One of the fears of many drivers is making the mistake of buying a fake car part. When you buy a fake car part, it will either end up a complete waste of money or will leave you stranded on the road when the car breaks down.
To make it easier for you to avoid falling into this trap, we have compiled tips designed to help you spot fake car parts before you buy them. Have a look at these tips:
1. Use a Trustworthy Mechanic
This advice is coming first because most times, it is the mechanic that does the purchasing and not you. Time and other constraints may always get in the way of you buying these parts yourself and you only have to pay the mechanic to do the procurement.
A diligent mechanic will know how to distinguish between the fake and original parts and will not rip you off by buying a fake part when he collected the price for an original part from you.
2. Take a Good Look at the Packaging
Sometimes, the authenticity is in the packaging. Some of the people who go the extra length to make counterfeit products sometimes fail in the area of packaging. Answer the following questions while inspecting the package:
- Is the brand logo or name appearing as it should?
- What about the graphics, artwork and colour?
- Is the brand name correctly spelt?
3. Are the Distinct Marks Present?
Some brands have distinct marks that make it easy to recognise their products in the market and distinguish them from those that are counterfeit products. Toyota is one brand that has taken this to a new high. Once you check the serial number for a Toyota product and it is not at the regular spot where the identification number usually is, you can tell it is a fake product. Likewise, the packaging is usually rich in colour and not faded.
4. Extremely Cheap
Most times, the fake part is offered for a relatively cheap price compared to the original. Don’t fool yourself by thinking this is one of those good deals you get in a supermarket. There are no good deals when it comes to spare parts. What you have are original and fake products. Therefore, once the price is disproportionately low to the original price, it is fake and harmful to your vehicle.
5. Incomplete Instructions
Most fake parts will betray themselves by offering incomplete instructions in bad spellings and printing. There will be typos, missing diagrams and also a missing step or two in the instruction.
6. Check the Weight
Compare the parts you are buying to the one you are replacing. Check if the fasteners match and if they are of the same weight. An authentic part should fit easily into the place you want to fit it, if not perfectly.