The buyer of auto parts or what is commonly called spare parts, always asks himself if the part he is buying is original or if, at least, it is approved for the model of the car that is being repaired. Detecting fake auto parts requires knowing a few keys.
The market for spare parts for motor vehicles is wide and foreign. There you can find original, approved spare parts and, unfortunately, mechanisms that do not meet the manufacturer’s minimum standards and that, in most cases, are unreliable. Their low price is the hook with which they are sold.
According to figures from the Association of the Automotive Sector and its Parts, Asopartes, 50% of the parts sold in Colombia are contraband. “Many customers arrive here with their defective car due to parts that were supposedly original or homologated, but that are what we commonly call ‘chiviadas’. They end up doing more damage to the car and what is cheap is expensive”, says Martín Zapata, a mechanic in a multi-brand workshop.
In a growing auto parts market, despite the shortage of vehicles as a result of the pandemic and the lack of components for the manufacture of automobiles, growth has been detected in the last year due to the increase in sales of used cars. Parts such as clutch components and lubricants are some of the most requested, and bearings and filters are the ones that present some shortage, according to a survey carried out by EL COLOMBIANO in workshops and importers of spare parts in the “La Bayadera” area in Medellín. . “The prices of some materials to manufacture spare parts such as steel, copper and aluminum have risen and that is where the problem with counterfeits lies, you see it at the old price, but it is not original”, says Dylan Aristizábal , clerk in an auto parts store in the area.
And then, how to detect that the part that they put in your car offers quality and safety? The first thing you should know is that using non-original and/or fake parts compromises your safety and that of the other actors on the road. Some tips to detect possible scams are:
· When buying the spare part, verify that it comes packed in its original box, duly marked with the manufacturer’s logo and with the respective seals. Generally, original auto parts come wrapped in a secure bag of good material.
· Most replacement parts are marked with a serial number. If you don’t have it, or it’s stuck with an adhesive, be suspicious.
· Compare the acquired piece with the one that is going to be changed. Look that shapes, sizes, materials, weights match.
· Always ask the mechanic who serviced the car or the workshop manager to provide you with the packaging and the reference of the new part, as well as the purchase invoice, if it was made to a third party.
· Look for the instructions of the acquired piece and verify its origin, that it is well printed, diagrammed and without spelling errors.
· Although everyone is looking for the best price, be wary of auto parts that are suspiciously cheap or cost well below the original.