Many have said that Africa has constantly been used as a dumping ground for poor-quality goods, and when you look at it from an auto parts perspective, there could unfortunately be truth in this statement. The continent seems to be full of counterfeit parts, so much so that it is almost impossible to come across a genuine part when needed. And when you do manage to have a genuine part installed in your car, it gets stolen in high-crime areas rather quickly. So how can you find a genuine part among all the counterfeits? If you are a car owner, you want to make sure your quality vehicle is getting quality repairs, and imitative parts will work less effectively. Here are a few guidelines to help you in finding genuine parts.
Approach reputable dealers
Every so often, you will come across a fancy-looking car shop, and they will promise you that their parts are genuine—but are they really? Just because a book cover looks appealing doesn’t mean the book makes for an interesting read. When needing replacement parts, approach reputable dealers and, when possible, certified distributor agents. They are likely to have the genuine spare parts you’re looking for; and even if the part is not in their current stock, they can easily arrange for it to be imported with the next shipment. Have the mindset that paying a little more for genuine parts is not bad thing Genuine parts are indeed rather expensive. If you have a frugal man’s mindset, the dealer may appear to accept your negotiation for lower prices on genuine parts, but he will likely give you lower quality parts instead. Be ready and willing to pay the price that does justice to the part you are looking for, because you just might anger the mechanic into selling you a non-genuine part if you seem overbearing in your haggling.
Look for the mark
No matter how good the counterfeiters get at replicating genuine car parts, the genuine part will always have a mark signifying its genuineness. First, make sure you understand what the genuine part looks like, and then make sure you know what to look out for to authenticate that the part is actually genuine. Do not be too trusting when the vendor tells you the part is genuine. If you are paying a high price for a genuine part, you might as well make sure that it is indeed the real thing.
Patience, and more patience
As mentioned in the beginning, the African market is flooded with fake car parts. Because of this, your quest for genuine parts is not going to be a simple one. Be patient and be ready and willing to look around a lot, as well as make several phone calls. If not, you just may be duped by a crafty vendor who, after noticing your look of exasperation, successfully sells you a counterfeit part. Remember that for some car parts and some car models, too, it is vital that you use genuine parts, as counterfeits will not function properly—and if they do, they won’t last long.