There are many reasons to consider buying aftermarket parts for your car, from saving a few dollars on a repair to getting a part that offers improved reliability. Of course, many aftermarket parts work great as modifications, allowing you to improve your car's performance or add high-tech functionality that wasn't available from the factory.
However, aftermarket parts can also be a great option for routine maintenance. If you typically go straight to the dealership for maintenance parts, you know how expensive that can get. Instead, it may be worth considering aftermarket alternatives for these three critical maintenance items.
1. Air Filters
Your air filter is an essential maintenance item that's surprisingly easy to overlook. An old, dirty, and clogged-up air filter can restrict airflow to your engine, creating a bottleneck that can reduce performance and lead to numerous frustrating symptoms. An aftermarket filter will get your car breathing properly again, but it can also provide other benefits.
Aftermarket manufacturers may often offer filters with higher flow rates or longer lifespans than traditional manufacturer options. While these filters might cost a little more, you'll help your car breathe better. You may even save some money over the long run since these filters often require less frequent replacements!
2. Brake Pads
Factory brake pads are generally perfectly suitable to keep your car's braking performance as good as new. However, vehicle manufacturers often choose brake pads to balance durability, comfort, and performance. These tradeoffs can produce a satisfactory braking experience for most drivers but may not offer the kind of performance enthusiasts prefer.
Upgrading to aftermarket brake pads can be an excellent way to improve your car's performance. For example, if your car currently uses organic pads, you might consider upgrading to ceramic pads at your next brake change. These pads will last longer, provide superior performance, and generate less brake dust, making them an easy choice as a maintenance upgrade.
3. Windshield Wipers
Have you ever noticed that windshield wipers lose their "like new" performance pretty quickly after installing them? If you're purchasing new wiper blades from your dealership, you may not get the best performance possible. Aftermarket wiper blades can offer numerous improvements, including longer lifespans and special treatments to repel water.
The best part is that replacing your factory blades with an aftermarket alternative is usually a direct swap. In cases where extra steps are required, aftermarket blades usually come with all the pieces necessary to adapt your factory mounting points. While wiper blades may not seem exciting, they're a cheap and effective upgrade that can genuinely improve your driving experience.
To look for replacement part options, visit an aftermarket auto part supplier in your area.