RockAuto February Newsletter

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Another Happy Customer!

I was pleasantly surprised! The price was well below local auto parts stores for the exact same part and the delivery was much quicker than I expected. I will definitely be a repeat customer!

Greg in Utah

Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here e-mail with details.

Winterfest 2015
Attica, IN

Cruising to Clothe a Child
Union Springs, AL

Wilde Track Warriors Pontiac Car Club
Orlando, FL

Memorial Festival & Car Show
San Antonio, TX

NSRA Appreciation & Safety Day
Lampasas, TX

Autos For Autism 2015
Tarpon Springs, FL

Cruising for a Cure Relay for Life Car Show
Vidalia, LA

Mopars Unlimited of Arizona Annual All Mopars Show
Avondale, AZ

Battle for American Supremacy
Greensboro, NC

Making a Difference Benefit Car Show Swap Meet
LaGrange, GA

HESTO's Annual Classic Car Show
Mesa, AZ

Cruzin the Pines Car & Truck Show
Dublin, GA

Concours South Florida Classics Car Show/Food Trucks
Hollywood, FL

2015 Car Swap Meet
Manitowoc, WI

Antiques, Classics & Hot Rod Show
Miami, FL

36th Annual Port Stockton Motorcycle Club Gold Run
Stockton, CA

New RockAuto TV Commercial

There is a new TV commercial emphasizing part kits from RockAuto are a convenient way to save time and ensure success!

Brake, Strut, A/C Compressor, Tune-Up, Power Steering Pump, Exhaust and other kits are continuously being added to the RockAuto catalog. A kit from RockAuto might make getting all the parts you need for your next project even simpler!

Power Stop Z23 Brake Kits

See what we have from Power Stop

RockAuto now offers Power Stop’s Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Kits, which include high-performance carbon fiber/ceramic brake pads, a complete set of cross-drilled and slotted rotors, and red powder coated calipers. Custom-matched parts are engineered for specific vehicles and track tested at the Bondurant School of Performance, to maximize performance while looking great too!

Power Stop Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Pads:

  • Carbon fiber and ceramic Compound
  • High temperature threshold to resist fade during extreme driving
  • Quiet, low-dust ceramic formula
  • Shims made with dual rubber layers over constrained steel to eliminate noise
  • Premium stainless steel hardware kit included where applicable
  • High temperature ceramic lubricant included with every pad set

Power Stop Drilled & Slotted Rotors:

  • Drill holes reduce brake temperature
  • Slots sweep gas and dust away for solid pad contact
  • Silver zinc plated to resist corrosion
  • Precision machined for exact OEM fit

Power Stop Caliper Features:

  • Red powder coating resists corrosion, simplifies cleaning and looks great behind stock or custom wheels
  • 100% pressure tested to prevent leaks
  • Brand new components including bleeder screw, hardware and pins
  • High temperature EPDM rubber for extended life
  • Premium silicone lubrication for smooth operation
  • Remanufactured at Power Stop's facility in Chicago

Power Stop Performance Rotor, Pad & Caliper Kit
Instant Rebate!

Receive an instant $10 off any Front or Rear kit or $20 off any Front and Rear kit in the RockAuto shopping cart through February 28th.
Click here for more details

Power Stop's affordable kits are available at RockAuto for a wide variety of vehicles from Acuras to Fords to Volkswagens. In the RockAuto catalog under the "Brake/Wheel Hub" category, look for "Rotor and Brake Pad Kits." Z23 Evolution Sport Kits with Red Powder Coated Calipers will be at the bottom of that section under a “Performance Rotor, Pad & Caliper Kit” heading.

Forum of the Month

Chevy Cobalt Forum

Chevy Cobalt Forum is an online community devoted to the Chevy Cobalt and Cobalt owners! Here you will find discussions relating to specific Cobalt models, tech talk, detailing and so much more. It's a great place to learn new things about your Cobalt and to ask or answer questions. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.

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


The first car I ever rebuilt was a 1984 Datsun/Nissan 300ZX Turbo. I did everything to it, minus the bodywork: new shocks/struts, bushings, engine rebuild, the works. After finishing up the engine work (outside the car), it was time to mount the engine back in, finally! So, it took me and friends about an hour of shimmying and finessing to finally bolt everything back in. There was connecting the wiring harness back together, a little re-solder here, a little extension there, the exhaust all bolted up, the intake together, the ignition connected, everything done...or so we thought.

So, after connecting everything, we crossed our fingers and turned the key. The engine turned over but that was it! There were puzzled looks on all of our faces. Well, after staring at the engine for 30 minutes, a buddy's girlfriend peeked under the hood at the MAF. “Is the FLOW arrow supposed to be facing away from the engine?" she asked. We all looked at each other feeling completely stupid. I flipped the MAF and BAM, it fired up like brand new! Thank you Brittany!

Scott in Nevada

Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)

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 e-mail your story to 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

A stretch of Route 66 east of Albuquerque and just west of Tijeras, New Mexico has what unique feature?

A. Rumble strips that play the first stanza of "America the Beautiful" when driven over at 45 mph (72 kmh). 
B. Guardrails constructed of bundled used tires similar to those at many racetracks.
C. Solar roadway panels that power streetlights and a NM Dept. of Transportation weigh station.

Answer below

The Value of the Variable Valve Timing Solenoid


It suddenly dawned on me that a couple more auto parts have become ubiquitous, just like brake calipers, ball joints and cup holders!

Most cars built in the last 10+ years have one or more Variable Valve Timing Solenoids (VVTS), also known as Oil Control Valves. Mounted on the end of the camshaft(s) is a hydraulic actuator called a Timing Cam Sprocket (TCS) or Cam Phaser, that slightly rotates the camshaft based on the amount of oil pressure fed to it via the VVTS. (Most variable valve timing systems are hydraulic, but some are 100% electric.) Adjusting the camshaft angle allows the engine computer to continuously advance or retard timing. Maybe the intake valves are opened sooner to reduce emissions or opened later to maximize power.

Dorman Variable Timing Solenoid
Variable Timing Solenoid
Dorman Variable Timing Solenoid
Timing Cam Sprocket

A VVTS might happily squirt oil into the TCS for 200,000+ miles. However, as with many other hydraulic type parts on modern engines, it is very important to regularly change the engine oil. The VVTS squirts oil through small orifices that can clog up with just a little crumbled gasket material or other debris. The very tightly woven screens that cover many VVTS orifices make me think the VVTS was designed to act as an additional oil filter to protect the TCS. Replacing a TCS is relatively expensive because it often requires nearly all the labor required to remove and install a timing chain.

A VVTS fails after its oil passages become clogged, the electric solenoid stops working or oil begins leaking into the solenoid and oozing out of the electrical connector. Symptoms of a bad VVTS include check engine light ON, rough idle, loss of power and poor fuel economy.

Replacing a VVTS can be as easy as disconnecting one electrical connector and removing one screw. However, depending on the engine, the power steering pump, serpentine belt, A/C compressor or other parts might need to be moved to gain access to the VVTS. A new VVTS for the V8 in my late-model Dodge is currently less than $30 at RockAuto. The Dodge service manual lists only three steps for removing the VVTS. Unfortunately, the first step is the whopper, “Remove the intake manifold.” I am going to keep faithfully changing the oil in that engine!

See the Variable Timing Solenoids and Timing Cam Sprockets by Airtex, Dorman, Enginetech, Standard Motor Products (SMP) and other manufacturers under the “Engine” category at

Tom Taylor,

To read more of Tom's articles, click this link and choose from story titles on the Newsletter Archives page.

Doug's 1968 Ford Mustang
Doug's 1968 Ford Mustang

Hi RockAuto,

Here is the story of my Mustang:

I rescued this 1968 Mustang Fastback out of a field in 1986. It was sitting on blocks, had no drivetrain, and the owner was using the passenger compartment for storing car parts. There was also a family of mice living in it. I bought the car, dragged it home and immediately started tearing it down for a ground up rebuild. My goal was to build a Bullitt replica.

In the middle of tearing it down, I decided to go back to school. I subsequently made a career change in 1987, got married in 1988, built a house from 1989-90, and had three children from 1991-1996. Needless to say, my Mustang got lower on the priority list. I would work on the car as time and money allowed (which wasn’t too often).

Finally, in 2009 I made a commitment to getting my project on the road. It took me five years, doing all of the work myself (minus rebuilding the engine, transmission and rear end), to get this car on the road in the fall of 2014.

I consider my Mustang to be a Bullitt tribute car since it is not an exact replica. The paint is PPG Bushmaster Green, one of their custom colors. The engine is a 351W from a '74 Torino, putting out 400+ hp. It has a T45/5-speed transmission from a '98 Mustang and a limited slip 9” rear end. The interior has a few upgrades as well, including aftermarket seats with more lumbar support for my aging back. This car was built with a variety of engine, transmission and other driveline parts from RockAuto.

Thank you for providing quality parts, at a reasonable price that I am proud to use on my '68 Mustang, as well as my family’s daily drivers.

Doug in Pennsylvania

Share Your Hard Work

Do you purchase parts from RockAuto? If so, RockAuto would like to give you the opportunity to have your car or truck possibly featured in one (or occasionally more) of our publications such as the monthly newsletter, collector magnets or RockAuto social media. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please e-mail 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...RockAuto can help. We can even publicize your event in our newsletter.

Just send an e-mail to with information about your show.

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

A stretch of Route 66 east of Albuquerque and just west of Tijeras, New Mexico has what unique feature?

Answer: A. Rumble strips that play the first stanza of "America the Beautiful" when driven over at 45 mph (72 kmh). 
B. Guardrails constructed of bundled used tires similar to those at many racetracks.
C. Solar roadway panels that power streetlights and a NM Dept. of Transportation weigh station.

Back up to trivia question

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