When to Use Genuine, Brand Name Car Parts Versus Generic

Posted on: 17 February 2017

If you need to make repairs on your car, you can usually save some money by using generic replacement parts. While this can be acceptable in many cases, there are times when it's better to use genuine, brand name parts that you get from the dealer or an authorized reseller. Note when this is and why it can be better for your car to use these parts, even if they are slightly more expensive and more difficult to find.

1. For brakes

Genuine parts are often meant to fit more precisely and to last longer than off-brand parts, and when it comes to brakes, you don't want to compromise on safety in any way. Brake pads that aren't a perfect fit may not squeeze the rotors of the wheels as effectively as they should, and your car may not stop as quickly or may tend to slide and skid when you do apply the brakes. This can be very unsafe, especially on wet or icy roads when you need the most traction and control. Using brand name parts can mean a perfect fit and high-quality materials that will better withstand the heat and corrosion that brake parts suffer over the years.

2. Hoses

You may not think the hoses of the car are very important, but the fluid that these parts deliver will lubricate and cool the engine, the brakes, the steering column and many other parts. A poor quality hose under the hood may start to split or come away from connectors somewhat easily, so this fluid might start to leak. If the leak is gradual, you may not notice it very quickly, but it can affect the heat and function of the engine, brakes, steering and so on. In turn, your car's major parts suffer more wear and tear and the potential for earlier breakdown.

3. If you plan on keeping your car

If you plan on keeping your car for many years, you'll want to ensure all the parts are in tiptop shape and last as long as possible. Genuine, name brand parts are often made with stronger mixtures of metal, with thicker rubber, and with other high-quality materials that more readily withstand heat, corrosion and other wear and tear. They may be more expensive as an initial investment, but you may need to replace them less often than you would with generic parts, saving you money over the lifetime of car ownership.