Are OEM Liftgates Better Than Aftermarket?

Are you replacing your liftgate and/or liftgate parts yourself? You may be trying to decide between OEM or aftermarket parts. If you ask us, you can’t go wrong with OEM liftgates and liftgate parts. It’s because:

1. OEM Liftgates And Related Parts Have The Original Design

toyota liftgate

Image Credit: Trail4Runner

It’s quite common for car owners to face fitment issues while installing aftermarket liftgates and/or related parts. The following fitment issues are common:

  • The liftgate doesn’t have the right dimensions. An ill-fitting liftgate comes with a bag of issues, especially security and safety issues.
  • The liftgate cylinders may be too thick or too thin, or too short or too long. One Amazon reviewer wrote: “The fitting [of these aftermarket cylinders] is so cheap compared to OEM. They have a huge play at the top because they’re much narrower than OEM cylinders.”

Even model-specific aftermarket liftgates and/or related components don’t always fit right. It’s because aftermarket manufacturers rarely follow OE specs while designing their parts.

OEM parts are exactly the same as the original parts that came with your car. That means fitment issues are nonexistent with OEM parts. You’ll have the peace of mind that your OEM liftgate and/or related parts will always fit.

2. Toyota Uses Quality Materials To Build Its Liftgates And Related Parts

Toyota liftgate arm OEM

The quality varies wildly between aftermarket liftgates and liftgate components. In fact, low quality aftermarket liftgates are far more common that high quality aftermarket liftgates. Aftermarket parts are notoriously cheap because many (if not all) of them are made with inferior quality materials and production processes.

Aftermarket liftgates and components also haven’t undergone testing by Toyota to ensure that they live up to the automaker’s standards. In other words, aftermarket liftgates and components are pretty unpredictable. Quality is a big deal because:

  • Liftgates protect the rear of your Toyota from thieves and outdoor elements
  • A low quality liftgate can seriously injure you. For example, low quality liftgate lift cylinders can fail unexpectedly and injure someone.
  • A low quality liftgate can damage your vehicle. A reviewer on Amazon wrote: “When a metal component of [my aftermarket lift cylinders] snapped and released the support, it damaged my vehicle. Definitely can’t recommend this product.”

When you buy OEM liftgates and related components, you don’t have to worry about any quality issues. Toyota is personally responsible for the safety, comfort, and reliability of your vehicle. Because of that, the company makes a point to use quality materials when building its parts. All Toyota liftgates and related parts are as high quality as they come.

Here’s a life pro tip: OEM parts always win when it comes to quality. Every OEM part, including serpentine belts, bumper covers, and more, is built with high quality parts. If quality is one of your biggest deciding factors in selecting a replacement part, you can’t go wrong with an OEM part.

3. OEM Liftgates And Related Parts Last Longer Than Aftermarket Parts

Lift cylinders

Image Credit: WorseThanChiggers

When you take into consideration the quality and fitment issues we laid out above, it’s no surprise aftermarket parts don’t last long. Many car owners have reported that their liftgate cylinders don’t even last 2 years. In fact, we found an Amazon review from a Toyota owner whose liftgate cylinders failed before 90 days. The review read, “These [aftermarket liftgate cylinders] have stopped pushing up my rear hatch in less than 90 days. Avoid.”

Like all OEM parts, OEM liftgates and related parts last much longer than aftermarket parts.

4. OEM Liftgate Cylinders Are Stronger

Compression arms

Liftgate cylinders play a huge part in your safety. They prevent the liftgate from falling down when it’s open. A failing liftgate cylinder can’t support the liftgate. This results in the liftgate coming down. It can seriously injure whomever is standing underneath.

That’s why your Toyota needs strong and reliable liftgate cylinders at all times. OEM liftgate cylinders fit the bill. OEM parts are made with quality materials, and this applies to the cylinders too. They come with a fail-proof design that ensures longevity and reliability.

You can’t say the same about aftermarket liftgate cylinders. Strong aftermarket cylinders are pretty rare. Amazon is full of reviews complaining about weak aftermarket liftgate cylinders. Here’s a couple of reviews we found:

  • “I guess you get what you pay for. These [liftgate cylinders] can’t even lift the tailgate all the way. Also, one of them sounds like the oil level is low or something. Sounds ‘bubbly’. One star is generous. Believe me!”
  • “I installed these [aftermarket liftgate cylinders] on my 1996 4Runner. The installation was easy, but the cylinders aren't very strong. The OEM ones I was replacing are definitely worn out, but these "new" ones are weaker than the OEM struts.”

5. OEM Liftgates And Related Parts Cost Less

oem cylinders

Many aftermarket liftgates and related parts come with low price tags. But the truth is that OEM liftgates and related parts are normally cheaper in the long run. It’s because:

Do you need help finding the right OEM liftgate part(s) for your Toyota? We can help with that! Call us, email us, or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get right back to you.

Written by Jason Lancaster