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Auto-Zone SUCKS!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by silver 90, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. silver 90

    silver 90 Registered Member

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    Well, guys here is a story y'all might want to read.

    Last October, me and a buddy changed gears in my 90 1/2 ton Chevy pickup. It has a 10 bolt rear in it and it had 3.42 gears in it until we changed them to 3.73's. While we had the axle all apart, I decided it would be a good idea to change the axle seals at the time. I bought seals from auto-zone and installed them. (they were timkin seals I believe) Anyway, I hadn't put but maybe 2000 miles on the truck when I had to drive it from Nebraska to Illinois. On the way back from Illinois, both rear seals started leaking badly and all the gear oil leaked out of my diff. The rear end started howling very loudly and by the time I realized what had happened, it was too late. I took the axle apart yesterday and had a look around and saw that the pinion gear has damaged teeth and has started to chew the ring gear. I went ahead and replaced the seals and filled it with fluid just to see what it would do but the rearend still howls like crazy. My brand new gears and bearing are ruined. I can't believe this has happened after I tried to do the right thing and perform some preventative maintenance. The bottom and sides of the rubber part of both seals were cracked and leaking. They looked like they had 100K miles on them yet they were only 2 months old. I also had a problem with an auto-zone alternator that had a 1 year warrenty. The alternator quit after 3 months and they wouldn't give me a new one. They tested it and said it still put out the proper voltage but they never tested it under a load.

    I was wondering if any of you had had similar problems with auto-zone parts. The bottom line is that by saving a couple of bucks at auto-zone, they have cost me a rearend. Be careful what you buy and always save the reciepts.

    Anyone have a rearend with 3.73's for sale?
     
  2. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    I hate that place too. They always ansewr thw phone when they are talking to you, and their parts really suck. The only things i ever buy from them are oil, spark plugs, and things like that, just as long as they didn't make or rebuild it, its fine...everything else: starter, alternator, power steering pump, etc. i get at NAPA.

    90K5

    See my truck at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502>http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502</A>

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by 90K5 on 01/07/01 05:00 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  3. 82K5

    82K5 1/2 ton status

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    we have a bunch of auto zones here in k.c. and i don't know anyone personally that goes to them. about a year ago i was looking for a rebuilt carb and called all the parts stores in town. the lowest price was $249. the highest was auto zone at $389. they seem to have the highest prices around, plus their stuff sucks.

    Phil from K.C.
    1982 K5 Blazer Silverado
    Built in Flint, Michigan-January 1982
    It has one of the very first 700R4 transmissions ever built.
     
  4. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    I was working on the side and had a job to replace a half shaft in a Honda. I went through three shafts from AutoZone trying to get a good one. Ended up getting my money back and going to NAPA. The part was a little more expensive but it worked right the first time. Ended up spending a lot more time on the job than was needed but I couldn't pass it on to the customer and still sleep at night. I just don't go through them for remanufactured parts anymore.

    Smitty
     
  5. Confederate9

    Confederate9 1/2 ton status

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    here in NC there are tons of auto zones and i have found auto zone has good interior parts and good selection for them, as for things that are major [carb, seals, etrc...] better go to adv auto parts. the best place is pep boys i think but there isnt one really close to my house.

    Confederate's w/ K5's!
    '85 K5: BIG BAD AND MEAN
    K5: Because size DOES matter
     
  6. fr8train

    fr8train 1/2 ton status

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    I used to work for auto-zone and most of there generic stuff with the one year warranties DO suck. The prices in NC( used to work for the one on N.Church street, Burlington.) vs. ones from Parts express were very good. The reason why the gerneric parts stink is because they want to push the premium line. The stuff that has the lifetime warranty. The alt. test machine has a button for "load" testing the guys who normally runit dont really have a full understanding of how to use the machine to begin with anyway. Gt the manager to do it for you. Also if you want parts that work gt O.E. epuip. or stuff from a quality outfit( alternators go with Stinger etc....) If you spend the money and get a reputable warranty you wont have to spend more time under the hood than looking over it. After working automotive retail I always go for the stuff with the lifetime warranty if I cant go with O.E.M.
     
  7. 2_fast

    2_fast Newbie

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    They just built a new Auto Zone In Flint MI, I went there and tried to get a new universal joint for my 83 blazer and after the weekend it was shot. Plue they always give you the wrong part it seems.
     
  8. 78Blazer

    78Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hmm well I dont seem to have problem with them. I have bought lots of parts from them including just recently a chevy 350 for a 89 truck. Have also purchased a 400 small block for the blazer and another 350 for a 82 truck and have had no problems with them (Knock On Wood). But I do find that there service kinda sucks since the hire all kinds of people with no knowledge of autos at all they just rely on the computer. There building a new one here by me to I'll buy parts from them still.



    Scott
    78blazer
     
  9. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Autozone doesn't sell the highest-quality parts, but they usually have a lifetimw warranty and it doesn't look like they are going out of business anytime soon. Most people don't own the vehicles long enough to use the warranty, so for me to come in and warranty stuff out is no loss to the company.
    One negative - since i was recently putting a 350 in my new 73 k20, i decided to go ahead and warranty my start out for another rebuilt one. I already had it off, might as well, right? Well my engine had a leaky mech. oil pressure line and so my starter pretty much was a big oily mess. I cleaned it up briefly and warrantied it out. The guy who was behind the counter happened to be the manager and he said he couldn't take it because the oil dripping on the bushes was what had caused it to fail. I told him fine, I'd take it outside and degrease it and bingo, no problem. He ended up taking it and saying he was doing me a favor. Like it comes out of his paycheck.
    My advice to the alternator guy - open it up and mess up the windings - new alternator.
    -- Mike
     
  10. Confederate9

    Confederate9 1/2 ton status

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    fr8train~ do you still live in burlington nc?
    im in greensboro

    Confederate's w/ K5's!
    '85 K5: BIG BAD AND MEAN
    K5: Because size DOES matter
     
  11. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>Well all I have to say is that it was probably an installation problem, and/or you got the wrong part and installed it (at least it sounds like it to me)?? Which to me would be an an installation problem. There is good and bad with every autoparts place, Advance auto, Pep Girls, Hi/lo, whatever. Timken bearings are considered top of the line parts, and I find it difficult to believe that both of them went out at the same time. Anyway, I did work for Autozone part-time for about a year, and although I do not know everything, I, at least will ask. All of the problems that you have experienced there, I have experienced elsewhere, and I myself have had problems with Autozone myself. All I have to say, is you have to know what you are getting, yes, you are paying for the warranty, but like someone else stated, most people don't keep their vehicles long enough to do the warranty stuff. If that other person feels that their alternator was not tested correctly, I would have asked for someone else to test it. - Steve

    Fyi, I would get guys come in all of the time and say that I need sparkplugs, etc., for a sb 350, and they don't understand that most of the plugs are different for different applications, even though it is a sb 350. I'm not trying to start any arguments here, just stating my 2 cents worth. - Steve</font color=blue>

    <font color=blue>Steve Sosa a.k.a. "sosaman"</font color=blue>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://sosaman.home.texas.net/carpics.html>http://sosaman.home.texas.net/carpics.html</A>
     
  12. Omar

    Omar Registered Member

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    I HAVE ALL AUTO-ZONE PARTS IN MY 75 JIMMY AND HAVE'NT HAD ANY PROBLEMS WHEN I GOT MY NEW 350 AT THE DEALER I WENT TO AUTO-ZONE AND GOT EVERY THING I NEEDED LIFE TIME WARR THE AUTO ZONE BY MY HOUSE HAS WELL KNOWLEGED PERSONEL HOWEVER THE ONE A COUPLE MILES DOWN CANT TELL THE DIFF BETWEEN A FUEL PUMP AND AN ALTERNATOR

    JIMJIM.COLORADOK5.COM PS SOME ONE TELL ME HOW TO LINK MY WEB SITE ON THE POST
     
  13. bart

    bart Registered Member

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    It seems that the larger chain stores like autozone, advance, national, and pep boys hire a lot of people who just aren't experienced with automotive products. You're right, they just rely on the computer. I always love to get the answer when the counter peron can't find a part for me like, "They don't make it.", I tell them that's a bad answer, and try again. Usually after a few iterations, they get it right. About the quality, you have to watch, although I've never got *bad* parts from napa, but maybe an incorrect part-due to someone's error.
    I will have to say that autozone, advance, pepboys, and national have a pretty liberal warranty program that has come in handy. Just watch for the deal deals...like the oem part from the dealer costing $400, and the autozone special for 49.95.

    Bart
     
  14. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    I cant say that one chain is any better than the others except mabey NAPA. I agree with 90K5 about his comment concerning answering the phone while ignoring the person with cash in hand. A cardnial sin in the retail world.
     
  15. behemoth

    behemoth 1/2 ton status

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    Don't be too hard on Timkin seals and bearings - they most likely were NOT the problem. My father is a retired Mechanical Engineer from Breuning Bearings, Inc. here in KY (midwest) and Timkin was one of the product lines he had. Drivetrain/industrial power transmission was his specialty, so he knew what he was doing and talking about, too. All I ever heard of growing up was Timkin - and that almost everyone in the manufacturing and mining industry used them. If the seals aren't installed properly, you'll get fluid loss, resulting in gear failure. That still really sucks. I'm sure Auto Zone didn't sell defective Timkin seals though.

    behemoth K5
     
  16. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I have the same seals in my trucks and well over 10k on one set with no problems
    Most of the time I do go to Napa For axle seals because they sell real DANA seals. Well even DANA is getting cheap on us and slapping POS China and Japan seal in thier boxes so be sure to pull the part out of the box and make sure it say's MADE IN THE USA on the part.
    Now as for you seals. Hmmmm did you grease the seal surface? If you put them in dry they will burn up, crack and tear. Always wipe some axle grease on the seal and the surface it rides on before intallation.
    As for your problem with Auto Zone...Never had an issue that grabbing the manger hasn't cured. Now as for carbs...I WILL NEVER BUY A REBUILD FROM AUTOZONE OR PEP GIRLS. they both use Holly rebuild services and they suck. I have not had an issue with Autozone parts like starters or Alternators but I have had problems with both from Pep Girls.


    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  17. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Auto-Zone DOESN\'T SUCK!

    If you have problems with a part under warranty, no matter who you're going to, sometimes you have to keep on trying until you get the service you deserve. If you really think that the seals are the problem, go back and ask for them to cover the cost of your gears(maybe they gave you the wrong part). I personally have had almost zero problems from Auto-Zone and even got my 350 there 5 years and 5 coast to coast trips ago. I always go for the lifetime warranty parts if they're available. When I do need to return parts, they may not like it, but in the end they always give in and give me what I deserve.
     
  18. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I myself just warrantied a starter out from Auto Zone and 2 batteries!! They were kinda worried about doing the battery swap since I wanted to get batteries with top posts...I get to use 0 guage cable to my starter than 2 guage. I brought the starter in to have it tested...it was out...why not. It tested fine but the solenoid bolt had corrosion and had stripped..probably my fault but I had a lifetime on the starter...they said that it was only on the starter motor not the solenoid...I haggled with em for a minute then went and got the manager...the manager and I go back a few years...parts for the Buick Somerset, Chevy S10, Chevy K5 and not all in the same town neither...so he looked at me and said to the guy..."We got another starter?" "Yup".."Give it to him." Simple. I plan on shopping there in the future. I goto my Advance Auto Parts too...different deals at different places and I do goto my NAPA too...got lots of thick cables.

    SK-15
    J**P...it's whats for dinner!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://SK-15.coloradok5.com>http://SK-15.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  19. silver 90

    silver 90 Registered Member

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    Well guys, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had problems with Auto-Zone. However, I do agree with Omar about different stores having people with different experiece levels. But I still won't buy anything else from autozone. And by the way, I have installed axle seals before and I did lube the seals and shafts before I put them in. In fact, I had replaced the seals about 3 years earlier with auto-zone seals and didn't have a problem with them. The seals I put in were the exact same as the ones I took out. I think I just got a bad pair. Live and learn. I'll keep a closer eye on fluid levels next time. Hey TX Mudder, I had to "mess" with a starter once to get autozone to exchange it for a new one after the old one quit. It didn't seem right to have to break an item even worse than it already was to get AZ to honor the warrenty.
     
  20. Phaeton

    Phaeton Registered Member

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    We had an Auto Zone here (Bend, Or) for about a year. Now it is Shucks.
     

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