It's understandable that we all want to save a few dollars on maintenance and repairs, so it's easy to see the attraction of non-genuine and aftermarket parts. But is it worth it?
Adrian Roach is one of Kloster's highly experienced Parts Interpreters as well as a Ferrari 488 GT3 race mechanic competing in the Australian GT Championship and the Asian LeMans Series, and a V8 Supercar race mechanic working on Ford Falcons competing in the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series.
"We only use genuine parts because it's the right thing to do. Manufacturers invest a lot of time and money in ensuring that your car can protect you in an accident. The importance of genuine parts is that when you need it, your car will protect you. It's also important in maintaining value in your car."
While Adrian's speciality is in assisting with the accurate provision of parts to the smash repair industry, he points out that using genuine parts during servicing is also important. "Non-genuine parts are really interesting - and usually not in a good way."
"Non-genuine can include parallel imports which may be genuine but not engineered to fit Australian vehicles properly or to suit Australian conditions or products. They may be counterfeit items that are just illegal imitations potentially made with sub-standard materials and manufacturing and are unlikely to meet Australian Standards. An oil filter, for example, may contain substandard and insufficient filtering material."
Counterfeit parts are big business and the FCAI reports that there has already been a massive counterfeit parts bust this year when 500,000 fake and counterfeit car parts were seized in Abu Dhabi - likely to have been headed to Australia.
"GM-Holden engineers have also identified a terrifying flaw after laboratory testing on non-genuine parts by GM-Holden engineers has revealed sub-standard materials used in a critical safety design feature on imported hoods. It was a non-genuine part which failed under testing and could result in the hood of the car suddenly flying up and slamming against the windscreen. This could be an incredibly serious situation leading to a loss of driver vision and control."
"They could also be after-market items produced by a different company to the genuine parts. Aftermarket parts pose a risk because they won't have been tested by the vehicle’s manufacturer as an integral component of the vehicle and can’t necessarily offer the quality and safety that comes with genuine parts. Just like 'your hip-bone is connected to your thigh-bone', genuine parts are engineered to work together so replacing one could compromise the integrity of another. Manufacturers test and back the parts they sell."
Adrian cautions that another area of concern is one promoted as 'green' or environmentally responsible by offering second-hand recycled parts.
"This can seem a great way to obtain a cheaper but still genuine part, but we have no way of knowing the history of that part. Has it been involved in a serious accident or subject to repairs? This is precisely why we're advised not to use second-hand child safety seats or seatbelts. That part - or baby seat - may have been subjected to massive stresses during an impact that just aren't obvious, but still dangerous."
"Car manufacturers invest huge amounts of time and money in research and development to ensure products are high quality and safe. At Klosters, all of our service technicians are factory trained by the manufacturers. If you buy a Volkswagen from Klosters, it will be serviced by teams who are trained by Volkswagen - and provided with the right equipment - to care for your vehicle. We don't shy away from investing significantly in training our staff."
Sources in this article:
- Ford https://www.ford.com.au/owners/service/genuine-parts/
- Mitsubishi https://www.mitsubishi-motors.com.au/customer-assistance/accessories-faqs
- Hyundai http://www.hyundai.com.au/owning/parts-and-servicing
- BMW http://www.bmw.com.au/en/topics/offers-and-services/personal-services/bmw-original-parts.html
- Honda http://www.klosterhonda.com.au/car-parts/
- Nissan http://www.nissan.com.au/Owners/Owner-Information/Genuine-Parts
- Suzuki http://www.suzuki.com.au/owners/genuine-parts
- Volkswagen https://www.volkswagen.com.au/en/owners/genuine-parts.html
- MINI https://www.mini.com.au/service/?gclid=CPTRnMP_sdICFVwKKgodMA8Kkw&gclsrc=aw.ds
- Genuine Is Best http://genuineisbest.com.au/
- Ford Brand Protection http://www.fordbrandprotection.com/counterfeit.asp
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