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5 Tips: Choosing Between OEM and Aftermarket Steering Wheels

The steering wheel is an important component of a car that affects the overall driving experience and comfort. 

When it comes to upgrading or replacing your steering wheel, you may find yourself torn between choosing an OEM or an aftermarket one. Both options have their own advantages, and it can be challenging to make a decision. 

Here are 5 tips to help you make your choice between OEM and aftermarket steering wheels.


5 Helpful Tips To Help You Choose Between OEM or Aftermarket Steering Wheels

  1. Consider Compatibility: Before purchasing a steering wheel, ensure it fits your car perfectly. OEM options guarantee compatibility, while aftermarket options may require careful checking to avoid installation issues.
  2. Examine Quality and Durability: Evaluate the build quality of the steering wheel and how long it will last. OEM steering wheels are known for high quality, while aftermarket options vary in durability. Read reviews and feedback to choose a long-lasting option.
  3. Analyze Cost Implications: OEM parts are more expensive but offer guaranteed quality, while aftermarket options may provide good value if chosen carefully. Consider the long-term benefits against the initial cost.
  4. Consider Customization Possibilities: If you want to personalize your car, aftermarket steering wheels offer a wide range of styles, materials, and features. Choose a wheel that reflects your personal style while maintaining functionality.
  5. Weigh Warranty Concerns: Installing an aftermarket steering wheel may affect your car's warranty, while OEM parts usually come with a warranty that matches the rest of your vehicle.



What’s the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Steering Wheels?

OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer." When related to car parts or accessories, OEM refers to the components made and supplied by the original maker of the vehicle. 


These parts are designed specifically for certain models and are usually identical to the parts that come with the car when it's first bought. They provide a guarantee of quality and compatibility but often come at a higher price.


Aftermarket, on the other hand, involves parts and accessories produced by companies other than the original vehicle manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are designed to function in a wide range of models, not just a specific make or model. 


They offer a broader selection of styles, functions, and prices. While they can be more cost-effective and allow for customization, their fit and performance might not always match OEM standards.

Tip 1: Consider Compatibility

Start by making sure the steering wheel fits your car perfectly. Steering wheels made by your car's original manufacturer (OEM) are guaranteed to fit well and work properly. 


If you're looking at aftermarket options, which offer a variety of styles, it's essential to ensure they are compatible with your vehicle to avoid installation issues. 


Research the specifics of your car. If possible, it’s best for you to seek professional advice so you can make sure you’re getting the best steering wheel for your vehicle.


Always check the compatibility before making a purchase to ensure a smooth experience. Make sure to also buy your parts only from trustworthy suppliers.

Tip 2: Examine Quality and Durability

Think about the build quality of the steering wheel and how long it will last. OEM steering wheels are known for their high quality and durability, meeting the standards set by your car's manufacturer. 


The quality of aftermarket products varies widely. Some may be of higher quality than OEM parts, while others might not last as long. To find a high-quality steering wheel, read reviews and consider feedback from other users.



Tip 3: Analyze Cost Implications

Your budget is significant when choosing a steering wheel. OEM options often cost more because they offer guaranteed compatibility and known quality. However, investing more upfront in an OEM part could prevent future problems or additional expenses. 


Aftermarket wheels might be less expensive and can still provide good value if you choose carefully. However, make sure that the aftermarket wheels that you buy are of good quality, otherwise you might risk your safety.

Tip 4: Consider Customization Possibilities

If you want your car to reflect your personal style, aftermarket steering wheels might be the way to go. They come in numerous styles, materials, and features not typically available with OEM options. 


Whether you're seeking a unique finish or a specific grip, the aftermarket offers many choices, blending personal style with functionality.

Tip 5: Weigh Warranty Concerns

Lastly, think about how changing your steering wheel might impact your car's warranty. Installing an aftermarket steering wheel can sometimes affect warranty protections. This factor is important to consider alongside the potential advantages of an aftermarket wheel. 


Usually, OEM parts come with a warranty that matches or exceeds what you would get for the rest of your vehicle, providing added peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

As you navigate the decision between OEM and aftermarket steering wheels, remember that this choice influences more than just the aesthetics of your vehicle. 


It affects your everyday interaction with your car, from the feel of every turn to the confidence you have in its safety features. 


Whether you lean towards the guaranteed fitment and reliability of OEM or the creative flair and potential value of aftermarket options, you should always make sure that your final choice enhances your driving experience and maintains the integrity of your prized vehicle.

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