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Advance/Carquest Parts Availability


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For those of you who buy parts from Advance or Carquest, have you been having a harder time getting certain parts since they merged?

For example, certain product lines missing or a shift to more retail parts/less hard parts for professionals?

Or delivery times are down because of low inventory levels?

 

What's different and what do you think about the changes?

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My service writer is constantly competing with my suppliers, you hear it every day, (I get that part cheaper) I'm to the point of raising my labor rates an advertise bring in your parts will install. This of course brings out the forms in triple not responsible for your part failure. There's going to come a day when we get a supplier like BG products then you will see deals cut.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Advance Auto Parts will NEVER get another penny of my money. If they are the only parts supplier in town, I will find another line of work. Since they bought CarQuest my opinion of CQ dropped dramatically. Doesn't help that the local CQ store closed up and the one in the town where I like thinks customer service requires they ignore the customer at the counter for at least 10 minutes before even saying hello. Nope, in that town if I need pro-line auto parts I go to the Auto-Value store.

The reason I will never buy again from AAP is because of three very bad experiences just before and just after I opened for business.

1) a friend had bought a wheel bearing and installed it himself. It was a "lifetime warranty" part. I installed the second one (first warranty) and tightened all bolts and axle nut to the manufacturer's specifications. When that wheel bearing failed in less than a year the store guy got real snippy and told me I had installed it wrong, I must have over tightened the nut. When I recited the torque values and he confirmed them in the computer he told me my torque wrench must be bad. Then he gave me another wheel bearing and told me it was the last replacement he would give my friend.

2) Just after i opened I replaced an alternator for a customer and 28 days later she came in on a hook. I checked it out, tested the circuits to verify it was the alternator and not the CHARGE fuse/fusible link or the PCM and replaced the alternator. They refused reimbursement for the customer's tow bill, they refused reimbursement for the testing and then they paid me half of the labor time for replacing the alternator at less than half of the local labor rate.

3) A customer needed four wheel brakes, pads rotors and calipers. I try to source all of my parts for a job from the same source so there is no argument over whose part is at fault. Only AAP had all of the parts, Bendix brand. A month later the customer comes back with a harmonic squeal in the front brakes. I spent almost an hour verifying the noise and trying a couple things to try and silence the noise. The problem was a large metal piece in on brake pad cut a groove in the rotor. The store sent me a new rotor and new set of pads but refused any labor except for again, one half the labor operation for pads only (for one side only so 1/4 the time) with no allotment for the rotor and no time for the diag. This same customer came back the following year complaining of suddenly no brakes and then the next time she hit the pedal it was grinding. All of the brake pads were worn evenly, all four front's measured the same, the remaining rear 3 measured the same thickness and one was just the backing plate. The guy I talked to at the store told me there was nothing they would do about it, there had to be something wrong elsewhere in the brake system. I protested that I had replaced pads rotors and calipers and all the pads were worn evenly, clearly the pad was defective and the lining had separated. He then blamed me for a mistake. I asked to talk to the store manager, a woman I knew and he said he was the store manager. When I asked to talk with Diane he told me I couldn't.

 

Would you treat your customers this way? Ot would you do what it takes to take care of them and "Make it right?"

 

I fail to understand why any respectable 'professional' shop would buy parts from AAP or from AZ. Both stores aggressively advertise in ways that devalue our work. Try to sell diagnostic time to someone who "had it diagnosed at(insert cheapo parts store here)." Try to sell quality parts to someone when they can buy it at AAP or AZ for so much less. I had a guy from AZ come in and try to get me to do business with them because their prices were so much better than everybody else'. I asked him what was in their box and he tried telling me that Wells was a premium line. Last I knew it was a used car lot line. It only needed to last long 30 days. With as much trouble as we already have with public perception, why do we reward parts stores who only reinforce the notion that we overcharge for everything we do? Nope, not gonna happen with me.

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Not having those problems here. I deal with the same Car Quest store I always have. Same crew, professional service all the way. Just this week I signed up for the Tech Net program. The rep was very helpful and was able to answer all my questions. have you tried contacting corporate? The wheel bearing for instance is "lifetime". I dont see how they could deny replacing that bearing again under their warrantu..have never seen a limit disclaimer on their warranty as to how many parts is considered a life time.

As to professional shop I only purcahse from 3 suppliers, unless it is a dealer only part. NAPA locally is the hardest to deal with. I also use Cold Air Distributors ( pro only warehouse type store ), and Advace/Car Quest. O'rilleys recently put up several stores and we have a local store called Bennets. Been burned by Bennets to many times, similiar to your problem with Adavace. Just my 2 cents.

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear, the problems I had were with Advance Auto Parts. I will NEVER buy anything from them. The CarQuest store is and has always been horrible for walk-in customer service. Even when I worked for a mobile repair company and would go in there in my uniform. Never had a problem anywhere else just the one in the town where I live. Every other CarQuest was always pleasant and even if they were busy they would at least say hello and acknowledge you.

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Trusted...Car Quest is Advance now.

That may be in your area but in the town where I live, Kalkaska, Michigan there are four parts stores, AutoValue, CarQuest, O'Reilly and Advance. Notice, in the same tiny town (population 17,253 for the county) we have both CarQuest and Advance Auto Parts. If you take the back streets you can walk out of one, get in your car, drive to the other, get out of your car and walk in the other store in about 2 minutes.

 

I don't mean to argue but to paraphrase the words of Joe Friday, "Just the facts man." And those are the facts for my town. None of which changes my experience and disdain for the horrific customer care I experienced with APP or their active and aggressive devaluation of our services.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Problems with parts can be solved by only buying the most expensive aftermarket or oem. ALL store brand wheel bearings are garbage, trust me we put in at least 4 bearings a day every day and every part store cheap unit is the same junk as found on Amazon for $29.99 just marked up twice. Go with Timken and torque them and they last a couple years. SKF and Dorman are reboxed garbage now as far as I can tell.

 

We buy from whoever has the parts in stock and delivers the fastest. Napa decided to charge me 2% for paying my bill with a credit card so I don't call them anymore. AAP screwed up my bill so many times I stopped calling them. It's not the company but the local employees. I don't have time to do their job. Our local Car quest in my opinion was so antiquated I never called them ever. Sure if I need an oil filter and hei module for a '78 k10 they got it but nothing newer than 2002 and they were confused with anything Kia lol

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Seems to me no matter where you buy parts today a large majority are junk. My pet peeve is resellers putting whatever they want into boxes with their name and logo. I used to use Carquest brand suspension parts (raybestos) They had zerk fittings and were a quality product. Then with no warning, no box change, and of course no price reduction they started using Mevotech. I have had many problems with their junk but they were hiding behind the Carquest name. Stop putting products in Napa, Advance, Oreilly, Etc boxes and show me the brand I'm buying. I use Advance for brake pads because I can buy Wagner Thermoquiets today, tomorrow when I buy brakes I'm still getting Thermoquiets. The other resellers in town only sell their brand, what am I getting? I asked a counter person one day what pad should I use for a customer who always complains about noise. He pointed me to the highest priced pad. Why? He said they were the best. Why? Look at the price they are the most expensive. Nobody and I mean nobody really knows whats in those reseller branded boxes, and even if you think you know, tomorrow they may change.For example Carquest filters were Wix filters with Carquest. After Advance bought them out they changed to Baldwin, Now Advance has worked a deal with Purolator and their changing again, Of course the box has and will never reflect the change.

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"SKF and Dorman are reboxed garbage now as far as I can tell."

Many Dorman parts are JUNK but all I install are SKF bearings and have NO, that would be ZERO problems with them. Timken is 50% or more expensive and my local jobbers say they have a 1 year warranty. Regardless of whether Timken does or does not stand behind their extgremely expensive wheel bearings is a moot point, the supplier says 12 months, that's it. Now SKF backs theirs with a 3 year or 45,000 mile warranty. I've used them in my own car and after 70,000+ they were still working good. Of course I am fanatical about researching torque and tightening all fasteners to that torque. If you're a sloppy tech you can set up the best parts for premature failure.

 

"Napa decided to charge me 2% for paying my bill with a credit card..."

You demand a discount and then expect them to pay even more to let you rack up rewards points on your credit card. And you get upset when they charge you back some of that? Sounds like NAPA is better off without ungrateful customers who expect everything for nothing. Just as you know your best customers and will bend over backwards for them, your suppliers know what kind of customer you are and you get the treatment you deserve. When was the last time you called any supplier and asked how long simply so you know how to schedule and they insisted on taking a counter guy and RUSHING the part over to you? I mean when you weren't demanding they rush it right to you? It happens to me very often because I respect my suppliers. I don't ask them to do it, I just ask how long so I know how to schedule my day and they are eager to help me because I am grateful for their work on my behalf.

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Problems with parts can be solved by only buying the most expensive aftermarket or oem. ALL store brand wheel bearings are garbage, trust me we put in at least 4 bearings a day every day and every part store cheap unit is the same junk as found on Amazon for $29.99 just marked up twice. Go with Timken and torque them and they last a couple years. SKF and Dorman are reboxed garbage now as far as I can tell.

 

From what I've found/read about sealed hub wheel bearings is that most, if not all non-OEM brands are woefully under-greased from the factory.

The offshore brands are even worse, having a bare minimum of low-quality grease, which causes the quick failures that are common with low-priced sealed hubs.

This causes bearing noise and premature failure, all for the manufacturer to save a few cents worth of grease per unit.

 

The solution is to pop out/unthread the ABS sensor and pump a bunch of synthetic bearing grease in there.

Don't fill it right full though, make sure there's room for thermal expansion of the grease.

Here's a thread describing this problem and solution perfectly:

http://www.silveradosierra.com/how-to-articles/how-to-pack-your-sealed-hubs-t18734.html

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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