Are OEM Ball Joints Better Than Aftermarket?

Ball joints are a crucial part of your car’s suspension system. Worn ball joints can adversely affect the way your car drives, which can compromise your safety. Replacing them with a quality product is important, but can an aftermarket item do the same job as an OEM part?  This blog will help you decide whether an aftermarket or OEM part will best suit your needs.

OEM vs Aftermarket Ball Joints

OEM gm ball joint

Suspension components like ball joints wear out over time. There are plenty of warning signs before they fail - read more about what to look for here.

There are several aftermarket options out there, sometimes at a lower price than a genuine part. But is the potential saving really worth it? Apart from the price, OEM parts and aftermarket components can differ in a number of key areas:

  • Stress Testing
  • Material Quality
  • Dimensions
  • Warranty

The Stress Test

Ball joints are required to withstand a lot of stresses put on them by your vehicle. They also need to operate in harmony with the rest of the suspension system. Our OEM ball joints have been rigorously tested by the manufacturer to do just that.

Aftermarket parts are copies of the original item, often with modifications to lower production costs. These changes over the OEM components can have a marked effect on how they function in your vehicle.

Material Quality

GM Ball Joint Material

Genuine ball joints can last up to 150,000 miles. This is because the components must be made to the manufacturer’s prescribed standards.

Aftermarket ball joints do not have to meet specific manufacturing criteria, and they are often built down to a price. These cheaper imitation ball joints may look fine at first glance. But the inferior materials can reduce the component’s lifespan. Costing you more in the long run.

Made To Fit

A generic aftermarket ball joint may not always have the same dimensions as the OEM unit. This can make them tricky to fit and will place undue stress on other suspension components. That is why OEM ball joints, like the ones we stock at GM Parts Center are identical to the original items. They fit perfectly every time. It is always best to replace both ball joints at the same time, so your suspension and steering system performs as intended.


All of our OEM parts are backed by GM's replacement parts warranty. So peace of mind is part of the deal. Aftermarket components don't come with that kind of support. If your ball joints aren't covered by a comprehensive warranty and they fail, your cheap purchase can quickly turn into an expensive one.

GM Parts Center At Your Service

It is clear that an OEM component outperforms aftermarket parts in every key area. And when it comes to crucial automotive components like ball joints, quality is always worth paying for.

Happily, at GM Parts Center you will never pay too much for a part. We offer a price match guarantee so you can be sure you're getting the best value on your factory GM parts and accessories. Get in touch with our team at GM Parts Center today.