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  #1  
Old 08-28-2013, 08:08 AM
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Default Civic was sick. Rant about Advanced Auto Parts

So I hadn't been driving Ol' Roy (my 1994 civic I bought) because it's manual and I had a bum knee. It sat for over a month until I went to drive it up to the parts store to get new headlight bulbs so I could start driving it again.

I anticipated that it would probably be a rough start because it sat so long and it has so many miles on it (375,xxx). Of course it did, but a few pumps of the pedal and a few more cranks and it fired up. We got about 1.5 miles away and it died, pushed it into the McDonald's.

Okay so time to diagnose...Air/Spark/Fuel? My first guess is fuel. This thing is old and has the original fuel pump on it, and it seemed like it just wasn't getting fuel. I call the previous owner (a mechanic) and run it by him. He says try ignition coil first, those pumps rarely go out on these cars.

Ok, so I pull a plug, test for spark, yada yada..no spark. Ok, good guess my man...let's go buy and ignition coil.

Now the fun part:

Of course the guys at Advanced Auto think they know everything..and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt because they usually know more than I do. So i go up and ask for an ignition coil and 4 new spark plugs.

"Well do you need wires/distributor cap/rotor today sir?"

"No thanks, just trying this first"

I explain my issue and two guys in the store go "Oh man, that sounds like fuel. You need a fuel pump for sure. If it was ignition coil going bad...it would RUN, just run rough. Uhh if it's not working at all...then it won't start at all..NO SPARK = no ignition at all. So for a second..they convinced me. Damn...maybe it is fuel...that sucks. I can't readily fix that in the McDonalds parking lot.

I leave and go smell the plugs to see if they smell like fuel, sure enough they do. The friggin car IS getting fuel. I go to buy an ignition coil from Auto Zone. I slap it in, new plugs as well while I'm at it. And Ol' Roy fires RIGHT up.

I made it a point to go BACK to Advanced and tell them it was in fact the ignition coil. They were dumbfounded. They still couldn't let it go "well, something is causing the igniton coil to fail" blah blah. They were so offended I went to auto zone and bought my IG coil. Those guys didn't ask questions and told me if it coil didn't work I could bring it back for full refund.

Needless to say, Ol' Roy is back up and running. Ram gets to sit pretty in the drive.

Rant over
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:48 PM
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Lmao at "Ol' Roy". Glad you got her running. I have first-hand experience with your rant. My bosses son-in-law took over at my business awhile back. (Marina) We go diagnose the problem, tell him what we need, and he starts saying "What about this, what about that?" His previous profession? You guessed it: Ran an auto parts store! What is it with these guys thinking they are some kind of mechanic just because they look up part #'s and hand you a box?
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:01 PM
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With my 97 Ram I had 5000 miles on it when I drove over something and tore up the sidewall. Couldn't be fixed. I had the steely spare on it for a week and then I went to the local Firestone to get one tire to match the other three. I don't remember what they were but I do remember they had the best price.

I get to the counter and ask for the exact tire and size knowing they had it in inventory.

The guy who was actually talking to me said "Sure. What are we putting it on?"
I said "The Ram out front."

Then a guy behind him lights up and says "You know you should always replace all four tires on a truck."

The guy talking to me ignores him. I say "I am not replacing three tires with 5000 miles on them."

Then this guys keeps going "Well, all 4x4 manufacturers recommend changing all four at one time."

I looked him right in the eye and said "You are full of shit. I am not replacing any tires that have 5000 miles on them. They are still new."

The guy who was doing the write up for the tire just smiled and shook his head. The other guy just mumbled something and sat down.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthRam View Post
With my 97 Ram I had 5000 miles on it when I drove over something and tore up the sidewall. Couldn't be fixed. I had the steely spare on it for a week and then I went to the local Firestone to get one tire to match the other three. I don't remember what they were but I do remember they had the best price.

I get to the counter and ask for the exact tire and size knowing they had it in inventory.

The guy who was actually talking to me said "Sure. What are we putting it on?"
I said "The Ram out front."

Then a guy behind him lights up and says "You know you should always replace all four tires on a truck."

The guy talking to me ignores him. I say "I am not replacing three tires with 5000 miles on them."

Then this guys keeps going "Well, all 4x4 manufacturers recommend changing all four at one time."

I looked him right in the eye and said "You are full of shit. I am not replacing any tires that have 5000 miles on them. They are still new."

The guy who was doing the write up for the tire just smiled and shook his head. The other guy just mumbled something and sat down.

hahaha that's annoying. At least the one guy was on your side. wackos
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:13 PM
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Gar...I hate when I have a gut instinct and someone tries to talk me out of it...just to find out I was correct in the first place.

Rant approved
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:53 PM
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unfortunately the majority of the counter workers at those places don't know what they are talking about, even at auto zoo. I do always go there though because they lifetime warranty is valid anywhere at any store(unlike the others).
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:24 AM
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I sure miss the ACE auto parts chain of stores out here
most of those guys were either hurt while being a mechanic or retired mechanics
they all seemed to know the part numbers by heart
whether it was a Ford Flathead or a Classic Chevy

the Autozone within easy walking distance from my place, has music blaring some newer kind of what they call music
If they had to actually look in a Parts book, they would be lost
if it is not on the computer, they say that they don't have it, but can order it

I much rather go to a O'Rielly's & it is only a couple more blocks away

For classic car or racing parts, there is a hole in the wall parts store
they do machine work in house, you can get your Oxy/Acetylene bottles filled & Certified if needed
That is my kind of auto parts store
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:55 AM
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I've thought about the large chain stores of the present day and GTY makes a point that I've considered in the past.

In the early years of my life I started working at an auto parts store in Detroit at the corner of 8 mile and Schoener called "Northeastern Auto Supply". I've also worked at a few other independents and micro-chains years ago.

The newer chain/franchise stores seem to have lost the experience, personal service, and familiarity that once seemed to be the norm. To this day I have to walk in and ask for a fuel filter for a '72 Volkswagen Beetle if I want a multi-sized inlet/outlet in-line fuel filter that will fit anything. I went to the local chain the other day and asked for a lower hose, and I got...what kind of vehicle?

Imagine the look on the clerks face when I said: A 78 Asplundh Whisper Chipper.

Then I had to revamp my request to a '73 Ford F150 300 6 cyl.

And lo-and-behold...I got a lower hose.

It just seems that without the computer, they'd be lost. I still remember part numbers for the common parts. All this technology seems to be dumbing down society. I used to remember every phone number I had, now I just push a button.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:20 PM
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Glad you got it running, though how frustrating. As mentioned, many of the counter guy's at auto parts store do not know as much as they think. I have had good luck though with the counter folks knowing there stuff at one of my local NAPA auto parts store. A lot depends on the individual store I suppose.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snrusnak View Post
unfortunately the majority of the counter workers at those places don't know what they are talking about, even at auto zoo. I do always go there though because they lifetime warranty is valid anywhere at any store(unlike the others).
I definitely understand the rant about the counter workers at some auto parts stores, I've seen it myself and, sadly there are more automotive know-nothings behind the counter than most of us parts salespeople would like to admit and they do tend to give us knowledgeable people a bad name but they do not represent all of us. Granted I have only been in the business for 3 years combined between 3 different chains, 2 large ones and one relatively small by comparison, but I like to think when I give a customer advice or recommendations, it's based on experience rather than guesswork. If I want to guess at a customer's problem, I should be in the fortune telling business, not selling parts.

Speaking for myself, there are some of us that don't just sell parts, we also trouble shoot, help diagnose the problem accurately and make sure the customer has what they need to do the job right the first time. That is based on my own experience, nothing worse than having the only vehicle you own torn down only to discover you were sold the wrong dang part! Some of us do take pride in what we do and I also like to think I have earned the respect and trust of the mechanics in my area. Why else would they call and ask for me or look to see if my truck is in the parking lot so they know I'm working? Sure, as parts salespeople, we're out to make money, but me, I'd rather take a smaller sale over none at all and I tell customers all the time, if I can save you money, I will, and I do want to see you back, just for something else because I want and value your business and I will do what I can to keep you in my store over the competition.

I do understand the frustration but, if I may speak from behind the counter, if only customers realized how frustrating it is when they come in knowing absolutely nothing about their vehicle! How simple is it to know year/make/model of what you drive? If you need a fuel pump or starter, YES, I need to know what size motor you have. Honestly, some days, I just want to look across the counter at the person standing in front of me who expects me to know (my response is my crystal ball is broken lol) or tells me it's my job to know what they drive......duh, it's your car!

Sorry for the thread jack, just had to speak my mind on this one.

- Cajun
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Last edited by CajunDodge; 09-26-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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