RockAuto January Newsletter

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Another Happy Customer!

Good idea for me to go to RockAuto for my radiator! It got here in great shape and right on time when you said it would. I'm referring all my friends to you, and checking with you first on all future parts for my 1998 Saturn.

You saved me $50 this time!

Robert in Florida


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

Frank Maratta's Show of Dreams
Middletown, CT

6th Annual Cars for a Cure Auto Show
Lake Mary, FL

Motoring Thru Time
Phoenix, AZ

3rd Annual Classic Car Show Lunch
Cape Coral, FL

2nd Annual Car & Bike Show
St. Petersburg, FL

All Pontiac Indoor Swap Meet
Columbus, OH

The David Calleja Memorial Car Show
Victoria, Australia

Dr George Memorial Car Show
Palm Desert, CA

Mustangs & Muscle Cars
Mesa, AZ

2010 Super Convention & Car Show
Manteca, CA

Easy DIY Project

Hood Lift SupportLift Gate Lift Support

Have you noticed that your Lift Supports may need replacing with all the snow and ice building up on your trunk lid, hatch back, hood, etc? Did your lift gate try to close in on you when you were loading your groceries into your Minivan? Are you holding up your hood with one hand and checking the oil with the other?

Well, what are you waiting for? RockAuto carries several lines of Lift Supports including ACDelco, Monroe, Rhinopac, Sachs, StrongArm and Tuff Support.

  • Lift Supports are easy to install, which can save you money by making it a quick do-it-yourself project.
  • New Lift Supports will prevent back strains as they make it easy to raise and lower heavy hoods, rear hatches, and tailgates by hand.
  • New Lift Supports can also save you lots of unnecessary and unwanted hassle by providing consistent, smooth operation.

From Acura to Yugo, RockAuto has your Lift Support! Don’t delay, take a look in the Body-Exterior category of the RockAuto catalog and get the Lift Support you need today!



Forum of the Month is an internet based Pontiac Club for ALL Pontiacs and ALL Pontiac lovers, building “The single largest source of Pontiac information, services, and entertainment in the world.” The web site includes forums, an on-line magazine with over 600 articles, a worldwide Pontiac car registry, vintage ads, vintage test reports, and much more. Additionally, is proud to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation for the prevention of childhood cancer by matching member donations.

Join, and join the growing group of Pontiac hobbyists who are working to preserve and share the rich history and heritage of these great automobiles.


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


A friend of mine visited a car wash after we had just upgraded the exhaust system on his 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T. The exhaust caught on the wheel positioning guides for the automated carwash, pushing an exhaust clamp into the gas tank and puncturing it. In a matter of a few miles he went from a full tank to barely making it up his driveway before running out of gas.

My friend had just purchased a MIG welding setup, so we decided to fix the hole by welding it shut. We removed the gas tank, filled it with water as much as possible using a garden hose, and rinsed it carefully. We couldn't fill it completely with water due to the positioning of the fuel filler neck, but figuring we were safe, we settled down on his front lawn to weld the hole shut.

As soon as he pulled the trigger on the welding torch there was a sound reminiscent of a fighter jet blasting overhead just over the treetops. I had been standing, but when the noise stopped, I was laying on my back and couldn't recall how I'd gotten there. My friend was also flat on his back, welding torch still in hand, looking stunned. His neighbors came outside and were all looking around wondering where the thunderous noise had come from.

Apparently the small space in the tank that was not full of water had sufficient fumes in it to ignite causing the explosion. The 16 gallon gas tank had emptied itself completely of water in a fraction of a second, leaving only steam wafting out the filler neck hole. It had also doubled in size, expanding like a balloon, but fortunately hadn't blown to pieces. We avoided any injury beyond the ringing in our ears and wounded pride.

Needless to say he bought a new gas tank and we never attempted to weld a gas tank again.

Matt in Washington


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 awhile!). Please email your story to Include your mailing address and shirt size (large or extra large) and we will mail you a RockAuto "Do it yourself?" t-shirt if we publish your story (see the t-shirts under Extras 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!



Icy Roads and Bent Control Arms


Control Arm, Quick-Strut, and Altima Wheel



It is the season for icy roads and bent control arms. This year there was ice in Miami! Sliding into something and hurting the car’s body is always a worry, but the wheels and suspension might actually be at the greatest risk for damage.

My nephew, a junior in high school, slid his ’95 Nissan Altima into a curb. Bumping a curb did not seem like a big deal until he tried to drive home. He was relieved to see the wheel was not damaged. Instead, the force of the impact was transferred to the suspension, especially the control arm. On this typical front wheel drive car, the control arm (transverse link) is the large, horizontal Y shaped part that connects steering, wheel hub, sway bar, and chassis together.

The control arm bent and the sway (stabilizer) bar link attached to the control arm broke. With my brother’s help, my nephew replaced the control arm (Dorman) and link (Beck/Arnley). The only special tool needed was a pickle fork (ball joint separator found under Extras in the catalog) to separate the ball joint on the control arm from the steering knuckle. They also had to use a cutting wheel to cut the very rusty castle nut off the ball joint.

The car still did not seem quite right when they sat it back down on the ground. They discovered the strut was also bent. That makes sense. The control arm is the horizontal connection to the wheel hub while the strut is the vertical link. To avoid disassembling the rusty and bent strut, they got a set of Monroe Quick-Struts which come pre-assembled with new bearing plates, coil springs, boots, etc.

It was mighty cold in Wisconsin, even in the garage, so they took the Nissan to a repair shop to have the Monroe struts from RockAuto installed and a front wheel alignment. After installing the struts, the shop discovered they could still not get the wheels aligned. Back home the car went. My nephew tracked down a replacement cast iron steering knuckle/spindle at a junkyard in Illinois and RockAuto delivered new wheel bearings and seals (Beck/Arnley). The car went back to the shop and the front wheels were successfully aligned.

Using low cost parts from RockAuto and doing much of the work themselves, the total labor and parts cost was still nearly $1000. That is not much less than what my nephew paid a neighbor for the car! Luckily the struts and probably the wheel bearings were worn out and in need of replacement anyway. Plus it was a great father/son bonding experience.

Ironically, my nephew should have hoped to see a bent wheel after he hit the curb. The accident would have cost much less if the wheel had been weaker and the suspension stronger. An OEM alloy Nissan Altima wheel from RockAuto would have been just $140.69 including shipping. Even a new bumper cover would have cost less than $150 including shipping.

I am not sure what the moral of this story is other than in icy weather be sure to worry as much about the chassis side of your car as you do the body side. Or maybe if my Nephew had been driving my brother’s ’77 Lincoln then it would have been the curb rather than the car that needed repairing!

Tom Taylor,



Dewey's 1950 Plymouth Business Coupe
Dewey's 1950 Plymouth Business Coupe

You guys at RockAuto help me keep my Baby rolling!

Living here in Belize, Central America, parts for a 1950 Plymouth are impossible to find. In fact, parts for anything are just about impossible to find. Most recently RockAuto has supplied me with a water pump and a fuel pump for my Plymouth.

My Business Coupe is the oldest running car in this country. I have owned it since 1993, and it is a daily driver.



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