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A quick guide to some car parts terms © 2012

GENUINE = In the case of new or new old stock (NOS Alfa Romeo parts, a part refered to as 'genuine' should be one that is or was originally supplied by an Alfa Romeo Dealer and may or may not be labeled / wrapped / bagged or boxed in Alfa Romeo packaging and carry an Alfa Romeo part number.

A genuine part may have been manufactured by another company and repackaged by Alfa Romeo, but it is what would have been fitted to the car originally in the factory.

NOS = New Old Stock

As it sounds, new old stock parts are unused but old. The term can be added to genuine parts or non genuine old stock. NOS parts may come with original (but often battered and dusty) packaging or not.

NOS parts may have sat on dealers shelves for years, or have been purchased by a car owner, never fitted, but stored in the garage etc etc

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

Parts made by the original manufacturers as supplied to the car maker to be fitted to the car in the factory.

An example might be a Bosch sensor that is sold as OEM in Bosch packaging, but is the actual exact same part as supplied to Alfa Romeo for use in the contruction of a car, and as would be supplied rebranded as a genuine spare part by an Alfa dealer.

OEM Quality

Parts considered to be manufactured to the same quality as OEM parts. A term often used in relation to parts such as clutch plates etc. It may be that a car manufacturer uses a certain brand of clutch when building their cars, but another brand may produce a clutch of the same or even better quality that will fit the car.

It is the responsibility of the purchaser of 'OEM quality' parts to ascertain how accurately the term applies to the part/s.


The term 'pattern part' means a part that will fit but is not genuine or OEM. It may or may not be of a quality or standard as good as OEM, but will often cost less. Many after-market body panels sold would be considered 'pattern'- they are not made by the original manufacturer but could be being produced as the original part is now obsolete.


As it sounds- parts that are used. They have usually been removed from a used car that has been taken off the road and broken up. Whilst some used parts would be undesirable (such as brake pads) many good used parts offer a cheaper way of repairing a car, and with classic cars, a good used part may be the only option available to replace something that has become obselete.


This term usually applies to engines, gearboxes, starter motors etc etc.
It is really down to the buyer to establish which components have been replaced, and what sort of guarantee is on offer etc
It will often be on an 'exchange basis' which means that as well as buying the reconditioned item you will also have to hand over your worn out/ broken/ faulty unit for reconditioning for someone else.