Thanks Autozone. You've been a big help.

My '97 Thunderbird LX with 3.8L engine has been throwing a "Service Engine Soon" light every now and then. Checking and retightening the fuel tank cap is
about the only remedy I know about, and that hasn't worked in stopping the light from going on and off. I stopped at my local Autozone yesterday to have them read the codes and purchase the necessary parts to repair this annoying problem. The counter guy came out with me and started looking around for the connector and couldn't find it. I suggested perhaps it was under the hood, and we searched around under there as well. As we walked back into the store, I told him my owner's manual was in my tool box at home, but I doubted it revealed the location of the DLC, and we'd have to look it up in "The Book". He told a woman that was obviously the store manager (she was wearing a white shirt) of his difficulty in locating the DLC, and, without even looking up from her paperwork, she said "Maybe it's in a place we're not supposed to go. Tell him (me) to check the books out over there (pointing to an aisle with Haynes manuals)." The clerk takes me over to the shelf of books and selects a Haynes Ford Thunderbird manual and hands it to me. "Maybe you can find it in there," he says. Now, this book is wrapped in a plastic sleeve that has to be destroyed to open the book. I'm going to have to buy it, right? Well, I said that I'd go home first and check my owner's manual. As I was leaving, I approached the manager and said that I don't think *I'm* going to buy a book to tell *you* where to find that connector. They should have some data source more readily available for their employees if they wished to provide a service, albeit free. She just made one of those annoying faces and returned to pushing her pencil. I later recalled that they gave me the wrong brake pads some time ago that weren't discovered until after I'd removed the rear calipers from the car (royal PITA). And a time before that, they sold me an incorrect heater hose for the car. Is it me, the car, or Autozone that's such a problem? Since I'm me, and the car's a keeper, I won't be going back to AutoZone again.
Tom Flyer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Flyer wrote: ( '97 Thunderbird LX 3.8L )
I get an occasional SES light so I went to Autozone to have them read the codes. The counter guy came out to my car but couldn't find the connector. The store manager said the Haynes manuals might show the location. They had a Haynes Ford Thunderbird manual but it was sealed in plastic and I told the manager I wasn't going to buy a manual just to find a connector location.
When Autozone provides my free code reading, they should also provide free information on the location of my code connector.
One time Autozone gave me the wrong brake pads that I found after I'd removed the rear calipers from the car.
Another time Autozone sold me an incorrect heater hose.
I won't be going back to AutoZone again.
______________________________________________
Any intelligent automotive DIYer has the sense and the courtesy to come in prepared to help the parts supplier to be sure the proper parts are supplied. He brings in the old brake shoes to compare to the new ones, he brings in the old heater hose to compare to the new one, and he educates himself on the location of an important connector to be sure the proper one is checked.
But there is another type of customer who can't think that far ahead, who wastes valuable customer service time and causes preventable costly parts returns.
Good luck finding another auto parts supplier that will spend as much time and money on you as Autozone did.
Autozone won't miss you at all.
Rodan.
Note: http://obdclearinghouse.com/files/dlc-database.pdf indicates that your connector is located behind a panel in the dashboard on the passenger side 12 inches to the right of the car centerline. Google is your friend.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Rodan" wrote

So, since I only have one car, and my "local" parts place is a mile away with no bus service between us, they won't mind me jacking up the car and dismantling my brakes in their parking lot so I can plunk the current filthy, rusty shoes/pads down on their counter, in the hopes that they might just happen to have the right ones in stock that day?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MasterBlaster wrote:

A mile away? That would be a luxury. That's only a 20 minute walk, 7 minute leisurely bike ride.
Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"MasterBlaster" wrote:
My parts place is a mile away with no bus available. Should I jack up the car and dismantle my brakes in their parking lot so I can bring in the old shoes/pads in the hopes they have the right ones in stock? _____________________________________________
Not at all. With no friend who could give you a lift, you will be forced to drive to pick up the parts first and take the risk that they are the correct ones. If they are the wrong ones, you will have to reinstall the old brake parts to drive back to the store.
I have done car repairs in a parts store's parking lot but it was no fun. Especially when they closed before the job was done, and the disabled car was my bedroom until opening time the next day.
Rodan.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
autozone is what it is. im not allways happy with them ,but cant write them off totally. i get alot of advice crammed down my throat without asking, i can live with that. but its hard to get good service alot of the time. i wait in line to get to the counter with a long list of stuff, they want me to go look for half of it in the ilse.then i get back and someone else is in my place. i got to where i make them get it all for me before i move on. got this ongoing thing with auto zone lifetime alternator on a toyota,,have to change it every 9 months,3 times so far.. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, I am not going to stoop to name calling, or personal derision to reply to your problem :-)
However, the location of the computer port can be found on the Autozone web site, under component locations, so I would worry about any employee who tells me that they have no way of finding it right there at the computer on the counter.
I appreciate the free code checks, the battery charging, and component testing and tool rental. I despise the long lines and lack of enough people to take care of the customers, but I just try to visit when I know its gonna be a bit slow. Never go to Autozone on a Saturday morning :-)
In the past, I have gotten the wrong brake pads, and even sprayed them with the sticky blue gunk for abating the squeal yet when I took them back expecting an argument, they just shrugged and gave me the proper ones.
Most all auto parts stores are like life. If your expectations are not too high, they get you what you need :-) Likely, the service just varies from store to store, and state to state. Sorry you got such a crappy one.
Not an employee, not a rep, not even a big fan trying to change your mind, but my disgust for Autozone bleeds over into just about every other nationwide chain of part stores.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JKevorkian wrote: snip / / /

Gotta be partly you because you keep going back. ;)
I don't know what training these guys get but I'm always cautious with what are most likely low paid employees, especially if they seem a little uncertain.
I've been using them for quite a few years with no problems. The only part I ever returned was a thermostat housing (made in China) for my 4.6 and that was done without even leaving the store. I just looked at it, said "no thanks" and handed it back.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
just fyi, I recall from a traing class (I think) that an obd2 aldl is required to be somewhere near the steering wheel under the dash. its always there when I look for it.
also, next time your gonna go to the dealer and pay about 90 bucks for a code? I respectfully submit you should be greatfull for what they do for free.(like codes and loaning tools) But, with that being said don't trust them much, they usually have no training or experiance in parts, much less mechanics when they got that job. I always look over their shoulder when they are looking up parts. It is very comical to me when they give me advice (that I don't ask for btw). It is obvious that their "knowledge" was taught to them by people with ZERO experiance.:) (not trying to be a smart ass) it sure wouldn't hurt you to own a book on your vehicle, you should have bought it. Sounds like you need it if you are going to attempt your own repairs. That 97 isn't getting any younger ;)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Shit. I only have one vehicle in the fleet of eight that I DON't have a manual for. So I am probably spending money needlessly on them.
I think their advice was reasonable and worth what you paid.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Autozone blows, here we also have Advanced or is Advance Auto parts, either way they are much better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Engine
cap is

light
guy
find
under
manual
DLC,
obviously
locating
"Maybe it's

over
over to

it to

to
go
the
*you*
readily
free.
pencil.
that
(royal
the
It's you.
These places are parts houses. They know how to sell parts. And sometimes not even then. If they really knew how to diagnose cars they would be making a lot more money diagnosing cars for a living.
Autozone is great for certain kinds of parts. They are big enough that they can negotiate purchases in volume. That kind of purchasing power doesen't help much when your talking about specialized parts like an EGR valve that is only manufactured by 1 vendor - your going to get almost the same price from a dealership. But it really matters a huge amount when your talking about stuff like brake rotors, shoes, oil, and such. And I also trust Autozone's remanufactured stuff like rebuilt rack & pinions, axles and such much more than any other cheap parts place, once more, due to the volume. For example rebuilt axles - Autozone gets all of them from a single vendor back east and ships them all over the country, and that vendor knows that if their failure rate is too high that Autozone will pull the contract and go find someone else.
By contrast, I pay the extra amount to NAPA for something like a rebuilt alternator.
You cannot rely on parts sellers for diagnoses. I have overheard some incredibly wrong things come out of the mouths of parts counter sellers talking to customers with car problems. In your case you have a 10 year old car. You should be thinking about maintainence parts like plugs and plug wires, egr and other emissions related stuff, cracked vacuum lines, o2 sensors, and loose electrical connectors long before you start pulling codes. You should also be looking at maintainence procedures like cleaning the throttle body and fluid and filters. All of this kind of stuff must be completed and all maintainence done before you even think about pulling codes. 10 year old cars tend to have a lot of these little things all start failing at once.
Ted
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

I have to disagree with you here. While doing the maintainence stuff is important, pulling the codes could tell one which vacuum lines are most likely cracked, which electrical stuff is most likely loose, etc. If you can get the information easily, you should go for it.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ah... Jeff... I been gone so long and you STILL get things backwards.
;)
Ted's right... you're wrong. An inspection's easier.... FIRST!
JK... let's realize that AutoZone AFAIK is the chain that STARTED free code reading. Since that time, there's a LOT more to it.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

I have to disagree with you here. You have your opinion, and I mine. With the exception of maintainence that has to be done, like replace fluids and filters, replacing O2 sensors, spark plug wires, etc., replacing things without gather all available information, including the codes, is like flying blind. Getting all the information available, including inspection and getting the codes is the way to go.

Unless I misinterpreted Ted, he was talking about replacing things, not just inspecting them. Of course, inspecting them should be done, as well. I never suggested that one shouldn't do an inspection. But, replacing parts without knowing if they are bad is a bad idea.
The other point is that by getting the code, you can check the codes later, if needed, and see if the codes changed.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
We don't have an Autozone in my area, but we do have Parts America. I usually find myself there on Sunday afternoons, looking for a part that I forgot to pick up during the week. They seem to have just about anything you would want, but only two guys behind the counter and lines 10 people deep.Not only that.. the guy ringing up the sale will stop what he is doing for a half hour just to install a battery in a car for a guy in the parking lot, leaving the line of people unattended for that time period. I gave up on them after that. All I needed was some brake fluid. I drove a little further to WalMart.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.