RockAuto November Newsletter

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Another Happy Customer!

I use RockAuto frequently, for my own car and my family's (large family with older cars). RockAuto is, and has always been, my go to choice. A+ service and website, fast shipping, very reasonable prices. And I don't have to deal with the big box chain stores, full of annoying people in my area.

Tom in New Jersey

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

15th Annual Brevard County Corvette Clubs Toy Run
Titusville, FL

Smiley's Racing Toys for Tots Car Show
Mesquite, TX

Car Show to Benefit Courageous Kidz
Ladson, SC

The Wickenburg Run - Cops Who Care - Toyz 4 Totz
Wickenburg, AZ

San Antonio Area Raptor Owners - Toys for Tots
San Antonio, TX

Having Trouble Locking or Unlocking Your Doors?

See what we have from ACDelco

See what we have from Airtex/Wells

See what we have from Dorman

A faulty door lock actuator may be to blame! The internal components on the door lock actuator wear out over time and will eventually fail entirely. Door lock actuators on newer vehicles have an integrated latch, which means a failed actuator will not allow you to open the door at all. Do not wait until you are caught out in the rain or cold before completing what is typically a simple repair! RockAuto has the best selection and lowest prices on door lock actuators from brands like ACDelco, Airtex/Wells and Dorman. You can find Door Lock Actuators in the "Body" category of the RockAuto catalog.

Typical Door Lock Actuators

2006 Chevrolet Impala Door Lock Actuator

Parts Store Part Brand Price
RockAuto Dorman $89.89
NAPA Dorman $174.60
Advance Dorman $179.99
O’Reilly Dorman $179.99
Autozone Dorman $182.99
(Regular Prices as of 11/17/2015)

Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early This Year!

RockAuto Gift Certificate

Are you going 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. Make your gift giving easy this year with a RockAuto Gift Certificate! Whether the recipients need to replace a yellowed headlamp, fix the weak lift supports that no longer hold up the hood/trunk or get molded carpet for a restoration project, a RockAuto Gift Certificate will let them get the parts or tools they most need!

Gift Certificate
Purchase gift certificates with your choice of currency and amount. Have a paper certificate shipped to you or directly to the recipient or choose E-Gift.

E-Gift delivery is immediate and free. Simply select Email as the shipping option and your friends and family will conveniently receive the gift in their Inbox.

Purchase a Gift Certificate or E-Gift today!

Forum of the Month is a leading up-to-the-minute source for tenth-generation Honda Civic news and rumors, and all sorts of technical information ranging from general maintenance to cosmetic modifications.

The CivicX enthusiast community is friendly, passionate and rapidly growing. Registration is free for all to join and discuss the 2016+ Honda Civic sedan, coupe, 5-door hatchback, Si and Type R versions!

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


One morning, as I was about to leave for work, I turned the ignition key in my '07 Toyota Tundra and the truck had a hard time starting and was idling differently than usual. "Huh, time for a new battery," I thought. After all, the truck had over 380,000 km (236,000 miles) on the odometer. The battery checked out OK, and my next thought was that it might be the alternator, although I ruled that out when I started paying attention to the voltmeter gauge. I noticed that at just above idle, the voltmeter needle moved upwards of 12 volts, and even higher engine RPM moved the needle up to 13.5 to 14 volts. “A-hah! I've got a low idle speed issue,” I believed.

First thing, I checked the air filter. Nope, a quick glance showed that, although the filter was dark, it was still serviceable. An Internet search brought up tips on cleaning the throttle body. After a few hours under the hood cleaning, there was still no difference. "Maybe the serpentine belt is slipping?" was my next thought. But, the tension was fine and the belt was in great shape. After trying out a few other things the gurus on some of the Internet forums had suggested and still not getting anywhere, I decided to go back to the basics, starting with the air filter.

This time I gave it a good look. Imagine my surprise when I found, deep in the pleats, the tiny leaves from a honey locust tree had in fact, blocked a fair amount of the filter! The dark color of the filter pleats had done a good job of camouflaging the tiny, dark leaves. After installing a new filter, the idle went back to normal. I think I learned one big lesson after this blunder. Don't rush, assume, or take for granted that something is OK; take the time to look and be sure that it is.

Dave in Ontario, Canada

The large and deep pleats of a Toyota Tundra Air Filter

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 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

Competition from the big consolidated auto parts chains devastated small auto parts stores and their parts suppliers in the '80s and '90s. Beginning in 1999,'s selection, low prices and convenience pushed many of those old conventional suppliers even closer to the abyss.

A. True
B. False

Answer below

Comparing Wideband and Conventional Oxygen Sensors


Why does the original equipment (OE) oxygen sensor made by NTK for my wife's 1993 Ford Tempo cost almost $200 less than the OE oxygen sensor made by NTK for a 1993 Honda Civic VX? It is because the Tempo has a conventional oxygen (O2) sensor and the Civic VX has a wideband air fuel ratio (A/F) sensor, a more complex version of the oxygen sensor. The price difference for this example is extreme (I like to brag about our frugal Tempo), but wideband sensors typically cost twice as much as conventional O2 sensors.

One or both types of sensors are found on the newest cars. Often a wideband O2 sensor is upstream of the catalytic converter and a conventional O2 sensor is downstream. A conventional oxygen sensor can only tell the engine computer that the fuel/air mixture is rich or lean. A low voltage signal typically indicates the mixture is lean and a higher voltage indicates rich. This means with an O2 sensor the mixture is constantly being adjusted from slightly too rich to slightly too lean. When the gas pedal is floored, the computer just throws up its hands and ignores input from the O2 sensor until the excitement is over.

A wideband A/F sensor generates a variable electrical current. The direction the current is flowing tells the computer whether the mixture is rich or lean. The number of amps tells the computer precisely how much oxygen is in the exhaust. The computer can keep the fuel/air mixture closer to the ideal setting. Fuel economy increases and emissions decrease. Sometimes the higher cost of the wideband sensor is further offset by the ability to use a less expensive catalytic converter to control emissions.

Both sensors thread into holes in the exhaust pipe and are removed/installed using an O2 socket with a special slot for the wiring pigtail. Their appearance is also very similar. The tip of the conventional O2 sensor usually has more air holes or slits than a wideband sensor does. Wideband sensor electrical connectors have more wires, typically four or five. Both sensors cause similar symptoms when they fail: stalling, erratic idle, failed emissions tests, etc. Neglecting to replace a high mileage, sluggish or dead oxygen sensor could also damage your catalytic converter, costing you an extra $500 -$1,000 in repairs, if not more.

Typical wideband and conventional O2 sensor tips
Typical wideband and conventional O2 sensor tips

Wideband sensors may cost twice as much, but they also may last twice as long as conventional O2 sensors. The manufacturer recommended replacement interval for wideband sensors is 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or more, while the recommended replacement interval for conventional O2 sensors is 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Fortunately, oxygen sensors are one of the easier parts to replace on many vehicles. Getting the socket on the sensor may be more of an arm twister on some transversely mounted V6s with limited space between the engine and firewall. Doing the work yourself will save time and money, and the achievement will leave you with a sense of pride!

One or both types of sensors are found on almost all vehicles built since the 1980s. The same model may use different sensors for different engine options. See the sensors for your specific vehicle by looking under "Emission" and "Oxygen (O2) Sensor" in the RockAuto catalog.

Tom Taylor,

To read more of Tom's articles, click this link and choose from story titles on the Newsletter Archives page.
Patrick's 1966 Ford Galaxie
Patrick's 1966 Ford Galaxie

My history with my 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL convertible is not a long one. I bought this vehicle in 2010. I went to Atlanta to purchase the car, expecting to drive it home. The brakes locked up on the return trip, so I ended up stuck in Atlanta, calling all around to find a truck and trailer to rent in order to tow the car back home. Getting a car with seized brakes on the trailer was no easy task! This led to my first purchase of new wheel cylinders from RockAuto, along with complete front end bushings. Later on I had to buy a new turn signal cam and wiring and have recently purchased strut rod bushings. I’ve also replaced the headlight switch, 20 amp breaker for the convertible top, valve cover gaskets and a power steering pump. Along with many miscellaneous items in between, it looks like I will also be purchasing a trunk pan in the very near future. I always turn to RockAuto first for the parts I need. Thank you for the vast selection and quick, reliable shipments.

Patrick in Alabama

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 or RockAuto social media. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please email with your vehicle's history, interesting details, your favorite images and what parts from RockAuto you have used.

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Let RockAuto Help

Are you organizing a car show or other auto related event? From goody bag stuffers to gift certificates...RockAuto can help. We can even publicize your event in our newsletter.

Just send an email to with information about your show.

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

Competition from the big consolidated auto parts chains devastated small auto parts stores and their parts suppliers in the '80s and '90s. Beginning in 1999,'s selection, low prices and convenience pushed many of those old conventional suppliers even closer to the abyss.

A. True
Answer: B. False (RockAuto actually buys parts from those conventional auto parts suppliers. Many of them have been in business for more than fifty years. Rather than put old-school parts suppliers out of business, RockAuto has become their largest customer and has helped many thrive. RockAuto certainly is a competitor to the remaining successful small retail stores, but we also may help keep their parts suppliers in business and strengthen the suppliers' ability to negotiate competitive wholesale prices with parts manufacturers.)

Back up to trivia question

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