When it comes to automotive parts and repairs, there really are deals that are too good to be true. While it’s true that the auto maintenance and repair industry is highly competitive and businesses will do what they can to satisfy their customers, huge discrepancies between prices for the same engine part should be a red flag for everyone. Often, a hugely discounted part isn’t exactly what it seems to be. These parts are usually made out of the country, and are designed to imitate a product that the consumer already trusts. With improvements to manufacturing processes over the years, these fake parts have become more and more prevalent across the U.S.
While fake parts may seem to be saving you money in the short-term, you can rest assured that they will only cost you more than you bargained for in the end. Since these parts aren’t specially designed or manufactured to work with your vehicle, they often don’t hold up as long as higher quality parts do. They’re also not subjected to the rigorous quality control of the real deal, and are therefore more prone to being completely worthless right out of the box. They can end up doing far more harm to your vehicle, as well, causing accelerated damage to other systems in your engine. You’ll end up having to buy the same part again, on top of whatever other damage it has caused your vehicle.
It’s actually very difficult to determine if a part is imitation. If you’re having the part installed by a professional, make sure you ask to see the packaging for the product. These fake parts often have packaging which imitates a trusted, well-established brand (something that’s illegal, in and of itself). The packaging could be so similar that you don’t realize the difference. That’s exactly what they’re counting on. Look closely for telling details, like misspelled words and brand names and colors that don’t seem quite right. Again, one of the most effective ways to determine a product’s legitimacy is to compare its price. If a store is selling a product at a huge discount compared to other local stores, you should be extremely wary and do everything you can to determine whether or not the product is genuine.
We take this issue very seriously and we urge our customers to do the same. This isn’t just about ensuring that you’re getting the product you wanted, it’s about the general trust of consumers in the auto repair industry and, most importantly, your safety. Low quality counterfeit products do not keep people safe, they damage trust between mechanics and their customers, and they’re terrible for the long-term health of vehicles. These products are not good for anyone except the people who make them. Make sure you know exactly what it is that you’re buying or having installed in your vehicle!