RockAuto.com January Newsletter
Early Edition

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Another Happy Customer!

I've compared numerous online parts suppliers and RockAuto.com has no competition!

The parts search is intuitive and the best of all online sites I have visited.

Solo 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

Bobs Big Boy 4th Annual Winter Rod Run
1/29/2012
Corona, CA
e-mail


A New Year’s Resolution

RockAuto More Information Page

Here at RockAuto we have made our New Year’s resolutions. Have you? Why not make a resolution to keep your car running the best it can, while keeping money in your wallet. With RockAuto’s everyday low prices, wide variety of parts, and informative catalog, this should be no problem at all.

The standing resolution to improve the RockAuto catalog has led us to add manufacturer videos to the More Information pages (the More Info button button next to the part number), when available. The videos explain features & benefits to help you choose the right part for your vehicle or demonstrate installation of the part.

Examples of More Information pages with manufacturer videos:

Clicking on the More Info button More Info button next to a part number also reveals information about the specific part such as:

  • Part images
  • Part details including specifications, features and benefits
  • Warranty information
  • Definitions (i.e. LH/LT = left hand/driver side)
  • Diagrams and cutaway views
  • Tech bulletins
  • Tech tips
  • Video clips

RockAuto wishes you a happy New Year and looks forward to being your auto parts supplier in 2012!

 

 

New RockAuto T-Shirts

Go to the RockAuto catalog

It’s a New Year and there is no better time than the present to update your RockAuto apparel.

New for 2012 – RockAuto Black T-shirts.
As much as we all love our classic white RockAuto "Do It Yourself" t-shirt...it is white after all. So while changing your oil, rolling around underneath your vehicle, or polishing your wheels...it got dirty fast. Due to popular demand, we have introduced a black t-shirt with a cool, vintage RockAuto logo.

New RockAuto Black T-Shirts

Still Available – RockAuto hats, White T-shirts (long-sleeved and short-sleeved) & Lanyards.

While you are updating your own look don’t forget to accessorize your car, truck, motorcycle, or boat with a RockAuto window or bumper decal!

 

 

Forum of the Month

The American Auto Club International

The American Auto Club International is an organisation based in the United Kingdom for owners of American vehicles. Members range as far away as the Carolinas and California as well as Canada. The majority though, reside in the UK. With a vibrant website and friendly forum, you can be assured you will be made welcome.

The AACI offers many membership benefits, including the UK’s only full color club magazine, “Torque”, issued quarterly. It offers advice and technical help through the website and via e-mail to members. With contacts worldwide, if the AACI doesn't know the answer to your problem, the chances are that they know someone who does! A range of AACI merchandise is available, designed to be smart, distinctive, and above all in this day and age, affordable.

The AACI also provides vehicle valuations for registration purposes and assistance with vehicle dating.

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!

I live way out in the sticks, five miles up a gravel road at just over three thousand feet in Northern California. It was late afternoon when I went to visit a friend just down the road. I stayed until after dark, then jumped into my 1990 Bronco II, started her up and pulled on the light switch. Nothing happened. I cycled the switch and still nothing. I pushed the lever for high beams, perfect, pulled for low beams, nothing. OH great, another little project that I really didn’t need right at that time. I drove home with the high beams on.

The next morning, I broke out the tools and went to work. I did not want to do what I was going to do, so I had to slow myself down, go step by step and see if I could actually get some enjoyment out of this. I pulled the steering wheel apart, then pulled it off with a puller; removed parts of the steering column cover and another piece down low. Next I removed the combination switch, the culprit; it had to be this as I was getting power to the right places. I expected to see some broken or burned parts when I pulled it apart, but it looked perfect inside. I had been in these situations before and thought that maybe the part just wanted a little attention for its trouble all these years and when I put it back together it would work for another decade or so. I really had it apart too, every tiny piece of plastic and contact and spring. I had really gotten myself into something here. I, very carefully and slowly, I might add, put it lovingly back together - reinstalled it along with all the other parts and steering wheel.

Now the big test. I pulled the light switch, stepped to the front of the car and...no low beams. All that work for nothing! What else could it be? No, it couldn’t, not both bulbs at the same time, No!!!! Well, guess what, I bought two new bulbs, installed them, and Bob was my uncle, I had low beams!

A note to other morons out there who have done something like this: “You Are Not Alone”.

Spark 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 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 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

In the 1950s, why was "Nash seats" a double entendre?

A. The Nash Golden Airflyte line of big cars introduced in 1952 had front seats that reclined flat and coupled with the backseat turned the interior into a large bed. Nash dealers offered optional air mattresses and window screens.

B. The front seats from early 1950s Nash Rambler two-door sedans fit easily into 1932 to 1934 Ford Model B hot rods. "Nash seats" meant a nice street racer.

C. Nash built first class seats for Pan American Airways planes from 1949 to 1956. "Nash seats" was equivalent to first class, sparing no expense or pretentious.

Answer below

 

 

Complicated Rituals & Scan Tools

RockAuto

Typical TPMS sensor

TPMS Sensor with replaceable valve

Replacement valve for above sensor

Tire-pressure-monitoring-systems (TPMS) have been required on new cars and light trucks in the US since 2008 and are mandatory in Europe beginning this year. The introduction of TPMS has been somewhat awkward with sensors and software not only differing between car brands (Chrysler, Toyota, etc.) but also sometimes between car models of the same brand. Here are tips for understanding TPMS.

How TPMS Works: Most systems use sensors mounted at the base of the wheels’ valve stems. The sensor sends tire pressure and temperature data to the car’s computer via radio frequency signals. The sensor or separate “initiators” near the wheels tell the computer(s) which wheel the signal is coming from. Most sensors simply mount with a nut and screw. Some systems hold the sensors to the wheel with bands similar to giant hose clamps.

If tire pressure is too low then the computer activates a warning light on the vehicle’s dash. “Too low” is typically defined as tire pressure that is 25% low. Tires under-inflated by less than 25% adversely impact handling, braking, tire wear and gas mileage. Car owners still need to regularly use a tire pressure gauge to check tire air pressure rather than ignoring the tires until the TPMS warning light comes on.

TPMS Repair: TPMS sensor batteries usually go dead after five to seven years and then the entire sensor must be replaced. Sensors might need to be replaced sooner in areas with salt on the roads. Nickel-plated rather than brass valve cores are best at resisting corrosion. On some cars just the corroded sensor valve can be replaced rather than the entire sensor.

The shoe on tire mounting/dismounting tools can damage sensors if it is inserted at the valve stem. In some harsh environments the sensor’s rubber seal can degrade and start leaking air. Car owners should just expect the sensors to need to be completely replaced during their vehicle’s second or third tire change. The sensors are usually easy to install on the wheel, but it is not a job for most do-it-yourselfers since the sensor is on the wheel inside the tire. Tire mounting/dismounting and balancing tools are needed. After the new sensors and wheels are installed, the car’s software must go through a “relearn” procedure to recognize the new sensors. With some cars that relearn procedure is as simple as getting in the car and going for a drive and other cars require more complicated rituals and scan tools.

TPMS Parts and Tools: Complete TPMS sensors and TPMS valves by Airtex/Wells, Dorman, Motorcraft, Standard, etc. are listed under “Wheel/Tire” in the RockAuto catalog. The “More Info” button often leads to part photos, installation videos and a link to the vehicle’s “TPMS Relearn Procedures.” RockAuto has hand tools and electronic tools (under “Extras”) by Dorman and K-Tool for applying the correct torque to TPMS sensor mounting screws and running through the software “relearning” procedures.

Even if a shop installs the sensors for you, it is a good idea to research your specific vehicle’s TPMS using RockAuto, the repair manual, and owners manual so you have a feel for how involved or simple the installation and “relearn” procedure is. New TPMS sensors can easily add $200+ to the cost of that second or third tire change.

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

 

 

Nick's 1993 Explorer Sport
Nick's 1993 Explorer Sport

Southern California resident Nick G sought to build a vehicle suited for any adventure in the greater Los Angeles area. In one of the few places in the world where you can surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon, Nick set out to build a vehicle that could deal with the climatic extremes of his “Urban Adventures”. He started out with a 1993 Explorer Sport in December 2010 and, since then, the car has undergone a complete transformation with help from RockAuto.com.

“The Explorer was in serious need of TLC when I bought it; the power window on the passenger side didn’t work, the air filter box was destroyed, the automatic 4x4 locking hubs didn’t work and the mileage was awful.” The simplicity of 4wd and a 5-speed manual was the sort of package Nick was after. “I’m into outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, cycling and surfing, and I wanted to fix up a vehicle that would be perfect for all of that.” With faded paint, a trashed interior and other issues, sure, it was a clunker the day he bought it, but the Explorer didn’t stay that way for long.

“I got my Explorer back into adventure-ready condition by ordering my window motors, all-new OEM Motorcraft shocks, Moog upper and lower ball joints, spark plugs and wires, and a Fram AirHog drop-in high-performance air filter, all from RockAuto.com. I couldn’t have built it without RockAuto’s selection of quality, brand-name replacement parts at prices better than the auto parts stores.”

Since transforming this Explorer from a barely-functional beater into a comfortable cruiser, Nick’s taken it virtually everywhere. It’s seen several off-road trails, numerous trips to the snow-packed ski areas along the Sierra Nevadas, the extreme heat of the desert and the mountain-hugging Cleghorn trail - conquering all of it. Sporting a new coat of paint, wheels, tires, upgrades to the ignition system, and lighting, Nick's Explorer is ready for just about any kind of adventure. And with parts from rockauto.com to keep it running efficiently, it does it all while delivering maximum fuel economy.

 

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

In the 1950s, why was "Nash seats" a double entendre?

Answer: A The Nash Golden Airflyte line of big cars introduced in 1952 had front seats that reclined flat and coupled with the backseat turned the interior into a large bed. Nash dealers offered optional air mattresses and window screens.

Mechanix Illustrated Magazine Nash Ad from 1953

Back up to trivia question

 

 

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