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Auto Parts Store War Stories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by leadsled, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. 63FalconFutura
    Joined: Feb 18, 2010
    Posts: 308

    from Socal

    i filled out a 10 page application for autozone i got all cleaned up and went to turn it in the manager looks at the first question "Are you 18 years of age or older?" i put no because i am 16 and he just ripped it in half and threw it away right in front of me
  2. 63FalconFutura
    Joined: Feb 18, 2010
    Posts: 308

    from Socal

    TOPS IS THE SHIT I LOVE THAT PLACE, Kirk knows his stuff if u talk to him your in the best of hands
  3. ooh that reminded me.. wanna watch a counter guys head explode? rear brake pads for a 02 chevy 3/4 ton or somthing like that.. as the chain goes. first its what size wheel then is it 1 or the other caliper? then is it a 1 or 2 piston caliper, then is it 3.73 ratio or not. lol i remember the first time i had to get the right brakes for that customer... I wanted to throw the computer at the local GM dealership. and as it works out there's like 8 different possible brake pads for the back of that silly truck
  4. This thread is a real hoot, if somewhat frustrating for those who had to go through the experiences posted.

    Recently, I dropped into a SuperCheap Auto store - a lot like a Pap Boys or Kragen, stateside, looking for some stuff for my grandson's and my longroof project. Usually the shop I go into is pretty good, but there's obviously been a recent staff change and someone I didn't know was at the counter.

    I ask the kid, "Do you have any aftermarket airfilters for a downdraft Weber carb?" His reply? "What's aftermarket mean?" I left and picked up a new radiator cap the car needed from the Repco across the street (where a guy closer to my age knew exactly what I wanted) and then ordered a Ram-Flo air filter from an old speed shop in town. The guy there was only a few years older than the kid at SuperCheap, but had grown up around V8s and simply handed me a catalogue and asked which carb I wanted it for. While not in stock, it was ordered from the distributor after the weekend visit.

    From the other side of the counter: 20 years ago I met one of the most wonderful women I've ever had in my life while working in an auto parts store.

    She came in for valve stem seals to fit her highly modded Ford (UK) Escort rally car which none of the other shops were able to figure out what she needed, as the head on the engine wasn't stock. I asked if she had a sample of what she was looking for, went out to the back and found Mini Cooper S ones were an exact match.

    I not only made a good customer that day, but ended up in a wonderful relationship for many years afterwards. Shows the value of giving quality service. :D
  5. We are very lucky to have an old time parts store.
    Always very helpful.
    E&M Auto in El Cajon
    Please support the stand alone stores it may cost a little extra at least you can get help.
    Its a 24 mile round trip for me and well worth it.
  6. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    You sir, bring absolutely nothing to the table. Have fun with your street rod.
  7. This wasn't an auto parts store (well, they do have an auto section), but I want to share, this is so unbelievable.

    I'm checking out with one thing, $12 and change is the total. I see I only have one $10, so I give the teenage girl with glasses on the register $23. She proceeds to hand me $1 and change back, and it takes me a minute.. wait, why is she giving me a $1? But I never left the register, I stuck it in my pocket, pulled it back out, and sure enough a $1. I say "you gave me a $1 instead of a $10". You'd have thought I was trying to steal half the fucking store the hassle I got trying to get this money back.

    To make a long story short, she said she gave me a $10, gets the person from the service desk and they wanted me to leave my name and they'd count the drawer later, if it was over they'd call me and I could come back for the money... I said fuck no, count it now... some other broad who apparently is management looks at their surveliance tape, yeah she took it from the $10 slot... so they count it out, the drawer is even... so now I have to wait for the auditor to come in and go through and see if the drawer was ever off. They're so confident if the drawer was ever off at all it will be in the computer, it was like talking to a cement block telling them the computer has no idea if there's 10 tens in the ten slot or 5 tens and 5 ones in it.

    But basically I'm fucked. Someone came in earlier in the day and probably gave this dummy a ten and a one instead of two tens, which shorts her drawer $9. Bubblehead, not paying attention or maybe can't even see because she's half blind, gives me the $1 out of the $10 slot, probably never knowing she'd put a $1 in there in the first place. Now the drawer is even, because it has $9 of my money in it. Manager-person at store: "That is highly unlikely." Riiiiight. Lesson: if you're in a store where the IQ requirement for clerks is less than the dollar amount of your purchase, use a damn debit or credit card.

    And in the meantime, I used up about half an hour of at least two people at the store, one a manager. I'm pretty sure he makes more than $10 an hour. The store would have been better off to just give me the $9 and send me on my way - I could see all this crap if I said she gave me a $5 instead of a $50 or something like that, but for less than $10?

    On the way out I did make the comment as I passed the clerk that "someone needs new glasses" ...
  8. Forty61
    Joined: Jul 29, 2013
    Posts: 35

    from DFW

    Ha, I do the same. I'll tell them what I need, they'll inevitably ask what year, make and model to which I reply "Well, look it up as a..."

    It's happened on all my old cars. I just tell them whatever the motor/trans came from. Saves a lot of time.
  9. fomocojoe
    Joined: Aug 14, 2013
    Posts: 24


    This is my autozone story:

    Me: I had the throttle body bored out for more cfm and fitted it with bigger injectors.
    Him: Sweet! Is it a 355 or 383 now?
    Me: Niether, I only had the throttle body bored.
    Him: Ummm, so how many cubes is it now?
    Me: 350, same as stock.
    Him: But I thought you had it bored?
    Me: It's hard to understand...

    Another time
    Me: I'd like all new urethane bushings for my rear suspension
    Him: Why don't you do what I'm doing with my Camaro and just weld an x in there
    Me: Umm ok, how will that work?
    Him: you know, just rip it all out and weld an x in (proceeds to draw me a picture of a body, a rear end, and an x welded between them)
    Me: (loving this) Ok, so where will it pivot?
    Him: you know, right in the middle. Mines gonna be awesome!
  10. For what it's worth, I did get my $10 the next day - and a $10 gift card - and I never did see that clerk again.

    You want fun, try to look up parts in Pep Boys. The ones here still have the circa-1991 computer system in them. No pictures, it's not Windows - it's like the Apple II computers we had when I was in middle school. The last time I was there, the clerk was using his own personal smart phone to look parts up on Pep Boys' website to show to people.
  11. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,286


    I just ask for all my parts to fit a 1971 chevy c10 shortbed. The counter guy I went to finally asked what I was doing to this truck because i'd bought 3 engine kits in the past year. My hometown NAPA was great, the one I live near now is not much different than autozone. I finally found a good parts store, been ther 40 years or so, cranky old guy and smart ass young guy at the counter, its only 5 minutes the wrong direction on the way home from work. Now I can stop wearing out my rock auto link and buy locally
  12. jim henderson
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 30

    jim henderson

    I went into the local napa store ( Casey IL ) for some vacuum hose. I ask the clerk for 5 feet of ever size he has. He ask what am I working on ? I say nothing just stocking up on some vacuum line because I was out in the shop. He say he can't get me any ( and refuses to ) because I'm don't have any information for him to look it up. They lost a life time costumer. I will drive out of my way to buy parts before I go back.
  13. Well thank God you didn't say 1/4" or 5/16". You might have screwed up and made a friend.
  14. Elbopper
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 109


    When i come in to the store, was a gal and a guy ordering parts, when the guy ask for an air filter, The gal said why do you want an air filter the air condition does not work, So i was right behind them and he turn around and look at me and said, what do you think brother,
    So real serious i told the young gal, well you don't want duty air get in the tires do you. the guy just said to her see. They left the store, But 5 minutes later i hear a knocking on the store window and was the young gal giving me the finger, he must told her about air filter
  15. johnybsic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 612

    from las vegas

    DING DING DING! We have a winner. A smart customer has a game plan.

    Learn to just humor the poor kid.
    For example, I'm looking for a caliper for my 55 chevy...So ask
    "I need a rear caliper for a 2000 explorer, 4wd etc"

    *looking for engine parts? "I need a gasket set for a 1070 chevelle, 454 th400"

    Don't give a big speal about how "Its custom application won't matter".
    ALSO. When you basterdize your cars at pick-a-part, or aftermarket parts...WRITE DOWN where your parts came from, what they are based off of etc. Keep a lil notebook in the glovebox for component swaps. Save yourself the grief guys.

    Sometimes you really do know what your looking for, just tell em "I know where they are" or "they wont be listed like that".
  16. shawnspeed
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 165

    from Attica Mi

    Better yet, look the parts up before you get there, print off a list, and all he /she has to do is pull them...Orilleys has that o[ption on there web site, and most others allow you to send you order in via e- mail for a will call pick up....eliminates all the questions....also will tell you if it is in stock...just my experience...Shawn
  17. gtowagon
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 406


    I have been in the auto parts business since 1978 started off sweeping floors there when the old guys liked the questions I asked. There were no computers and not much on micro fish unless you worked at a dealer just good old fashioned books and guys who knew what they were doing. It was easier in the old days cars were simpler and not as many varieties. Chevys came in v-8's and inline sixes. Now a days there are endless variations of a single car. The good parts stores and counter men are fading away I havent worked in 3 years tried working for a chain store but quickly became fed up with the corporate way of doing things the endless meetings for nothing, trying to train new hires who haven't a clue a d don't even care to learn. I am lucky to have access to a former store that I worked at for my own parts needs and for friends in need but they have already downsized a couple times and will probably close their doors soon
  18. Standard gas&oil
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 289

    Standard gas&oil
    from USA #1

    I don't give parts store employees crap, they are just doing what they are trained to do by the book. Trust me, the 25 year old girl behind the counter is thinking you are just a weird old A-hole when you get pissy because she cant find the right gaskets for your vintage car with a different mill. Research online before you go in and just order what you need and save time.
  19. I used to call on Lincolnway as a sales rep. John and Dan are probably still there slinging parts. They even have a kick a$$ machine shop in the back that did a lot of my "odd" jobs. I retired about seven years ago..... I'll have to drive over there someday soon and say Hi.
  20. Since I had nothing to do today, retired and all, I decided to drive my old route and stop in and see my old Tuesday customers. It was like old home week. Amazingly, Lincolnway still has at least five people there that were there from before I retired. The town has sure changed but they haven't. Down the road in Michigan City, one customer had lost his wife a short while back, but otherwise, they're still pretty much the same. As said earlier, times have changed since I started working parts counter in 1969, but since I never worked in a McParts store, I dealt with a lot of the same people for periods of years, not just on one occasion. It was good seeing some old friends. Hope they all felt the same.
  21. BillSchmid
    Joined: Jul 21, 2012
    Posts: 98

    from Ohio

    I went to pepboys to buy an adapter to use my old Superior "the 500" steering wheel on my nova. There were a lot of adapters on the shelf, but none actually listed what they fit, just a part number. So I ask the guy at the counter if the had a steering wheel adapter that would fit my car. His screen is angled so I can see it pretty well. He's clicking away, mumbling to himself, looking slightly annoyed. After this goes on for a few minutes I look at the screen and he's staring at a disc brake kit :confused:.

    I ended up buying the adapter from Jegs.
  22. jfreakofkorn
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 2,640


    this is a great thread .... enjoying these stories =)
  23. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    local carquest , higher in prices but no hassles and knows his stuff , the local napa is turning into a pepboys in quality and its a company owned store, only one good employee and she might be leaving ( she started as a driver and now is asst mgr and they will not promote her as she has no college) ,
    advance is decent if your there on the right day , they have a manager that came from Burger King ( I Kid you not) and is a total reject in manners and is clueless when it comes to cars . several of the good employees told him to F.O. and so have several commercial customers ,
    so between Rock auto and carquest thats all I have , I support my local speed shop as I worked there years back , and the owner and his family will hand me the book or turn the computer around and let me look up my stuff . have also helped them out when they needed it too ( with permission )

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