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Advance A/P buys Carquest

Recently Advance purchased Carquest. The stores don’t know exactly how this is going to play out but what was told to me was only speculation.

The front of the store will be Advance and sell to the general public and the back will be Carquest catering to professional shops.

I don’t care for this since IMOO Advance and Auto Zone sell lesser quality parts and the employees are not as knowledgeable, no insult intended. Some of the younger employees do not know basic automotive tools.

To me and again, just an opinion, this is like AMC buying Cadillac or Mercedes.

I never bought much at carquest and never trusted AZ or some of the others except for misc and waxes etc. I kinda prefer NAPA usually except I question some of their quality now.

I don’t know but I wonder how the parts business really is these days. With I think people back to buying new cars at a little higher rate with low interest, and dealers making a concerted effort to try and compete in their parts and service business, I just wonder if the parts chains aren’t having some sales issues.

Well, economically speaking, auto parts are an “inferior good,” something people buy more of in bad times (they keep the old cars going in bad times, vs. buy a new(er) car in good times). Perhaps they aren’t liking that the economy is starting to come around a bit.

Well, we don’t have a Napa nor an Advanced a/p so I do wonder if they’ll leave my Car Quest alone despite the technical corperate ownership.
I painted Manuel’s first store sign on plywood when he first opened a Car Quest.
Since then he’s moved and expanded and he values his long term knowledgeable experienced counter people.

We used to have a Napa back in the 70s/80s then Manuel quit to open his own place and took Derryl and Kathy with him. well, there went the neighborhood…Napa ! After Hugh sold out it was all down hill.
Manuel wisely named his local business Quality Parts Company so that, as he told me back in 82, ‘‘so that if the franchise name changes I don’t have to get a new business license.’’
— IF…Advanced a/p allows him to keep his personel in place then that Advanced will still be a quality place to do business.

I’ve seen too many scheisters hide under a franchise label and I’ve seen some major experienced people in complete no-name indys.

I lean on my Car Quest for my heavy fleet and industrial plus higher quality after market parts at my customer’s choice.

( I also spread the business around in this small town with Auto Zone and O’Reilley’s )

The days of corporate stability are long gone. O’Riley’s bought VIP recently too, and Dollar Tree just bought Family Dollar.

Walmart, Christmas Tree Shops, Kmart, Target, and most others have rededicated perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of their floor space to consumables (groceries). Who’d have thought?

And Craftsman is apparently now separate, since they now sell at hardware stores such as ACE.

The Car Quest here closed about 10 years ago. At one time that business was one of those family owned independents that had been around for decades and CQ bought them out. The counter people were retained and pretty sharp but eventually I guess the business model forced them to start weeding out older employees and cutting back.

One day the corporate hammer dropped on them and they were closed in a heartbeat after a dozen corporate cars showed up. They brown papered all of the windows and doors while auditing the place. Apparently the franchise operator was looting the till on behalf of himself and his dirt track race car buddies and the word was that a stack of funny paper remained while a 100 grand went missing.

Keeping those race cars going can get expensive…

I used to go to Advanced for basics, but none around me now. Have AZ, O’Reilly and a bit further Pep Boys and NAPA. The Car Quest store is not close and is almost a ghost town with minimal inventory, so haven’t bought anything there. Had better experience with NAPA and esp their front desk people had a clue what I was talking about. They also sell the stuff to me with a 10% discount because I guess I go there too much; I owe most of that to our Dodge Caravan (RIP).

Not been to AZ and the rest for a while. If I am not buying from Napa, I buy online. For oil and filter I go to walmart (don’t yell now), the price is better and they are open late which suits me.

The smaller chains going out of business is not good. It feels like in 10 years we will have two retailers only, Walmart and Amazon.

Guess what?-Hear tell that Wal-Mart is getting in the convenience store business,I think advance is sort of almost locally headquartered and no.I avoid them usually,a lot of my stuff comes from the “Rock”-Kevin

In our little city of 16’000 we have four Auto parts stores. Too many!!!

NAPA and BUMPER to BUMPER are the oldest and have the most educated counter people.
THen we have Advanced… and O’Rielys opened a store about two years ago.

I prefer Bumper to Bumper because of their service and return policies…and I’ve been going to them for over 30 years before they were part of a chain store. THe owner himself is always at the counter as much as the other employees and they all seem to know a lot about cars.
I like the fact that they know that when I take X apart, I’ll probably find Y is bad too, so they may as well order one in case I need it.
I can only remember a few times that the part I ordered was not what I needed, and only remember a few dud parts over the years.

NAPA is not as helpful it seems though they are my second choice.

Advanced, I only use when I’m working late and the others are closed or for some odd little thing that the others don’t have.

O’riely’s is right next to Bumper to Bumper, but I was only in there onece for a muaual that BTB didn’t have, and I needed the info ASAP.

THe problem with most chain stores is that most employees wouldn’t know what way to turn a nut unless it had an arrow on it.


That buyout happened in 2013. But it takes a while get the stores switched over.

This type of buyout happens all the time. As MB mentioned…Riley bought out VIP. AutoZone bought out Auto Palace. Sears use to have a stake in AutoZone. Sears still is part owner of NTB. It’s impossible to keep up.

Auto Zone began as Auto Shack in the late 70s and developed the McParts business model. Their store was just blocks away from the fleet shop where I worked on trucks on weekends back then and I quickly learned that their parts weren’t much of a bargain. That was more than 30 years ago and their management has vastly improved the quality of most lines and usually they offer 3 price/quality(?) grades and their Duralast brand is quite good all things considered. In my small town of <35,000 there are 2 Advance, 2 Auto Zone, 2 O’Reilly, 1 NAPA and 1 Carquest store, all of them deliver. All the McParts stores have 1 or more experienced countermen but for those who need help with diagnosing a problem or finding the proper way to make a repair the stores are not the place to go. The counter help at Carquest is outstanding with decades of experience for each of the 4 there but they offer no advice and rarely an opinion on diagnosing or repairing a car. If you want to mate a TH400 transmission to a TH350 drive shaft anyone at Carquest can get the correct U-joint without looking it up.

Th are Car Quests in the DC/Baltimore area, but they aren’t close to me. The closest one is a half hour away. Ther is an Advance Auto Parts within 3 miles, though. But I can’t see how they could put both stores in this one. It is pretty small, and only room for one counter.

I’ve never had an issue with the quality of parts purchased at Advance. It is a stupid name for a store though. I thought they should either be Advanced auto parts or they should have stuck with Discount Auto Parts when they merged.

I’ve used mechanics who used Carquest, and I wasn’t happy that the A/C compressor that was installed barely outlasted the warranty. That’s when I gave up on my air conditioning, figuring it wasn’t worth having to buy a new compressor every 2 1/2 years.

I have rarely bought anything from CarQuest because they usually have a bad reputation where I have lived. The counter people can make or break an auto parts store and since CarQuest was sold…it appears that their counter people broke them. I will also echo @Whitey here and say that I’ve never had a problem with quality at Advance or AutoZone for that matter. I also like NAPA and O’Reilly’s.

I get my batteries, filters, and brake parts at Advance and they have always worked well.

Many Carquest stores are owned and operated by individuals who have signed up for a Carquest franchise…These are the people who will now have to adjust to the Advance business model and distribution system…It may be a major adjustment or it may be nothing at all…Advance may maintain the “Carquest” stores as if nothing had happened…

The county seat where I live has a carquest,napa,autozone,advance and an o riely. Our county has less than 30k people, o rielly never has any business, napa does well, autozone does well, carquest does ok.

Since there is already an advance auto within 2 miles I wonder what will happen to our carquest. They are the only ones in town that still have a machine shop, although its not the greatest its better than nothing.

In 20 years there wont be Napas or carquest. It will all be Autozone or advance and the only thing they will carry is chinese rebuilt junk.

I remember when my beloved craftsman stuff was a source of pride for me. I bought alot of craftsman stuff and it was always decent quality. Now its all chinese junk. I have some snap on tools but I no longer have anybody to take them to to have them fixed when the local snap on man comes in.

I’ve got to agree with Wheresrick. I just buy waxes and misc stuff from Oreiley or AZ. I just don’t trust their parts. Oreiley used to be Champion around here where I always got parts like axles but don’t trust them now. For any real parts its either NAPA (which I’m concerned about) or the dealer for OEM. I don’t buy much anymore though. It does seem that our neighbors from south of the border seem to congregate at AZ with the hoods open a lot and maybe some lot repairs. Oreiley (or however you spell it) doesn’t seem to get much business at all but seem to hang in there.

Speaking of O’Reilly; reminds me, I needed a Dodge radiator real quick and they were the only store open on Sunday that had it in stock. The radiator needed some cutting and trimming to fit the frame and after 8 hours of work, the transmission cooler line would leak big time. Overall the part had many defects; they were nice enough to refund the $, but I was out 8 hours of my time, a few bottles of ATF4 and one gallon of coolant; plus still had to rent a car for Monday.

Even though O’Rielly is a box store they carry name brand parts like Wix and A1 Cardone. And the O’Riellys in my area are more experienced than ADV & AZ