What is an OEM Remote and Why Does it Matter that it’s OEM?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, so it’s a fancy way of saying that the remote was created by the car manufacturer, themselves. These remotes are the remotes that were specifically made for each car.
Now you may wonder why in the world does it matter if it’s an OEM remote? Why do people care? Well, it is because there are remotes out there labeled as “aftermarkets.” An easy way to describe aftermarket remotes would be, “knock-offs.” They’re considered to be knock-offs because they are not the original remote that was created for the car, but they are redesigned or re-engineered. It is like many everyday products; they will be created overseas in a place like China, where it is cheap to create and cheap for labor, to cut corners and keep the costs down. These aftermarket remotes will usually use less precious metals, creating a lower quality of the circuit board. However, this does not mean that the remote will not function as well, it’s just a, “you get what you pay for” situation.
With that being said, the OEM remotes are going to be made of higher quality since the car dealership designed, or contracted someone to design, the remote particularly for certain cars. When buying an original remote, it is going to be pretty expensive. There is an alternative to purchasing brand new OEM remotes straight from the dealer. You can find many OEM remotes that are recycled or refurbished that you could purchase as an alternative; you would be saving money and the planet J.
So there you have it, OEM remotes are originals and aftermarkets are copycat remakes. Make sure you understand which remote you’re purchasing and that the price will most likely reflect the quality.
Important note when purchasing a keyless entry remote!
When you purchase a remote, it will not automatically come programmed to your car, you have to do that! Some remotes are self-programmable where you can do some tricks to get the remote programmed (click to see if your remote is self-programmable). Other remotes are going to need to be professionally programmed. Before going to a dealer to get it programmed, try local locksmiths, they tend to be significantly cheaper.