Blew out a turn signal bulb yesterday. We were on our way to a Miata event at our sponsoring dealer, so when the first parts store I stopped in didn’t have what I needed I figured I could get it at their parts counter. The bulb is a pretty standard automotive bulb, an 1157NA. 1157 is the type, 12 volts, two filaments, one brighter than the other and the NA means it is amber. The parts store had plain 1157s, but because the Miatas turn signals are mounted in a clear lens I needed the yellow bulb.
When I asked the parts counter guy for two 1157NAs he didn’t move, he just looked at me like he was waiting for more information. None was needed, but he asked anyway, “What kind of car is it for?” I sighed internally and said out loud, a Mazda Miata. Off he went to the bulb draw. He rummaged around for a few minutes and came back with two bulbs. When he put them on the counter they were clear. I said, “I wanted NAs, I need them to be amber.” Back to the drawer he went. More rummaging, lots more. Finally after what seemed like 5 minutes he returns with two yellow bulbs. I checked the part number just to be sure. As I’m walking away I heard him say to himself, “I always wondered what NA meant.”
I guess basic automotive knowledge isn’t a prerequisite of working at a part department in a car dealership. To be somewhat fair, this dealership sells both Mercedes-Benz’s and Mazda’s so maybe he needed to know how much to charge me. I paid $2.87 for the pair, I wonder if a Benz owner would have had to fork over $8.59 for his?