Which Auto Parts Store Is Better: O’Reilly or AutoZone?

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O'Reilly vs AutoZone

AutoZone and O’Reilly are two of the most popular aftermarket auto parts stores in the United States.

Both of them have been here for a long time, provide more or less similar services, and have gained a decent amount of loyal customers.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at what sets these brands apart and which one is worth your money.

History Of O’Reilly And AutoZone

O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. was founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family.

Originally from Missouri, now they have 6157 stores in the 48 US states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.

Their primary customers are professional auto mechanics and DIY vehicle owners, who make up 41% and 59% of their sales, respectively.

On the other hand, AutoZone was founded in 1979 and was originally known as Auto Shack.

As of 2024, they had 7,140 stores in the United States (including the Virgin Islands), Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, making them the largest auto parts store in the country.

Similar to O’reilly Automotive, the primary target of Autozone is mechanics and DIY enthusiasts.

However, the composition is quite different. DIYers make 78% of their sales, while auto mechanics account for the remaining 22%.

Product Catalog And Delivery Comparison

Product Catalog

This difference in sales composition has a huge impact on the product catalog and distribution model of these brands.

As O’Reilly is more focused on mechanics, they have relatively fewer products for DIY enthusiasts.

However, they make up for it by delivering new stock to their stores every day – even multiple times a day on some occasions.

AutoZone has a larger product catalog, which means if you need any aftermarket auto parts (such as a sensor or a water pump) for DIY, you’re more likely to find them here.

They only deliver three times a week, but this makes sense because an average retail consumer can wait a few days for their auto part.

Auto Parts Quality

When it comes to quality, both these stores (and even NAPA and Advanced Auto Parts) give almost similar results.

For example, all of AutoZone’s and many of O’Reilly’s batteries come from Clarios (previously known as Johnson Controls) – a major OEM manufacturer that also supplies batteries to VARTA and OPTIMA.

It means most of the batteries in these stores are essentially the same product with different brandings.

The same is true for reliability.

I have used alternators from both of these stores over the past few years.

While most of them performed well, a few turned out to be lemons and didn’t run the first time I installed them in a vehicle.

Yes, these auto parts come with a warranty and can be replaced, but the inconvenience they bring can be annoying – especially if you’re an auto mechanic.

Return Policy

At O’Reilly, you can return a product within 60 days of the original order date if you have the purchase receipt and the product is in its original packaging.

AutoZone gives you slightly more headroom as they have a 90-day return policy.

Overall Winner

If you’re looking for a battery, AutoZone would be a good place to start your search. And if you’re looking for new brake pads and rotors, O’Reilly would serve you better.

For the most part, however, there’s no clear-cut winner.

Most of the aftermarket auto parts you buy from these stores are made in China or Mexico, so you can’t expect them to match the quality of an original component or be better than one another.

Instead, you need to focus on price and customer service.

For example, if you’re looking for a new battery, I recommend checking the price in all stores before making a purchase.

Oftentimes, you can find better deals at Walmart or Amazon than at any of the popular auto parts stores.

As far as customer service goes, it varies between areas.

The local AutoZone store in my area has a really polite staff, whereas the one in O’Reilly can sometimes get a little pushy.

But I know many of my friends in other cities that have exactly opposite experiences.

These things happen mainly due to inexperience. I mean, this meme is there for a reason.

Our vehicles have become complicated over time, and customer support isn’t as technically well-versed as it used to be. That’s why they’re more focused on selling you stuff instead of fixing the problem.

Therefore, I recommend only going to the store with a liberal return policy and with whose staff you’ve already built trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does O’Reilly Auto Parts Price Match With AutoZone?

Yes, O’Reilly offers a price-matching guarantee. But it’s only available against local competitors.

Do Brake Pads At AutoZone Have A Lifetime Warranty?

Yes, AutoZone has a lifetime warranty for their brake pads. But this warranty does not cover “abuse” and “commercial use.”

How Long Is O’Reilly’s Battery Warranty?

The Super Start batteries at O’Reilly’s are divided into Economy, Premium, Extreme, and Platinum types.

The Economy batteries come with a 1-year warranty, while the Premium and Extreme/Platinum batteries come with 2-year and 3-year warranties, respectively.

How Long Are Batteries Under Warranty With AutoZone?

The standard Duralast batteries at AutoZone come with a 2-year warranty, while the Duralast Gold and Platinum batteries come with 3-year warranties.

Who Makes AutoZone Batteries?

Most of the AutoZone batteries are made by Clarios – one of the largest OEM battery manufacturers that also produces batteries for OPTIMA, VARTA, Toyota, and BMW.

Can I Return a Bad Battery to AutoZone?

If the replacement period is not over, you can return the bad battery to any AutoZone, and they’ll replace it at no cost.

Does O’Reilly Charge The Car Batteries?

Yes, O’Reilly offers free battery charging and testing for most vehicles.

Andy is an avid car enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in DIYing auto maintenance. He founded AutoProblemz to share his knowledge and expertise with others through writing. His aim is to cut through jargon and help you make the right decisions for your vehicles.

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