Video: the problems with aftermarket car parts (part 2)

Posted by Chris Medine on Feb 6, 2015 1:53:00 PM

OEM_headlampIn part 1 of “the problems with aftermarket car parts” we took a look at removing an aftermarket headlamp and the reasons why it needed to be removed. In part 2, we contrast the difference between aftermarket and OEM parts by installing an 
OEM headlamp and we can see the improvements as the OEM headlamp is installed.

The biggest problem with the aftermarket headlamp was fit. The aftermarket headlamp was very close to a perfect fit, but clearly missed the mark in three spots. There are places in the front of the headlamp and on the side where it is supposed to screw into the vehicle. On the front, there’s no hole in the headlamp for the screw. Up the side, the holes don’t properly align, which means that in order to properly fasten it, you have to force it to adjust.

This may not seem like a big deal while the car is in the shop, but once it’s on the road and the headlights are in use, it can become an issue. When you have to force a headlamp to fit, or when the headlamp isn’t properly attached to the vehicle, it can alter the direction that the light is pointing. If the headlamp is not pointing exactly where it is supposed to be, it is not illuminating the road the way it is supposed to. For other motorists, an ill-fitting headlamp can be either blinding or merely a distraction if it’s pointed where it hits their eyes, affecting their vision.

The third problem with the aftermarket headlamp is that it doesn’t fit flush with the vehicle. It clearly had wiggle room. This wiggle room could allow water to get where it is not supposed to be.

In this video, we see the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) headlamp go from the box to installation. In fact, the installation happens pretty quickly because that particular headlamp was built specifically for that vehicle. The fit goes from “good enough” to perfect. The issues of proper installation go away, as do any potential connection or positioning issues.

What is not visible in the video is the issue of safety. As was noted in part one of “the problems with aftermarket car parts,” Ford motors recently did a study comparing OEM parts to aftermarket parts. What they found was that aftermarket parts were frequently made of lighter, less reliable materials. While the weight of the materials used to make a headlamp would not be an issue, their reliability would.



If you have been in an accident and have concerns about possible use of aftermarket parts in your post collision service, Medine’s is the only certified Wreck Check Car Scan facility for post accident inspections in the state of Louisiana. You can schedule an appointment by calling (225) 357-7983, or click below.

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