Lancer, Pajero, Triton, Outlander – these are probably the most widely recognized flag bearers of Mitsubishi. That's not surprising. These models brought honour to the Japanese carmaker by winning countless titles in FIA's World Rally Championships.
Mitsubishi has one of the most established reputations in the car-making industry and is head-to-head with other equally-known car names. It remains one of the more affordable brands on the market, which is one of the advantages of buying a Mitsubishi.
Another good thing about going for a Mitsubishi car is that its parts are widely available. Before buying any replacement part, though, there is one crucial thing that every Mitsubishi car owner needs to know—the kind of replacement part to buy.
Auto replacement parts fall under three major categories, they are — genuine, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and aftermarket. Let's discuss each group thoroughly.
What are genuine Mitsubishi parts?
Genuine car parts are the same parts that came with your car when it rolled off from the car dealership. They will arrive at you with all the markings, packaging, and documentation.
PROS of genuine parts
- Assured performance and quality – it carries Mitsubishi's guarantee that it is an authentic part and, as such, will perform as the original did.
- Compatible – there will be no issue on incompatibility with the other parts or systems in the car.
- Reliable – the part passed the tests under the conditions that Mitsubishi designed it to withstand.
CONS of genuine parts
- Expensive – with the Mitsubishi name and tag, genuine parts will cost more than the other types.
What are OEM Mitsubishi parts?
OEM auto parts are produced by the same company commissioned by Mitsubishi to manufacture the parts for the original. In case you didn't know, very few carmakers now make every single part of their vehicle. What they do is commission the production of parts to other manufacturers, who then also produce parts not only for Mitsubishi but also for the end-users. These parts are called OEM, which no longer carry the logo or brand of Mitsubishi. Essentially, however, OEM parts are the same as the genuine parts, except for the Mitsubishi branding and packaging.
PROS of OEM parts
- The same quality as the original - Mitsubishi OEM parts are made in the same materials, procedure, and the exact specs of the original. Thus, you can expect it to be equal in performance and quality as the original.
- Durable - like the original, it passed stringent testing after production. You can expect it to have the same lifespan as the genuine part that it replaced.
- Compatible - it will perfectly match all the other parts in your Mitsubishi car.
CONS of OEM parts
- Not readily available - OEM parts are very scarce in the automotive market because they are produced in limited quantity and distributed to a handful of dealers.
- Expensive - due to their low supply, OEM products tend to be costly, though not as pricey as genuine Mitsubishi parts.
What are aftermarket Mitsubishi parts?
Aftermarket Mitsubishi parts are auto parts produced by a different company for a particular Mitsubishi car. These companies buy the rights to build these parts. You will notice that aftermarket parts will not look exactly like genuine or OEM parts but are designed to function as the original.
This is true not only in the case of Mitsubishi but for aftermarket parts made for other car brands as well. Look out for the term "OE-quality". It refers to aftermarket—not OEM—parts. Some marketing terms are aimed at misleading unsuspecting buyers instead of adequately informing them.
PROS of aftermarket parts
- Readily available - they're easy to find just like every aftermarket parts for other cars. If you're in a rush or need to get one quick, then choosing an aftermarket Mitsubishi part will save you time.
- Not expensive - they come at a relatively low price due to their abundant supply.
- They offer you more buying options - you're not limited to just one dealer or auto part source. It allows you to compare prices and choose the best deal for you.
CONS of aftermarket parts
- May not be compatible with your car - though designed to work like the original part, there might be some imperfections in an aftermarket part that would cause it not to work with other elements in the car.
- Not as reliable as a genuine or OEM part - aftermarket parts may lack the necessary tests to ensure their quality and reliability.
Choosing between a genuine and an OEM Mitsubishi auto part should not be so difficult to make. It should only be a question of availability and price. In terms of quality, they would be equal. Of course, purists would argue with this statement. Without a Mitsubishi branding, an OEM would never pass as original to a purist. However, that's for the buyer to decide.
The more difficult choice would be between OEM and aftermarket. They're quite easy to differentiate, though. Just bear in mind that the manufacturer made an OEM part of the original Mitsubishi equipment. The aftermarket part was created by a manufacturer other than the original maker.
As you have seen, each will have its pros and cons. The important things to consider, as you weigh your options, are how reliable the part you're buying is and how well it will work with the other parts of your car.