Stone Mountain, Georgia
35 comments

I don't know which is worse my own stupidity for listening to AutoZone Technicians twice, or their apparent complete ignorance about car repair.

1) Alternator or Battery.

My first run in was several months back when I had problems with my car. It was night, and the lights on my dash had dimmed and battery indicator was dropping fast. I had to call and have my wife jumpstart my car twice to make it the three miles to the nearby AutoZone, the only place open at 8:45pm. I explained to them what happened, then they hooked up their tester which seemed to give conflicting results as I watched. They then swore it was the battery, that was not taking a charge, and that the alternator was working. They replaced the battery in a few minutes, and I was on my way, hoping for the best. That lasted for about 10-15 minutes, when I observed the same symptoms had reappeared, so I went back. They tested again, the same way as before, and now claimed that it was the alternator. I spoke with the manager who insisted that it was both the battery and the alternator that were defective. Unfortunately, being late at night, I went home sulking that I had been potentially doped by them.

When I went to my regular mechanic the next day, they were doubtful too about the battery being bad. But since I did not have that battery in my possession, at that point they believed there would be no way to prove one way or the other, since it was probably trashed.

2) Wrong Cylinder

My latest run-in with the ignorance of their technicians was where my car was idling rough. Having had LOTs of problems with the defective design by Ford, where the spark plug wires get wire up in the carbon and are ruined. I suspect that as the problem. I stopped by my mechanic that Saturday, and he said that until my check engine light came on, the OBD may not show which cylinder had the bad cable. It would be easier to come in on Monday, if the light was on, otherwise we'd have to check each one.

On that Sunday after church, it began to miss more and finally the 'check engine' light came on. So I swung by the same AutoZone, as it is near my house, and had them hook it up to test it. Sure enough it was missing on a single cylinder, number 3, as I had suspected. Unfortunately, the location of cylinder 3 was something I had never really bothered to commit to memory.

I asked them if I could purchase just a single cable, thinking that might be easy enough to get and swap out. The sales/tech told me that was no problem. That was the first clue that he was clueless. The more technical person working that day pointed out that the length should be matched, as well as the type. So they decided to remove the cable and see if they had one in the back.

After the first one spent several minutes looking at the engine, trying to figure out which cylinder was number 3, I pointed out that I knew that it was in the repair manual, and that "I would just look in the book". Unfortunately ignorance and stupidity seemed to be in spades that day as they proceed through several technicians struggling to figure out how to get the wire out from the harness for the plug that they through was number 3. I also mentioned that the 'trick' to releasing the harness was also in the repair manual.

After 35 minutes of this they finally concluded that they did not have the cable, and they plugged my cable back in. Then they suggested they might have the 8 pack, so that I could get all of the wires. But not wanting to reward them for their ineptitude I declined and went on my way.

My own stupidity came from trusting that they really knew which wire it was. The reason I am ***, is because I followed their suggestion, and got a whole set. At least it was from a competitor ;-) But I bought it, believing that I was actually going to have to replace the wire from cylinder 3, since they had checked that it was not loose and put it back securely too.

When I get home to swap out the wire, I had this nagging fear that they did not really know which one was number 3, since they sounded like they really were a rather clueless bunch. Then when I pull out my own handy repair book, and through the use of that clever concept called an index, I flipped right to the page on the spark plugs. And low and behold to my utter disgust, I find that they had spent 20 minutes trying to get out the wrong wire. So I go check the real cylinder 3, and there it is, the cable is loose as a goose, so I checked them all and now all is well.

Unfortunately, I choose not to checked them all, because I had trusted those hapless technicians at AutoZone. Needless to say, I have no intention of ever giving them any of my business at any of their locations. I don't see any point in rewarding a company that employees who are not just unknowledgeable, but are unwilling to listen to reasonable suggestions like 'look it up first'.

Sincerely,

Ticked at AutoZone

Monetary Loss: $50.

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Anonymous
#1132412

They are a chain auto parts store. Like any retail store, they hire kids who are lucky enough to find the hood latch on your car.

Autozone does not have certified technicians, they are there to sell you as much *** as possible.

Asking an employee at Autozone to help fix your car is like asking someone at McDonalds how to cook a steak.

Areeba
#988088

Never had any problems buying or exchanging parts

Anonymous
#936422

REALLY? You are griping because you expected people who are hired to do SALES couldn't fix your car over the counter and for FREE?

You are pathetic. Instead of going to a licensed mechanic because you are too cheap and you want free service from an automotive parts SALES store you come on here ranting that THEY messed up your car.

Pffft. If you can't afford to fix it correctly take a bus!

Anonymous
#943206
@youhavetobekiddingme

Right! They aren't mechanics, and never claim to be

Anonymous
#689347

I wish AutoZone would stop handing out these free services. It's not fair for us to go out there, install batteries, bulbs, and wiper blades for free!

Customer's take advantage of that and treat us like ***. And I'm sick of the return policy. I don't know how it is in other states but here where I live, if a customer has a receipt and want to return an item THEY USED, we have to refund the customer their money.

What kind of *** is that?!?! I've been sucking it up for a long time, I'm currently looking for a new job.

Anonymous
#693858
@I work for AutoZone - Female e

i feel your pain :cry :cry i was an assistant mgr for this company for 7 years and almost all of the negative things said about this company from past or current employees is true. i have seen people railroaded out the door because they took a stand against their d m.

people fired because of customer complaints with no validity.and who ever thought of these free services should be put up against a wall and shot. you are an auto-parts sales professional not a tech. no customer should come to the store and expect to have a Richard Rawlings or Pat Goss behind the counter. the retun policy my god .

a person can break down buy a pair of jumper cables jump their car and bring them back for a full refund. and then they wonder why you have low sales. the other thing advancement opportunities nonexistent even if you have tons of experience. every free service is to sell more parts.

witt jr coc is nothing more than add on sales and thats it. i have worked at all of the bigbox stores except the big green O and by far my best working experience was at Napa. non of the micromanaged bs and if you didn't know what you wanted did a retun we could impose a restocking fee.

the zone advance all the same. if you like this industry go to a dealership on an independent or for that matter one of the salvage yards where you will be more respected and at least the stress level will be less :grin

Areeba
#988092
@I work for AutoZone - Female e

Quit if u don't. Like it

tim r
#495267

Don't go saying *** about the consumer that's pissed! It's the JOB of those PEOPLE in those automotive industries to know what they're doing.

But not so much as to diagnose ANY problem with a vehicle outside of general maintenance though. If anyone asks a store employee to diagnose their vehicle, that person should be upfront and truthful about not being allowed to do that.

It IS stated in their company policies that NO employee shall give an opinion of technical problems of a vehicle if they aren't 100 percent certain that the solution is the correct response to the problem. I'd say take their butts to court, they deserve it.

Anonymous
#495262

ok first wow there's ignorant people. second when doing a battery test or charging systems test the first thing you need to do is make sure the battery is fully charged (autozoners know this) then only after the battery is fully charged can their lil machine tell which one is bad (poor display of customer service) not to mention possibly a poorly trained employee they should have never said one or the other till they tried to charge your battery.. i am so sorry about your bad expierience please contact store manager and district manager if they refuse to help you then please keep going up the ladder have a great night

Anonymous
#494152

autozone is not a repair shop, the obd tester is only a general idea of where to look for problems, were you charged for this service , no?, quite whinning and go to a repair shop if you want professional results, it didnt cost you.

Anonymous
#492116

first of all ase certified is a series of classification not one just because you pass a test for brakes doesnt make you a expert on transmissions if you would have put ase master mechanic then yes bragg im not ase certified in any field but car repair isnt my profession but i can take a$5 dollar meter from harbor frieght and check my alt. and batt and autozone employees hands down you do have to put up with alot of BS but some of your employees should not be allowed to go near a car or sell parts went into store in rockhill sc ask for seal for rear differential guy asked if it was front wheel drive :roll and thats the truth

Anonymous
#492069

"AutoZone Technician" hahahahahahahahaha

Micah
#486699

Your mechanics were doubtful the batt was bad? LOL......... You don't know the slightest thing about the electrical system, do ya?

The battery just provides the charge to the starter to engage the flywheel. After that, the battery has no business. Then the alt kicks in and takes over all the electrical components, including recharging the battery. Now, if the alt goes bad, then it goes to the backup/reserve which is then your battery. So, your alt just doesn't *** out that fast. So, you, the dumba$$, let it go for some time. Basically, you killed both your batt and your alt. If the batt is bad, there is no way our system could check the alt until the batt's changed.

As far as the wrong cyl, yeah, Ford got some messed up wires, so you should have bought the whole wireset. We don't necessarily have all the wires in the world for every make and model, otherwise our stores would be 3 to 4 times the size they are now. Be grateful them guys were trying to help you the best they could.

You remind me of some the complete ldiots we get here. I have seen grown men try putting engine oil in their tranny. REALLY???? However, the car next to them got a woman in the engine replacing the water pump without breaking a sweat.

There needs to be a sign out front,

"BEFORE YOU ENTER OUR STORE, YOU NEED TO KNOW THE YEAR, MAKE, MODEL, ENGINE, AND IF IT'S 4X4 OR NOT"

I get the occassional a$$nine jagoff:

Cust: I need breaks.

Me: What for?

Cust: 01 Saturn SL1

Me: What size engine?

Cust: Does it f#%$ing matter? Just do your job.

Me: Either a 4 or 6 cyl and yes it matters.

Cust: Geez... 4 cyl.

(My fav part!)Me: 2 or 3 series, or Redline?

Cust: It doesn't matter!!! Just get my mother f#$^ing breaks!!!!

Me (I will pull out the most expensive one of them all and sell them.) They bring it back pissed off!!! I tell them not to mouth off again or it will get worse. Sell it to them w/o a refund. I just love dumb customers. It makes my day go FAST!!!

Anonymous
#454661

what do you mean? i have to know what im doing before i just throw parts at it?

jack@$$ autozone hires customer service people not mechanics!

know what you are doing before you blame others! :p

Anonymous
#348933

well ***, that's what you get when you expect parts store "technicians" to diagnose your car. i know my *** about cars.

i have my degree in said automotive field. i'm arrogant because i know wtf i am doing.

BUT if you think for one second i'm gonna come outside and do the DIAGNOSTIC work that pays much better money at a shop because it isn't easy and takes specialized knowledge, for what the holy company autozone pays me, you're *** insane and no way is it gonna happen. so i hope you *** wreck and die, the world doesn't need anymore inbred idiots like you polluting the gene pool.

Anonymous
#316463

I had a customer ask for brakes for a Ford F150. I asked him what engine.

He didn't know, and wasn't sure what year the truck was. I asked him what the GVW rating of his truck was. His reply?

"What the *** does that have to to do with anything? I've driven that truck to Florida 3 times!"

Anonymous
#266390

you got what you paid for

Scott
#243637

Read the sign at AutoZone. It says "Discount Auto Parts" NOT auto repair!!!! Don't blame a parts person for your ignorance on not paying a certified technition to do your repair

Anonymous
#213504

Dude, I would have helped you right.

You need to understand that autozone does NOT have "technicians."

The simple fact that you think they do is absurd.

Ford has there cylinders on the oppisite side than other vehicles. They could have looked that up in the computer under "Firing Order."

Also, Ford has wierd spark plug wires that have 2 crazy clips on the end to connect to the coil pack. YOU CANNOT GET JUST ONE! You have to buy the whole set.

Dude, get rid of your Ford... it's a peice of junk.

Anonymous
#197154

TYPICAL IGNORANT CUSTOMER, LOL!:

ME: "What is the year, make, and model of the car?"

CUSTOMER: "It's a Chevy"

ME: "Is it a Chevy Car? Chevy Truck? Chevy Van?"

CUSTOMER: "It's a pickup?

ME: "1500, 2500, 3500 series?"

CUSTOMER: "I don't know, it's out there!"

It's so frustrating when grown men don't even know what they drive! So now we have to take the time out to try and FIGURE out what they drive, whether it's a 4wheel drive, and a lot of times even what engine size it is!

It is of paramount importance that we get the right information, in order to get you the right auto parts, and ADVICE!

And that is all we do, we give you advice. We are not allowed to work on vehicles, we are not allowed to diagnose vehicles either. We give you probable causes, and all Autozoners should recommend that you take it to a certified mechanic if you can't figure out what is wrong with the vehicle!

We SELL DISCOUNT AUTO PARTS, that is all we do! YOU DON'T WALK INTO A GROCERY STORE, and purchase ingredients for a __________ (steak, pasta, tacos, fill in the blank, etc) and expect the grocery story workers to COOK IT, or HELP YOU COOK IT, or help you cook it right for you! It's unreasonable to expect that!

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