Don’t Fall for Fake Parts

May 15, 2015 | By | Reply More

Counterfeit parts can damage your customers’ cars and your reputation as well.

oil-filterThere’s a popular phrase that folks use, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” That may be true, but it doesn’t make for good business in auto repair. Increasingly parts are showing up in official-looking  BMW packaging that purport to be genuine BMW parts but are, instead, counterfeit parts in fake packaging. These parts show up in various channels of distribution, including from folks who may show up at your shop selling parts out of the back of a plain white van. And while their appearance may be convincing and these parts may appear to be genuine BMW parts, they practically never are.

These parts may range from easily-made oil and air filters, to more complex parts like brake pads, spark plugs, fan clutches, and even quart bottles of engine oil and wheel rims. They are typically made with part numbers and branding on the product that make them look genuine, and they appear in packaging that appears to be authentic as well.

But beware. Unless you’re certain of the source and heritage of parts you’re installing, you could be installing trouble instead. Counterfeit parts are attractive because they’re usually sold at well below market value. But the economies are short-lived, because these parts can and do fail prematurely, and sometimes even catastrophically, jeopardizing not only your reputation and the reliability of the vehicle, but also putting the lives of your customers and their passengers at risk.

For example, counterfeit oil filters can delaminate and collapse, allowing unfiltered oil to reach critical engine parts. This can lead to failure of engine bearings, piston rings, and valve train components, requiring expensive repairs that would not be covered by a warranty. Imitation spark plugs can misfire, causing detonation and even resulting in melted pistons.

Other fake parts can be safety-related. Do you really want to risk your reputation and your customers’ lives on brake pads whose quality is unknown? Or is it really a good risk to install a questionable fan clutch that could fail catastrophically, perhaps even throwing a fan blade through the hood of an expensive new BMW?

While mechanical parts are the most common counterfeit parts in circulation, accessory items have recently become the target of counterfeiters, who can knock out poorly-designed copies of items like power mirrors, grilles, even motor oil and floor mats. It’s only common sense to realize that cheap imitation parts will not provide the performance and durability of genuine BMW parts.

So how to avoid these inferior parts and accessories? The answer is simple. Buy your BMW replacement parts from the most reliable source there is — the parts department of your local authorized BMW dealer.

Don’t risk your reputation or compromise your customers’ safety with parts of questionable heritage. Make sure the BMW replacement parts you’re buying and installing are the Real McCoy.

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Category: General, the bimmer pub

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