Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

AC Delco parts availability and marketing strategy?

Sometimes I really prefer to buy OEM parts for my Pontiac like batteries, filters, plugs, brakes, etc. It just seems like they have the craziest marketing scheme though and availability. I can get AC oil filters at Walmart but not at NAPA or the other major parts places. I got a Delco battery at one Carquest out of town but not others within 35 miles of me. The only way I can get Delco brake pads and rotors is to order from Rockauto. To get a Delco alternator I have to either order it or go to a Delco place 45 miles from here. I know I can go to the dealer but I also don’t like to spend twice the price. Wouldn’t one think that they’d like to have some of the major auto chains carry the full Delco line of parts and maintenance items instead of hit and miss? Just seems strange.

Then if you go to their website, it is a convoluted mess trying to find the part number of a part for a particular car. Plus thrown in are repair shops instead of parts places and non-Delco parts. It is just a crazy experience just trying to find a place within 50 miles where you can get a Delco part at a reasonable price. I just don’t get it. For a while they tried to dump all of the non-dealer places, then all of a sudden places like Walmart started carrying oil filters but not air filters.

Maybe someone can shed some like on what those folks are thinking or maybe they aren’t even GM anymore or OEM suppliers.

Bing, Yesterday I Ordered OEM AC Delco Iridium Spark Plugs And An OEM AC Delco Plug Wire Set For My Bonneville, From Advance Auto Parts, And Picked Them Up At The Store Less Than An Hour Later. My Local Store Is Great !

I order on line before pick-up to utilize discount codes. I saved huge (almost 40%).

Funny, but I don’t think they stock AC filters. I buy mine from Wal-Mart, too or use Mobil-1 filters if I buy Sale Packages at Advance. I usually buy my Mobil-1 Extended Performance oil there or Wal-Mart.


GM spun AC Delco off years ago…The company was split up, perhaps dozens of parts suppliers licensed to use the AC-Delco brand…

"In 1985, GM purchased Hughes Aircraft and merged it with Delco Electronics to form Hughes Electronics Corporation, an independent subsidiary.

In 1993, Gary W Dickinson was appointed CEO of Delco Electronics. Gary Dickinson used Delco Electronics’ involvement in the Development of electronics for GM auto racing as major promotional opportunity sponsoring an Indy 500 team and the Indy 500 Festival Parade from 1993 to 1997.

In 1997, all of the aerospace and defense businesses of Hughes Electronics (Hughes Aircraft and Delco Systems Operations) were merged with Raytheon, the Hughes Network Systems portion of Hughes Communications became Direct TV, and the commercial portion of Delco Electronics was transferred to GM’s Delphi Automotive business.

On May 28, 1999, Delphi became a separate publicly traded company, and continued to use the Delco Electronics name for several of its subsidiaries through approximately 2004.

Although Delco Electronics no longer exists as an operating company, GM still retains rights to the Delco name and uses it for some of its subsidiaries including the ACDelco parts division."

Man I used to love AC Delco parts,it seemed the quality was very good,I never had qualms about putting a AC filter or Delco part on anything,I think the last AC oil filter I got was from KMart a few years back believe it or not.Some of the old good brands are getting harder to find-Kevin

I wouldn’t assume any special quality for current AC Delco stuff. Good to use where OE specs are important, but otherwise it’s just another brand. A good one mostly, but Delco batteries are the ones that gave me the most trouble.

I agree @texases. The Delco battery “Green Eye” was supposed to tell you that your battery was in good shape. If you look at a totally dead Delco battery in the salvage yard…the Green Eye will still be glowing green. I never had any luck with “DieEasy” batteries from Sears either.

My AC Oil Filters Carry A “Made In U.S.A.” Label.

Back in the day, when tuning up a GM car the ignition points were replaced…The factory Delco-Remy point sets were JUNK compare to the Echlin parts sold by NAPA…Near the end of the points era, GM came out with the “Uniset”, a points and condenser combination mounted on a single bracket. Those were truly junk, nothing but problems with those…