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· Registered
216 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
about a year ago, I was hearing noises from the front suspension when i go over bumps... It was the Stabilizer links (Passenger side was loose, so I decided to change both)...
I bought an OEM Part from Lemforder (the parts are identical to the BMW Genuine part, except the Lemforder parts were missing the BMW roundel imprint)... installed them and torqued the bolts according to specs... and made sure that the boots are not damaged or torn upon installing...

This month (a year later), the driver side Stabilizer link is making the same noise... and is due for a replacement... when inspecting the links, the passenger side link still feels the same as the day i installed it...

Another Example:

the starter supplied directly from Bosch is physically not the same as the one you'd buy from BMW (eventhough they have the same part number (Original BMW: (Bosch:, if anything, the Bosch one looks almost identical to a VW VR6 Jetta starter (i had a Jetta VR6 and i had a lot of trouble with the starter)

Another Example:
I recently inspected my front axles (330xi 2005, 6Spd) and found the driver side to be in a really bad shape (torn boot, rusty and very loose internals on the outer CV joint) so i decided to get a new one... BMW would sell theirs for almost $500(ECSTuning:, where GKN Lobro (OEM supplier) for about half that price from (highly recommended by the way, great service !!) (OEMBimmer:
that's one hell of a mark-up BMW is putting if you ask me...

I hope that the above examples gives an overview of my question:

Are the parts supplied by OEM in fact the same identical parts supplied by BMW (minus the roundel imprint and packaging) or is the materials and internal components different to cut cost... it would probably be a case of BMW-supplier (i.e. OEM) reputation (in other words, depends on the OEM company)

i do understand also that some parts are supplied to BMW by more than one OEM per production year of the vehicle... hence finding the (OEM) title reference to 2 or more different companies for the same item

the second question is:

if it is a case by case basis, which suppliers should be trusted to buy from directly and what parts should we go directly to the dealer for?

i'm asking those questions because if i put myself in the OEM shoes, i'd probably be held more responsible for parts supplied directly to BMW (if there is a recall on those parts, then i'm screwed basically because i'd have to cover the replacement cost, i'm sure BMW has such a deal with OEMs)... on the other hand, if i sell directly to the general public, then i'd give a very conservative warranty to the consumer and be done with it knowing that i would not be responsible for more than 99.99% of the parts sold except for manufacturing defects and such...

I hope that all the above makes sense, i'd appreciate some input

Sorry for the lengthy Subject

· Registered
2,651 Posts
It is the exact same part most of the time..Most german manufacturers are doing this... bmw and mercedes more though...that engraved logo doubles the price..and then you have the mad labour costs...
Right, often it's same part just in different wrapping.
BMW doesn't make those parts theirselves, they order them from some trusted manufacturer, so when you find that same manufacturer you also find exactly same part.
About most commonly changed parts there can be more different options though.
Some chinese company might make similar looking ones cheaper.
Maybe Bosch i would trust no questions asked, they deliver lots of parts to all german manufacturers, and did for many many years. Even when BMW might not like, that they offer VW starter into BMW. ;)

Atleast about normal wearing parts which are often changed, i think it's not big risk to try cheaper. You can always go back to more expensive, if cheap one isn't good, and then you can tell everyone, so that others don't have to do same mistake.

· #422323
2,325 Posts
I just want to say that for me oembimmerparts is the new king in BMW parts. In my mind it has dethroned Autohausaz, because they don't make you spend $50 to get free shipping, also they offer OEM and aftermarket OEM.

When it comes to OEM vs non-OEM, I have found out that when it comes to oil filters and spark plugs, the BMW logo makes all the difference. I was able to get oil filter and spark plugs for half the price because it didn't have a BMW logo. I'm sure there are more reasons, but to my untrained eye, that BMW logo is worth 50% of the price. I changed my plugs recently, and could not see a difference between the NKG's with BMW logo and those without which cost much less.

24,184 Posts
Lemforder, Bosch, Febi/Bilstein, NGK ALL make parts for BMW. They are OEM in essence.

Case in point, just bought Lemforder ZHP control arms from for half what the BMW branded arm cost. They are IDENTICAL save for a sticker.

As long as you dont buy Uro or FEQ I think you'll be just fine.

· catso
3,181 Posts
I had a similar front link problem with my Meyles: replaced both about a year and a half ago, four or five months later I started hearing a noise. On one end of the right link the nut worked itself loose and damaged the threads a little. I added another washer, put some Loctite on it, and tightened the hell out of it. Haven't heard a noise since.

· Pure Natural BMW Muscle!
1,602 Posts
So is it fair to say that if we buy OEM parts, we should expect it to ware out at a similar rate to the BMW genuine parts ?
Its the exact same part at half the price...
I dont even bother going ot the dealer anymore.
Ok let see an example...
front headlight 67 euros + vat....
outside source, same brand exact same part 25 euros all included. dealer, 212 euros + vat, the battery was the old maintenance free one with the liquid inside, said BMW and made in italy (BMWs made in Italy???)

outside source, original Bosch battery, latest gel type, made in Germany, 150 euros.

Must be mad to shop from the dealer....
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