Author Topic: Auto parts stores  (Read 902 times)

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preaction

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Auto parts stores
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:35:39 PM »
I just came back from my local Auto Zone it is literally 1/2 mile from my garage and way to easy to go to until you have to deal with Mohammad I don't believe he's a bad guy but he cant speak English well enough to save his life, I wont be going back there again. I have been using Rock auto and I did tonight $.16 thermostat housing gaskets AZ-$1.99. Its hard to stop doing something you think is easier.

Falcon67

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 11:24:02 AM »
The O'Reilly's around the corner from work is women managed and primarily ladies working - they do a good job.  Very upbeat, helpful.  Some not so knowledgeable but they are learning.  We have a couple of "new line" stores here that still include "car people" behind the counter.  Not the AZ units though, not in my experience.  BUT - old school stores full of car guys like the one I was in back in the late 70s are likely not to be found, or at least very rare.  But lets face it - unless it's some parts for the 1993 F-350 or maybe some peripheral parts for the 2004 F-150 (washer pump, etc) neither me nor some parts counter person is going to know what part to get to fix some of these modern issues.  The Hybrid is in the shop and even the master techs with computers tied into the car are having a hard time trying to find out WTF.  I can change the oil, air and cabin filter on it - everything else no thanks.  And 80% of the cars on the road are like that.  Old school DIY for daily drivers is going out the window.  So the new part stores don't really need that expertise, like a certain 350 chevy cap will fit on a dual point Accel distributor and such.  There is also the cost - that oil/air/cabin thing was over $100.  Oil change on the F150+air filter - $80.  I could have taken it to the Lincoln/Merc dealer and had the oil done for $75 while I waited in the lounge. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 11:26:12 AM by Falcon67 »

Pentroof

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 12:33:01 PM »
I agree, auto parts stores are less and less required. 90% of what I do on my toy vehicles gets purchased from RockAuto, Summit, Jegs or guys on these forums.

I don't even touch my daily drivers.

I went to O'Reilly's on Sunday and asked the kid at the counter for a Gates 7470 v-belt or equivalent. He never removed his eyes from the computer and asked "what's the year and make of the vehicle?"  They are trained to a process and can't think outside of that.
Jim

e philpott

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 01:22:22 PM »


I went to O'Reilly's on Sunday and asked the kid at the counter for a Gates 7470 v-belt or equivalent. He never removed his eyes from the computer and asked "what's the year and make of the vehicle?"  They are trained to a process and can't think outside of that.


They do that too me on my Fairlane but 1963 Fairlane and 390 doesn't come up on the screen for some reason :) As a repair shop owner local parts stores are a daily struggle with no end in site

John67427

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 01:59:56 PM »
 We have Auto Zone, Advanced, O'reilly's and NAPA. If in a hurry and know what I want I go to Advanced as it was first on the way. O'reillys just opened up but I did't like the attitude there so far. If I want the best parts not the cheapest I go to NAPA- much more knowledgeable. I do use Rock Auto depending on the vehicle. I bought the manuals for my Ford Five Hundred and other than oil, brakes and filters there is nothing I can fix. My 1991 Super Duty I can fix just about anything on it.
 Part of the part look up problem is the computer system and how it works. Even their on line systems almost always default to make, year and model.... very frustrating when trying to look up a specific part.
 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 02:09:27 PM by John67427 »

garyv

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 02:19:42 PM »
If it's something I don't need in a hurry I order it online from wherever I can get it the cheapest.  Saves a lot of frustration.
We have all the parts stores couple miles from my home. NAPA suffers from the same personnel issues the others have.
Lately I've been working on my flathead 6 and O'Reillys  had what I needed to hook up a manual oil pressure gauge and a few electrical parts.
It's a whole new game from what we were used to in the past so just have to deal with it or quit working on this old junk.

garyv

gt350hr

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 02:41:42 PM »
I agree, auto parts stores are less and less required. 90% of what I do on my toy vehicles gets purchased from RockAuto, Summit, Jegs or guys on these forums.

I don't even touch my daily drivers.

I went to O'Reilly's on Sunday and asked the kid at the counter for a Gates 7470 v-belt or equivalent. He never removed his eyes from the computer and asked "what's the year and make of the vehicle?"  They are trained to a process and can't think outside of that.

      AMEN to that .
         I walked into my local O'Rielly's and asked for 2 A37 bearing sets that I could SEE from the counter setting on the shelf.
"What is the year and make of the vehicle?" I asked WHY? to which he replied , "I can't look up the price without it". I pointed at them and said "you can't sell me those two parts right there?" "Not without an application". "TOO bad , I'll find another store that can." At which point the "manager" cam over , typed in something and said 11.63 a set. I paid and left.

Machspeed

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 04:11:54 PM »
I thought about making a post on this topic and I'm glad someone did. I recently picked up an early 80's Mustang project that will be my son's first car. I want him to learn as much about his car as possible so I'm making him do all of the work including going in the store and getting whatever part is needed. I have watched him ask for very simple items and the guy or girl at the counter has no clue even if he asks for a certain part number, like mentioned above. Which doesn't help when you have someone that's willing and trying to learn. I used to work at an Autozone part time and I quickly learned that once you see it from the other side you realize the big chain stores are retail stores before they are auto part stores. Notice all of the fluff that has made it's way into these businesses. During my run at Autozone we sold electric skateboards! Only a few of my coworkers worked on their own vehicles. Of that few, most did not know what they were doing. 2 or 3 of had us a decent automotive background so we were the go to guys. The scary ones are the ones that think they know what they're doing and steer customers into buying parts they don't need. I live about 30 minutes from one of Summit's retail(there's that word again) locations and it's no different there than any other chain store. I recently was told a Holley carburetor didn't need an accelerator pump because it wasn't in the master rebuild kit because it said it had everything needed to rebuild the carburetor. I even showed him on their website a picture that showed all of the parts that were supposed to be in the kit. After pulling a second kit from the shelf the counter guy realized the pump was simply missing from the first kit that was pulled. Most of the people in these positions are there because they needed a job not because they have a passion any thing automotive. You wouldn't expect to learn how to cook a good steak from the guy at the local fast food restaurant would you? Most of the stores here used to have at least few guys that knew what they were doing but now almost all of the mom and pop stores are gone and the only choice is the big chain stores that may have one person that you want to do business with and he/she only works on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00. I know, a bit of an exaggeration but not too from the way it feels when you walk through the door of one these places.     
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 04:20:24 PM by Machspeed »

mbrunson427

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 05:50:17 PM »
Here's an interesting conversation I had with a relative. Might make sense why they suck so bad after I'm done telling the story, made sense to me anyways.

This relative of mine started a wholesale radiator company, specializing in locating radiators and selling to the dealers. He created a software program (this is in the 90's) that had a feedback loop, so the system would know how many of what product were sold, returned, warrantied, etc etc. They then would have a bunch of data on what manufacturers did well at what vehicles. For example some would do better with Audi's, others better with BMW, and maybe even some better at certain models of BMW's but not other models. He went on to tell me how much computing power this program ended up requiring and how many times it crashed. Took many years and many specialty folks to come in and help him out. They eventually got it figured out and took his radiators from a roughly 60% success rate to above 95%, which is stellar in the retail world. He ended up selling the company and parties his life away now (actually a problem).

I got to talking to him about all these parts stores like Napa and Auto Zone and how they're set up. They're basically making buyout agreements with wholesalers and trusting that their wholesalers have the product right. I asked him why the wholesalers wouldn't make the same sort of system as he did and he replied "That would take an absolutely absurd amount of data! Like an unreal amount of data!". Think of how many struggles he had getting his company going, and then instead of simply just radiators, apply it to every car manufacturer and every component that is applicable to any car in any year made. Then compare every sale of each part with every return of each part and every warranty claim of each part. Once you start multiplying it out you can see how huge the data sample becomes.

Not making excuses for them, but if one of them could get a similar system online and in place, they'd take over the market.

chilly460

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 06:50:44 AM »
It's really not that big a deal as it's been this way for at least the last 10yrs, if you need 78 Thunderbird calipers, that just so happen to have been swapped on to your 63 Galaxie, you just walk them through the 78 Thunderbird selection screens and away you go.  It can be frustrating when you get into the truly "custom" stuff like needing a ujoint with 1310/1350 caps or whatever you have and you don't know what the stock application would be.  I try to sweet talk them into just letting me look at the parts books and it's usually not too difficult, the scary part is more and more places are dropping the hard copy books and it will be tough to be able to dig through and get the needed info. 

babybolt

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 07:35:25 AM »
I've noticed that the local parts stores, and even Rockauto, have been carrying fewer parts for older vehicles.   NAPA no longer has their gold series of brake drums and rotors which were Canadian made.  Now brake drums are all overseas.

BattlestarGalactic

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 08:55:31 AM »
95% of the people coming into the parts store have NO clue what they actually need.  The 5% that do, they don't trust because of the 95%.  Thus they make you state what vehicle it is so they can confirm you are getting the right part.  They don't like to deal with returns.

I tried the same experiment at AZ.  I had a belt number, told them the number.  They could not get me that belt(I know their computer can cross ref part numbers).  They told me to go to the truck stop(since I made the mistake of telling them it was for my Mack).  The belt does not care what it is mounted on.  I just needed a specific length belt and they could NOT do it.  I walked out disgruntled, like I knew I would.  I was to leave early in the morning, but had to wait til after 7 am the next day til I drove 1/2 hr away to a supplier I knew could get me the right belt.   

My friend that works at Napa could get it for me, but that is way too out of the way and the same issue.  Would have to wait even later to leave on my trip.

Falcon67

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 12:18:46 PM »
You have to take a breath and remember that the current set of counter people - especially if young - are just there doing a job.  It would be the rare one that actually worked on their own vehicle.  Because if it's anything fairly current, they can't.  I can't.  So the concept of a stand alone part request can be confusing because they don't have the background information.  Like the local sandy haired reporter doing the Wednesday technology report - they are just reading the script, the only tech training they got in college was running a word processor.  Explaining a drive-by infection path from a web site running some script is just talking in Greek. 

I have about 5 belts left over from fitting the vacuum pump on the dragster motor plate - used Amazon Prime.  2 day delivery, it's just a part number.  If I need something similar local, I try to look it up on their web site and bring in the number.  Although that is also getting harder to do since the web sites really try to force year/make/model before showing you parts.

To the credit of the staff at the new O'Reillys down the block, I asked for some gasket material and one counter person said "We have some Cometic material over here" and the manager lady said "I've got a roll of some thinner material in the back, let me get it."

So there are exceptions.

And having worked the counter in the late 70s - back then 80%+ of people coming in didn't have a clue.  "I want to tune up my car, what do I need?"  "X,Y, maybe Z.  What car, engine size?"  "Its the red one."  Same stuff, different day LOL.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 12:21:50 PM by Falcon67 »

gt350hr

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 02:15:59 PM »
   Chris ,
      I didn't walk in and ask for "a couple of carrier bearings". I knew what I wanted and pointed to them. No effort at all on his part , I did his job for him.  When I worked in retail ( both an auto parts store in the late 60's and a speed shop in the '70s ), a customer that DID know the part number he wanted was a welcome breath of fresh air! Putting on a "logo shirt" and standing behind the counter doesn't make a person a good salesman. Maybe the minimum wage has something to do with the lack of desire to learn to be good at counter sales. Good salesmen and those with a strong technical background are very hard to find these days , especially in my end of the automotive industry.
    Randy
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 05:30:51 PM by gt350hr »

Heo

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 03:07:01 PM »
A friend of mine was visiting US and  walked in at Summit and told them
what he wanted. The counterman looked at him with
amazement in his eyes...Ill be damned you know what
you want...friend said, i thought it was the whole idea
behind going to a shop, knowing what you want to by or??
Ha you would be supriced how many that don't have a clue

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-29 Ford roadster
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BattlestarGalactic

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 08:04:38 AM »
Yup.  Plenty of people want/call Summit with dreams and have no clue.  Then the poor salesperson has to try to fill that dream without screwing it up and selling the wrong thing.  Or try to convince the person to buy the right things.  I couldn't do it.

I'm just a few minutes south of the original Tallmadge store.   I typically walk in with my part numbers, go to the cashier and have them order it.  No sense in waiting in line at the parts counter with 30 other people.  I have friends that work there, either on the phone or on the floor.

Heo

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2018, 11:18:12 AM »
Drove past that store when i was in US last time. but after
closing time so we could not go in and buy something :(

-25 Chrysler hotrod 292 y- block,toploader,Ford axles
-29 Ford roadster
-30 Ford tudor
-31 Ford coupe
-37 Ford tudor, flathead
-49 Ford Anglia
-64 Ford Galaxie 500 p code
-54 AJS 18S 500 cc

BattlestarGalactic

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 01:15:04 PM »
The "original" store was on the south side of the highway, in a little strip plaza just about 1/4 mile west of the current store.  That was back in early 90's.  It grew from a garage in Akron.  I can still remember the original catalog back in the 80's.    It had a colored pencil picture of a ladies bust with "summit racing" across the front of the shirt.  Oh, the 80's..... ;D  I've looked around my boxes to see if I happen to still have it buried with old car magazine I kept.

Heo

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 03:48:01 PM »
Mmmmm the 80s and boobs...Gratiot Auto supply :P ;D
Are they still in buisness?

-25 Chrysler hotrod 292 y- block,toploader,Ford axles
-29 Ford roadster
-30 Ford tudor
-31 Ford coupe
-37 Ford tudor, flathead
-49 Ford Anglia
-64 Ford Galaxie 500 p code
-54 AJS 18S 500 cc

cammerfe

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Re: Auto parts stores
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2018, 04:43:47 PM »
Some years ago, I had reason to frequent a local place that was specific to older Fords. It took several trips to get what I was doing settled, and I went in there several times.

During these trips, I'd noticed that there was a FoMoCo publication in one of the display cases---one of the manuals Ford printed to go with the SOHC FE engines when they were first being sold. I'd had one long ago, but you know how things go missing.

I went back in the store and asked the counter guy where the 'Cammer Manual' had gone to. (It wasn't where I'd seen it.)

He immediately got 'in my face', stating rather belligerently that they only sold auto parts and I'd have to get a 'camera' manual somewhere else. He then went in the back to keep from talking with me any further.

I left, thought better of it, and went back in and quietly asked for the manager. We had an extended discussion. The gist was, "You can't get good help." :)

KS