Counterfeit auto parts have become a rising concern in recent years, especially with many drivers buying their own parts online from anonymous sellers. Compared with genuine original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and reputable aftermarket parts, fake or counterfeit parts are more likely to wear down faster, and even fail entirely. What’s worse is that they also rarely go through any of the safety and quality assurance tests! How can we tell them apart? Let’s find out!
Check the price tag
If the price tag is too good to be true, then it probably is. The main reason the market for counterfeit parts is booming is because they are much cheaper than aftermarket and OEM parts. An unusually lowly-priced part will most likely be a fake OEM part. Be sure to compare any price you see with the full retail price for the part elsewhere as that is the first tell-tale sign that you are buying a counterfeit part.
Check the credibility of the seller
Take some time to ask or read up about the seller to learn about his/ her credibility. Pay attention to the seller who is offering the car parts to you instead of just looking at the parts you want to buy. A rule of thumb is that if the seller is not a well-known or reputable name, it is advisable to look elsewhere. A simple search on the internet and you will be able to find online reviews on sellers to see if anyone else has complained about the parts they have bought from the same seller.
Check the packaging
Cheap packaging without much protection inside and typos on the words printed on the box are common signs that they might be counterfeit car parts. Serial numbers and/or batch numbers should also be printed on them. Authentic parts will have those numbers which allow manufacturers to trace the part’s entire history. Authentic car parts will likely have hologram stickers on the box to signify that the part is genuine. On top of that, many manufacturers also include QR codes on the parts or their packaging that acts as an added layer of protection. You can use your smartphone to scan them and verify their authenticity with the manufacturer.
Check the parts you are replacing
You may compare the new parts with the old ones that you are replacing. Pay attention to the finer details, such as checking to see if the mounts, bolts, screws, and electrical connectors look the same. Subtle differences could result from an updated design or perhaps the two parts are from different brands. However, if the part does not fit perfectly as it should, that might hint that the part may be a counterfeit.
In a nutshell, the best way to avoid installing counterfeit car parts on your vehicle is to only buy parts from reputable sources only. Keep following us to learn more about cars and be a more informed road user and car owner!