The Risk of Replicas

The Risk of Replicas
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Mahle Aftermarket is continuing to draw motor factors’ attention to the engine damage caused by dangerous replica filters and is urging customers to be cautious of suppliers claiming OE-quality status.

Recently, Mahle received reports that a number of suppliers were suggesting they were an Original Equipment supplier for a Mahle oil filter, part number OX171/2D.

Mahle responded by confirming that it is 100% OE for OX171/2D, with the part number patented by the company. Furthermore, the non-Mahle parts are proven to damage the bypass valve, whereas the Mahle filter is designed to be fitted in the oil cap and its design is integral to its fit, function and performance in the filter housing.

The cause of engine damage often lies in the installation of an oil filter that can barely function because it lacks an important detail – the Mahle pin.

From the outside, filters look almost identical and it can be difficult to determine the superior part, but the intricate differences on the inside of the filter highlight the quality of the part, with the type of filter media used playing a crucial role.

It is often easier to identify the filter’s quality by assessing the filter media, as it is one of the most expensive parts in the makeup of a filter. Because of this, cheaper manufacturers can exploit the cost of the filter by using less paper within the cartridge, either by reducing the length of the paper or the height of the cartridge, or alternatively by increasing the diameter of the centre support tube.

It is important that the filter media is therefore strong and not affected by any problematic design issues. Mahle uses taller cartridges and longer paper length to guarantee strength and reliability.

The type of filter media used should depend on the application in question. Grade, quality and surface area combine to meet the application’s requirements and define both the efficiency and service life of the filter.

Mahle uses a wide range of filter media from paper to melt-blown fibre, filtering particles as small as 1μm – 50 times smaller than an average human hair.

Filters within the range feature a unique profile to ensure the media pleats cannot bond together and reduce the surface area. They also benefit from its exclusive hardening process that is designed to prevent filter ‘collapse’.

It is important to note that there are many aspects of a filter system that affect its performance, not just the filter media (paper). To ensure a filter’s service life meets the full demands of an engine, Mahle designs its products in conjunction with the vehicle manufacturer’s original part.

Customers trust the company’s products because they understand that the filters are the same as those fitted as original equipment. The OE specification clarifies the system requirements for flow rate, the number of microns that the filter will filter down to and the length of service before it must be replaced.

Crime prevention

In order to hinder the production of illegal replicas and get on the trail of the counterfeiters, Mahle’s strategy of attack covers a variety of levels and diverse fields:

  • Protecting product development from data theft
  • Surveillance of production
  • Constant market observation via online research and price analysis
  • Test purchases from suspect dealers, including at international trade shows
  • Global customs operations and training to help prevent the import and export of conspicuous goods within the boundaries of membership of the WCO (World Customs Organisation)
  • Equipping packaging with a variety of security features
  • Product training for distributors and repair shops
  • Evaluation of customer feedback

Jonathan Walker, Managing Director, Mahle Aftermarket UK, said, “There are serious consequences and legal ramifications regarding fake goods, and every occurrence of piracy or counterfeiting discovered by Mahle will be prosecuted.

“The company employs a zero-tolerance policy against manufacturers of fake goods. The legal measures that can be taken range from cease-and-desist declarations to confiscation of the goods.”

For more information on the range of filters on offer from Mahle Aftermarket, click here. 


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