RockAuto.com RockAuto April Newsletter

RockAuto Home

Parts Catalog

Customer Service

Privacy Policy

Newsletter Archive

Email Subscription

RSS Feed

 

Another Happy Customer!

I love that I can find every part I need at affordable prices! Parts I thought only the dealer had are available through you guys at half the price!

I will definitely recommend you to all my family and friends.

Daniel in Texas

 

Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here, email us with details.

50's Cruise Car Show
4/28/2012
Astoria, OR
e-mail

Iowa Street Rod Association Car Show
4/29/2012
Boone, IA
e-mail

CCNJ Annual Spring Show
4/29/2012
Wyckoff, NJ
e-mail

Iowa Street Rodders 15th Annual Spring Fling Show & Shine
4/29/2012
Brooklyn, IA
e-mail

College Park Turning Spring Meet for Charity
4/29/2012
College Park, MD
e-mail

MG Car Club Events
4/30/2012
Crossford, UK
e-mail

6th Annual Car Show - Hot Rods & Academics
5/12/2012
Seymour, IN
e-mail

2nd Annual All Mopar Show
5/12/2012
Mantua, NJ
e-mail

2012 Wounded Warrior Regional All Camaro Car Show
5/12/2012
Stafford, VA
e-mail

Loafers Car Club Annual Car Show
5/12/2012
Hannibal, MO
e-mail

School is Closed Fun Day & Car/Truck/Bike Show
5/12/2012
Panama City, FL
e-mail

Streethawks Germany
5/13/2012
Roseau, Germany
e-mail

Mint Wheels 2012
5/13/2012
Jefferson, OR
e-mail

Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum Fundraising Car Show
5/13/2012
Grafton, WV
e-mail

RockAuto Goes Mobile

The RockAuto catalog is now optimized for mobile devices!

Not by your home or business computer, but need to research or order a part now? We are pleased to announce that the RockAuto catalog is now optimized for mobile devices!

Simply browse to RockAuto.com on your mobile device to use this handy, new mobile site. However, if for some reason your device is not recognized there is a link on the bottom right of our homepage that will bring you to the mobile site.

With a few quick swipes and taps you can find the parts you need for your upcoming repair in no time at all, no matter where you happen to be. We aim to deliver a faster, easy to use experience and hope the mobile version of the RockAuto catalog helps do just that!

 

 

Gift Certificates

RockAuto Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates are useful for more than just birthdays and Christmas! Celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd by giving a RockAuto Gift Certificate to help a friend or relative keep their car running efficiently and cleanly. Give a RockAuto Gift Certificate to recognize Administrative Professionals Day on April 25th. Surprise a friend or loved one with a gift at any time of the year!

 

 

Forum of the Month

Northeast Ohio 4x4

Northeast Ohio 4x4 is home to the area's off road adventures. The founder, Mr. Chipka, identified a need to form a community that was more centrally located to the Northeast Ohio area. Events and outings are held on a regular monthly basis, and continue to grow in size every season. NEO4x4 partners with other 4x4 clubs and event organizers. This gives the NEO4x4 club the opportunity to meet new off road fanatics they may not have come in contact with otherwise.

NEO4x4 has a vast array of members that have different life experiences, from mechanics, teachers, software engineers, college students and everything in between. When it's time to hit the trails, it doesn’t matter what they do during the week since they all share in the same common off road passion on the weekend.

See you in 2012 at:
Spring NEO Off Road Jamboree
Southington Offroad
River Raiders Spring Thaw
Wellsville Offroad
Bantam Jeep Festival
Harlan Offroad
Rausch Creek Offroad

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 Bought my 1979 Chevy Blazer new and rarely used the parking brake. Several years after I purchased it, I parked on a particularly steep hill and thought it wise to engage the parking brake. After my errand, I released the brake but it didn’t seem to return with its usual snap and vigor (it was the dead of winter). The pedal kind of came up but not quite all the way, so I pulled it up with my foot. I drove off as nothing seemed amiss.

Fast forward a few months to when I started to hear the scraping of the brake shoe rivets on the rear drums when I hit the brakes. I knew the shoes weren’t that old, but cheap enough to change out. Bought a set of shoes, removed the old drums and shoes (they were down to the rivets), threw the new shoes up on one wheel and no way, no how, would the brake drum go over the shoes, even with the adjuster turned all the way in. Tried the other wheel, same thing. Double checked everything, even matching the old and new shoes. Filed down the ridge inside the drums - still no go. After a few hours of frustration, harsh language, using the big hammer, and scratching my head - that winter day came back to mind.

A quick check of the parking brake showed it was partially engaged and wouldn’t budge – the cable was forever rusted in place. No amount of WD-40 or penetrating oil was going to free it. After I disconnected the cable, the brake drums installed easily. I cut the rusted (more like fused) parking brake cable out of the vehicle.

Lesson learned: When you do a brake job, make sure first the parking brake pedal and cable are freely moving and fully releasing. Lesson two: Road salt can be evil.

Joe 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 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

Which safety feature was introduced as a $225 option on some 1974 Cadillac models?

A. airbags
B. backup camera
C. three-point safety belts for outer backseats

Answer below

 

 

Can You Give Me a Jump?

RockAuto

DORMAN 84502 Charging System Analyzer

“Do you have jumper cables?” is a question I get asked by strangers at least several times a year. Maybe I get the question more than most because I drive old cars or perhaps it is my RockAuto logo hat, t-shirt and tote bag. Thirty plus years ago, jumpstarting was the same procedure on about every car. Wear safety glasses, avoid creating sparks that might ignite hydrogen gas coming off of the dead battery and hook up/disconnect the booster cable leads in the correct sequence. The cars were pretty forgiving and lasting damage was usually unlikely even if you made a mistake and there were a few sparks.

These days, cars and their jumpstart procedures vary. Some new cars should not be jumpstarted at all. Reading the owners manual is now a sign of wisdom rather than inexperience. Modern cars may have their batteries hidden (Chrysler PT Cruiser) or stowed in the trunk (Cadillac CTS). Not reading and following the specific instructions for both vehicles can damage costly alternators, computer control modules, wiring and other electronics. The worst electrical damage might be that which leads to intermittent problems. The fun quickly goes out of a car if it becomes as buggy as a ten-year-old personal computer.

The biggest changes might be to the jump starting social ritual. The traditional way, two car owners simultaneously tugging at cables trying to be helpful without being bossy can lead to serious mistakes like accidentally reversing polarity while hooking up the leads. There really needs to be one person in charge. Below is roughly what I try to say in response to the “do you have jumper cables” question.

1. “Yes, I have jumper cables. Let’s see your car’s owners manual to see if a jump start is possible.”
2. “Now I need to read my car’s manual to refresh my memory.” (Even 25 year old cars likely have engine computers and other possibly sensitive parts.)
3. “Would you please stand over there. I want to make sure I carefully follow the rules I just read and do this correctly.”
4. If you ask the other car owner to do anything, then be very specific. “Turn your key just once to try and start the car.” “Turn your car off now so I can disconnect the cables.”

Do not think it is rude to just say “no” at any time. You have already been a good Samaritan by talking to the person and not lying about the jumper cables hidden in your trunk! With modern cars there are many legitimate and smart reasons to say no. “After reading the instructions, I do not feel comfortable jump starting your car.” “I am afraid we might damage the cars’ electronics.” “My booster cables are too thin gauge wire.” “Your car’s manual says this is a bad idea.”

On the other side of the coin, it is equally important to follow the right steps or be ready to say “no” if you are the one with the broken down car that needs the jump. Read your car’s owner’s manual before you ask anyone for help. Say “no” if you attract the attention of an eager person that wants to be helpful, but has no interest in knowing or following the correct procedures. It is OK to say “no” if the other person wants to take charge and you just are not comfortable with that. “Thanks, but on second thought I had just better let the tow truck get it. This is not the first time the car has stranded me.”

Years ago, I replaced the old, family heirloom battery booster cables with the balky clamps, tangled wire and frayed insulation. I also carried and occasionally charged a portable jump starting battery for a couple of years, but it was usually dead when I needed it.

A useful tool I got to help determine if a jumpstart is worth even trying is the DORMAN 84502 - Auto Charging System Analyzer (see photo in sidebar). It has an impressive name and looks that help make it appear that I should be the person in charge, but it simply measures the car battery voltage. There are lights that indicate if the battery is absolutely dead, low or normal. It is often recommended to not try to jumpstart a car with a completely dead battery. The analyzer also has lights that indicate if the alternator is working (battery voltage increases) once the car starts. Repeatedly jumpstarting a car with a bad alternator is a waste of time and unnecessary risk. My handy analyzer costs less than even inexpensive jumper cables and is about the size of the smallest garage door opener remote.

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

 

 

Robert's 2000 Dodge Dakota R/T
Robert's 2000 Dodge Dakota R/T

I have been a RockAuto customer for a while now, and am pleased to submit for review my 2000 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T. Numerous parts from RockAuto have been utilized which include complete brakes, Rancho shocks, and various maintenance parts. Your parts, prices and service are fantastic!

Interesting tidbit on this daily driver: For this particular body and color combination, only 117 were built.

Robert in Florida

 

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

Which safety feature was introduced as a $225 option on some 1974 Cadillac models?

A. airbags
B. backup camera
C. three-point safety belts for outer backseats

Answer: A. airbags


Back up to trivia question

 

 

1999-2012 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.