As most of you know, I have been moonlighting at a local Advance Auto Parts store for about five months. This will be my last week. I have worked out a deal with my main job to work extra hours there instead of at Advance. This will help them by getting another 1/2 programmer without actually having to hire one, and it will help me by getting more money for the extra hours worked and more flexibility with when & where I work. It’s a win-win for everyone, except Advance.

I have actually enjoyed the work there, and I’m going to miss it in many ways. When I was thinking about a side job I didn’t just want to stock groceries, flip burgers, etc. Pizza delivery was tempting just because the money is fairly decent, but the hours are terrible. They always say “do what you love”, so that meant doing something auto-related of course. It turned out to be pretty easy to get the job, they have a hard time finding night/weekend help. Especially help that can pass a drug test and that has a good driving record. And that they can count on to show up when scheduled.

The driving part made it more fun of course. This store does a huge amount of commercial business, which means deliveries to repair shops like NTB, Big 10, Firestone, Goodyear, Express Oil Change, Sears, etc. as well as picking up out of stock items at our local warehouse or other stores. Usually when I worked Saturdays or Sundays I would spend most of the day driving parts around. This store has 4 trucks, and since I got to know them so well (I was known for fast deliveries, shocker huh?) and more than a few of you guys have asked about them I thought I would give one of my usual snarky reviews here. Enjoy.

This store only has Chevy Colorados, but some stores also use Ford Rangers. Advance does not use them as advertisements though, the only auto-indication some trucks have is the checkered stripe on the side. Some don’t even have that.

This fine piece of machinery is a 2006 base model, with 58K miles on the clock. And it showed. Anyone who has any ideas about purchasing one of these when they are auctioned should have their head examined. Don’t forget that I drive a $400 car, so you know they must be bad. They are bone stock except for A/C, auto. trans, and cruise control(?).

The interior doesn’t look too bad, mostly needs a seat cleaning. But that’s just because I would take a package of cleaning wipes and wipe down the insides while sitting at stop lights. But looks can be deceiving. Various small interior parts broke on these trucks despite being a Fisher-Price grade of plastic. More concerning is that the transmissions were usually toast by 50K miles, this one was. They would drive fine as long as you babied it and didn’t get any ideas about acceleration that required a downshift. It hunts gears so much that it should be given an honorary Buckmasters membership. The bed gets some serious abuse also, and the rail tops look like someone took a hammer to them.

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