The informative Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) stand at this year’s Mechanex Sandown show proved a real talking point amongst attendees, providing an opportunity to examine ‘like for like’ parts for themselves. The busy stand, staffed by representatives from a wide range of OESAA member companies, featured comparable components from OE and non-OE suppliers to highlight the dramatic differences in quality that can exist between the two, as well as the detrimental impact that fitting sub-standard parts can potentially have on a garage’s reputation.
Colin Mortiboys, sales manager at GKN for the UK and Ireland, explained the many differences between an OE approved GKN CV joint (originally fitted by Volkswagen) and a non-OE offering presented as an alternative.
“There are two different types of joint here,” he said. “Our joint actually goes to a 53 degree angle, whereas the competitor’s version only goes to 45 degrees, so if you used the non-OE alternative you wouldn’t get such a good turning circle.”
GKN’s CV joint also features a boot made from thermoplastic elastomer, designed to cope with high grease temperatures of up to around 150°C. The competitor component’s boot is made from a rubber compound, which can only tolerate grease temperatures of around 60°. The supplied clips are also clearly produced to completely different designs and material specifications.
“When you place the two items next to each other, they’re not even the same length – and yet they’re presented as ‘like for like’!” adds Mortiboys.
The OESAA stand was jam-packed with similar comparison examples from the members of the association, and left visitors in no doubt as to the benefits associated with fitting high quality parts.
Jeff Earl, marketing manager at Schaeffler (UK) Ltd said: “The technicians coming to Mechanex are willing to take time away from the ramp to learn about new technology, so are also more likely to be fitting quality products already, but when they see examples like this it really helps to drive home our message.
“The main benefit of events such as this is that it gives visitors the chance to really get ‘inside’ the parts and see that the technology involved can be completely different. You simply cannot beat the trust and reassurance that comes with fitting quality parts from quality suppliers.”