Are Aftermarket Alternators Worth Buying?

When buying alternators, and auto parts in general, there are two types of classifications you will come across: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket. OEM parts come from the company that manufactured your vehicle, and while they used to only be available through authorized dealerships, today they can be easily bought and shipped through online orders. Aftermarket alternators are designed to operate just like OEM alternators except that they are manufactured by a competing company and often offer an increased level of customization for your vehicle.

The primary benefit of buying OEM is clear: it is an exact replacement. As long as the part matches your make and model it will fit perfectly. For some people, this alone makes it worth buying even in the face of a higher price. However, there are also a lot of benefits that buying an aftermarket part can give you that an OEM part cannot:

  1. Cheaper Price – A cheaper price tag is probably what many know as the primary benefit of buying an aftermarket part because it is a competitor competing not only with the OEM but other aftermarket manufacturers. This shouldn’t be mistaken for being of a cheaper quality but quality should be always be questioned and all parts should be properly researched. Quality may be either higher or lower than OEM.
  1. Customization – Only by buying aftermarket parts will you have access to levels of customization that OEM parts will not be able to provide you with. Every part offers you greater variety and choice that OEM doesn’t.
  1. Availability – A huge benefit that aftermarket parts provide is the increased availability that dozens of brands provide you with. You’re much more likely to find the part you need when you look for it.
  1. Why Buy An Aftermarket Alternator?

In most cases, the reason you would want to buy an aftermarket alternator is because you need to provide your electrical system with more wattage than your stock alternator offers. If you’ve made upgrades to your vehicle, especially on power-hungry components like the stereo system then the necessary wattage needed to run smoothly may have begun to exceed the range that your OEM alternator provides. Perhaps the vehicle might be experiencing various electrical failures, dimming of lights, stalling or difficulty starting. All of these are reasons to consider replacing your current alternator with an aftermarket alternative.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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