RockAuto February Newsletter :: Early Edition

RockAuto Home

Customer Service

Newsletter Archive

E-mail Subscription

RSS Feed

Another Happy Customer!

I have priced many items for my truck. Most items through RockAuto are up to 50% less than other aftermarket retailers (not to mention 70% less than dealer) and shipping is reasonable and fast. Parts are quality and from reputable sources.

RockAuto has saved me a ton!

William in California

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

Dr. George Car Show 2014
La Quinta, CA

2nd Annual Classic Car Cruise
Lithia, FL

Wedgefield Firewise Community Annual Car Show
Orlando, FL

10th Annual Cars for the Cure
Orlando, FL

42nd Annual Auto Parts Swap Meet
Dayton, OH

North East LA Community College - Charter Event
Calmar, LA

Auto Restoration Club Car Show/Swap Meet
Sun City West, AZ

1st Annual Custom Car Show Cruise at the Creek
Sun City West, AZ

4x4 Explorers 4th Annual Crazy Bowl Fundraiser
Imperial, MO

Classic Car Show & Shine
Yuma, AZ

Day of the Duels Car Show
Daytona Beach, FL

Belt Drive Component Kits

See what we have from ACDelco

See what we have from Gates

See what we have from Goodyear

See what we have from Contitech

RockAuto offers Belt Drive Component Kits from ACDelco, Gates, Goodyear and now Contitech. Contitech belts are manufactured by the respected tire and parts manufacturer Continental AG. If you are planning on replacing a serpentine or accessory drive belt, consider replacing all the worn or squeaky parts with a convenient Belt Drive Component Kit. Kits include belts, tensioners, idler pulleys and/or whatever belt drive system parts your specific engine needs. Kits are a complete repair solution that limit the potential for uneven belt wear and future problems.

Contitech Belt Drive Component Kit for VW & Audi

RockAuto even carries kits designed to solve problems with the OE design. Did you know wet conditions can cause the serpentine belt to slide off the engines in certain Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth mini-vans? Click here to view information about one of the kits available for these vans. Does your engine's layout require you to remove the radiator hoses to replace the belt like with the Ford F-Series with a 7.3 Diesel? Purchase a kit with replacement hoses included!

Gates Chrysler Belt Slide Off Kit    Gates Ford Diesel Belt & Hose Kit

Available for thousands of vehicles, Belt Drive Component Kits can get your belt systems running smoothly and quietly. Find Belt Drive Component Kits in the "Belt Drive" category of the RockAuto catalog.

FREE Carlisle Show Tickets

2014 Schedule

Due to overwhelming response, we are out of free Carlisle Car Show tickets. Thank you for your interest!

Would you like to attend one of these Carlisle Car Shows?

  • Zephyrhills Winter AutoFest – Feb. 20-23 (Festival Park, Zephyrhills, FL)
  • Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction – April 23-27
  • Carlisle Performance & Style – May 10-11
  • Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals – May 16-18
  • Carlisle Ford Nationals – June 6-8
  • Carlisle GM Nationals – June 20-22
  • Carlisle Chrysler Nationals – July 11-13
  • Carlisle Truck Nationals – August 1-3
  • Bloomsburg Nationals – August 8-10 (Bloomsburg, PA Fairgrounds)
  • Corvettes at Carlisle – August 22-24
  • Carlisle Sports & Outdoor Nationals – September 5-7
  • Fall Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction – October 1-5
  • Zephyrhills Fall AutoFest – November 13-16 (Festival Park, Zephyrhills FL)

RockAuto has a limited number of free tickets available for customers. Tickets are valid for any of the Carlisle events listed above. If you have purchased parts in the last twelve months and would like up to two free tickets, please fill out this form completely and accurately. Tickets will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit of two tickets per household. All events are held at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds unless otherwise noted. We will notify and mail tickets to the recipients.

Forum of the Month is the largest and oldest forum dedicated exclusively to Toyota 4Runner. Over 12 years old, our community has thrived and grown into the best resource for 4Runner owners and enthusiasts worldwide. Share build stories, post pictures, ask for advice, or hang out in the off-topic thread. No matter what generation of 4Runner you own, you'll feel at home on Our forum is completely free and has a ton of cool features, so check us out!

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


I was blessed to have a ‘69 350 Camaro Indy Pace Car replica that my Mom had bought new for $3,200 (because she liked the colors!). It passed to me when I joined the Navy in 1974.  So here we were: summer time in Virginia Beach, VA at the Naval Guided Missile School, a 19 year old sailor with a convertible muscle car and nothing but beaches, back roads and time to cruise them...

I loved to hear that cowl induction hood kick open when I tromped on the gas. That spread bore QuadraJet growling the whole way and wanting more! So to hear it even better, I removed the air cleaner to get the loudest roar possible echoing off those tree lined roads. But she had started to misfire, so into the auto hobby shop we went for new plugs, cap, rotor, etc. and then back on the road for a test drive. Still growling and still misfiring but even more so! What gives?

Having worked at the local garage in high school and overhauled every kind of engine from Volkswagens to Pontiac Straight-8s, I thought I knew a little bit about cars, but this misfiring had me scratching my head. Must be the wires... not! Coil? Ballast resistor? Nope and nope! Fuel filters? Fuel pump? Carburetor? Nothing helped, it just got worse with every thing I replaced or rebuilt.

Determined to fix this once and for all, it was time to overhaul the engine. Several hundred dollars and a few days later, she was meaner and faster than ever, seemingly fixed and ready for a road trip to break in the new engine. Not 20 miles into the trip, the misfiring returned, but I had places to go and just ignored it. The farther I went, the worse it got, finally forcing me to pull off the road. When I popped the hood to check it out, I found a tiny stream of water squirting out of the cracked radiator pressure relief cap...right into the carburetor! Aarghh! No wonder it was misfiring, I had never put the air cleaner back on and she was sucking water into the cylinders!

Fred in North Carolina

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

What is a phenolic brake caliper piston?

A. A caliper piston that pushes outward when hydraulic brake fluid pressure drops.
B. A caliper piston that pushes outward when hydraulic brake fluid pressure increases.
C. A caliper piston made of thermosetting resin (plastic that irreversibly cures and cannot be remolded).

Answer below

Worked Fine Once They Cooled Down


The pistons in the front disc brake calipers on our family van, a 1992 Dodge B250, would periodically fail to retract when the brake pedal was released. It happened to me the first time a couple of years ago during a family vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I noticed the van was braking itself and one of the front wheels was hot. We stopped for an early picnic and the brakes worked fine once they had cooled down.

Unfortunately, the brakes bound up and overheated more and more often over subsequent months and the problem spread to both front brakes. Rather than just something that happened once on a steep mountain road, it became something that occasionally happened in stop and go traffic. More recently, it became something that happened nearly every time my teenage son got behind the wheel.

The brake calipers on the old, full-size Dodge vans are remarkably simple. The brake caliper guide pins never warp because there are no caliper guide pins! The brake caliper just slides on a couple of grooves cast into a chunk of steel bolted to the steering knuckle. Two retaining clips keep the caliper on the slides. Early on, I cleaned and lubricated the slide surfaces and changed the brake fluid, but that did not help.

When the caliper got warm, the phenolic caliper piston would fail to retract fully into the caliper bore. Dragging brake pads meant more heat and the caliper piston stayed further and further out. The cycle continued and the heat increased until the wheel was noticeably slowed. Once the van was parked and the heat dissipated, then the caliper piston retracted and the brakes worked normally until the next time the caliper got too hot.

Rust and pieces of dust boot (left caliper in the photo) in the piston bores or the hairline cracks and scoring on the caliper pistons' surfaces

I do not know if the problem was caused by the rust and pieces of dust boot (left caliper in the photo) in the piston bores or the hairline cracks and scoring on the caliper pistons’ surfaces. It was probably a combination of things that generated the intermittent problems on the 20+ year old calipers. RockAuto sells new caliper pistons, internal seals and the other parts needed to rebuild the brake calipers. I took the easier route and got a pair of professionally remanufactured calipers (caliper on right in photo). Remanufactured calipers were also an economical choice for the Dodge van since prices started at less than $30 a pair.

I really should have replaced the calipers after they locked up the first time in South Dakota. Repeated overheating was probably not good for the brake rotors, wheel bearings and other nearby parts. The only thing I might miss are those quiet, family bonding moments while waiting for the brake pistons to cool down and retract!

Tom Taylor,

Josh's 2006 Ford Crown Victoria
Josh's 2006 Ford Crown Victoria

About four years ago I rescued this car from a local police auction. The 2006 Ford Crown Victoria had a long hard life of chasing criminals, idling and most likely housing plenty of interesting characters in the back seat. Now it lives a leisurely life of driving me to work and school.

Why did I buy the car? Well, I was in a bind when my 1993 Toyota 4Runner was dying fast and becoming unreliable after "only" 400,000 miles. I couldn’t pass up a great deal for an iconic vehicle! It had some issues of course, so RockAuto came to the rescue with Monroe shocks, various gaskets when I had to replace the intake manifold, Bendix brake pads, Bosch fuel pump, ignition coils and a window regulator. I had to get rid of the tired old black and white paint job and decided on a more lively metallic paint. Shortly after I forked out the money for the paint job, the transmission gave out! Well...guess who came in handy again for a master rebuild kit? Yep. RockAuto!

Now Edi (yes, I named her) runs as good as she looks!

Thanks again RockAuto!

Josh in Illinois

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 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 an e-mail to with information about your show.

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

What is a phenolic brake caliper piston?

A. A caliper piston that pushes outward when hydraulic brake fluid pressure drops.
B. A caliper piston that pushes outward when hydraulic brake fluid pressure increases.

Answer: C. A caliper piston made of thermosetting resin (plastic that irreversibly cures and cannot be remolded).

Back up to trivia question


1999-2014 RockAuto, LLC - Madison, Wisconsin USA. RockAuto name and logo are registered trademarks of RockAuto, LLC. Manufacturer names and logos in the RockAuto catalog are trademarks of their respective companies and are used only to identify their products. All rights reserved.