A catch line for a certain motor spares company reads ‘non-genuine spare parts will come back and bite you’. Many motorists have learnt this the hard way after buying some second hand spares from outdoor sellers in Kaguvi Street.
Kaguvi Street is an area in town that has become popular for supplying vehicle spares, both brand new and used. However, many people have fallen prey to some unscrupulous outdoor spare part salesmen who operate in the area.
Due to economic hardships and the unavailability of some motor spares for certain models of cars, many motorists are forced to buy second hand spares from outdoor dealers. In some cases they look good on the outside but may already be past their life span.
The second hand parts are readily available from the guys on Kaguvi Street’s pavement who just need to disappear for a while to collect the required part. The guys on the pavements claim to sell every spare part that is needed for a vehicle.
However, many have had their dreams of owning properly functional cars dashed due to the spare part conmen in that area. One motorist, who declined to be named, narrated how he was duped into buying his own spare part after he had failed to find it in the approved motor spare dealer shops.
“He took the bearing and disappeared behind a shop. He came back after an hour and gave me a boxed bearing. My old part was nowhere to be seen but I did not bother too much since I was happy. Later I realised it was just my old part that had been cleaned up,” he said.
One pavement spare parts dealer, identified as Kudzie, who operates along Kaguvi and Harare Streets, confessed to Harare News that he conned both members of the public and spares shop owners over parts such as pistons, piston rings, bearings and ball-joints.
“Since the shop guys know and trust us we just put the old part into a new box. Customers are also vulnerable because we are desperate for money, so we end up doing crooked deals when times are tough,” said Kudzie.
Brian Chipomho, who runs a garage at Montagu Shopping Centre in the Avenues, said that most people choose to buy spare part from informal dealers due to cheaper prices. “However, people should consider the consequences in the event that something serious goes wrong.”
Chipomho said that good second hand spares might work fine but urged motorists to buy new spares as in most cases there will not be much difference in the price.
“Many people are shy to go to commercial garages because they think that they will be charged high prices. They end up going to street technicians but people should realise that some of them are out to rip them off,” explained Chipomho.
“Second hand spares are not too much of a problem for engine parts but when it comes to suspension and wheels people should not compromise. Just imagine if your car is fitted with faulty second hand ball-joints and they fail while travelling at high speed. The results could be fatal,” said Chipomho.
Chipomho urged vehicle owners to have their cars maintained at certified dealers, “People should always consult with specialists in order to get genuine spares. We also give vehicle owners good advice.”