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

Since I've switched to RockAuto as my go-to source for parts I have saved hundreds of dollars! I can get premium parts for sometimes close to fifty percent of what my local stores would charge... I'm glad I finally checked them out. Keep up the great service people.

David in Nevada


Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

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

9 RatRod Round Up
Oakland, OR Email
July
10 Cool Coity Car Show & Cruise for the American Cancer Society
Bay City, MI Email
July
10 Hot Daze Cool Ridez (Mossy Creek Cruzers)
Jefferson City, TN Email
July
10 Nanticoke Riverfest Car Show
Seaford, DE Email
July
10 Laurel Highlands Campland Annual Car Show
Donegal, PA Email
July
10 Relentless Akron Car & Bike Show
Akron, OH Email
July
10 Blue Ridge Gathering
Fontana Dam, NC Email
July
10 Summer Crusin for Sara
Danbury, CT Email
July
10 Hib Reber Memorial Car Show
Byron, IL Email
July
10 Pharoahs Car Show
Couer díAlene, ID Email
July
10 32nd Annual Ledges Car & Craft Show
Grand Ledge, MI Email
July
10 Friends of Charity Auto Fair
Beckley, WV Email
July
10 Deutsche Classic
York, PA Email
July
10 Early Ford V8 Open Show & Shine
Spokane, WA Email
July
10 Summer Sizzle Car Show
Chesapeake, VA Email
July
10 Slam'd & Cam'd Car Show
Baton Rouge, LA Email
July
10 10th Annual Model Aís & Model Tís at Standish Depot
Standish, MI Email
July
11 River Edge Car Show
River Edge, NJ Email
July
11 Blue Moon Cruisers 29th Annual Rod & Custom Fun Run
New Kingston, PA Email
July
11 McCleary Royal Rumbles Car Show
McCleary, WA Email
July
14 Coal Mine Cruiser Classic 2021
Pine Grove, PA Email
July
15 East Coast Xterra Challenge
Tremont, PA Email
July
16 Sebago Days Car Show
Sebago, ME Email
July
17 Coatesville Car Show
Coatesville, IN Email
July
17 9th Annual Car Show 4 Kids
Puyallup, WA Email
July
17 Vantown 14th Annual Car & Bike Show
Webberville, MI Email
July
17 All Pontiac Oakland & GMC show
Tacoma, WA Email
July
17 4th Annual Car, Bike & Antique Tractor Show
Durand, MI Email
July
17 Emmett Show & Shine
Emmett, ID Email
July
17 British Car Day
Hudson, OH Email
July
17 43rd Mustang Round Up & All Ford Car Show
Alton, IL Email
July
17 Car Show 4 A Cause
Roxbury, NY Email
July
17 Central Lane Show & Shine
Eugene, OR Email
July
18 Mustang & Ford Show
Amherst, OH Email
July
18 SVR-AACA Antique Car Show
North Blenheim, NY Email
July
18 14th Annual Hot Rod Sunday
La Farge, WI Email
July
18 Durant Car Show
Durant, IA Email
July
Gates Belt Drive Component Kits
See what we have from Gates
Gates Belt Drive Component Kits

Gates is offering RockAuto customers an exclusive 10% instant rebate Star in catalog on Belt Drive Component Kits for Asian and European brand vehicles during the month of July, 2021! Simply add a qualifying part to your cart and instantly save even more on RockAuto's reliably low prices!

Today’s highly engineered serpentine belts wear at the same rate as components inside the tensioner and pulley, such as springs and bearings. If it is time to replace your serpentine belt, there is a good chance those related components are also worn. (A worn tensioner can make a new belt wear up to 2x faster.) If your belt failed, that failure likely originated with another part in the system that was too loose, too tight, wobbling or otherwise worn out.

Why a Belt Drive Component Kit? Kits conveniently provide all the parts needed for a successful repair including:

  • Gates Micro-V Serpentine Belt(s)
  • Related DriveAlign® Tensioner(s)
  • Idler Pulley(s) (as required, per system)

One Gates part number and one RockAuto shipment provides all the components you need to fully renew your accessory belt drive system. Whether you are servicing the belt drive system on a 2006 Honda Civic (2L), 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 or your domestic brand vehicle, Gates and RockAuto have what you need. Find Gates Belt Drive Component Kits in the "Belt Drive" category in the RockAuto.com catalog.

Dash Designs Mats & Cargo Containment
See what we have from Dash Designs

RockAuto.com is excited to now offer Dash Designs Floor Mats, Cargo Area Mats and a Cargo Containment System. The custom cut mats offer an outstanding blend of quality, durability and value. Using CAD/CAM technology, these mats are tailored to precisely fit the floors of your specific car, truck, van or SUV and are equipped with a non-slip nibbed backing to ensure the mats remain secured at all times. The Cargo Containment System offers an innovative solution to keep all your stuff from spilling, falling over, sliding or rolling around your cargo area or trunk!

Endura Custom Carpet Floor and Cargo Mats protect and enhance your factory carpet floors with the lush look and feel of cut pile nylon carpet and are available in a range of colors.

Endura Custom Vinyl Floor and Cargo Mats keep moisture, muck and mud away from your carpets. These see-through mats are made with 100% pure vinyl that will not crack or yellow.

The Endura Cargo Containment System is an easy way to secure your groceries, tool boxes, sports equipment and anything else in your trunk or cargo area. This unique system consists of a non-slip Fiberloc mat, available in three different sizes, and four pairs of adjustable high-strength cargo restraining "BLOX".

Dash Designs Floor Coverings

Find the Dash Designs Floor or Cargo Area mats for your specific vehicle in the "Interior" category of the RockAuto.com catalog. Find the Endura Cargo Containment System under “Trunk” in the "Interior" category of the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab.

Forum of the Month
TeamBuick.com

TeamBuick.com is a site specifically focused on Buick restoration and performance. In its reference section, TeamBuick.com offers what may be the largest source of Buick related articles available online. The community has the support of many experienced Buick enthusiasts willing to help members with whatever challenges they may encounter. You do not have to be a Buick enthusiast to enjoy what it has to offer; check it 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 marketing@rockauto.com.

Repair Mistakes & Blunders
Repair Mistakes & Blunders

Once upon a time, oil came in metal cans you had to pierce with a spout, so it was a surprise when I went to work at the filling station one day and they had motor oil in new plastic containers with a twist off cap. I wondered why no one had thought of it sooner. It was not long until I had a customer that asked me to check the oil. In the "good old days" we pumped gas, washed windshields and checked tire pressure upon request. The customer's car was low on oil and they requested a top up, so I got one of the new bottles of oil, twisted off the cap and put the neck of the container directly into the opening of the valve cover.

When I opened the bottle, I noticed it had a tamper proof cap, and the lower half twisted off while remaining on the bottle. When I pulled the bottle out of the valve cover, to my surprise, the lower half/plastic ring was gone! Where did it go? It had slipped off and fell into the valve cover. I sheepishly informed the customer that I could not see the plastic ring and would have to take off the valve cover to remove it. He was nice about it and gave me the go ahead so I pulled the car into the shop and proceeded to remove the cover. There were five of those rings in there! Apparently others had the same problem with the ring slipping off the bottle and either did not notice or did not say anything. The customer went away happy though.

Shortly after that, motor oil manufacturers seemed to revise their bottles so the ring stayed with the cap. I wondered why no one had thought of it sooner.

Mark in Illinois

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 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

The Ford EcoSport is the first vehicle imported into the US from which country?

A. Albania
B. China
C. India

Ford EcoSport

Answer below

Maintaining the Optimal Air/Fuel Mixture
Tom's Story

The Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) generates one of the signals the engine computer uses to maintain the optimal air/fuel mixture. The MAF sensor's primary job is to keep a piece of wire mounted in the intake air stream at a constant temperature. The computer monitors how much electrical current the MAF sensor draws to heat its wire. Less current means less (cooling) air is flowing over the wire, and the engine needs less fuel to maintain the correct air/fuel mixture. More current needed to heat the wire means more (cooling) air is flowing and the engine needs more fuel.

Signals from oxygen sensors (O2) mounted in the exhaust system provide feedback to the computer on whether or not its air/fuel ratio management was correct. An incorrect air/fuel ratio reported by the O2 sensor could mean there is a problem with parts/systems including:

Typical MAF Sensor
Typical MAF Sensor
  • O2 Sensor: These sensors wear out and/or are damaged by engine oil leaks and need to be replaced as part of routine maintenance.
  • Airflow Leaks or Restrictions Downstream from the MAF: Loose joints or cracks in air intake plumbing might allow excess air into the system. The problem might come and go with engine movements that open/seal the leaks. A dirty/sticky throttle body butterfly plate might reduce the amount of air (throttle body cleaner).
  • Modifications that Change Airflow Turbulence or Temperatures: Installing an aftermarket air intake or rerouting air intake plumbing might create air turbulence or hot/cold spots that alter the temperature of the MAF sensor's wire while not actually altering air mass. For such modifications to work, the computer may need a new data table mapping what MAF sensor current draw reading now translates to which air mass value.
  • Fuel Delivery: Dirty fuel injectors (fuel system cleaner), failing fuel injectors, intermittently operating fuel pumps or other fuel system problems may prevent the amount of fuel the engine computer ordered from being delivered.
  • Ignition Performance: The correct air/fuel mixture was delivered but cracked spark plug wires, loose coil-on-plug boots, worn spark plug tips or some other ignition system maintenance problem is preventing the fuel from being completely burned.
  • Air Filter and Oil Residue: Anything that coats and insulates the MAF sensor's wire will keep it artificially warm meaning less electrical current is needed to maintain the wire's temperature. The computer will translate less current to mean less (cool) air is flowing in. Less air tells the computer to cut the volume of fuel resulting in a too-lean mixture.

The "anything" that could coat the MAF sensor wire includes debris that got past the air filter or even came from a disintegrating air filter. Attempting to blow dirt out of an old air filter with compressed air can blow tiny holes right through the filter media. Under-hood oil leaks or a performance air filter coated in excessive oil might result in a MAF sensor coated with oil residue. MAF Sensor Cleaner could fix the problem as long as the source of the debris/residue is also fixed.

Staying current on maintenance of the above parts/systems will help ensure the right parts are replaced and avoid hard-to-diagnose problems that occur when multiple worn out parts are all slightly out of specification.

MAF Sensors do fail. They might stop working intermittently when the engine compartment gets hot or fail suddenly when the heated wire/resistor burns out like an incandescent light bulb filament. Once you decide to replace the MAF Sensor, be sure not to install it backwards; an easy mistake to make with some of the tube-shaped housings! Find MAF Sensors for your specific vehicles under "Exhaust & Emission" in the RockAuto.com catalog.

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

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

Ron's 1989 Mazda 323
Ron's 1989 Mazda 323

This is my trusty 1989 Mazda 323 hatchback that I have been working on for a few years. It has a 1.6L engine with a 5 speed transmission and is quite a lot of fun to drive due to its very low weight.

This car has come a long way since it was found laid to rest in a farmer's field. Somehow it managed to remain rust free despite nearly every rubber part of the car being in very poor shape. I do not know how long it had been resting in the field, but the tires had a 1993 date code! Naturally, conventional parts stores do not have a lot of parts for a 32-year-old economy car, so RockAuto has been key to getting my 323 back into road worthy condition and the ongoing restoration. From gaskets, fuel pump, distributor, modules, drive shafts, tie-rods, a-arms, struts, and virtually every rubber bushing on the car, this would not have been possible without RockAuto.

Thank you for keeping my mighty Mazda alive!

Ron in British Columbia, Canada (RockAuto customer for over three years)

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 flamur@RockAuto.com 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

The Ford EcoSport is the first vehicle imported into the US from which country?

A. Albania
B. China

Answer: C. India

Ford EcoSport

Back up to trivia question