The front end of my 2000 F-150 4WD Ext Cab got damaged in an accident. The Ford repair shop gave me a quote with OEM parts and my insurance company rewrote it with aftermarket parts. According to the Ford repair shop, aftermarket parts are grossly inferior to OEM parts. According to the insurance company, OEM parts are grossly overpriced and aftermarket parts are of equal quality. Both are obviously highly biased. Is there a quality difference between OEM and aftermarket parts??? Is it worth the extra cost for me to pay for OEM parts or doesn't it matter??
Thanks for your help.
It depends on the part.
Car manufacturers don't make every piece on a vehicle. You might own a Nissan and Hitachi makes all the electronics like coils and all the sensors. This becomes interesting when people order parts. They pass on the Hitachi for the OEM at 3x the price. Instead of $50, you're now paying and extra $150 for a cardboard Nissan box.
Panels and bumpers are a different story. Aftermarket is hit or miss. When your body shop is talking about quality, they're talking about things like fitment. From the perspective of the body shop worker, you're just creating more work for them and the results might still come out unsatisfactory. Bad results will show up in things like uneven gaps between panels or bad fitment around things like headlights.
You have to right to take your vehicle wherever you want. However, your insurance provider is not obligated to purchase you OEM parts. If the vehicle is newer, they don't have a problem with this. Unfortunately, your vehicle is 20 years old.
Even if you had the right to OEM parts, they'd probably just write off your vehicle and save their money rather than fixing it.
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