Volvo truck driving down the freeway

What’s the difference between OEM, genuine and aftermarket Volvo truck parts?

When your Volvo truck needs a replacement part, you're probably going to get asked whether you want an OEM, genuine or aftermarket part. But, what is an aftermarket part? What does OEM mean? Is there a difference between a genuine part and an OEM part? Is there a quality difference between all of these parts?

We know that your truck is important to you. It's your best friend, your co-worker, and your hard-working machine. So, we're going to clear the air. Here's the difference between OEM, aftermarket, and genuine parts. Remember, we offer all three options, and we have no part bias. Certain part options may be unsuitable for certain drivers. We get that! So, we're going to try to give you a fair-and-honest review of each option by leveraging all of our experience in working on Volvo trucks.

Aftermarket Parts

When you hear the word "aftermarket," you may think "re-used" or "second-rate." But, aftermarket parts are simply parts made by manufacturers that aren't directly contracted by Volvo. It's important to understand that aftermarket parts aren't immediately lesser or greater than genuine parts — it depends on the manufacturer.

Sure, some aftermarket parts are without a doubt poor-quality, but well-sourced aftermarket parts can be better constructed than genuine parts. It all depends on the company that's manufacturing the parts and the quality of service and manufacturing that they have. In fact, the demand for aftermarket price rises year-over-year.

Of course, it's critical that you get involved with a trustworthy shop or dealership when it comes to aftermarket parts. Some shops may try to sell low-quality aftermarket parts at hiked rates, or even sell you aftermarket parts branded as genuine.

Pros

  • Price: Aftermarket parts are typically cheaper than genuine parts.
  • Quality: Some aftermarket parts are constructed better than both genuine and OEM parts. For anyone who wants the best bang-for-their-buck, aftermarket parts may be the way to go. Some aftermarket factories improve upon the original design and create fantastic, well-constructed parts that blow OEM parts out of the water.
  • Variety: There are a tonne of companies that offer aftermarket parts. This means that you have plenty of options, and there are some unique and exciting components coming out of the aftermarket industry.
  • Availability: Sometimes, finding that certain part as genuine is simply difficult. Not only is it going to be expensive due to rarity and demand, but it may also require you to spend a lengthy amount of time procuring. Aftermarket parts are everywhere, and they're immediately available.

Cons

  • Quality: Of course, quality is both a pro and a con. Since aftermarket parts are widely available and there are tons of manufacturers that produce them, some of those parts are going to be low quality. Make sure that you're dealing with trustworthy mechanics/dealerships.
  • Logo: Aftermarket parts won't have the Volvo logo and original packaging. For some drivers, this may be an issue.

Aftermarket Parts FAQs

Q: Do aftermarket parts have a warranty?

A: always.

Q: When should I definitely use aftermarket parts?

A: Anytime you're trying to equip your truck to do something special (think heavy off-roading) aftermarket parts can be a great way to improve your truck's capacities.

OEM Parts

Automotive technician working with Volvo OEM truck parts

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are parts that are made by the same manufacturer that makes genuine parts. They are typically made using the same people, processes, and materials as genuine parts. Really, the only difference between genuine parts and OEM parts is the logo. OEM parts do not have the original logo. But, because of this, they are cheaper than genuine parts, but still just as reliable.

To see some examples of OEM parts, check out our OEM selection.

Pros

  • Price: OEM parts are always (99.9% of the time) cheaper than genuine parts. This means that OEM parts are made by the same people, using the same materials, in the same place, but they cost significantly less on average. For those that don't trust aftermarket parts, but also want to be as fiscally conservative as possible, OEM parts are a fantastic option.
  • Quality: You can rest easy knowing that OEM parts have the same quality as your original Volvo parts.
  • Selection: With OEM parts, you don't have to worry about trying to choose between a tonne of different aftermarket vendors. OEM parts are coming from the same factory as the genuine parts.

Cons

  • Logo: OEM parts will not bare the Volvo logo or original packaging.

OEM Parts FAQs

Q: Other than the logo, is there any difference between OEM and genuine parts?

A: Usually, no.

Q: Do OEM parts come with a warranty?

A: Always!

Genuine Parts

All genuine Volvo truck parts will be the same parts that your Volvo truck came with — logo and all. They are made by the same manufacturer as OEM parts, but they bare the Volvo logo, come in Volvo packaging, and are guaranteed to work. Usually, genuine parts are considered the "safest" option since you know that the part will work. After all, the same part was in your truck at one point in time.

Pros

  • Quality: You know exactly what kind of part you're getting when it comes to genuine parts. You're getting a branded Volvo part straight from the manufacturer.
  • Logo: All genuine parts are Volvo branded, which may be important to some truck drivers.

Cons

  • Price: Genuine parts are far-and-away the most expensive Volvo parts.

Genuine Parts FAQs

Q: Do genuine parts come with a warranty?

A: Absolutely!

Q: Do genuine parts always have the Volvo logo?

A: As far as we've seen.

Q: Does replacing my parts with genuine parts keep my truck genuine?

A: Yes.

Conclusion

As you can see, aftermarket, OEM, and genuine parts all have their pros and cons. For some reason, truck drivers seem to have a bias against aftermarket parts. But, honestly, we've seen some of the best part innovations come out of the aftermarket industry. Really, OEM parts are just as good as genuine parts, though we're sure some truckers prefer to keep the logo.

This list isn't here to claim part superiority. That's for you to decide.

If you're looking for a Volvo shop that offers all three options and will make sure that you get the best part for YOU, contact us.

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