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Old 10-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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Is the auto zone guy right?

I'll be honest and say I don't know much about cars. But when I bought my jeep I wanted to learn all I could so I could do my own work on minor things and really gain a hobby. (I just recently changed the headlamp and headlamp relay because they were bad) but today I went in to get a price on a starter to replace mine and the auto zone guy started lecturing me about not being experienced and I should pay a pro to do these small things because I'm not smart enough. My question is, is he right?? It's not like in rebuilding my engine or anything. It just kinda got me down

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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He sounds like a douche. Everyone learns from experience. Go for it.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
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Unless your name if Forrest Gump, I wouldn't take him too seriously. I've never been accused of being dazzlingly brilliant myself, but I can change a starter and execute most basic repairs. For me, I draw the line at jobs that require me to purchase specialized tools or equipment that can’t be used for other repairs. Make sure to disconnect the battery before you get under it wrenching on the starter and you should be fine.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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The starter installation is pretty 'simple' , just like the auto zone guy. Just make sure you get the wires back to the same posts that they came off of the old one.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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Gosh dont even get me started on AutoZone! I went in just the other day to return a crankshaft sensor because I bought one as soon as my jeep started throwing a code. I cleared the code and it never came back on so I took the sensor back. The guy there told me the part had been installed because he could tell from the marks on the part.

The marks were machine marks from the manufacturer and after a couple of pissed off shout outs to the clueless moron and finding out he was a shit manager I parted ways and went to the autozone down the street where a girl helped me and laughed when I told her what had happened. I hate autozone always have! Seems like the people at Advanced are a bit more on target unless they are trying to sell you something.

I would ask the guys on here before I asked any of those morons at autozone. Granted there are some good ones but most should be putting together matchbox cars at matel.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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You can install the starter... I think its 2 or 3 bolts... and a couple nuts for the wire.. I can't recall on the tj starter design(some it does not matter as much) but just make sure that the pattern between the starter gear will match up with the other one when it make contact. take your time.. be sure to disconnect and cover the batter cables.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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if those guys knew anything they probably would have a better job...you can do it..disconnect the battery first..make sure you reinstall all wires in their proper place and make sure they are not touching anything to ground them
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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I took in an alternator off a Honda to Autozone for a core that was locked up,& they still insisted on running it on their tester to see what the problem was! Unbelievable!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:05 AM   #9
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What an a$$, you can do it. Haynes manual, Chilton manual or the Jeep service manual pick one of them up for your Jeep.

Reading the how-to usually tells me if it is something I can tackle or not. Most times I can't it is because of tools needed or you would need a lift. Just be sure to pad your time estimate and have a friend to make part runs if you don't have another car.

A trick I use and a smartphone is a wonderful thing, take pictures as you take it apart so you can reference what it should look like as it goes back together.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:07 AM   #10
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disconnecting battery

Just a heads-up. Whenever you are disconnecting, or connnecting the battery always do the ground first when disconnecting and last when connecting. The idea is to keep the hot lead isolated so if you short the wrench against the metal it doesn't weld it.

In order for it to weld, it has to have a complete circuit. You break that circuit with the ground. So, Off FIRST, ON LAST for the ground terminal of the battery.

Therefore, if just disconnecting the battery to work on the vehicle all you need to do is to take the ground wire off the battery.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:49 AM   #11
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He's right in that with more people like you and me, he'd be out of a job.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:20 AM   #12
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If you can match the right sized socket to a bolt head and turn you can do your own part replacement. Don't know who you ran into at vato zone but these guys are not experts. Every now and then you find a parts guy who is awesome and knows his business but its getting harder to find one. When you replace the starter just read up about online and you will knock it out pretty easy. Simple tip, disconnect battery before you begin and make sure the wires have good connections when going back together.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #13
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HA HA Auto Zone? Are you serious? For many years I worked in the auto parts industry. When I got out of the Marines in 1995 I got a job as a counterman at a local NAPA. I knew cars up and down front to back because I had spent years working on and restoring old Musclecars. So being trained at NAPA wasn't all that hard. I worked my way from counterman all the way up to outside salesman and asst mgr. Then I was offered a job as a store manager for a Carquest. It was my job to hire and train a crew or countermen, and delivery drivers. I worked at Carquest for almost 7 years.

I left the automotive industry in 2004 after 9 years. Mostly because there is no money to be made in auto parts. Since leaving Carquest, I have on occasion stopped into a local Auto Zone to pick up cheap stuff like oil, car wash, headlights, and air fresheners. The counterpeople are pretty much all idiots and don't know squat about cars. Sure they can ring you up when you buy oil, but they don't know a damn thing about cars. Most of them are young kids who think that they know cars and are just happy to be working in the automotive industry. Sometimes I actually hear the stuff they say and almost have to laugh out loud.

If you ever want to LEARN how to work on your car, you HAVE to get your hands dirty. In 2012 you can go to youtube and watch an instructional video on how to do pretty much anything to your car. These Jeeps are very simple and not all that complex. Changing a starter is very easy if you take your time and work smart. Get in there and get your hands dirty.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #14
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Very rarely have I come across people behind the parts counter at any local auto parts stores or repair shops (including dealers) that know much about the parts they sell or repairs they complete. I have had so many experiences where I have been disappointed about the lack of knowledge that I can't count anymore. I have had a parts counter guy ask me what a PCV valve was when I was trying to buy one. I also had to show a 20+ year experienced Auto Mechanic how he was improperly inspecting the ball joints on my truck, so I could get a worn-out joint replaced under warranty. I could go on and on with examples, the really knowledgeable parts and service folks are very few and far between. If you find a good one, give them plenty of business so they can stick around to help you out!
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #15
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My DJ is not listed in their database for parts, and the year range of my I6 232 doesn't match up with the CJ line, so when I need a part, it's usually a process.

About 90% of the time, when I tell them I have a 1971 AMC Jeep DJ5-B with a 232 inline 6, their response is that there is no such thing. I have on several occasions walked some poor clerk into the parking lot to see my data plate. Usually I can play the "guess that engine" game with different vehicles until I find something that will do, but on occasion, I get a parts clerk who is too lazy or stupid to reference a few different parts and go get them, and insists that my vehicle is fake or impossible and parts don't exist in this universe.

Personally, I wouldn't listen to any advice from a parts store monkey unless it's related to searching a database using only a customers input and not using any of your own brain cells, because they aren't good for much else.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #16
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To pile on with everyone else:
You can change a starter. You can probably change any part on your jeep, if need be. If you really want to make this a hobby, buy a service manual for your jeep and do all of your own maintenance. Buy good tools and take care of them and you'll only have to buy them once. Find another enthusiast with experience for the bigger projects, most will share everything they know for free beer & pizza .
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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I should add as a chick you would not believe the BS I get to hear everytime I walk in a parts house.

DJ5 I can believe they tell you it does not exist. A PT turbo is almost as bad, "they never made one" or "are you sure it is a turbo?" or my personal fav "they don't come in a 5spd" I always tell them then I got a factory freak since my gearshift says Hurst on it and the gears don't shift themselves. The three pedals is also a handy clue. Now where is the manager if i have to deal with idiots i want their leader.

So ignore them and get dirty.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #18
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I have come across some pretty smart guys at Autozone but they seem few and far between. Most auto parts stores set the bar pretty low for employment.
You are doing well to question this automotive "expert". This is probably the same guy that asks what engine size you have when ask for a headlight bulb.
There are lots of sources for second opinions. I suggest you invest in a good repair manual, you can get these on line or many auto parts stores. More siurces are: This Forum, Google or even Youtube If you don't find an exact match on youtube, you may find something close that can give you an idea of what you need to do.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #19
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The most fun, especially when parts shopping for an AMC, is when they tell you it's a "dealer only" part. I always ask them where's the nearest AMC dealer...most times they don't even have to duck.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #20
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That's bull. You gotta start somewhere. Some people, like me, learn best by being thrown in at the deep end.

I'd take this as an opportunity to shut him up. (Cuz I'm vain like that)
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:38 AM   #21
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You do know that most auto parts stores will rent out specialized parts for specific jobs right? I know that Orielly's does it with a deposit for the full price of the tool. When you return it they give you back the deposit. Of course as long as you didn't break the tool. I just did it yesterday with my ball joints on my F150.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:23 AM   #22
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Most rental places don't charge the full price of the tool as a deposit. If I've got the full price of the tool in my pocket, I'll be buying, not renting.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #23
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Yeah, but you get the money back as soon as you return the tool. I personally don't need a ball joint press that often and would rather keep the $150 than have a tool that only gets used every 5 years.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdecker1992 View Post
I went in to get a price on a starter to replace mine and the auto zone guy started lecturing me about not being experienced and I should pay a pro to do these small things because I'm not smart enough. My question is, is he right?? It's not like in rebuilding my engine or anything. It just kinda got me down
I am not defending the salesman, but he probably recently sold a part to a customer that came back and got a arse chewing for selling a hard to install part (air freshener maybe?). So now the salesman attempts to make "installing capability judgements" on customers to protect his arse.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #25
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I got REALLY lucky. We just got an Oriellys in town right across from the Autozone. The lucky part is that a fellow jeeper works at the Oriellys. Score!
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #26
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Completely forgot to add what i wanted to say.....

Wrench it yourself. My tj is the first vehicle i've had that i do all my own wrenching. I have worked on quite a few other vehicles but mostly took mine to the shop. Its a eally good way to learn and get to know your jeep better. Also feels good to say you made it what it is
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #27
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:35 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davefr
Lol i've had a few of those times at Autozone
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #29
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Always with the fuel injector cleaner. I love it, great vid

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