What does 'OEM' mean?

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You have probably seen this term used before. Needless to say it can be very confusing. Without prolonging let me try to answer what does 'OEM' really mean.

When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a replacement part made by the manufacturer of the original part. As most cars are originally assembled with parts made by companies other than the one whose badge appears on the vehicle, it may happen that a car company sells OEM spare parts without claiming to have manufactured the part itself.

An automobile part may carry the designation OEM if it is made by the same manufacturer that made the original part used when building and selling the car or pick-up truck. The term aftermarket is often used for non-OEM spare parts.
In purchasing parts at national, discount auto parts retailers (e.g., NAPA, Auto Zone, Halfords, Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Motrio, Autobacs, etc.), many parts will have OEM prominently displayed but followed by a qualifier such as "meets OEM standards". Such auto parts are not OEM; they are simply claiming to have been manufactured to the same specifications as the OEM parts—specifications that may well be unpublished and unknowable.

Hope this clears up the subject a little. If you have any questions concerning OEM. don't hestitate to ask.

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