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Another Happy Customer!

RockAuto is consistently affordable and reliable!

I purchase hard to find late model oil filters from RockAuto. They are always in stock and at the best prices around!

Thank you,
Darrel in Michigan

 

Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here, email us with details.

Lubbock Dragway - Last Race
11/17/2012
Slaton, TX
e-mail

Christmas Caring Car Show
11/17/2012
Waco, TX
e-mail

Hudson Motor Car Southern California Economy Run
11/17/2012
Ontario, CA
e-mail

Toys for Tots Auto Show
11/17/2012
Trinidad, TX
e-mail

Somerville Elks Charitable Trust
11/20/2012
Sommerville, NJ
e-mail

Ancient City Auto Club Auto Show
11/28/2012
St. Augustine, FL
e-mail

Festivals of Speed Orland Ritz-Carlton
11/30/2012
Tampa, FL
e-mail

Ponderosa Speedway
11/30/2012
Stanford, KY
e-mail

Cedar Lake Speedway
12/1/2012
Lake Elmo, MN
e-mail

2nd Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Car Show
12/1/2012
Pooler, GA
e-mail

Pop Culture Collectibles Fair
12/6/2012
Richmond, BC
e-mail

2012 Queen Creek Christmas Car Show
12/8/2012
Queen Creek, AZ
e-mail

8th Annual Free Car Show
12/8/2012
Dunn, NC
e-mail

Delta Miata Club in Northern California
12/8/2012
Discovery Bay, CA
e-mail

 

Your Gift Giving Decisions Just Got Easier!

RockAuto Gift Certificate

As the holidays are rapidly approaching, RockAuto would like to make your gift giving decisions easier!

Do you know a special someone that needs to replace his or her squeaky brakes? Someone working on a restoration project who would be thrilled if given new molded carpet? Or perhaps maintenance parts like air filters or wiper blades that everyone regularly needs but occasionally overlooks?

There is no need to awake at dawn to chase down the sales or deal with the commotion of Black Friday crowds. RockAuto's prices are stable and reliably low every day of the year. Even if you have no idea what parts or tools that your special someone needs or would enjoy the most, you can still make your gift giving easy with a RockAuto Gift Certificate that lets the recipients have fun choosing exactly what they want!

Gift Certificate
Purchase gift certificates with a choice of currencies and amounts. Have a paper certificate shipped to you or directly to the recipient or choose E-Gift.

E-Gift
Need a Christmas gift in a hurry? E-Gift delivery is immediate and free. Simply select Email as the shipping option and your friends and family will conveniently receive the gift in their Inbox.

Purchase a Gift Certificate today!

 

 

Forum of the Month

Scion FR-S Forum.com

Scion FR-S Forum.com is a community forum dedicated to the Scion FR-S. Join other members from all over the world to discuss modifications, share pictures, and make new friends. Membership to ScionFR-SForum.com is FREE. Come sign up and be a part of the Scion FR-S buzz!

If you are the administrator or member of a forum and you would like to see your website featured in an upcoming newsletter and receive a discount code to share with your members, contact cynthia@rockauto.com.

 

 

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

Ouch!

I was 17 years old in 1972 and had my first job working on cars in a small repair shop. My boss was a good guy, but we were so busy that he couldn't watch me all the time. Anyway, one day he turned me loose on a brake job for a beautiful, red 1964 Thunderbird convertible. I cleaned the backing plates with care, rebuilt the wheel cylinders, installed the brake shoes, turned 3 of the 4 drums (one of them did not have enough metal to machine so it needed replacing), bled and adjusted the brakes, then finally washed the car. I was so proud of my first brake job. I went to clean my area when my boss called out to me and asked how many new drums I'd used on the T-Bird, to which I answered, "One." Then he replied... "Why do we have two drums left on the work bench?" Oh Boy...I had left a rear drum off!

My boss called the customer and told her that I needed to make an adjustment, and would be right over to collect her car. I drove it back to the shop, pulled the left wheel off and there it was. Beautiful new brake shoes and hardware...but no drum! The Ford engineers saved my butt and kept an old lady safe that day. Designed on the backing plates were stops to prevent the wheel cylinder pistons from blowing out, as they would have without a drum to hold everything in place.

It all worked out in the end. But, I was sweeping the floor and cleaning tools for a few days until everyone's confidence in my abilities was restored.

Rick in Kansas

 

Tell us about your most infamous auto repair blunder or unconventional fix. Use your woe to help others avoid similar mistakes or share off-the-wall solutions that worked (at least for a while!). Please email your story to flamur@rockauto.com. Include your mailing address and if you would like a RockAuto T-Shirt (please let us know your shirt size) or Hat if we publish your story. See the T-Shirts and Hats under Tools & Universal Parts in the catalog. The story will be credited using only your first name and your vague geographic location (state, province, country, continent, etc.) so you can remain semi-anonymous!

 

 

Automotive Trivia

Automotive Trivia

The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette offered which new feature for the first time on an American car?

A. Hydraulic-operated hidden headlights
B. Eight-track tape player
C. T-Top, two piece detachable roof panels

Answer below

 

 

Have a Question?

RockAuto

“The Family Handyman” magazine’s Rick Muscoplat answers a customer’s question below about transmission overheating at high altitudes. Is heavier weight engine oil the best solution? Rick’s answer is helpful for all of us that have ever considered using different engine oil than what was recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Tom Taylor
RockAuto.com

Q. (Ricardo) I have a question concerning oil viscosity. I've been living in western central Mexico (8000 ft above sea level) for the past 5 years and in that time I've come across all kinds of climates and altitudes. When I originally came out here, I had a 2003 Ford Explorer with a 4.6 V8 that called for 5W-20 motor oil. Ever since the first day my truck was in Mexico I always had problems with the motor oil in my truck especially when traveling up in altitude which would result in an overheated transmission, you could just feel that the truck had no torque whatsoever... until we started using 15W-40, which as we all know is way heavier then the 5W-20 that it calls for.

My question is, why does this make so much of a difference in the engine? How is it possible that putting a heavier weight oil in your engine improves it to the point that it feels like a completely different car. I feel that the altitude plays a key role here, please correct me if I'm wrong.

P.S. I have tried this on several cars now and I always get the same results. Especially on automatic cars.

A. Ricardo: Car makers like 5W-20 oil for two reasons. First, it flows faster at startup. Since oil drains down after shutdown, engine parts are most susceptible to wear at startup. 5W and even the newer 0W oils get lubrication to those parts faster to prevent wear. Second, lighter weight oils provide less internal friction and that improves gas mileage. Imagine how much energy it would take to pump grease through an engine compared to oil and it makes sense that the engineers want as little internal friction as possible.

On the flip side, a heavier viscosity oil does a better job of sealing piston rings against the cylinder walls, so it can actually improve compression and reduce blow-by. But there's a limit to how much you want to thicken oil. Multi-viscosity oil became multi-viscosity because of viscosity improver (VI) additives. VI is a polymer (plastic-like) additive.

Here's a quick description from an additive manufacturer (Afton Chemical): "When viscosity improvers are added to low viscosity oils, they effectively thicken the oil as temperature increases. This means that the lubricating effect of mineral oils can be extended across a wider temperature range. When creating a viscosity improver, a balance between the thickening efficiency and shear stability of the polymer is important. Higher molecular weight polymers make better thickeners, but tend to have less resistance to mechanical shear. Lower molecular weight polymers are more shear resistant, but do not improve viscosity as effectively at higher temperatures and have to be used in larger quantities. Polymer additives can also undergo thermal and oxidative degradation, unzipping back to smaller monomers, which reduces their effect. The highest possible degree of thermal and oxidative stability is desirable in addition to the features above."

A few decades ago auto makers recommended 10W-40 oil. You don't see that recommendation anymore. Car makers discovered that the quantity of polymer additives required to get oil up to 40 created other problems. In fact, they found that the VI literally baked onto the piston rings causing them to stick in the lands. And creating the heat of combustion cooked the VI on cylinder heads, creating carbon buildup that caused pre-detonation. As noted earlier, since the VI additive is less shear resistant, they don't stand up to long term use.

In addition to the VI issue, you've got heat dissipation issues at higher altitudes. The thinner air doesn't dissipate heat as well and that affects the oil. Oil must carry heat away from engine parts. If it can't release that heat as quickly the oil runs hotter. As oil heats up, oil pressure drops. And lower oil pressure reduces the quantity of oil flow which results in even more temperature buildup. So you can see why a heavier weight oil is good in those conditions. But there's no free lunch here. You're paying a price on the engine wear side of this story. Use a heavier weight oil and you get more internal friction, lower gas mileage, less oil flow when cold, greater chance of piston ring carbon when you use 15-40. My advice? Install an aux transmission oil cooler to take the load off the radiator. That alone will improve engine cooling. (Find automatic transmission oil coolers, oil cooler line, connectors, O-rings, etc. for your specific car or truck under "Transmission-Automatic" in the catalog. Tom)

Have a question about a challenging car repair? Rick Muscoplat is a former ASE Master Technician who was also certified in Advanced Engine Diagnostics (L-1). Currently he writes the automotive section for “The Family Handyman” magazine. Rick has kindly offered to answer some technical questions from RockAuto customers. He cannot answer all questions but will pick a few that are likely to also be of interest to owners of other makes and models. If you have a repair question for Rick then please send it to flamur@rockauto.com. Be sure to include the year, make, model and engine for the vehicle your question is about.

Please note Rick does not work at RockAuto. He cannot answer questions about shipping options in Europe, core returns, etc. Accurate diagnosis of a remote vehicle based on a single question is difficult or impossible. Please view Rick’s answers as simply ideas that might help you better develop your own diagnosis and repair strategy.

 

 

Brian's 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk
Brian's 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

This is my 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk I purchased recently from the second owner who purchased it in 1977. It was in storage for most of the time from 1977 to 2010 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It has 80,000 miles and I am the third owner. The long and low design was new in 1962. Studebaker was the American dealer network for Mercedes in the early 1960s and the Mercedes influence can be seen in the Hawk.

It is a cool old hot rod and a great cruiser. The Hawk is powered by a Studebaker 289 cubic inch engine with a T-10 4 speed transmission, 4 barrel carburetor, and a TwinTrac Dana 44 differential (Studebaker's version of a limited slip differential). It is an uncommon car and always draws a crowd when parked and comments when driving. My sons and I enjoy driving it around town, to local car shows, and to their school.

Updates to the car include disc brakes, dual master cylinder, generator to alternator conversion, electronic ignition, seat belts, third brake light, mag wheels, and radial tires.

Studebaker parts are sometimes hard to find. But RockAuto supplied all the necessary parts to completely rebuild the rear brakes after the wheel cylinders went bad. RockAuto also supplied the front springs. They just happen to be the same springs used for late 1990s Oldsmobile sedans.

Future plans include fixing the rusty front fenders and painting it the original Ermine White.

The Hawk was purchased as a hobby during my chemotherapy. All my friends know that I used a deadly disease as an excuse to convince my wife that I needed a cool old car.

Brian in Illinois

 

Share Your Hard Work

Do you purchase parts from RockAuto? If so, RockAuto would like to feature you & your car or truck in our monthly newsletter. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please e-mail flamur@rockauto.com with your vehicle's history, interesting details, your favorite images, and what parts from RockAuto you have used.

 

 

Let RockAuto Help

Let RockAuto Help

Are you organizing a car show or other auto related event? From goody bag stuffers to gift certificates...we can help. We can even publicize your event in our newsletter.

Just send us an email with information about your show.

 

 

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette offered which new feature for the first time on an American car?

A. Hydraulic-operated hidden headlights
B. Eight-track tape player

Answer: C. T-Top, two piece detachable roof panels

T-Top, two piece detachable roof panels

 

Back up to trivia question

 

 

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