RockAuto December Newsletter :: Early Edition

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Another Happy Customer!

Simply a great company!

I've been a customer for years. Always great prices, always great service. Returns, never a problem. Wish there were more Internet companies as good as RockAuto.

Charles in South Carolina


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

1st Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Car Show
Cochran, GA

Toys for Tots Car Show
Ridgecrest, CA

Delta Miata Club in Northern California
Discovery Bay, CA

Tilted Kilt Anniversary/Christmas Car Show
Orlando, FL

7th Annual Free Car Show
Dunn, NC

RockAuto's Tom Taylor Speaks On MotorWeek's Goss' Garage!




Forum of the Month


This-Old-Jeep is a jeep enthusiast and fan's site dedicated to all non-current models regardless of what it is that we are looking to get out of them. It’s for all the lovers of rusty, shiny, stock, modified, show queens, daily drivers, rust buckets or museum pieces, just as long as it's an old Jeep. From history, technical info, and restoration to just plain curiosity, if it's an old Jeep, this is the place to be.

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


As a teenager, my interest in cars started early, but doing maintenance and repair was rather difficult, since I lived in Manhattan, New York. With no garage and alternate side of the street parking, even washing a car was a chore, since my family lived in a fourth floor apartment. This was about 1970, and a friend had just returned from California with a nice, big white 1958 Cadillac Sedan, with a powerful V8, which had plenty of passing power. He loved showing off its power and soon broke a connecting rod. Surprisingly, the motor still worked, but barely limped along.

He soon found a used motor and a street that had no parking restrictions, and asked me if I would give him a hand in swapping the motor. Easy job, he said, lots of room to turn wrenches, and he had all the tools from another friend. I jumped at the opportunity to help and learn, and on a hot July Saturday we started. Out came the original motor, and by late afternoon, the used motor was in. Covered to my shoulders with black grease and sweating quite a bit, we hooked up the battery and hit the starter. But the V8 would not turn over. The tool guy suggested pulling a plug to see what's up. As my friend removed the plug, out gushed rusty water, and our hopes for a running car went down the street curb, along with the oily water. The junk yard motor had never been properly protected against rain.

The department of sanitation picked up the abandoned Caddy a few weeks later. The grease on my arms had finally washed off, and we learned a lot from that experience. Never assume! Diagnose and test. It saves much work and money.

Vladimir in New York


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!



Automotive Trivia

Automotive Trivia

Why do 2.8L 4 cylinder and 3.5L 5 cylinder powered Chevrolet Colorado pickups never need a new EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve?

A. Manufacturer, ACDelco used technology and finished components transferred from NASA Johnson Space Center. The EGR valves are "fail safe reversible" which means any valve interruption in one directional path enables valve operation in the opposite path.

B. Variable valve timing (VVT) on the engines' exhaust valves achieves the equivalent of exhaust gas recirculation. Neither engine has an EGR valve.

C. The Chevrolet Colorado with these engines has almost no emissions equipment and is labeled "Off Road Use Only" (decal on right A-pillar inside door jamb).


Answer below



Where is the Oil Filter?


Oil filter cartridge and O-ring

Oil filter cap socket wrench

Oil filter cartridge with filter cap attached

Replacement oil filter cover


“Where is the oil filter?” asked the man next to me at the car show as we gazed under the hood of a new Chrysler. There it was right on top of the engine but hidden under a black plastic oil filter cover. That Chrysler 3.6L V6 and many other new engines displayed at the show use a disposable oil filter cartridge installed inside a permanent housing rather than a conventional completely disposable, metal-housed oil filter. The disposable oil filter cartridge is one of those new, green automotive features that are really not new at all. Just open the hood of a 50 year old GM vehicle to find an oil filter cartridge.

Here are some slightly edited tips from filter manufacturer Fram for changing modern oil filter cartridges.

  • If the oil filter housing is located above the oil pan, then take out the filter cartridge before draining the oil pan. Once the cartridge is removed any dirty oil retained in the housing will drain to the oil pan.
  • Replace the O ring on the oil filter cover and lubricate it with new oil. Many replacement oil filter cartridges include a new O ring.
  • Do not use the adjustable strap type oil filter wrench you use on conventional metal oil filters. The plastic oil filter cover is more likely to last if you use a Filter Socket type wrench that securely fits the oil filter cover. Under “Extras” RockAuto carries oil filter socket wrenches, adjustable filter socket wrenches and sets of filter socket wrenches.
  • Watch how the old filter cartridge comes out of the housing. Some oil filter cartridges snap into the oil filter cover, some have a tube that needs to fit into a hole, etc.
  • Some replacement oil filter cartridges are permanently mounted into a disposable oil filter cover. But do not throw away the vehicle’s original oil filter cover because you may need it the next time you or your mechanic replaces the oil filter cartridge with a different brand or part number filter. RockAuto does have replacement oil filter covers for some engines if yours is lost or broken.

In any newer car it is especially wise to use the weight and type of oil recommended by the engine manufacturer. Sometimes it might be tempting to dismiss the need for a certain weight (5W20, etc.) or expensive synthetic oil and just use some of that 10W30 that works great in your 25 year old truck, but that is a bad idea. New engines not only have tighter tolerances, longer oil replacement intervals, etc, but the oil might also be doing hydraulic duties it never needed to do in older vehicles.

Engines with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and/or cylinder deactivation might have solenoids and valves that use motor oil like hydraulic fluid. Using the wrong motor oil might clog or otherwise disable those VVT parts. For example, RockAuto sells new Dorman Variable Timing Solenoids for GM’s “Atlas” 4, 5 and 6 cylinder engines with VVT. The solenoid fails when “sludge buildup on screens and orifices hinders oil flow, resulting in drivability issues.” Using the wrong weight oil, mixing weights or not changing the oil frequently enough for driving conditions can contribute to the creation of that sludge.

Dorman Variable Timing Solenoid

Tom Taylor,



Sean's 1972 Lincoln Continental
Sean's 1972 Lincoln Continental

This is my 1972 Lincoln Continental. It was originally from Montana, but now resides in Canada.

At RockAuto I was able to get a distributor, master cylinder, shocks, brake and front end parts. Plus some specific items that I could find no where else such as a fuel vapor emissions hose, a blower relay, an air cleaner vacuum motor, and an oil pressure sensor.

Thanks to RockAuto I can cruise all summer long knowing my car is safe and reliable.

Sean in Canada

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, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please e-mail with your vehicle's history, interesting details, 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

Why do 2.8L 4 cylinder and 3.5L 5 cylinder powered Chevrolet Colorado pickups never need a new EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve?

Answer: B. Variable valve timing (VVT) on the engines' exhaust valves achieves the equivalent of exhaust gas recirculation. Neither engine has an EGR valve.

Back up to trivia question



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