Whenever there is a good product on the market, knockoffs are bound to be created.
Whether aftermarket systems or OEM parts, it pays to get the original 90% of the time. Where you can trust a reputable aftermarket manufacturer to supply the same part at half the price, it makes more financial sense provided you are outside of your vehicle warranty. For example, filters. Mahle is an established German automotive manufacturer and there will be no difference other than price in fitting your vehicle with one of their solutions as opposed to the OEM.
The manufacturing of auto parts is a detailed process that needs to be carefully controlled if the quality is to be assured. Let’s take a look at Brembo brake pads. These consist usually of a friction composite, (such as ceramic/copper) that is bonded to a forged base plate which interacts with the caliper cylinder system. The composition of the friction substance is absolutely critical to the correct functioning of the brake in extreme conditions and prevents warping of the rotor assembly.
Cheap knockoffs will cause brake fade and function less effectively in wet conditions. In extreme cases cutting costs on adhesive may cause the composite to break free from the base plate, and wedge itself between the caliper and the rotor causing a wheel to lock! Any of these problems can lead to dangerous driving situations which could cause loss of life. When it comes to braking and steering systems, good parts are critical.
Another example is the exhaust system. At Foreign Affairs we fit Akrapovic aftermarket systems to your vehicle. These could be full replacement exhausts or just cat-back systems with tailpipes. Akrapovic prides itself on the design of the best performance exhaust and its systems integrate seamlessly with your vehicle’s computer-controlled emissions system. Knockoffs will not use the same grade of stainless steel or care in manufacturer meaning that a cheaper alternative will soon develop holes or struggle to properly integrate with your auto’s fueling and emissions system, meaning a loss of performance, difficult starting or uneven running.
How Would You Spot A Fake?
Often the quickest way to do this is just a visual inspection of the part itself. Scrutinize it carefully for any cracks, flaking composites or weak adhesive. Make sure you locate the brand stamp and serial number. All good aftermarket and OEM manufacturers take pride in their products and their stamp is clearly legible and squarely placed. If you are unsure of the genuineness of a part, give them a call and verify the serial number. Alternatively, you can pop into our Pompano Beach shop for some advice. Many manufacturers, (like Brembo) have a secret code on a card inside their box which can be checked for validity online.
Sometimes it’s not just the part that is the problem. An excellent quality part poorly fitted will struggle to meet the performance specifications that you demand of it. Foreign affairs is an ASE certified shop and we are authorized to supply and fit many excellent aftermarket brands. In many cases, this means that you get a guarantee on the work.