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Old 05-28-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
bradd
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Advance AutoParts

10 months ago I replaced the actuator in my Impala that changes the HVAC air from outside air to recycled. Yesterday the actuator broke again. I had the receipt and the box, went to Advance Auto and they gave me a new one free.

It is a pain to change but much easier the second time.

Every time I try to make myself not keep so much old junk around something like this happens and I keep hording receipts and original packaging.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:42 AM   #2
bmidd
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They're my go to also, I buy all my stuff online using discount codes and pick up in store.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:44 AM   #3
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My first choice is usually the independent parts house. But if they don't have it or carry a decent brand, or if I need it evenings or Sundays, Advanced is usually my go to.

With a shop level discount and no sales tax in Delaware, I've actually put some Dorman things on the regular restock order at the Independent parts store and got it for less than rockauto shipped price.
But with Advanced Auto you don't need the receipt at the same store but you will if you return to a different store.
If there is some strange pricing, I also check AutoZone.
Just last week, Honda Civic crank sensor 20mm was $27 at AA, 18mm was $114.
Both were $29 at AutoZone.
And with the 20%-25% Advanced usually throws you, they get close to Rock+shipping.
With the $5 coupon on top of 25% they usually beat the "rock".
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:03 AM   #4
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I used to be a zone guy, then the counter full of knowledgeable guys was replaced by a counter full of unmotivated guys. The advance near me is always cool and helpful, this week they had a car show and catered with nachos and salsa for free with some drinks.

But we’re in the process of restoring the 69 Camaro my father bought new and Rockauto just has a better selection of hard to find parts and I like their pricing structure.

For example, the Camaro needs a new radiator. I guess the one we stuck in when I drove it up a lamp post 24 years ago has had it, snagged a well built oversized one from RA when all everyone else had was direct replacement store brand. With the way summer temps are going I wanted more cooling, RA had the answer. Local you’ll find me at AA.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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For that Camaro keep Summit in mind as well, an Aluminum rad from Summit is probably an affordable upgrade.
I will probably go with Summit for gears and seals for a Ford Truck rear, cheaper and more confident about them being right than Rockauto.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:25 PM   #6
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I check Summit too. Most of what we’ve been getting has been either Rockauto, National Parts Depot, or Auto Metal Direct. I think the rims (16” Rally wheels) and wheel trim pieces came from Summit.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:53 PM   #7
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Sadly, that part will probably also fail.

The whole lifetime warranty on their cheap parts sounds appealing at first. But generally after the third time of replacing the part, it would have been better and less headache to just buy the oem one the first go around.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fermic37 View Post
Sadly, that part will probably also fail.

The whole lifetime warranty on their cheap parts sounds appealing at first. But generally after the third time of replacing the part, it would have been better and less headache to just buy the oem one the first go around.
Typically true, but in the case of the blend door actuators for the impala, the OEM ones are also crap. They all use a plastic gear that eventually strips out or breaks.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:11 AM   #9
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Gm used pretty much the same part across most of its vehicles. The oem one lasted, what 15-20years? Assuming you have one of the early impalas, I’d say that’s not to bad. Compared to 10 months.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fermic37 View Post
Gm used pretty much the same part across most of its vehicles. The oem one lasted, what 15-20years? Assuming you have one of the early impalas, I’d say that’s not to bad. Compared to 10 months.
Shoot, when I was wrenching for a living I saw GMs that were only 3-4 years old that had the blend door issue. The oem part was crap. Not to mention LOTS of GM oil leaks on late model vehicles.

But it’s nothing a blue oval couldn’t solve.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:34 AM   #11
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2008 Impala so the OEM one lasted 10 years. I'm chalking this up to "Chinese Quality Control" and hoping the next one will be better. There is no difference I can find between the Doorman replacement and the OEM GM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:53 AM   #12
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Electric actuators are a horrible design.
There really is no good answer.
Plastic gears and position sensors are high failure items.
I never had to repair anything but the vacuum source and vacuum check valve on my 1989, everthing in the dash worked for 30 years, except the blower switch and electrical pigtail.

Some after market actuators won't work when new because the parked positions are a bit off.
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