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One of the big concerns owning a sweeper is maximizing your sweeper’s uptime. What do you do when it’s time for repairs or maintenance? Do you order parts from the manufacturer or one of its dealers? Or do you scour aftermarket and will-fit vendors to find the cheapest option available?

What are Aftermarket and OEM Parts?

Quite simply, aftermarket parts are those that have been made by a different part manufacturer to the original maker of the part as specified by the sweeper manufacturer.

During the design of your sweeper, the sweeper manufacturer will have sourced parts that were designed to meet high-quality standards. These are known as Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts or OEM parts for short.

Aftermarket parts have been made by another manufacturer to replicate the part that was originally specified. They may be suitable for a number of sweepers and may not be to the exact specification as those laid down by the sweeper manufacturer.

Here are five reasons why you buy OEM parts:

1. Quality

Yes, you can find a lot of the same parts at those will-fitters, but is it made from the same material? Have you ever installed a new replacement part and the holes didn’t match up? This is much less likely to happen with OEM parts designed by the manufacturer.

2. Warranty & Support

Installation of a non-OEM part poses a threat to the warranty coverage of your sweeper. If your hydraulic system fails because someone changed a part that doesn’t match the manufacturer’s specifications, you may be on the hook to rebuild it yourself rather than filing a warranty claim. Plus, OEM parts themselves most likely have a better guarantee than those from 3rd-party suppliers or will-fitters.

3. Reliable Distribution

The large sweeper manufacturers have been around for years. This means they’ve had a long time to refine their distribution network. While you may believe you’re saving a few bucks by buying that expensive part from a “groundbreaking” vendor, the only thing likely to stay grounded and broken is your sweeper when the part doesn’t show up on time.

4. Durability

A sweeper part is a sweeper part, right? Except you have no idea what’s in the alloy or plastic that the part is made from. The OEM can spend years formulating recipes for construction and coatings that resist corrosion and contribute to increased safety standards and wearability. Is that sweeping head or hopper produced in China made of the same stuff? Nobody knows. You may save on the front and lose on the backside.

5. Ease of Replacement

Another important reason to always use OEM parts is that you know they will properly fit. Many aftermarket parts manufacturers develop parts that are designed to fit on multiple models of vehicles to mass produce them. This often leads to ill-fitting parts that require some manipulation to get them to bolt on. Don’t struggle with poor aftermarket parts and accessories, stick with what you know works, true OEM parts.

How Do I Know If I’m Buying OEM Parts?

If you have your sweeper serviced at a factory authorized dealership, they’ll use the OEM parts as standard. If you do the maintenance work on your sweeper yourself, refer to your sweeper owner’s manual for part numbers and call your OEM or OEM dealer.

What About Common Parts Like Filters?

Filters are amongst the parts that you will change most frequently on your sweeper. It is always worth making sure that you use original parts when doing so, simply because your sweeper relies on these parts to ensure smooth running and protection of its components.

The filters used on your sweepers will have been tested like major components to make sure they protect other major components. Choosing a cheaper alternative that fits your sweeper, but has not been tested by the manufacturer, adds risk that the major engine components aren’t going to be fully protected.

In many cases, OEM parts are slightly more expensive than aftermarket parts, but that’s just a reflection of their higher quality. Keeping your sweeper operational can be a real drain on your finances but the use of OEM parts whenever possible can save in the long run.

Use your smarts, buy OEM parts.

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