Rock Auto: Getting live help?

Heh heh. If I call my bank I get a live body. If I call my credit union I get a bunch of phone option or I can wait on the line for ten minutes to talk to a real person. People are expensive. If I need a live body for auto parts I go to Napa or the dealer. After my last trip to the dealer though, they gave up and I ordered on line. Life in the new century. On the rock newsletter, every month the guy in charge has something to say but he never gives out his home phone number.

I’d buy $17 part and a lotto tix. Might win.

I bought parts from Rock Auto before. Never had a problem, You just need to know exactly what you’re looking for. The only caveat that is that if your order has multiple items and those items aren’t all coming from the same warehouse, the shipping and handling charges can quickly add up.

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No. Their business model is to keep costs down by automating all customer contact. They tell you this somewhere when you go through the return process––which by the way is more cumbersome than Amazon, but it works. I use them sometimes, Amazon sometimes, and NAPA sometimes. It really depends on the part, the time, the cost, the desired quality. Hard to describe how best to pick, but you figure it out over time.

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I have been ordering parts from Rock Auto for years. When I started, you could call them.

I will still order parts from them, but only if I can tell if it is the right part. Sometimes they offer dissimilar looking parts for the same car. If I can’t tell which is the right one, I will buy from someone else.

For me anyway, there are pictures of the parts, plus all of the other vehicles the same parts are used on for reference. Then there are usually muliple manufacturers to choose from such as Dorman, Delco, etc. Like I said in some cases I just like to get the GM part and see what the comparative costs are for the other parts. To check prices at the dealer I’d either have to call them or go to the parts counter although there are a number of them on-line now. So it just seems pretty easy to use and the options I like. Trying to use the current software at NAPA is a real chore and they don’t carry GM. What I don’t like is the shipping and sometimes waiting, but that’s life.

Update: the problem is now “fixed”. But for how long?

The door lock / latch mechanism was the problem, not the actuator, though I did order the cheap actuator from Almighty Amazon, and had it in hand when I did the surgery.

Removing the assembly was not too bad. I’ve spent many nice afternoons on other missions inside the very same door (and ALL the other doors on this car), so I sort of knew the geography.

As I had surmised at the start, and what the body shop owner had also assumed without dismantling anything, was that the pivot part of the latch was impeded by either gummed up OLD lubricant, or some of the rubber coating having deteriorated enough to peel off and jam up the works. Actually, it was some of each.

I cleaned the internals, managed to avoid losing the two critical small coil springs, and amazingly, got the whole thing back together. I was sweating bullets that reassembly was going to be above my pay grade, then I’d really be in a fix, needing a tow to the body shop just because the door wouldn’t stay closed. I was greatly relieved to find that the pivoting part of the latch now seemed to move freely, which it had not done before, so I had definitely found and resolved the problem. I had it installed back in the door just in time to do a scheduled errand 50 miles away. Whew!

So it’s fixed… for now.

But I’m at least going to poke around at Picknpull for another latch in better condition, and open it up to see if it looks any better inside. If not, I’ll bite the bullet and buy a new one. This is one thing that I absolutely do not want to fail when I’m in some remote spot on a long road trip, so I’ll spend what I have to for reliability.

This was another example of “something broken is an opportunity to learn something new.” I did.

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Well congrats. In my old age though I try now to avoid doing the same job two or three time and buy everything new that I think I’ll need then replace stuff whether it needs it or not.

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Please. No more covid talk. I deleted all the posts.