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Preferred bricks-n-mortar parts stores: Poll

  • Advance Auto Parts

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • AutoZone

    Votes: 4 17.4%
  • Car Quest

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NAPA

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • O'Reilly

    Votes: 10 43.5%
  • Pep Boys

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the Above (see comments)

    Votes: 6 26.1%
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm confining this to brix-n-mortar shops because until we get Star Trek-like teleportation, sometimes the fastest way to get common parts is to go to the store to buy 'em. Also, it's hard to compare directly b&m with online vendors.

"None of the Above" can be for ones I may have left out that aren't in the Midwest (and never heard of), or online-only users.
 

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Would you consider the dealership parts counter as 'None of the Above'? Sometimes that is the only source for a new OEM part that has no OEM equivalent elsewhere.
I do price-shop and have saved money. FCA does not set dealer parts prices, only a 'suggested' list price that few dealers observe. Senior citizens, preferred customers and ex-military should get 10% off.
We all like to see a Mopar oil filter there in case it has to go in for service. It leaves a good impression using 'factory parts' and that makes me feel better too.
 

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In my case, my nearest Chrysler dealer is a little one in Pocomoke City MD, about a 50 min each way drive. Then I have to go to Salisbury MD for a bigger one. That is 1 1/2 hours each way, I can get to one in Norfolk VA in a little over an hour, but that also involves an $18 round trip toll. I have an on-line dealership I have bought a number of OEM parts for my antique convertible from, service is good, shipping fast and my only real complaint is if I order several items, example the return springs for the 1989 Lebaron coupe parking brake shoes I am using on the rear of the 1986 convertible, I was charged a shipping charge on each PN even though the were ordered the same time.

The reason I chose AutoZone, we only have three parts stores in my area, one is Napa, one is AutoZone and the third is now affiliated with Auto Value, and I really don't like their parts quality. Oil filters, Walmart did carry MOPAR filters, but their current look up machine tries to push Fram. I was getting my MOPAR filters for our 2005 T&C there along with Castrol 5W-20 oil.
 

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I would never buy any parts at Autozone, after my experiences there. They once sold me a used oil pan as new. It was too late by the time I discovered, I had the old pan off and had to get the car running again the next day. But it had thick irregular globs of paint all dripped down the front, the drain plug was partially stripped, and within a few months it scabbed badly, showing a thick layer of rust underneath all that thick paint.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Would you consider the dealership parts counter as 'None of the Above'? Sometimes that is the only source for a new OEM part that has no OEM equivalent elsewhere.
I do price-shop and have saved money. FCA does not set dealer parts prices, only a 'suggested' list price that few dealers observe. Senior citizens, preferred customers and ex-military should get 10% off.
We all like to see a Mopar oil filter there in case it has to go in for service. It leaves a good impression using 'factory parts' and that makes me feel better too.
Yes, for the purposes of this survey, Mopar dealers would be "None of the Above." I can't find a way to edit the thread title to include the word "aftermarket."

I remember a warning from an instructor on the value of a second pair of eyes for proofreading: "They read what you wrote. You read what you think you wrote. :p

Mopar would be my first choice except for cost and convenience. When I had my Dodge Aries, the local C-P dealer was the only place to get a replacement hinge/latch for the driver's seat recliner (so the seat back would stop collapsing). That was over 20 years ago; I don't know how far back (car's age) they can go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I would never buy any parts at Autozone, after my experiences there. They once sold me a used oil pan as new. It was too late by the time I discovered, I had the old pan off and had to get the car running again the next day. But it had thick irregular globs of paint all dripped down the front, the drain plug was partially stripped, and within a few months it scabbed badly, showing a thick layer of rust underneath all that thick paint.
:eek: Remanufactured oil pans...how exciting.

I don't remember where I saw it (not on Allpar according to the search I just ran) but somebody on a vehicular forum referred to AutoZone as "Uh-oh-Zone." I replaced the starter in my '74 T&C with one from A.Z., only to have it quit in about...what was that, three months? I don't remember, but it went stone dead last year in a parking lot on one of those June days when the temperature and humidity have the same number. I had to have the car (loaded to the GVWR with a bunch of stuff I was taking to the house I just bought) towed to a reputable shop where the mechanics are old enough to remember these beasts when they were common - and how to get parts for them. Wherever they got the starter, it seems much better...but now my car sounds like a Ford when it starts up. :(
 

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I had an alternator from Autozone fail, and it had a lifetime warranty. Amazingly, they could not find my warranty info after about 5 years, although they could find every item before and since the purchase. So it was not covered. They gave me 3 bad alternators in a row for replacements. Each one was a 'rebuilt', which does NOT include replacing bad bearings. One failed after 200 miles, one after only 75 miles. All worked electrically, but all failed mechanically. Finally I bought a new one, which they said was only $10 more than rebuilt.
It wasn't just the bad parts, it was all the wasted time swapping out 4 alternators, and the anxiety of hearing it moaning, and wondering if I'd make it home from work - 40 mile ride.
 
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Got parts?
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CarQuest was recently bought by Advance.

When I'm in Michigan, an Auto Value affiliate is occasionally the only store that has parts in stock for my '92 Dakota. Here in central Texas, A-Line is a local chain that often has the best prices and a good selection. I'm guessing that these would fall under the "None of the Above" category.

There used to be far more independent parts stores (Dale's and Van's in Austin alone). Now, most are chain outlets.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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For most parts (spark plugs, brake pads, rotors, oil, filters, etc) I patronize my local Advance Auto retailer - it's only a mile away. I generally don't use parts from Auto Zone. Both Advance Auto and AutoZone are within a mile of my house. NAPA is 10 miles away so I generally don't go there though they are the only one that has the coolant I need (Zerex G05). When I asked about G05 at Advance Auto the clerk (an older gentleman) gave me the deer in the headlight look and told me he never heard of it. They still don't stock it.

I agree with Imperial. Some parts such as O2 sensors & EGR's, I prefer to get from the dealer. The first time I had to replace the EGR in my Ram it was a dealer part only. It lasted for about 190,000 miles. I replaced that one with a EGR from Advance Auto. It barely lasted a year. I'll be going back to the dealer even though the dealer price is twice as much as the part from Advance Auto ($95 vs $40).
 

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KOG
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If it's pricey and I don't need it today Rock Auto is always an option.

Oddity: my local Chrysler dealer has a wholesale website where I can order stuff to pickup at their parts counter, but they refuse to give me that price if I go to the parts counter to order it. I used to have a wholesale account with them ,they changed owners and won't let me have that account now, but anyone can order on their website.

Who knows.
 

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mainly oriley because they are the closest...autozone is a 50/50 if the parts last....napa is over priced and think they sell top of line parts yet they dont......but majority of parts i buy is online unless its an emergency. rockauto to get part numbers and amazon to get them in 2 days if in a hurry or (most of the time) cheaper then rockauto for same part after shipping. i save a ton on parts just from the free shipping on amazon
 

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For my newer cars, I use the dealer when it comes to parts, but the dealer carries almost nothing for my older cars. The local dealer can't even change oil my 318s since they don't stock the common oil filters used on LA, B, RB and slant six engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
...but somebody on a vehicular forum referred to AutoZone as "Uh-oh-Zone." I replaced the starter in my '74 T&C with one from A.Z., only to have it quit in about...what was that, three months? I don't remember, but it went stone dead last year....
Just looked it up in my records (away from home when I wrote what's above). The AutoZone starter lasted two months and change.
Interestingly, the master cylinder O'Reilly lists for my T&C is identical (well, the photos, anyway) to the A1 Cardone brand at Rock Auto. Comparable price too.
 

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Having worked for both Autozone and Advance in the past, I don't do business with either unless that's the ONLY place I can find a part that I immediately need. I do most of my business with O'Reilly nowadays unless I can find what I need online at Amazon or eBay. I know first hand of the crappy electrical parts both Autozone and Advance carry and refuse to purchase anything electrical from either one. I don't like dealership prices, but sometimes that's the only place that may have what I need and then I bite the bullet.
 

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I like the dealership.

Aftermarket, I like Fisher, then Napa. Their online catalogs are good. O'Reilly has good people, but their online catalog sucks.
 

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I worked at AutoZone for about 9 months. While I didn't see a lot of returns of shoddy parts, I didn't care for the corporate culture of up-selling on every sale. I do like their DuraLast Flex wiper blades, though.
 

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KOG
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Note that all of the major vendors sell many of the identical parts. It often comes down to who has it in stock and the price. For starters and alternators I normally use a local truck parts house with a rebuilder on site. They can also do driveshafts, hydraulic and A/C hoses, and have a much larger inventory of real truck parts than any of the car parts places.
 

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Mostly dealer parts if I can. If not, then NAPA or Advance auto. NAPA store has the NAPA warehouse next to it so most parts can be had within a hour. Also liked Fisher but none are near me anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think it's interesting that NAPA hasn't gotten more votes, although it might be due to the small sample size.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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I think it's interesting that NAPA hasn't gotten more votes, although it might be due to the small sample size.
The nearest NAPA is 10 miles away while AA and AZ are about 1 mile from my house. It's more a matter of convenience. NAPA is the only one of the three that carries HOAT coolant. AA/AZ haven't a clue what HOAT is.
 
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