Sometimes it's okay to install aftermarket parts on your car, like seats, air dams, or wheels. However, when it comes to your car’s structure, you’re better off installing OEM parts.
The crossmember is an important structural component of your vehicle, so cheaping out on a replacement is a bad, bad idea. Aftermarket parts aren’t made with the best quality materials, and they’re not built to OEM specs. This means aftermarket crossmembers pretty much spell disaster.
What Could Go Wrong With an Aftermarket Crossmember?
It’s pretty common for aftermarket crossmembers to get bent easily or not fit your car that well. If left on your car long enough, an aftermarket crossmember can damage your car in a number of ways. For instance, a low quality, ill-fitting aftermarket crossmember can:
- Mess up your car’s wheel alignment, which leads to worn out tires.
- Misalign your transaxle.
If you want to save money and play it safe, OEM is the way to go. A few reasons why:
1. OEM Crossmembers Actually Cost Less (Contrary to Popular Belief)
Most people believe that OEM crossmembers cost far more than aftermarket crossmembers. It’s not necessarily the case. Why? Two reasons:
1A. Wholesale Prices
Subaru makes sure its OEM crossmembers are built with the highest quality materials. Subaru also makes sure that an OEM crossmember made for your model will fit your model perfectly. Like all well-built products, OEM crossmembers tend to be more expensive upfront than aftermarket ones.
However, if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to eat ramen noodles for a week if you want to give your Subaru what it deserves, which is a shiny brand new OEM crossmember.
The only reason OEM crossmembers cost a pretty penny at Subaru dealerships is because dealers mark up the price by about 30%. You can pay a much lower price for an OEM crossmember online. At SubaruPartsPlus.com, we carry genuine OEM crossmembers at wholesale prices. It’s pretty hard to beat that. Check out some of the crossmembers we have available in our catalog:
- Part No. 20152AE03A: For 2004-2006 Bajas
- Part No. 20152AE00B: For 2000-2004 Bajas, Legacies, and Outbacks
- Part No. 50515FE012: For 2002-2007 Imprezas
All genuine OEM Subaru parts are covered by the Subaru Replacement Parts and Accessories Limited Warranty. That means in the rare occurrence that your OEM crossmember fails within one year of installation, it will be replaced for free.
Aftermarket parts, including crossmembers, typically aren’t covered by any sort of warranty. Pair that with the fact that aftermarket crossmembers may fail early as a result of quality and fitment issues. You'll be looking at the risk of paying for a whole new crossmember in the near future.
2. OEM Crossmembers are Built to OEM Specs
Not only are OEM crossmembers built with durable high-quality materials that will withstand the most extreme weather and road conditions, but they are also built to OEM specs. This means that an OEM crossmember is built specifically to fit your Subaru model. This brings us to the next point…
3. You Don’t Have to Modify Anything
OEM crossmembers are direct fits. With an aftermarket crossmember, you may have to modify related parts or add spacers or longer bolts. Even the slightest modification could seriously compromise the crossmember’s strength and ability to bear your vehicle’s weight.
In a Nutshell
Compared to aftermarket crossmembers, OEM crossmembers are:
- Less expensive in the long run
- Built with higher quality materials
- More reliable