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A good telescoping magnet would have likely fit in the tube and pulled the dipstick out, I almost accidentally pulled my oil pump shaft out with one (not wanting to pull it out). Not saying you should have fixed it for her, I wouldn't have.

I see something similar almost every time I go into one of those stores. It's usually women with that helpless look in their eyes, somehow thinking the advance/autozone, whatever people are supposed to fix their car for them, or at least be able to tell them everything that's wrong with it.

I try to be my owns parts guy. Rockauto is my new favorite place. They carry a lot of US made and OEM parts and for very reasonable prices. That way, when I screw up the install, I only have my parts guy to blame.

Just had a thought... are new car dipsticks plastic??? Everything seems to be plastic...
 

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My opinion is this , if you are going to buy your own parts . why should someone else have to tell you how to install them ? I worked in a parts store in the 70's . We never had anyone ask how to install parts and many of them were non mechanic's.
I don't know how many times I get a call about a furnace part some guy bought from some where and then called me to see how to install it. I would tell them , Can't do that for liability reasons and that's the truth. The same would hold true for a counter guy who gave information about an install. Who knows if the guy who bought the part even understands what he's doing.
 

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I have foregone more income from a somewhat better paying job just because it would involve a large amount of interaction with the public regularly. Been there, don't want to go back. I actually admire people who can deal with the public with a smile day in and day out.
Very trying some days. Luckily most of my interactions are under 30 seconds.
 

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This reminds me of when I worked at a hardware store last year and a young couple came in looking for brake fluid. I inquired about it and they thought it was low or they saw a leak somewhere. I forget a few of the details, but their situation prompted me to go out to their car with them that winter night with bitter cold wind, bare hands, no jacket and a flashlight. After lying on the ground under their car, it turned out that they had a badly leaking wheel cylinder and I told them that they shouldn't drive with it. They insisted that their friend's house wasn't far away and that he could fix it. I insisted against it but they did it anyway.

You don't have to be an expert to have a job in the field. I helped a lot of people at the hardware store because I knew where the parts were and with their help, I could figure out a logical approach to a problem, even though I didn't have a ton of experience with the job.

I have absolutely no interest in the hobby that my current job caters to, in fact, I despise it. I can't help customers with the highly technical stuff, but I explain to them that we just sell parts and all of the old, knowledgeable guys have since retired. If we could tell someone over the phone how to fix their item, then we wouldn't be sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter selling parts and getting paid in peanuts each week.
 

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I have foregone more income from a somewhat better paying job just because it would involve a large amount of interaction with the public regularly. Been there, don't want to go back. I actually admire people who can deal with the public with a smile day in and day out.
Wow. You said a mouthful there.....

I'm in the parts business at the manufacturing level and have been for many years,
at several different corporations. We call the public "end users." I have the utmost
respect for any counterman that has to deal with them day-in day-out and for any
company reps that run across the public even occasionally. I would rather do 6
hours of warranty write-up than talk to 1 "end user."
 

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"Show it off America, you did it right, and you went to the one place that helps you do it right, Autozone. We have the advice, the instructions, we even loan tools, because parts is just part of what we do. Get in the zone, autozone."

I never really paid attention to these commercials until this thread. That commercial aired duing the power block today (watching DVR recording now) and just had to post.

To me that completely implies that they offer advice on how to install parts. I can see why people expect that now. They shouldn't air commercials making false claims like that unless they hire (and pay) the people that know that kind of info or at least train their people to do more than look up parts.
 

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That's somewhat amusingly ironic to me as I consider Autozone employees to be the bottom of the barrel as far as competent parts counter help goes.
 

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the chain stores around here dont have a clue but the local napa guys that I shop at are pretty good.

last advice I got doing the brakes on my wifes civic last month: conversation started: Are you crazy...pay to have that done, I have the same car and wont touch the rear brakes on it. those little springs will kick your butt, you cant get your hands in there.. its not worth it. I didn't listen but boy was he right.

when I got back to return the cores I told him so too.
 

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"Show it off America, you did it right, and you went to the one place that helps you do it right, Autozone. We have the advice, the instructions, we even loan tools, because parts is just part of what we do. Get in the zone, autozone."

I never really paid attention to these commercials until this thread. That commercial aired duing the power block today (watching DVR recording now) and just had to post.

To me that completely implies that they offer advice on how to install parts. I can see why people expect that now. They shouldn't air commercials making false claims like that unless they hire (and pay) the people that know that kind of info or at least train their people to do more than look up parts.
I believe that Autozone can print out instructions for you to take home. IIRC, they gave me an instruction sheet once that included torque specs for a part that I was replacing.
 

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I don't expect anyone behind the counter at an auto parts store to know how to install a part. But I do expect them to be able to FIND the right part!

Anyway, I need a thermostat for my 351C. Now, this actually is a difficult part to locate. The correct part is unique. It's for a 351C/351M/400 and nothing else. Yet, almost every parts store will sell you a thermostat for a 289/302/351W.

I went to NAPA. The new guy there couldn't find his way out of a paper bag. What the heck, I thought I'd try O'Reilly on the way home. I very politely explained the situation with the Cleveland thermostat. Yet, the young guy behind the counter swears the 289/302/351W thermostat is correct. Why? Because that's what the computer tells him.

I politely explained that although it's not his fault, the computer is WRONG. The Cleveland thermostat should have a "hat" on it and a copper button at the bottom. Yet, he completely ignores the fact that I've been working on Fords since before he was born and insists the computer can't be wrong. (Arrrrrrrgh!) What is it about young people and complete faith in computers? Dude, I'm a sysadmin and I don't trust computers!

I managed to be polite but, once again, left an auto parts store empty handed. (Take that, shareholders!)

It looks like I'll have to order my thermostat directly from FlowKooler. And they no longer make the correct 192 degree example; just the 180.
 

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The thing that drives me nuts are sales employees that don't know anything about what they are selling. I recently went into a chain store to buy deck sealer. Now the average big box home improvement store carries 8 to 12 different brands and formulations of deck sealers. Not knowing for sure which to get I called over the guy who worked in the paint department. I asked him what the difference was between 2 different deck sealers was. The guy picks up the cans and starts reading them. Hell I could have done that. I said forget it and went to the local paint store where the old timer was able to explain the differences between the 2 sealers I was interested in and in the end he recommended a third sealer that was $5 a gallon cheaper lasted just as long but was easier to install based on his personal experience installing it. Needless to say I bought my deck sealer from him.
 

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I spent 20 minutes at Home-Depot last night watching a pizza-faced little kid try to find a control relay for me. He had a computer in front of him and he was on the HomeDepot website trying to look up the part that way.

I wasn't shocked that he wasn't able to figure out what he was doing, that's par for the course. But what did shock me was that he had literally zero computer skills. It took nearly all of my patience to not slap the mouse out of his hand and enter the one single field worth of data and press the return key. Instead I watched for nearly 20 minutes as he hit the back button and the forward button trying to get back to the initial start screen. The fact that there was a search field on every single page didn't seem to register with him, nor did the fact that he needed to wait for a page to load instead of clicking back 10 times and then wondering why it went back more than one page. ARGH.

Isn't the youngest generation supposed to be the most computer literate? We fault them for their over-reliance on computers but in return we actually expect them to be functional when they utilize them.

I eventually just said "So they're over in plumbing then? Ok, I'll go ask them" and walked off.

// Edit- I'm sure in retrospect that it wasn't more than 8 to 10 minutes, but come on. He went back past the page and forwards past the page again and again and again and again and again and again (etc)
 

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I work in the part's business for a major chain, been there 20 year's as of june 18th, I am the car guy in my store, I personally don't think we should have to sell the part and tell the customer how to install it , if you have no idea how to install a part then maybe you should find a local mechanic , that's what they are in bussiness for !!! I just have to bite my tongue with some customer's as they think we are also a full service repair shop!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I work in the part's business for a major chain, been there 20 year's as of june 18th, I am the car guy in my store, I personally don't think we should have to sell the part and tell the customer how to install it , if you have no idea how to install a part then maybe you should find a local mechanic , that's what they are in bussiness for !!! I just have to bite my tongue with some customer's as they think we are also a full service repair shop!!!!

I agree, and add that the chain store are responsible for getting counter people into the repair side of the auto parts/repair business.

See, upper management of the autoparts chains thinks that if they include free battery replacement with each new battery, or free engine diagnostic scan it will bring customers away from stores that don't offer these services.

While this may be true up to a point, it usually creates more problems, and lost sales, IMO.

What I see happening is that now that I'm on the other side of the counter, half of the counter people will be outside screwing around with people's cars instead of selling parts.

That usually leaves one, MAYBE two counter people there to answer all of the phones that are ringing off the hook, that upper management dictates them answer by the third ring, and a ton of people waiting to get parts.

Also some of the batteries are in really bad locations, like a new Volkswagen, where you have to pull the whole back seat out to get to the batt.

I used to charge $5 to change wiper blades. Its surprising how fast people will learn to change these things when someone is asking money to do it for them..........lol. [ For the record, just about all of the chain stores change them for free, but I still do it myself.]
 

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Unfortunately, most auto parts stores hire people that have a basic idea of parts on an automobile.Reason why is because if companies hire smart,car enthusiast, There is more prone for theft within the company while kids or adults that don't know as much on automobiles are in it for just getting their paycheck.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Unfortunately, most auto parts stores hire people that have a basic idea of parts on an automobile.Reason why is because if companies hire smart,car enthusiast, There is more prone for theft within the company while kids or adults that don't know as much on automobiles are in it for just getting their paycheck.

That actually happened at a store I used to work at. I got my buddy a job there, and after I left he became the manager so since we were friends, and I was working at my fathers parts store I was able to hear about the goings on in the other store.

Well corporate called a meeting about too many parts being missing. They sent a guy there with a lie detector setup. This was back in the 80's so I think the laws about this was kinda grey in that they didn't really have to take the test, but they thought they did.

Anyway, the accountant who was hired by my father when he owned the store [before he lost it in a divorce] had stolen 15k. Corporate told her that if she payed it all back they wouldn't bring charges. One guy quit before the test, another admitting to stealing stereo equipment, and reselling it..............So yeah, its a problem.
 
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