Hubcap Haven Auto, Wheel & Trim Blog | OEM Wheel or Aftermarket Wheel? | Hubcap Haven

Choices, Choices: Should You Go for an Aftermarket or OEM Wheel?

When you are buying brand-new wheels there’s plenty to take into consideration. The aftermarket is saturated with wheels in different styles, sizes, and materials. Some people like using different rim styles to customize their vehicle, while others would rather keep their car’s looks faithful to the manufacturer. If you’re unsure whether to go with aftermarket rim or an OEM wheel, we’ll compare the two side-by-side to help you decide. To keep things simple we are looking at two similarly priced aftermarket and OEM options. 


Aftermarket or OEM?

Before you choose what option is best for your vehicle, you need to understand what questions to ask. In this section we are going to examine what you need to consider when making the choice between Aftermarket wheels and OEM wheels for your vehicle. For this comparison we are looking at two wheels; an Aftermarket option priced at $279.99 from Ultra Motorsports and an OEM option priced at $236.95. Both of these wheels are for a 2021 Ford F-150.  


  • Which Offers Greater Ride Quality? Your choice of rims may have an impact on your ride quality. Many drivers like the look of larger aftermarket wheels, but using a wheel larger than what your car was designed for carries risks. Larger wheels might alter your vehicle’s wheel alignment, and even small changes in your wheel’s alignments can cause problems for your ride quality. If you’re using larger rims, you’ll also need larger tires to compensate. These high-riding tires have thinner walls, which makes them more susceptible to cracking. These same risks are not present with the OEM wheel, as these rims were designed for your vehicle. The ride is more times than not going to be smoother with an OEM rim than with an aftermarket option. OEM rims are the clear winner.


  • Which Is More Cost Effective? Prices vary, but in some instances, aftermarket rims will be cheaper than OEM rims. Aftermarket wheels are designed in many different styles, and to create that selection, they use cheaper materials in their construction. Aftermarket wheels are designed to look nice first and foremost, and they don’t provide much for drivers in terms of safety or ride performance. If you drive around snow or rain-heavy areas with aftermarket rims, the difference in quality will quickly become apparent. OEM rims are specifically designed for your vehicle, and when you are looking to replace a wheel on your vehicle, you only need to buy ONE OEM wheel, whereas if you decide to go with an aftermarket option, you will need to buy all four. Additionally, if you ever want to change the way your vehicle looks, that is another 4 wheels you need to purchase. OEM is again the clear choice here.


  • Is One Option Safer Than the Other? OEM rims are designed to factory specifications, and it takes into account a car’s weight and handling. Cheaper aftermarket rims focus more on looks than quality. OEM rims are more carefully constructed, and undergo routine testing and inspections to ensure you’re getting a quality product. Aftermarket rims aren’t always upheld to these same standards. This can lead to ill-fitting aftermarket rims that may cause other issues, like premature wear on your suspension. Given the rigorous testing that OEM wheels go through, and the fact that the aftermarket options you are looking at may not, OEM is again the winner in the Safety category.


Aftermarket Rims Vs. OEM Rims: Final Results

When you compare OEM wheels to aftermarket alternatives, the OEM wheels hold up as a better value. These original wheels are more durable, safer, and offer better fitment than you’ll find in their aftermarket competitors. 

If you’re looking for OEM reconditioned and OE replica rims, Hubcap Haven Auto Wheel and Trim has plenty of fantastic choices for you, with all major manufacturers represented. Shop for OEM reconditioned and OE replica wheels and trim from domestic and foreign brands, including Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen.