What is the difference between OEM & aftermarket parts?
Any part sold by the manufacturer of your stove or fireplace is considered an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part. The part is designed to directly replace the part used when your stove or fireplace was originally built. The owner’s manual for your unit should include a list of parts and their respective part numbers to match compatible replacements. From time to time manufacturers may redesign or improve parts. Typically the part number will remain the same, however, depending on the manufacturer the part number may be updated to reflect the change. If this happens we make every effort to list all previous part numbers that the current part is compatible with.
Aftermarket parts are generally less expensive than the OEM part because they are obtained directly from the factory that makes them rather than being distributed by the manufacturer of your stove or fireplace. These aftermarket parts offer great savings because they are designed to meet or exceed the specifications of the OEM part. In many cases the aftermarket parts are made in the same factory as the original OEM parts.
What to consider when deciding between OEM and aftermarket parts:
- Value – OEM parts are usually priced higher than their aftermarket equivalents. However, some parts like a super igniter will have a higher sticker price up front, but the part is designed to last longer than the OEM part so the value over time is better. Little pieces like hardware or gasket cement can often be found at your local hardware store for significant savings over the OEM part.
- Warranty Coverage – Depending on the brand of your stove or fireplace the warranty on parts may range from 90 days to 1 year on average. Aftermarket parts are covered for 6 months to 6 years depending on the type of part. Say you are replacing an auger motor. Brand A offers no warranty on electrical parts while Brand B offers 90 days, yet the aftermarket motor is covered for 18 months.
- Customer Feedback – Over the years our customers have left thousands of genuine reviews on the parts we carry. We hope this feedback aids you in confidently deciding between the aftermarket and OEM replacement parts for your appliance. We take care to offer high-quality parts and stand behind the selection of OEM and aftermarket parts available from Mountain View Hearth Products.
- Modifications – Some aftermarket parts may require minor modifications before installation if they are designed to fit a wide range of makes and models of stoves or fireplaces. If you are not comfortable making these changes on your own, you may prefer to stick with the OEM part. We try to specify as clearly as possible what the aftermarket part does and does not include so you know up front if the modifications are within your ability.
The final decision between an aftermarket or OEM part will ultimately depend on your personal preference. We thoroughly test all our aftermarket parts before making them available online to be sure that they will truly perform as well as the OEM equivalents. If you have any further questions or concerns, we are available by phone (406-272-9850) or live chat online at www.stove-parts-unlimited.com Monday through Friday 8 am-5 pm Mountain Time. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org any time and we will answer as quickly as possible once we return to the office.