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IN SEARCH OF QUALITY AUTO PARTS: LIST SUGGESTIONS HERE


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Ok, so I wanted to start this thread to make a place where we can come to when looking for top quality auto parts. Please post your favorite brand of parts in various categories and ones that you have had good success with. Also list part manufacturer/remanufacturer names you have had bad experiences with so that we will have access to that as well. Maybe if we get enough participation we can eventually talk a moderator into making this a sticky post for easy reference.

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I am new to owning my own shop. The parts so far I have been impressed with and use exclusively are:

 

Brake Pads: Wagner Thermoquiet

Suspension & Front End: MOOG

 

Those are the only two I would wholeheartedly recommend.

 

I have also used been happy with the "Perfection Clutch" brand clutch parts that Advance Auto sells and for spark plug wires that are the most direct fit replacement for OEM I like the Napa Belden Edge premium wires, but the last couple sets of those I received did not contain the necessary clips and holders to keep things looking neat and factory routed (which is what attracted me to this line of plug wires in the first place.

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Does anyone have a good source for power steering pumps? I had a job a while back where three Cardone remanufactured pumps in a row were defective. The first one lasted about a week, the second and third were faulty right out of the box. As crazy as that sounds I'm sure some of you have dealt with similar situations. My theory is a glitch in the remanufacture process that makes it past quality control. Either a machine messes up and they don't catch it in time or some guy on the line had a few too many the night before and isn't paying enough attention the next day. Before anyone even knows what's going on 50 defective pumps are remanufactured, boxed, and shipped all in one shipment and all the parts stores in your town who stock that brand probably get parts from that same truck. It's feasible....tragic, but feasible. In my case I switched to a FENCO pump and it worked fine. I didn't change a single thing about the way I was installing them either (in case anyone was wondering). FENCO does not have a good track record either, though, so I was wondering if there even are any other manufacturers/remanufacturers companies people have had better luck with.

Edited by IntegrityAutoCare
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This is an excellent thread.

 

Funny story, we had our NAPA sales rep in the store the other day talking about their "OEM-quality" parts. I wanted to test him a bit, so I asked, "What's the difference between your OEM brake rotors and Advance's?"

 

He loved this question and started talking about rotor plate thickness, number of vanes, metal densities, etc etc. I said, "Ok, Ok, that's interesting. Let's test this out. Send me a pair of yours right now." He did. Then, I called Advance for the same part, $27 less, and we had a show-down. We got out the calipers, measured everything, counted the vanes, "dinged" them (his method of testing density of the metal).

 

...turned out, they were the exact same rotors in different boxes.

 

Not a end-all-be-all scenario, but it sure made for a good laugh.

Edited by Wes Daniel
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yup...NAPA is getting bad now about selling the same cheap parts as everyone else. It makes it bad because not only are they selling cheap parts but we have know way to KNOW what parts we are getting (they all just say NAPA brand). At least with advance I know if I order a set of cheap brake pads I will get cheap brake pads, if I order WAGNER Thermoquiet brake pads I know I will get quality pads.

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For most parts my NAPA offers econo and premium. Be sure to compare apples to apples.

 

Yes, sorry, I didn't mean to insinuate that NAPA's premium parts weren't still good and probably much better than whatever AZ or Advanced calls "premium", but my only problem is not knowing who the actual manufacturer of the parts is due to the NAPA stamp on everything. Things like brake pads are a pretty easy comparison between parts stores (they each seem to carry their own "house brands") but when it comes to things like power steering pumps or reman axles I like to know who the manufacturer/remanufacturer is as I doubt NAPA actually has their own line of EVERY part. Electrical parts are the same way, I bought an HVAC mode door actuator motor from NAPA a while back and it ended up being junk. Something about the specs when they made it were off, because the armature was clocked wrong and didn't line up with the hole when the motor was at rest position so it caused strain on the motor and kept stripping the little plastic gears inside the motor. I replaced it 4 times over the course of about 8 months (each time under warranty) until finally I told them I just wanted a refund so I could buy an actuator motor from the dealer. They told me they could not refund, only replace under warranty. Then they said I would have to have the original box (from 8 months ago????). I told them I understood why they couldn't just hand out refunds to every tom dick and harry that installed an electrical part and then brought it back 2 months later as "defective", but that I was losing time and money every time I installed another one of their parts and if I had known that it was cheap piece of junk when I bought it I never would have bought it from them in the first place! The part just said NAPA on it, which is a name I THOUGHT I could trust and that would stand behind their "quality" parts. I told them that if they didn't stand behind their parts then it would make it very difficult for me to do business with them in the future. This whole thing was over a $50 part! You would think a commercial customer would be worth more to them than that.

 

Just for the record, after I refused to leave the store without a refund (yup, I had to become one of THOSE customers) they finally shelled it out and I bought one from the dealer which had ZERO tension when I installed it and has been working flawlessly ever since.

 

My point is there is probably only ONE aftermarket company that manufactures those specific replacement motors (Dorman I think) and all the part stores sell the same thing. While everyone else sells DORMAN parts, NAPA sells the same part and slaps the NAPA name on it as if it is theirs, but it's the same (in this case) defective part.

 

To give you a comparison, I do most of my business through Advance Auto. Four months ago I bought a BWD ignition module/coils assembly from them for a Cadillac at $267.00. I replaced the spark plugs on that car at the same time and last week I get the car back with a misfire. Turns out to be one of the ignition coils on that module I bought has already failed! Poor quality. I called and told them the situation and asked if I could get a refund because I wanted to get an OEM Delco coil assembly for this car so that I didn't have to deal with this again in another 4 months. They gave me a full refund with no fuss (even though just like NAPA the Warranty states only "Lifetime Free Replacement") and I continue to give them my business for just that reason.

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I think that the discount auto parts stores (Zone, Advance, O'reilly, etc.) have lead to the overall quality of all parts stores to be lower.

 

This is probably true, but is the REAL problem the stores that sell the low quality parts or the customers who are ignorant enough to buy them? Stores will always sell what the customers want. It is just unfortunate how negatively this impacts our trade.

 

This is the whole point of this thread though, "A good name is more to be desired than great riches". Its a companies NAME is all we have to go by at this point. We need to put our heads together and find companies that are putting out quality parts so we don't all end up cursing under our breath as we install that 3rd defective alternator.

Edited by IntegrityAutoCare
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  • 7 months later...

Hi,

Although I have numerous bitter experience regarding auto parts and manufacturers but I got 100% satisfaction with Matrix Collision Repair Facility. It is one of the best body repairing shop that I have ever seen in my life.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
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      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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