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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me, or does anyone else have this problem with the chain store counter help? I have Autozone about 4 blocks away, and OReillys about half mile away. NAPA closed, as did any decent non chain store near me.
So I go to the Autozone often, and almost every time the counter guys get it wrong. I find myself having to open and go through every part I buy before heading home, or I'll end up back there as soon as I do open it. Today I went over to get a simple thermostat. Told the counter guy I wanted a 170 degree, and of course he needs to know engine, trans, year, what color, etc. Can't get a stat for just a 350 Chevy, as that's not enough info for him. Then he gives me the stat and I get home to put it in and it's another stinking 195 degree stat!
I take it back and tell him he gave me the wrong stat, and he says, "How do you know?" Well I show him where it's stamped on the temp pickup and he says, "Gee I didn't know they were marked?"
So the close by Autozone isn't so close when you make two trips, and have to train the counter help on something as simple as a thermostat! :)
But no sense in driving farther, as OReillys has the twin to this guy.
 

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With Autozone, it's probably best to go to their website and look up the parts yourself so you have their part no. going in. I just took a quick look and the temp. is part of their part no. I have a Car Quest a couple of blocks away with a very good counter guy. The nearest O'Reillys to me has pretty good guys, too. I try not to deal with Napa because I choose to not help sponser a Toyota race team in Nascar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I usually do look up the numbers, as that does work better most the time. I've more than once had them tell me something is a special order item, and I have to tell them their store search said they had it in stock.
Went over the other day for flywheel bolts for the 454 Chevy, and a search revealed Spectre brand were only $4 for a set of 6 bolts and washers. 1/4th the price of any other sets they carried! They gave me the "special order" line, and I gave them the part number, so they found them on the shelf.
 

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I mentioned in another thread that I discovered a new parts store. Not affilated with any of the chains. The two owners are still running the place from the counter and have been there for 37 years, Whoo Hoo! I found a good place finally. MArk L
 

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boy did you strike a nerve. i run my own shop and have to deal with these ex shoprite bagboys/walmart cart pushers everyday. though i have a shop account and don't have to deal with the lip pierced/eyebrow shaved dips%#t at the main counter i still get headaches like 2hr wait for parts because the driver don't start till 10. well i like most shops start at 8. there was a great non chain but he could'nt compete so he moved 20 miles away. hell my wife who i love dearly works part tima at autozone as a driver, if i call and she picks up the phone i hang up because i know when it comes to looking up parts she's as dumb as a stump. one day just for ha ha's i told her i needed a bucket of steam she put me on hold for 5 mins. when she came back she said matt (her manager ) told her to look over by the finnigan repair kits but she could'nt find them either. i could go on for hours. by the way the manager at the local autozone his last job was a manager at shoprite
 

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I had a similar issue calling around for an oilpan gasket for my cousin's 350. I wanted he one-piece thin front seal and no-one knew what I was talking about. Finally I looked up the Felpro numbers and checked to see if they had them in stock and they did for the same price a Summit and I didn't have to order it. I also went through this to get a relay for LED taillights on a Van I fixed. If it's not simple and in the computer - don't rely on them. Even the 'speed shop' guys are becoming idiots. What are we going to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really think the issue is the chain stores seem to be bent on hiring people who just have little or no interest in cars. It's almost as if they're afraid that if they hire gearheads they might want to get a discount on parts, so instead hire non car guys.
In the old days every guy who worked at a parts counter was into cars at some level, and actually understood that certain car parts were interchangeable throughout a particular engine; like SBF or SBC, etc. They didn't need to ask all the stupid questions to get you a fuel filter, as they knew it was specific to a year, make, or model.
Most of them now couldn't tell you how a thermostat works, let alone what cars used the same one. When I told the young guy at the counter that a thermostat didn't care if it was in a Chevy 305 or 454, let alone year or model, he looked at me like I was insane!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So back to the AZ store for a starter. Takes the guy 20 minutes to ring it up after it's already sitting on the counter! He can't figure out how to do the core credit, even after three others show him!
Then I get home and the starter takes way shorter bolts, so back to AZ. The guy says he doesn't have bolts; then says maybe they have them in the back. So he comes out three times with the same bolt I brought with me that's 1.5" too long! Then brings out one that's perfect, but says he only has one. Then scans it in the computer, which says he has two, so he goes back and finds the other one.
If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be hilarious!
 

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So back to the AZ store for a starter. Takes the guy 20 minutes to ring it up after it's already sitting on the counter! He can't figure out how to do the core credit, even after three others show him!
Then I get home and the starter takes way shorter bolts, so back to AZ. The guy says he doesn't have bolts; then says maybe they have them in the back. So he comes out three times with the same bolt I brought with me that's 1.5" too long! Then brings out one that's perfect, but says he only has one. Then scans it in the computer, which says he has two, so he goes back and finds the other one.
If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be hilarious!
Try ordering something from Auto Zone on line and then taking the core to the store for the core credit. That really confuses them.
 

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So back to the AZ store for a starter. Takes the guy 20 minutes to ring it up after it's already sitting on the counter! He can't figure out how to do the core credit, even after three others show him!
Then I get home and the starter takes way shorter bolts, so back to AZ. The guy says he doesn't have bolts; then says maybe they have them in the back. So he comes out three times with the same bolt I brought with me that's 1.5" too long! Then brings out one that's perfect, but says he only has one. Then scans it in the computer, which says he has two, so he goes back and finds the other one.
If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be hilarious!
Try ordering something from Auto Zone on line and then taking the core to the store for the core credit. That really confuses them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I bet it does! I always check the online item and get a part number before going to the store, but since it's about 6 blocks away, I usually go to the store to buy.
 

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When I lived in Springfield, OR I went to Knects. The guy at the counter knew me by name and knew my car. I also had good luck at most Carquest affiliated stores and Napa. What I find causes a lot of problems is when you ask for 351C parts, you keep getting them looking for 351w. Of course they have no clue what either engine is. Want Mopar? Hahahahaha...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have trouble getting a gasket for the pan on a TH350. They keep trying to give me the pan gasket for a 350 Chevy engine!
 
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