Based on what I read a couple of years ago, I think that they sold-off the Auto Centers (or, at least some of them) several years ago.
In NJ, a mega-dealership purchased a few of the “Sears” Auto Centers a few years ago, and I can tell you from my personal experiences about 2 years ago that the closest “Sears” Auto Center is apparently not owned by Sears.
I wanted to get a free load test done on my battery, and for many years, Sears Auto Centers had featured free drive-in load tests. There was always one bay door that was kept open, and you could–literally–just drive up to the desk where they dealt with load tests and battery replacements. On this occasion, there were no open bay doors.
So, I parked my car, and ventured into their Auto Center’s retail store, which I immediately noticed to be…VERY…different from how it used to appear. I approached the nasty woman at their service desk, inquired about a load test, and was told that there would be a minimum 2 hour wait for a load test, and that it would cost $19.95.
I declined her generous offer, and drove to my nearest Auto Zone, where they immediately performed a free load test of my battery.
The way that Sears management is selling-off the company’s assets is just too similar to the ways of the Roman soldiers who vied for Jesus’ possessions…