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Favorite parts store?

Old 01-24-2019, 11:06 AM
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Default Favorite parts store?

Hi, was looking for some opinions on where to shop for the best parts! I like spend the little extra for quality but hate when it's the same thing as the cheaper one. Wondering where other people go to find and fill all their xj needs! Whether it be adavanced auto,AutoZone or O'Rileys ECT. Or if you just like online what sites! Really appreciate it guys! Hopefully this Sparks some interesting conversation!
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:44 AM
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I've tried most of the stores around here. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to the people behind the counter (and ultimately that's a reflection of management).

NAPA: I had an account at NAPA for the last 25 years (still do), but after a rash of bad parts 12 yrs ago, and staff turn-over ...and my stores getting out of "Paint" supplies, and not doing any brake turning, I looked elsewhere. The thing that always bugged me with Napa is they used to be the WORST when it came to returning items bought a while ago, or warranty returns. At least the local stores I went to (they were part of a 'group'). They'd give a big Sighhhh, roll their eyes and make ya come up with a receipt and tap away on the computer like you ruined their day. And here I was a regular account customer buying a few thousand of $ of parts a yr. It wasn't always like that, but often. Always pi$$ed me off. I still go there from time to time. But the store I used to go to has turned over a lot of people. They still have very knowledgable staff. One thing too, the store I used to go to had a good inventory, but at one point in time they cut way back ...and used to hear a lot of "we can have it tomorrow". Well, when you're working on a vehicle, often you need to get it out and going right away.

Autozone: So then I went to Autozone. The brake parts I bought always worked and didn't come pre-warped (like the NAPA rotors). One time I causally mentioned to the counter guy ...some previously purchased part that died on me (which I wasn't re-buying at the moment), and the counter guy looked up my part, verified I bought it, and CREDITED me for it on the spot!! Really blew me away ...coming from years of NAPA harassment. He was telling me I shouldn't have to pay for it and gave me credit no questions asked, no receipt, didn't even need to see the part in question. I wasn't even *asking* for a credit, I had just mentioned it as a side conversation. So I started buying more and more stuff at Autozone and they were my go-to store for years.

Problem with my Autozone is they're located in one of the most dangerous parts of our town (were the MOST murders and drug deals take place) ...there seem to always bee scary-looking dudes in there ..and questionabl people changing parts in the parking lot. I've also been approached by scammers in the parking lot. Their stores are the diriest-looking too. For that reason alone, I just HATE going there. What I DO like about Autozone is you can go to just about any store in the U.S. and they have you on file and can warranty parts, ...or buy the same item again. And they have a frequent-buyer bonus program ...although it's kind of hard to use. Also good website. The downside is their staff knows little and a lot of turnover. You almost never see the same person twice!! That just reflects on the corporate attitude and values towards pay and retention. Something else, when you call and you tell them you're coming to get a part, they never set it aside like they claim to on the phone. So when you get there you have to go through the whole 'look-up' process again. But b/c they're in a lousy area I'm sure they get a lot of tire-kickers who never show up for what they say.

O'Reily's: Then I started going to O'Reilys. O'Reilys is more of a 'real part's store' compared to Autozone. They turn rotors and drums, and have a much more trained and knowledgeable staff ...at least here at the stores I go to. The stores I go to have had almost no turn-over for years. They are just as good at returns as Autozone ..maybe even better. Get this: last fall I had them set aside Rotor and pads I was going to pick up. When I got there I mentioned to the guy that for whatever reason the rotors seem to rust up abnormally quick. He says, "Hmmmmm, well, let's see when you bought the last set..." He looks it up and it was like 1.5 yrs ago. He said, do you have your old rotors with you? (I didn't). He said, if you bring them in, I'll put them on the lathe and not charge you ...which he did as he said. That blew me away. Now, bear in mind, I already had the replacement rotors I was going to buy sitting on the counter underneath my arms...I was practically reaching for my credit card ...meaning he actually sold less product to me. BUT, man, gestures like that make me want to go back and back again. Another nice thing about O'Reily's is they share inventory across stores (a lot of parts stores do that), but they have trucks running a route 3x-4x a day from the warehouse. SO, if you call and they don't have something, they can organize it with the truck and get it sometimes in an hour or two ..depending on where the route truck is. That's amazing! And they don't make you buy it before bringing it from the warehouse (or another store). Their parts are as good as anyones, and sometimes they have pretty amazing tool deals too. They have a better 'Rewards' program and if it expires, I've had the counter people call the HQ's renew it for me and give me the credit. Hey ...$20 discount is $20. With Autozone, you just lose the reward entirely if you don't use it (unless they changed it recently). Also, O'Reily's seem to have the cleanest and neatest stores in our area. So, for a while now, I'm a solid O'Reily's customer.

Advance Auto: Well, here they have nice stores, but their prices are terrible. The stores in our area are clean and organized but not very busy. But buying online, they have a great website and it's actually better to buy online (usually a good discount) and pick up at the store. One annoying thing I've experienced, is, on a couple occasions, they couldn't look up what I bought in the store ..and were kind of reluctant to even look. They even told me w/o the receipt, it was hard to find the item. I probably have the receipt, but for a $20 part I'll have $25 in time just to locate the damn receipt. If you buy online you can go and find yer order number (by looking yourself!), and with the order number they could look it up and gave me the warranty. But w/o me finding my own order number, I was on my own. They didn't make me feel awkward when I went into the store to get a replacement warranty part, which is good. That's why I buy online with Advance more than in the store. Their shipping is really inexpensive and quick (my experience). Almost next day!

Amazon: For buying certain hard parts, it's hard to beat Amazon price and selection, IMO. Rock Auto shipping will kill ya, but Amazon has hard to find items and reasonable or 'free' shipping. Sometimes good deals too.

Ebay: I buy a fair amt of parts off ebay, especially emission-related parts, or hard to find items. Sellers are often 1/2 or even 1/3 of what a parts store sells for. Sometimes you can find a part for pennies on the dollar! Fortunately, I haven't had to return many items.

Rock Auto: Were it not for heavy shipping charges (due to multiple warehouses), I'd order more from them. But as it is, in my experience they often turn out to be rather expensive. Sometimes ya can work it out and get a lot of items for a bigger job and they work out better. But for me, it's rare. I know guys who swear by them, and they DO have a lot of items and a fast and reasonable website.

Walmart: I buy select items like Walmart's synthetic oil and synthetic gear lube, and often Tires.

GM/Mopar: I have business accounts at 2x Chrysler dealerships and 1 GM dealer (one of the Jeep dealers also has a GM dealership. This is a great way to go. Then you get a 20% discount on parts and also discounted service (that I don't often use) compared to a walk-in customer. If you buy parts off their websites, they work out to about the same as the dealer part's discount, but, it's nice if you need a part quick, or have them look up a tricky part. Plus, they have the best price on ATF+4, which is expensive. And if a part doesn't fit, you don't have to screw around with return shiping. I also like the parts guys at one Chrylser dealership. People really do make a difference! I used to have a Ford account, but not anymore (no Fords for a long time).

Ecklers: Best selection of Corvette parts, and best catalog ...prices are where they should be. A lot of guys bad-mouth them but I've always had great experiences. They also sell parts for other classic cars/trucks. Corvette America would be 2nd best in my book.

Quadratec: I've always had good experiences. Their tech guys have been able to answer my questions. But they should watch the 'swearing' on the phone! That's a rule someone should enforce ..not so much for me, but you never know who yer going to get on the other end.

I NEVER buy oil products or filters at ANY part's store. That's where they make their money ..and LOTS of it (off oil and consumables). Go to a local Farm & Barn and buy that stuff at 40% less. Napa would be the exception ...their Silver and Gold line filters are quality WIX products and they are reasonably priced in most circumstances. For years I bought Napa oil (Valvoline). When you have a business account, you get the discount, and therefore the price isn't too bad. And as I mentioned, MOPAR around here can sell from their bulk barrel (unless you're looking for a QT ..then it isn't worth their time). Once I went down to get 10 qts of Trans fluid and they gave it to me in milk jugs!! (cleaned of course). It's a small town FCA dealership so they can do that stuff. Plus, with a parts account, you can get away with asking the mechanics some tech questions (which I used to do more of back in the 'old days'). I drive out of my way to go to our FCA dealership. They're great to work with.

Love to hear your guys' stories!!

Last edited by Jeepwalker; 01-24-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:17 PM
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Rockauto and Amazon every time Iíve ever ordered parts especially multiple items have by far been the cheapest and usually despite shipping charges within a few dollars of each other . I do not set foot in a big box parts store anymore unless itís last resort . Rockauto and Amazon are often 2-3 even 10 times cheaper than locally sourced parts and thatís after shipping . I order a LOT of parts online in a strong believer in Rockauto because their system is the most user friendly for finding parts and I collect the magnets lol and eBay simply takes too long for an order to get processed and parts get shipped so I donít even waste my time with them most the time .

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Old 01-24-2019, 12:55 PM
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Jeepwalker love the response very in depth man! Ever done pep boys? Hadn't heard to much until recently I really appreciate the help!
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:33 PM
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You're welcome. Remember those are *MY* experiences with local parts stores (and internet), and it really does come down to individual stores and the people.

Pepboys: We don't have any near us. But I have been there when on the road. I really don't have enough experience to form an opinion though.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:52 PM
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I'm one that shops around I know what I want most of the time. comes down to who can get me the part and the cost! and as stated counter people will make or break a deal my local go to Parts plus has one counter person that if he answers the phone the deal is done before it started! some are just not parts people!
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:36 PM
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I like Advance because you can get 20% off when you order online, then you can pick it up in the store in an hour. I go to Autozone and Orileys also, I rarely use NAPA. Online I have had great customer service from 1A auto, I use Rock Auto as well put I don't like paying shipping, EBay is good also if you know what you are looking for.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:03 AM
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My experiences in my area pretty much mirrors Jeepswalkers. When im shopping for a part i pull up all the parts stores webites along with Amazon and RockAuto and bounce prices and brands back and forth.

I just replaced all of my cooling system hoses with gates hoses last week. Rock Auto was 40 dollars cheaper than any local store and even beat out Amazon by about that much even with free Amazon shipping factored in

The urgency to get the part also plays a part.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:20 PM
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Default Possibly being over charged.

Hi guys. i am fairly new to this forum but have been researching Cherokees for a little bit now. I recently went to an off road shop and inquired about a build sheet and pricing for the Cherokee. after the build sheet and quote was in my hand i couldn't help but feel like they may be over charging me for parts. i haven't put a deposit down yet. but i was hoping that there were some professionals in here that could lend me an eyes and give a second opinion on this pricing.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:28 PM
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I only have two in town and cant drive to any others..Juneau is like an island..no way in or out unless boat or plane.

Napa,,,way over priced cause they know the ordeal here.
Orileys,,,never have what you need,, have to order..and then its junk what they get..

internet is what I use..
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:59 AM
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I have a Napa and an Advanced Auto in my town. Used to be dedicated to Napa cause the car club I belong to used to get 10% and I tried to support the little guy. After 5 straight trips in of not having what i needed from bolts, sockets, bulbs to parts and hearing we can order it and get it next day or two. So i now go to Advance where if they do no have an item it can be tranferred same day for pick up. i go to Amazon and Rock. for things i can wait for. In my eyes Napa is looking prime for a buy out in the years to come.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:11 PM
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NAPA for my filters and hard to find fastners.
Wally World or Rual King for oil, washer fluid and antifreez.
RockAuto for big items, rotors, shocks and the like.
Advanced Auto for wiper blades, starters and pumps because of the easy return policy.
1A does have some harder to source parts with decent prices and fast shipping.

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Old 02-02-2019, 02:15 PM
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What I miss are the old-school local, full-service parts stores that had knowledgeable people behind the counter who weren't limited to what shows up on the computer screen. They'd usually have the old reference books too and would help match up new parts with your old ones. Places like that frequently would also have machine shop facilities and could make or rebuild hydraulic and AC hoses. Not many of those left, but there's one about 15 miles away that I like to patronize when I can get out there.
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