Do you have a broken valance cover? It’s wise to replace it as soon as possible. A broken valance cover:
- Allows air that comes into the grille to escape through the gap it's supposed to cover
- Increases drag
- Reduces fuel efficiency
- Lets dirt and road spray cover the radiator and other components that sit low in the engine bay
When shopping for a replacement cover, you have two different types to consider:
This guide will help you decide which option works better for you. OEM and aftermarket valance covers are quite different from each other. Let’s go over the key differences and then determine which option offers the most value:
For full coverage and perfect fitment, you want a valance cover with the right dimensions. A valance cover that's designed to the right specs for your Toyota model will:
- Completely protect the parts in the lower engine bay
- Keep any air from escaping
- Help with fuel efficiency
- Reduce drag
Aftermarket manufacturers commonly use universal designs for their valance covers. Even if you find an aftermarket valance cover that's unique to your car, chances are that it still won't fit right. Aftermarket valance covers aren't always built to OE specs.
Installing a valance cover takes some time and sweat. So it's not fun to go through the trouble of installing an aftermarket cover only to find out that it doesn't fit well. OEM is the far safer choice because OEM valance covers always come with the right dimensions.
The material quality is another important factor to consider. It plays a big role in how long the valance cover will last. Soft, flexible plastic is ideal for a valance cover. It can withstand repeated contact with curbs, speed bumps, and more. Toyota makes a point to produce its valance covers with soft, flexible plastic.
The materials in aftermarket valance covers don't always last a long time. Many of them are too rigid to provide adequate protection.
Aftermarket valance covers are an attractive option because they're cheap upfront. Yet, they don't usually last as long as OEM valance covers. For that reason, OEM valance covers - even the ones you buy from dealerships - are cheaper in the long run.
Toyota offers a 12-month, unlimited mile warranty on all its OEM parts. It gives you the peace of mind that Toyota will replace your valance cover for free if it breaks within 12 months of purchase.
You may have a hard time finding an aftermarket valance cover that's covered by a comprehensive warranty. Chances are high you would have to pay out of pocket for another valance cover if your aftermarket cover breaks.
The Verdict: OEM Valance Covers Offer The Most Value
It’s clear that an OEM valance cover is a much better investment than an aftermarket cover. It’s because
- OEM valance covers have the right dimensions and will always fit your Toyota.
- Fitment issues are common with aftermarket valance covers.
- You will always find quality materials in OEM valance covers.
- Aftermarket manufacturers usually build their valance covers with cheap materials that may break easily.
- OEM valance covers last longer than aftermarket valance covers. That means OEM covers offer more value in the long haul.
- Toyota backs all its OEM parts, including valance covers, with a warranty.
- Aftermarket valance covers rarely come with a warranty.
Are OEM Valance Covers Really That Expensive?
Even though it’s obvious that OEM valance covers are the better option, some Toyota owners still buy aftermarket covers. It’s because aftermarket valance covers are often cheaper than OEM covers.
“Often” is the operative word here. OEM valance covers are quite expensive at Toyota dealerships. But a dealership isn’t the only place where you can buy an OEM valance cover. They’re also available online, often at much lower prices.
In fact, we’re an authorized seller of genuine OEM parts. You’ll find great discounts for OEM valance covers in our catalog. Look up your Toyota model to see how much money you can save on a brand new OEM valance cover!
Written by Jason Lancaster