The average age of vehicles on UK roads is over 10 years, so it’s no surprise that the consumption of aftermarket auto parts is in the billions. And due to the pandemic, DIY automotive projects have been on the rise in the past few years. In particular, buying spare Miata parts has seen the most significant increase.
The Miata is one of the most popular roadsters in the world, and for all the right reasons. It provides a unique driving experience that you won’t find in any other car at a similar price range. One of the best things about the Miata and its popularity is the abundance of aftermarket parts.
If you’re driving a Miata, chances are you’re a true aficionado who knows what they want from their prized possession. And if that’s the case, you know how much of a role aftermarket modifications can play in improving your comfort and driving experience even further.
The Range of Spare Parts for Miata Vehicles
Spare parts take a huge chunk of the automotive industry. In fact, it’s believed they account for a fifth of the revenue in the automotive industry. Whether you’re on the lookout for Miata parts to replace or modify components of your vehicle, you have the option to go with OEM (original equipment manufacturer), aftermarket (third-party manufacturers), or second-hand parts.
Aftermarket parts are manufactured by companies that aren’t Mazda. These parts are also commonly known as non-OEM parts, generic and competitive replacement parts.
That being said, the digitalization of everything has had a great impact on the automotive aftermarket industry, and billions worth of parts, accessories, equipment, tools, and services have found themselves in the garages of millions of car owners. In fact, many insurance companies provide the option of using aftermarket instead of OEM parts. Still, there are vehicle owners who are still concerned about aftermarket parts, as they’re not made by the same manufacturer as their vehicles.
But there’s more to these parts and accessories. Let’s discuss the benefits of aftermarket parts over OEM car parts are, and what you need to know before you start looking for replacement Miata parts.
OEM vs Aftermarket Parts
This has been a topic amongst car enthusiasts for a very long time. A lot of people worry whether aftermarket parts are as reliable and safe as OEM parts because after all, they’re made by a different company. In the past few decades, however, aftermarket parts have become extremely popular, they’re considered suitable replacements for OEM parts.
In fact, they’re oftentimes seen as superior, as they’re made using advanced technologies and superior materials. According to most insurance companies, car aftermarket parts shouldn’t interfere with your vehicle’s warranty.
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Having said that, keep in mind that there are two types of aftermarket parts – cosmetic and structural. Cosmetic parts have no impact on safety, so basically, any bumper cover, trim, fender, panels, skins, etc. have no impact on safety. On the other hand, structural parts play a role in the safety of the passengers in case of an accident.
That being said, if you’re purchasing aftermarket car parts in the UK, make sure they’re VCA certified. And in order to be VCA certified, they need to be considered functionally equivalent to the original manufacturer parts.
Besides the fact that aftermarket parts are more readily available than OEM parts, they can also be more affordable. Typically, OEM parts are at least 50% more expensive than aftermarket parts, which in the grand scheme of things, end up saving consumers billions of dollars. As a result, insurance companies oftentimes rely on aftermarket parts as replacement parts after accidents.
Tips for Finding Quality Aftermarket Parts
Finding the right aftermarket part for your Miata can be difficult due to the thousands of different sources available online. The task can be even more daunting if you’re new to the industry. That being said, here are the most important things you should consider in order to ensure you make the right purchase.
Know Your Vehicle
The first step is being familiar with your vehicle, in this case, your Miata. Read the user manual and learn more about the specs. Have a good record of the replacements and repairs that you’ve done before. If you’ve owned it for a while, figure out which parts are due for replacement.
Moreover, you have to make sure the replacement parts you’re buying are made to suit your Miata’s model and make. There’s a difference in Miata parts for the MX3, MX4, MX5, and so on.
Furthermore, there can even be subtle differences between parts for the MX5 MK1, MX5 MK2, MX5 MK3, and MX5 MK4. Ensuring a proper fit will not only improve the safety and reliability but also ease of installation and performance.
Find a Credible Seller
Knowing the benefits of aftermarket parts and the model, make and year of your car isn’t enough. You need to find the parts and they must be of high quality, from a credible seller.
While the internet has given us more choice than ever, it’s also exposed us to more crooks than ever before. For that reason, you need to be careful about who you’re buying from. A simple google search will likely give you a long list of parts sellers near you, but you should still do your due diligence before making a choice. Compare the prices, the customer service and read some reviews about the experience of their past customers. If the dealer is near you, pay them a visit and double-check the quality of the parts they’re selling.
One thing that can help you ensure the parts you’re getting are of high quality is the warranty. Every reputable seller will provide a warranty on their products, which means they stand behind their quality.