Originally Posted by MARTINSR
There are some Maaco (Modern day Earl Shieb) that do some amazing work, but by the ODDS you get pretty poor quality at a Maaco. There are some Kragen, Pepboys or other "McParts" stores out there that do a damn nice job, but by the ODDS they don't know squat.
If you work at a McParts store that does a good job and knows his stuff, don't get made at me for rolling you up in one big blanket with the others who know nothing. I can't give someone an address and phone number to the McParts store that happens to beat the odds that is in their neighborhood across the country from where I'm at. I can only go by the odds, those McParts stores are a joke and useless for an unusual part.
I have been in the auto repair business in one way or another for 35 years, including working behind a counter at a parts store and a factory rep visiting 77 Napa auto parts stores regularly along the California coast. Some of those were worthless as well, but by the ODDS the "Real" parts store in town is going to do a lot more for you than the McParts stores.
Here in my town we have two "real" parts stores. I am blown away at the difference between the two. But even the bad one which is very close to my home still comes up with stuff that blows me away. But the other one, holy cow, we are talking walking in there and them having the brake light switch and master cylinder and wheel cylinders for my Wagner braked 1959 Rambler ON THE SHELF! This is the same parts store I will buy parts for the three year old cars working at a collision shop everyday. It's a REAL parts store and there is a BIG difference.
When I was working at the NAPA store here in town I was blown away at the pattern, those coming in who knew nothing, those struggling with some repair on the family car in their drive way didn't even know the real parts stores existed, they spoke of going to the Kragen about a mile to the south of us and Pepboys (now closed) about two miles to the north of us. Those are the ONLY stores they mentioned, marketing is VERY powerful.
The pros, the people who repaired cars for a living ONLY mentioned the two other REAL parts stores in the area. NEVER, EVER did they mention the McParts stores! It was hilarious, I was there a very short time when this hit me, there was a very distinct pattern. The power of marketing is huge, the poor dude working on his family car has only seen the McParts stores adds and heard them on the radio. Poor buggers never even heard of the REAL parts stores because those stores don't market the same. They are out there providing the auto repair shops in the area with what they need to get EVERY car repaired so they can make a living.
The McParts stores are full of air fresheners and seat covers and oh yeah, a couple of air cleaners and spark plugs.
maybe out on that coast.. but then again, out there, the body men my dad worked with didn't know how to lead or pick and file..
todays "mcparts" as you call them.. don't stock parts to sit on the shelf for years.. nor does any dealership.. they put the investment in parts that they'll move.. it's not marketing, it's the fact of life.. your "real parts store" mostlikely didn't restock the brake parts you bought for your 59, as doing so, ties up money.. something EVERY business today has to think about, no matter if it's a mom and pop store or a big chain.. also out on that coast there tends to be alot more older cars running around, so a storefront may move more older car parts to warrant the investment in stocking SOME parts..
if you work in the autobody field, and are more than a bodyman, you know. even getting parts to repair models, the popular models can be a royal pain to track down in a timely manner.. nevermind if an odd ball rolls off the rollback into the shop..
the mc parts are here because people are cheap.. the same reason. you'll put an aftermarket hood/fender/headlight/grill/etc on a car at the body shop.. instead of factory parts it's cheaper..
same reason you'll walk into wally world.. home depot, etc the list is a mile long..
everyone wants a good wage, but doesn't want to pay for anyone else to have one.. so we have what we have.. big box stores, with help that knows the bare min. why BECAUSE NO ONE WILL want to pay for the good counter help.. cause good help doesn't come from a min wage work force.. but thats what we have because we are to cheap..