OEM Ford Side Mirrors Vs. Aftermarket: What’s the Difference?

When your Ford side mirror breaks and you need a replacement, you have two types to choose from: OEM and aftermarket. Which option is better for you? If you ask us, OEM is obviously the better choice for the reasons listed below.

Replace mirror

First, let’s discuss what OEM and aftermarket side mirrors are.

OEM Side Mirrors

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. All OEM parts are made by the same company that made the factory parts already in your car.

Aftermarket Side Mirrors

Aftermarket parts are built by a company that’s not affiliated with the vehicle manufacturer. These parts are built with the company’s own designs, choice of materials, etc.

So why should you install an OEM replacement side mirror instead of an aftermarket one? Three reasons:

1. OEM Side Mirrors Look Better On Your Car

If you replace one of your side mirrors with an aftermarket unit, it’s not going to exactly match the OEM mirror on the other side of the car. You’d have to buy another aftermarket side mirror, and it’s likely that two aftermarket mirrors are more expensive than just one OEM side mirror.

Even if you get two aftermarket replacement side mirrors, they might not look so great on your car. The materials may be different, the colors may be off, or the mirrors may look disproportionate with your car.

If you’re concerned about appearance, OEM is the safer bet.

2. OEM Side Mirrors are Easier to Install

An OEM side mirror designed specifically for your Ford model will fit perfectly. The bolts will line up, the electrical connectors are correct, and the mirror will stay firmly on your car once it’s installed.

With an aftermarket side mirror, precise fitment isn’t guaranteed. You may need to modify your car or mirror to get the mirror to fit just right. Also, aftermarket mirrors may come with a generic connector, or just bare wires. It can be quite inconvenient to get the mirror wired correctly.

3. OEM Side Mirrors are More Affordable

Aftermarket side mirrors may cost a little less upfront. But when you look at the big picture, you’ll find that OEM side mirrors are typically cheaper in the long run for two reasons:

  1. Quality: All OEM Ford parts, including the side mirrors, are built with the highest quality materials available. A lot of aftermarket side mirrors are built with lower quality materials in order for the manufacturer to save money. Like all low-quality parts, aftermarket side mirrors likely won’t last as long as OEM side mirrors. They may fall off, get cracked from cold weather, or break easily from an impact.
  2. Warranty: Ford offers a 24 month/unlimited miles warranty on most of their OEM parts, including side mirrors. That means you get a new OEM side mirror for free if your old mirror fails within 24 months of purchase. Many aftermarket side mirrors are not covered by warranty, which is why they’re so cheap in the first place. You’d have no choice but to buy a whole new mirror if your aftermarket mirror breaks.

How to Find an OEM Side Mirror for Your Ford

Side mirror

You can buy an OEM side mirror online or at your local Ford dealership. When you buy one from a dealer, expect to pay about 30% above wholesale price. You’ll save a bit of money if you buy a genuine OEM replacement side mirror online at Jim Vreeland Ford Parts. We offer OEM Ford parts at wholesale prices.

Look up your Ford in our catalog of OEM side mirrors, and you’ll find the right part number for your car. Please contact us if you need assistance. We’ll be happy to help you!