Subarus are consistently ranked among the safest cars you can own in the event of an accident because of their solid, robust frames and other safety and emergency features. But your Subaru can still sustain damage in an accident, and getting your car repaired after a collision is essential to protecting the longevity of your vehicle and your safety on the roads. In some cases, these repairs may necessitate replacement parts.

There are two main categories when it comes to replacement parts for Subarus and other damaged vehicles: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and aftermarket parts.

There are some key differences between the two, which are important to consider. The type of repairs your car needs and where you take your Subaru after an accident can impact whether your car will be restored using Subaru OEM parts vs aftermarket parts.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about OEM vs aftermarket parts and getting your Subaru repaired successfully.

What are Subaru OEM Parts?

Subaru OEM parts are replacement vehicle components that are constructed by the manufacturer in Subaru factories. Because these replacement parts are made by the same manufacturer, they’re identical to your car’s original parts. Opting for genuine Subaru parts when getting your car repaired after a collision offers a number of advantages that help to ensure your vehicle is restored to its former glory.

The benefits of choosing Subaru OEM parts are clear. In addition to providing consistent quality and performance, they tend to be long-lasting and almost always come with a warranty for added protection and reliability. However, OEM parts are usually more expensive upfront and may not be available at all collision repair shops.

What are Aftermarket Parts?

Aftermarket parts are vehicle components that are developed by third-party manufacturers, but designed to look and perform like genuine Subaru parts. While aftermarket parts can vary in terms of quality, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad option.

Choosing aftermarket, non-OEM parts when repairing your Subaru after an accident comes with pros and cons. For example, they’re generally more affordable than OEM parts and tend to be more readily accessible at typical collision repair shops. On the other hand, Subaru aftermarket parts can be unpredictable in terms of quality, and they don’t generally come with a warranty like OEM parts.

Subaru OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts

 Silver Subaru Driving on a Road

Quality & Reliability

Subaru OEM parts are almost always a more reliable choice when compared to their aftermarket counterparts. While some aftermarket parts perform as well as genuine components, their quality and longevity can be unpredictable.

OEM parts used by Subaru certified auto body shops like Mackin’s adhere to all manufacturing standards and are made with the high-quality materials Subaru is known for, so you know exactly what to expect from your repairs.

Fitment Issues

Because aftermarket parts aren’t manufactured by Subaru, they often differ from original parts in terms of size, shape, and fit. While aftermarket parts can be good quality and may get the job done, there’s no guarantee they’ll offer the same specifications as OEM parts and they generally have to be adjusted to fit your make and model.

For example, an aftermarket tire may differ in terms of exact sizing or tread depth, which may impact the way your car looks and drives.


Aftermarket parts are generally cheaper than OEM components, especially since there are more aftermarket options available. However, discrepancies in quality can impact the longevity of a replacement part and the vehicle itself. Therefore, while OEM parts tend to come with a higher initial price tag, their long-term reliability may actually make them a more cost-effective option.

Performance and Functionality

OEM parts come with the exact specifications of the original component that came with your Subaru. This means there will be no difference whatsoever in terms of the performance or function of your vehicle.

High-quality aftermarket parts can offer excellent performance, but it’s also possible for them to impact handling, power, and fuel efficiency in unpredictable ways.

Warranty and Support

Genuine Subaru OEM parts always come with a one-year warranty. If there happens to be an unexpected manufacturing defect with your replacement part, you can return to a Subaru certified body shop to have it replaced free of charge.

Using an aftermarket part to repair your Subaru won’t automatically nullify your car’s warranty. However, it must be installed and maintained correctly in order to protect your warranty. That’s why it’s vital to get any Subaru repairs completed by an I-CAR Certified body shop, even when opting for aftermarket parts.

Safety and Compliance

Subaru and all I-CAR Certified shops adhere to the highest standards of safety and quality assurance in terms of manufacturing and repair services. If you want to be absolutely certain that your replacement part has been manufactured according to all compliance and safety regulations, then OEM parts installed by a certified shop are the way to go.

What Makes Subaru OEM Parts Better?

mackins tech replacing front bumperChoosing between OEM vs aftermarket parts after an accident is an important consideration for anyone who owns any type of car, and Subarus are no exception. In most cases, choosing a collision repair shop that uses genuine Subaru parts rather than non-OEM parts is well worth it. Generally, Subaru OEM parts perform better, last longer, and provide a better overall return on your investment.

But Mackin’s Auto Body doesn’t just offer Subaru OEM parts – we also have specialized training and repair processes that we use to repair damaged Subarus in the Pacific Northwest. We operate several Subaru certified shops in the Portland/Vancouver area. That means our technicians have Subaru-specific training and expertise to ensure we restore your car to its original factory specifications quickly, efficiently, and with regard for the highest standards of quality and safety.

Mackin’s Subaru certified locations include:

Get Your Subaru Back on the Road with the Highest Quality Parts and Service!

old photo of first mackins location

Mackin’s Auto Body operates 9 convenient locations in the Portland/SW Washington area, most of which are Subaru certified!

Family-owned and committed to quality repairs and old-fashioned customer service since 1945, we’re proud to be Portland’s most trusted collision repair shop. We’re always upfront and transparent about the work we do, repair timelines, and pricing, and our repair process is designed to limit stress and get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible. We’ll even work directly with your provider to handle your insurance claim.

Call us at 1-800-653-0665, contact us online, or come see us at one of our locations to learn more and tell us how we can be of service!