Your car is one of your biggest investments so you want to make sure it's well-taken care of. That means choosing the best parts when it needs maintenance or repairs. That can be difficult to do, especially with so many counterfeit car parts being sold. So, how to do you spot a counterfeit? And, how do you ensure that they're not being put on your car? Here are three tips that will help you avoid counterfeit car parts.
Stick with Licensed Auto Parts Stores
One of the easiest ways to protect against counterfeit car parts is to stick with licensed auto parts stores. Auto parts stores are regulated by the federal government and are subjected to routine inspections to ensure that all the auto parts they sell are genuine products.
Inspect the Parts
If you're taking your car to a repair shop for maintenance or repairs, be sure to inspect the parts that are being placed on your car. Look closely at the part that's going to be put on your car. If there are levers or movable pieces, try to move them. They should move smoothly. Be sure to look at the packaging as well. Counterfeit car parts packaging looks different than the genuine product. For instance, the counterfeit packaging may be slightly different in colors than the genuine brand, or the logo may be incorrect. You may also notice that some of the words are misspelled on the packaging. If you don't feel comfortable with the parts being placed on your car, ask them to wait for the repairs until you can provide your own parts. Then, head to your local auto parts store to purchase your own.
Avoid Online Purchases
If you're purchasing auto parts that are crucial to the proper functioning of your car, you should avoid making online purchases, especially through discount sites. Some sites offer deep discounts because they're selling counterfeit – or knockoff – parts. If your online purchase isn't directly from a nationally recognized auto parts store, shop elsewhere for your parts. It's important to note that automobile manufacturers often provide online purchases of their replacement parts. Those transactions are safe from counterfeit concerns since they're selling factory parts.
You depend on your car. Don't take chances with counterfeit parts. The tips provided above will help you avoid counterfeit car parts. If you have questions about the parts you're purchasing, be sure to ask advice at your auto parts store.