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  1. #1
    Jr. Engineer Jamm3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Minneapolis area

    Default Rock Auto, Stealership, or parts store?

    2012 has been a big year for repairs for me with an engine replacement, two water pumps, three brake jobs, one ball joint, an alternator, a wheel hub or two, some oil cooler lines, transmission filters, oil filters, some body work, headlight assemblies, and various other stuff in support of my own car habit as well as wife and kids.

    That leads me to think over the good and the bad with Rock Auto, the stealership parts department, and the local NAPA.

    The stealership has the lowest prices on Autotrac fluid and in a few other cases they have had parts in stock at more or less the same prices as the NAPA, and their parts service is great so I'm using them for more stuff than I used to.

    Rock Auto has good prices overall but I'm finding that it really depends on the part. They seem to be good at wiper blades, belts, and hoses. They have good deals on body parts as long as they aren't so bulky that they are expensive to ship -- things like lamp assemblies. They also have much better deals on odd parts that the NAPA would have to special order from their supplier -- like the oil cooler lines for my 8.1. In the same light they are at their best for parts for cars that are a little unusual, like parts for my kid's Dodge Intrepid, which was never made in huge numbers and has all kinds of parts that don't interchange with anything else except the LHS.

    I no longer return cores to Rock Auto. I've sent back two, and they lost one of them even though I complied with all their various requirements, and it's just too much of a hassle between packing, shipping, and keeping track of everything and trying to get them to credit what they should. So anything that has a valuable core I buy locally now.

    I like my local NAPA for the fast service, for the easy core returns, and the fact that they have the fiddly stuff and hard to ship stuff that Rock Auto doesn't carry -- oil, brake fluid, fasteners. I also trust them to provide warranty service and parts that fit where there's a lot of money involved, like a new long block.

    Post up with your experiences with the internet retailers or your local parts place.
    Last edited by Jamm3r; 12-20-2012 at 01:28 PM.
    Minneapolis area - 1997 K2500 regular cab long bed + 8.5' Western Unimount plow + modified transmission + 2nd battery + modified camper charge circuit + 1971 Cayo camper -and- 2004 4x4 Suburban 2500 8.1 + Maxbrake controller + 2nd battery + modified trailer charge circuit + Reese receiver, pulls 30' Airstream trailer

  2. #2


    I use amazon and Autozone and have never had a problem. Amazon has AC Delco parts from Delco for ridiculously low prices and are warrantied. With amazon you can't return the core but they don't charge you extra. You can put in your vehicle's info and find the exact parts you want. Yes there are some things you cant get, but still worth it. Also if you are a prime member all AC Delco parts have 2 day free shipping.

    Autozone is great if you get their rewards card because after 5 purchases of $20 or more you get $20 back. Also their online site is very helpful.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Conlan Rose View Post
    Amazon has AC Delco parts from Delco for ridiculously low prices and are warrantied. With amazon you can't return the core but they don't charge you extra. You can put in your vehicle's info and find the exact parts you want. Yes there are some things you cant get, but still worth it. Also if you are a prime member all AC Delco parts have 2 day free shipping.
    Yup - I get AC Delco parts from Amazon, too. Prime membership rocks. I got my truck box 2-day drop-shipped from Amazon because it was Prime-eligible. That, alone, paid for my Prime membership, that year. My 87lb Warn winch was Prime-eligible, too, ... and cheaper than anywhere else. I'm sure Amazon hates me for raking them over the coals, shipping-wise, as a Prime member!

  4. #4


    I agree every year between me and my parents we prob cost them 1,000's in shipping. This month I have almost ordered $100 worth of parts shipped 2 day for free. All the stuff for my tranny mods are prime eligible so I will save a lot on those when I order them later this year.

  5. #5


    I prefer to use my local NAPA, it's the one of the last privately owned and run stores in my area. I don't mind spending a little extra to help keep a mom and pop type business open. The service is excellant and you can't get the same expert advice, from an old timer whose seen it all, at any chain store out there. All the other NAPA's nearby are corporate owned, and you can tell by the level of service they provide.

    97 Chevrolet Suburban K1500 5.7L
    78 GMC High Sierra K1500
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go thru life.

  6. #6
    Jr. Mechanic BillM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Fair Oaks, CA


    I also use Amazon and Summit Racing for cheaper prices and fast delivery. But, I also go to the local Napa and Car Quest stores for stuff, too.
    Bill M. Blown 2003 Tahoe Z71

  7. #7


    "Free shipping" is sometimes a good deal, people need to add the cost of the product plus the shipping costs. Many times firms that offer "free shipping" are simply adding the shipping cost into the purchase price so they end of costing the same.

    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

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  8. #8


    I buy from Amazon also. I can get parts from GM at dealer cost using the GM employee discount program. Many times the AC Delco parts are a few dollars cheaper than what I can get them thru GM SPO! Plus, free 2 day shipping. I did have a delco power steering pump that I bought on amazon go bad in a few hours. They over night shipped me a new one for free and paid for the return shipping for the defective part. Yea, I had to do it twice, but they took care of the issue. I will use autozone or napa for brake pads and rotors,

    1995 Silverado 4x4
    6" BDS Suspension Lift-3" Body Lift-Add A Leaf in rear -Trailmaster SSV Shocks-Duel Steering Stabilizer Kit -AirAid Cold air intake-
    4.56 Gears with Detroit Auburn Locker-Pro-Comp Traction Bars with duel shocks-Aluminum Skid Plate Kit-38.5" x 16.5" Mickey Thompson Baja Claws-Constant Dropping fuel gauge

    2005 Yukon XL Jet Power Programmer, Bilstein Shocks, Bilstein rear springs, Helwig Anti-sway bars, EGR Window Visors, EGR Hood Shield, Denali Headlights, Headlight harness upgrade, GE NightHawk Bulbs, White Night Rear lighting system, Russell Braided SS brake lines, PowerStop Brake pads, PowerStop cross drilled and Slotted Rotors,
    2002 Silverado ext cab 2wd (Sold)
    2003 Yukon XL (Totaled)

  9. #9


    thank you for the info on rock auto, i was going to order a window switch cost 140.00 much cheaper than dealer but if i were to have a problem i dont think they would resolve the problem from what info you have supplied, i normally go to autozone i get good products at a reasonably good price, thanks ken

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