aftermarket truck parts

Should You Use Aftermarket Caterpillar Truck Parts?

When your truck is in need of repairs, you take it to a body shop and hope they will do the right thing to turn it around. It’s important they use quality parts when repairing your vehicle. Some places only use OEM parts while other shops use what is known as aftermarket parts. So, what is the difference between these two types of parts and which should you choose for your truck?

What Are OEM Vehicle Parts?

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. This simply means the car’s manufacturer also made the replacement parts. There are many advantages of having OEM parts for your truck repairs. You will get a new part that is exactly the same as the old part, is designed for your truck, and will fit perfectly.

This is very important if you have been in a collision because the new parts have the required crumple zones. Those not familiar with the term, crumple zones are designed to absorb the energy incurred from a collision. OEM parts are also better quality but the downside, they are usually more expensive and in some cases can be hard to find if you have an older vehicle.

What Are Aftermarket Parts?

The big difference between OEM parts and Aftermarket parts, the later parts are manufactured by different manufacturers. They are higher in availability and a great deal less expensive. Also, you will probably have a wider variety to choose from. On the side of caution – the quality of aftermarket parts are not always the quality of OEM parts. That said, in some instances, aftermarket parts can actually be better quality because the original parts were flawed to begin with. These flaws have been worked out of the part making it a better choice.

That said, there are many occasions when the aftermarket parts are just not up to par with the OEM parts. The bottom line, they are just poor quality. If you are working with a body shop that uses aftermarket cat parts, make sure you have hired someone you can trust in ensure you get the best quality parts for your vehicle.

Please Note: There are many truck owners who find many advantages in getting aftermarket parts vs OEM parts. Aftermarket parts are more available if an owner is looking to repair their vehicle or just because they want to replace worn out parts.

The Benefits Of Aftermarket Parts:

Cost Efficient:

Aftermarket parts are a great deal less expensive than OEM parts. The biggest reason for a lower price, the manufacturers making aftermarket parts are not trying to protect their brand by implementing higher costs. They also have these parts made in various places around the world which keeps the price down. In many cases, they have their own set of guidelines that are not as strict as OEM parts. This means they can manufacture the parts at a lower rate, but this will depend on the specific part.

The Quality Of The Parts:

Because manufacturers of aftermarket parts are not under the strict guidelines that the original manufacturer is required to follow, they can actually produce higher quality parts. In many cases, aftermarket manufacturers will see flaws in parts that the brand manufacturer never picked up on at the time the parts were being produced. In turn, aftermarket manufacturers will solve the flaws and create a better quality part.

Does Purchasing Aftermarket Parts Make Sense?

Whether you own an SUV, a medium-duty or heavy-duty truck, each one has its own required components. If you are performing basic maintenance or making repairs, it only makes common sense to purchase the parts from an aftermarket parts manufacturer. Let’s face it, you don’t want to end up on the side of the road because you have spent countless hours and days looking for the OEM part for your truck. When it comes to costs, it will depend on your freight charges, when it will show up, and when you really need the part to arrive at its destination.

Shop Around For A Reputable Aftermarket Company:

Not all aftermarket parts company are the same so you need to shop around for a company you feel comfortable with and you trust. Once you have found someone that you trust and can depend on, you will save a great deal of money vs buying the OEM part.

Why It’s Smart To Purchase Aftermarket Parts:

In many cases, aftermarket parts are exact replacements for the original OEM parts. As long you find a reputable, well-established aftermarket company, you will know that your truck will be around for a much longer period of time. Your vehicle will increase its longevity by using these high-quality, less expensive parts. Aftermarket parts companies have actually increased and are quite common and most of these companies will do whatever they have to get a part that is as close to that part from the original dealer. As mentioned earlier, in many cases these manufacturers will actually make improvements on these parts, making them a higher quality from the original one.

OEM manufacturers will make a particular part of a particular model of vehicle but only one part and one design. That same part can, in turn, be made by different manufacturers with variations for you to choose from. Aftermarket parts will give you a wide range of brands to find the perfect part that will match your specific needs.

A Large Range Of Options:

Aftermarket parts offer a great variety for your particular vehicle. There are many products to choose from but each product comes with its own positives and negatives. You will find products that cost a great deal less than OEM parts because there’s little to no competition. You really shouldn’t feel any trepidation about purchasing these high-quality products.

How Can I Find Good Quality Aftermarket Parts?

If you are in the market for good quality aftermarket parts but do not know where to find them, you can do a little homework by checking out these suggestions. You will find someone who is reputable while saving time and money. So, how do you go about finding good quality aftermarket parts?

Get Referrals Online:

Your social media platforms can be a great place to find places that are reputable aftermarket part companies. I’m sure there are people in your network that also work on their own vehicles and want to save money. Get in touch with family, friends, social media followers and friends, and associates. Post questions online for your social circles. This is a great tool that will produce great results in your search. Another great place online is Craig’s List, just show caution because, for all the honest people on there, you will also run into frauds. If you see a listing on this site, take down their name and business and place a search for reviews and see what turns up.

Check Your Local Bulletin Boards:

Not everything happens online. Bulletin boards are great marketing tools for getting the information you are looking for. Look for bulletin boards at truck stops, grocery stores, in your local shopping malls, community centers, and even the lunchroom at your place of work. Also, while in the grocery store, grab the free newsletter, like the green sheet, that everyone advertises in them. On bulletin boards, many companies will place their business cards. If you see a card for an aftermarket parts company, grab it and give them a call. You can’t possibly know if this is the place you are looking for if you don’t call and ask.


There are many industry publications that include vehicle repair magazines, various trade magazines, and even magazines that focus on rebuilding modern cars to vintage cars. You will probably find a magazine that will give you great information about aftermarket parts companies. If there is an extensive article on rebuilding or refurbishing vehicles, get the author’s name and see if you can contact them.

Car Shows:

What better place to find valuable information for finding parts for your truck! Talk to people, get their advice, and companies they would recommend. Now granted, many car shows are high-priced vintage cars that are not in the same category as your truck, but the people involved might be able to help you out.

Community Events:

Start visiting community events! Many business owners flock to these places to get their names out to the public and build their reputations. Some ideas of community events include fundraisers, cultural events, or meetings for networking. You will probably run into someone who is connected with an aftermarket parts company or knows someone who is.

Automotive Or Truck Trade Shows:

Visit these trade shows that specialize in vehicles, chances are you will find someone involved in aftermarket parts companies. There will probably be vendors that will be thrilled to share information on the aftermarket industry. Get their business card and start a conversation, even if they are not in that industry, they might have contacts or have dealt with some of them and can give you valuable information.

In Conclusion:

Do a little research, collect valuable information, and find the aftermarket parts company you are looking for. You will save time, money, and won’t spend your time spinning your wheels.