Auto parts stores sure have changed haven’t they? Back in the 70’s you went to the counter and said, “Give me a set of wiper blades for my 69 Mustang.” The man would say, “Ok, I will get them for you be right back.” Thirty seconds later he walked back and said, “Here you go sir. So can I get you anything else?” I replied, “Yes, while I am here can I have an air filter for my 66 Ford Galaxie 500 too? What size engine do you have? It’s a 390. Is it a two barrel or a four barrel? It’s a four barrel. Ok great let me grab it for you. Thirty seconds later he brings it to the counter and says, “Is that all you need? Yes thanks, what do I owe you today? That will be $7.80 sir. Great here you go, and have a good day!”
Ok, now this is 2016, and this is a true story from a parts store in Mooresville NC a few days ago. “Good afternoon Sir I said. Hi what can I get you? I need an EGR valve for a 1993 Chevy Silverado. Oh OK, tap tap tap tap on his computer. Is this a 4 wheel drive? No. Do you have the VIN for it? No its attached to the driver’s door, tap tap tap on his computer. Is this a 4.1engine or a 5.3 engine? No its a 5.7 350 cubic inch. Oh, hum, tap tap tap tap tap. So it’s a 5.7? Yes! Tap tap tap, oh here it is! Now this is a 1993 correct? Yes, yes it is. Does it have 16 or 17 tires? What the hell difference does that make? The computer is asking me that? Well son you must have hit the wrong button? Well might have….. Uh so it’s a 93 with a 5.7 right? YES! Ok here it is, it’s a 687-711 in a standard products. Ok let’s grab it then. Ok be right back. 5 minutes later he comes back to the computer and tap tap tap……..well it says we have 2 but can’t find them? Hey boss, as he asks his manager, I can’t find an EGR valve it’s a 687-711 and it says we have two? Ok, let me take a look for you the manager says.
Two minutes later the Manager says I don’t see them either. They must have been sold and not taken out of the system. I said “OK, OK that’s fine forget it then. ” Sorry about that sir, but our other store on 150 has one in stock. Are you sure they do? Ha Ha we hope they do. We can call down there and find out? “No that’s ok” I said. “Anything else we can get you?” the kid says? Yes, since I am here I need 4 feet of 3/4 inch heater hose. What kind of car is it on, tap tap? It’s not for a car, it is for me to hook up my garden hose reel to the outlet on the side of my house. So you want four feet of what size? It is a 3/4 inch hose son. Ok, tap tap tap and off he went! Two minutes later he walks back with this big cardboard box about 3 foot by 3 foot with a hole in the side so you can pull the hose out and cut it to the length you want. He pulls a foot out and says is this the size you need? “Yes it is.” I said. Good, I wasn’t sure because it just has that 3 dash 4 on the side? (3/4) Holy cats where did this guy come from? On the side of the box is a printed ruler 36 inches long to make it easier to cut it to length. Now you need 4 feet right? Yes, He pulls it out lays it on the ruler and cuts off 12 inches. Hey bud I need four feet not one! Sorry I thought you needed four pieces making four feet? No, one long section four feet long! Sorry sir, I guess I misunderstood you.
I will never go to that parts store again! I was there for almost 25 minutes to get a 4 foot section of hose. People that do not have any mechanical background or know anything about cars, and can’t see over the end of the hood on their Prius, shouldn’t be working at an auto parts store!!!