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andrave Dork
12/18/12 2:07 p.m.

I will go out of my way (and usually have to, at least to get there before or after work due to their limited hours) to go to napa. If I need wipers or headlight bulbs and its after hours I will go to autozone since napa doesn't stock the icons or silverstars that I like, but for any parts I buy napa. They are honest, they know what they are talking about, and they don't dick you over. I've ordered parts on the internet (rebuilt water pump) for store pick up and had the salesman call me to say "look to be honest the new one is only a dollar or two more and we get a lot of returns on these rebuilt ones, thats why I only stock the new ones, I can order this if you want but I just want to make sure you know that." is autozone gonna do that?

I quit shopping for anything major at autozone when I needed copper washers to seal my 9" diff and autozone sales guy says they don't sell them. I madea fuss and manager came out and told me they no longer carry them. Only copper washers in the store, the manager says, come in a box of 10 (like 2 each of 5 different sizes) for $10. Since a 9" uses 10 of them, I woulda had to spend $50. They only had 2 in stock anyway. I walked away and didnt' look back. ordered them from napa for .55 cents each or whatever and had them next day at 8 am.

belteshazzar UberDork
12/18/12 2:30 p.m.

since napa's are mostly privately owned, ymmv.

their cheaper line of parts are just as bad as anyone's in my opinion. a couple of their premium lines seem to have fallen off lately too. although maybe my opinion is skewed from working here.

Bobzilla UltraDork
12/18/12 2:36 p.m.

We buy a E36 M3-ton of NAPA parts for used cars and I have to agree their overall quality is not what it was 10-15 years ago and it seems to be getting worse. To compound the problem, they're having the same staffing problem all the other chain stores are in respect to the fact that all the "good" people are already gone.

dean1484 UltraDork
12/18/12 2:38 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote:
dean1484 wrote: However when the counter people reference the "house brand" as "value crap" Corporate really should evaluate things. If they don't eventually they will only be selling fuzzy dice, air fresheners and stick on hood vents. Real car guys will move on.
i think wherever you buy ANY "value line" product it's going to be like that, generally speaking. i hate that we even sell 19.99 brake pads, but people buy them. at least they do while they're complaining that autozone is out of stock on their 14.99 ones.

The point is that it should not be that way. If somthing is crap it is not a good value. They should re name it the "if you are going to sell your car in 1-3 months POS line of products". At least this is ohnest and you know what you are getting. The OP"s problem was as much a customer service issue as it was a crappy product. The guys at my local AZ are good, friendly and will try to help.

andrave Dork
12/18/12 2:44 p.m.

Yeah, i mean I'd agree... napa held out but they were losing sales to other parts stores that were selling cheaper parts and their entry level stuff has come down, but both in price and in quality... the two are somewhat related.

And to be fair, $19 brake pads are fine for most people on whatever E36 M3box they drive. For most people that just drive to and from work and school and don't race or tow its not like they are particularly demanding on their brakes. My truck has $19 E36 M3box pads on the rear disc conversion, its an off road truck without much rear brake bias anyway. They are just fine... and if I have $20 in my bank account and my pads are worn down to the backing plate, then $20 brake pads are AWESOME no matter what I'm driving.... I'm an "adult" now but those situations still present themselves from time to time!

belteshazzar UberDork
12/18/12 2:50 p.m.

i get the BEST excuses whenever people opt for the garbage-level pads.

"it's just for my daughter's car, give me the cheap ones..." is she just going to crash regardless?

"oh the wife doesn't drive that many miles..." everyone knows if you don't drive many miles you don't need to stop?

pres589 SuperDork
12/18/12 2:55 p.m.

You pulled the oil filter to make this easier? I had to replace mine once and that wasn't part of the procedure...

I prefer Napa or better yet a non-franchise place if one can be found. No Napa's in Wichita so I get to deal with Advance. They're all kind of lame around here from what I've seen.

ebonyandivory Reader
12/18/12 3:16 p.m.

I got a place near me that rebuilds thier own. Tests it on the bench before your eyes before cash changes hands. You get to hang out by a wood stove and pet one or two of a dozen cats while you wait.

Great guys too, brothers they are and they know thier E36 M3. Too bad theyre a dying breed.

Bobzilla UltraDork
12/18/12 3:20 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: i get the BEST excuses whenever people opt for the garbage-level pads. "it's just for my daughter's car, give me the cheap ones..." is she just going to crash regardless? "oh the wife doesn't drive that many miles..." everyone knows if you don't drive many miles you don't need to stop?

Yeah, "way back when" when I worked for hte 'zone I used to hear them. We had one guy that every 13 months he'd buy a new set of value-crap pads for his delta 88 that "I'm going to sell it in a few months anyway".... I know that he bought at lest 3 sets (warrantied one pair).

yamaha Dork
12/18/12 3:40 p.m.

The closest parts store to me is a O'rileys......I'm glad of this.

Vatozone did right by me when I quit going there though, 4 tries at tie rod ends and they all had berkeleyed up threads. After some bitching, they gave me the amount for the one through the local car quest, it was 60% more expensive too...

spitfirebill UltraDork
12/18/12 4:03 p.m.

The only thing I USED to at AZ was their batteries. Once upon a time they were the higher rated ones.

I did buy an alternator years ago for my Nissana truck . I lasted excactly one year and crapped. I would have had the riginal rebuilt, but I needed the truck for a trip, so I went with AZ. The replacement of that alternator has been going ever since. When I needed an alternator for my son's Honda Civic, I went with a new one from NAPA.

belteshazzar UberDork
12/18/12 4:10 p.m.


NAPA offers a "premium reman" and a "standard reman". As of about 18 months ago, the part inside the box is identical. The difference is the warranty treatment, 3yrs or lifetime.

Ranger50 UberDork
12/18/12 4:36 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: FYI: NAPA offers a "premium reman" and a "standard reman". As of about 18 months ago, the part inside the box is identical. The difference is the warranty treatment, 3yrs or lifetime.

Very typical nowadays. Marketing scam really, IMO. Perceived quality upgrade that doesn't exist.

iceracer UltraDork
12/18/12 5:35 p.m.

I have an excellent NAPA near me with knowledgable people. That is where I go for my hard parts.

friedgreencorrado PowerDork
12/18/12 5:38 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: FYI: NAPA offers a "premium reman" and a "standard reman". As of about 18 months ago, the part inside the box is identical. The difference is the warranty treatment, 3yrs or lifetime.

Ugh. I'm so tired of that nonsense. Warranties don't get you to work, parts do. Well, they're supposed to, anyway..

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
12/18/12 6:30 p.m.
benzbaronDaryn wrote: I'd trust a local rebuilder over a store rebuilt part. I would almost rather have a factory core and rebuild it than have a store bought replacement.

Amen to this brother. Some rebuilders have the part ready to swap with you, and the last one I used gave a lifetime warranty on the alternator they rebuilt. Came back looking beautiful and been fine for 7 years now. I definitely look around for those who rebuild in-house- not the ship-away to a sweatshop type thing I've found at some of the chains.

gjz30075 Reader
12/18/12 6:37 p.m.

Yeah, I'm souring on the 'Zone, too. I asked mine if they rent out a leakdown tester. After a short faraway look in his eyes, he asked me: "why would you need that?", which, to me, translated, means: never heard of one.

93gsxturbo Dork
12/18/12 6:38 p.m.

Best thing every for hard parts is an Amazon Prime membership. Believe it or not, Amazon stocks a ton of higher end auto parts. Look up the part number on Rock Auto, pop it into the Amazon search field, buy it Prime, enjoy free 2 day shipping or $3.99 1 day shipping. Most of the time, Amazon is the same price as Rock Auto, sometimes cheaper, and sometimes a bit higher, but always cheaper in the end because Rock Auto dings you on shipping really bad. And the return policy on Amazon is a piece of cake. I can get my OEM Motorcraft parts for my truck for half the price of a dealer, same as online fordparts.com or other guys like that, and cheap, fast, reliable shipping.

bmw88rider New Reader
12/18/12 6:50 p.m.

This thread is reminding me of all of the issues I had with Napa Clutches in my old mustang. I went through 3 of them to find out that the springs on the pressure plate were only half the spring rate of what they were suppose to be. I ended up having a private rebuilder rebuild the core and made it darn near indestructible.

I've got garbage at all of the major chains. Now, unless I'm in a hurry, it's always private rebuilders.

moparman76_69 HalfDork
12/18/12 6:59 p.m.

Should have went to O'reilly. Not the one on southport though go to the hub store at troy and madison. Most of the good parts guys have left but there are a couple left. Also the NAPA distro over off Lynhurst and southern. I refuse to set foot in an autozone and drive past it to go to advance if I need a part quickly and don't want to drive over to the O'reilly hub.

Nashco UltraDork
12/18/12 7:08 p.m.

I haven't bought anything from autozone in years. While they are the closest place to my house and open the most hours, it's just not worth it. Horrible parts, horrible attitudes, and willing to hire employees that don't know anything about anything. Give your business to a place you want to stay in business. Think long term.


92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
12/18/12 7:24 p.m.

In reply to pres589:

I run a corevette zr1 filter and a sandwich adapter. It all takes up about twice as much room as stock stuff.

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
12/18/12 7:32 p.m.

In reply to moparman76_69:

Unfortunately car was in Noblesville.

Toyman01 PowerDork
12/18/12 7:35 p.m.

I've had the opposite experience. O'Riley's is close, but staffed by idiots and doesn't carry anything. I don't even stop there anymore.

Advance is next, also staffed by idiots and don't carry anything. I only go there if Autozone is going to take too long to get a part in and I don't feel like driving to option 4.

Autozone is next, staffed by fairly decent people and don't carry anything off the wall, but basic parts they have. As long as you stay away from their cheap parts, their parts seem to do pretty good.

Parks Auto Parts is next at about 20 minutes from the house. They are a local chain of 5 stores. They are staffed by gearheads and I don't care what you want, they have it in stock. I have honestly never had to order something from them. They are also open till midnight. The other thing they have is a speed shop. If you like American Iron, it will make you nether regions tingle. 1000 square feet of blocks, heads, intakes, MSD boxes,rods, pistons, roller rockers, cams, pretty much you name it. Their only problem is the lines get a little long. Like 30-40 minutes long on the weekends and that's with 6 guys working the counter. I've walked in to find 30+ people standing at the counter.

Spoolpigeon HalfDork
12/18/12 8:26 p.m.

I run an advance store. While I'd like to think that my employer > X store, it really comes down to each individual store. My current store has a pretty good knowledge of parts/advice, while the store 6 miles down the road is full of retards that do well to clock in and out. That goes for all stores honestly, no matter what is actually being sold. The people inside the box are the driving force to the success of the place.

The problem I run into is that we have a hard time paying enough to get truly good people. Regular 'salesperson' spot is minimum wage

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