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Old 02-19-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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Are all parts store employee's idiots?

I went to Autozone and Advance Auto parts stores today looking for exhaust gaskets. Not a single one listed the right one for SVT's or found the right one. They all had the diagram for a non-SVT ZX3. All of the people told me I was wrong and that there computer had the right part number which I knew was wrong because they all said the front and rear gaskets were the same. I tried three stores hoping maybe someone had a brain and would listen to me.

It wasn't until the last store that I got real heated with the guy as he told me again I was wrong but when I told him I knew there was two different gaskets he told me I was clueless. I went out, grabbed my ORP that's been in my car for two weeks now and slammed it on the counter and said "does it look like it takes the same gasket on both ends??". Then he told me that I didn't have the right part I told him I bought it used off a guy who took it directly off his SVT and he still insisted it was the wrong part. I was so pissed at this point I just grabbed the ORP, gave the guy the finger and walked out.

Now my good friend and current mechanic worked at an Advanced so I know how they run and generally what they can get as I used to get my parts through him. So for these idiots to tell me they couldn't get anything for my car and that I was wrong is retarded.

Anymore I don't normally go to parts stores, I usually order from C-F-M but figured it was worth a shot for a few gaskets. Nope, I'll go back to where I know I can get the right parts.


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Old 02-19-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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yea those type of store i generally stick to air fresheners and washer fluid maybeeee

walmart seems to offer better deals even on that stuff lol
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:27 PM   #3
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Most of them wouldn't know the difference between a bicycle and car if they didn't have the computer
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Yes they are, usually those employees have no clue about cars. Try Lee Auto Parts next time, they are fantastic.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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^agreed. the most complicated thing i will buy from there is oil and filters.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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Haha thats a funny story. I have had some interesting trips to Advanced myself. I called one day seeing if they sold the correct o-ring for my T-stat housing plug. I told him it was just a plug and it needed a new ring. He then insisted it was not a plug and it was eaither a temp sensor or the actual t-stat. I told him over and over that it was just a plug and he thought I was crazy. I then just hung up the phone.

Some of them really know nothing but sometimes you can get lucky.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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First of all, I personally work at an Advance Auto, and I can tell you first hand that most of the employees there aren't as car adaptive as you may want them to be. However, you have to realize that if we as employees there were actually trained to distinguish car problems and or know EVERYTHING about every distinguishable difference in car models, we would be making far more than the measly 8 dollars an hour we make.

To the employees defense (me driving an SVT), the computer system at Advance does not acknowledge a diagram and or part numbers specifically for the SVT. And in NONE of the catalogs (Walker & Felpro) do they even MENTION an SVT focus exhaust system. Just the same as the gentleman above me mentioned the O-ring in the bottom of the thermostat housing. You my friend are a big man to ASSUME that every lowly parts guy should know that there is a differentiation, and pull part numbers up that do not exist.

Furthermore, as I might add, if you would have walked into my store, and got heated with me, from that exact point forward, I'm not going to go out of my way to even help you find a filter. Once more, 8 dollars an hour hardly warrants that.

But since you presumably are an automotively inclined gentleman, do you happen to know that a 3.0 DOHC Taurus takes a different thermostat than a 3.0 OHV? Or that a window regulator in an S10 (89-94) will work in some Izuzu's with a gear swap? Those are very small examples of the tricks and trades we pick up on that aren't in the computer system (APAL) that we use. And our "catalog" is only updated with part numbers and diagrams released to Advance by AFTERMARKET gasket/remanufactoring/etc companys. No information we use is from an OEM source.

So to your title of "Are all parts store employee's idiots," I would respond "Are all customers that walk in the doors insensitive and hot headed?"

And to all you SVT owners, you need to realize if you haven't already. You drive a car that was only manufactured for 3 years. There is HARDLY an sustainability in making most specific parts for wholesale profit. Hell, they used to make more Cavaliers for example in a single year then SVT focus's on the road today.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:56 PM   #8
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Double Post. Darn forum.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:12 PM   #9
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I went to pick up oxygen sensors for my 95 Mustang from the local Ford dealership, and they kept asking me if I want the front banks or back.

My car is OBDI and doesn't have two banks, it only has one sensor per exhaust manifold, and I kept saying that. Sometimes you can only do so much as someone working in any type of customer service if the equipment you work on isn't accurate.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:23 PM   #10
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But the fact that they would tell YOU, the customer, that you were clueless and then you bring in the part to prove it.......I can totally understand getting heated. The story got me heated. Because just like you said, every time I take a chance with those places I always fail. I understand they're not trained mechanics but don't tell a customer he's clueless or that he's wrong. If the customer needs to buy a specific part, let him.

I tried to get AZFS22C's which NO ONE stocks. I pretty much had the same kind of conversation with the guy.
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