An aftermarket part means that the equipment isn’t originally included on the car; aftermarket means just that “after market.” These parts can literally be anything that manipulates your car. They can be just for looks, integral to the cars workings, or for pleasure. However, be warned, some parts can cause dangerous conditions and cost money farther down the line.

Key Components

Aftermarket parts often improve quality of ride for vehicles. They can be anything from motor mounts, to new belts, to vents, but beware; just because they claim to improve quality doesn’t actually mean they do. Sometimes aftermarket pieces of equipment don’t work well on all vehicles. They typically have a more of “one size fits all” piece that can get put onto a multitude of models and makes.

While most people don’t have problems, the ones that do can be pretty great. Depending on driving conditions (your environment) and your personal driving habits, these pieces can cost owners thousands of dollars. If the part is not specifically meant to be on a vehicle, it can malfunction and then cause other parts of the car to experience issues; sometimes the other issues will be addressed without addressing the root cause. In the long run this can cause continuous repairs.


Sometimes aftermarket parts can cause insurance issues. Because most of this equipment is for improved performance, you are now changing the risk and factors that adjustors look for when quoting you an insurance price. If one were to not check on their insurance, they may get into an accident (that may or may not have been your fault) causing the company to deny your claim. Insurance agencies may say that it was your fault because you lied and tampered with the original workings of the car.

Pleasure Parts

Car stereo audio can also be considered aftermarket material. While people may not think putting a stereo system into a car poses any danger, it’s actually responsible for a lot of car fires you might see on the side of the rode. Installing systems from non-professionals can cause wire fires. One specific example occurs when running a power wire from the front of the vehicle to the trunk so that you can power a car speaker amplifier.

If the wire is not properly put through the car’s fire wall (what separates the engine bay from the inside cabin) it can rub and eventually the copper on the inside of the insulated wire can become exposed and spark. Once this exposed copper touches the steel of the vehicle, it can ignite and start an engine fire costing you thousands of dollars and possibly your life.

Aesthetic Parts

Aesthetic parts are something put on just for looks. They can include vents, lights, and body work. While not all inherently dangerous, they always run the risk of not working properly or falling off. If you were to drive down the highway and have a fake piece or vent fall off your vehicle at speeds of 60+, it could potentially hit another car or injure someone.

If installing aftermarket parts, carefully check the specifications. Make sure that parts or pieces are meant for your vehicle and that they will be safe in any driving conditions. Purchasing parts that aren’t inside your vehicles limits can pose danger to yourself and others. Always check with insurance companies and agencies to make sure that if something awful occurs, you still have coverage for all parties affected.


Josh McCarthy is from Orlando,Florida. He is a finance major at the University of Central Florida and enjoys trading stock options. He enjoys all athletics and is trying to make money for an engagement ring. Josh highly recommends for all your foreign auto repair needs.