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Discussion Starter #1
There's a bad grinding noise on left turns now in my Spirit coming from the front end (different from the other noise that I posted about a couple of days ago). I park in a garage when I commute, so there are some tight turns I have to negotiate, and this morning it seemed like something was locking up or not wanting to rotate in the turn. I'm suspecting the bearing, is this likely? RockAuto has SKF's on sale for $20.

Surprinsingly, the bearing possibly going bad was installed in mid-May and has less than 5k on it. Not surprisingly, it's a Duralast. Also not surprisingly, AutoZone refused to help me out in any way, shape or form. I explained to the... individual... at the store that the bearing sat on a shelf for 9 months while I was in school in Virginia and that the car was up on blocks, and he informed me that he "needed to get back to work", at which point I hung up the phone. I understand that warranties are warranties, but there is absolutely no reason that ANY bearing should fail this quickly. This is on the heels of the air conditioning compressor clutch coil that melted and almost caused a fire under the hood (that the 16-year-old behind the counter informed me that "had no warranty" and again, refused to help me with). I will not be shopping at AutoZone again, and I encourage others on this forum to do the same. The parts are clearly of vastly sub-par quality (as others have noted), and the employees are consistently rude and unhelpful (again, this is not the first time that I have gotten bad customer service at AutoZone. Warranties, again, are warranties, but there is a right way and a wrong way of dealing with the customer regardless). I figured that, considering the reputation they had gained in the past for bad parts, they might have improved their lines. Clearly, I was wrong. The best ways a consumer can influence the market are with his wallet and his word, and until I see clear evidence that AutoZone has improved, they will be getting none of my business and I will be recommending that others avoid them.
 

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It sure sounds like bearing noise. For it to fail that soon, it is either a bad part or the torque was set incorrectly. My bet is on a bad part.
 

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I never buy parts at Autozone anymore, other than light bulbs and wipers, etc; and fluids. They once sold me what I'm convinced is a junkyard oil pan as new. It peeled, rusted and scabbed within 5 months; had heavy overspray and drips/runs of paint on the outside; and had a partially stripped, oversized drain plug. But once it's in place and not leaking, there's not much incentive to take it off, have the vehicle out of service while you fight to prove they lied.

Regarding their warranties: I once had a lifetime warranty on an alternator with them, bought in 1999 for my 1992 Daytona. I went back for a replacement when it failed in 2005 with noisy bearings. They could not find the warranty info, despite finding earlier and later warranty items in their system. Searched via every address and phone number I had, no luck. So I had to buy a reman alternator. It failed for noisy bearings 2,000 miles later. Another reman under the 'new' warranty failed for noisy bearings in 900 miles. This time I insisted that they give me a NEW alternator, which cost me $10 more to upgrade.

I saved that alternator out of the car and 4 years later when the field windings were intermittent on my 1993 Daytona, I used the alternator from the '92 as the warranty return. I did this because they had burned me so many times, and because the spare alternator seized up, just being stored on a shelf for 4 years. Again they could not find the warranty info from 2005, and they then confessed the reason why: Autozone only saves your warranty info locally, on the server in the shop where you bought the part. They do NOT transfer the data to any corporate server or back it up, and worse, on a rolling basis every 2 years, they DELETE the warranty info. So if you don't hold on to your (fading, heat transfer printed) receipt, or scan it and keep an electronic copy, you're out of luck.

I was able to argue with them and show them the Duralast label on the alternator, and they did find the previous defect returns on the system, so they grudgingly agreed to honor the warranty. But they will never get that business again.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
You know, I was thinking of that oil pan story when I wrote that, Bob. The alternator one is good info too, I think they move a lot of those. Not to mention the employees at my local store are completely unprofessional. I've been in there later at night because I needed something in a pinch, and the MANAGER was strolling around the store screaming profanities-- not at anything or anyone in particular, i.e. "Look at all these ------- manuals! Look at how many we have!" and throwing parts around ("I'm 'a DROPKICK this ------------! HAHAHA!"). I stood at the counter for probably five minutes pretending to be interested in wheel bearing grease before the manager saw me and got one of the employees to help me ("Hey, we have a ------- customer, stop ------- off and go ring him the ---- up!") I'm very difficult to offend or make uncomfortable, but I certainly didn't want to be in that store right then. And to think that this store apparently breaks $1M in sales, according to one employee.

So we have one on the wheel bearing. Any other thoughts?
 

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Probably a bearing, but just for grins, jack up the front end, pull the wheel off, and rotate the hub. See if you can feel anything. Turn left and try to rotate the wheel by hand. Do the same with the right side. And with the tires on both front wheels, grab each tire at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions while elevated and tug, try to find play in them. If there is play, it's either a tie rod or the bearing. If it's a tie rod, you can see it clunk in and out as you pull. If no tie rod motion, it's almost certainly the bearing.

A CV joint should be more of a clunking than a grinding.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will do. I did a "quick-n-dirty" check of the bearing while the car was on the ground by pushing on the top (works for the rears) and got nothing. I'll jack it up tonight and see what's up.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
I never buy parts at Autozone anymore, other than light bulbs and wipers, etc; and fluids. They once sold me what I'm convinced is a junkyard oil pan as new. It peeled, rusted and scabbed within 5 months; had heavy overspray and drips/runs of paint on the outside; and had a partially stripped, oversized drain plug. But once it's in place and not leaking, there's not much incentive to take it off, have the vehicle out of service while you fight to prove they lied.

Regarding their warranties: I once had a lifetime warranty on an alternator with them, bought in 1999 for my 1992 Daytona. I went back for a replacement when it failed in 2005 with noisy bearings. They could not find the warranty info, despite finding earlier and later warranty items in their system. Searched via every address and phone number I had, no luck. So I had to buy a reman alternator. It failed for noisy bearings 2,000 miles later. Another reman under the 'new' warranty failed for noisy bearings in 900 miles. This time I insisted that they give me a NEW alternator, which cost me $10 more to upgrade.

I saved that alternator out of the car and 4 years later when the field windings were intermittent on my 1993 Daytona, I used the alternator from the '92 as the warranty return. I did this because they had burned me so many times, and because the spare alternator seized up, just being stored on a shelf for 4 years. Again they could not find the warranty info from 2005, and they then confessed the reason why: Autozone only saves your warranty info locally, on the server in the shop where you bought the part. They do NOT transfer the data to any corporate server or back it up, and worse, on a rolling basis every 2 years, they DELETE the warranty info. So if you don't hold on to your (fading, heat transfer printed) receipt, or scan it and keep an electronic copy, you're out of luck.

I was able to argue with them and show them the Duralast label on the alternator, and they did find the previous defect returns on the system, so they grudgingly agreed to honor the warranty. But they will never get that business again.
WOW!!!!! - Fading Heat transfer printed Warranty -thats correct !!!! _ I used to WORK @ Autozone 12 years ago -- It was quite a Exhilirating & Harassing experience . Customer service IS a tough feild to get used to, but having sub-standard parts is a bad excuse.. They WORK you to Death @ autozone ,expecting you to answer EVERY phone CALL coming in @ wait on your poor customer in line with returns/queries . And Many times - you skip your lunch to acommodate some other Employyees schedule. And Have rotating /shifting hours . So you say BOB LINCOLN they Delete your Warranty info every 2 years -hmm sounds expectable _ I had a REally hard time returning some strut Mounts I bought for my 86 Lebaron -I had in storage for 3 years or so - did get credit back though~ took me 45 minutes to go through all the paper work .. Just my opinion as one on the other side of the counter - as a Autozoner for 14 months!!!
 

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I'm an ex zone employee too. Worked for them for five years as I enjoyed driving upper management nuts. I'd help customers in the parking lot and on the counter too. If we didn't have the part, I'd call competitors and if they had it, send the customer that way. Managers all would tell me to stop doing that and I won't repeat what I would tell the manager. I was PSM and they kept wanting me to become a store manager for them and I repeatedly turned it down. After five years, I got sick of their policies and quit. No regrets on that day at all. Went to work for Advance and lasted one year there before telling them to put it where the sun doesn't shine. I don't shop at either place for parts now, except filters. I still buy the Purolators from Advance. I try my best not to support the zone at all. WITTDTJR!
 

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chuzz said:
I'm an ex zone employee too. Worked for them for five years as I enjoyed driving upper management nuts. I'd help customers in the parking lot and on the counter too. If we didn't have the part, I'd call competitors and if they had it, send the customer that way. Managers all would tell me to stop doing that and I won't repeat what I would tell the manager. I was PSM and they kept wanting me to become a store manager for them and I repeatedly turned it down. After five years, I got sick of their policies and quit. No regrets on that day at all. Went to work for Advance and lasted one year there before telling them to put it where the sun doesn't shine. I don't shop at either place for parts now, except filters. I still buy the Purolators from Advance. I try my best not to support the zone at all. WITTDTJR!
WOW!!!!!! -you got some guts --- CHUZZ
 

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Thanks, chilibowl. But I don't really think it was guts. I was raised to treat people the way I want to be treated. If I'm in a position to help someone, then I'll do what I can. I had a lot of loyal customers that would wait for me to help them, rather than let someone else wait on them. The store in Kingsport, TN lost a lot of business after I left. I had a manager call me and ask me to come back. I told him unless he was willing to pay me a grand a week, there was no way. Last time I ever heard from him!
 
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