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Where did the brains go in the parts counter guys?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by klutchmaster427, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. skipstitch
    Joined: Oct 7, 2001
    Posts: 1,176

    skipstitch
    Member

    It is really hard to be an EXPERT and walk into a parts store (for their help). Those STUPID guys behind the counter should KNOW the fuel pump I need is from a '78 Monte Carlo with no return line when I say "Small Block Chevy" and make a crack telling them it's for a '50 Plymouth.

    In case you hadn't notice... most of the "parts cars" we use are now antiques as well.

    Seriously, take a look around in the store. If they sell "stick on port holes" maybe you shouldn't be too hard on the computer jockey behind the counter. He/She is probably doing what it takes to get thru a work day for around $10.00 an hour and your "obscure" request in a sea replacement parts for imports is just a PAIN.

    I'll bet ya $$$ there is a message board somewhere where they are going back and forth complaining about customers who ask for stupid parts that don't fit their day to day business....

    I don't work for a parts store... I'm just realistic in my expectations. Not everyone is an OLD car guy... I'm just sayin" :) :) :)
     
  2. klutchmaster427
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 229

    klutchmaster427
    Member

    Rock Auto's basically been my savior for the past couple of years. It's the first bookmark on my phone! I don't know how many times I've looked up part numbers on that site to help me find them elsewhere. Plus their prices aren't all that bad either!
     
  3. rainhater1
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,150

    rainhater1
    BANNED
    from az

    I use NAPA and look up the part # before I go to the store, They have a few older guys that can find older parts.
     
  4. klutchmaster427
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 229

    klutchmaster427
    Member


    I worked for a cable company doing tech support for the internet and phone service. We had that exact thread for our customers, and I'm sure customer's had their threads just like this one (well, those customers that knew how to use the internet service I had to fix for them hehe ) about us tech support guys. I'm sure you're right, probably the same for every industry.
     
  5. bartikus
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 235

    bartikus
    Member

    i got two good ones. i was helping a friend get a cherry bomb for his truck and we went over to the old autozone. well we walked back with the kid so we could figure out which one we needed and he walked us over to the catalitic converters and said here they are. after finally convincing him that they were not mufflers we directed him down the shelf to where the cherry bombs were. it made me laugh a little.

    just this last weekend i was workind on the transmission in a 1983 blazer with a buddy. i had never worked on a 700r4 before and was pretty sure it just took standard dex/merc but wanted to make sure. so again i called up the old autozone and the kid over the phone told me that my transmission took ATF. i proceeded to let him know that ATF stood for automatic transmission fluid. this also gave me a little laugh. i think thats the best thing you can do. they always irritate me when i go in. but i always laugh about it later and it makes me feel better.
     
  6. teamslacker
    Joined: Sep 30, 2009
    Posts: 16

    teamslacker
    Member

    Hey DE SOTA I live in ventura county also, and I can attest to the fact that English speaking shop folk are hard to come by, walked out in frustration from the O'Reily's (sp?) the other day out of frustration that the guy could not understand what I was requesting due to the language barrier (this was for OT truck interior light bulbs). Drove over to NAPA in Camarillo, and hey all was good. It is sad, but most of my stuff I get off the net 'cause with Google and net stores I can do my own research, and get EXACTLY what I need. I wish it wasn't like this, I would love some old school speed shop(s) in my town. Heck, anyone remember SuperShops in SoCal, at least they staffed the place with car guys. When I was a kid in the '80's in Simi Valley, we had Bills Speed and Custom rand by a real car guy,, and right over the hill PAW (Performance Automotive Wholesale) best deal on parts...ever, and B&M (you could walk in the shop with your converter, let them know what stall you wanted and they would take care of you), there are numerous examples of these types of changes. I am 40 now, but in the last 15-20 years the aftermarket landscape sure has changed. Feeling a bit nostalgic now...can't imagine how the real old-timers feel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  7. THE_DUDE
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,601

    THE_DUDE
    Member

    Well as a parts guy for 13 years. I left when I couldn't handle the changes in the auto aftermarket and the shift from mom and pop stores with people who knew the shit to gaint box stores with anyone with a pulse behind the counter.
     
  8. RocketPinstriping
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 83

    RocketPinstriping
    Member
    from Waco Tx

    i actually ran across a parts guy who i didnt have to go through 20 minutes of 'what?' and 'make model and application' crap. o_O i asked for a water pump for a early 60's big block Ford, and got it ordered in 5 minutes with a fun little chat :)

    the dude i usually get it the typical... i F with him every chance i get... brake master cyl for my Beetle, clutch pedal assembly for O/T vehicles only available with Automatics, etc. i guess i cant use exhaust fluid anymore, seeing as how new O/T diesels actually use it... grrrrr
    first time i dealt with him i asked for plug wires for the same car, gave him all needed info, and "what is it going on, i need to know for the right part" after repeating myself 3 times i spouted of a list of as many cars, motors and years i could think of. didnt need that on an already bad day. lol he probably didnt either but...
     
  9. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,662

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Huh, what year car is that, what motor? Huh do you know the part number? Oh its well dont know might have to order it in . We cant cross reference the number.
     
  10. bathcollector
    Joined: Jul 8, 2006
    Posts: 251

    bathcollector
    Member

    Go stand behind the counter for a month, see how you do.
     
  11. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    recently a car quest i used to frequent changed up the counter guys..I got 2 flunkies one came from wal-mart one came from autozone, neither one knows what they are doing, the store changed suppliers too in mid run, so now they are really screwed up.
    Found out that my local NAPA has better prices and better help..guess they made the choice easy for me

    to be honest, i wouldnt want the job either
     
  12. AAFD
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 585

    AAFD
    Member
    from US of A

    In my small town we have a few parts stores, they are all bunched up on 1 block of the same street...

    Autozone - guys behind the counter are too busy listening to hip hop and texting on their phones to pay much attention to what you're after. Parking lot is full of fast & furious cars. I only go there for their deals on motor oil and they usually stock the carb kits I need. I try not to go in there unless it's a last resort.

    NAPA - This is a small dark dusty store with a large woman huffing cigarettes behind the counter and some skinny guy that doesn't seem to care if you get what you need. Their hours suck, their prices suck, and I rarely venture in there unless it's a NAPA only part I'm after, but I try to avoid it at all costs.

    Carquest - This is a decent store and the guy behind the counter is helpful and knowledgeable. Their delivery drivers are cute white trashy chicks, but the store is dated with shelf stock from the 80's. Their prices on alternator parts and a few odds & ends are better than the others, but they usually don't have the typical stuff in stock and their sale prices are weak. I only go in here if nobody else has the same part.

    O'Reilly - There is one younger kid who knows his stuff. He's a wounded vet, and has respect for people who come in. He doesn't need specifics. If you tell him you need a set of valve cover gaskets for a small block ford, he looks it up without asking you anything else. Unfortunately he's the only one that hablas the espanol at the store, so he's usually busy. They usually have most normal stuff in stock and their prices are usually better than any other store. They also stay open later than the other stores. This store is my first choice.

    That said, I still do all my own parts researching first. I guess it's my instinct, because I was a parts counter guy for a while. Unless it's a last minute 'oh shit' moment, I look up the parts before heading into town. I've been into each store enough times to know which store I'm going to go to first depending on what it is I need. I have O'Reilly and Carquest in my phone so I can call ahead if need be.

    In the old days you could tell your parts guy what you needed and he would usually know the part number off the top of his head (i was one of these parts guys). he might have to flip through a catalog and go check the shelf, but that was only if it was some oddball part. He was a car guy himself, and you could shoot the shit with him about the new slapper bars you noticed on his split bumper Camaro sitting in the parking lot.

    These days, the parts counter folks are not car people, for the most part. If they are, it's modern imports and mustangs for them. The rest of them just work there because they need a job and these places will hire anyone who can use a computer mouse. They are not trained in anything other than learning the computer program and how to operate the cash register. What makes it worse is the vast amount of various makes & models these stores have to stock parts for. Sadly, the days of remembering a common part number because it's hammered into their heads from countless times of selling Rochester Q-Jet carb kits is over.
     
  13. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307

    onlychevrolets
    Member

    there are no brains..if it isn't on the hard drive they don't know it
     
  14. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503

    40fordtudor
    Member

    I remember back in the day at K-C Auto in my home town, you asked for what you needed and they "spit" the part number back at you---those days are gone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  15. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    Well the beat goes on. Most of us could write a book on the total Idiots that are hired as parts counter men.I usualy take a sack lunch and a thermos of coffee when I need a 1/4 X20 bolt or a chev SB valve cover gasket,you know the hard stuff. Once I state what I need then come the never ending questions.I usualy do mail order just to avoid parts houses but at some point I know I will have to burn a 1/2 day enertaining some jackass parts guy again!
     
  16. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    Blah Blah!!The reason everyone shops at these "inexperienced" parts stores is because the're cheap!! Pay normal prices, go to your local parts guys (who is starving because every is saving a dime) & support them!!
    Ask them for a HEI plug wire & see what they say, ya walk into a store & ask for a part that isn't really classified as a "HEI plug " wire & expect a dumb answer.
    as far as everyone always complaining about someone asking "what year" or something like that is because thats how parts places look up PARTS!! Go figure!!
    This horse is dead, quit beating it!!
    JimV
     
  17. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307

    onlychevrolets
    Member

    thank you for setting us straight Jim, what would we do with out guys like you?
     
  18. and how do we order parts for delivery??????LOL

    same game over in the Uk.....the best auto store near me just closed and it was the cheapest too...
    Halfords.....just don't even bother going unless you want a new mountain bike or a flashing air freshener....
    Auto pitstop...for christs sake no....you know they won't have the part...whatever car it's for but it'll take 30 mins to get anyone to serve you to find this out!
    Nyanza....not bad actually they middleaged men behind the counter seem to know want you want..if they don't have it they will tell you without even having to look.....(trade discounts too)
    There's a small place not far from me too, Forum Motor Factors, 2 old guys, been there for years, will even sell you off cuts of sheet metal and components to make up your own HT and battery leads...(try that at Fucking Halfords!!)....and are a good price....

    you right about big business though....Forum got bought out by Auto Pitstop about 15 years ago....the 2 guys working there got the push and they moved in a "manager" who was about 15 and 2 muppets with no idea...the shop stopped selling stuff you needed, started selling plastic stick on shit you didn't want......and all the prices went up.....6 months later Forum opened up again a mile away with a change of name...same 2 old boys still work there!!
     
  19. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    Something productive!!lololol
    JimV
     
  20. Ob1
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 411

    Ob1
    Member

    My favorite parts stores have a rack of catalogs to look up the parts, and a computer to locate them in the warehouse. Got 2 of them within a short drive, and one is open 7 days.

    No rack of catalogs? Expect the 20 questions game and fast food service.
     
  21. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,336

    48FordFanatic
    Member
    from Maine

    Actually that might not be a bad idea! I've been trying to think of something to do part time ( get it ..."part " time ) when I retire. However, the other side to the coin is that dealing with the public can be a pain too. Ah the hell with it, I'll just go fishing.
     
  22. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    headlight switch at NAPA $36
    same headlight switch at Advanced Auto..$56 bucks...rip off much?
     
  23. 1320/150
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 647

    1320/150
    Member

    bingo!!
     
  24. REBEL43
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 679

    REBEL43
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from TENNESSEE

    NWGreaser nailed it.
     
  25. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,139

    Bigchuck
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    I'll bet 90% of retail cashiers couldn't make change if their life depended on it-the register's do it for them They hand you back a wad of cash and coins. I was asking about a flex-plate at a chain-type parts store and they couldn't figure out what I was talking about.
     
  26. darkk
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 456

    darkk
    Member

    I'm talking 20 yrs ago now....I asked a Chevy dealership parts counter guy for a 1962 chevy 409 part. The counter guy looks at the guy next to him and gives him *that smirk look* and then turns back to me smiling and says*Chevrolet never made a 409 cubic inch motor* Where do they get these guys anyways?
     
  27. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,139

    Bigchuck
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    That reminded me of being in a parts store and hearing a customer ask the counter guy how far he was supposed to screw in the tie rod ends he was purchasing.
     
  28. bulletproof1
    Joined: Feb 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,080

    bulletproof1
    Member
    from tulsa okla

    all the brains have retired or been forced out ,,,i do most of my business with napa..their stores around tulsa are pretty decent,,,one thing that helps is their prolink,i can log on, get the part # and also see the part to make sure that is what i need...they also have all the little parts like bolts and fittings ..
    the autozone is good for oil,oreillys is OK if you know who to talk to.the advance auto is trying but they have alot of turn over,never know who will be there...i try to be prepared when i go to any store,,,,
     
  29. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy
    Member

    Low pay,no experience needed,will train,computer skills a plus. That is the reason its so bad but what can you do? Look up the part no. you need online yourself,call and see if they have it before even going there. The days of the parts counter guys knowing their shit is over.Would you do it for minimum wage?Hell no. I liked it years ago when most parts houses had the machine shop in the back,did their own work and were run by real mechanics,not book trained techs. But with the cars today being so electronically controlled its only going to get worse.
     
  30. Motornoggin1
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 168

    Motornoggin1
    Member


    Then he couldn't start a complaint thread here!:p
     

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