When exploring a part purchase, you are often faced with the decision between new, remanufactured (reman), or rebuilt. The term new is self-explanatory, but many get confused or use synonymously the terms reman and rebuilt.
This term describes a part or component that is manufactured using no parts or materials that were previously in service. New original equipment (OE) parts often incorporate any original manufacturer updates or modifications.
Not all new parts come from the original manufacturer, however. You will find new parts produced by an aftermarket company alongside new parts from the original manufacturer.
New parts from the OE likely incorporate any manufacturer updates. That may or may not hold true for the aftermarket parts. Thus, new OE parts are considered the premium parts choice.
This term describes a part that shares some used components but enjoys a majority of new parts along with any updates and changes. A reman alternator, for example, will have a case that was in service but the diodes, brushes, voltage regulator, bearings, etc. will all be new.
Most OE companies offer an excellent line of reman parts that do not compromise quality and provide substantial cost savings over new. Such programs boast of quality since in most – if not all – instances (depending on the application), the internal components used are the same that would be in a new unit from the assembly line. The OE traditionally operates the reman line in-house or it is trusted to a respected supplier.
As a farmer and an engine expert, I would choose an OE reman program over a new aftermarket part since there is such a variation in quality from companies. Many new aftermarket parts are from China and have poor quality and performance and are usually not designed to factory specifications. This is not to be confused with a poor fit. The performance is often compromised. This is especially prevalent with high-tech electronics such as engine sensors, control units, ignition coils, and modules.
This is the wildcard term since there is no real definition of what has been done to the part.
A rebuilt part from a poor-quality supplier will usually have all old internal components. The only new thing may be the part that failed, and that may not even be new but a used piece. A better rebuilder will install new but inexpensively sourced consumable parts that are still of questionable quality and reliability.
I have disassembled some rebuilt parts and was very disappointed while other brands pleasantly surprised me. I have also found that price is not a legitimate qualifier of a part, either.
The warranty the parts person tells you it has is worthless when you need to do the job twice or miss an opportunity to get work done due to a failure.
On my farm operation, I first look to use new OE parts. If the cost is too high or the part is not available, I buy the OE reman program with 100% confidence. I want to farm – not fix.