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Discussion Starter #1
tongue in cheek, but seriously, I can go to an auto parts store to pay twice what I can get parts off amazon and ebay. I watched a video review of two toolboxes - Harbor Freight and some high end tool line. Harbor Freight came to about 95% of what the high end line did - for 20% of the cost- best part? Both stamped "made in china".

Years ago, I'd go to the auto parts place (name your franchise) and get a "life time warranty" - then the kids would total the car. Same sort of thing - buy a very nice East Wing framing hammer and kids would lose it in the back yard.. lol

Me? If the autoparts store is selling me chinese cheep crap, then I want they chinese price....
 

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Not-a-Mechanic
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399 Posts
Buying parts has become a bit of a black art. Ebay is a potpourri, most of the "stores" sell junk, but you can find individuals on occasion with suitable parts for sale. Amazon generraly does not tell you where the stuff is sourced from, discounts, factory seconds or what. I like to get parts from Honda, sometimes they're reasonable, sometimes not. Rockauto, NAPA, those type places are sometimes useful. It really depends on the part, what you're comfortable with. Even China makes some good parts, the really cheap stuff is made elsewhere, now that they have a skilled middle class workforce. If you think that $100 starter from Amazon is the same as the $300 starter from a parts vendor, you're kidding yourself. Many stories of lifetime warranty parts turn out to be a lifetime of replacing and returning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Truth to an extent. So much stuff is sourced from China (well, was anyway) and re-labelled, you just don't know. Good point about lifetime warranties - you never really want to use them.
 

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Administrator
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Tool boxes from harbor freight are one thing. Parts from mail order of unknown source who is out of business the day after you ship is another.
i buy from Napa and use their good stuff. Autozone etc people are clueless and rarely last a week. Napa people at my store know their stuff and don’t quit.
 

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I gets parts from all over.

1) dealership
2) online dealership
3) amazon OE
4) amazon aftermarket
5) rockauto
6) parts store

its a balance between parts quality, speed of obtaining the part, and price.

the one advantage of parts stores have is that they are open longer, so you can get the part now. You know, the window regulator is broken, the window has fallen into the door, and it’s going to rain tomorrow.

Dealerships have gotten more of my business recently because many now have parts departments open on sundays!

amazon has gotten flaky on delivery times even before the covid issue. Too many times have I expected delivery on the weekend to do something, just to have some kind of unexpected delay In delivery until monday. That just causes me to go to the parts stores, get the part, and then return the amazon part “because it did not arrive in time”.

rockauto has really quickened their delivery these days, I must say that they might have become more reliable than amazon. They used to be a 2 week wait, but now I’m seeing things arrive in 2-3 days.
 

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Regarding harbor freight. I’ve got a lot of stuff from harbor freight. It is a time vs, money issue.

The major rule I have with harbor freight is that when i buy something, I use it that day or really soon. No buying, waiting until the return period is over, and then using the tool.

I’d say, 10% of harbor freight tools just annoy the heck out of me, either they don’t work, or work so poorly it’s ridiculous. Then I waste time stopping what I’m doing, returning the item, and then buying a different branded tool to finish things. It’s the price of buying a cheaper tool - wasting time. On the other hand, I’d say the Other 90% of harbor freight tools, well ... they work fine enough, especially for the price.
 

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2016 CR-V EX-L
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147 Posts
WOW...this thread evokes some memories. I was raised around the parts business as my Dad worked at Wyoming Automotive, Car Parts (later turning into Big A) and closed that part of his career out at Sidles. Today I frequent NAPA and O'Reilly Auto Parts. My best memory was back in 1979 when I was back in college. I had a 1966 VW Squareback and the starter went out. Stopped by the local VW dealer and they were asking $400 for a starter as it was a Porsche motor or so they claimed. I had only paid $350 for the car a year earlier. Went to the local NAPA store where a guy my Dad had helped train worked. Bought a set of brushes and bushing for less than $5 (I actually think it was less than $3) put it back together and three years later when I sold the car it was still starting great.

Sorry for the thread hijack...
 

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2020 Honda CRV Touring
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I wonder where the young CRV drivers get their parts?
 
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