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Another Happy Customer!

I'm a 58 year old ex-mechanic who still tinkers with my own "fleet" of four cars and two motorcycles. I also do an occasional side job for friends. I ALWAYS buy my parts from RockAuto because in all the eight or nine years I've been buying from them, I've never had a problem...

Doug in New Jersey

First Line – The European All Makes Specialist

See what we have from First Line

RockAuto is continually seeking out new parts to better serve customers worldwide. RockAuto is pleased to offer First Line, an international supplier of premium quality automotive components. First Line has almost 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and manufactures their parts to match Original Equipment quality. The First Line parts are designed in the UK for European market vehicles including many Japanese and Korean brand cars.

First Line - The European All Makes Specialist

You will find First Line under several categories of the RockAuto catalog: Brake/Wheel Hub, Transmission-Manual, Cooling System, Suspension, Steering, etc. Whether you need a 3-in-1 Clutch kit for your Daewoo Kalos, a Ball Joint for your Volkswagen Beetle, or a Wheel Bearing for your Audi A6, RockAuto has you covered.

 

 

Gifts for the Do-It-Yourselfer

RockAuto Gift Certificate

From all of us at RockAuto we would like to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. 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 shock absorbers or rotors; restoration parts like a tail lamp assembly or new carpet; or fun parts like a trailer hitch or floor mats.

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.

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

Beretta.net

Beretta.net has been serving Chevrolet Beretta and Corsica enthusiasts since 1996. Although our online forum did not arrive until 2001, some early email lists, chat rooms, and our general website preceded it. We have a diverse and active membership dedicated to preserving, restoring, and modifying GM L-bodies. Beretta.net is an international club with members hailing from the US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The forum members have cars ranging from pristine 30,000 original mile show cars, to modified FWD drag race cars (capable of 12 to 13 seconds in a 1/4 mile), SCCA Solo II and RallyCross prepared cars, and daily drivers (some with 250,000-300,000+ miles).

While cars in general, and the GM L-body in particular, have brought us together, it is the members who set us apart from many other forums. Our members are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and most of all amiable and caring. Many of our members will go out of their way to help out another member in need. A few have even crossed state and country lines to assist in person.

Each year builds toward our annual club gathering in June called BerettaFest. This gathering is where current and past members with or without their L-body come together to hang out and have some fun. If you like to talk cars, and make a few friends along the way, come to BerettaFest, or at least check us out at Beretta.net. We won't even get mad at you for calling our cars a Cavalier...just once!


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!

While I was working as the service manager at a southern California Honda dealership, a long time customer complained of a rattling sound that seemed to be coming from the dashboard or dash vent area in his Honda Accord. We went for a test drive and sure enough, at around 50-65 mph, the noise made itself known. Above or below that speed, no noise at all.

Every time the car was in for service, thinking something HAD to be loose, techs would snug down everything possible under the dash, the HVAC assembly, vents, hoses, brackets, steering column, and so on. But the noise was still there.

Eventually five technicians had worked with it. Several of us brainstormed and decided to simply insulate EVERYTHING from the firewall on back using foam tape between every single joint and connection. We were convinced that this was overkill but now NOTHING could possibly be loose enough to rattle. We went for a test drive.

The rattling noise was STILL there!!!

After returning from the test drive, one of the techs asked "Did we get it?” I replied, “No, darnit!” Then one of the guys in exasperation firmly planted one of his boots on the bumper and there it was, the elusive rattle. I told him “Do that again.” “What?” he said. I asked him to slam his foot on the bumper again. Sure enough, that re-created the rattle.

The source? You know those cast aluminum novelty license plate surrounds, the ones with a sports team name or a silly saying? The customer had one for our local football team attached by two 1/4” x 20 bolts with nylock nuts. Turns out that ONE of the screws was about 1/4th of a turn from being fully snugged down. Apparently the road speed aerodynamics or maybe a slight tire imbalance created a resonant frequency causing the bracket to flutter with the rattling noise transferring through the body structure and exiting through the HVAC vents. Next service, the customer said this is now the quietest car he’s ever driven. I should hope so!

Dan in California

 

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 email your story to flamur@rockauto.com. 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

The now ubiquitous MacPherson strut suspension debuted in the late 1940's on a French Ford car called the Vedette. Why did this suspension design bear the name "MacPherson?"

A. Dr. Stanford MacPherson originally designed this suspension in the 1930s for the landing gear on the British "Wellington" bomber.

B. Engineer Earle MacPherson designed this suspension for Chevrolet in the 1930s, but GM did not use it. MacPherson took his design with him when he moved to Ford in the 1940s. He was Ford's chief engineer for most of the 1950s.

C. British engineers working on the Ford Vedette project thought the suspension design resembled the ship's mast pictured on the Scottish Clan MacPherson coat of arms.

Monroe Quick Strut

Answer below

 

 

A Son's First Car

RockAuto

I just bought my son a 24 year old Lincoln Mark VII! Yes, I am a car nut that views my children as little excuses to buy more cars. Maybe I could have waited until he started drivers education classes in a few months. I may be a bit off my rocker when it comes to cars, but just below the madness, there is still a fairly well thought out parenting plan that I actually learned from my parents. They bought me a 1977 Dodge Monaco when I was fifteen. They paid for the car but from then on it was my responsibility. That Dodge helped mold me into the man I am today! Below are the benefits of the Taylor family, car-intensive parenting program.

Shopping for a good used car is a valuable skill to have. My son learned how to hunt for less popular, less expensive but still fun old car models often owned by the original owners. Mustangs often cost more than Lincolns of similar age. Camaros usually cost more than old Cadillacs. Luxury cars do sometimes have more complex and expensive parts to break. The Mark VII has an air suspension, automatic climate control and a long row of buttons on the dash. Before we started to car shop, we checked the RockAuto Repair Index to confirm that for essential systems, the 1990 Mark VII and 1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 have similar parts costs.

My son found out why it is as important to study the car’s owner as it is to inspect the car or research its history online. We met the widow that decided to finally part with her husband’s Mark VII. She handed us the pile of receipts demonstrating how she had kept the car maintained for the twelve years following his death. We saw in her eyes that she was happy to have found a good home for a family car. Meeting the owner can mean less worry about used car shopping pitfalls like rolled-back odometers, flood damage, and past abuse.

My son saw the inspection checklist I brought along to ensure we checked every system and section of the car. He has heard many times about the car infested with mice that I once bought when I neglected to bring a checklist and simply fell in love at first sight.

My son will now learn about the responsibilities of owning a car that should help him better manage his own family and business finances in the future. He will start by going through the car’s maintenance records and writing a new maintenance plan. Like any customer, he can create a RockAuto account to use past part orders to help him remember when he replaced filters, hoses, belts and all the other Lincoln parts he will need over the years. Especially for a teenager, the car's other expenses may be more significant than the cost of parts. If he wants to drive his car, then he will need to spend his savings or get a job and create a budget to pay for gasoline, insurance, license plates, etc.

I look forward to helping him learn how to maintain and repair the car. Understanding his car will make him a confident owner rather than an anxious one. Driving old cars will let him save money he can use to pay for other aspects of his life. If someday he decides to buy a new car, then it will be because he wants a new car, not because he is afraid to drive an old one.

A car brings responsibilities but it also brings freedom. After learning about the Lincoln, one of his friends said, “What! A car! Your parents didn’t even get you a phone.” We actually did give him a telephone that plugs into a socket in the wall of his room, but it is true he does not have one of the mobile devices that I have read equals freedom for today’s kids. I hope my son can discover that the freedom of driving a Lincoln Mark VII down a country road with the windows open on a warm summer night is different than the freedom of communicating with friends via a tiny smart phone screen.

Perhaps most importantly, my son learned how to frame a used car purchase so it appears almost logical to a skeptical parent or spouse. The Lincoln Mark VII does not have an awesome 5.0 “Mustang Motor.” It has the same reliable, relatively fuel efficient Ford 302 that has served in numerous family vehicles. Simply handing my son the keys to my wife’s tiny, tired 1987 Mazda 323 is not a good idea because our only son should be protected by a Lincoln’s sturdy mass. In fact the Lincoln has safety features like an air bag and anti-lock, disk brakes not found on any of the other vehicles in our fleet! The Mark VII even has a decent sized trunk and can comfortably haul our entire family if necessary. Just a good, reliable, practical car purchased from an 83-year-old woman. Mom, we can’t help it that good used cars sometimes come with frivolous features like a moon roof!

I just bought my son a 24 year old Lincoln Mark VII!

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

 

 

Jeff's 1976 Ford LTD
Jeff's 1976 Ford LTD

I am the 2nd owner of this well cared for 1976 Ford LTD, which my girlfriend Sally, stumbled upon. Sally knew I would love to own it because I had owned a 1973 LTD many years ago. The original owner of this LTD passed away and her son was left to the task of finding a good home for the car. The LTD had sat in a dry garage for eight years without even turning a tire a full revolution. They were brand new tires, which had developed flat spots from sitting...with the odometer still showing 49,000 miles! After a little fuel was added to the tank and a short test drive around the block, I had to have it! The deal was struck and I drove the car home. It ran pretty rough, but it made it.

The garage at my townhouse is not long enough to fit such a large car, much less open a door to get out of it! Sally graciously offered her garage to store it. So after making a short list of parts the LTD immediately needed (distributor, carburetor rebuild kit, and a heater core) I checked out RockAuto for the first time and have been hooked ever since. I now buy parts for my three other cars at RockAuto! I recruited my friend Paul to remove a stubborn frozen distributor, and rebuild the carburetor. The LTD now has 59,000 miles on it and has been a blast from the past for me and Sally to cruise in! The tires did get round again, just needed to put some miles on them.

Thanks to Sally for finding the car and for the storage, to my friend Paul for getting it running smoothly, and to RockAuto for the parts!

Jeff in Minnesota

 

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, 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 us an email with information about your show.

 

 

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

The now ubiquitous MacPherson strut suspension debuted in the late 1940's on a French Ford car called the Vedette. Why did this suspension design bear the name "MacPherson?"

A. Dr. Stanford MacPherson originally designed this suspension in the 1930s for the landing gear on the British "Wellington" bomber.

Answer: B. Engineer Earle MacPherson designed this suspension for Chevrolet in the 1930s, but GM did not use it. MacPherson took his design with him when he moved to Ford in the 1940s. He was Ford's chief engineer for most of the 1950s.

C. British engineers working on the Ford Vedette project thought the suspension design resembled the ship's mast pictured on the Scottish Clan MacPherson coat of arms.

Monroe Quick Strut

Back up to trivia question

 

 

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