Auto parts stores

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Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 5th, 2018, 8:48 pm 

A fun experiment to get into statistics might be to answer the question: Are Auto Parts stores' parking spaces more oily?

I think it would be fun to come up with a way to rate how oily a parking space is (percent covered?) and compare those spaces to parking spaces at other stores. I'd be willing to bet that auto parts store parking spaces are statistically significantly dirtier.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2018, 12:02 am 

Makes sense, given that the people who come to such a business probably have something wrong with their cars.
Even so, wouldn't you need more data?
Like, how big is the parking lot?
How many customers per day?
How long does each one spend inside the store?
How often is the lot cleaned?

(Actually, the Ideal Supply next to to my feed store has quite a clean parking lot. Nice inside, too; tidy and well-organized.)
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2018, 12:09 am 

yes of course, that's why I think this would be a fun beginner science project because it would open a discussion to all of those questions.

And what types of other businesses or stores would you compare to?
Do people who shop at NAPA have leakier cars than people who shop at Kraigen, or Auto Zone, or Oreillys etc?

I'd also like to setup a device that detects and logs horn honking. I would then check which store has the shoppers with the most oblivious rude features enabled on their cars.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2018, 12:12 am 

I do think it would be somewhat challenging to find data about the cleaning/sweeping and resurfacing schedule of the parking lot so that lots are equally comparable. Also low income areas I would assume have worse quality parking lots.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby JMP1958 on May 6th, 2018, 1:30 am 

But, you also have to take into account the fact that the type of people that frequent auto parts stores are the type of people that know how to do the repair work on their own car and also the type of people likely to maintain their car so that it doesn't develop oil leaks etc. Then there is the fact that many times they are not driving to the the auto parts store in the car the needs the work. Take it from someone who has done his share of car repairs. More often than not, the car you are working on is back sitting where you are working on it, while you take another car to the auto parts store.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2018, 1:35 am 

JMP1958 » Sat May 05, 2018 10:30 pm wrote:But, you also have to take into account the fact that the type of people that frequent auto parts stores are the type of people that know how to do the repair work on their own car and also the type of people likely to maintain their car so that it doesn't develop oil leaks etc. Then there is the fact that many times they are not driving to the the auto parts store in the car the needs the work. Take it from someone who has done his share of car repairs. More often than not, the car you are working on is back sitting where you are working on it, while you take another car to the auto parts store.


That's what H0 and H1 are for doing the experiment to find out. :)
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2018, 10:15 am 

Plus, I don't know about other as stores, but Ideal does the bulk of its business, not with drive-in customers, but deliveries to garages. They run a fleet of shiny orange-and-white vans that used to have a stupid tractor hat on their roof, but that's gone now.

Extra factor: Many stores are on rented premises; the upkeep depends on the land-holding company that owns the plaza or building. The feed store is owner operated since the family built the grist mill in the 1890's. Its yard is unpaved. They asphalted it back in the 50's, but that didn't last many winters, so they reverted to gravel with a surface like the moon. The strip-mall across the road is badly run-down, its four shops change tenants every couple of years, except for the old optician with a reputation as a groper - not a busy place; it's got cracked and stained paving. The Ideal and the plumbing supply on its other side have the biggest, brightest fronts, most prosperous retail spaces and best lots.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2018, 12:21 pm 

Serpent, it sounds like you live more in farm country. When I was thinking of this question I had been visiting city locations. they have over a dozen different auto parts stores in the city near me. Two in every neighborhood. Almost as popular as gas stations which I still don't understand why people will go to one gas station priced at 20-30 cents higher than the one across the street.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby bangstrom on May 6th, 2018, 1:20 pm 

In places where I have lived, I have seen many a person working on their car in the parts store parking lot. Just topping off the oil can be a messy job if your aim is poor.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2018, 1:48 pm 

That happens at the Canadian Tire, in spite of signs warning against.
That's a big department/hardware store at the fringe where the big box stores and Walmart live.
The specialty auto parts stores (there are three) don't cater so much to the casual maintenance types as serious hobbyists and professional mechanics. Maybe that's why they look so up-scale.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2018, 11:03 pm 

Just noticed my library parking lot looks old and clean.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Serpent on May 7th, 2018, 10:18 am 

Now you've made me parking-lot conscious!
Except for the puddle I always seem to park in when wearing town shoes and the snow pile in back of the Y, even in August, I never much noticed them before. Now, I'll be taking down names and particulars.

Can't make anything out of rude customers, though: we already know they're tourists. Be starting to arrive this weekend to visit their mothers, and not go away again till Thanksgiving. They honk, pass uphill and speed like crazy. But they bring money.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Braininvat on May 8th, 2018, 9:10 am 

bangstrom » May 6th, 2018, 10:20 am wrote:In places where I have lived, I have seen many a person working on their car in the parts store parking lot. Just topping off the oil can be a messy job if your aim is poor.


if you're at a parts store and can't be bothered to purchase a funnel (a couple bucks?) you deserve whatever happens to you. :-)

It is entertaining to watch guys try to put in oil without a funnel.

Great thread.
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Re: Auto parts stores

Postby Serpent on May 8th, 2018, 9:20 am 

Funnels, like work-gloves, go AWOL.
Don't buy them at the auto supply store for $6; get them at the thrift store for $0.50, as you'll only have them for a week or so anyway. The gloves turn up again - at least their corpses do, under the woodpile of in a corner of the garage - funnels are never seen again.
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