Hmm let’s see now. What parts should we use as OEM only? This list may help others save themselves a LOT of repeating repairs.
Volvo ’93-’00 850/V70
- Front control arms
- Cam seals
- Sachs or Bilstein or Koni shocks only
- Spring seats
- Flame trap kits
If anyone would like to contribute to this thread please do so, or relate experiences where non-OEM have disappointed.
When it comes to your Volvo, OEM parts may not necessarily be the best or most economical choice, believe or not. It’s true that in some cases, you should (and in the case of some warranty terms, must) use Volvo factory parts. Nonetheless, there are some seriously good alternatives to Volvo OEM parts.
The “OEM” in the phrase “OEM Volvo parts” of course stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” – a fact of which you are already no doubt aware. A Volvo dealership will of course use only original Volvo parts when servicing your vehicle – and you’ll pay more as a result. On the other hand, an auto insurance repair shop will most likely steer you toward aftermarket substitutes in order to save the insurance company money.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however – and often, is very much to your advantage.
But first, consider a few things about aftermarket Volvo parts.
It’s hard for a lot of people to believe, but the fact is that aftermarket parts usually equal, and in many cases, even better than OEM Volvo parts. This is not always the case; one of the drawbacks of aftermarket substitutes is that the quality and pricing can be very inconsistent. Nonetheless, there are many good reasons that in most cases, you’re going to get a part that is just as good or better than Volvo OEM parts
First of all, the original OEM part has usually been reverse-engineered by the aftermarket manufacturer. In the process of doing this, there is an opportunity to improve on the original design. Secondly, the competition among players in the aftermarket auto part industry is nothing short of brutal – which is a good thing for you as an auto parts consumer. This means that there is a lot of incentive to provide a high-quality product at a reasonable cost.
Of course, when it comes to European imports, availability on OEM parts can always be an uncertain thing. On the other hand, aftermarket components are almost always readily available.
Finally, if you are concerned about voiding your warranty (which is not usually an issue with vehicles that have more than 50,000 miles on them), you don’t have to worry – as long as the aftermarket part in question is a direct replacement for the original (so, a radiator for a radiator, etc.) Be aware however that if you replace an OEM component or system with a custom one designed to alter the vehicle’s performance and it’s a newer vehicle, there may very well be some warranty issues. In this case, you should speak with someone at the dealer that sold you the vehicle before ordering.
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