Advance Auto Parts is one of the largest auto parts retailers in the United States, with over 5,200 stores across North America. For DIYers and professional mechanics alike, Advance offers a wide selection of name brand parts at competitive prices. This Advance Auto Parts review will cover the key factors to consider when shopping at Advance, including their inventory, prices, services, warranties and more.
Introduction to Advance Auto Parts
Founded in 1932, Advance Auto Parts has grown tremendously over the past nine decades. While keeping pace with the evolving automotive industry, Advance has maintained their focus on providing customers with quality parts backed by exceptional service and advice. Their massive inventory includes parts for all makes and models – foreign and domestic.
Advance employs over 70,000 Team Members, many of whom are ASE certified technicians. This expertise helps ensure customers get the right parts the first time. Advance also offers a range of free services like battery testing, wiper blade installation and ‘check engine’ light scanning. For jobs requiring heavy duty tools, customers can utilize Advance’s Loan-A-Tool Program.
Below we’ll take an in-depth look at what makes Advance Auto Parts a go-to destination for DIYers and professionals in need of quality car parts at affordable prices.
Advance Auto Parts Inventory and Product Offerings
With an inventory of over 500,000 unique SKUs, Advance boasts one of the most extensive selections of automotive parts and accessories in the industry. Their product range includes:
- Maintenance parts: Oil, filters, batteries, brakes, tune up parts, bulbs, wiper blades
- Replacement parts: Alternators, starters, radiators, mufflers, shocks, struts
- Body parts: Bumpers, lights, mirrors, doors, fenders
- Accessories: Floor mats, seat covers, racks, hitches, electronics
- Chemicals: Motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, cleaners
- Tools and garage equipment: Jacks, stands, compressors, welding machines
This wide assortment ensures customers can find virtually everything they need for auto repairs and maintenance projects. Advance stays up-to-date by continually adding new, in-demand products to their shelves.
Notable name brands carried at Advance include:
- AC Delco
- Mobil 1
Table 1. Advance Auto Parts Product Categories
| Category | Description | Top Brands |
| Batteries | Lead acid, lithium ion, powersport | DieHard, Duralast, Optima |
| Brakes | Pads, shoes, rotors, drums, hydraulics | Wagner, Bosch, Raybestos |
| Oils & Fluids | Motor oil, gear oil, brake fluid, additives | Mobil, Castrol, Peak, Prestone |
| Filters | Air, oil, fuel, cabin, transmission | Fram, Wix, Purolator, Motorcraft |
| Lighting | Headlights, bulbs, LEDs, wiring, accessories | Sylvania, Philips, Opt7 |
| Starters & Alternators | Heavy duty, high output, remanufactured | Remy, Bosch, Denso, Moog |
| Batteries | Lead acid, lithium ion, powersport | DieHard, Duralast, Optima |
| Performance | Intake, exhaust, programmers, gauges | K&N, Flowmaster, Hypertech, AutoMeter |
| Accessories | Hitches, tonneaus, electronics, racks | Curt, Bakflip, SiriusXM, Thule |
| Interior | Floor mats, seats, steering wheels, consoles | Lloyd, Covercraft, Grant |
| Exterior | Mirrors, body panels, emblems, grilles | Replace, Sherman, Keystone |
| Tools | Power tools, hand tools, jacks, stands, lifts | Craftsman, PowerTorque, Gray |
| Garage | Compressors, welders, shop equipment | Campbell Hausfeld, Lincoln Electric, Strongway |
This vast selection ensures DIYers have exactly what they need to take on a wide range of automotive repair and upgrade projects. Professional mechanics can also source both common and hard-to-find parts to service customers’ vehicles quickly and efficiently.
Advance Auto Parts Prices and Discounts
Advance Auto Parts positions themselves as an affordable alternative to dealership parts counters and independent auto parts stores. Their large scale allows them to negotiate competitive pricing from leading manufacturers. Sales, promotions and special discount offers further help keep costs down for customers.
Some typical Advance Auto Parts prices for popular products include:
- Conventional motor oil – $18-25 per 5qt jug
- Ceramic brake pads – $20-50 per axle set
- Car battery – $100-200
- Alternator – $125-250
- Oxygen sensor – $50-150
- LED headlight bulb – $15-50 per bulb
Advance runs weekly promotions featuring dollars off or percentage discounts on select items both online and in stores. Items placed on sale are clearly marked with brightly colored tags. Their frequently rotating promos may include:
- 25% off ACDelco parts
- $10 off $50 on Valvoline products
- $5 off wiper blades
- 15% off interior accessories
Signing up for Advance’s SpeedPerks rewards program earns customers points on every purchase that can be redeemed for additional discounts on future transactions. SpeedPerks members also receive exclusive promotional offers and personalized rewards like birthday coupons.
On major holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, Advance holds storewide or department sales with even deeper savings. At various times throughout the year, Advance also offers free battery, wiper blade or brake inspections to help customers diagnose issues before making a parts purchase.
Table 2. Comparing Advance Auto Parts Prices to AutoZone and Napa
| Part | Advance Price | AutoZone Price | Napa Price |
| Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Oil (5 qt) | $24.99 | $26.99 | $33.99 |
| Bosch Spark Plugs (4 pk) | $28.99 | $29.99 | $39.99 |
| Wagner Brake Pads | $29.99 | $32.99 | $44.99 |
| AC Delco Alternator | $149.99 | $152.99 | $189.99 |
| Monroe Struts (pair) | $169.99 | $179.99 | $214.99 |
As this small sample reflects, Advance Auto Parts prices are very competitive, generally beating the rates of leading rivals like AutoZone and Napa Auto Parts. Their commitment to offering quality parts at affordable prices makes Advance a great option for budget-conscious automotive DIYers.
In-Store Services Offered by Advance Auto Parts
A major advantage Advance has over online-only parts retailers is the hands-on services provided right in their 5,000+ stores. These helpful services aim to save customers time and give them confidence they are purchasing the correct parts. Key offerings include:
Free Battery & Electrical System Testing
Advance’s trained staff can test a vehicle’s battery, alternator and starter right in the store parking lot and recommend replacement parts as needed. This prevents having to make multiple trips for diagnosis and parts purchase.
Wiper Blade Installation
There’s no need to struggle installing new wiper blades. Advance will expertly mount and test new wiper blades on a customer’s car for free.
‘Check Engine’ Light Scanning & Code Reading
Advance uses OBD-II scanners to read check engine light codes and look up the meaning to pinpoint potential issues. This allows resolving problems before costly repairs are needed.
For major jobs requiring heavy duty or expensive tools, customers can borrow needed equipment like pressure bleeders and AC recovery machines free of charge. Available tools vary by store.
Custom Hydraulic Hose Building
Many stores offer onsite hydraulic hose fabrication for uniquely sized hoses using quality Gates fittings and hoses. Other locations can order custom hoses for next day pickup.
Bring in a dead battery and Advance can charge, test and reinstall it for you on the spot, saving the hassle of doing it yourself at home.
Fuel System Cleaning
Advance’s high pressure fuel system cleaning service cleans injectors, valves and combustion chambers to restore lost engine performance and fuel economy.
Oil & Lube Services
Basic maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations and new wiper blades can also be performed at select Advance store locations with dedicated service bays.
These complimentary services allow customers to get repairs and maintenance done right the first time, with minimal investment of their own time and labor. Advance’s hands-on expertise is a key differentiator from online auto parts retailers.
Advance Auto Parts Return Policy and Warranties
Advance offers several guarantees and warranties to ensure customers get the right parts and can return any items that turn out to be incorrect or defective. Their policies include:
90 Day Return Policy
Any parts purchased at Advance Auto Parts can be returned for a full refund within 90 days, even if installed, as long as the original receipt is presented. Returns after 90 days may be eligible for a store credit.
1 Year Warranty
Parts purchased at Advance are protected for 1 year against defects in materials and workmanship. Simply return the defective part along with the original receipt to swap it for a new one at no charge.
Certain products like battery chargers, jacks, timing lights and truck boxes are backed by a lifetime replacement warranty against defects. Advance will replace these items at any time if they fail to function properly.
Advance’s Duralast branded parts have an extended 24 month warranty and their Duralast Gold line comes with a 3 year warranty for extra coverage.
If an Advance employee installs wiper blades, bulbs or batteries for you, the work is guaranteed for 1 year from date of install. Any issues will be repaired free of charge.
Thanks to their solid warranties and liberal return policy, customers can shop at Advance with confidence knowing they won’t be stuck with any parts that turn out to be wrong or faulty. Advance stands behind the products they sell.
Shopping at Advance Auto Parts: In-Store vs Online
Customers can purchase parts from Advance through local retail stores or their user-friendly website and mobile app. Deciding between in-store vs online shopping depends on several factors:
Table 3. Comparing In-Store vs Online Shopping at Advance Auto Parts
| In-Store | Online |
| Immediate part availability | Larger overall selection |
| Get expert advice | 24/7 convenience |
| Utilize store services | Easily compare prices |
| Physically inspect parts | Fast shipping available |
| Pay with cash | Easy reordering |
| No shipping charges | Avoid restocking fees |
For those who prefer browsing the shelves and talking to knowledgeable staff, the in-store experience may be preferred. Customers wanting greatest selection, lowest prices and utmost convenience may gravitate toward online ordering. Either way, Advance makes it easy to get the right parts promptly.
Stores are well-stocked with plenty of inventory on hand. Specialty items can be ordered at the store counter for next day pickup. Advance’s website and mobile app allow ordering anything in their vast catalog for delivery directly to your door in as little as 2 business days with standard shipping.
No matter how you shop Advance Auto Parts, you can take advantage of their affordable pricing, wide selection and helpful services.
Top 6 Pros & Cons of Shopping at Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts has plenty of benefits that make them a go-to auto parts source for many drivers and technicians. However, there are some potential downsides to weigh as well.
- Massive parts selection: With over 500,000 unique parts and accessories, Advance can meet virtually any automotive need. Their catalog includes both everyday maintenance items and hard-to-find parts.
- Low, competitive pricing: Advance’s prices are consistently better than auto dealers and comparable to other major auto parts chains. Frequent promotions offer additional savings opportunities.
- In-store services: Complimentary battery testing, wiper installation, check engine light scanning and specialty tool loans bring convenience and value beyond just selling parts.
- Helpful expertise: Many Advance staff are ASE certified with deep knowledge to provide guidance selecting the right parts to solve your automotive problems.
- Wide availability: Advance’s coast-to-coast footprint with stores in all 48 contiguous states makes it easy to find one near you.
- Some outdated stores: While many locations have modern showrooms, some older stores can feel cramped and disorganized.
- Stock inconsistencies: Stores may not have every specialty part in stock, requiring ordering and an extra trip or shipping wait.
- Pushy sales tactics: Some overeager staffers may try too hard with add-on recommendations instead of just addressing your needs.
- No price matching: Unlike competitors, Advance does not match better prices found at other retailers.
- Restocking fees: Returning special order parts incurs a fee if not done within the 90 day window.
The vast majority of DIYers and professionals who shop Advance Auto Parts regularly cite far more positives than negatives about the experience. The breadth of inventory, affordable pricing and helpful expertise keep customers coming back.
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Is Advance Auto Parts Worth It?
For those wondering if Advance Auto Parts is worth shopping compared to other leading auto parts chains, independent stores or online sellers, the answer in most cases is a resounding yes.
The core reasons Advance is absolutely worth considering for your automotive parts needs include:
- Parts selection – Advance has the most extensive catalog among major parts stores, boosted by special order access. You’ll find exactly what you need.
- Competitive pricing – Advance combines high volume discounts with regular promotions to offer prices as good or better than other national chains.
- Availability of in-store services – Complimentary battery testing, wiper installs and specialty tool loans bring convenience competitors can’t match.
- Helpful expertise – Count on knowledgeable staff for guidance selecting the right parts and answering project questions.
- Purchase protection – Solid warranties and easy returns eliminate risk if the parts don’t work as expected.
- Omnichannel shopping – Buy online or in local stores with inventory tracking and easy pickup and returns between channels.
While buying auto parts online or sourcing from junkyards can work for some, most everyday DIYers and professional mechanics can benefit from Advance Auto Parts’ unrivaled combination of selection, service and savings. The Advance advantage makes them a worthwhile go-to parts source.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Advance Auto Parts offer coupons or promo codes?
Yes, Advance frequently offers coupons and promo codes providing dollars off or percentage discounts on purchases. Signing up for their SpeedPerks rewards program is the best way to access special promotional offers. You can also find Advance coupons on various online coupon sites.
Q: How much does shipping cost at Advance Auto Parts?
Standard ground shipping starts at just $6.99 for orders over $25 at AdvanceAutoParts.com. Same day and next day expedited delivery options are also available for an additional fee depending on how quickly you need your parts order.
Q: Can you return items to any Advance Auto Parts store?
Yes, items purchased online or in-store can be returned to any Advance location, provided you have the original receipt. For specialty parts, it is best to return to the original purchasing store if possible to avoid restocking fees.
Q: Does Advance Auto Parts price match with competitors?
Unfortunately Advance does not offer price matching if you find the same product cheaper elsewhere. The best way to save is using Advance coupons and shopping their frequent promotional sales.
Q: What is the Advance Auto Parts Battery Warranty?
Advance and Carquest branded batteries come with a nationwide limited replacement warranty of 18-21 months based on the date code from original sale. Defective batteries will be replaced free with proof of purchase.
Q: Does Advance Auto Parts repair cars?
Most Advance locations only sell replacement parts and accessories. Select stores with service bays can perform basic installations and maintenance like battery replacement, wiper blade installs and oil changes. For more complex repairs, visit a full service shop.
The Bottom Line
For 8 decades, Advance Auto Parts has served millions of happy DIY and professional automotive customers. Their vast selection, competitive pricing and supportive services make Advance a trusted destination to buy quality aftermarket replacement parts.
Customers cite the brand’s reasonable prices, helpful staff and availability of hard-to-find parts as major advantages. While no retailer is perfect, the consensus is clear – Advance Auto Parts deserves strong consideration for your next auto parts purchase.