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RockAuto November Newsletter
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Another Happy Customer!
Another Happy Customer!

RockAuto has been one of the greatest discoveries for me being a DIY auto repair guy. Being able to get parts for half or even one third the price of local stores is a life saver for my bank account...

Anthony in Canada


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.

22 Thanksgiving Winter Classic
Littlefield, AZ Email
Nov
1 Sunrise Mountain High School Car Show
Peoria, AZ Email
Dec
1 Christmas Car Show
Concord, NC Email
Dec
1 6th Annual Kustom Karz for K9z & Katz Kar Show
Chandler, AZ Email
Dec
1 Guitars N' Cars
Houston, TX Email
Dec
2 A Holiday Happening Corvette & GM Car Show
Punta Gorda, FL Email
Dec
8 Christmas 4 Kidz
Columbus, GA Email
Dec
8 Smiley's Racing 2018 Toys For Tots Car Show
Mesquite, TX Email
Dec
9 Courageous Kidz Benefit Car Show
Ladson, SC Email
Dec
15 5th Annual Crusin into Christmas Car Show
Jesup, GA Email
Dec
16 Holiday Bash Toys For Tots Charity Show
Conyers, GA Email
Dec
AGS Hydraulic Line Kit Expanded Coverage
See what we have from AGS
AGS EZ-Fit Complete Hydraulic Line Kits

RockAuto now has nickel copper alloy, AGS EZ-Fit® Complete Hydraulic Line Kits for Ford F-150s, Dodge Rams, and Jeep Wranglers, as well as popular Chevrolet/GMC/Cadillac trucks and SUVs. Designed to be easier to work with and tougher than traditional steel lines, these kits can be installed 65% faster than unfinished coils that require cutting and flaring.

Nickel copper alloy construction means AGS EZ-Fit® lines will not rust or corrode like comparable stainless steel lines, and the increased flexibility of the NiCopp® material allows the lines to be shaped over and around obstacles by hand. Each line in the kit is pre-cut and pre-flared for a perfect connection every time. No special tools are needed during installation.

Upgrading to a DOT approved AGS EZ-Fit® Complete Kit makes replacing brake lines a lot more fun with easier installation and results that are better than new. To see the options available for your vehicle, find EZ-Fit® Complete Kits under "Hydraulic Line" in the "Brake & Wheel Hub" category of the RockAuto catalog.

When a kit is not yet available for a specific vehicle, RockAuto carries corrosion proof NiCopp® tubing with EZ-Bend® technology in 25 foot coils. Find these along with AGS Hydraulic Line Unions, Adapters and Brake Line Fittings under the "Hoses/Lines & Clamps" category of the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab.

Dash Designs Seat Gap Filler
See what we have from Dash Designs
Dash Designs Seat Gapper

RockAuto is happy to now carry Dash Designs Seat Gap Fillers. Instead of everything falling into the dreaded gap between each of the front seats and the center console, keep things neat and handy with a pair of Seat Gap Fillers. Made of soft neoprene material, this unique fabric wedge is designed to fill the gap between a vehicle seat and the center console. And as an added bonus, it features a built-in pouch to hold cell phones, keys, pens, pads and other small items. Find the Dash Designs Seat Gap Filler (pack of two) under "Seat" in the "Interior" category of the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab.

While supplies last, get a FREE pair of Dash Designs Seat Gap Fillers with a purchase of qualifying seat covers. While shopping, put the select Dash Designs Seat Covers in your cart and a pair of Seat Gap Fillers will automatically be included with your order. Find the Seat Cover options we have for your specific vehicle in the "Interior" category of the RockAuto catalog.

Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early This Year!

Are you planning to get your holiday shopping done early this year? There is no need to awake at dawn to chase down the sales or deal with the commotion of Black Friday crowds. RockAuto's prices are reliably low every day of the year. Erase memories of a parking lot mishap by giving a gift such as a Tail Lamp Assembly or Outside Mirror. Roll back the years with new Floor Mats or Lift Supports. Make maintenance jobs easier with core shop equipment such as Jack Stands, Lift Drains, Creepers or Soldering Clamps.

Not sure if your recipient wants an OBD II Scan Tool or needs an ABS Modulator? Uncertain if 5W-30 or 5W-40 oil is the best choice for his/her engine? Make your gift giving easy with a RockAuto Gift Certificate! A RockAuto Gift Certificate will let the recipient get the parts or tools he/she most needs!

Make your gift giving easy with RockAuto
Forum of the Month
focaljet.com

Focaljet is an enthusiast forum with news and discussion of the Ford Focus. Have a DIY repair question about your Focus? Looking for tips on keeping your Duratec running at peak performance? Or are you just interested in what other Focus owners have done to personalize their cars? All those questions and more can be answered on this comprehensive and focused forum.

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

While my son was away studying abroad for a semester, he left his car (a Mitsubishi Eclipse) with me, and asked me to run it now and then to keep the battery charged. As the time approached for him to return, I went to start the car but it would not cooperate. It would crank quite healthily, but it would not start. After some expert diagnosing on my part, I found the fuel pump (in the gas tank). I ordered a new pump and had it installed before he arrived home. After the new pump was in place, I tried unsuccessfully to start the car. The engine turned over but would not fire.

I then saw the key I was using was a duplicate made on a generic key blank. I located an original key that was kept on the same ring and the car fired right up. Seems the key had a chip that the other "made" key did not.†My son later told me the key was for getting in the car if he was locked out. I told him when he got home that I had to replace the fuel pump. It was some time before I admitted my blunder to him.

Robert in New Jersey

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

This year Fiat Chrysler recalled millions of late model vehicles because of a potential "bug" in cruise control software. When was "bug" first equated with technical problems?

A. In 1878, inventor Thomas Edison discovered earwigs, not excessive heat, had destroyed the cellulose film in his prototype motion picture camera.

B. In 1945, technician Grace Bopper discovered a large moth had shorted out a relay in Princeton's Eldorado calculator.

C. In 1953, development of IBM's V computer was delayed for more than six months after Japanese beetles destroyed the entire jute crop in the Western Hemisphere. A jute extract was used to seal vacuum tubes.

D. None of the above.

Answer below

Voltage Drop Testing
Tom's Story

Check the condition of the wiring and ground connections before rushing to replace a starter motor. How do you do that? Your trusty multi-meter can help.

Resistance (ohms) is NOT the multi-meter setting to use. The reading will very likely be zero ohms when the multi-meter's probes are placed at the ends of a cable or on each side of a grounding point. Unfortunately, a zero resistance reading does not mean a cable or ground connection is in good condition. It just means that there is at least one tiny strand of functional wire left in that nasty old cable or one nanometer of relatively clean metal in that corroded grounding point.

Instead, set the multi-meter to read DC volts and measure voltage drop while the circuit is under load (the starter is switched on). If the circuit is not switched on then there will be no current flowing and zero voltage change. Use a Remote Starter or have an assistant turn the ignition key to switch on the starter motor and consecutively put multi-meter probes at both ends of cables and across ground connections while watching for significant voltage. It varies, but a voltage greater than 0.5 volts is considered to be significant on most vehicles.

Some example tests:

  • Put the multi-meter probes at both ends of the large cable running from the battery to the starter motor. Switch on the starter motor and a voltage reading greater than 0.5 volts might indicate the cable is frayed internally or its connection points are corroded.
  • Put the multi-meter probes on the battery positive terminal and the thinner wire (S terminal) on the starter solenoid. If the voltage reading stays greater than 0.5 volts when the starter is switched on, then there could be a problem with the ignition switch, a relay, wiring or some other component in the ignition switch circuit.
  • Put the multi-meter probes on the battery negative terminal and the metal body of the starter. A voltage drop greater than 0.5 volts could indicate corrosion or a contaminant like engine oil is preventing the starter body from making a good ground connection with the engine. Perhaps the battery terminal connection or ground wire between the battery and the engine block is corroded or loose.

Voltage drop testing can also be similarly used to test alternator, radio and other circuits. Frayed wires, corroded connections and failing relays add resistance to the circuit, thereby creating an unusually high voltage across the failing component as electrical current flows.

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com

Editors Note/Update: The Soldering Clamp and Relay Test Jumper Kit discussed in the October newsletter are now back in stock (after selling out).

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

Jim's 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic
Jim's 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic

Purchased new in 1998, this Cherokee Classic has served our household as a business vehicle, family vacation workhorse (including a trek to the top of Pikes Peak) and transportaton for two new teenage drivers. After all that, it was finally time to drag it to the boneyard. But, I then discovered RockAuto and the easy accessibility of parts to put this “Classic” safely on the road again. After a suspension lift, steering components, power steering pump, exhaust, auxiliary LED lighting and other systems, the Jeep is now road and trail ready. For now, it will be my daughter Heidi's daily driver.

Now I am ready for the next project car…
Jim in Wisconsin

 

 

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 your vehicle's 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

This year Fiat Chrysler recalled millions of late model vehicles because of a potential "bug" in cruise control software. When was "bug" first equated with technical problems?

A. In 1878, inventor Thomas Edison discovered earwigs, not excessive heat, had destroyed the cellulose film in his prototype motion picture camera.

B. In 1945, technician Grace Bopper discovered a large moth had shorted out a relay in Princeton's Eldorado calculator.

C. In 1953, development of IBM's V computer was delayed for more than six months after Japanese beetles destroyed the entire jute crop in the Western Hemisphere. A jute extract was used to seal vacuum tubes.

Answer: D. None of the above ("Bug" was used to describe annoying technical problems long before the advent of computers/software. The exact origin of "bug" is unknown.)

Back up to trivia question