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Aftermarket vs. Certified Car Parts

September 15, 2021 2 min read

Aftermarket vs. Certified Car Parts

As you shop for painted car parts, you might see terms including aftermarket, CAPA, OEM. What do they mean and how do they affect the quality and price of your car parts? While CAPA and OEM parts can offer the assurance of manufacturer guarantees, they’re not worth the additional expense for most car owners replacing exterior painted car parts.

What Are Certified Car Parts?

Car parts vary in price, warranty, and standards inspections. Understand the differences in car part designations:

OEM Parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

CAPA Parts (Certified Automotive Parts Association)

Aftermarket Parts

  • Manufactured under contract with your vehicle’s manufacturer
  • Generally the most expensive
  • Typically offer a guarantee or warranty when purchased and installed by an authorized dealer
  • Manufactured by a vendor
  • Display a fee-based CAPA seal 
  • Meet the same fit standards as OEM
  • May carry a manufacturer guarantee
  • Generally less expensive than OEM but more than non-certified car parts
  • Manufactured by a vendor
  • Do not display an OEM or CAPA seal
  • May meet or exceed OEM/CAPA standards
  • May carry a manufacturer guarantee
  • Sometimes made by the same manufacturer as OEM or CAPA parts
  • Generally the least expensive

Are Certified Auto Parts Better?

Aftermarket car parts that do not display a CAPA seal or an OEM designation may be the same quality as CAPA or OEM parts, but at a better price. The difference is in testing standards and pay-to-play certification fees.

OEM or certified auto parts go through rigorous testing to ensure the parts meet standards for fit and quality. These standards are backed by your vehicle’s original manufacturer or CAPA, depending on whether you’re using OEM or CAPA parts. Aftermarket parts go through testing for fit and quality, too, but the standards may be different than OEM or CAPA. That doesn’t necessarily mean certified auto parts are better.

A CAPA certification indicates that a part has passed testing standards, but does not offer a guarantee or warranty. While you should expect a guarantee or warranty from OEM parts purchased and installed by an authorized dealer, CAPA does not offer a warranty on certified car parts. Meaning: the manufacturer – not CAPA – warranties parts, just like any non-CAPA certified aftermarket parts manufacturer. 

Should You Choose Certified Parts?

OEM or certified car parts make sense for some car repairs. For example, if you’re replacing mechanical parts under the hood, you most likely want to know the parts have gone through rigorous testing. But for painted exterior parts that are meant to be expendable in an accident, CAPA certification is not worth the additional cost for most car owners.

With an exterior painted part, your concern should be on the quality of fit and the paint job, not whether it’s CAPA certified or OEM. Most aftermarket part manufacturers offer a high quality of fit, and the paint job depends on the shop you’re using. 

Does ReveMoto Sell Certified Car Parts?

ReveMoto offers OEM and CAPA certified car parts upon request. These parts are priced higher than the aftermarket parts available online, though paint service costs are the same and all parts come with free shipping. Please call us at 281-962-7673 for a price quote or fill out the form on our Parts Request page.