relative quality of parts stores?

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Old 23 Mar 2006, 12:59 pm   #1 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default relative quality of parts stores?

I've heard that Napa Auto Parts has higher quality than some of the
more well-known chains, but is this really true? Any experience on
your ends?

My dad and I are about to replace the front rotors on my '96 camry
(it's never had the rotors replaced before). I'm wondering if I was
wise to choose the more expensive rotor from Napa Auto, instead of
choosing a cheaper one from AutoZone, Pep Boys, Kragen, etc.

I paid $44 per rotor from Napa (Made in Canada), I just can't see
myself paying $70 per rotor from www.toyotadiscountparts.com (or $114
per rotor from the local Toyota dealer)... the original one lasted 10
years, I'm thinking of keeping the car maybe at least another 5 years.

The Napa sales guy said the rotor I got "meets or exceeds OEM
standards". True, or hogwash?

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Old 23 Mar 2006, 05:28 pm   #2 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?

I dought there is much difference in rotors, but in electrical parts
yes.

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Old 23 Mar 2006, 05:51 pm   #3 (permalink)
James Fedorawicz
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?

I've bought a lot of auto parts from a slew of auto parts store over the
years and generally, you get what you pay for. NAPA auto parts are as
good as any others and better than some. The reason Advance can quote
you low prices is because they usually quote the low-end parts so to get
quality parts, you've got to pay more, even there. NAPA's
top-of-the-line oil and air filters (NAPA Gold) are made by Hastings.



Group: alt.autos.toyota.camry Date: Thu, Mar 23, 2006, 10:59am (EST-3)
From: mrdarrett@gmail.com
I've heard that Napa Auto Parts has higher quality than some of the more
well-known chains, but is this really true? Any experience on your ends?
My dad and I are about to replace the front rotors on my '96 camry (it's
never had the rotors replaced before). I'm wondering if I was wise to
choose the more expensive rotor from Napa Auto, instead of choosing a
cheaper one from AutoZone, Pep Boys, Kragen, etc.
I paid $44 per rotor from Napa (Made in Canada), I just can't see myself
paying $70 per rotor from www.toyotadiscountparts.com (or $114 per rotor
from the local Toyota dealer)... the original one lasted 10 years, I'm
thinking of keeping the car maybe at least another 5 years.
The Napa sales guy said the rotor I got "meets or exceeds OEM
standards". True, or hogwash?

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Old 23 Mar 2006, 11:29 pm   #4 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?

That's true in some cases. For instance, you'll get Gates belts from
NAPA, which I consider the top of the line. Kragen/Advanced/Checker
(all the same company but differnet names in different regions)
primarily sell Dayco, which is also decent and used in many Toyotas
from the factory. Places like AutoZone you can order the more expensive
stuff, but the basic GoodYear (rather than their better GatorBack) is
the norm.

But there are cases where it is not so. The Johnson Control battery
under the DuraLast and DuraLast-Gold (not "Valuecraft") are excellent
products at a very low price according to Consumer Reports and my own
experience. Their Gabriel Ultra line of struts use bonded iron pistons
instead of Monroe's fiberglass/teflon piston. These would be the better
values.

For things like rotors, say Raybestos, and Felpro gaskets are the same
in all the stores. So I'll pick the cheapest.

Raymold (by Raybestos) $20 rotors work great and very quiet. But I'll
try the Raybestos line rotors $38 at Kragen next time just to see if
there is any difference. Raybestos pads (www.raybestos.com) are quiet
but dirtier than Akebono ones (www.akebonobrakes.com).

Of course there are things you can only get at the dealer, like the
thermostat and factory red or pink coolant. Then use discount coupons.

It helps to know what you are getting by talking to others. If not,
walking into NAPA is generally a good deal unless you want to lighten
your wallet some more at the dealer, like paying more than a Gates
belt's price for a Dayco or GoodYear belt with one of those printed on
it. Or did you say $114 for a rotor. ha ha ha

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Old 24 Mar 2006, 06:30 am   #5 (permalink)
NickySantoro
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?

On 23 Mar 2006 10:59:27 -0800, mrdarrett@gmail.com wrote:

>I've heard that Napa Auto Parts has higher quality than some of the
>more well-known chains, but is this really true? Any experience on
>your ends?
>
>My dad and I are about to replace the front rotors on my '96 camry
>(it's never had the rotors replaced before). I'm wondering if I was
>wise to choose the more expensive rotor from Napa Auto, instead of
>choosing a cheaper one from AutoZone, Pep Boys, Kragen, etc.
>
>I paid $44 per rotor from Napa (Made in Canada), I just can't see
>myself paying $70 per rotor from www.toyotadiscountparts.com (or $114
>per rotor from the local Toyota dealer)... the original one lasted 10
>years, I'm thinking of keeping the car maybe at least another 5 years.
>
>The Napa sales guy said the rotor I got "meets or exceeds OEM
>standards". True, or hogwash?


Other than OEM, I have found NAPA parts to be superior to AZ and PB.
I'm not familiar with Kragen.
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Old 24 Mar 2006, 01:09 pm   #6 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?


mrdarrett@gmail.com wrote:
> I've heard that Napa Auto Parts has higher quality than some of the
> more well-known chains, but is this really true? Any experience on
> your ends?
>
> My dad and I are about to replace the front rotors on my '96 camry
> (it's never had the rotors replaced before). I'm wondering if I was
> wise to choose the more expensive rotor from Napa Auto, instead of
> choosing a cheaper one from AutoZone, Pep Boys, Kragen, etc.
>
> I paid $44 per rotor from Napa (Made in Canada), I just can't see
> myself paying $70 per rotor from www.toyotadiscountparts.com (or $114
> per rotor from the local Toyota dealer)... the original one lasted 10
> years, I'm thinking of keeping the car maybe at least another 5 years.
>
> The Napa sales guy said the rotor I got "meets or exceeds OEM
> standards". True, or hogwash?



Thanks all for the replies.

After taking a look at the brake rotor specs from
http://www.turboninjas.com/camry/br.pdf I think my rotors don't need
replacing after all. I've got 1.059 in (L) and 1.058 in (R), which is
right smack in the middle between Standard (1.102 in) and Minimum
(1.024 in). (I hadn't realized the specs for Standard and Minimum were
so close.)

My current rotors should last me at least until my next brake pad
change (roughly 2 years).

Guess I'll be returning the new rotors after all.

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Old 25 Mar 2006, 12:04 am   #7 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?

Yeah. The existing ones should be fine then.

The Canadian rotors you bought may be Bendix or Raybestos PG-Plus
Vehicle-Specific Metallurgy. Good stuff.

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 01:13 am   #8 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?


johngdole@hotmail.com wrote:
> That's true in some cases. For instance, you'll get Gates belts from
> NAPA, which I consider the top of the line. Kragen/Advanced/Checker
> (all the same company but differnet names in different regions)
> primarily sell Dayco, which is also decent and used in many Toyotas
> from the factory. Places like AutoZone you can order the more expensive
> stuff, but the basic GoodYear (rather than their better GatorBack) is
> the norm.
>
> But there are cases where it is not so. The Johnson Control battery
> under the DuraLast and DuraLast-Gold (not "Valuecraft") are excellent
> products at a very low price according to Consumer Reports and my own
> experience. Their Gabriel Ultra line of struts use bonded iron pistons
> instead of Monroe's fiberglass/teflon piston. These would be the better
> values.


The Gabriel Ultra struts will last longer than the Monroe, then?

Batteries, I've tended to buy from Wal-Mart...


> For things like rotors, say Raybestos, and Felpro gaskets are the same
> in all the stores. So I'll pick the cheapest.
>
> Raymold (by Raybestos) $20 rotors work great and very quiet. But I'll
> try the Raybestos line rotors $38 at Kragen next time just to see if
> there is any difference. Raybestos pads (www.raybestos.com) are quiet
> but dirtier than Akebono ones (www.akebonobrakes.com).
>
> Of course there are things you can only get at the dealer, like the
> thermostat and factory red or pink coolant. Then use discount coupons.
>
> It helps to know what you are getting by talking to others. If not,
> walking into NAPA is generally a good deal unless you want to lighten
> your wallet some more at the dealer, like paying more than a Gates
> belt's price for a Dayco or GoodYear belt with one of those printed on
> it. Or did you say $114 for a rotor. ha ha ha


$114 for a rotor. Yup. I learned my mistake - I will minimize trips
to the dealership whenever possible.

Went to Wal-Mart today... I didn't realize they sell Bosch
double-tipped platinum spark plugs at Wal-Mart! (I'm running Bosch
double-tipped Pt from Pep Boys in my '99 Camry... working great.)

The rotors I bought / returned at Napa are here:
http://www.napaonline.com/masterpage...r+Only+-+Front

They don't say what brand, or what the warranty is...

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 02:14 am   #9 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: relative quality of parts stores?


mrdarrett@gmail.com wrote:
> The Gabriel Ultra struts will last longer than the Monroe, then?


Now that's my personal opinion, becuase there is little data to go on.
The Ultra is a new design that received the 2003 Popular Mechanics
Editor's Award with its automatic adjusting inertia-sensing valves.
Monroes are like the Fram of oil filters, designed to the minimum cost
but are around every street corner. So go figure. I wouldn't mind using
the Monroe Reflex, rolled out in 1999, like Nissan does in 2000+ Altima
and many other cars/trucks..

http://www.gabriel.com/gforce1/eng/default.htm

> Batteries, I've tended to buy from Wal-Mart...


Wal-Mart batteries are made by Johnson-Control, too. Good value I must
say. For me Autozone is closer. Check out Johnson Control's news
release about these different brands. Care to guess who also makes
Toyota batteries in the US?

http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/CorpP...release786.asp

> Went to Wal-Mart today... I didn't realize they sell Bosch
> double-tipped platinum spark plugs at Wal-Mart! (I'm running Bosch
> double-tipped Pt from Pep Boys in my '99 Camry... working great.)


I posted some messages earlier about being careful in using the Bosch
plugs in Waste Spark Systems like your Camry. The metal transfer from
the ground electrode to the center electrode (half the plugs in the
system) will cause fouling because of the tiny center platinum
electrode.

Bosch plugs are excellent in "normal" ignition systems because they
spread the flame flat across the tip towards the grounds on the sides
and will reach self cleaning temperature quite fast.

>
> The rotors I bought / returned at Napa are here:
> http://www.napaonline.com/masterpage...r+Only+-+Front
>
> They don't say what brand, or what the warranty is...


NAPA can fill its stock with different brands at different times. But
that looks like a Raybestos PG-Plus VSM rotor number (not the imported,
less expensive Raymold I've used without problems). Raybestos, a DANA
Corp. company, produces excellent brake components. Their North
American produced rotors which I've also used are very well made. But
I do like Akebono brake pads better because their ceramic pads are
cleaner.

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