Tech Info >> OEM vs Aftermarket: Pinching Pennies has its Price > Page | 1 | 2 |

You hear people saying it all the time, "why pay more for OEM parts when you can buy aftermarket?" We'll keep the discussion to a mimimum and just show you a few of the examples as to why its important to focus on buying quality parts, especially when it comes to automotive lighting. Things cost money because they save money. Here are some examples...

03-05 350Z Headlamp Bezel: OEM 03-05 350Z Headlamp Bezel: Aftermarket
03-05 350Z Headlamp Bezel: OEM 03-05 350Z Headlamp Bezel: Aftermarket

Hmm.. the OEM bezel has a gloss black base with chrome surround. Look carefully, the black bottom of the aftermarket bezel is painted flat black, faded, raw plastic appearance. Its actually made from a different type of plastic, which is thicker, heavier and more brittle than stock. Take a look at the masking job in the 4th picture, you can totally see that the line was totally over-sprayed, plus there is contamination in the chrome vaporcoat. Compare the OEM chrome finish with the aftermarket - talk about a dull. Chrome is supposed to have a mirror polish to it.

03-05 350Z Diffuser: (Left=AM / Right=OEM) 03-05 350Z Diffuser: (Left=AM / Right=OEM)

A quick glance at the above amber diffusers should show not only a color difference, but also noticeable difference in the transparancy of the two lenses. The OEM uses a higher quality casting which lets more light through. Also, the cutout for the 5-watt parking lamp bulb was much smaller on the aftermarket - it was rough cut, while the OEM bezel is smooth and consistent.

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