As much as it’s cool to make the cars we drive truly our own, there are plenty of enthusiasts who go for low-quality, fake accessories. Sure, there are some people who ignorantly choose to get them, but a good majority genuinely can’t tell the difference.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that inferior products put one and all in danger.
Today, we’ll go through some tips on how to identify and source authentic parts that not only look cool, but work great too.
Tip #1: Price
“You get what you paid for” is a good tip to keep in mind. If you see prices for some items don’t make sense, there’s a big chance that they’re fake.
The best practice here is to check the item and its prices with the actual brand it touts.
If the official sites post no prices, you can compare with authorised distributors on online platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, Carousell or Mudah.my. Sometimes, they’re on Facebook too.
If you want more info, you can always research where the product was originally made. Take Japanese brand Bride for example. For a high chance of scouting original Bride seats, look up Yahoo Japan Auctions, a site the Japanese use for buying and selling.
There, you can look at both new or used versions. This way, you’ll have a better idea of how accurately priced something is sold here for.
Tip #2: Fit and Finish
Get touchy-feely with the items you want! Identifying factors usually are texture, weight, and general fit and finish - including colours and stickers.
From my experience, if there’s typos here and there then it’s safe to assume they’re duds too.
Tip #3: Rely on reliability
A common argument ‘for’ fakes is that original parts are expensive. Well, what did they expect? Name brands invest in R&D and follow strict production guidelines, ensuring their products hit the shelves as problem-free as possible.
Admittedly, this process results in increased prices.
Nardi steering wheels are a good example. A popular brand among enthusiasts, Nardi was founded in 1951 by Italian Enrico Nardi who, among other things, was the first test driver for Ferrari. That’s how the marque had Nardi wheels on many of their classics. They’ve remained a trusted brand among major car brands for years.
All of a sudden, the tuning scene has seen an influx of fake Nardi steering wheels sporting designs not seen on the official website.
Brand aside (almost every brand from every product range has fakes anyway), they don’t have proper R&D and are usually made willy-nilly just to fit sales quotas.
Which means they all have one thing in common. They break:
Tip #4: Check official catalogues
Every year, most aftermarket brands will release updated catalogues complete with pictures, prices, specifications, options and official dealer locations.
Since all original parts will have serial numbers stamped on them, you can check their authenticity on their sites too.
Some brands don’t have Malaysian distributors though. In this case, you may place your orders through RHDJapan and Nengun - they ship worldwide, and you’re guaranteed authenticity.
Another alternative is to get a personal shopper to buy the stuff for you and ship it here, although this may come with additional costs.
You can still go cheaper by getting halfcut (used parts) from trusted shops such as Sinar Modifikasi or Velocity Stage (both of which specialise in Japanese parts). Due to their nature of business though, you may not get what you want all the time.
In a wheel-well...
So there you have it, simple tips to help you the next time you hunt for accessories. We concur that genuine parts may cost more but there’s peace of mind when you know the quality’s trustable, there’s warranty and it doesn’t endanger anyone.
Forget the rush to chase likes and followers, a true enthusiast is the one who does things right and keeps everyone safe along the way.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.