Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Auto Parts Nightmare

Since I barged my Plymouth mini-van down from Juneau, I've been driving it around, getting some miles on it and seeing if it needs any work. Last week the brakes failed, and the pedal went nearly to the floor. I ran it into the barn, jacked it up, and found a broken brake line on the right front wheel. I pulled the wheel and looked a bit closer, and the outer CV joint boot was also torn. It appears that the freight company, when they tied the van down on the barge, got a tie down strap over the brake line and CV joint boot.

The best way to fix the CV joint boot is to get a rebuilt axle with new boots already on it. That way you don't have to take the axle apart. It seems there are several different non interchangeable axles that could have been used on this model. The auto parts guy said I should pull the axle and bring it in for positive identification, then they'd get the right one the first time. Probably a good idea, but I'm really short of time, so I ordered a split boot kit to get it back on the road until later in the Fall when I could swap out the axle and do the job properly.

The parts guy checked with his warehouse, and the kits were out of stock and wouldn't be available for some undetermined time. The parts guy called around and found one on the shelf at another auto parts chain store about 30 miles away in Oak Harbor. I would be about ten miles from there at the CWSA practice for the Inter-Club match, so I could go pick it up. This was last Thursday. I picked up the boot kit and brought it home, only to discover that the special adhesive used to join the two halves of the boot had been robbed from the kit. CRAP!

The next morning I telephoned the store in Oak Harbor and asked if they could put another kit onto their delivery truck and drop it off at my regular parts store on my end of Whidbey island. After several minutes of negotiation, he finally agreed to do so, as long as I had my local store telephone him and verify that it was OK. SHEESHH!

I did as he asked, and they still failed to get it onto the truck that day. I phoned again the next morning and he promised it would be on that day's truck. I went over and picked it up and brought it home. I opened the package to discover that yes, the glue was there, but the instructions and the two metal clamps had been robbed from THIS kit. The other kit, which I had sent back, had the clamps and instructions.

Another phone call, and they agreed to send the instructions and the clamps back down on today's truck.

We'll see........

4 Comments:

At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:11:00 AM, Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Jeeze!! My '95 ford truck's computer fried-out. Again. Ford doesn't support it anymore, my buddy says it's a known-thing - they just go. It got towed to a shop and is still there.

 
At Thursday, September 21, 2006 3:34:00 PM, Blogger Rivrdog said...

Dirtcrashr: buy a CA-legal aftermarket chip. Much mo betta zipetydoodah from the engine anyway.

Mr. C: izzat Napa, by any chance? All this parts kit robbing is a very bad sign, and unless this issue is restricted to a franchise group on the Island, it might bear finding somewhere else to do biznez entirely.

BTW, this practice used to be prevalent in the USAF Supply system, and they put a stop to it by demoting some Supply Sgts.

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 6:29:00 AM, Anonymous libertynews said...

I've had the same experience with every parts place I've ever dealt with, except for Meuller's NAPA in Eatonville. When you needed to fix something Pat would say 'you can do it cheap or you can do it right'. And right was always cheaper in the long run. They always got the right parts for me.

Since then I've had problems with every project. Wrong sized bearings, wrong brake drums, wrong water pump.

How hard is it to look up a 9 digit number and then place an order? Apparently harder than it looks.

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 9:23:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

No, it wasn't NAPA. It was a big auto supply chain that could be called Suck's Auto Supply, or something like that. To be fair, it doesn't seem to be the fault of the store, more the warehouse for putting store returns back into warehouse inventory without checking the returned stuff for completeness. The store should be able to order from their warehouse with confidence that the products shipped to them are complete......

 

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