Where do you buy your parts?

Just wondering where most people purchase parts, (brake parts, hoses, belts etc.)

I am fairly loyal to Auto Zone for the basic items, it doesn’t hurt that one of the guys is helpful!

I buy most of my parts from an online place that sponsors a forum I frequent, my indy mechanic, or the local dealer.

No particular loyalty – Advance Auto, AutoZone, Pep Boys, Wal-Mart – whoever is advertising a sale on something I need or will need soon.

If these stores don’t have a particular specialty item then I search the web. In rare cases there is the salvage yard, especially for a classic car.

For basic items, oil, oil filters, brakes, shop supplies etc.

Auto Zone
Pep Boys

For Specialty items such as overhaul kits, converters, specialty transmission parts, I use different transmission parts wholesalers, dealers


I try to get a quality part from whomever has it. Napa, O’Rielly, etc. Of course price effects where to go.

AutoZone, NAPA, O’Reillys, is about it in my neck of the woods although I generally use O’Reillys. CarQuest went belly up due to some management theft of a grand magnitude and Advance also closed their operation here. They were being killed financially anyway by the first 3 I mentioned.

Our local AutoZone is starting to tank again since some of the older guys who knew a bit about cars have left and are being replaced by kids working around their McDonald’s schedule.

(Just a note about the Advance website if you’re not familiar with it. When clicking on a specific part it will give you a prompt about “See all vehicles this part fits” or something to that effect. Pretty good little interchange service if one if curious or has the need.)

Napa, Rockauto.com, Schucks/Advance.

Advanced Auto, Wal-Mart, Rockauto.com.

I get most major parts from hondaautomotiveparts.com (cheap Genuine Honda parts) and the minor stuff like oil filters and air filters from NAPA.

Whenever possible, I buy from my local independent parts store. The owner has been very helpful in tracking down esoteric parts and trying to get me a good price. However, he has a small inventory, so if I need something right away, especially on a Sunday when the warehouses are closed, I go to Advance Auto parts or Auto Zone.

Here in NH we have some very very good LOCAL auto parts stores. Far better then AutoZone or PepBoys. Sanel Brothers and Robins. They both are small chains with about 20-50 stores throughout New England. They carry HIGH quality parts that’s far cheaper then the dealer. And they are big enough to have what you need in stock OR it can be there in 2 days. What they DON’T have is a vast array of shelves with things like Cleaners and waxes and wiper blades. They have SOME Waxes and washers…and oil and grease…Pretty much all parts are behind the counter. The other great thing about these places is the guys behind the counters are NOT kids. Most are 35+ and have Automotive knowledge. One store I use to go to (Goffstown Auto parts - got bought out by Sanel Bro) the head of the counter use to build and race cars. Very Very knowledgeable. Try and find a guy like that at PepBoys. I went to PepBoys once to buy a Carb Rebuild kit for my neighbors 85 Datsun (it was Sunday…my normal places were closed). I asked the parts guy (20yo highschool dropout) if the kit came with a Float…He looked at me like a Deer in headlights. What’s a Float??? And these places also have FULL MACHINE SHOPS.



I’m curious, ok4450; Auto Zone is suffering a similar fate here in North Mississippi just a few miles from their home ofice. I wonder if the problem is corporate wide. They were a ‘last resort’ source but lately not worth calling.

It depends on the part. For oil filters and spark plugs I order OEM parts online. For occasional specialty parts like the fuel filter I go to the dealership. For brake pads, I go to Advance/Discount Auto parts. If you plan to keep your car for a long time, get wearable parts like brake pads and shocks/struts with a lifetime warranty.

I just bought Monroe Shocks at Sears for the back of my pickup. Half price and wait seven days for them to come in. I guess Sears has changed to bait-and-order. It works. I call around and compare prices. If I buy an engine computer, I want it to say Sorenson on it, or is it Sorensen. I don’t care much about where anymore. I don’t need a lot of parts these days. Some places have just the right part and sometimes you have to go see it. I used to like cast iron goosenecks for V-8 Chevy engines to replace the aluminum ones. Napa had them cheap.

It depends.

But here’s a tip: always ask if you can get a discount. Parts stores that focus on repair shops have discount amounts built into their prices, and if you ask you can very often get it.

If you don’t plan on keeping the car very long go ahead and buy parts from the corner convenience, 7-11 type parts stores. Purely for the fact that one size does not fit all, and the durability/reliabilty of the part. I’ve used Napa for years and so did my Dad. I haven’t had any problems with their parts at all, and I get the right part the first time, and that part doesn’t fit some other car.

I go to Advance for almost everything, occasionally AutoZone or Carquest. eBay can be a good source for cheap used parts. I’ve never had problems with the parts from chain stores… and owning a Chevy, I’ve replaced lots of parts.

The only parts problems I’ve had were with Auto Zone, a rearview mirror that clearly didn;t properly match the other side…and it was obviously a VERY cheaply made poor imitation,

and front shocks from Sears. Twice. I brought the first pair home, pulled the old ones out, took the shocks out of the box, and they were a whole different configuration! I put the old ones back in (fortunately I hadn’t cut the stems), went back to Sears, and the counter guy argued with me that I was wrong! He looked them up again, gave me a different pair, I pulled them out of the box, and they were wrong again! He argued with me again! I got a refund, went to VIP, and got exactly what I needed the first time around. I won’t get parts from Sears ever again.

Some years back our AZ got pretty shaky with a bunch of young guys fresh out of high school, or recently dropped out, and asking for even a simple part would put them into panic mode.

About 8-10 years ago some older guys came on board (some of them having been mechanics or ASE certifed parts people) and it was pretty nice. None of that deer in the headlights look.

Here about a year or so ago they’ve been reverting back to the young guys again and most of the older ones are gone. There are a few of the competent older guys left here but you won’t find them working nights or weekends.
Going into AZ here on a Sat. or Sun. is usually a lost cause.

I don’t know if there’s a correlation between their hiring practices and the stock market or not… :slight_smile: