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Aftermarket mechanical parts

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Hello, I recently acquired a 2010 535i Xdrive sedan, 140,000 miles.  It needs front axle shafts due to salt corrosion.  (I Live in the rust belt of Ohio, USA.)  genuine BMW axles from my local dealer are over $1,000 each.  Aftermarket on rockauto.com are less than $100.  I have been a mechanic for 30 years, mostly American cars and Hondas, always used aftermarket parts.  I have been told that I must use genuine BMW parts, aftermarket parts just will not work at all.  Can someone please comment?  And, if I must use BMW parts, is there a more cost-effective source instead of the dealer?   Thanks. 

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Hi Mike 

Welcome to the Forum

Nice choice of car 

The only reason to use OEM parts is to protect any warranty?? You have no reason to be concerned about aftermarket parts many these days are at least equal in quality to OEM, and many better. Poly Bushes for the suspension, drive shafts, wheel bearings, springs and shocks the list goes on.

If you are not aware www.realoem.com is a BMW online parts list, put the last 7 digits of your Vin into the search box it will bring up your model then search the applications. Once you have the part numbers you can cross reference them with "after market" suppliers so you get the correct parts.

5 years ago I brought a pair of front drive shafts for my 4.6is X5 £250 for the pair, fitted fine and still good after 40k miles 

Your fat wallet won't stay that way for long if you are a slave to "originality" you could change drive shafts annually for 10 years before you get to BMW Dealers cost

Good Luck Enjoy


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Thanks for the reply.  I was hoping for that response.  I feel like most dealers would tell me I should use dealer parts, but this is my first experience with a high-end European car, I wasn't sure if there really was something to what they were telling me. 


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