By Mike Thayer
I drive an old pickup truck, she's now an antique in vehicle years, I call her Ol' Nellie. She's not the purdiest truck around, but she runs good. She has 129,000 plus miles on her, she's paid for (No, she's not that kind of truck....) she's not nickle and diming me yet (If only something else was that cheap....) and she gets me from point 'A' to point 'B' just fine. So I aim to keep her as long as I can, I see no need for a new truck, Ol' Nellie is fine by me.
I do a few do-it-yourself things for my truck, top off the fluids for example and she does have a bit of rust on her, so lately I've been working on a few body repairs.
So who has the best prices for that kind of thing?
O'Reilly and Advanced are auto parts specialty stores (obviously), but guess what, you pay a little extra at 'specialty' stores.
The Walmart price for the same product is significantly lower and bonus, the hours are better, with many Walmart locations being open 24 hours.
Just check out the price difference on something as simple as windshield washer fluid. The price for a gallon of Rain-X brand, 2-in-1 All Season Windshield Washer Fluid is $4.79 at O'Reilly Auto Parts. It will cost you $4.49 at Advanced, but just $2.87 at Walmart. O'Reilly is gouging you on the windshield washer fluid.
Need some power steering fluid? The price for a 32 ounce bottle of Prestone Power Steering Fluid with Stop Leak will cost you $6.99 at Advanced Auto Parts. It's 'on sale' at O'Reilly for $5.99, but it's only $4.27 at Walmart. That's ouch on the wallet at Advanced!
And it would seem that the higher the dollar amount, the deeper the gouge.... When it comes to Bondo, the project I'm currently undertaking, a person can pay WAY too much for a one gallon container of Bondo Body Filler. It will cost you a whopping $29.99 at O'Reilly. It's 'on sale' at Advanced for $21.99. You can get the very same thing at Walmart for just $15.44. On sale at Advanced means you're still paying far too much!
So if you do light work on your vehicle, items needed for an oil change or topping off fluids like windshield washer fluid, get them at Walmart. Doing some body work? Buy your Bondo at Walmart. But if you do more tasking things yourself, like replacing an alternator, you'll have to go to O'Reilly or Advanced for something like that. I would wonder though, am I paying too much for that alternator?