If you're like most Australians, you will always be on the lookout for a bargain as you try to maximise the amount of money that you have available for your budgetary spend. You may be aware that your car represents a sizeable expenditure and may not be too happy when you have to source a replacement part because something has failed. Nevertheless, you need to carefully consider where you are going to source these parts and not be driven solely by economics. Why do you need to pause for a second and think?
There's no question that the aftermarket industry is very established and can often provide an alternative to the particular part you need. As prices are often an important consideration you may not be surprised to find these parts at a significant discount when you scour some online portals. However, you do need to consider quality first and foremost, as many of these alternatives may well be up to the standard, but others may not. If you're looking for a particularly complicated part or an assembly of components that need to fit together perfectly, you may not be too happy if one of the "cheaper" parts that you source does not line up with the others.
Secondly, you need to ask yourself whether your vehicle is still under the manufacturer warranty and how the fitment of a non-OEM part may compromise this. If you happen to endure a more significant failure which was caused (in part) by a third party component, you may find difficulty making a claim against a warranty. Furthermore, the part that you are replacing is likely to have a stronger guarantee as compared to those that you may find from a third party.
Remember, cars these days are controlled by electronics and rely on a range of sensors and other connection devices to perform properly. The original manufacturer will have developed specially-written software and computer code which may not always be compatible with components sourced from a different supplier.
Whenever you replace a part on your car you must be looking for durability, so that you don't have to deal with this disruption again in the near future. Make sure that you understand what goes into the manufacture of the component you are replacing, so that you don't pick up an alternative that is not likely to last. Certainly, some parts that are made in eastern markets may be a little suspect in this regard.
Ultimately, it will come down to research and you have to make a decision whether to buy original parts to get your vehicle back on the road, or take a risk in certain areas. Have a word with your car parts supplier first to determine exactly what you are getting, to alleviate as much of this risk as possible.