Genuine Parts Vs Pirate Parts
When you own a car, you will periodically need to buy spare parts, be it for servicing or repair.
Genuine versus pirate parts
When you own a car, you will periodically need to buy spare parts, be it for servicing or repair. And with the economy in a tough place right now, it is often tempting to save money where you can, including on spare parts. The real cost of ‘cheaper’ pirate parts, however, can add up to more than original or OEM (original Equipment Manufacturer) parts over time.
Don’t be confused by the terms original, OEM and aftermarket though. Original parts are those available from the dealer, in manufacturer-labelled packaging. For example, Toyota spares sold directly by a Toyota dealer in Toyota packaging.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and it is a part made either by the manufacturer or for them by an independent company. So this could be a part made by Toyota, or a company that supplies Toyota with the part.
An aftermarket part is often known as a pirate part, and it is these parts that you need to be wary of. The manufacturer of a pirate part will copy the original or OEM part, but there may be no standard that the parts are kept to, and there may be discrepancies in the specifications, from sizing down to the material they are made from. Some aftermarket parts are of reasonable quality, while others are so bad that they don’t even fit the vehicle they are intended for.
Here’s how using pirate parts can affect your vehicle.
1. Maintain the value
A car that is maintained with original or OEM parts (and at an approved service centre) will retain its value far better than a car that is not.
2.Cheaper in the long run
Price and value are two very different things. Pirate parts are usually (not always!) cheaper to buy than original parts, but they often don’t last as long and so need to be replaced more often. This means they are often more expensive over time.
3. Retain the warranty
If your car is covered by a warranty, you need to use genuine spare parts or the warranty will be null and void. This can be a very expensive mistake to make, so it’s definitely not
worth taking the risk to save a few rand.
4. More efficient operation
Genuine and OEM parts are developed specifically for the vehicle they are used on, and are manufactured to exact specifications. Pirate parts are seldom made consistently to the same standards, and so don’t operate as efficiently in the vehicle. At best this means a slight loss in performance or fuel efficiency; at worst it can mean unsafe operation or damage to the vehicle.
Cheap spare parts sometimes don’t conform to the standards set by, for example, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). This means that it is illegal to fit them on a vehicle operating on public roads. In the event of an accident, it is possible that your insurance company will refuse to pay for the damages, or you could even be held legally liable for using an ‘unroadworthy’ vehicle.
Certain parts on a car are vital for the safety of the occupants. Everything from the bonnet to the brakes and the windscreen perform actively or passively to keep the occupants safe, and replacing any of these crucial parts with parts of inferior quality can jeopardise the safety of your vehicle.