5 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Knockoff Parts!

Jek Ray Low
5 Feb 2020

Replicas, especially higher-grade ones, are seemingly a godsend for those purely seeking aesthetic enhancements to their rides. Afterall, what’s not to like about having the look of a name-brand part, without the cost associated with one. However, there are legitimate reasons why you should never purchase counterfeit components. Here are 5!

5. Stifles Design & Engineering

Progress stems from healthy competition between companies; the constant streamlining of manufacturing processes, materials, and evolution in styling, can really only organically stem from firms trying to out-design and out-engineer their rivals. Demand for name-brand parts will always be strong, and you can find a pool of ready buyers willing to shell out some serious coin for the hardware.

This is especially true of wheels. Counterfeiters know this, choosing to capitalise on market trends and demand to churn out replicas of varying quality. By buying these “fake” components, you encourage the disincentivising of R&D, as lesser known 3rd party manufacturers may opt to just imitate the look of a popular wheel, instead of spending time and money to research, design, and develop a unique design of their own.  

4. Less Robust Than OEM

Replica parts are more affordable than their OEM counterparts for a reason. To keep pricing competitive, 3rd party manufacturers may choose to cut corners when it comes to material selection and method of fabrication.

 It is not uncommon to find lower grade materials in place of the OE-standard ones, as well as sub-par tolerances, manufacturing and quality control standards. The combination of the aforementioned factors can result in premature failures or stress fractures even during regular use, in circumstances that would otherwise be a non-issue to the real deal.

3. Non-Genuine Items May Cause Lasting Damage

Photo: Pexels

You can save quite a chunk of change should you opt to use non-genuine replacements at your next service. However, is that saving really worth the paranoia of not knowing if and when these components will give out on you, potentially even taking out other parts along with it?

 In the case of knockoff spark plugs, these sub-standard units have been known to cause a reduction in engine power, with shoddier examples even disintegrating, causing thousands of dollars of damage to the engine and raking up a repair bill that far exceeds the initial savings.

2. Safety Hazard

Photo: Mercedes Benz

Counterfeiters often have a one-size-fits-all approach, fabricating whole components out of similar, and often thinner, gauge metal, even in areas of key structural importance. Modern cars have lots of crash safety built into their shells, and the crash structures can be made up of many layers of metals of differing thicknesses to best absorb and channel energy in an impact away from the passenger compartment. With such tight tolerances, should you alter the properties of even some of the components, a reduction of crash performance is to be expected.

Copies of other mechanical components, such as wheels or brakes, can fail on jarring and sudden impact with road debris or potholes, which can potentially result in a massive accident. Most genuine items would have been able to handle the loads presented by these hazards without catastrophic stress failure.

1. More Expensive In The Long Term

Counterfeit parts may cost less to purchase now, but their lower-quality materials and less stringent overall quality control standards mean that they can potentially wear out at an accelerated rate as compared to an OEM equivalent. The shoddier fit-and-finish therefore, results in the need to replace these components more frequently, hence increasing parts spend in the long run. If you own a car that’s nearing the end of its COE cycle, these parts may be a suitable stand-in for their worn-out original components to tide you to the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle. But we won’t recommend fitting these components onto cars that are either newer, or one that you intend to keep long term.

Unfortunately, counterfeit parts saturate online marketplaces, making it hard to for parts buyers to figure out the legitimacy of their purchase. An independent Australian study finding out that as many as 60% of all spark plugs listed for sale as the genuine article, are in fact not. Even if you have done your due diligence, picking out a “fake” is harder than it looks, especially true of the untrained eye, considering manufacturers of these 3rd party parts have invested good money into replicating the original packaging of the real deal.

A good tip to make sure you don’t accidentally end up purchasing a lot of knockoff parts for your next service, is to buy these replacements from reputable dealers, and do take notice of the pricing of some of the items. If the prices are too good to be true, chances are the item is not genuine.

#Cars #Autos #Maintenance #OEM #Parts

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