We always recommend genuine Mercedes parts where possible, the reasons for which I’ll come onto in a moment. Customers however, frequently ask if a cheaper pattern option is available to save money. This is often a false economy. Mercedes by its nature and pedigree is a prestige brand that deserves the best care and attention not only when fresh out of the showroom, but for the rest of it’s life.
As Mercedes specialists, we see a range of different models passing through our workshop, some of which are vehicles we’ve maintained for loyal customers for years, others are new and often present with different issues.
Fitting pattern parts not only compromises on the high quality that is synonymous with the Mercedes brand, but can lead to further problems down the road.
So what should you consider when replacing Genuine Mercedes parts?
- Quality & compatibility
With genuine Mercedes parts, you can be assured that your part will integrate seamlessly with other original parts on your car. There are no doubts over minute measurements, quality of metals, rubbers or plastics used, and you know that genuine parts will have been put through Mercedes stringent quality assurance testing. Pattern parts may be made from inferior materials, and may have been subject to far less detailed quality testing. Gernuine parts will generally last longer for this reason, they are made from quality materials and are more durable.
- Fake or Counterfeit Parts
Buying parts online from less well known sources can be a minefield. Online auction websites are a risky way to buy parts for your precious Mercedes, and are full of cheap reproduction/fake parts that are of inferior quality, and can easily fail. This is particularly concerning if you are buying suspension, braking or steering parts, the failure of which could be fatal.
- OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts
OEM parts are will always be more expensive that pattern or copy parts. For older cars, you will often find that genuine Mercedes genuine parts become harder to source, and therefore retain or increase their original value. It’s important to point out however that in order to keep your warranty intact, you will need to fit OEM parts. While some aftermarket parts may be guaranteed for that single unit, if that part fails and causes additional damage to your car, you may find that you are not covered by your warranty. You DON’T however need to use a main dealer to retain your warranty. An independent dealer can fit OEM parts without invalidating your warranty.
Salvage parts can be useful, but this largely depends what type of part it is. Cosmetic fittings can be found at autojumbles and vehicle dismantlers, and with a bit of elbow grease can come up as new. Mechanical parts are often a risk, even if genuine Mercedes. While a part may not have been damaged in an accident in the donor vehicle, its impossible to know what wear & tear that part might have been subjected to in it’s previous life.
- Custom Applications
The aftermarket parts industry is full of pattern parts designed for different environments or custom modifications. A good example of this is suspension parts that alter the ride height of the car, and custom exhaust systems that can increase power. This list of performance parts is endless, but again do beware that the more custom your car becomes, the less likely it is that your warranty will remain valid.
- Sometimes You Don’t Have A Choice
Certain parts will only ever be available as an OEM part. This often applies to engine parts and some bodywork accessories. Other more generic parts like wheels are available in almost limitless aftermarket options.
There will always be situations where you simply cannot locate a genuine part for a vehicle and the aftermarket is your only option. In those cases we would always go back to our customer and advise before fitting a non genuine part. Sometimes it just can’t be helped.
Even service parts like oil filters should be sourced as an OEM part. Remember, your oil filter is designed to remove contaminants from your oil, and many cheap versions do not control the flow of oil around the filter correctly, leaving gaps for sludge and swarf to potentially build up, impeding the performance of the filter. In addition, genuine Mercedes filters are manufactured using premium filter media, ensuring your lubricants are kept in the best possible condition between changes.
In conclusion, many people own a Mercedes because they appreciate the prestige nature of the brand, combined with the performance and profile that ownership of the vehicle brings. Using genuine Mercedes parts will guarantee a better resale value for newer cars, provide consistent performance, and maintain the high standards that your Mercedes Benz was built with.