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Another Happy Customer!

RockAuto has consistently had the parts I need, at the best prices available. Ordering is easy, processing is quick, customer service is great.

This is what internet shopping is all about!

Gary in California

 

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

Motorcycle Show at Jacob Javits
1/20/2012
New York, NY
e-mail

Copper Basin Classic Car Show
1/21/2012
Florence, AZ
e-mail

12th Annual Historic Street Fair, Car & Bike Show
1/21/2012
Casa Grande, AZ
e-mail

Custom Rides Car Show & Expo
1/21/2012
Mokena, IL
e-mail

Budd's Creek Motorcross Park
1/21/2012
Charles City, VA
e-mail

Car Show
1/22/2012
North Palm Beach, FL
e-mail

Car Rendezvous
1/22/2012
Albany, CA
e-mail

Gifts for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Gifts for the Do-It-Yourselfer

We at RockAuto would first like to wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. RockAuto would like to thank you for being a customer of ours and letting us be your auto parts supplier!

If you are still in need of a last minute gift for the do-it-yourselfer we’ve got some ideas for you!

A gift certificate will never go out of style.

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


HAYNES Part # 10430 Reference Manual

Automotive Reference Manual & Dictionary to help both the professional and do-it-yourselfer decode, understand, and enjoy the automotive world and its complex terms. Including chapters on translating terms from Spanish to English and British-to-American English.
Haynes Automotive Reference Manual & Dictionary


K TOOL Part # 73202 Fender Cover

Keep fenders free from scratches while hard at work.
K Tool Fender Cover


LISLE Part # 40400 Memory Saver with Light

Saves memory settings from under the hood.
Lisle Memory Saver

 

 

Forum of the Month

Mopar1973Man.Com

Mopar1973Man.Com is a web site where Dodge Ram Truck owners with Cummins Turbo Diesels come to learn more about their trucks. We talk about a different type of performance, milestones and MPG. We have members with over 500K miles and one that has 1 million miles. The site has many write-ups, articles, and a lot of other “self-help” videos that take you through your most common repairs & diagnostics on your truck. Some of the videos are done by myself and then expanded on by the members as they share their experiences.

If you’ve got a diesel, want help with a problem, or are looking for other diesel fanatics to connect with – visit Mopar1973Man.Com – we welcome you to the garage!

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!

A couple of years ago my 1999 Toyota Corolla started having problems with its cold start. I would try to strategically use our tandem parking spots to allow for a jump-start from my Subaru in the event that I needed a morning boost. Just at the point where the jump starts were becoming regular enough to reach my tolerance level, one day I found that the car needed a jump, but the car was parked at the front of the driveway facing away from the other car. I tried muscling the car up the gentle grade of the driveway so I could jump the car in the street, but the driveway was too iced over for my shoes to get any traction.

I had my wife get in the car to steer the car while I pushed. Still not enough traction. In my brilliant moment, I decided to push the car bumper-to-bumper out of the driveway with the Subaru to jump start it out in the street. As I rev'd up the Subaru, the Corolla seemed to resist the entire way. Only when it refused to roll down from the crest of the slope did I realize that the car had been in Park the whole time I was pushing. The intense contact between license plate screws and soft plastic left quite a few scars on the rear bumper of the stubborn (parked) car.

The requisite repair was as simple as replacing the battery connector, which had become brittle and cracked from repeated contraction/expansion from the bitterly cold nights and warm engine, thus not providing tight contact with the terminal. A $3 part and irrational desperation to get to work on a frigid morning added up to some very ugly body damage.

Joseph in Massachusetts

 

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 flamur@rockauto.com. 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

What is the optimum operating temperature range for the core nose at the firing end of a typical spark plug?

A. 662 to 1562 deg. F (350 to 850 deg. C)
B. 248 to 752 deg. F (120 to 400 deg. C)
C. 1200 to 2750 deg. F (650 to 1510 deg. C)

Answer below

 

 

Spark Plugs & Fine Watches

RockAuto

I was flipping through a business magazine recently and was surprised at the number of ads for premium wristwatches. I have never thought that much about watches. I receive them as gifts and try not to crush them when I work on cars.

Auto enthusiasts may or may not know much about their watches, but they should know how to talk spark plugs. Spark plugs and fine watches share vocabulary such as titanium, platinum and iridium. Here is a rundown on spark plug terminology that might help you pick the right plug for your car and help you make conversation at the next social function. “You have a platinum wristband on your timepiece? Cool! I just put double platinum plugs in my truck!”

The classic spark plug design has a copper center electrode surrounded by nickel alloy. The spark travels between the center electrode and the bent piece of steel called the ground electrode. Decades ago resistor plugs were introduced with a resistor in the metal core to prevent voltage surges that cause radio frequency interference (RFI). Resistor plugs usually had an “R” in their part number. The “R” has now nearly disappeared because almost all plugs and ignition systems for late model cars include RFI protection.

A “hot” plug has a ceramic insulator designed to retain heat and keep the center electrode hotter. Hotter electrodes may be less likely to foul with contaminates like oil and carbon, but if they are too hot then contaminates might melt rather than burning off or the gasoline in the cylinder might ignite too soon causing engine knock. Guessing which hotter plug might make a car run better is iffy with antique cars and a bad idea with modern engines. Spark plugs for newer engines usually have a projected core nose that extends beyond the threaded metal base (see photos). The exposed insulator and electrode makes the plug warm up faster and run hotter at low engine speeds but lets the gasoline and air mixture keep the plug from overheating at high engine speeds.

NGK 3212 {#B6L} Copper spark plug for a 1950 Ford     NGK 7159 {#TR551GP} Platinum, projected core nose, modern spark plug

Traditional copper plugs work well. The electrodes wear away relatively quickly, but that might not matter if the spark plugs are replaced every 30,000 miles or so. Longer lasting plugs were needed when transverse mounted V6 engines became common. The spark plugs on the firewall side of a V6 can be hard to reach. Another push for longer lasting plugs came from distributorless ignition designs that fire the spark plug on the piston’s exhaust stroke. This wasted spark means the plug fires twice as often and might last half as long.

Platinum spark plugs came to the rescue and let car manufacturers advertise 100,000-mile spark plug replacement intervals. A platinum plug can last that long but might be fused to the engine. Periodically removing, inspecting and putting an anti-seize compound on the threads of spark plugs is still a good idea. The platinum plug has a tiny bit of platinum alloy on the tip of the center electrode. The hard, corrosion resistant platinum makes the electrode and the gap between the electrodes last longer.

Platinum plugs breathed new life into the business of spark plugs. Platinum plugs not only lasted longer, but their spark sometimes made cars start easier and run more consistently. Old cars benefited from platinum plugs. I have nothing but good things to say about the platinum plugs I have installed in my old cars.

The push for longer life and better performance led to a spark plugs arms race between ACDelco, Autolite, Bosch, Champion, Denso, NGK, and other plug manufacturers. Longer life meant using more platinum or even more exotic metals. “Double platinum” plugs have platinum on both the center and ground electrodes. The iridium on “iridium spark plug” electrodes is six times stronger and has a higher melting point than platinum. Only the spark plug manufacturers know the secrets behind some of their metallurgy. The Denso Twin-Tip plug has “titanium enhanced alloy on the ground electrode.” Titanium is strong, extremely corrosion resistant and light. The Bosch Platinum IR Fusion has an “iridium and platinum center electrode” and “yttrium enhanced ground electrodes.” Yttrium strengthens metal alloys and is used in super conductors.

The quest for plugs that can claim a stronger, faster, hotter, etc. spark is equally interesting. One technique is to add additional ground electrodes. The Bosch IR Fusion has four. Another idea is to change the shape of the surface of the electrodes into a U, a V, a sharp point, etc. NGK Iridium plugs have a fine wire tip that “opens up the area for flame expansion by reducing the mass of the electrodes.”

Late model car engines often have an ignition coil on every spark plug and an engine computer programmed to expect the spark plug to fire only when a specific voltage has been applied to it. The computer also expects the spark flame to be in a certain heat range with a specific duration. A spark plug that fires at lower or higher voltage than what the engine computer expects might not always enhance performance. Multiple electrodes, energy storing capacitors and other modifications should really be designed specifically for your engine by a plug manufacturer you trust.

It is good news that car manufacturers and owners now have so many great spark plug choices. For many engines, great platinum plugs are now sometimes only around $1 more than good copper plugs. RockAuto currently has Wholesaler Closeout Bosch Platinum spark plugs for my ‘79 Chrysler for $0.70! The longest lasting plugs with iridium and other exotic metals on their electrodes might be a good choice for the hardest working or difficult to access spark plugs.

I bet even the fanciest wristwatches don’t yet have yttrium enhanced ground electrodes!

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

 

 

Bill's 1987 Chevrolet El Camino
Bill's 1987 Chevrolet El Camino

This is my 1987 Chevy El Camino, the final production year of GM's unique car/truck hybrid. I bought it back in 1993 and have driven it 500 to 5,000 miles yearly, depending on my mood. Keeping the original paint in an acceptable condition has been a challenge to my abilities, but keeping it it top mechanical shape has been much easier, thanks to RockAuto. I've purchased steering linkage, suspension parts, brake parts, electrical components and engine parts. I'm most impressed with the wide choices of brands available at RockAuto, including the ACDelco line, which were likely the parts installed on my Camino when it was originally built. Rock is also the primary supplier for the daily drivers I maintain for family use. Pricing is always aggressive and shipping is fast.

Keep up the good work!

Bill in Pennsylvania

 

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, 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

What is the optimum operating temperature range for the core nose at the firing end of a typical spark plug?

Answer: A. 662 to 1562 deg. F (350 to 850 deg. C) Deposits accumulate at lower temperatures and electrode erosion and pre-ignition / knock occur at higher temperatures.

Back up to trivia question

 

 

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