pix
FORDMUSCLE.com
Page 2
 

Fram Standard Air Filters
They're orange, they are cheap, and I bet Fram sells a boatload of them every week. Based on technology that hasn't changed in more the 50 years, the dry-type paper filter from Fram is a regular at every national auto parts store. Economonies-of-scale have driven the price down on paper filters over the years and now with Wal-Mart in the mix you can probably expect to see them drop further. Of the six products we used for our comparison, the FRAM CA351 yielded the greatest price differential with Wal-Mart giving it away for $4.99 and Kragen (CSK) retailing it at $7.99. Why'd we select the CA351? It was the FRAM filter number designated for FordMuscle's Project Redneck.

Fram CA351 Air Filter
Pep Boys
Kragen (CSK)
Wal-Mart
AutoZone
Napa Auto
$5.99
$7.99
$4.99
$4.99
N/A

Castrol GTX Motor Oil
The World Land Speed record has been broken 21 times by vehicles using Castrol brand motor oil but what I'd really like to see broken is the case price of GTX 20-50W. Even at Wal-Mart you don't get a discount when buying a case of oil versus and quart. Not sure why but after comapring per quart prices pricing on Castrol GTX 20-50W at all four retialers, I discoverd that even Wal-Mart's buying power must not be able to force Castrol to budge too much on wholesaale pricing. However, the savings do add up when you buy in bulk at Wal-MArt over the national chains.

Castrol GTX 20-50W
Pep Boys
Kragen (CSK)
Wal-Mart
AutoZone
Napa Auto
$2.99 each
$35.88 case
$3.09 each
$37.09 case
$2.88 each
$34.56 case
$2.99 each
$35.88 case
$3.29
$39.48



Gunk Engine Brite
Add up all the Gunk Engine Brite you've ever purchased to clean parts and you could have three parts washing bins and a barrel of solvent by now. No matter if your project car is spotless and your work area is fully equipped there always seems to be some use for this grease and grime emulsifier. Touted as the Worlds' best selling degreaser, Gunk Engine Brite is just another staple in the DIY automotive enthusiasts garage. The stuff doesn't take a parts counter person to aid in your purchase, so why pay national chain store prices when it's heavily discounted at Wal-Mart.

GUNK Engine Brite 15 oz
Pep Boys
Kragen (CSK)
Wal-Mart
AutoZone
Napa Auto
$2.49
$2.59
$1.87
$2.39
$2.59



Gumout Carb & Choke Cleaner
It's got to be the most potent solvent on the shelf and is most likely used in ways it was never intended. Gumout's Carb and Choke Cleaner is the "go-to" cleaner when the going gets gummy. Whether an enthusiast needs to wipe down a grimy power steering pump or de-carbonize a fouled spark plug, this product will do the job. For these reasons, Gumout is very popular among automotive enthusiasts whether they are running a carburetor or EFI.

GUMOUT Carb Choke Cleaner
Pep Boys
Kragen (CSK)
Wal-Mart
AutoZone
Napa Auto
$4.49 (19 oz)
$0.23 per oz
$2.99 (16 oz)
$0.19 per oz
$1.82 (16 oz)
$0.11 per oz
$3.19 (19 oz)
$0.16 per oz
$3.09 (12.5 oz)
$0.24 per oz



Fram Extra Guard Oil Filters
An oil filter doesn't get much simpler than the Fram Extra Guard. Hopefully, you don't use one in your race motor, however, many enthusiasts with old Ford trucks or other high mileage project cars make due with the Fram Extra Guard's 96% Single-Pass Efficiency, cellulose (paper) filter, and very low price. Looking for an extremely low price? Wal-Mart is the winner again, this time for the very common Fram PH8A.

Fram PH8A Oil Filter
Pep Boys
Kragen (CSK)
Wal-Mart
AutoZone
Napa Auto
$3.99
$4.49
$3.48
$4.19
N/A


Conclusion
According to Gib Carey, a partner at Bain & Co., "Wal-Mart is the essential retailer, in a way no other retailer is." What this simple statement means for the companies like Honeywell (manufactuer of FRAM and Prestone products), Sopus Products (manufactuer of GUMOUT), and Radiator Speciality Company (manufactuer of GUNK Engine Brite) is that doing business with Wal-Mart is mandatory. However, it is Wal-Mart's tough supplier standards and pressure to offer the lowest price that can make the only thing worse than doing business with Wal-Mart, not doing business with Wal-Mart. It is Wal-Mart's supplier relationship philosophy and barriers to entry that are the root of serious debate on the business-to-business side.

One the other hand, automotive parts and supplies consumers like us win with the tough pricing requirements Wal-Mart places on their suppliers. By all means, if you are receiving personalized service from a local independent auto part store, then they deserve your business for commodity products that are priced higher than Wal-Mart. However, if your purchasing decison comes between a canned national chain store and Wal-Mart, why would you pay extra for products from Kragen, Advance Auto, Pep Boys, AutoZone, or CSK?

Page 2

Would You Walk 100 Feet to Save $9.07?
It's hard to believe, but this picture shows a Kragen storefront with Wal-Mart's Tire & Lube Express just 100 feet away. The Tire & Lube Express is a great way to enter the Wal-Mart retail floor without experiencing the sights and sounds of the main entrance. Anyway, by simply walking 100 feet from Kragen to Wal-Mart, I saved $9.07 on the tune-up items used in this comparison.

Item
Kragen
Wal-Mart
(1) Air Filter
Fram
CA351
$7.99
$4.99
(1) Oil Filter
Fram PH8A
$4.49
$3.48
(5) Castrol GTX Motor Oil 20-50W
Quart
$15.45
$14.40
(1) Prestone Anti-Freeze
Coolant
Gallon
$10.99
$8.87
(1) GUNK Engine Brite
Degreaser
15 oz
$2.59
$1.87
(1) GUMOUT Carb Choke Cleaner
16 oz
$2.99
$1.82
Total
$44.50
$35.43
Wal-Mart Savings
$9.07

 

 

 

 

 


pixblue
pixblue
Tech Archives Project Cars Readers Cars Feature Cars