Audi & VW Parts Aftermarket Explained

Whether it’s for your brand new dream car or trustworthy daily commuter, finding the right Audi parts can be a hassle, raising many questions in your mind. Should you go directly to the dealer or order parts online? What is the difference between Genuine OEM, Generic OEM, and Aftermarket? Why are some parts so much more expensive than others and some parts so much cheaper?

Read on to find out the difference between Genuine OEM, Generic OEM, and Aftermarket parts. We will also explore different options in terms of place of purchase.

Genuine OEM Parts

When in need of a part, most consumers will try the Audi authorized dealership, as most parts are readily available and can be picked up the same day. Although that may seem like the perfect way to obtain the parts you are looking for, this method comes with a price. Dealer prices on parts can be marked up as much as 300%. In addition, the dealership doesn’t always have everything in stock and it could take a few days to get the parts in, which defeats the purpose if you need a part the same day. Dealerships are also very hesitant about giving out part numbers because you can use that number and purchase the part for a fraction of the cost from an online Audi part vendor. There are also instances where they will give out an incorrect part number to keep you from purchasing the product elsewhere.

As you can see part number and Audi/VW logo is present. Most dealerships will ask for a VIN of the vehicle which can make a retrofit or mod a bit more difficult as they will only give you part numbers associated with that VIN. This is done to cut back on giving out the “wrong” parts for that specific vehicle. Although the parts from the dealer are completely 100% Genuine OEM, they do come at a premium. Most online vendors also carry Genuine OEM parts which they purchase from the dealership directly and resell at a lower price.

Generic OEM Parts

When you think of all the components that make up a single vehicle, it is safe to say that the car manufacturer cannot develop and produce every single component for the vehicle. Most parts that make up a car come from various independent manufacturers. Most car companies do not make their own filters, electrical components, or basic maintenance parts. This is when Generic OEM parts come in. They are the same exact part that you would find on your vehicle, however the part numbers and Audi/VW logos are usually removed to make the part “brand neutral.”

Audi/VW logo has been removed. You can clearly see that this is the same exact product as the Genuine OEM part but without the Audi/VW logo.

This allows the manufacturer to produce excess parts and sell them in the aftermarket (usually at a lower cost). Generic OEM manufacturers include Bosch, MANN-FILTER, Hella, Lemforder, just  to name a few. Generic OEM parts are a great way to save money on parts that would otherwise cost twice as much.

Aftermarket Parts

There are certain parts that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost in the aftermarket world.

This is simply an aftermarket version of the same oil level sensor. The backing is different and does not resemble the Genuine or Generic OEM part. The fitment and quality is exactly the same.

These are usually produced by companies who are knowledgeable of the brand and produce other components for those vehicles. The company looks at a Genuine OEM part and creates a blueprint of it. The result varies; Some aftermarket parts are better quality than their Genuine OEM prototype and others are worse. Aftermarket parts tend to cost the least. They should not be confused with knock-offs.


These are the parts you want to stay away from. When it comes to the parts on your vehicle, quality is of the utmost importance. Knock-off and fake parts are usually made using sub-par materials and manufacturing processes. They tend to have a premature, high failure rate. Most do not come with a warranty and are sold “as is”. When it comes to the health of your vehicle do not try to save by buying knock-off parts as they will end up costing you more in the long run. The saying “Buy nice or buy twice” definitely applies here.

Where to buy Audi & VW parts?

When it comes to purchasing components for your vehicle, it all depends on your needs. If it is imperative that you receive the parts the same day, the dealer might be your only option. However, keep in mind that the cost will come at a premium and the part might not actually be in stock. If you can wait a day or more, your best option would be to find a reputable online retailer like Europa Parts, where most products ship the same day and overnight shipping is also an option.

The take-home message here is: you don’t have to break the bank to get high-quality replacement parts for your beloved Audi.

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