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Are OEM Or Aftermarket Starters Better?

When replacing the starter on your vehicle, there are many options for replacement parts. Replacement parts break down into two main groups, aftermarket, and OEM. Simply put, the design and manufacturing process creates differences in OEM and aftermarket parts. The highest priority for an OEM is that it is optimal for a particular engine. The design goal for an aftermarket part is often to have it fit as many vehicles as possible. How well it works is a lower priority.

Why We Recommend OEM Starters

OEM vw starters

Regarding the starter or any other component in your vehicle, we always recommend using OEM parts to ensure your engine's and drivetrain's performance and longevity. Aftermarket parts are often cheaper, indicating that some corners have been cut. By using an OEM replacement starter, you can be sure of a few things:

  • Your starter will mount properly to the engine. 
  • Your starter will be the proper gearing and rotational speed to start your engine.
  • Your starter will draw the correct amount of current, ensuring it works properly.
  • Your starter's lifespan will be similar to the old starter.

Is A Universal Fit Part Really What You Want?

VW starter removal

Image Credit: BMAC VAGS

While many of these seem reasonably straightforward, aftermarket parts fit as many different car applications as possible. So there's a chance your aftermarket starter will mount correctly and operate correctly. Still, you can't be 100% confident in aftermarket parts' longevity or electrical draw. Over-spinning the engine or not spinning the engine fast enough can both affect how well your engine starts. By using an OEM starter, you can be much more confident in consistent starting.

If you're experiencing problems when starting your vehicle, it is often a battery issue rather than a starter issue. If you go to turn the ignition and see the lights flashing or hear a rapid clicking noise, it is most likely the battery. If you're experiencing battery problems, check out this article. If you have already diagnosed the issue and determined it to be a problem within the starter, check out this link to our selection of replacement starters for your Volkswagen.

When looking for parts, look no further than VW Parts Vortex. We have been providing quality VW parts for over 15 years, and Volkswagen's manufacturer warranty backs all our parts. If you're still not sure what parts you need, check out our handy VIN decoder. With our location on the East Coast, you can be sure your parts will arrive quickly and fit correctly. If you have any other questions or concerns, you can contact us here