RockAuto March Newsletter | Early Edition
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Another Happy Customer!
Another Happy Customer!

Extremely impressed with RockAuto. From the ease of finding the correct part for my vehicle, to the great prices and fast delivery. They are definitely great at communicating with you from start to finish on the delivery of your parts. Highly recommended.

Eric in Indiana

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Need goody bag items and a gift certificate for your show? RockAuto can help! Email for more information.

13 Branden Penegar Memorial Car Show
Cantonment, FL Email
13 Annual Club BBQ & 25th Anniversary Celebration
Roosevelt Lake, AZ Email
13 Florida's 300 Mile Rally
Homestead, FL Email
13 SC Camaro Club 6th Annual Car Show
Simpsonville, SC Email
13 New Orleans Mopar Show & MoparFest at the Battleship
Chalmette, LA Email
13 William F Green Veterans Home Car Show
Bay Minette, AL Email
16 Tulsa Tuesday Cruise
Tulsa, OK Email
18 Shamrock Shakedown
Oliver Springs, TN Email
20 Vettes At The Village
Sandestine, FL Email
21 21st Annual Spring Fling Car Show
Brooksville, FL Email
27 Ron Atkins Memorial Car Cruise
Greer, SC Email
27 Jim Bowie Car Show
Bowie, TX Email
27 Red Cedar Speedway Annual Car Show
Menomonie, WI Email
27 Hinesville Cars & Coffee
Hinesville, GA Email
27 Pasadena Police Officers Association Car Show
Pasadena, TX Email
27 Midwest Freeze Frame Scale Model & Picture Car Show
Fort Wayne, IN Email
27 2021 Celebration of Cars
Melbourne, FL Email
Save on Power Stop Brake Kits
See what we have from Power Stop
Power Stop Rebate

Have you been considering upgrading your stock brakes to improve performance and appearance? Now is the perfect time to upgrade! Throughout the month of March 2021, Power Stop is offering up to $30 in savings on their performance upgrade brake kits. This rebate not only covers Power Stop's Rotor & Brake Pad kits, but extends to their Caliper, Rotor & Brake Pad kits as well! Kits feature custom-matched components designed for specific vehicles, providing increased braking performance coupled with the convenience of straightforward bolt-on installation.

Z23 Evolution Sport - Power Stop's Z23 kits are designed for drivers seeking a brake performance upgrade for their everyday vehicle. Each kit features Power Stop's low-dust, noise-free Z23 Ceramic Pads and silver zinc dichromate plated Drilled & Slotted Rotors for maximum heat, debris and gas dissipation coupled with excellent corrosion resistance.

Z26 Street Warrior - Power Stop's Z26 kits are designed specifically for muscle cars and other high horsepower, aggressively driven street vehicles. Each kit features Power Stop's silver zinc dichromate plated Drilled & Slotted Rotors and Z26 Carbon Fiber Infused Ceramic Pads designed to provide shorter stopping distances and less brake fade than stock OE pads. Z26 pads are thermal scorched for a fast break-in and chamfered and slotted like the OE pads to ensure noise-free braking.

Z36 Truck & Tow - Power Stop's Z36 kits are designed for Trucks and SUVs used for towing and hauling, or modified trucks with lifted suspension and/or larger tire/wheel upgrades. Each kit features Power Stop's silver zinc dichromate plated Drilled & Slotted Rotors and Z36 Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Ceramic pads that are formulated to provide severe-duty stopping power for Trucks and 4x4s. Pads are equipped with powder coated backing plates to extend pad life by resisting corrosion and rust-jacking.

RockAuto has the Power Stop brake upgrade kit you need. Find them in the "Brake & Wheel Hub" category of the catalog under "Caliper, Rotor & Brake Pad Kit" and "Rotor & Brake Pad Kit." Do not delay, this offer ends March 31st, 2021!

Standard Motor Products Throttle Bodies
See what we have from Standard Motor Products
Standard Motor Products Throttle Bodies

Standard Motor Products (SMP) is offering customers an exclusive 10% instant rebate on their TechSmart Series Electronic Throttle Bodies throughout the month of March, 2021!

SMP throttle bodies are 100% new; maximizing performance and service life. They include a new Throttle Body Gasket to help ensure a complete, successful installation. SMP maintains control of quality throughout the manufacturing process, including everything from designing and machining their own testing equipment to assembling and calibrating throttle body components.

To prove their superior quality and durability, SMP engineers performed an extensive 45-Day endurance test of their TechSmart S20006 throttle body while also testing a competitor's throttle body made for the same vehicles (2003-2008 GM trucks and SUVs).

The S20006 was tested for a full 45-days and was fully intact at completion with good operational characteristics; verifying it is a premium quality Electronic Throttle Body that meets or exceeds all OE specifications.

After 10 days of testing, the smaller gear in the center of a compound gear cracked (circled below). The splintered gear prevented continued operational testing that likely would have revealed other design flaws.

SMP and competitor's throttle body

Replace your Throttle Body with confidence and restore engine performance with a new Electronic Throttle Body from Standard Motor Products. While shopping, watch for the yellow "Promotion/Rebate" Star in catalog next to the part listings to instantly save 10% off of RockAuto's already reliably low prices. Find Throttle Bodies in the "Fuel & Air" category of the catalog.

Forum of the Month is the online home of the Viper Truck Club of America and is a forum dedicated to discussion of the Dodge Ram SRT-10. This website is loaded with information and topics on these high speed, street focused performance pickup trucks.

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
Repair Mistakes & Blunders

In the early 1970s when I was about 13 years old, I could not wait to drive and work on cars. I persuaded my dad to teach me to drive my mom's 1966 Mustang, and I was very eager to work on that car. One day when my parents were not home, I decided to change the oil and filter by myself. All went smoothly until it came time to add the new oil. The Mustang had a 289 V-8 and I could not find where to add the oil!

I looked everywhere and was stumped! I knew that I could call and ask the local Gulf station where my parents had their cars serviced, but I was too embarrassed and proud to do that! So I used common sense and rigged up a funnel and a piece of vinyl aquarium air line tubing and slowly, and I do mean very, very slowly, added the new oil via the dipstick hole! Shortly thereafter, I learned that you add oil to a 289 by removing the valve cover breather and pouring it into that hole. I wish I had known that then, but I still laugh when I think of how I solved the problem!

Mike in Pennsylvania

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 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 RockAuto 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 February, the temperature got down to 50 degrees below zero (-46 C) in northeast Minnesota. According to their 2020 Owners Manuals, how low does the temperature have to drop before Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S drivers need to evacuate their electric cars to warmer locations?

A. Leaf= 32F (0C), Model S= 10F (-12C)
B. Leaf= -4F (-20C), Model S= -13F (-25C)
C. Leaf= -13F (-25C), Model S= -22F (-30C)

Answer below

Which Spark Plug Is Right For You
Tom's Story

My RockAuto account (optional for all customers) shows I frequently bought spark plugs for my '86 Ford Mustang GT. Unfortunately, all those plugs disappeared into other 5.0 liter engines in the family fleet. The Bosch Platinum plugs that currently get my son and his '90 Lincoln Mark VII to and from work were meant for my Mustang! Last year, I finally both bought and installed new spark plugs in my car. They are Champion Double Platinum plugs so I can now even brag my Ford contains more platinum than my son's fancy Lincoln.

After the successful Mustang plug installation, I realized there are no more copper spark plugs in the family fleet. I never set out to switch to platinum, iridium or ruthenium plugs. For my old engines there was a relatively small cost difference, so I always figured I might as well give platinum a try. Sometimes there were "Wholesaler Closeout" platinum plugs that actually cost less than some of the copper spark plug alternatives.

A few owners of older cars that came with original equipment (OE) copper spark plugs might still be reluctant to try any of the exotic metal spark plugs. It is fine for them to stick with copper plugs. My personal experience putting platinum plugs in old ignition systems ('71 Ford 351 cid, '79 Chrysler 360 cid, '87 Mazda 1.6L, '93 Ford 2.3L, etc.) has been that platinum plugs not only satisfy OE ignition system specs but also work better with modern oxygenated (ethanol) gasoline.

I do not know if the new precious metal plugs' "flame kernels" expand wider, look more colorful, etc. Spark plug manufacturers typically only emphasize that platinum plugs last at least twice as many miles as copper plugs. I do know the first car to get platinum plugs in the family fleet was my '79 Chrysler. Its carbureted high-mileage engine has been easier to start and less likely to flood since I installed platinum plugs ~25,000 miles/15 years ago.

Which Spark Plug Is Right For You
"Which Spark Plug Is Right For You?" chart
can be found on Spark Plug INFO pages

I usually replace spark plug wires (older engines) and coil on plug (COP) boots (newer engines) whenever I replace spark plugs because leaky old wires and COP boots intermittently arcing to metal parts have sent me on too many diagnostic goose chases over the decades. This time, I hurried to replace my Mustang's spark plugs before they had a chance to disappear into another engine.

Switching to new platinum plugs was the only change I made, and now the Mustang runs better. The Mustang's 5.0L used to have good days when it supplied the Mustang with youthful pep and bad days when it seemed to have left some horsepower back in the barn. Now the car is consistently fun to drive, and I have been choosing to take it out of the stable whenever there is no snow on the roads. (It is amazing how open, low and lithe an '80s Mustang seems when surrounded by modern cars/SUVs that ride on 18+ inch wheels!)

Choosing a copper, platinum, double platinum, iridium, or ruthenium plug does not require measuring the output of ignition coils or cross referencing plug manufacturer heat ranges. (A spark plug that stays too hot for an engine causes ping/knock, while a plug that is too cold will foul with carbon. Plug manufacturers use their own heat range scales. For example, an NGK plug with a heat range=5 is just as "hot" as a Denso plug with a heat range=16. Got that?) The homework has already been done for you. Simply look under "Ignition" in the catalog to see all the spark plugs that plug manufacturers know are ideal matches for your engine.

Tom Taylor,

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

Larry's 1988 Pontiac Mera
Larry's 1988 Pontiac Mera

My car is a 1988 Pontiac Mera which is a factory re-body of a 1988 Pontiac Fiero. They were available as an "option" on new 1987 and 1988 Fieros through select Pontiac dealerships. A total of 247 were produced, 88 1987 and 159 1988 Fieros were re-bodied as Meras.

I had always wanted a Ferrari 308 but the high cost of maintaining one just would not fit in my car budget. I had seen some 308 kit cars and in the course of looking for one, I found out about the Pontiac Mera. My Mera is #8029 which means it is the 29th 1988 Mera produced. I am the third owner and have had it since 2012. It definitely showed its age when I bought it, and I slowly have brought it to the current condition. It has a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP supercharged engine which makes it really fun to drive. I showed it at the 2019 Street Car Takeover event at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and it won the show's Most Unique plaque. It also won first place in its class at the national Fiero 35th Anniversary reunion in Peoria, Illinois.

It has quite a few parts from RockAuto on it; brake calipers, brake rotors, brake pads, ignition coils and ignition module, AC compressor and drier, radiator hoses and likely more that I do not remember.

Larry in Missouri

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, RockAuto social media or other commercial use. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please email with the vehicle history, interesting details, your favorite images (tips for taking pictures of your car) and what parts from RockAuto you have used.

Automotive Trivia Answer
Automotive Trivia

In February, the temperature got down to 50 degrees below zero (-46 C) in northeast Minnesota. According to their 2020 Owners Manuals, how low does the temperature have to drop before Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S drivers need to evacuate their electric cars to warmer locations?

A. Leaf= 32F (0C), Model S= 10F (-12C)
B. Leaf= -4F (-20C), Model S= -13F (-25C)

Answer: C. Leaf= -13F (-25C), Model S= -22F (-30C)

Source sites and relevant excerpts:
"For better long-term performance, avoid exposing Model S to ambient temperatures above 140F (60C) or below -22F (-30C) for more than 24 hours at a time."
"If the outside temperature is -13F(-25C) or less, the Li-ion battery may freeze and it cannot be charged or provide power to run the vehicle. Move the vehicle to a warm location."

Back up to trivia question