OEM vs Aftermarket Windshield Wipers

June 20, 2019

When it comes to replacing a component in your vehicle like your windshield wipers (especially in the wintertime), you may find yourself in a debate on whether or not you should be purchasing OEM or aftermarket windshield wipers. OEM is short for Original Equipment Manufacturer, meaning that they are made by the same factory that your car’s original parts were made from.

Knowing the differences between OEM and aftermarket will help guide you to make the right decision!

The Difference Between OEM Windshield Wipers And Aftermarket Windshield Wipers

OEM wiper blades are built to adhere to your windshield. You'll get a clear wipe across the windshield for awhile.

OEM Wiper Blade Quality

Aftermarket wiper blades can start leaving streaks on your windshield after only a little use because the blade was not built specifically for your windshield.

Aftermarket Wiper Blade Quality

Because OEM windshield wipers are made by the manufacturer, they are fit to the specifications of the particular make and model of your car. They are made to fit perfectly, but that may mean they could cost a little more money as a result.

Aftermarket windshield wipers are made by a company other than your car’s manufacturer. They are typically produced at a high volume and made to fit multiple different cars from many different manufacturers rather than a single car make and model.

Why OEM Windshield Wipers Are Better

There are many reasons purchasing windshield wipers from your OEM is a better option than from an aftermarket company.

1. Longevity

One of the main concerns with buying aftermarket parts in general is the longevity of the part. Just like many types of body components, windshield wipers can be subject to excessive use. Think about the placement of the wipers as well. They sit on the outside of your vehicle and can become worn from being in the elements.

Buying from an OEM ensures that the windshield wipers will last long, since they fit your car perfectly. Aftermarket brands tend to wear out quicker - smearing, smudging, fraying, and streaking across the windshield before an OEM windshield wiper would. In the long run, buying aftermarket windshield wipers would cost more than an OEM pair because of how often you’d be replacing them.

2. Proper Functionality

As mentioned, OEM windshield wiper blades are meant to fit your exact car make and model while aftermarket wipers are produced in a higher volume to try to fit many different brands and cars. If a windshield wiper blade doesn’t fit your car make and model, this could cause the windshield wipers to function improperly. Common complaints of different aftermarket windshield wipers include:

  • Too bulky for the mechanism
  • Difficult to install
  • Don’t fit into the connector properly
  • Separation from connector
  • Sliding off the track
  • Hopping or smearing across the windshield

When buying OEM windshield wipers, you can assure they are going to fit properly and work since they are made for your car specifically. With proper functionality, this allows your windshield wipers to last and work as they should.

3. Easier Selection

With aftermarket brands, there are many of them that sell windshield wipers for cars. In order to choose the right ones, you will want to do a lot of research into reviews, how others who have your car or similar have fared, and if the brand is trustworthy. With OEM windshield wipers, the choice is easier. You will be able to skip comparison shopping since OEM windshield wipers fit and perform with 100% certainty to the wipers your car originally came with.

Don’t Settle for Aftermarket Wipers

While purchasing aftermarket windshield wipers may seem tempting upfront, you get what you pay for. OEM wipers are going to save you money in the long run thanks to the difference in quality and functionality. You’ll be able to shop with confidence knowing they will fit your specific vehicle properly and not give you issues when you use them.

It’s a lot easier to find a pair of windshield wipers specifically made for your vehicle when you’re shopping OEM rather than searching through all of the aftermarket varieties. On our online parts store, you can easily plug in your VIN to find the right windshield wipers for your car and not waste hours of your time.