Shop OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket
OE (Original Equipment or Genuine BMW)
These are the parts that you get EXACTLY as if you are walking up to an authorized dealership and buying a part at the parts counter. (Example: Oxygen Sensor BMW Part # 11 78 1 735 499). These parts usually come in BMW marked packaging.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
OEM parts are parts that come from the same factory that makes your Original BMW parts, but they are boxed in their respective brands. (Example: Oxygen Sensor BOSCH Part #13231, which cross references to: BMW Part # 11 78 1 735 499). These parts are sold directly from the manufacturer to the suppliers or retailers and not through the BMW Dealer network, and usually means savings for the end consumer while still having the same OEM standards that the vehicle manufacturer specified.
Aftermarket products are from manufacturers that do not supply to BMW in any shape or form, it is important to note that its not necessary that aftermarket parts are inferior. In general, there are 2 kinds of aftermarket products.
The first kind is a cheaper replacement that provide affordability to consumers, these maybe the same quality as the OE/OEM parts or could be a little inferior to the OE/OEM products. A lot of customers like to purchase non-critical parts like air filters so save a few dollars, as long as it is a good reputable brand, you should be good to go! (just do your research!)
The second kind are considered upgraded parts, a very good example is the aluminium thermostat housing for an E36 BMW, the original BMW plastic housing is prone to failures and the aftermarket aluminum eliminates this problem. In this case, most of our customers prefer to purchase the aftermarket aluminium housing for better longivity.
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