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Discussion Starter #1
Didnt know where else to post this since it's service related but, I've recently been hired at a local auto parts store chain. I've never had a job before in the automotive world so I was wondering what are some things that you do and dont like when you go to buy parts? what are your pet peeves? any helpful tips/tricks? keep in mind I'm just the guy behind the counter and not corporate :)
 

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1) Pay attention to the customer as if you care about that person. Acknowledge other customers as they come in but focus on the one you have.
2) Learn how to use your computer so you don't look stupid.
3) Find other sources and keep them in mind for the items that you do not carry.
4) The customers car may be a heap but it is still his car and he came to get your help including knowledge. Be careful not to tell him he is stupid.
 

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Ditto...and...learn your cars! One thing I hate is the way stupid non-car guys setup the computer system, that makes both customer and counter guys look dumb. When I walk into the store and all I need is a set of brake pads, I don't like being asked, "does it have air?", "manual or automatic?"
There are times when a specific part requires that information, but they are rarely inclusive.
Hopefully you aren't working at a store that only has a database going back to 1972 and they have throw out all of their books that cover the earlier years. That drives restorers nuts.
The fact that you are asking the question, is a good sign.
Be pleasant, enjoy your job, congrats, you'll do fine.
 

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What 68RT said and what Norm said. Absolutely.

The other thing is, never pass judgement on their car. Just because you think something is crap, doesn't mean they do.

Oh, and watch out if it's a Chrysler. There are so many gotchas, including three different LeBarons in one year... Sebring Coupe and Convertible being totally different cars with no common parts other than maybe the radios...
 

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And also allow customers to be a source of education. Parts store I stopped by the other day was quite sure ATF+4 is never used for power steering fluid in Chryslers. I tried to tell him, but honestly didn't believe it.
If I am not mistaken, most modern Chryslers recommend ATF+4 for power steering right in the manual I know that's what is in the van and my Car. Oh yeah he also said you could use any old transmission fluid in the Chryslers.. lol Talk about - noooooo.

Just little things like that. The basic common Dos and don'ts with the various manufacturers to help aspiring DIY customers who aren't quite there yet would definitely be a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
some of these I figured but I appreciate your guys input. I am bias for some car brands, but I agree, I hate people who talk to you like youre less of a person cause you drive XYZ brand. I'm trying to learn as much as I can with the Chrysler stuff since most of the other guys are honda/rtoyota and ford & gmc truck guys. No one I've met is a "chrysler" guy
 

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This reminds me: I went to a McDonald's lately and there was a young guy behind the counter who looked me in the eye, welcomed me with the biggest, most sincere smile. He took my order and while I waited for my order kept asking how my day was going, and smiling ear to ear.

I thought it was odd at first, but then I realized this kid really likes his job and really likes people. I left that place with a big smile myself.
 

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Funny thing, customers. Sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong, but either way, people seem to have equal certainty.

What WILL hurt is putting power steering fluid into a transmission, I corresponded for a bit with a very, very angry man who had destroyed his A-604 by doing that. He seemed to believe that because it was OK in the 1950s (PowerFlite presumably), it was OK now.
 

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bumonbox said:
And also allow customers to be a source of education. Parts store I stopped by the other day was quite sure ATF+4 is never used for power steering fluid in Chryslers. I tried to tell him, but honestly didn't believe it.
If I am not mistaken, most modern Chryslers recommend ATF+4 for power steering right in the manual I know that's what is in the van and my Car. Oh yeah he also said you could use any old transmission fluid in the Chryslers.. lol Talk about - noooooo.

Just little things like that. The basic common Dos and don'ts with the various manufacturers to help aspiring DIY customers who aren't quite there yet would definitely be a good thing.
Yep. Some customers do know their vehicles.

When a customer is inquiring about parts, say brake pads, give them all the options - low grade, medium grade or high grade - and let them make the choice. I don't like being told only one price and then have to ask if there are any other grades or options available. And in regards to said brake pads, I hope your store stocks all the grades. Our local NAPA only stocks the cheapest grade - if you want the better and more expensive grades you have to order it and wait one day as it is at the "warehouse" and not stocked locally. Needless to say I don't get my brake pads from NAPA anymore.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
Funny thing, customers. Sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong, but either way, people seem to have equal certainty.

What WILL hurt is putting power steering fluid into a transmission, I corresponded for a bit with a very, very angry man who had destroyed his A-604 by doing that. He seemed to believe that because it was OK in the 1950s (PowerFlite presumably), it was OK now.
And that reminds me, Mopar has specific fluids that MUST be used for transmissions, differentials, diesels, etc. Be SURE that folks aren't buying your store brand generic fluids for their Chrysler. Mopar fluids are dyed so that the techs can quickly ID the wrong fluid application.
Having the wrong color fluid at a major repair time, will void the Chrysler warranty and on older Mopar's simply result in ruined or improperly working components, because of the wrong fluid use.
This is especially important in automatic transmissions, limited slip differentials and in certain New Venture manual transmissions.
 

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Have to agree with everything. Computer control/knowledge of locating parts is very important, used to be looking things up in books. Learn things like engine sizes and whether or not engines were available. Always hate when someone asks what size engine for something simple like a Neon or PT Cruiser when they only had one engine (or turbo engine).
 

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I hate being in a parts store where the staff is much busier answering the phones to give price quotes than serving the people there in person to buy.
 

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Someone who doesn't think I don't know my cars because I'm female. :)
 

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suzq044 said:
Someone who doesn't think I don't know my cars because I'm female. :)
Right-on!
It's ridiculous that my daughters, wife and mother-in law have to feel the need to bring me along whenever they go for service, parts or buy a car, just because of their gender.
There are ditzy blondes in both sexes, my girls have been around wrenches and Jeeps their entire lives and were riding their own ATV's at 18 months. They can hold their own, as can Susan.
 

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Mopars used only specifically rated power steering fluid up until sometime around about 12-15 years ago. Then they started using ATF+4. If you put any ATF fluid into an older car that was designed only for PS fluid, it will attack the rubber seals and ruin the system within weeks or months.

And beware of mechanics who don't know that 1964-1970 Mopars have left-hand thread on the left side lugs.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
Mopars used only specifically rated power steering fluid up until sometime around about 12-15 years ago. Then they started using ATF+4. If you put any ATF fluid into an older car that was designed only for PS fluid, it will attack the rubber seals and ruin the system within weeks or months.

And beware of mechanics who don't know that 1964-1970 Mopars have left-hand thread on the left side lugs.
LH lugs actually go back to at least 1940 on the trucks.
 

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