Are OEM Lower Control Arm Parts Better Than Aftermarket?

Did one of your Nissan’s lower control arms fail? The only thing you can do is to replace it as soon as possible. The first thing you have to decide is whether to get an OEM or aftermarket replacement unit. Does it even matter, though?

The answer is a resounding YES. There’s a world of difference between OEM and aftermarket lower control arms. This comparison guide explores each option. It will also help you reach an informed decision.

Why Lower Control Arm Quality Matters A Lot

OEM Nissan control arm

You might be able to get away with using some subpar quality parts on your car. For example, door sill protectors or roof racks. As for parts that contribute to your vehicle’s safety and performance, quality is everything. A low quality part can impact your Nissan’s performance or compromise your safety. 

In the case of the lower control arm, a low quality one will fail early and:

  • Decrease your ability to steer the vehicle
  • Impact your car’s handling
  • Mess up your car’s alignment
  • Cause uneven tire wear

These issues result in expensive repairs, and they compromise your safety on the road. That's why it's important to put a lot of consideration into the lower control arm to install on your Nissan.

If you have a hard time figuring out which type of lower control arm delivers the most value, we're here to help. Let’s discuss the 3 most important factors in a replacement lower control arm.

1. OEM Material Quality

The lower control arm controls the lower half of the steering knuckle. The wheel and hub are mounted to the steering knuckle. It also sits low near the ground. That means lower control arms are regularly subjected to:

  • Heavy use and abuse
  • Dirt
  • Moisture
  • Road debris
  • Impact with parking curbs or rocks

The lower control arm may look like a simple part, but the material quality makes or breaks the part. If you want your replacement lower control arm to last a long time (or forever), it needs to be:

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Resistant to corrosion

The bushings also have to be in good shape. OEM Nissan lower control arms are made from durable high quality metals and contain high quality bushings. As long as you get a genuine OEM lower control arm, you'll always have the peace of mind that it'll last long.

You can't say the same about aftermarket lower control arms. There may be some out there that have quality materials. But it's hard to tell the good ones apart from the bad ones. Pretty much every aftermarket manufacturer will claim that their lower control arms contain top quality materials. But how many of these claims are actually true? There's only one way to find out. It's risky to install an aftermarket lower control arm and then hope that the manufacturer's claims are correct.

When it comes to quality, OEM is by far the safer option.

2. Correct Nissan Fitment

Control arm fitment chart

Nissan designs all its lower control arms to OE specs. When you get the right part number, you're getting an OEM lower control arm that will fit your model without any issues. As far as control arms go, fitment is everything. It's important for the control arm to not be too long, too short, too wide, or too narrow. The wrong dimensions will make it impossible to get the alignment correct.

Even if you find an aftermarket lower control arm that's supposedly only for your model, proceed with caution. There's no guarantee that the manufacturer designed it to OE specs.

3. Nissan Parts Warranty

Even though lower control arms should last forever, they can still fail. That’s why warranty is one of the most important factors to consider in this situation. If your replacement lower control arm comes with any structural defects, you want to replace it for free. Lower control arms aren’t cheap. So it would be quite a bummer if you had to pay for a whole new one again.

If you get an OEM replacement lower control arm, you can rest easy. All OEM Nissan parts come with a 12-month or 12K-mile warranty from the date of sale.

A lot of aftermarket manufacturers cut corners by not warrantying their parts. A few aftermarket parts come with a warranty, but these warranty policies are usually bare-boned and don’t cover much. Aftermarket lower control arms are much more likely to fail than OEM ones. Pair that with the fact that most aftermarket lower control arms aren’t warrantied, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. So once again, OEM lower control arms come out on top.

Summing Up

At this point, it’s clear that OEM lower control arms deliver the most value. Yet, this doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Nissan owners are hesitant to buy OEM lower control arms. It’s because they can cost quite a pretty penny at dealerships. If you share the same concern, we have good news for you. Genuine OEM lower control arms are available online at discounted prices.

In fact, you would find OEM lower control arms on our website at wholesale pricing. Our prices are often lower than aftermarket prices. You can’t beat that. Look up your Nissan model to see if we have a lower control arm that’s made for your car.