating high-quality, cost-effective alternatives to OEM parts.

Aftermarket parts are designed to fit a wide range of makes and models, and they often offer superior performance and durability compared to their OEM counterparts. They are also typically less expensive than OEM parts, which makes them a popular choice for car owners looking to save money on repairs and upgrades.

However, it's important to note that not all aftermarket parts are useful. Illegal car modifications and using certain aftermarket parts may damage your car and may even land you in trouble with the law. That's why it's essential to do your research and choose aftermarket parts from reputable manufacturers that have a proven track record of quality and reliability.

Read More : 5 Best Used Cars for Performance Modification

Are Aftermarket Parts Counterfeit Parts?

One of the most common misconceptions about aftermarket parts is that they are counterfeit or fake parts that are designed to mimic OEM parts. However, this is not true. Aftermarket parts are legitimate, high-quality parts that are designed to meet or exceed OEM standards.

Counterfeit parts, on the other hand, are illegal and dangerous. These are parts that are designed to look like OEM parts but are made from inferior materials or lack the quality and reliability of genuine parts. Counterfeit parts can put your safety at risk and can cause serious damage to your vehicle.

The best way to avoid counterfeit parts is to only purchase parts from reputable aftermarket manufacturers. These companies use high-quality materials and adhere to strict quality control standards to ensure that their parts are safe, reliable, and meet or even exceed OEM specifications.

Why Should I Choose Aftermarket Auto Parts?

There are many reasons why you should consider choosing aftermarket auto parts for your vehicle. For starters, aftermarket parts are often less expensive than OEM parts, which can save you a significant amount of money on repairs and upgrades.

In addition, aftermarket parts are often designed to provide better performance and durability than OEM parts. Because they are made by third-party manufacturers that specialise in creating high-quality parts, they often incorporate the latest advancements in technology and materials.

Another advantage of aftermarket parts is that they are typically more widely available than OEM parts. This means that you can often find the parts you need more quickly and at a lower cost than if you were to purchase OEM parts from a dealer.

Finally, aftermarket parts offer a high degree of customisation and personalisation. Whether you're looking to enhance your vehicle's performance, improve its appearance, or add new features and accessories, there are countless aftermarket options to choose from.

Read More : Illegal Car Modifications in India that are ‘COP-MAGNETS’

Are Aftermarket Parts Bad for My Car?

The short answer is no, aftermarket parts are not inherently bad for your car. Many aftermarket parts can improve your car's performance and appearance. However, there are some things to keep in mind when considering aftermarket parts.

Firstly, some aftermarket parts may be of low quality or poorly designed, which can lead to problems down the line. It's important to choose brands that are known for producing high-quality parts.

Another thing to consider is compatibility. Some aftermarket parts may not be compatible with your car's make and model, which can cause issues with installation and performance. Make sure to check the specifications of the part and consult with a professional mechanic or automotive expert beforehand.

Finally, it's important to note that installing aftermarket parts can void your car's warranty in some cases. This is because the manufacturer may not be able to guarantee the safety and performance of non-OEM parts. If you're concerned about voiding your warranty, it's best to consult with your dealership or manufacturer before making any modifications to your car.

Read More : Car Interior Modification Guide

9 Aftermarket Car Parts Worth Buying

1. Extended Warranty

An extended warranty is a type of insurance policy that covers your vehicle beyond the standard factory warranty. These warranties can offer peace of mind and protection against unexpected repair costs. While extended warranties can sometimes be expensive, they can save you a significant amount of money in the long run if you need to make major repairs.

2. Service Contract

A service contract is similar to an extended warranty, but it covers routine maintenance and repairs rather than major components. These contracts can be a good investment if you plan on keeping your vehicle for a long time and want to ensure that it stays in top condition.

3. Paint Protection

Paint protection products like wax, polish, and cleaning liquids are designed to protect your vehicle's paint from damage caused by UV rays, dirt, scratches, and environmental factors. These products can help your car look great for longer and can even increase its resale value.

4. Necessary Add-ons

Necessary add-ons are aftermarket parts that are essential for the proper functioning of your vehicle. These can include things like brake pads, tyres, and air filters. While OEM parts are always the best choice, aftermarket parts can offer a cost-effective alternative without sacrificing quality.

5. Suspension

A high-quality suspension system can improve your vehicle's handling, performance, and ride comfort. Upgrading your suspension can be a good investment if you plan on using your vehicle for performance driving or off-roading. However, it's important to choose high-quality components from reputable manufacturers to ensure that your suspension upgrade is safe and effective.

6. Racing Seats

Upgrading your car's seats to racing seats can be a great investment if you're looking to improve your vehicle's performance and driving experience. Racing seats are designed to offer better support and stability during high-speed driving and can help you maintain control of your vehicle during aggressive manoeuvres. 

7. Air-Intake

A better air intake system can increase the amount of air flowing into the engine, which can lead to improved performance and fuel efficiency. Aftermarket air intake upgrades can also offer a more aggressive engine sound and can be a great addition to any performance-oriented vehicle. 

8. Exhaust System

Upgrading your car's exhaust system can improve exhaust flow and reduce the level of noise and harmful substances. Aftermarket exhaust systems can also offer a more aggressive exhaust note and can give your car a more distinctive sound. It's important to choose an exhaust system that's designed to work with the make and model of your car to ensure that you're getting the best possible performance gains.

9. Turbochargers

Adding a turbocharger to your car's engine can significantly increase airflow into the car's engine, making it a great option for performance enthusiasts. However, turbochargers can be expensive and can also put additional strain on your engine, so it's important to choose a high-quality turbocharger and have it installed by a reputable mechanic to ensure that it's installed correctly and functioning properly.

9 Aftermarket Car Parts You Should Always Avoid

1. Anti-rust Protection

Many car dealerships offer anti-rust protection as an aftermarket product, but in most cases, it's not necessary. Modern cars are already designed to resist rust and corrosion, and adding an extra layer of protection can be an unnecessary expense. If you're concerned about rust, the best thing you can do is regularly wash your car and keep it well-maintained.

2. Fuel Additives

Fuel additives claim to improve fuel efficiency and engine performance, but in reality, most of them are a waste of money. While some additives can help clean your fuel system and reduce emissions, the benefits are usually minimal. In some cases, using fuel additives can even damage your engine, so it's best to avoid them altogether.

3. Body Spoilers

Body spoilers may look cool, but they don't offer any real performance benefits. In some cases, they can even reduce fuel efficiency and increase wind resistance.

4. Window Films

While window films can offer some benefits, such as reducing heat and glare, they can also reduce visibility and make it harder to see when driving at night.

5. Obnoxious Sound Systems

Loud and obnoxious sound systems might seem like a cool addition to your car, but they can be a nuisance to others and even get you in trouble with the law. In addition, they can be expensive and can take away from the driving experience. If you're looking for a better sound system, consider upgrading to a high-quality aftermarket system that offers better sound quality without being overly loud.

6. Wild Body Kits

Wild body kits may look flashy, but they can be more trouble than they're worth. Not only can they reduce ground clearance, but they can also affect your car's handling and aerodynamics. In addition, many body kits are made from low-quality materials that can crack and break easily, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

7. Large Rear-Wing

Large rear wings may be popular in the world of street racing, but they don't offer any real performance benefits on the road. They can reduce fuel efficiency and increase wind resistance, making your car slower and less efficient. Unless you're building a race car, it's best to avoid large rear wings.

8. Underglow

Underglow lights may be popular with car enthusiasts, but they're not practical for everyday driving as they can be distracting to other drivers. In addition, they can be expensive to install and maintain, and they don't offer any real performance benefits.

9. Turbo Whistle

Turbo whistles may be advertised as a way to make your car sound more powerful, but in reality, they're just a gimmick. Not only do they not offer any real performance benefits, but they can also be annoying to other drivers and pedestrians.

In conclusion, deciding on which aftermarket products to buy for your car can be overwhelming. It's important to remember that not all aftermarket parts are essential for a better driving experience, and some can be detrimental to your car's performance and longevity. It's always best to do your research and consult with a trusted mechanic or automotive expert before making any purchases.

Remember, some aftermarket parts are worth investing in, such as extended warranties, service contracts, and necessary add-ons. These can provide added protection and convenience to your vehicle, while also potentially saving you money in the long run.

On the other hand, there are some aftermarket parts that you should steer clear of, such as obnoxious sound systems and wild body kits. Not only can they be expensive, but they can also negatively impact your car's performance and resale value.

At the end of the day, it's all about finding a balance between what you want and what your car needs. With the right research and guidance, you can make informed decisions about which aftermarket products are worth your investment, and which ones you should avoid like the plague. So, go forth and upgrade your ride, but do so wisely!

FAQ's:

Q. Are aftermarket parts legal?

Yes, aftermarket parts are considered legal as long as they comply with safety and emissions regulations.

Q. Do aftermarket parts void my car's warranty?

Not necessarily, but it's important to check with your manufacturer and understand their policies before installing any aftermarket parts.

Q. Are aftermarket parts reliable?

The reliability of aftermarket parts depends on their brand, build, and quality. It is recommended that you do your research and choose reputable companies.

Q. Can aftermarket parts improve my car's performance?

Yes, some aftermarket parts like high-quality suspension systems, air intake and exhaust systems, brake pads, and tyres can enhance the performance of your car.

Q. Will installing aftermarket parts increase my car's resale value?

In some cases, installing aftermarket parts can decrease the resale value of your car. You should stick to upgrades that are legally permitted.

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