NAPA vs. Autozone vs. O'Reilly... price and quality? (2022)

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    • phaeton

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 4:29 PM

Using online catalogues, i've priced out the parts to rebuild the
front end on my truck. (In-store pricing might be slightly different)
This will mean 2 upper control arm assys, 2 lower ball joints, control
arm bushings all around, and inner and outer tie rod ends for both
sides.
At NAPA, it's about $450 for parts, at Autozone about $370, and
O'Reilly will be just under $300. These are all using store-branded
parts, not the generic (in NAPA's case) or Moog brand (in O'Reilly's
case). Is there any significant reason for this, or any major quality
differences? We're talking about a bunch of machined metal and
rubber, not microcontrollers. For all I know they could all be made
by the same contractor.
Tempting as it it is, I see entire kits of everything listed above on
eBay for under $100. They're generic names, but no more generic
sounding to me than the store brands.
Any thoughts?
Thanks.

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    • cuhulin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 5:11 PM

You might also check Advance auto parts, if there is a store in yourarea.Or,

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Call their toll free number, ask them to send you a free catalog, pertaining to your interest. cuhulin

    • K

    • Kevin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 5:55 PM

phaeton wrote in news:5f600c44-5930-41a5-b679-snipped-for-privacy@t20g2000yqe.googlegroups.com:

more than likely the Ebay stuff is chinese crap. the branded stuffmay or may not be. that is harder to tell. KB

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    • N8N

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 6:28 PM

What's the price for Moog branded parts? I'd feel more comfortablewith those than any "generic" or "store" brand.
yes, these parts are not technically challenging to produce, but ifcorners were cut and/or inferior materials were used, the consequencesof failure (esp. a ball joint or tie rod end) are not pretty.
nate

People often view NAPA first, Autozone second, and Oreilly last in termsof dependability and quality. Whether true or not, this is a common feelingamong mechanics and amateurs.
If you buy their cheapest parts, you may get some poor remanufacturedparts in some cases, or even Made in China. Not all China stuff is crap,but a lot IS.
I have heard that Advance might be a higher level than Autozone but cantconfirm.
You may be able to find some of the online parts stores that can get youhigh quality parts at good prices.

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    • N8N

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 6:30 PM

good point, I'd price out name brand stuff from Rock Auto, might beeven cheaper. I got a complete brake job for my F-150 for only acouple hundred bucks (calipers, pads, shoes, rotors, seals, hoses,hardware kits, etc - the only things I did not replace were the reardrums and the bearings, because the bearings had just been replaced)by picking up name brand (Raybestos and/or Wagner, usually) stuff oncloseout.
nate

    • V

    • Vic Smith

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 9:00 PM

First off, until the Congress reverses some the lying labelinglegislation they've installed to hoodwink buyers, it's often hard totell where these parts are made.That's how the sellers want it.Besides that, it doesn't usually matter in terms of quality.I did ball joints and tie rod ends on my Lumina last year and hadthe O'Reilly parts guy bring them out for me.I went with Moog ends and the O'Reilly brand - ProParts? - balljoints. Might have looked at some TRW parts too.The Moog ends looked better enough to justify maybe an 86 buck premiumeach, the joints looked the same, and didn't justify the maybe 20 buckeach premium.But that's all my own voodoo. It's not like I could take them apartor do Rockwell tests on them.My kid does suspensions all day in a shop that only does suspensions,99% trucks, from fire trucks and garbage trucks to pick-ups.I just called him to ask what they use.It's either Moog or OEM.And he really doesn't know where either is made.He "thinks" Moog are Made in U.S.A.But he's not sure.And he's not sure that Moog are the best either.Just that's what they use.Maybe they get a volume discount.That eBay stuff just sounds too cheap. Maybe hammered out in someIndian shipwrecker yard. The Indian billionaire that owns theoperation could pay off the right Congress critters or regulator toget any junk into the country.I'd go with the cheapest from a distributor than can be easily sued ifthe parts cause an accident. That's the only fear that keeps themhalf-way honest.Otherwise there's probably not much difference.Check that they at least have zerk holes tapped in them.As I recall, the O'Reilly non-Moog ends didn't have them.
--Vic

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    • Vic Smith

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Tue, Mar 16, 2010 9:34 PM

Oops. 8 buck premium.

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    • cuhulin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 12:45 AM

You might also look at,

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Definetly, use parts that have Alemites (some people call them Zerks) onthem.You can grease them rugularly with a grease gun.Moog and TRW have been in business for many years.I would go for OEMparts.cuhulin

Everything is still made in China, or some other Country. Stay awayfrom the Generic. Bottom line is you get what you pay for.. If youplan on selling the car buy the cheap stuff otherwise stick with thename brands.

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    • cuhulin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:02 AM

In January of this year, I went to a NAPA store.I had already drank alot of coffee that morning and it was cold weather.As soon as I got tothat NAPA store, I needed to use the rest room, it was sort of anemergency.They would not let me use their rest room.There is NO way onEarth I will ever go to any NAPA store ever again! In my opinion, those''people'' who work at that NAPA store discriminated against ME.If youknow what I mean?There are plenty of other auto parts stores around here, I don't needNAPA.cuhulin

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    • cuhulin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:42 AM

Some auto parts stores have parts other auto parts stores do not have.Ibought a set of RainX windshield wipers at O'Reilly's, they wouldn't onmy 1983 Dodge van.O'Reilly's didn't have any other windshield wipersthat would fit on my van.I went across the street to the Advance autoparts store.The set of TRICO windshield wipers I bought there fit on myvan perfectly.cuhulin

    • S

    • Steve W.

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:57 AM

NAPA branded parts are usually the second line MOOG or TRW parts, Theyare considered second line because they are not branded as the TRW orMOOG names. These would be the same as OEM parts they make. They alsosell the prime line from the big makers plus "OEM" parts.
Autozone sells three lines of parts. Store branded are generally importsand are made by smaller companies. They may be high quality or they maybe crap, depends on which company made it. They are not all made by thesame company though. Then next step up are branded parts that are soldin multiple chains but are not the OEM parts. Things like Spectraradiators and Four Seasons A/C compressors. Then you get into the
O'Reilly, Shucks, Murray Discount Auto Parts, Checker, Kragen are allowned by the same outfit. As such there parts are about the same. Theyare DIY stores and sell three tiers of parts like Autozone does.
The differences are hard to see unless you strip down the parts.The metals are NOT just metals. There are a LOT of different alloys outthere. Plus the actual machine work and how much machine work is done.In the case of a DIYer who does his own labor the price may be the onlything they look for. For a shop though having the warranty and faith inthe better parts is a good thing.
Personally I HATE having to re-do any repairs. So I tend to buy eitherprime line or OEM parts. The thing with prime line is that they can bebetter than the OEM parts EASILY.As an example take a look at the gaskets used on the 4.3 and 5.7engines. The OEM ones tend to fail due to the plastic cracking becauseof the method of clamping them in the engine. When this startedhappening a lot Fel_pro came out with a problem solver gasket. It uses abetter substrate to keep them from failing in those spots.GM had to use up a TON of gaskets they already had before they startedusing a new version.

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    • Ashton Crusher

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 5:43 AM

I second Nate - price it out on

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I've bought a bunchof stuff there. They usually have several levels of quality to chosefrom and most of the time will beat the prices of even the discountauto parts places with better quality parts.

Nobody else in this thread said it, so I will- Stuff That Can Kill Youis not the place to cut corners. If the engine stops running, it is aPITA, but seldom fatal. If the brakes, tires, or majorsteering/suspension components fail catastrophically, it can easilybecome a very bad day. If you are keeping a beater or classic running,more power to you, but you have to pick and choose where to save a buck.I'll do without the nice stereo or new fuzzy dice if I have to, but Iwon't buy anything less than OEM or better for the important stuff. Theno-name stuff may be fine, or it may be crap- you never know. And evenif it was fine last time, it could be crap this time. The generics andhouse brands change suppliers all the time.

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    • cuhulin

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:34 PM

An old saying goes,,,Sometimes it is more important to stop than keep on going.
Don't stint on the Important stuff.cuhulin

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    • hls

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:36 PM

You especially dont need NAPA if you go with OEM parts, like yourecommended in your previous post..

    • P

    • phaeton

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Thu, Mar 18, 2010 4:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestion of Rock Auto. I forgot about them, somehow.
Quality is what I wanted, and it turns out they can give me all Moogparts for $340. That sounds like the way to go.Now I just have to wait for warm weather.
Thanks!
-J

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    • N8N

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Thu, Mar 18, 2010 5:23 PM

Warm weather officially started Tuesday, at least here. Time to goshopping for a convertible...
nate

    • C

    • C. E. White

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  • posted

    12 years ago

    Thu, Mar 18, 2010 5:53 PM

I feel your pain. I am trying to be responsible for once, but I amsuffering from my wish I had a convertible itch. I haven't had one forover three years and I still miss them. I was thinking I could pick upa Saturn Sky cheap....
Ed

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