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Hey guys I will finally open my shop at the last week in June.I have a Napa store a advanced and a auto Zone and car quest very close to me.Ive been buying some parts from all except carquest.It looks like Napa is much more expensive and the list is almost twice Advance and AZone.Are the parts better is the coverage and service better,is warranty better.Has anybody run into this?Can anyboby recomend a line of parts that they recomend from each of theser stores.Are advanced and AZ have lesser quality parts .I know I just go some trashy tune up parts from AZ the cap archs right through the side and the Dualast wires did the same.I also got Ac plugs from Pep Boys after 1 week 3 plugs out of 8 were miss firing bag.Nothing wrong with the engine it was a maintance tune and changing the plug location changed the miss location putting 3 new ac fix it.Can Ac plug be diff quality ?I noticed I pulled out OE Ac and the ac I put in it had a extra letter A C I think. Please can some one recomend a formula or a rule of thumb so I can advoid trouble and added expense Thanks

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My experience is the stores that are more DIY oriented (AutoZone and Advance) will not have a good of a wholesale market or as good of a quality part. My personal advice, go into each one. Meet the manager of each one and inquire about their wholesale parts systems. You may find that just because the prices are cheaper (Autozone and Advance) their parts quality is much less. I personally use the Oreilly Auto parts verses the Advance in our town because of the people that I have to deal with in the store. I will gladly pay a little more for my parts to have the option of stuff like (free rotor turns when I buy the pads, personal parts deliveries by the manager since he lives near my shop--I get parts delivered well after their parts guys have gone home by the manager on his way home). Also because of my relationship with the people in the parts store they refer work to me over almost any shop in town and I do their own vehicles repairs. This is a great thing to have in the word of mouth option. Also for me, I use Mitchell on Demand. They have a great part of their program that is tied in with Oreilly, Napa, carquest and a few other companies that allows me to check inventory and order parts without ever talking on the phone. Oreilly also gives me a 2% kickback every month for the parts that I order over the internet. That ads up quickly when you spend a lot of money with them.

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I use NAPA myself. Great people and very competitive prices. Once you get an account set up with one of the quality parts houses you will see your costs drop. As far as I know, Autozone doesn't have a jobber price, what you pay is what the customer would pay. I know for sure that NAPA has a "master installer" program that lets you get your parts for less than over the counter. As was stated above, NAPA has PROLink, a website that you can order parts, check inventory and know your cost before you hand out an estimate. It's nice to know availability and your cost when making out an estimate. I don't do the business these guys on this board do, but I still get great pricing and high quality parts from NAPA. I have used AZ parts in the past but wasn't impressed with the quality. This is just my opinion, I am in no way affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned.

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I also forgot to mention that if you need any factory parts I use www.worldpac.com They have it set up for me that if I ordered before 6:30pm I have it the next morning by 10:30 and if I spend more than $75 in the order the overnight shipping is free.

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Hey guys I will finally open my shop at the last week in June.I have a Napa store a advanced and a auto Zone and car quest very close to me.Ive been buying some parts from all except carquest.It looks like Napa is much more expensive and the list is almost twice Advance and AZone.Are the parts better is the coverage and service better,is warranty better.Has anybody run into this?Can anyboby recomend a line of parts that they recomend from each of theser stores.Are advanced and AZ have lesser quality parts .I know I just go some trashy tune up parts from AZ the cap archs right through the side and the Dualast wires did the same.I also got Ac plugs from Pep Boys after 1 week 3 plugs out of 8 were miss firing bag.Nothing wrong with the engine it was a maintance tune and changing the plug location changed the miss location putting 3 new ac fix it.Can Ac plug be diff quality ?I noticed I pulled out OE Ac and the ac I put in it had a extra letter A C I think. Please can some one recomend a formula or a rule of thumb so I can advoid trouble and added expense Thanks

 

Full disclosure here, I am a NAPA AutoCare Center affilliate shop so I use NAPA parts predominantly but I have learned what parts I wish to source elsewhere too. As for quality, like most have said, quality has come up a little at the DIY stores and has fallen across the board, even with OE, with so much made in China. But I have online access to NAPA ProLink, a local independent parts store and Autozone.com (It's true the commercial price is the OTC/DIY price) and I find AZ is almost always more than my cost at the other two. Radiators especially, my cost from AZ is almost list or more than at NAPA sometimes. Only time and experience will tell you where you are comfortable getting parts from. Most customers I believe will have less respect for you if you are using AZ or AAP parts than if you use more traditional "professional" parts.

 

When I first opened I used Advanced for a few jobs because I knew the manager there. One car, the "Lifetime" alternator went out 28 days after installation. I got the part replaced right away, I had to wait three months for the labor credit. Do you know how much it was? $20.00, no diag tiime, no consideration for the 1.2 hrs book time, just $20.00 because they pay $25.00 an hour and use their book. Another car I put pads & rotors front and rear and rear calipers on it. A couple months later she complains of a squeal that I traced down to a large metallic chunk in one pad that had deeply scored the rotor. I spend a lot of time cleaning my brake parts and applying grease where appropriate so I don't get noise. I went back through this car and even applied the sticky Disc Brake Quiet to no avail. They replaced the pads and one rotor and finally paid me $25.00 for pad replacement only. Then this same car came back six months later with a grinding in the rear. One pad had delaminated and the lining fell out. Remember these were new calipers. When I called to inquire if the pads would be honored for warranty since one was missing the lining and the remaining three had 90% or better left. I was told "No there must be a defect with other brake parts." NEVER will I buy from Advanced again.

 

Like DwayneP wrote, once you get an account set up your prices at the more professional stores will drop. And with volume they will drop further. Keep on top of your stores though. NAPA, not the local store will come in and "reset" my pricing because I have lower volume since I'm a one man show. The store usually catches it but I have to ask from time to time.

 

Another reason not to buy from the DIY shops is this, Do you plan to charge for computer diagnostics? AZ & AAP do free "code scans" and essentially tell (maybe not literally but by their actions) that yours and my skill, knowledge and $1000's of test equipment is worthless. Because they can scan that Ford and pull an EGR Flow Out of Range code and sell the customer an EGR valve, and only charge them for the part! Sure, you and I know it won't fix it, but the customer now thinks that your time and equipment isn't worth the doggy-doo they stepped in this morning. Or how 'bout the customer with the hard start, black exhaust, and Fuel System Too Rich codes that needs an oxygen sensor? Sure we know it's getting fuel that the computer can't compensate for, but it needs and oxygen sensor because the experts, I mean, " the guy at AZ told me so."

 

We could all go on and on about all the misdiagnosed cars from the DIY stores selling parts but you get the point. Support those who will support you. Good luck and be prepared for your shop to own you for a few years.

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Full disclosure here, I am a NAPA AutoCare Center affilliate shop so I use NAPA parts predominantly but I have learned what parts I wish to source elsewhere too. As for quality, like most have said, quality has come up a little at the DIY stores and has fallen across the board, even with OE, with so much made in China. But I have online access to NAPA ProLink, a local independent parts store and Autozone.com (It's true the commercial price is the OTC/DIY price) and I find AZ is almost always more than my cost at the other two. Radiators especially, my cost from AZ is almost list or more than at NAPA sometimes. Only time and experience will tell you where you are comfortable getting parts from. Most customers I believe will have less respect for you if you are using AZ or AAP parts than if you use more traditional "professional" parts.

 

When I first opened I used Advanced for a few jobs because I knew the manager there. One car, the "Lifetime" alternator went out 28 days after installation. I got the part replaced right away, I had to wait three months for the labor credit. Do you know how much it was? $20.00, no diag tiime, no consideration for the 1.2 hrs book time, just $20.00 because they pay $25.00 an hour and use their book. Another car I put pads & rotors front and rear and rear calipers on it. A couple months later she complains of a squeal that I traced down to a large metallic chunk in one pad that had deeply scored the rotor. I spend a lot of time cleaning my brake parts and applying grease where appropriate so I don't get noise. I went back through this car and even applied the sticky Disc Brake Quiet to no avail. They replaced the pads and one rotor and finally paid me $25.00 for pad replacement only. Then this same car came back six months later with a grinding in the rear. One pad had delaminated and the lining fell out. Remember these were new calipers. When I called to inquire if the pads would be honored for warranty since one was missing the lining and the remaining three had 90% or better left. I was told "No there must be a defect with other brake parts." NEVER will I buy from Advanced again.

 

Like DwayneP wrote, once you get an account set up your prices at the more professional stores will drop. And with volume they will drop further. Keep on top of your stores though. NAPA, not the local store will come in and "reset" my pricing because I have lower volume since I'm a one man show. The store usually catches it but I have to ask from time to time.

 

Another reason not to buy from the DIY shops is this, Do you plan to charge for computer diagnostics? AZ & AAP do free "code scans" and essentially tell (maybe not literally but by their actions) that yours and my skill, knowledge and $1000's of test equipment is worthless. Because they can scan that Ford and pull an EGR Flow Out of Range code and sell the customer an EGR valve, and only charge them for the part! Sure, you and I know it won't fix it, but the customer now thinks that your time and equipment isn't worth the doggy-doo they stepped in this morning. Or how 'bout the customer with the hard start, black exhaust, and Fuel System Too Rich codes that needs an oxygen sensor? Sure we know it's getting fuel that the computer can't compensate for, but it needs and oxygen sensor because the experts, I mean, " the guy at AZ told me so."

 

We could all go on and on about all the misdiagnosed cars from the DIY stores selling parts but you get the point. Support those who will support you. Good luck and be prepared for your shop to own you for a few years.

Thaks you for your input all this is much as I expected.Can I get a hint from you on brake pads?I need to be competable but I don't want problems.And if you have any sugestions for tune up parts wires and plugs?thers so many options.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
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