Beware of Fake and Knockoff Parts
Genuine Parts Will Always Perform Better
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is to make sure that you are safe on the roads. That is why we want to use OEM parts (which stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer parts) whenever possible. They have been specifically designed for your vehicle.
When you are modifying, updating, or fixing your own vehicle, you have a lot of choices. A quick search can bring in a whole bunch of results that would fit your rig; from new wheels to custom hoods to everything in between. While aftermarket parts may work for what you are looking for, you need to be aware that there are fake parts out there that can cause serious safety concerns.
Fake Parts vs. Replica Parts
Before we get into it, we need to make sure that we are differentiating between the two types of parts. Knockoff, or fake, parts look identical to the original part. These parts may look like the real thing, but they are violating patent laws to do so. Think about Rolex and how when you visit street vendors (generally overseas) you can buy a knockoff version for $10.
Replica parts, while not genuine, are designed to look similar to the original but not exactly like them. These parts often meet the minimum safety standards. Keeping with the watch analogy, think of Rolex vs. Fossil or Casio or even Tag Heuer.
The Dangers of Fake or Knockoff Parts
This issue was brought up by Mercedes Benz a few years ago. They demonstrated, in their Australian facilities, what happens when you hit a pothole using knockoff wheels. On the outside, they look exactly the same as the original wheels (a peek around back shows the signs of knockoff), but they perform considerably different. Check out the video.
As you can see, the fake wheel can’t withstand the impact, and can cause some very serious safety concerns if you’re using them on your vehicle.
How to Avoid Fake and Knockoff Parts
Here’s the dilemma, many of the fake parts look so much like the real thing that it’s hard to tell if you’re getting a knockoff. There are two ways to avoid being swindled.
Buy from a reputable dealer. They have suppliers that are bringing in only the best. While it may not be OEM, it is aftermarket that meets standards.
Don’t buy the cheapest. If a product is drastically cheaper than anywhere else, there’s a good chance that it’s not the real thing or it has been obtained illegally.
Big Sky Collision Center Uses Only the Highest Quality Parts
Here at Big Sky Collision our goal is to provide the best value and to be the best auto body repair shop in Billings. That means we are use only the best parts on your vehicle so that when you drive away, you are in a vehicle that meets all factory safety standards.
Need to have your car fixed? Give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can get you on the schedule.