The Truth About Cars » auto parts The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 01:30:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » auto parts Question Of The Day: Did You Ever Get Screwed On A Rebate? Fri, 09 May 2014 11:00:59 +0000 rebate

2007 was a nutty time for my car business when it came to buying parts and supplies.

All the auto parts stores around my dealership were busy blowing their financial brains out in the pursuit of commercial business. I was retailing all the good cars I could find at the auctions, and it wasn’t long before I started to see an armada of amazing deals come to my door.

12 free gallons of coolant (8 store brand concentrates, 4 Dex-Cool) at Autozone. 16 quarts of free synthetic motor oil plus 24 more quarts of conventional oil at O’Reillys. Advance Auto Parts would guarantee the lowest price. Then O’Reillys offered “cost plus” deals that I could barely even fathom. While the parts stores were busy slashing each other’s throats, I was steadfastly collecting all the cheap and free products that came from the marketshare bloodbath.

Armor All, Meguiars, Turtle Wax, auto care products that were trying to get a retail presence… all were practically free for the taking if you were willing to keep up with the offers. 2007 netted me enough auto care products to handle the next three years of my business.

This ended in early 2008, and by 2009, you could often get better deals by lurking at the Bob Is The Oil Guy web site. That’s when I started noticing a nasty trend. Things started to get a bit too cute with the rebates.

I would apply for a deal, scan a copy for my own records, mail it in, and wait.

Nothing. One month would pass. 45 days. Then two months.

It got to the point where I had a spreadsheet on Google Docs exclusively dedicated to all the rebates that I saw as bait. At least 20% of which were financially AWOL on any given time.

I would call, email, and even complain if their word and my mailbox weren’t aligning themselves the right way. Eventually I got what I needed, but boy, did I get ticked off at that constant tug-o-war of time.

These days I only stock up on certain products off-season (i.e. Freon in November) and pretty much stick to the Bob Is The Oil Guy site for whatever else is worth my time. I retail less, wholesale more, and it’s rare that I see something that is truly compelling these days.

One deal today did catch my eye. This one.  The only problem is I can’t endorse it wholeheartedly because maybe, perhaps, that rebate may find itself in that netherworld called, “lost in process”.

Every rebate that isn’t online is a roll of the dice these days. So with the odds in flux, let me ask you a painful question. “Did You Ever Get Screwed On A Rebate?”

This is your time to sound off on what I consider to be an industry practice that should be taken out back and burned to cinders. Mail-in rebates are an inexcusable screwing of the general public.

If you were ever one of those screwed, here’s your chance to vent.

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Canadian Built Cars Have The Most Foreign Parts Content Fri, 10 May 2013 14:57:56 +0000 2010ChevroletCamaro-05-1

More than any other country, Canadian-built vehicles seem to have an inordinate amount of foreign parts content, according to a study done by Scotiabank Economics.

The Windsor Star reports that Canadian made cars have an average of $15,000 worth of foreign parts content, compared to $11,000 in the U.S., $10,500 in Mexico and $10,000 in Western Europe. The global average is said to be $7,400.

Scotia’s chief economist Carlos Gomes cited engines as the costliest foreign component, stating

“Despite several top-notch engine plants in Canada, over 80 per cent of all vehicles built in Canada contain imported engines.”

Transmissions and electronic systems also rounded out the top 3, and Gomes noted that the lack of a strong base for these kinds of parts means Canada’s auto parts trade deficit will only expand in the future. Furthermore, the vast majority of Canadian auto parts are not exported, which doesn’t help matters


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Hammer Time: The Trickle Down Effect Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:00:11 +0000 Click here to view the embedded video.

Local propaganda almost always serves to screw the little guy. With rare exception, it never fails to do so.

We need a new stadium!”, cries the billionaire whose team already got one just two decades go. “Please pay for it John Q Public!”

“Hey! What about me?”, screams the local electric company CEO. “We really need to double the monthly service charge for our  local residents to manage our costs. But let’s also throw in a double digit rate reduction for those who use a lot of energy. Like the billionaire and his businesses. After all, they create the jobs out here!”

And the story drones on. The trash company that owns a multitude of companies that have virtually nothing to do with trash, wants to hike your bill.  Because they need to hit their numbers. Just like everybody else.  The insurance company. The gas company. The local government. The state government. Heck, every local monopolist and oligopoly is thrusting their well oiled lobbyist machines right at your shrinking wallet.

Guess who else is doing it now? The auto parts stores.

I now pay as much for conventional motor oil as I did for synthetic just a few years ago. Battery prices have nearly doubled. Items that used to only come in small containers, such as brake fluid and power steering fluid, are now heavily marketed in containers bigger than your head. For just a mere few cents of extra liquid the nationwide auto parts chain can improve their profits by “Big Gulp” margins.

Who pays? You do. Not to mention your shrinking shelf space in the garage.

This tactic of suckering in the consumer with the allure of the large item is nothing new. During my last visit to ‘Cheap Discount Auto Parts Emporium’ I could have sworn I heard the intercom speaker blare out the following in their classic phony, cheesy shopping voice.

“Attention customers! Need to tackle a big job? Why just buy the Titanic version of our bountiful fluids! The more you spend,  the more you save!”

Then the voice got slightly more sinister.

“Just make extra sure you don’t kick over that bottle while doing it Mister D I Y. In which case we also have a gallon of driveway cleaner for only $19.99.  Oh, and before you forget, since your tranny is also going south, please make sure you also buy 10 small quarts of our store brand transmission fluid instead of two large containers. We’re hiding those in the back for our commercial customers. Have a nice day!”

And they are hiding them in the back for now. When I asked our store manager for the five quart containers of the store brand tranny fluid, she couldn’t locate them. Anywhere.

They turned out to be in the back room along with all the other discontinued items.

Folks, if this keeps up we’ll have to rid ourselves of all those wonderful cheap beaters. Apparently it costs too much money to be cheap these days.

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