Auto Parts store Experiences

My experience, if I need an important part, bearing, starter motor etc. I go to napa, Closer by if I need bulbs or misc filters etc I walk up to autozone. Now our favorite Chinese place is going to become Oriely. So I can walk to Autozone for parts, drive to napa for parts, is O’Reilly that I can walk to going to offer me anything I should be aware of

The counter guys at O’reilly are not better than autozone. They’re on the same level

The parts selection is marginally better than autozone, in my opinion. But not better than napa. They seem to have more high quality fluids, while autozone has more generic stuff

But of the 3 stores mentioned, I’d keep going to napa

In my area, napa closes at 6pm, and they’re not open on sundays. Great for the employees, not so great if you need parts

One thing going for o’reilly . . . they have a better selection of tools than napa

o’reilly is not geared towards heavy duty stuff, like napa is. So if you’re working on something big, o’reilly probably won’t be able to get it. They don’t have filters for big commercial stuff, for example.

You’ll never know until you try. You can’t make generalizations like that, the stores are all run by individuals of different calibers. Around here, O’Reilly’s came in with a bang, and often has parts in stock that other local stores don’t. Their counter is staffed by knowledgeable, excellent people and the service in general is remarkable.

Napa? It’s been many years since there was a Napa store worth a darn.

All I can add is if you look up a part on the internet and find it at one of those stores, print out the web page and bring it with you. The Internet prices are often less than the store prices, and they will honor the internet price if you show it to them

We only have 3 auto parts houses in my area; AutZone. O’Reillys, and NAPA.

NAPA has older guys and is the more professional and well stocked operation here.

AutoZone is a coin flip most of the times with “loser” coming up more often than not. King of chrome widgets and stick on crap.

O’Reillys has 2 outlets here. One sucks; period. The other is pretty decent all things considered but a lot of their long time counter people seemed to have gone the way of the dodo bird; likely due to wage cuts and so on.

When your job is beholden to Wall Street and the company is publicly held you’re always on thin ice.

One thing I’ll say is that for fluids and other “non part” items, Autozone and O’Reilly are really expensive when they’re not having a sale. I can get the same brand of synthetic oil for about $2-$3 less/qt. at a local “farm and fleet” kind of store. Ditto for refrigerant–a can of R134a is about $7, while Autozone had it for about $11, last I looked.

In our little town of 16’000 + we have four auto parts stores.

Tim’s (Bumper to Bumper) is my favorite. With all knowledgeable help behind the counter and will go way out of their way to get that rare part or direct you to a shop that specializes in certain work (machine work, tranny work, electronic’s evaluated etc). I’ve also seen them help out the elderly by replacing those lamps, cabin filters, and other minor parts at no charge. The owner even polished my moms headlights while she waited. Of course, then I heard for a month from them how my poor mom had to have them do my work.

O’reilley’s is right next door to Bumper to Bumper, and I have to admit that I’ve only been there a couple of times. Twice I was given the wrong parts, and had to return them, and once to buy a manual. Their people seem to know a little about cars, but very little. I asked once for a points set for a 1950s car and they didn’t even have a reference to it.

Advanced is another 1/4 mile further for me and I only go there on a Sunday afternoon when my favorite place is closed and I need a part now. Their people seem to be pretty knowledgeable, but it’s always a two day wait for what I need.

NAPA is another 1/4 mile down the road and they do pretty good and have some people behind the counter that know their stuff, but the place is more expensive and it is my second choice when I need a part now. They also do a little machining which none of the other places offer.


There used to be an Advance Auto here but they went under after a couple of years and the place became an Aaron’s Rental or something like that.
There was also a Car Quest and it also went under; apparently due to the store manager scamming corporate to the tune of a 100 grand and which led to the CQ corporate SWAT team flying in and shutting it down.

There are some Bumper To Bumper stores in eastern OK and I’ve heard they’re decent but a bit too far away for me to deal with. The closest is about 65 miles away I think.

Our local Advance has some really good folks behind the counter and a few duds. The good folks have dirty grease under ther finger nails and will give good advice and hints. The others can look up parts. NAPA is very good too. With the other McPArts stores, if you know what you want and it on the shelf and you can get it. Other wise the highschool kid behind the counter is not much help.

A town near me has Autozone, Advanced Auto and Pep-Boys at the same intersection. For good quality parts I NEVER buy from them. Here in NH we have a few local chains that sell good quality parts. Sanel Brothers, Robins and Towers. Good parts…reasonable prices…delivery options to local mechanics…machine shop services…and above all good experienced counter parts help. The only problem with them is their hours. 7-6 m-fr…7-3 on Sat…and closed on Sunday.

ORileys moved into NH a few years ago…but the closest to me is 20 miles away.

I go to the quickie stores (AZ, Pepboys, etc.) for the lots of little stuff (bulbs, tires, tubes of antiseize, bulblube, silicone silastic) but we have a store in Manchester and Nashua, Sanel’s, that carries the “real” parts and services all the local repair shops. I either shop there or order online. It really is nice to get the parts dropped off at my door. Sanel’s doesn’t have a big showroom full of dinky parts, but if you’re doing any serious repair they’ll get the parts to you.

NAPA is the choice of pro mechanics more than the others you mentioned, who seem to be aimed more at the DIY’er!

I tend to agree. At my job, if the parts aren’t coming from the dealer, we like to get them from napa

I choose the auto parts store depending on what I want. We have a WalMart right down the street where I can get wiper blades, light bulbs, motor oil and batteries. A half mile away is a Rural King where I can buy the same things. However, I am more inclined to buy batteries at WalMart because they have a higher turnover. Hoses, vacuum lines, and sometimes bulbs and wiper blades I buy at Advanced auto parts. For items like alternators I go to NAPA. However, except for bulbs and wiper blades I don’t do .much of .my own work anymore. I have found the counter people at Advanced quite helpful. Abouf 10 years ago I was leaving work and the battery barely turned the engine over. I.was pressed for time and needed the car that evening. I. drove to Advanced because it was the nearest place and they installed the battery on the spot. If I buy wiper blades at Advanced, they will put them on.

O’Reily, AutoZone, PepBoys, in this area at least are pretty much the same. The main problem is the staff just doesn’t seem very car-repair knowledgeable. So I avoid them for needed parts if at possible, and use a local inde parts store for parts b/c the staff at the inde store is very knowledgeable. I will go to those chain places at times to buy generic stuff, like oil, coolant, brake cleaner etc b/c they are a little closer.

but we have a store in Manchester and Nashua, Sanel's, that carries the "real" parts and services all the local repair shops.

I think Sanel’s on Canal st in Manchester is their warehouse. Place is huge.

It seems that the Big Box business model is here to stay; unfortunately.

Even something such as a small music store can have a lot of difficulty competing with the BB operations like Gxxxxx Cxxxxx. My last visit there was likely just that; a last one. Four trips in a row for various things they don’t have or don’t know leads to me feeling like I had just entered AutoZone…

Started dealing with Swxxxxxxxx online and their service has been nothing but superlative in every way.

What really grates on me with the AutoZone here is that they may have half a dozen employees on duty, 10 customers at the counter, and only 2 of the computers in operation. Customers fidgeting while most of the employees seem to be wandering around while accomplishing nothing.

Once the customer has the parts then they have to stand in line at the register and hope someone eventually appears to ring them up. Three checkout registers at that place and only one register is open at best with the clerk often being MIA.

Maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye but it seems to me the goal should be to get everyone taken care of ASAP by opening up all 5 lanes instead of allowing customers to take root in the tile… :frowning:

“What really grates on me with the AutoZone here is that they may have half a dozen employees on duty, 10 customers at the counter, and only 2 of the computers in operation. Customers fidgeting while most of the employees seem to be wandering around while accomplishing nothing.”

Sounds like my local Autozone…and Walmart…and Kroger…and Advance Auto Parts…and K-Mart.

Maybe there's more to it than meets the eye but it seems to me the goal should be to get everyone taken care of ASAP by opening up all 5 lanes instead of allowing customers to take root in the tile......... :-(

5 LANES…WOW. Ours have at most 2 lanes. And you are waiting in line.
My biggest gripe with them is their quality of parts. Sure they claim to carry NGK and Denso plugs…but they seem to have such a limited inventory. I’ve never been able to buy them there. The last time I sent there for plugs it was for my wife’s 96 Accord and my 98 Pathfinder. I told the clerk I wanted NGK plugs. Guy comes out with two sets of autolite plugs. I told him I wanted NGK…which he proceeds to tell me they didn’t have my plug in stock…but the autolite plugs are much better. I walked out.

Mike, they have a store on South Willow street, right by the corner of that an South Beech. But it’s a small store with a long counter staffed with knowledgeable guys closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, It’s basically a warehouse with a retail counter… that gives me a shop discount 'cause I know enough to ask.