What Does OEM Parts Mean?

What Does OEM Parts Mean?

OEM parts is an oft-used acronym, but what does it actually mean? It seems that many people use the term but unwittingly apply it when it’s not strictly correct. Well, it’s time to put that straight in this easy to understand guide that explains once and for all the answer to the question, “what does OEM parts mean?”

OEM Parts 101 

·      OEM meaning

·      The difference between OEM and other parts

·      Advantages of OEM parts

OEM meaning

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. It means that the part is produced by an external provider with the full support of the original company. For instance, Mercedes, Ford, or VW. Because of this, the parts are guaranteed to be identical to the original parts that were used to make the vehicle in the factory, both in structure and in quality. In some cases, and especially when applied to the best quality OEM wheels, the quality is superior to the originals.

Such parts have undergone rigorous safety and quality control procedures and will be stamped with the necessary official codes and safety standard marks. In fact, the only difference between OEM parts and original equipment is that they’ll come in an unbranded box and the stamp will differ slightly (to signify that it’s an OEM part).

The difference between OEM and other parts

Now that we understand what OEM parts are, it’s important to differentiate them between other options. You might hear talk of OE parts, pattern, reconditioned, and salvaged. So let’s define what these mean.

  • OE parts: These are the ones that are used in the factory when the car is first built (It stands for Original Equipment). They are usually the most expensive option to purchase.

  • Pattern parts: You might also hear these referred to as aftermarket or replacement parts. The problem with pattern parts is they differ dramatically in quality. Some are good, some average, and some are downright dangerous. Without scaremongering, pattern parts can, in some cases, not even fit the car for which they’re designed, meaning adaptations have to be made to make them fit for purpose (something we think you’ll agree isn’t a favorable outcome). Because of this, pattern parts usually cost far less than OEM parts.

  •  Reconditioned parts: These are parts that have been removed from another vehicle and have been made good for use on another car. They usually have some new elements to them, such as fasteners, nuts, or bolts, and can be the cheapest option of all. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you don’t know how much use they’ve already been subjected to. Therefore, you have no idea how long they’ll last before replacement (once again) is needed.

  • Salvaged parts: Taken from a vehicle that’s been scrapped and broken down to its components that are sold for re-use. Not recommended, unless you have a vintage car that parts are no longer produced for.

Advantages of OEM parts

OEM parts have multiple benefits:

  • Made to stringent safety standards

  • High quality and guaranteed to offer the same or a higher performance quality

  • Are cheaper than Original Equipment parts

  • Provide peace of mind that you’re purchasing a part that’s fit for purpose and has been produced in a manner that means it will be identical to the original part

Need OEM Wheels: Contact OEM Wheels Direct for the ultimate quality and selection

If you’re looking for anything relating to wheels, tires, and related equipment then OEM is by far the best way forward. OEM Wheels Direct offers an exceptionally large range (the largest of any provider) at prices that offer outstanding value for money. Add in free next day delivery and you’re set for a purchasing experience that’ll have you smiling all the way to the bank…

Find out more at and join the hundreds of thousands of happy customers who know that for wheels and associated products, OEM Wheels Direct is the only place to shop.


Changing your tire size can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you’re on the lookout for a new car or looking to change your tire size on your existing vehicle.