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Ok! I Confess, Ive Gone Brain Dead At Times...


grumpyvette

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OK! I CONFESS, IVE GONE BRAIN DEAD AT TIMES...

 

 

 

(this is not the dumb part yet)

I gave my son my 2003 avalanche truck, and since his hearing is better than mine , he informs me the truck makes a squeaky noise I can,t hear on accellerating mildly,alittle research reveals a bad U-joint..so off to the auto parts store I go for parts....

now this is the dumb part!!!!!!

 

the closest auto parts is ADVANCE AUTO, I stop there because the next closest auto parts is about 1/2 mile further..DUMB.DUMB!, I know better, but I figured,(HOW CAN THEY SCREW UP HANDING ME A REPLACEMENT PART) ..DUMB.DUMB!,

 

then I COMPOUND the error by buying front and rear brakes...WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN??

 

I go to install the rear brakes...they are the wrong part and won,t fit,(STORE BRAND, LIFETIME GARUANTEE...MADE IN CHINA) so back to the store I go..receipt in hand...the hand me new intirely differant brakes AFTER argueing with me that I had the correct part..even after I insist the SPECIAL order me the DELCO brakes and they look totally differant (and fit once I get back to the shop)then I go to install the front brakes....now Im getting PISSED!!! they are very obviously the wrong part! are you seeing a pattern forming?.....remember, I still need the U-JOINTS so back to the store I go..receipt in hand...the hand me new intirely differant brakes AFTER argueing with me that I had the correct part..even after I insist the SPECIAL order me the DELCO brakes and they look totally differant (and fit once I get back to the shop)

I pull the drive shaft and find BOTH U-JOINTS they sold me are WRONG!!!(they are very obviously the wrong part! are you seeing a pattern forming?..I AM!so back to the store I go..receipt in hand...for a refund...

I go to a differant NAPA auto parts and SURPRIZE! they have the correct parts (made in AMERICA NO LESS )

I think Ive finally come to my sences, and I doubt ILL EVER go bact to ADVANCE AUTO unless I need AGGRAVATION and HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, or feel a need to talk to under paid MORRONS

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Speaking for underpaid morons everywhere, I'd have to say that your experience is pretty typical. Unless you find the one or maybe two people in the store that are actually parts knowledgeable, you're pretty much out of luck. I worked at Advance for 5 years, and they have NO training in place to help new hires learn anything useful about mechanics, yet they offer free battery installation (once again with no training) and wiper blade installation. These two operations seem like the kind of jobs you'd have to be entirely brain dead to screw up, but I had a MANAGER break a windshield while installing blades on a customer's car, and reversed cables wasn't unheard of either. I was ASE parts certified, as were one or two other buddies I worked with, so we spent most of our time helping the other employees figure out how deal with:

"I need this"

"what is it?"

" I don't know, you're the parts guy, I just know it's broken,"

"Look's like a water pump, what's it for?"

"My car."

"..." "Any particular Make or Model?"

"It's a 350."

"what year?"

"doesn't matter, they're all the same."

"Ok sir here you go." (I just handed him a cam driven water pump for an SS impala 350, knowing it wasn't right just because he was a jerk and to prove that they are NOT all the same and it isn't my job to know what kind of car he has, but his) "that'll be $200."

"WTF!? that's not the right pump!"

"But it is for a 350, I thought they were all the same? Would you like to try again with the year and make?"

 

Now, I'm pretty sure that Grumpy isn't THAT customer, but at least 85% of the people who walk in to a store like that ARE. So based on that, if you want to get the right part, make sure you bring it with you to compare, and look for somebody that might know what they are talking about or else you WILL get the wrong part.

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I have found that the local stores are great places to buy packets of shop rags. They also are good places for information, if you just ask the right questions* ("Can you tell me where the closest NAPA store is?")

Hereis a sample of the wrong questions:

Him: "What is it?"

Me: "It's a spark plug wire for a 350 chevy."

Him: "What year?"

Me: "It doesn't matter, just give me a universal kit."

Him:"I need to have the year."

Me: "Just get me a set of plug wires for a small block chevy. I'll have to cut

them to length for my installation."

Him: "What car are they going in?"

Me: "Nissan 300ZX" (This is my biggest mistake! Never tell them the truth)

Him: "I don't think we have wires for a Nissan"

Me: (At last, the right reply) "Er, can you tell me how to find the closest

NAPA store?"

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wow, The following is in no way a bash to MSA,

but...

 

I was on the phone with them ordering floors for my car (1977) and decided to stock up on parts to save on shipping, so I continue to order a cap and rotor for my 83 turbo ZX dizzy. Well the guy is just confused now, asking me if the floors are for a ZX, and if so they would have to order them, and are the headlight covers I want for a ZX as well?

 

obviously not as bad as you guys' experience but i would expect a little more from MSA.

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well advance auto has proven itself worthless to me... all following parts on my Z were wrong: all 6 U-joints, wrong rear drum shoes (9" shoes. They said that I probably had the smaller racing drum brakes) they actually gave me the correct front pads, and bunches of wrong advice...

I never would have thought you would get SMALLER drums to go racing...go figure. I broke down and got some from MSA.

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Guess you guys are shopping at the wrong Advance Auto Parts. You just have to find the "performance guy" when you are asking about cut to fit wires, that way he can ask if you need straight boots, 45 degree boots, or 90 degree boots. Hei style? Oh wait, that's right, everything is the same on all 350 engines. Do you want red, yellow, or blue?

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I don't know if you have them in Florida, but I've had pretty good luck with Baxter Auto Parts (here in Oregon/Washington). But as everybody has already said, you have to know what you're talking about. I usually don't, but they're pretty helpful in asking the right questions to get it narrowed down.

 

Regarding MSA, I have found them to be a great resource for what's available--I usually check their catalog for the "right" part and then go price shopping locally.

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The only time I go to Advance Auto parts is when my other store I go to is not open. I use Car Quest Auto Parts. My brother is the rep. for Filters. They have never done me wrong. I do not know if you have them but they are a dependable / know what they are doing parts store. Give them a try, you will not be disapointed.

 

John

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I really know better, its just that I figured (how can they possiably screw it up!)

Im asking for a stock replacement part on a truck.

 

but those guys could screw up a bowling ball by looking at it!

 

I learned long ago that it was a total waste of time to ask for anything that MIGHT require THOUGHT, like anytime the guy behind the counter has a MULITIPLE choice in head gaskets,oil pan gaskets,etc. , in the computer, your F%^&*&* DOOMED ,if you don,t know the part number and brand you want BEFORE ENTERING THE STORE

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I have pretty good luck with Kragens AutoParts It was just down the street when i was getting my z running they where pretty nice. I first got a fuel pump then i ended up replacing all the rubber fuel lines becuase half of them where rotted to hell. The first time i came in they gave me one free of charge it was pretty awesome. The usually know what there talking about when i goto them and find the part rather quickly. I also like that i can walk around the store and look at stuff without them hasiling me. I usually just like to see what they have so if something breaks i usually know if they have a replacement or not.

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originally posted by grumpyvette: if you don,t know the part number and brand you want BEFORE ENTERING THE STORE

 

That's the only way to shop in the aftermarket, and that's the sad truth unfortunately. Especially when you are dealing with engine swaps or general part interchanges for a particular model. However, from experience, with over 600 different models of car on the road available to choose from, expecting a high school/ college kid that is only there for the money and the discount to know everything about everything is asking a little much. The days when every part was interchangeable with everything else in a given manufacturer's lineup have been gone for about 20 years. If you expect to get the right stuff, you have to know exactly what you have, and most times, you have to know exactly the part number as well. If somebody would step up to the plate and design a better electronic parts catalog, most of those problems that arise from model to model variations in head gasket, brake pad style etc. would go away. Nobody know if they have JB1 or JB5 brakes on a 1986 chevy celebrity, but it's possible they have either one, and you can't use one in place of the other. Nobody with a 91-93 Honda Accord knows if Akebono or Nissen built their brake calipers, but you can't use the pads from one in the other. At the dealership level, we have a VIN input system that allows you to run the VIN and eliminate any extrenious options from your selection process, but niether the TRIAD (old Discount Auto Parts system) or APAL (current Advance Auto Parts system) allow that feature. What TRIAD DID have that the "upgraded" APAL did not was a year range for every part that would give you an idea what model years a certain part would fit, which would help a lot when trying to play the mix and match game with dirt track racers and hot rodders. The reason Napa employees seem so much more knowledgeable is because the ARE. They are required to get ASE certified to keep their jobs, whereas Advance Auto Parts employees are ENCOURAGED to get certified (they pay for the test). Napa stuff costs more, so if you can do the homework yourself, you can get the same stuff at a better price from some of the other parts stores.

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Guess you guys are shopping at the wrong Advance Auto Parts. You just have to find the "performance guy" when you are asking about cut to fit wires, that way he can ask if you need straight boots, 45 degree boots, or 90 degree boots. Hei style? Oh wait, that's right, everything is the same on all 350 engines. Do you want red, yellow, or blue?

 

Theres a guy at our Advance I like to go to. I brought in my intake gasket which they didn't even sell. But he looked at it and said, "You running Dart heads?" I had to pull my bottom jaw up because I've always had bad experience with parts guys.

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haha yeah i noticed that too.

 

Don't you wish they would turn all of the computer terminals around the other way and have it so that we the people would enter the parts numbers in at our own free will and tell the parts guys behind the counter what to get?

 

Can you imagine such a thing? It would be nothing short of revolutionary! Imagine getting back those frustrating minutes of your life, while enjoying the liberty of picking the part you know is right so that you can continue your pursuit of happiness working on your car!

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After 7 years of working in parts, i've come up with this simple rule: IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST GO HOME WITH THE RIGHT PART, BE SURE AND BRING THE OLD ONE WITH YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE, AND THEN COMPARE IT TO THE ONE YOU ARE BUYING RIGHT THERE IN THE STORE!

That way, there is no one to blame in the event of a mix up, and you don't have to go through the unpleasant back and forth several times, only to bring the part to the store after all.

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Too funny. Especially about turning around the terminal.

 

I guess I got lucky. They guys at the local Advanced Auto and Autozone are actually pretty good. Especially with an old car with so many mixed and matched parts. I have better luck at the local chain stores than I have at the Toyota dealers. Those bastards won't sell you anything without a VIN number first, and the Toyota computer has my VIN listed as the wrong year. Every time I go in there they insist on selling me the part that matches the VIN, and every single time I have to take it back and get something from the earlier year.

 

Definitely bring in the part, or at least several very clear digital photos. Kind of tough when the bad part is something like the back O2 sensor on a V6 minivan.

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Well, I went to napa to get a changeover ujoint. 1350 to a 1310 for my mudbog truck cause I heard that they had them in stock. The factory sales rep was there too doing a sales call. The owner, Frank, did some measurements, pulled out a slide chart, hummed, ho'd and ha'd and said they didn't make what I needed according to his chart.

 

Ok, so the sales rep looks at it and says to frank, "I think we make it, but you need the new book we have, I don't have one but I'll send you one".

 

Ok, so off I go to albuquerque to U-joints Inc, which is 75 miles one way. Take my driveline and yoke and tell him what I'm trying to do. He says, you want the change over u-joint or a new driveline yoke, same price $38 and then you can use a standard ujoint. Bingo, bought the yokes and new u-joints for the front and the back, to change to a 1350 in the back and a 1310 in the front, so now even autozone and napa can't screw it up.

 

Then he tells me that the ujoints are just in different series with either inner or outer clips, simple, and they make change over u-joints in many applications and gives me a card to call them. I can order over the phone, and they'll ship it to me ups.

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