Auto Parts Stores Compared: Advance Auto Parts vs. Auto Parts Warehouse vs. AutoZone

Updated May 22, 2013
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Advance Auto Parts

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, Inc., is one of the leading aftermarket retailer of automotive replacement parts and accessories and batteries in the country. Serving both the do-it-yourselfer and professional installer markets, the company operates over 3,900 stores in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Features

Advance Auto Parts offers the following features:

  • Recall information for products sold on AdvanceAutoParts.com and in Advance Auto Parts stores are posted on the website.
  • A blog for auto DIYs from Advance Auto Parts known as the DYI Garage.
  • An Online Garage Account that lets you stay on top of your vehicle's maintenance. You'll get service and recall reminders and be able to find a mechanic who's close to your home.
  • Get a $10 reward every time you refer a friend to Advance Auto Parts and they make a qualifying online purchase.
  • Advance Auto Parts gift cards can be purchased online.
  • Chat live with a customer service representative.
  • A video gallery that includes information on car repair and maintenance as well as selecting the right parts and tools.
  • Sign up for Advance Auto Parts' mailing list and get instant access to great savings, special offers and useful advice.
  • An Affiliate Program that rewards you for sending customers to Advance Auto Parts' website. You can earn commission for each qualifying sale just by linking to AAP's site. The amount you can earn is limitless.
  • Free shipping on orders over $75.

Here's what customers are saying about Advance Auto Parts.

While installing new car battery, salesman/technician accidently snapped off coolant hose connection. Store Mgr. Ted LeBlond took control and personally installed new coolant fitting and replaced hose & anti-freeze. It was great to see a store manager do what it took to make it right! Good job Ted !! Thanks!”

"Just came from the Englewood, Ohio store. Outstanding service! Wasn't sure if I had a battery or alternator issue. Older gentleman working came out and ran several tests all free of charge. Turns out it was my battery. He then replaced the battery and had me going in 15 minutes on a hot 85 degree day. This is why I will not shop a big box store for automotive service. You don't get service like this."

The customer service rep wasn't very knowledgeable about what I needed.

I ordered a part overnight from Advance.com at 1pm on Thursday. Paid $21 extra for this 'overnight' delivery. Friday at 4 pm they don't even have it on the truck yet and guess what—I'm not getting it till Monday. That's the day after it was supposed to be on my car. Outrageous and I will NEVER do business with them again.

Read more Advance Auto Parts reviews at GetHuman Reviews.

Auto Parts Warehouse

In business since 1995, Auto Parts Warehouse is among the top online auto parts and accessories company in the U.S. Its site averages two million visitors each month. The Auto Parts Warehouse takes pride in its catalog of 550,000+ parts for domestic and foreign makes and models.

Features

Auto Parts Warehouse offers the following features:

  • More than 100,000 easy-to-use, how-to guides and videos on topics like engines, body and interior, transmissions and drivetrains, steering and suspension, brakes and preventive maintenance.
  • A user-friendly Q and A diagnostic tool that helps you narrow down possible problems based on symptoms, area and visual inspection. After the problem's been determined you're given likely solutions.
  • A listing of more than 400,000 auto repair shops across the country so you can find the one nearest you.
  • An AutoMD section that lets you ask the auto repair community questions. It also allows you to share your knowledge with others and potentially help them resolve their vehicle problems.
  • InstaQuotes lets you compare auto repair costs from trusted shops just by entering the make and model of your vehicle, the type of repair needed and your zip code. Some locations offer customers 5 percent cash back on repairs.
  • An alphabetical listing of vehicle parts.
  • Flexible payment options that include MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, PayPal, BillMeLater and Google Checkout.
  • Exclusive e-mail discounts and promotions.
  • Free shipping on orders over $50.
  • A wide range of featured makes, parts and brands.
  • An affiliate program that supplies banners and text links for you to place on your website and/or in your e-mails and newsletters. Whenever someone clicks on a link their activity is tracked by Auto Parts Warehouse's affiliate software. If a purchase is made you’ll receive a percentage of the sale as commission.

Here's what customers are saying about Auto Parts Warehouse.

"The part arrived ONE DAY AFTER ORDER!! It is the right part and it was installed with little difficulty. Very pleased."

"Auto Parts Warehouse was excellent, in orders, price, and delivery. My items, (2) arrived in a secured package, and double protected. I am very pleased with the service that your company provided, and I will use you again in the future and recommend your company to my relatives and friends."

"Sent the wrong ones it's 8 days later and still haven't received any info to return or exchange!"

"They returned the PayPal payment and refused to ship the merchandise, with no explanation at all. "

Read more Auto Parts Warehouse reviews at Reseller Ratings.

AutoZone

AutoZone—or Auto Shack as it was originally known—opened its doors in 1979. Its first-day sales totaled $300. In 1986 it became AutoZone, a Fortune 500 company whose annual sales are over $8.1 billion.

Features

AutoZone is known for the following features:

  • AutoZone has its own brands, which include Valucraft, AutoZone, Duralast and Duralast Gold.
  • An extensive video library that includes a wide range of vehicle parts and brands.
  • A product and how-to feature that tells you everything you want—or need—to know about parts, including how to inspect, test, service and replace them.
  • A glossary of over 6,500 automotive terms.
  • Its troubleshooting section helps customers find out what's wrong with their car based on its symptoms.
  • An affiliate program that pays you an 8 percent base commission plus performance incentives for high volume affiliates. You'll also be credited for referrals even if they don't make a purchase immediately.
  • Grow your business with AutoZone's Shop Referral Program. This great source of new business lets AutoZone send its customers to you.
  • You can purchase your item online and pick it up in the store the same day.
  • Become an AutoZone member and gain access to thousands of free printable Vehicle Repair Guides. that cover a vast number of models from 1950-2007. Members also can keep track of their vehicle's service history and receive information specific to their vehicle, such as technical service bulletins, recall notices and service reminders.
  • Free shipping on orders over $75.

Here's what customers are saying about AutoZone.

"I'm sorry it has taken this long for me to comment on the wonderful customer service I have received from AutoZone and my gratefulness to them. The service I have received has made me a loyal customer for many years…"

"I have used this store for several years. I have never had a problem with service or parts. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. And more than willing to go out of their way to help in a situation…"

"I feel AutoZone took advantage of me. I took a starter to AutoZone to have checked. I was told it was bad so I got a new one from them at a $155. Had it installed it did the same thing the old starter did so I go to return the new starter for a refund and they told me they only exchange, not refund..."

"Getting wrong parts from AutoZone repeatedly even after looking up make, model and year. Had to return spark plugs, air filter and new fan clutch... Costing more fuel and delays that should not be happening. Poor management from AutoZone…"

Read more AutoZone reviews at CustomerServiceScoreboard.

Pricing*

We compared prices for several frequently purchased auto parts. Here's a look at how these three auto parts stores measured up

Part

Advance Auto Parts

Auto Parts Warehouse

AutoZone

Battery

$104.99-$234.99

$163.55-$301.86

$99.99-$230.99

Wiper Blades

$5.49-$19.99

$14.33-$21.02

$5.00-$18.99

Alternator

$124.99-$294-99

$88.76-$195.93

$112.99-$322.99

*Prices may vary depending on your vehicle's make and model.

Where the Deals Are

Advance Auto Parts posts its monthly flyer containing online coupons on its website. Customers also can sign up to receive special offers in their in-box, take advantage of online specials and promotional deals and download coupon codes for various discounts and savings.

Auto Parts Warehouse customers can receive special discounts and promotional offers simply by entering their e-mail address. You also can download coupon codes for free shipping, discounts and to earn points toward store credit.

Customers can sign up to get special offers and savings via e-mail, view and download the latest circulars and check out the online deals and access their promo codes. AutoZone's website also posts all its in-store rebates along with their expiration and postmark dates. Coupon codes for things like free shipping and a wide range of discounts on products and services.