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Old 01-31-2011, 07:25 PM
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NAPA Autoparts

Do you regularly use Napa Autoparts? If so, why? The parts are more expensive than Advance Autoparts or Autozone. Maybe the clerk behind the counter knows more than the Advance Autoparts or Autozone clerk (that's their big selling point), but you probably know more about your car than all of them put together.
Advance autoparts and Autozone have a pretty good selection for modern cars.
The Napa website is a horrible site to use. Advance autoparts and Autozone sites are much better. If Napa depended on my business, they would go out of business.

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:38 PM
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Maybe I can shed some light on the subject. Here in our town we have 2 big chain auto parts stores. Napa Auto Parts and O'Reilly (Formerly Kragen). We have some smaller part stores, but I will focus on the big ones for now.

While O'reilly is much cheaper, they also don't offer most of the parts, specific tools or gaskets I need. They can look at their computer inventory confused when I ask about specific parts for my daily driver Mercedes. Napa here in town has some of the most knowledgeable guys around. If all else fails, I usually have to go to a European parts place out of town. A big hassle, but its all about selection.

I want to say its like shopping at 2 grocery stores. You shop at the first one for prices, then you go to the second to buy the stuff the first store doesn't stock. Napa is my 2nd, if not 3rd store in line as far as priority goes. They still get my business, but not as much.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:40 PM
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Never been to NAPA online. IMHO, the best auto parts web site is O'Reilly, at least for looking up parts online. I don't know how it is to actually place an order from.

I had a hell of a time trying to use the Advance Auto site to actually order parts (they had a promotion going on that was a $20 savings), and not much better luck using the Auto Zone site.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:46 PM
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Napa parts are all reboxed major brand name parts. Their good front end parts are Moog, their bateries are Exide, Brakes are Wagner etc. Their website is terrible. Rock Auto has the best online site and carries a huge selection. They see the crap parts and the high end stuff. A lot of time if I am not in a hurry, I get my parts for my car at Rock Auto. It is usually cheaper from there with shipping than I can get locally
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:54 PM
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NAPA online leaves a lot to be desired. But...if you can't find what you need on their website, stop in and talk to one of the more experienced parts counter guys. They'll pull out the old ragged paper catalogs, and chances are they will be able to track down exactly what you need. At least that's been my experience with them. As far as AutoZone, or our local A&A Auto Parts store, I continue to patronize them, but their prices aren't that much less than NAPA. I try spread my business around, and all these places have been a great help in my project. My biggest gripe with AutoZone is they have a tough time finding anything if it isn't listed on their computerized inventory.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:25 PM
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You want opinions? Autozone is for buying seat covers and air fresheners not real auto parts from parts professionals.

The one thing you will find at NAPA stores is you don't know what you will find. First off not all NAPA parts stores are REAL parts stores, NONE of Autozones are. Some NAPA parts stores are company owned and ran like a HomeDepot (that ain't good if you didn't know). Most are private owned and are REAL parts stores or close to it. Are their better parts stores, in your town? Could be, but Autozone, Peppy boys Kragen and the like are NOT REAL parts stores. They are where you go to get seat covers and air fresheners.

In my town, NAPA is second, first is a private store that blows our NAPA away. But until I found them I was plenty happy with NAPA as being MILES better than the "McParts" stores like Autozone here in town.

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Old 01-31-2011, 08:56 PM
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I used to prefer the local mom and pop parts store locally plus the owner lives a half block away from me. Unfortunately they are now selling crap as they have franchised their merchandise. We have an Advance. Thanks, but no thanks. I do buy from them occasionally so I can rent a tool or two I don't own (harmonic balancer puller and a big hub puller). This means I'm 'stuck' with NAPA. They have gone out of their way several times when I've needed parts for one of my vehicles - but real cheap, they ain't. I use Rock Auto Parts on line if I have the time. Even with shipping it's usually cheaper by a lot. You do have to be careful that they don't ship from 2 locations - you'll get socked with a double shipping charge as I learned a while back

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:06 PM
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Parts stores seem to run in cycles, at least around here. Advanced seems to do pretty well, but then they will get something wrong,like the part or the price or to even order it.The Local store is real ggod about delivery and she is pretty sharp but sometimes she will string us along trying to find something instead of admitting that it is to difficult to get, or she doesnt have a source. Napa has allways been good here. We dont use them much, they dont want to deliver this far from town (11 miles) and prices can be high sometimes. But when it boils down to it, no one bats 1000, not even the best.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:48 PM
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I usually don't go to Napa, I use a local Family owned Car Quest which has been in business since 1948. have become Friends with the owners/ operators.
I use Napa for certin things like oil filters, always use Napa gold... I know the people at the local Napa also, but generally I only use them if CQ doesn't have somthing in stock..

As far as Advance/Autozone.. I have bought starters and alternators from them from time to time. there cheaper, they do have a higher fail rate than those that come from Napa or carquest. but when money's tight, they get out a few dollars cheaper. for someone who can't work on there own vehicle, it wouldn't work out.. for other parts, I usually pay for service, and go to CQ or Napa.. as an example. there was a girl who worked at the local Advance Auto. she could answer the phone and run the computer just fine, but had very little automotive knowledge. now works at the KFC next door... There used to be a lady there who really knew her stuff, but she moved on. probably working at a Napa or Carquest somewhere
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:50 PM
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Here in the "sticks" of Arizona we have Autozone, Checker, and Napa. When I needed a master cylinder for my deuce and wanted a good laugh I stopped in to my local AutoZone. Asked for a master cylinder for a '61 GM pickup. The kid behind the counter looked puzzled and said, "our computers don't go back that far" (in a heavy Hispanic accent). Then for another laugh went across the street to the Checker store. Asked the same question and got the same answer. (Was on my way to Napa anyway so this whole thing was just for fun.)

Dropped by Napa and asked the same question (this unit by the way is a dual master cylinder with clutch and brakes). The GIRL behind the counter asked, "Do you want the GMC unit with the clutch on the left or the Chevy unit with the clutch on the right side ?" They didn't have it in stock but I picked it up the next day.

If you want to buy seat covers, cheap screwdrivers or oil then Checker or Autozone will do. If you want to buy parts where they know their collective do do then I suggest you go to Napa.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:08 PM
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I worked at a NAPA for a year and do you know that once we sold a friggin master cylinder for a 1950's Harley trike! It was in stock at the warehouse! Of course it fit a bunch of other stuff like forklifts or something but we had it.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:41 AM
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Heck - NAPA even had a replacement for the chipmunk chawed on heater control valve for my '06 F350 with a V10 gas engine - and those are relatively rare trucks. Their price - competitive. Advance - not a clue as to what I was talking about.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:46 AM
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This is no way in defense of Zone/Advance- but both carry good parts/brands along w/the white box brands. You just have to be willing to wait for them to be delivered. And YOU have to be your own advocate- I would never solely depend on ANY parts counterman.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:22 AM
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parts stores.....

Hi,i usually go to NAPA for auto parts and NAPA gold filters,i live near a small town,if they diont have the parts today,they can usually have them in 1 day. advance A.P. is a joke,they usually dont have a clue.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:43 PM
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While building my car I was in NAPA here at least a few times a week and got the grumpiest old fogey. He groaned when I came in as he knew I wanted something that was not easy for him to find. However he ALWAYS found it. I'm an old fogey too. He was full of knowledge but had to be pried out of him and I was helped immensly because of him.
He used to build and race cars back in the day.
I believe they also have quality parts and may also be more MADE in USA stuff. Although it's getting more difficult to get.
Therefoe I will always go there first just to give them my business. I believe that if I want them to be there for me then I can help insure that by always using them.
I have also traveled the country and gone to NAPA and found the same level of help.
I do like visiting the zone etc. as they have more accessory stuff on the shelf then NAPA.
JMHO
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