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AutoZone vs Amazon

Hey guys,

I’ve had trouble getting my car to start and I’m trying to decide if I can save a little money by figuring out how to fix it myself and getting the parts from Amazon or if I’m better off just going to AutoZone and getting some professional guidance. I don’t have a lot of experience with car repair and haven’t fixed my car in the past. How hard would it be for a guy like me to figure out how to get the right parts and fix my car myself?

thanks for the help / advice.

Guidance at Autozone or Advance are limited. The advantage going to a local store is a quicker exchange. If you know what you want there are many places on the internet, not only Amazon but other online car parts places as well. You will see many references to here. Seems to be a favorite place for many.

If in doubt you could ask here for help identifying auto parts for your needs or contact the place you want to order your parts from.

Just use a local parts store because if you order wrong part you will have return shipping charges, possible restock fee and a time before it is credited back to your card. Local you can take part that is bad with you and see if the new one matches.


You might shop around at all your local parts stores. You might find that one of them has a counterman who is particularly familiar with VWs. And for sure the local store will be much easier to deal with on gettiing the correct part, returning wrong or deffective parts and getting the core refund.

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The problem I have with AutoZone or any of the national chains is the quality of their parts.

The AutoZone near me advertises they carry NGK plugs. But they have an extremely limited supply and they will push the plug they always have in stock (Auto-Lite). The knowledge of their staff is questionable. Constant turnover. They are convenient, but I’m not a fan.

Luckily where I live there are a couple of good local independent chains. Good quality parts, very knowledgeable staff, many of which have been working there for decades.

If you know what part you’re looking for, then on-line is a good option. Just make sure you buy from a quality vendor.

What year/miles Passat?

I would advise extreme caution! Most of these people don’t know very much. They might know more than you but far far far from professional auto repair.


I’ve had very poor experiences with Autozone.
I recommend that you find a reputable owner-operated local repair shop and develop a relationship with them.

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Expecting professional guidance regarding automotive problems from the guys at Autozone–or most other chain auto parts stores–is tantamount to expecting expert medical opinions from the cashiers at CVS or Walgreens.



Sadly this happens frequently. My wife is a vet and will send someone away with instructions that their dog needs to be on a diet of XXX. The cashier at the pet supply will tell the person that XXX is terrible and you should buy YYY instead. It is amazing how many people buy YYY based in the expert advise of the high school cashier at the pet supply.

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While that is definitely sad, it isn’t really surprising, simply because there is a definite war being waged against intelligence and education in this country from…certain factions. The new mantras appear to be “dumb and proud”, and “distrust those who are educated”.

Or, as one highly placed person shouted for several months during the past autumn, “I LOVE the poorly-educated”.


maybe because the so-called educated people are not as educated as THEY think THEY are.

…or, that is just a convenient rationalization for the poorly-educated.



Not new

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov

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I’ve had good luck with the parts at AutoZone. They’ve never pushed me to buy something different. I don’t count on them to know anything. I have the Chilton’s and Haynes, check online, sometimes ask here.

I think you guys are all focusing on the wrong part of the OPs question. What does he mean by "is getting hard to start?’ Does it crank slowly, misfire, not respond to the key until it is turner many times, stall, not want to idle etc. Also How many miles on the car and what has been done to it when?

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This is not a new thing. It is not a Trump effect like you are alluding to.

If you are a newbie to auto repair DO NOT rely on Amazon to find the parts you need. Amazon’s search system for car parts is very, very bad. I personally search RockAuto and other internet sites for the exact manufacturer’s part number and THEN search Amazon for that number to price shop.

And you will get little good advice from AutoZone but even less from Amazon!


No, it is not a “new thing”, but what is unprecedented is the phenomenon of someone in a position of authority who is extolling the virtues of being poorly-educated.


I’m on your side in this, but that’s not new either. Politicians and others have been extolling the virtues of “good old fashioned common horse sense” over “elitist educated windbags” since long before either of us were born.

… They’re just being a lot louder about it at the moment. :wink:

Remember that old story about NASA spending millions and years of research to design a pen that could be used in space, and the Russians simply used a pencil? Not only is it a complete fabrication (NASA didn’t do that - Parker made a pen for market that happened to be able to be used in space, and so NASA used it) but it’s also the tired old trope of “educated know-it-all got his comeuppance from a backwards idiot” that speaks directly to those who mistrust education.