have you ever ??

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Indiana
gone into your local AZ,AAP,NAPA, ect, and just started asking questions that you already knew the awnsers to ? specifically oil, or filter related ? Now granted i know there not going to know everything about everthing with four wheels and a steering wheel, but ive recently found some behind the counters lack of general automotive knowledge on par with my wifes level of knowledge.. to say the least its unimpressive.
 
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Richmond, VA
nope, I got all of that out of my system by the time I was 20. And heck, I know more than anyone on almost every topic so I have no need to show off anymore :)
 
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Richmond, VA
AND the girl behind the parts counter at my local NAPA could probably rebuilt a 350 blindfolded with both hands tied behind her back. Her knowledge absolutley dumbfounded me the first time I went in there. I almost proposed on the spot.
 
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4,998
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Milwaukee, WI
I think you just never know when you'll get a great piece of advice, so I usually play a little dumb and let them explain things to me I already know. I guess I've never been that impressed either, but then they don't have to know about only two or three specific vehicles like I do. Usually by the time I'm buying parts I've been through an internet DIY with pictures... etc and it's a little unfair to them.
 
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40,842
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: OtisBlkR1
but ive recently found some behind the counters lack of general automotive knowledge on par with my wifes level of knowledge.. to say the least its unimpressive.
Yeah, that's why I don't ask questions there. Hearing their answers would most likely dangerously raise my blood pressure and it's not like they'd listen to and accept my own explanation either. The only person I speak to there is the one at the cash register.
 
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Midwest
I have much more constructive, profitable and interesting things to do with my time. On a side note: in my personal opinion, knowledge of spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation by the general masses is far more important that oil and/or filter knowledge by an auto parts store clerk.
 
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1,392
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Charlotte, NC
For me, I generally walk in with the part number I'm looking for already stored in my phone because I do look it up on the manufacturer's website prior to going to the store. However, I do allow them to do their job and will question/correct them if they pull the incorrect part. Sometimes you will have people in there that will blow you away on their knowledge (in a good way). Other times, you'll know just to check the part number you're after and leave immediately. I think it's best to walk in parts stores with an open ear and be prepared to hear things that are good and things that are not so good. I remember a rep at a parts store telling me that the R134a retrofit kit they sold was all I needed to do a conversion. Never mind flushing the old stuff out. Just slap the kit on, charge it and I was good. That was advice I didn't take. Flushing and new o-rings is a must in my book. I just ask sometimes to see if there's something new that I don't already know. On the flipside, I was repairing the smog pump/air injection system on my truck when I bought it and a few hoses were clearly disconnected and I bought two preformed rubber hoses from the parts store, but needed something to connect the two hoses and I was going to use a plastic fitting, but he strongly recommended going to a hardware store and buying a metal fitting. For all of my auto experience, he recommended something very simple that I never have to worry about ever again as long as I own my truck. I have many other positive stories to tell, but my take on it is don't get so full of yourself to the point that listening to others is not an option because sometimes you'll miss a simple suggestion that may eliminate you from experiencing grief/problems in the future.
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
On a side note: in my personal opinion, knowledge of spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation by the general masses is far more important that oil and/or filter knowledge by an auto parts store clerk.
nothing wrong with having a opinion, good for you.
 
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OtisBlkR1

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I pose the question due to a few experiences recently, I just re-read my own post and it comes off a little mean. I was'nt refering to skipping a movie and going and hanging out at a parts store to grill the clerk and prove yourself... more like your in after parts, and you already know the answer but ask anyways just testing there knowledge. for the most part ive had good luck with seasoned autoparts folks, just as of lately started to question where a few of these people come from.. maybee they are just new.
 
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1,645
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SF Bay Area
Yeah.. it's hard to convince some people to think outside of the preverbial box. I now just get what I need and leave and decline their advice or [censored] or upselling.. of course.. I have to be desperate to go outside of my box!
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: qdeezie
I have many other positive stories to tell, but my take on it is don't get so full of yourself to the point that listening to others is not an option because sometimes you'll miss a simple suggestion that may eliminate you from experiencing grief/problems in the future.
this is good advice in many realms. thumbs up I think i will add to my explination: I recently went into a Napa and asked about motorcycle oil (location in store) Clerk informed me they didnt have any, I decided what the heck, i will give the HDEO's (Diesel) a try, since so many rave about it.. so i mention this to the clerk. and i get a flat out "you cant put that in your motorcycle its diesel oil" I go into details, short and to the point that its safe. The clerk wasnt having it.. So i asked about oil filters for my Ranger, he looked it up and said we dont carry anything that will work. I pulled out my droid and opened up BITOG and got the napa/wix numbers for the filter's that would work and asked for them. The clerk just looked at me as though i was stupid and retrieved the filters. i paid and left. of course the filters do work, and i didnt purchase any oil that day.. but it got me thinking about the amount of knowledge some of these folks have, if there new its understandable. but i wonder if everything is based on punching in numbers to that computer and what the computer says is just fact to them ? In my old neighborhood there was a old timer that worked at a different Napa, i NEVER seen that man use the computer. You could walk in and tell him ""i have a 2.2 ltr.. whatever and he could pull the correct (whatever you wanted) right off a shelf, period. I never returned a part for ill fitment or it just being incorrect, That old timer also opened every box on the counter before he sold you what was inside, he looked over and checked everything himself. that guy was awesome.. think he retired. its Rare to see that level of knowledge or customer service anymore.. come to think of it, it was probably 12 years ago, but that old timer is the one that turned me on to buying the cheaper Napa oil over Valvoline, showing me Valvoline makes the oil its just Napas name on the bottle.. the old timer had nothing to gain other than saving me #3-$4 on a case of oil..
 
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40,842
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: OtisBlkR1
but i wonder if everything is based on punching in numbers to that computer and what the computer says is just fact to them ?
Unfortunately, that is the case. He's not a car mechanic with a lot of knowledge and an encyclopedia in his head. You know filter cross reference for the vehicles you own, but would you expect him to know it for all the vehicles? He has to go by what the computer tells him. Otherwise, if he suggests a part that is not listed as a "match" in his computer and that part causes you problems, he will be the one you'll come to blame and he may get fired over it. At his level, he's not being paid to think outside of the box. He's being paid to follow directions.
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: OtisBlkR1
but i wonder if everything is based on punching in numbers to that computer and what the computer says is just fact to them ?
Unfortunately, that is the case. He's not a car mechanic with a lot of knowledge and an encyclopedia in his head. You know filter cross reference for the vehicles you own, but would you expect him to know it for all the vehicles? He has to go by what the computer tells him. Otherwise, if he suggests a part that is not listed as a "match" in his computer and that part causes you problems, he will be the one you'll come to blame and he may get fired over it. At his level, he's not being paid to think outside of the box. He's being paid to follow directions.
valid point.
 
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903
Location
wa state
i never ask questions. most of the time when I need a part, I have to tell them how to spell words right in order for them to show up in the computers search. My last part order involved a (his spelling)"rear rite tale lite". I ended up so frustrated that I went home and ordered the parts online for store pick up.
 
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961
Location
Ohio
Don't know if it is the same in the US or not but in Canada there is actually an apprenticeship for parts sales. That means 4 years of schooling and on the job experience before getting their ticket (journeyman status). That isn't to say that some guys on the counter still don't know what they are talking about. But my experience is just because they aren't say - oil technicians or mechanics, generally in a shop of 4 they each have kind of a specialty. I know a Napa guy that it's actually scary how much he knows. There are always at least 5 customers in his shop that have come to him to help them solve some issues. Unfortunately the standards have dropped significantly in this field, and with access to the collective knowledge of groups like BITOG and others anyone with a little time and research can usually be pretty informed so we don't have to rely just on computer inventory programs and their operators...
 
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349
Location
CO
With counter-persons you generally get what you pay for. AZ, O'reilly, AAP, etc. fill entry level positions with those that have basic automotive knowledge. If the guy/girl was a decent mechanic he certainly wouldn't be a counter-person making the wage they pay at those positions. Not that you can't find knowledgeable counter-people, but I usually find them at Napa, Carquest, etc.
 
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1,107
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CA
I tell you what though, most people on this board would love to run a car parts shop. Imagine that you could cut open filters when they arrive and then talk to other ocd consumers about it. You could begin to recycle used oil filters and cut them open too. Imagine you could read the back of every new bottle of oil that came in to see if the certifications had changed. Through your repeat customer base you'd be able to empirically determine which products worked better in which scenarios. You'd be able to settle the seafoam vs techron vs lucas vs gumout debate. The possibilities are endless. It would be heaven!
 
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