Why did I get shafted by Mr. Goodwrench?

About two years ago I had an alternaor put on my car at “monro muffler/brake service.” I probably would have gone to a regular garage but I broke down on a Saturday and their wasn’t really a garage in the area of town where I could get it put on for me. Besides I had to jump my car to get it running. I was in a bad situation. So I let them put it on. They got the alternator at autozone. The alternator had a limited lifetime warranty. It was put on 11/22/08 and it has just went bad on me. I called autozone and they said they would replace it if I had the receipt. But they told me since I had it put on by “monro muffler/ brake service” I would have to go through them to get another alternator. When I called them and explained the situation the manager told me he placed only a 90 day warranty on the alternator and basically I was screwed. That sounded pretty sorry to me. If I had bought and put the alternator on myself then I would be getting another alternator for nothing provided I had the receipt for it. How can they get away with this crap?

You’re inserting a 3rd party between you and AutoZone. AZ has no way in the world of verifying who done what and with what in a transaction like this.

People routinely shaft AZ on parts, be it frying something themselves, substituting pieces out, or palming old worn out parts back on AZ.

A warranty transaction is between the seller and the buyer only. In this case it was between AZ and Monro, not you. There’s nothing underhanded here.

You did not get shafted by Mr. Goodwrench. Mr. Goodwrench works at any General Motors dealership and nowhere else. GM gets enough of a bad rap. Don’t heap abuse on them when it is not warranted.

Ask Autozone if Monroe is authorized to shorten their lifetime guarantee. Ask Monroe the same question. I believe that you will get action, if any, by asking in person rather than over the phone. It’s easy to blow off a phone caller but in person you can stay until you get a satisfactory answer. Hint in a quiet manner that you may need to call Monroe’s headquarters for a clarification of their guarantee policy. Do the same with Autozone.

You are getting what is often known as a “Bureaucratic Shuffle” where nobody will take responsibility for the guarantee in this particular example. Don’t let them force you to jump through unreasonable hoops to collect the guarantee.

Entirely true, I concur, precisely, very good.

AZ had no dealings with the OP and therefore they are not liable for anything. The shop that did the work only offers a 90 day warranty and that is entirely justified too.
If AZ had to step in on deals like this in which this part or that was ALLEGEDLY the same one that AZ provided a real can of worms would be opened up and AZ would probably wind up on the list of failed businesses.
How’s AZ to know that particular alternator is the same one from the same vehicle?

Some may have noticed the trend over the last half dozen or so years the gradual disappearance of “lifetime guarantee” parts at many parts houses. Ask yourself why this is.

And Mr. Sanders is correct about the Goodwrench reference. You’re trashing the name over a part, a repair facility, a parts house, and an automobile that GM has nothing to do with.

I feel your pain. Welcome to the world of remanufactured parts and poorly managed (maybe) repair shops. Autozone’s policy is to give you another reman part for free in exchange for the defective part. It?s built into the price. They have such a big profit margin that they can afford the parts merry-go-round. It’s the labor that’s the killer. Normally, weekend mechanics don’t mind the 1/2 hour to 1 hour of fumbling around to replace an alternator.

Keep in mind that a remanufactured alternator is basically an alternator that failed and some other company ?fixed? it and resells it to Autozone. Think low bid contract. There is a huge variation in quality out there. Of course, the fail-safe way would have been to use a brand new alternator from the manufacturer but it would take time to order and cost a HUGE chunk of change. I don?t know anyone that can afford to take that route. Hence the active reman parts business.

If alternator service was not a standard menu service item at Monroe Muffler and they did you a favor by doing a special job to get you out of a jam you’re out of luck. You’ll have to pay for the labor but should get a free reman alternator from Autozone. If alternator service is a standard service item it’s pretty mind-boggling that the shop didn’t match their warranty with Autozone’s. Or, they know that Autozone reman alternators are rubbish and are protecting themselves. This would raise the question of why they use Autozone and not a more reliable source like NAPA or the original manufacturer. It’s just asking for trouble.

I had a very bad experience with a reman Subaru alternator from Autozone that died in one month. I had to go 15 rounds with the Autozone manager to get my money back. I told him I didn’t want to change alternators every month after getting stranded. He wanted to give me a ?depreciated amount? which was significantly less that I had paid for it (I think he offered me 2/3 which tells you how long they expect them to last.). I will never buy an Autozone alternator reman but will order a reman directly from a Subaru parts wholesaler. Yes, Subaru remanufactures its own alternators. It actually cost less than Autozone (Doh!). It?s been 3 years and the Subaru reman alternator is still going strong. An older thread on this board and the Subaru board had many complaints about Autozone alternator remans. Live and learn.

The internet is a great resource for car owners (Car Talk!). You might find a board for your specific car make/model and find a reliable and affordable parts source and a good service shop in your area. Good Luck!

Monro or Monroe doesn’t need the receipt. I can’t believe that they don’t want your money for the labor to install the new one. Maybe they’re rich or they just want to be nasty. The receipt or the maintenance record is right on their computer. Their warranty does not apply but they don’t need it.

Oops. I just re-read your post and saw that your reman’d alternator lasted for over 2 years. I thought you had it replaced last month. Like the other posters have stated, for those time periods, only parts are covered and not labor. Autozone should exchange the Alternator. However, you will have to pay someone to take it out and re-install it.

“russharv63” Trashes GM ( Wrongly Stating She Was Shafted By Mr. Goodwrench ) And Then “daeh ttub” Trashes Autozone Because “russharv63” says . . .

. . . “It was put on 11/22/08 and it has just went bad on me.” This is all after she gets her car repaired at “monro muffler/brake service,” using Autozone parts.

Before everybody goes off on everybody else, I’d like to know what proof besides “It was put on 11/22/08 and it has just went bad on me.” that the part has actually failed. Don’t let facts stand in the way.

Oh well, never mind. Two years isn’t bad when the car owner “fouls up” a lifetime warranty to this extent. Many of these warranties only cover the original purchaser (Monro ?) and do not extend beyond that (russharv63 ?), which is understandable, as we can see.

I hope the legal departments for GM and Autozone are monitoring this conversation.


I’ve even wondered if the alternator has really failed. There are a number things that can cause an alternator to not charge; dragging tensioner pulley, glazed belt, dashboard “BATT” light burned out, burned fusible link in the charging circuit, and the real kicker; possibly a failed voltage regulator.

The year model is not given by the OP but most Fords use an external regulator. My Sable had an external regulator along with the Merkur and both Lincolns.

here is my feeling. monroe warranty is for 90 days labor. if you went back to monroe and stated that you were willing to pay for the labor and AZ would warranty the part what would be the outcome?
as a side we install customer provided parts with no warranty for labor.

I’m confused,what does Goodwrench have to do with this?

Grampy, Nothing, As Far As I Can Tell.