RockAuto December Newsletter :: Early Edition

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Another Happy Customer!

I can always depend on RockAuto to have the part I need, a large selection of manufacturers and the best price. It is so helpful that I do not have to waste time searching the Internet for the best price. I can depend on RockAuto to have it!

Robert in Texas

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

6th Annual “Cruise at the Beach” Christmas Car Show
Redondo Beach, CA

3rd Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Car Show
Eastman, GA

Jeeps for Tots 2013 Event
Brandon, FL

Winter Showoff
Goose Creek, SC

Annual Christmas Car Show & Auto Fest
Dunn, NC

5th Annual Queen Creek Christmas Car Show
Queen Creek, AZ

Dynamic Pediatric Benefit Car Show
Homestead, FL

RockAuto Gift Ideas!

RockAuto Gift Ideas!

A well-stocked garage is the best way to ensure that the car enthusiast in your life can successfully tackle any repair. Whether you need a $4 gift or a $400 gift, RockAuto has it all! Be sure to check out the “Tools & Universal Parts” tab of the RockAuto catalog for gift ideas that any do-it-yourselfer or professional mechanic can use! From creepers to feeler gauges, hose clamp pliers, siphons, belt installation tools and more - RockAuto has something to assist with nearly every kind of repair.

A well-stocked garage is the best way to ensure that the car enthusiast in your life can successfully tackle any repair

Or, shop for yourself! We won't tell.


Dorman Seat Heater Kit Instant Rebate

See what we have from Dorman

Give yourself or a special someone the gift of warmth this holiday season! Dorman has built a Seat Heater Kit that is sure to provide a warm, comfortable ride no matter what the weather. The universal fit Dorman Seat Heater Kit can be installed in any vehicle! The kit includes instructions, installation tools and upholstery rings so the job can be done right the first time.

Dorman Universal Seat Heater Kits Part 628040

As an added bonus, receive a $5 instant rebate at RockAuto on your Dorman Seat Heater Kit purchased through January 3rd. Find the Dorman Universal Seat Heater Kits (Part # 628040) and an installation video under the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab in the "Body-Interior" category.

Forum of the Month

United F-Body

United F-Body (UFB) was formed to provide a relaxed, informative and enjoyable F-body website/forum for people to use to further enjoy their Camaros and Firebirds. We aim to help others restore their cars back to original beauty with extensive tech support. And, unlike many forums, we welcome other cars and have a section devoted to “my other car.” We love our cars and want our members to enjoy their stay! Join United F-Body today and start sharing in the F-body GM car conversation.

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


My father-in-law bought a new 1971 C-10 pickup that never ran properly from the beginning.  It started hard and bucked and jumped. After multiple trips to the dealer with no success, we installed a hand choke!  I thought hand chokes went out with the Model T! 

I eventually bought the still hard starting and rough running truck to tow my boat. When I sold it to the town car flipper (every town has one) he took it to a local mechanic friend to diagnose the ill running engine. The mechanic eventually decided to squirt oil from an old oil can around the intake manifold while the engine was running, and it sucked the oil right in the engine!  They removed the manifold, installed a new gasket and the problem was solved after all those years!

Don't even get me started about the in-cab fuel tank!  That is another repair story...

Fred in Michigan

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 did the Subaru name and the Subaru logo originally represent?

A. The six stars in the Taurus constellation that are visible to the naked eye
B. A conglomerate business and the six original divisions of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.
C. A flock of cranes, the Japanese symbol for tranquility.

Subaru logo
Answer below

Gently Remove That Old Malfunctioning Switch


I started pining for the good old days when I first compared the complex multi-function switch on my son’s high tech 1990 Lincoln with the simple turn signal stalk on my brother’s 1977 Lincoln. A turn signal switch arm loaded up with buttons for the windshield wipers, high beams and who knows what else must be expensive and difficult to replace. Surprisingly, that turned out to not be true. The multi-function switch for the newer Lincoln is actually less expensive and no harder to install than the turn signal / hazard switch on the older Lincoln. The newer switch is perhaps even easier to install because it is not hidden inside the steering column under the steering wheel and it uses more modern plug-in connectors.

This got me curious enough to research what it takes to replace the multi-function switch on other brand vehicles. I looked at the repair procedures for the 2000 Chevy Impala, Chevy Malibu, Pontiac Grand Am, Ford Mustang, Ford F-150, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, VW Beetle and Toyota Camry.

There is variation in switch locations and designs. My favorite is GM’s U-shaped multi-function switch with levers coming out on both the left and right sides. Overall, the installation news was good! Among this sample of 2000 model year vehicles, the steering wheel only had to be pulled on the Impala. The need to remove the steering wheel (and air bag) seems to have generally decreased on GM cars with each model year. The steering wheel had to be pulled on early 1990s Pontiac Grand Ams, but the wheel could stay in place on newer Grand Ams. Later in the 2000s, Impalas did not need their steering wheels pulled either.

The labor estimate for the 2000 Impala was the longest at 1.3 hours. However, that is still relatively little time. It remains a reasonable amount of time even if doubled for a do-it-yourselfer like me that inevitably spends fifteen minutes hunting for the socket that rolled under the seat. Labor was estimated to be only about a half-hour for the Jeeps and Toyota Camry. Interestingly, the repair instructions for the Jeeps repeatedly included the word “gently,” maybe to encourage owners to not be in such a rush to get back on the trail that they break plastic trim covers.

The installation instructions for multi-function switches may be simple but are often not something you can quickly just figure out on your own. Reading the model specific repair manual (found under “Literature” in the catalog) will help avoid wasting time by unnecessarily struggling with trim, tilt wheel levers or other steering column parts. The manual will also give advance warning if any special tools are required. For example, some GM vehicles use Torx head screws.

In general, the procedure for removing and replacing a multi-function switch is typically:
  • disconnect the negative battery connector and disable the air bag (often by pulling a fuse)
  • remove upper and lower plastic trim covers from the steering column
  • unplug the wiring harness
  • unbolt the multi-function switch
  • bolt in the new switch after being sure to insert the turn signal “canceling cam” or “cancel actuator” into the steering column

Multi-function switches by OE Pro, Standard Motor Products (SMP) and other manufacturers are found under “Electrical-Switch & Relay” in the catalog. The repair literature estimated a new multi-function switch for the 2000 Impala would cost over $500 at a car dealer, but it currently starts at less than $135 at RockAuto. All the multi-function switches for the 2000 Jeep Wrangler are currently less than $40. Just be sure to “gently” remove that old, malfunctioning Jeep switch!

Tom Taylor

Greg and Becky's 1967 Datsun
Greg and Becky's 1967 Datsun 
This is Alice, our 1967 Datsun 411 SSS Wagon. Alice was purchased in April 2009 as an original but tired California car. While she ran and drove, she was in need of a full restoration. As a rare SSS model, this was the "hot rod" of the Datsun lineup for 1967 and included additional features not present on other models. This became the first restoration that my wife and I worked on together, and she actually did quite a bit of the wrenching on it.

The SSS engine (an R16) got the stroker treatment, with a 2-liter crank and rods and a .020 overbore. Extensive restoration of the suspension, braking system, interior and body resulted in a car that's comfortable to drive and performs well. So far, the 411 has earned several awards at the JCCS show in Long Beach and has been featured in Nostalgic Hero Magazine, as well as Hagerty Classic Car Magazine. Wherever Alice goes, she's sure to make people smile.

Thanks to RockAuto for the belts, hoses, wheel seals and bearings, brake and clutch master cylinders, water pump, radiator cap, spark plugs, ignition cap and rotor, shocks and more.

Greg and Becky in Arizona

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 did the Subaru name and the Subaru logo originally represent?

Answer: A. The six stars in the Taurus constellation that are visible to the naked eye.  (The cluster of stars known as Subaru in Japan is called Pleiades in the West and Mao in China.)
B. A conglomerate business and the six original divisions of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.
C. A flock of cranes, the Japanese symbol for tranquility.

Subaru logo

Back up to trivia question


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