RockAuto December Newsletter

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Another Happy Customer!

After doing price comparisons on a replacement lower intake manifold & gasket set, no one even remotely compared to the pricing RockAuto offers! The closest pricing I found was still over $100 more!

Jim in North Carolina

Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here e-mail with details.

US Car Club Lübeck
Lübeck, Germany

Delta Miata Club in Northern California
Discovery Bay, CA

USA Ford Highboy Club Mud Racing
Port Orchard, WA

Peterson Lighting

See what we have from PETERSON Lighting

RockAuto now offers Peterson Manufacturing lighting and safety products. Peterson Manufacturing builds a huge selection of exterior lights, interior work lights, emergency lights and other safety parts for small to heavy-duty trucks and trailers. Peterson designs and manufactures products to the highest standards using the latest LED, halogen and other technologies. Peterson was the first vehicle safety lighting manufacturer in the United States to have their quality systems awarded ISO 9001/QS-9000 registration.

RockAuto’s Peterson Manufacturing offerings include:

  • LED and Incandescent Truck and Trailer Lighting
  • Trailer Light Kits and Reflectors
  • Emergency and Warning Products such as Strobe Lights, Light Bars and Back-Up Alarms
  • Mirrors and Antennas
  • Off-Road Lights
  • LED Replacement Headlamps and Utility lights
Peterson Manufacturing lighting and safety products

Whether you need blind-spot mirrors, submersible rear lighting kits for trailers or strobe lights for your snow plow truck, RockAuto has it! Check out the "Tools and Universal Parts" tab (Accessories-Exterior>Body-Exterior) of the RockAuto catalog to see the Peterson Manufacturing lighting and safety parts you need.


Happy Holidays

All of us here at RockAuto would like to wish you Happy Holidays and a New Year filled with health and happiness! Thank you for being our customer and letting us serve as your auto parts supplier!

If you are still in need of a gift for the do-it-yourselfer in your life, a RockAuto gift certificate will never go out of style. Everybody needs something for his or her car or truck! A RockAuto gift certificate will let the recipient choose replacement parts like oil filters and brake pads, restoration parts like headlamp assemblies or new carpet, or fun parts like a battery charger or a dashboard cover.

RockAuto gift certificates are the perfect gift for the car enthusiast in your life. They are easy to buy and even easier to use.

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.

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 is the Internet's oldest Camaro and Camaro Z28 enthusiast web site. It features news, forums, image galleries, tech articles and much more. The forum has thousands of discussion topics on a wide variety of subjects. Whether you need technical instruction, have advice to give or just want to show off your ride, join the Camaro Z28 forum today. Stop by daily to read the latest Camaro news. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free!

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

Repair Mistakes & Blunders


I have a gem of a Saturn SL2. I had, at one time, removed the crankshaft pulley to replace the front main seal. About a year ago, the Saturn developed a massive oil leak on the front of the engine. It was so bad it was unsafe, as oil was getting on the passenger side front tire. I couldn't find the leak! After hours of searching for it, I gave up and took the car to the family mechanic who is a factory trained Saturn Technician. I was grimacing at the thought of how much this was going to cost.

After only a few hours our family mechanic called me. He said the repair was just going to cost $65! Shocked, I asked him what was wrong.

The answer? "Oh, your crankshaft pulley bolt was a little loose, that's all."

Turns out the torque rating for that bolt is 159 foot-pounds! I now torque everything down properly.

Ben in Utah

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 e-mail your story to 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

What do parts brand Mopar, parts manufacturer Magneti Marelli and car manufacturer Maserati have in common besides starting with the letter M?

A. All are over 100 years old.
B. All started out in the bicycle industry.
C. All are now part of Fiat.
D. All of the above.

Answer below

An Appetite for Tires


Build the car to tight tolerances that automatically align the wheels perfectly at the factory and there is no need to increase costs and weight by making wheel alignment adjustable. This is some of the reasoning that car manufacturers use to explain why many newer vehicles have non-adjustable or nearly non-adjustable wheel alignment.

Problems arise after the miles and years go by and the suspension ages. Potholes or accidents may subtly twist suspension mounting points.

Some older “newer” vehicles might actually have not been perfect when they left the factory. A few years back, we bought my wife her 1993 Ford Tempo and I started my quest to improve its front wheel alignment so the tires last longer. I remember the technician at the alignment shop and my sister, who bought a new Tempo off the showroom floor, both giving me the discouraging news that those cars “just eat tires.”

It is not only owners that keep their cars a long time that end up disappointed. Surprisingly, even vehicles that enthusiastic, new car owners may want to modify immediately may have non-adjustable wheel alignment. A late-model Ford Mustang owner is out of luck if they want to adjust the caster on the front wheels for a weekend of fun at the racetrack.

Luckily, RockAuto manufacturers such as ACDelco, Mevotech, Moog and Raybestos design and build parts for specific vehicles to make the wheel alignment adjustable. Look under Suspension in the RockAuto catalog for Caster/Camber Bolt Kits, Camber Wedges and Shims, Caster/Camber bushings or whatever parts your specific vehicle needs to adjust the wheel alignment.

Caster/Camber Bolt Kits, Camber Wedges and Shims, Caster/Camber bushings

Caster and camber are the two primary alignment measures. Caster is the angle between a vertical line drawn through the center of wheel and a line typically drawn through the upper and lower ball joints. A positive caster angle means the line drawn through the ball joints hits the ground ahead of the tire’s contact patch. A negative caster angle means the tire hits the ground ahead of the line drawn through the suspension pieces. It helps me to think of the wheel on a grocery shopping cart that is either ahead of its vertical axle creating negative caster or trailing behind the vertical axle in positive caster mode. If caster is off, then one symptom is that the self-centering action of the steering system will not work properly and the driver will need to constantly adjust the steering wheel.

Camber measures the angle of how close to vertical the wheel is. If the top of the wheel is tilted away from the car then it has positive camber. If the top of the wheel is tilted towards the car while the bottom is further away from the car then it has negative camber.

Cars are designed with specific caster and camber angles to best meet handling, load hauling, tire wear and other objectives. The retrofit alignment parts typically allow mounting points for control arms, struts or other suspension parts to be slightly pushed in multiple directions. For example, a Caster/Camber Bolt Kit might replace the original straight control arm mounting bolt with a bolt with cams that adjust the alignment of the control arm as the bolt is rotated. Multiple options might be available for some vehicles depending on how much the suspension needs to be adjusted. A simple alignment shim might cost less than $0.50 while a part that makes the top mounting point for a Mustang’s strut quickly adjustable for both caster and camber costs around $300.

There are not only retrofit solutions for non-adjustable cars, but parts to fix and often improve alignment parts that may have failed due to rust or lacked adequate adjustment. For example, original Caster/Camber bolts on older Toyota Tacomas and 4Runners can rust solid to the bushing sleeve. New bolts by Moog and Raybestos fix and prevent reoccurrence of that problem. There are especially numerous alignment solutions for popular high mileage fleet vehicles such as Ford full size vans. There are Caster/Camber bushings to fix the alignment on a Ford E-150 van almost no matter how long and rough its life has been.

Of course, it does not make sense to try to align front or rear wheels when suspension parts are clearly worn out. If the strut mount is a rusty mess or the spring is sagging, then replace the parts before worrying about alignment. I had the most success aligning the front end of our Ford Tempo after I replaced the distorted bushings at the mounting points for the rack and pinion steering unit. The Tempo still has an appetite for tires, but it is not nearly as ravenous as it once was!

Tom Taylor

Matt's 1981 Jeep J10
Matt's 1981 Jeep J10 

I have had this 1981 Jeep J10 for a number of years now. It is my second, replacing a J10 that would leave outlines of itself in rust flakes wherever I parked it! I saw this one for sale in Iowa and had to go see it. I paid way too much for a truck with a bad camshaft lobe (I convinced myself it was poor emissions control hook-ups and drove it back home that way!), but as the years have passed, that sting has faded while the truck still makes me smile whenever I drive it. It has its share of blemishes, but it fires right up in any weather and still gets me the occasional thumbs-up or gas pump conversation when it is out and about. It also pulls its own weight going to the woods for firewood, hauling manure for the garden and carrying materials for various other projects.

It is built of parts from a wide range of years, including the drivetrain from a 1989 Jeep and a mix-n-match modern Ford ignition, but regardless of the model year of the systems I am working on, RockAuto comes through with the parts. Brakes, exhaust, emissions control, engine, transfer case, all of them have at least something provided by RockAuto. I appreciate the prices AND the availability of parts for older cars that you guys provide. And all the helpful information in the catalog is a big bonus for selecting parts and verifying that you are getting what you expect. Keep up the good work!

Matt in Wisconsin

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 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 an e-mail to with information about your show.

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

What do parts brand Mopar, parts manufacturer Magneti Marelli and car manufacturer Maserati have in common besides starting with the letter M?

A. All are over 100 years old.
B. All started out in the bicycle industry.

Answer: C. All are now part of Fiat. (Mopar started up in 1937 and is part of the ongoing Fiat/Chrysler merger that began in 2009. Magneti Marelli was founded in 1919 with the assistance of Fiat to produce automotive magnets and was purchased by Fiat in 1967. Maserati has its 100th birthday in 2014 and was acquired by Fiat in 1993.)
D. All of the above.

Back up to trivia question


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