When you are making a repair or carrying out a service on your bus – regardless of the size you need to use quality parts. When you use quality parts – be they genuine manufacturer parts, or aftermarket parts when you buy QUALITY you are ensuring safety and performance. Always look for and buy your parts from a reputable parts dealer, this is the only way you can be sure that your repairs – mechanical, body or electrical will live up to the highest of standards.
For some models of buses, it may be hard to source original manufacturer parts. The parts just aren’t made anymore, or the factory that provides the part is *off-shore*.
One advantage to purchasing original manufacturer parts is that the part number allocated corresponds to just one spare part. This takes out the guesswork of comparing different brands of aftermarket spare parts to find the one that’s right for you. You know when you are dropping in that replacement it’s compatible, it will fit properly, and it will help cut down the time it takes for a service or repair on your bus.
Quality is always important and some aftermarket spare bus parts are actually better than the original manufacturer part, this isn’t always a guarantee – so ensure that your supplier is one that does offer a quality guarantee. When you choose a part that has been recommended by your service centre or repairer you know you are buying an aftermarket part that is tried and tested. Your mechanic isn’t going to supply or use parts that are cheap. This way you know your aftermarket part is going to be as sturdy as the original part – if not that little bit better.
Buying an original manufacturer part does give you a good warranty period, they will stand behind their parts and guarantee them. Before buying, using or choosing an aftermarket spare part for your bus ask if there are any warranties in place. Depending on the part you can expect a warranty period that can last up to a whole year.
Are aftermarket parts a bad idea?
While original manufacturer parts are a good idea and it IS the preferred option for some buyers, sometimes original or genuine parts just aren’t available, or, perhaps depending on the work, they will end up being too expensive to use. The most important thing to remember is that not all aftermarket parts are created equal. Sometimes a part made by a third party is inferior to the original, and sometimes it not only lives up to but exceeds the quality standards of the original. Check that your spare parts supplier or repair centre is only using or selling quality parts – regardless of who manufactures them.
For some aftermarket parts, you’ll find they are more affordable than the genuine parts, but this doesn’t mean there is any difference in the quality. There are a number of different factors that affect the pricing of replacement bus parts. Genuine parts made by the bus manufacturer are sometimes overpriced, this is just so they can retain a particular brand perception. Another reason that genuine parts cost more is that the manufacturers need to recoup the costs of research and development, and as buses get older, it becomes more and more expensive to produce and keep parts for older models.
Aftermarket parts manufacturers need to reverse engineer the genuine parts, but they don’t have to stick to the original specifications. The original manufacturer has to think about the costs of the original vehicle, which can mean that the design of spares won’t change or improve. There are many aftermarket parts out there that are better than the genuine parts, which will give your bus not just a longer life, but better performance as well – again it all depends on the part and the manufacturer, but it is something you should keep in mind when buying bus parts.
When it comes to spare parts there are so many variables, and there are exceptions to every rule, so always speak to an expert before buying a particular part. Quality should always come first regardless of whether the part you are buying is produced by your bus manufacturer or it’s an aftermarket part.