Are OEM Steering Knuckles Better Than Aftermarket?

Got a damaged steering knuckle and wondering whether to get an OEM or aftermarket replacement part? You came to the right place. The answer to the question is: yes, OEM steering knuckles are better than aftermarket steering knuckles. Read on to find out why.

The Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. This means all OEM Subaru parts are made by the same manufacturer with the exact same high-quality materials and precise fit as the parts in your car.

Subaru knuckle

Aftermarket parts are produced by privately-owned companies that determine the materials, fitment, and design of their products. Quality and reliability are determined at the discretion of the manufacturer. So both important factors may vary wildly between different aftermarket part manufacturers.

5 Reasons Why OEM is the Better Choice

Are you looking for a replacement steering knuckle? We strongly recommend getting an OEM replacement part for five important reasons:

1. Quality

When you buy an OEM steering knuckle made by Subaru, you know exactly what you’re getting. And that is a reliable replacement part made with the best quality materials. It will keep your wheel and suspension system functioning smoothly at all times. Quality is an extremely important factor to consider when buying any replacement part. It’s extra important when it comes to steering knuckles. A broken steering knuckle can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and seriously jeopardize your safety.

2. Fitment

OEM steering knuckles are designed by auto manufacturers engineering staff using computer aided design (CAD) techniques. The company that makes the knuckle uses those CAD drawings to produce a knuckle that is dimensionally accurate to 1/1000th of an inch.

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An aftermarket vendor makes a knuckle by taking one off a car and copying it as best as possible. They will get pretty close to the original knuckle. But will they make an exact copy? Who knows?

When you install an aftermarket steering knuckle on your Subaru vehicle, you’re running the risk of skewing its alignment. The steering knuckle connects to the tie rod. When your car has a steering knuckle that isn’t exactly the same as the knuckle on the other side, your alignment can be thrown out of whack.

It’s always safer to install an OEM steering knuckle specifically designed for your Subaru. Then you’ll know that it’s the exact same the other steering knuckle on your car.

3. Warranty

Many aftermarket parts manufacturers don’t offer comprehensive warranty coverage. Some don’t even offer a warranty policy at all. The lack of full warranty coverage paired with questionable quality is a recipe for trouble. If your aftermarket steering knuckle breaks, you’ll have no choice but to replace it at full cost.

All genuine Subaru replacement parts – even when purchased from an authorized online seller like Subaru Parts Plus – are covered by Subaru’s comprehensive 1- to 3-year warranty policy.

4. Cost

Unlike when buying aftermarket parts, it’s possible to save money on an OEM steering knuckle without sacrificing quality. It’s true that OEM parts can be on the pricey side. But it doesn’t mean you have to pay full price. A few authorized online sellers offer OEM parts at wholesale pricing. For example, a steering knuckle for certain older Subaru models (part no. 23511GA161) normally sells for just under $200, but it’s available for $138 at Subaru Parts Plus.

5. Longevity

Buying an OEM steering knuckle eliminates the risk of surprise failures. Quality and performance aren’t always guaranteed with aftermarket parts. That means there’s no telling how long an aftermarket steering knuckle would last. An OEM Subaru steering knuckle is designed to last the life of the vehicle.

Finding the Right OEM Steering Knuckle For Your Subaru Vehicle

To find an OEM steering knuckle for your vehicle, do a search on your Subaru here. Be sure to pay attention to the position the steering knuckle is designed for. Some are designed to be installed on the right side of the vehicle while others are designed to be installed on the left side.

Got any questions that weren’t addressed in this post? Contact us!