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Are OEM Volkswagen Ignition Coils Better Than Aftermarket?

Is it time to replace your ignition coils? You may be trying to decide between getting OEM or aftermarket coils. We’ll help you reach an educated decision with this comparison guide.

The Myth Of OEM Prices

OEM coil

Before comparing OEM and aftermarket ignition coils, we want to address a common concern many buyers have: cost. It's no secret that OEM ignition coils will often cost more than aftermarket ignition coils. But is it always the case? No.

Genuine OEM VW ignition coils aren't always attached to exorbitant dealership prices. They're available online at much cheaper prices. In fact, we have an extensive catalog of genuine OEM ignition coils for all Volkswagen models at wholesale pricing.

Should I Choose OEM Ignition Coils Over Aftermarket Coils?

The next question you may have is, "So I can get OEM ignition coils at aftermarket pricing. Should I still choose them over aftermarket ignition coils?"

The answer is a resounding "yes". OEM ignition coils deliver a lot more value than aftermarket ones.

Aftermarket Ignition Coils Are Cheap In Every Sense

In general, aftermarket parts have an advantage over OEM parts: price. Aftermarket ignition coils can fit a variety of makes and models. That means aftermarket manufacturers can sell them to a bigger audience for a lower cost. For that reason, the aftermarket industry is booming. Car owners often turn to aftermarket parts because they either:

  • Can't find affordable OEM parts
  • Are not aware that they can buy affordable OEM parts online

Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's always good. Aftermarket ignition coils are never worth the extra few bucks in savings. In a few cases, you can get away with using a cheap universal aftermarket part as long as it doesn't affect:

  • The engine's performance
  • The vehicle's safety

For example, an aftermarket steering wheel may be OK to use. But aftermarket ignition coils will likely cause lots of issues with the engine's performance.

A Lot Of VW Owners Are Unhappy With Aftermarket Ignition Coils

Amazon has lots of poor reviews for aftermarket VW ignition coils. We rounded up a few:

  • "Three out of four of my new aftermarket ignition coils were bad. I had to pay a VW specialist to confirm it. Pure junk."
  • "My aftermarket ignition coils were definitely not OEM quality."
  • "My aftermarket ignition coils lasted only 2 weeks. I had to limp my car back home."
  • "These aftermarket coils caused rough running and misfires during warm up. I switched back to OEM coils and the problem went away."

The general consensus? Aftermarket ignition coils don't perform to OEM standards. Some even fail very early.

Why is that? Two reasons:

1. Ignition Coils Should Never Be Universal

Ignition coils should match the spark plug and the ignition system in your VW. For an ignition coil to work right, it needs to:

  • Deliver the correct amount of voltage to the spark plugs
  • Recharge fast enough to deliver full voltage to the spark plugs

Let's say your stock ignition coils produce 40,000 volts. If you install universal ignition coils that can produce only 20,000 volts, you're going to have a problem. With OEM ignition coils, you'll always have the peace of mind that the operating parameters are correct. You can't say the same about universal aftermarket ignition coils.

2. Ignition Coils Should Always Be Built With Quality Materials

Replace coil

Image Credit: AutoRepairGuys

The ignition coil serves an important purpose. It turns the battery's low voltage current into high voltage current. This enables the spark plug to which it is connected to create a spark. That's a pretty big job.

For that reason, it's very important to ignition coils to be built with quality materials. An ignition coil made with cheap materials won't be able to keep up with the demands of the ignition system and the spark plug. So it's rare for a cheap ignition coil to last long.

Volkswagen understands this. That's why they build OEM VW coils with the best quality materials. Volkswagen has so much confidence in its ignition coils that it offers a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on all OEM ignition coils. Some aftermarket ignition coils fail a lot sooner than 12,000 miles.

Have you ever wondered why some aftermarket ignition coils are cheap - almost too cheap? Two reasons:

  1. Many aftermarket manufacturers use low quality materials to build their ignition coils.
  2. It's rare for aftermarket manufacturers to offer a warranty for their ignition coils.

To sum it all up, OEM ignition coils offer a lot more value than aftermarket ones.