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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems I lost one of the caps on a lug nut on my car and after checking the local auto parts stores I left to going to the local dealership. I swear the guy behind the counter(which happened to be the parts manager)rose to his level of incompetence to get promoted!!! I asked him for a lug nut for a 2012 Chevy Cruze Eco. to which he replied after sitting down at the computer: Do you have the VIN(wanting me to go get it) which I replied for a lug nut. I could tell by his general frustration: He was not kidding and said does it have external threads: and I said no for an Eco! I said show me what you have and I will tell if it will fit. He went away and came back and stated this "might work"(once again hoping I would get the VIN) I said guess the external threads are to hold on the LS hubcaps. He said I guess and I said as long as it is 19 mm. It will be fine. Needless to say I got home and it works fine! Even w/o the VIN!
This guy was probably thinking I need to learn something about cars and used to dealing with Dealer Mechanics that have all that information already entered in the computer so they don't need to talk or know anything!!! Funny when I sold auto parts in the 1980s we had to know how to replace the parts just not sell them!
 

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I'm surprised you could actually buy "one" and not have to purchase a complete set of "five".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm surprised you could actually buy "one" and not have to purchase a complete set of "five".
I know what you mean! $6 for one It seems the auto parts stores sell the packs of 5 and they did not have any so... and Rock auto sells lug nuts that are not the same "size" (21mm) as to what came on the car 19 mm/ 3/4 in. Which would really suck if you only realized that with a flat tire on the side of the road!! But it is an Eco anyway with no spare. Sorry I got one! betcha can't find that with the VIN!!!
 

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By asking for your VIN the manager was demonstrating his due-diligence - and in my opinion demonstrating leadership.

He wanted to make sure he got you the correct part. He also wanted to make sure that any other employee around him observed and modelled his behaviour. As he would have previously instructed his staff to do the same.

Afterall, the lugnut is a pretty critical piece of your vehicle. Rotating mass and legal liability of a wheel popping off your car, and all.

There are many elements that factor into the correct lug nut. Thread pitch and nut size being the obvious. But thread depth and conical angle are others. In fact someone else on the board recently used the wrong lug nut with their winter wheels and found out exactly what the repercussions are.

Yourself, as someone who works in IT, would you be able to supply the correct answer to: Can you give me a RAM stick for my Mac laptop; or, what version of MS Office should I buy. Without first asking what model and year Mac laptop; or, what OS are you using MS Office with?
 
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The parts catalogue (actually a program) is geared off the VIN #.
Specifically, the last eight positions.

By entering the last eight, the system takes the parts person to the correct vehicle configuration...ie.....aluminum wheel, chrome clad lug nut, or the standard lug nut if the last eight was for a LS.

Anytime you are going to a dealer for parts the availability of the last eight positions helps assure you received the correct part.

Not like the good ole days with a book that included dimensions.

Progress sometimes sux.
Rob
 

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I hate those 2 piece capped lug nuts. The cap either falls off, or swells up so a socket barely fits. I replaced mine with a solid chrome set I got on amazon from a company called DP accessories. They work really well and we're only 20 bucks for the set. Plus I believe they have a lifetime guarantee.
 

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The parts catalogue (actually a program) is geared off the VIN #.
Specifically, the last eight positions.

By entering the last eight, the system takes the parts person to the correct vehicle configuration...ie.....aluminum wheel, chrome clad lug nut, or the standard lug nut if the last eight was for a LS.

Anytime you are going to a dealer for parts the availability of the last eight positions helps assure you received the correct part.

Not like the good ole days with a book that included dimensions.

Progress sometimes sux.
Rob
I wondered about this. Figuring out the parts to use to install my spare tire was a real challenge because of course these parts aren't listed for my VIN. Fortunately my dealership had a good parts manager who was more than willing to work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
All I can say is touche'. Remember back when I used to sell parts, parts were more generic and Tom you are right for what it is worth, by using the VIN the Parts guy is able to tell not only the year of the car but all the specifics to everything about it. For all the Parts guy know I could of had a 2016 Volt and he just wanted to be sure I had the right part! I guess I just never looked or thought about it that deeply. AS a matter of fact back when I sold parts there was a funny commercial for a competitor of the parts store I sold for that advertised Brakes 2 for the front, 2 for the back. Parts is Parts!!!!
 

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Now we know the why 's and whither too ' s of the procedures of asking for specific parts for a cruzen at your local dealership in advance of that all to unclear reason of asking for a vin # ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wondered about this. Figuring out the parts to use to install my spare tire was a real challenge because of course these parts aren't listed for my VIN. Fortunately my dealership had a good parts manager who was more than willing to work for me.
I really didn't put that much thought into it when I bought my spare. I just found a spare for sale on E bay or somewhere on the internet out of an LS. I just took it on the premise that a spare is a spare and not planning on using it anytime soon unless a wheel or tire gets destroyed. So far I have only used when rotating tires as a way to set the car down.
 

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Yeah Last 8 is key, especially if you were trying to obtain items only on a 2LT/LTZ. As for the LS lug, what did it run you? My ex had one of the plastic caps come off her Cruze LS and it was like almost $18 for it. I think I still have one of the extras when I cleaned out the eco. It also reminded me I paid like $20 something for a T20 bolt and never used it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As for the LS lug, what did it run you? My ex had one of the plastic caps come off her Cruze LS and it was like almost $18 for it.
Never had to buy a LS lug nut or hub cap. From what the Parts guy I was talking to described trying to determine my lug nut, I just asked him if the nut with the external threads was for the LS with a hub cap. I was just trying to determine what the big deal with selecting a lug nut was. That is all This thread and my experience yesterday surely showed me "Parts is Parts" Is a statement of "old" and no longer applies!
 

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I just bought lug nuts for my winter tires which have a different rims than the factory tire and I had to get the thread diameter, pitch and the length of the lug nut as some are enclosed an some are not. The enclosed ones have to have enough depth internally to allow the lug nut to seat properly.
 

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My Son had a '75 VW Scirocco in '87 and we painfully discovered one Saturday that they put no less than 5 different water pumps on them, depending on other variables that they could have been built with. Only one would fit properly and the folks at the parts store had no clue which was which, so it was R&R until we got a winner. Yes, they had all five pumps in stock. A VIN based system would have been a great time saver.
 

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Unless the system taps into the manufacturer's database, there's only a limited amount of information in the VIN. Year, make, model, engine, assembly plant and maybe trim level I think is about it. To go much further, you'd need to look up the 6-digit serial (sequence) number in a database.

Still, I'm sure a lot of parts guys would prefer a VIN over "I think it's a ..."
 
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