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Should I Replace My Control Arms With OEM Or Aftermarket Parts?

Your GM vehicle's control arms play an important role in connecting the front wheels to your vehicle's frame. If they are worn out or damaged, it severely compromises your ability to control or steer the front wheels. That's why it's not only important to replace your control arms when necessary but replace them with OEM quality parts.

In this post, we'll cover the differences between OEM and aftermarket control arms and why OEM quality matters. 

OEM Vs. Aftermarket Control Arms

OEM GM Control arms

The control arm connects the front wheel to the frame of the vehicle, stabilizing the wheel and allowing it to move with the suspension. Eventually, it may wear out or get damaged due to age, exposure or mileage and need to be replaced. You can refer to this post to find out the tell-tale signs of controm arm failure. When that happens, you can choose to replace the control arms with OEM or aftermarket parts. 

You can potentially save money by purchasing aftermarket control arms, which sometimes cost less than the OEM parts. However, there are several factors to consider besides getting the lowest price, including:

  • Quality of the materials
  • Factory-like fit
  • A trusted warranty

OEM Control Arms Are High-Quality

OEM control arms meet or exceed the quality of the original control arms on your vehicle. They are made from quality materials to GM standards and are designed to last upwards of 150,000 miles. For constant-use parts like control arms, you want to select quality parts that can handle the job.

Aftermarket control arms are usually cheaper because they do not meet the same standards as OEM parts. They could be made out of thinner metal and lower-quality materials, which means they won't hold up as well as the OEM control arms. They're also often reverse-engineered in order to create a 'one-size-fits-all' part that can be used for several makes and models. As a result, they won't perform as well or last as long, costing you more money. 

OEM Control Arms Are Made To Fit

OEM gm control arms

When you buy GM OEM control arms, you're getting parts that are made to specifically fit your vehicle, down to the year, make, model, and trim level. That means you're getting parts that are an exact match - no drilling or modifications needed.     

Aftermarket control arms are generic and not always made to fit a specific make and model of vehicle. You could get a control arm that fits "most" GM vehicles of a specific model or a control arm for a standard suspension when your vehicle has a performance suspension. If the control arm is not an exact match, it won't perform as well and will affect the handling of your vehicle. It also may not install correctly, just like if you ordered the wrong part.    

A Dependable Warranty

When you buy aftermarket control arms, they can be hit or miss with both warranty coverage and support. The warranty may only cover a short period of time, and if you have a warranty claim, it can be difficult to get it resolved.  

At GM Parts Center, all of our control arms are backed by GM's replacement parts warranty and come with our price match guarantee, so you can be confident you're getting the best part and the best price. We are a US-based company and only sell genuine GM Accessories and parts for your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, or Oldsmobile. 

Got questions? Our FAQ page contains lots of helpful information or you can contact us with any questions about ordering control arms - we'll be glad to help!