Replacement Water Pumps: OEM or Aftermarket?

Are you a Volkswagen owner with a bad water pump? One of the first things you might be asking right now is whether you should get an OEM or aftermarket replacement water pump.

We’re here to help you reach an educated decision between the two water pump types. Many experts in the automobile industry would agree that OEM is the better choice. Read on to find out why.

What Happens When Your Water Pump Fails

An underperforming or failed water pump is unable to circulate coolant through the engine block. This will cause the engine to overheat.

Blown gasket

In minor cases of overheating, you may only have to replace the failed water pump. If the overheating goes on too long, very expensive damage can be done. Cylinder heads and engine blocks have cracked from overheating. Engines can seize and head gaskets can blow in extreme cases.

In short, you want a water pump that is reliable. OEM is the safest bet because of:

1. Performance

Many aftermarket water pumps are built with universal bearings, impellers, and other components. These can cause performance problems. Volkswagen ensures proper performance for each VW model by having their OEM water pumps built to each car’s specific criteria.

2. Quality

It’s pretty common for aftermarket manufacturers to cut corners by using inferior quality materials. Basically, you don’t really know what you’re getting with an aftermarket water pump. OEM water pumps, on the other hand, are made with high quality materials. They’re built to perform flawlessly with the model it was designed for.

3. Price

While it’s true that some aftermarket water pumps cost less than OEM water pumps upfront, OEM is usually cheaper in the long run for two reasons:

  1. Reliability: Aftermarket water pumps tend to fail sooner as a result of quality issues, and they’re often not covered by warranty. This means you’ll likely have to buy a whole new water pump if your aftermarket water pump fails. Since OEM water pumps are built to last a long time, you don’t have to worry about running into any costly issues anytime soon.
  2. Warranty: The reason aftermarket parts are generally cheap is because they’re not backed by a warranty. All genuine OEM Volkswagen replacement parts are covered by Volkswagen’s Replacement Parts and Accessories Limited Warranty. This warranty is good for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. If for some reason your OEM water pump fails, at least you’ll be able to get it replaced for free under warranty.

4. No Research Needed

Volks water pump

When you set out to buy an aftermarket water pump, you have to conduct extensive research on the brand and fitment. You need to make sure you’re buying a water pump that will fit your Volkswagen properly and perform well for a long time. It can take quite a bit of time, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up with a quality aftermarket water pump.

OEM water pumps, on the other hand, are incredibly easy to find. You just have to visit a reputable OEM Volkswagen parts seller, like Then look up your Volkswagen to find the right water pump for your car. It’s a research process that takes only a couple of minutes.

If you have any more questions about OEM or aftermarket fuel pumps, please contact us. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have.