The performance parts industry uses the words “parts” and “accessories” interchangeably. Several truck parts and accessories serve similar functions, making it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate between the two.

Both terms encompass numerous products. Many of these products have overlapping functions and can be categorized both as parts and as accessories. But, in dealing with the performance-parts industry, the functions overlap only in particular instances. Despite this overlap, opinions always vary about the factors that can determine classification. Truck parts and industries each have a list of products, most of which intersect somewhere in the middle. This depends on what their intended use is, and if they are categorized as aftermarket product or OEM.

According to a truck parts advisor, a truck part may have a generic definition, including repair, maintenance, restoration, interior, and exterior enhancement. The products can include air filters, spoilers, oil filters, shocks, or headlamps, which are, in effect, part of the truck. If it is a part of the truck that is original, or a replacement or repair product, it is a part. However, an aftermarket part that is used in order to enhance the vehicle after the original purchase falls into the category of accessories.

But the advisor may say that the word part means the same as the word accessory when you refer to a product in general. However, the specific make and use of it determines what category it will belong to. Accessories could include sun shields, car covers, make-specific paraphernalia, and products that mainly serve to enhance a car or truck. But something like a sport-utility rack could be classified as either a part or an accessory, as could brake pads or rotors, air filters, or oil filters.

Aftermarket products like air filters, floor mats for trucks and high-quality seat covers are generally classified as truck accessories, unless they are the original OEM part. The difference varies from person to person, even among truck enthusiasts and professionals.