: NAPA—Bad luck or bad parts?



gdwriter
12-17-05, 08:07 PM
I seem to be having a run of lousy luck with parts from NAPA. In the past two years, I've had to return a windshield wiper motor and power steering pump for my Impala that were defective. Changing the power steering pump on that car once is enough of a pain, but twice. :rant2:

In September, the starter died on the Cadillac, and the shop that replaced it got a new starter from NAPA. Last night, the starter died again! :rant2:

I'm trying to look on the bright side. It died in Corvallis where I work, and where the shop that did the repair is located. And it was before the shop closed, so when their tow truck brought it in (same driver who towed it in September; he either remembered me or the car), I was able to talk to the mechanic and make sure they could fix it today. I'm leaving for Christmas with my family tomorrow morning and have to drive 70 miles to the airport in Portland and I did NOT want to leave Betty at the airport for a week. I picked the Caddy up this afternoon and as is well again.

Anyway, the starter itself has a three-year warranty, so that's no problem. But the repair was done September 6, so I'm thirteen days beyond the shop's warranty. NAPA should cover the labor for the repair ($200), but their warranty person wasn't in today, so I won't know until next week. If they refuse to cover the labor, I plan to raise hell with them.

So, has the quality of NAPA parts gone downhill or have I just been really unlucky? The store is next door to my office, so it's very convenient, plus I've saved considerably on parts using my AAA discount. I've heard AutoZone stuff is crap, but what about NAPA? What's been your experience?

Spyder
12-17-05, 09:44 PM
Napa "brand" electronic stuff I've had bad luck with, yes. Starters, window switches, relays and various random other parts don't seem to last as long if they come from a napa box...not to say the other chains are any better or worse, but electrical stuff I'd go with the next step up instead of the cheapest.

DaveSmed
12-18-05, 11:21 AM
Ugh, who the heck does NAPA use for reman brake linings? (I'd buy new, but there isn't quite the demand to produce "new" brake shoes for 68 Cadillacs) All 4 of my front shoes (that I just replaced last spring...) have cracks all over the lining. Wish I could get new riveted shoes...

The rest of the stuff I get from them has held up pretty well though. I like the parts availability the most though. When the guy behind the counter says "Not in stock, we need to order it" It's usually there by 1pm the same day. Real nice when ordering stuff for my car, where it usually takes about 2-3 days for parts everywhere else.

gdwriter
12-18-05, 12:55 PM
I like the parts availability the most though. When the guy behind the counter says "Not in stock, we need to order it" It's usually there by 1pm the same day. Real nice when ordering stuff for my car, where it usually takes about 2-3 days for parts everywhere else.

That's true. In a couple of instances, they've had to order parts for Betty, and 1 day is the longest I've had to wait. What's nice, too is I can get many mechanical parts for Betty at NAPA for half of what they would cost from a restoration parts catalog.

Stoneage_Caddy
12-18-05, 01:22 PM
I eventually caneled my contract thru napa for my firetruck shop , just got really tired of always getting the wrong part delivered to me and each vehicle getting another 3 extra hours downtime

By the way

Napa stands for
Need Another Part Azzhole

Spyder
12-18-05, 02:09 PM
They do have a great inventory and if its not in stock, its usually quick, but quality has been an issue for me, like I said...

dbdartman
12-18-05, 07:40 PM
Ugh, who the heck does NAPA use for reman brake linings? (I'd buy new, but there isn't quite the demand to produce "new" brake shoes for 68 Cadillacs) All 4 of my front shoes (that I just replaced last spring...) have cracks all over the lining. Wish I could get new riveted shoes...

Do a look-up on "Trenton Brakes" & give them a call. They might be able to do something for you. Probably a 40 minute ride from Croydon.

Wilcom
03-15-12, 10:08 AM
Here in Southern Ca the pricing at the NAPA store is outrageous. I just checked for a ICM for my Cad and NAPA wanted $104..... O'Rielly's wanted $65 and Rock Auto wanted $48, all for the same Delco part number! If I wanted to go to AutoZone I could have gotten one for $29 but not a Delco.

How does anyone shop at NAPA when they charge double for the same part and against other options 4x as much. If I could afford NAPA parts I could afford to just drop it off at the Cad dealer and say " Fix the thing"

Joe

thebigjimsho
03-15-12, 12:13 PM
But they can pull spark plugs out of their ears like you pulled this thread out of your butt...

hueterm
03-15-12, 12:16 PM
Seriously.... 7 year old, 7 post thread...?

gdwriter
03-15-12, 02:15 PM
Interesting that this thread was resurrected today.

I dropped the Seville off to have the coolant changed, and the shop found that the upper radiator hose, which is a little over a year old, has an internal leak. Fortunately, it can be replaced under warranty (that hose is expensive). They also found the oil pressure sending unit was leaking. That, too, has been replaced before, when it was discovered the leak had fouled one of the crank sensors, which as anybody with a Northstar knows are notorious for failing. At least this is a relatively cheap and easy replacement. AFAIK, both parts were from NAPA. Probably cheap-ass Chinese crap; it's damn hard to find quality parts anymore.

thebigjimsho
03-15-12, 03:11 PM
Someone got in yo brain...

Submariner409
03-15-12, 03:17 PM
In reference to Chinese car parts, you would die if you knew where new AC Delco water pumps for Northstars came from...............matter of fact, Sabrina has quite a few Chinese parts as-is. (and Mexican, and Japanese, and Canadian, and Taiwanese, and German, and .............)

gdwriter
03-15-12, 03:33 PM
^^^ I know, unfortunately. At least the wood trim comes from the UK. Even Cadillac knows that if you want beautiful wood trim, you go to the Brits.

orconn
03-15-12, 04:45 PM
^^^ I never would have imagined the wood in my Seville STS came from Britain. It hasn't shriveled, cracked, checked or come loose from its' substrate yet!

Submariner409
03-15-12, 05:10 PM
^^^ I never would have imagined the wood in my Seville STS came from Britain. It hasn't shriveled, cracked, checked or come loose from its' substrate yet!

Quite unlike some MG, Triumph, Jaguar and Austin-Healey products. (Thank the stars our electrical systems aren't by Lucas)

Aron9000
03-15-12, 08:25 PM
Speaking of cheap, shitty Chinese made auto parts, I bought a radiator for my toyota truck from Advanced Auto parts, mainly because I had a "save 20% on a purchase of $100 or more" coupon. You really do get what you pay for, this pos radiator, the bolt holes didn't line up at all. Had to get the drill out and wallor out the mounting holes. Then the bolts that bolt the fan shroud to the radiator, the bolt holes on the new radiator were a different type of thread and the old bolts wouldn't work. Had to get creative with the big pile of bolts sitting on my dad's workbench.

After ****ing around with this for two or three hours we got the thing in and the lower outlet for the radiator sat right on the frame, as to where you couldn't slip the lower radiator hose on. Had to unbolt the left side, and slip the hose on. Then none of the bolt holes lined up, so we ended up zip tying the damn radiator to the core support. It was getting dark and luckily we poured the coolant back in and it worked fine, but holy crap this thing was the illest fitting pos I've ever seen. I would've had this job done in three hours instead of seven if I had gone with an OEM Toyota radiator.

Jesda
03-15-12, 10:23 PM
With OEM Saab parts becoming somewhat scarce, I think China will be providing a lot of aftermarket hardware for my car in the future.

Oh dear.


LET THE PARTS HOARDING BEGIN

CadillacLuke24
03-17-12, 02:12 AM
Do it do it do it! :D

Playdrv4me
03-17-12, 02:43 AM
When I was fixing the pushed in power seat lumbar adjuster pad on the silver seville, I noticed that the entire seat adjustment control unit was made by ALPS of all things. Yes, that ALPS... the keyboard people, in Japan.

rodnok01
03-17-12, 08:37 AM
Depending on when you buy store brand parts you might get top of the line or the crud left in the tub. I had that problem with Napa calipers for a vette. 3 were top notch the 4th was never right and couldn't get another good one. I've pretty much given up on good parts from top brands. Except maybe suspension parts. I buy the cheapo electrical sensors like oil/temp etc anymore. Haven't had the good one's last any longer than the cheapos. I do shop Napa but only for the hard to find parts or if I cannot figure out exactly what I need, other than that whom ever is cheaper or online if I can wait.

brandondeleo
03-17-12, 08:59 AM
I bought a radiator for the DeVilleat AutoZone at one point, and it was weeping shortly after I finished installing it. I bought a cheap Chinese radiator on eBay and it worked like a charm. (Until the h/g blew up.) I'd like to think it's the luck of the draw when it comes to aftermarket parts.

Submariner409
03-17-12, 09:55 AM
The bottom line is that car parts and reliability are the luck of the draw...........regardless of country of manufacture, parts are generally satisfactory and faithful - but there are glitches, whether from the Internet, a chain store, or the dealer. Parts buying as of now and, in the past, 6 years of having been a part-time parts runner for both American and European car dealers taught me that nothing automotive is 100% perfect.

If you frequent several other manufacturer's automobile forums it's obvious that parts and reliability questions are not strictly limited to our relatively tiny "Cadillac world". Every make on earth has its horror stories.

SDCaddyLacky
03-17-12, 07:42 PM
I've been somewhat fortunate with Napa parts so far, even though everything they make now is either made in China, Mexico, or Taiwan. Surprisingly Moog makes suspension parts for Napa, yet they price the Napa store brand higher than what a regular Moog part is usually from auto parts stores such as O'Reilly's, it's ridiculous. Napa parts have gone down in quality in the last 3 years.

Luckily for me I still have a Starter I bought 5 years ago for my 61 Lincoln from Napa that still cranks everytime I start up the car. Before I had 2 Autozone Starters grind on me which always had a hard time catching the flywheel, and one of wound up failing completely. I was told by an older mechanic that has been working on cars for a very long time, and he states that he always used Napa parts for long time reliability. These days, it's all up in the air at this point, with the price of everything going up, material cost and such, I am not surprised that Napa has cut cost by choosing different parts suppliers. Suppliers themselves are also to blame for the downgrade in quality, Napa just provides the parts, they don't actually make them. Still, there warranties are better than most other part stores.

The other day I went to O'Reilly's to pick up a air filter for another car I own. After comparing Wix and O'Reilly's house brand, the Wix filter looked and felt much sturdier than the Masterpro part, and the filter media felt slightly cheaper in quality. But thank god they now sell Moog and Wix filters, because for the longest time I hated the old Kragen since they never sold Wix nor Moog parts which forced me to always have to go to Napa and over pay for everything.

I barely if ever go to Napa anymore since everything they sell is so damn expensive, I order everything for my car from Rockauto. Some things are much cheaper at Rockauto, some are about the same as the brick and motar's or a little more money. But generally, Rockauto has the best parts at the best prices from my experience.

For example, I just purchased some front springs for my Fleetwood.

Rockauto price including shipping + tax Moog part #5396...... $122.01

The same part at O'Reilly's....$143.00 and that's before tax

Napa's price??? Unbelievable...it's $154.00 not including taxes, and if you order online, it's even more money because that also doesn't include shipping/taxes!

And that's Napa's house brand, which Moog makes anyways.

I don't even go to overpriced Napa anymore, maybe just for the smallest of stuff, or when I need a part right away that I can't find anywhere else, but that is it.