Is Rockauto having a problem?

I went to order a replacement air dam and engine splash shield for my truck. The air dam was only about $35 and the shield a little more. When I went to may cart to calculate shipping, it was unreal. The cheapest option for shipping the air dam was $170, the shield was also about the same. The total bill would have been over $400. Needless to say, I cancelled that cart.

I ordered the shield from another reputable website. The shield was slightly more expensive, just a couple of dollars but the shipping was only about $18.

The worse part is that you cannot contact them anymore, the phone number takes you to an automated attendant that, after several minutes of listening to menu options, pretends to send you to the receptionist but it will only send you to voice mail.

Update, I just checked rockauto again. The engine splash shield shipping is normal now. I checked the air dam, still high shipping, however I selected a different airdam and checked it, shipping still very high but only one option for shipping that was $190.

Just showing you yet another glimpse into the customer service of the future.


I’ll throw in another issue… incorrect parts properly labeled and listed.

Ordered a NEW caliper, not rebuilt. It did not fit. Just didn’t. I sent it back and bought a rebuild kit instead.

I have experienced parts orders that just did not fit, or did not work. I needed a fan clutch for my 20 year old truck. I got 2 from RA, neither would un-clutch. The truck sounded like a helicopter and I knew it would drink even more gas than it already does. I tried an ACDelco part and another with similar results. None of the 4 worked. I had to switch to electric fans to keep the truck cool and preserve my mpgs.

Recently ordered a clockspring, not a cheapie. It arrived with 1 airbag connection where I needed 2. Sent it back and bought a cheapie with 2 connections. When I sent the incorrect one back, the shipping was free but I was NOT refunded my shipping cost because RA said it wasn’t their fault or my fault so we are both out money. That might be the last straw for RA as far as I’m concerned.

That’s the reason why I don’t purchase auto parts from on line suppliers unless I absolutely have to.

It’s a bitch when they get it wrong.



I ordered brake pads a couple weeks ago. No problem and received them in a few days. As if no one else is having issues. I’ve noticed extravagant pricing on Amazon and even on Menards. Might be data entry errors, freight adjustments due to new contracts, multiple warehouses, etc. who knows. I get rocks monthly newsletter though and usually there is a direct email to the boss.

The shipping fees are governed by what the 3rd party shipping companies charge. Maybe they’ve recently upped their rates. Some on-line retailers offer the option for which warehouse to ship the products from? If so, try another of their warehouses. It’s usually less expensive to ship everything in the order from the same warehouse.

Also had a problem with an NGK ignition coil for a 2009 Subaru Outback. After about 5 miles it started to seriously misfire and ended up requiring the replacement of both cats. Drove about 10 miles total but the car simply would not run. When I put the old coil back in everything was perfect. Has NGK been having quality control problems? If so it wasn’t Rock Auto’s fault, and they did give a refund, but it was a problem I never would have expected after years of ordering from them.

Similar to @Tester, I prefer to source my parts locally from locally owned parts stores. But I confess that sometimes, for pricier items, the cost savings of going to RockAuto or the like can be insane. (Especially if they’re doing close-outs or whatever).

I’ve not yet had any problems with RockAuto parts. (Their customer service has always sucked if you need to ask a question). But I long ago learned to watch their shipping charges. E.g. order 2 shocks or something and they might try to send you one from one warehouse and the other from another, and each comes with high shipping charges. By the time you’re done “saving” you paid near what it would have been to go to the local place. In any case, it’s just a “shopping thing.”

On the subject of something like an air dam and splash shield, those can be “awkwardly” sized items that, I think, can just come with huge shipping charges due to 3rd party shipping rates. I once order a pre-painted (to the car’s paint code) fender and got it for a bit less than $200, incl shipping. The color was a bit off, so I emailed the seller and to his credit, he re-did it and sent me another. I was floored but that and told him I’d send the first one back. Yeah, well, just for me to ship it back to him would have cost more than I paid to start with. WTH? I think some companies make special deals with shippers? IDK. But the rates I got for shipping a fender were completely insane.


@George_San_Jose1 That is just not true. Retailers can charge what ever they want for shipping no matter the actual cost. Generally they call it “shipping and handling” because what ever is not part of the “shipping” is “handling”.

Over the years I have done a lot of business with Rock Auto and have been satisfied. The only time I had a problem with a part shipped was a resonator pipe for my 97 Honda Accord. It had a bad bend in it, the radius of the first bend was too small and it hit the body. But back then, you could call them and get a resolution. They sent me a second pipe and it had the same issue. The bend in question did not match the drawings, the supplier was bending them wrong. The gave me a full refund in the end.

I don’t think they are trying to make a profit out of shipping as their shipping costs are reasonable, on everything else. I have not checked this but I suspect that someone keyed in the shipping cost for the whole bumper, and we all know the story, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. But with everything run by a computer, if I bought the air dam at RA, the computer would charge me the shipping cost listed, not the actual shipping cost.

I did call corporate HQ but all I could do was leave a voice mail for some random receptionist, I hope (s)he passes it on.

Edit: Just checked, the shipping costs for the whole bumper are the same as for the air deflector.

I’ve had only two issues over the years. They sent me a v8 wire set instead of a v6, but that was not a big deal since I could pretty much match up the wire lengths. Now I did get a water pump for the aurora. Couldn’t get the old one out for anything so had to take it to the dealer. They said it leaked so put their own in. Don’t know weather that was true or not but was only $25 so just threw it away.

I like them because I can select oem if I want and compare. Delco such as for alternators are hard to come by without going to the dealer. So the price is right and I can get non-after market parts. Plus I’ve ordered obscure things like connectors with no problems. Otherwise I’d end up driving 30-40 miles.

Indeed! No biggie - unless they sent a 4 cyl set for a 6. But send me 2 extra wires? Bonus! I’ll leave them in the garage just in case.

Subarus don’t like aftermarket parts-even if they are made by the OEM supplier-just a lower quality version

Are you saying that you click/select on what you think is OEM and compare, or is there a button to click/select that only brings up OEM parts that I have yet to find???

I saw something that shows the different flags and also OEM (at the end of the flags), I selected the OEM on that and it showed non OEM also…

Just wondering if I am missing something??

Not sure what you mean but when the parts group comes up, such as brakes, you just get a list of available items. You can click on them for further information. Some are identified with a heart or something for the most popular. You can also select to see what other cars the item is used on.

Technically true, but remember that Rock Auto has competitors. As a practical matter, that prevents them charging “whatever they want” .

I haven’t been using Rockauto much since I got Amazon prime and the shipping was almost always included in the price.

A couple weeks back, I needed an EVAP line that is a formed, hard PVC tube. It’s like 4ft long with a half dozen bends. Only a few places carried it and Rock had a really long delivery timeframe as well as a delivery charge. So I bought from a retailer on Amazon. I waited more than a week for the package to arrive due to delays in shipping. When I saw the box, I knew immediately that it was going to have to be returned (and I normally do not return anything). The box was way too small to have this tube inside. Sure enough, the person packing it didn’t have a clue (not Amazon but a big car parts retailer- they should have known better). Whoever it was folded the tube up and jammed it into a box 1/4 the size it needed to be. The tubing was permanently kinked in a couple of places.

They refunded my money and paid for the return postage. No way was I asking for a replacement.

I went to Rock and the expected delivery date was only 4 days now. Ironically, the total cost was almost the same now as the Amazon retailer.

The Rock box came a day earlier than expected and was 4x the size of the prior shipment. The part was surrounded by air pillows and perfectly formed when it arrived. Someone there knew what they were shipping and how to pack it properly.

It’s those darn people involved … lol … reminds me of one time I asked for some 5/8 inch ID hose. The parts store employee brought out some 1/4 inch hose. When I showed them the cross-section and that couldnt possibly be 5/8 inch, they said “well, it was on the shelf labeled 5/8” … lol … retailers are always at the mercy of their employees’ lack of training and lack of common sense.


You had said that you can select oem if I want, I was asking if there was an oem select button to click on that only gave you oem parts… I am ot aware of…

I don’t think there is an oem button. I just go down the list to select the delco or Gm item instead of the other brands.

Works ok for Gm but I haven’t seen much for Acura. Might be Honda restrictions on parts or something. For Acura stuff I order on line from a couple dealers. All I buy though is filters and stuff.

Years ago my son’s Acura was stalled in the hot sun and I figured the fuel relay. On the way I stopped at a Honda dealer who was closer to get the part and they told me they don’t sell Acura parts. Said they have to keep the brands separate. So I stopped at Acura and of course the part was labeled Honda. Go figure. So I suspect the try to limit their supply systems some. If you know the part number, I suppose you could go to Honda. At any rate rock doesn’t seem to have much Honda or Acura. For filters anyway but haven’t checked other items.

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