RockAuto May Newsletter
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Cabin Air Filters

Replacing the Cabin Air Filter is easy DIY maintenance that can have a major impact on the health/comfort of both you and your vehicle's Heat & Air Conditioning system. You get fresh air with fewer odors, pollutants and/or bacteria as well as less debris and/or mold at the temperature you prefer.

Your vehicle does not need to struggle to force air through clogged ducts or read signals from sensors shrouded in dust. Free flowing air means the AC evaporator in the dash is less likely to ice up on those hot, humid days when you need cool air the most.

Find the best Cabin Air Filter for your driving conditions under "Heat & Air Conditioning" for your specific vehicle in the RockAuto catalog. Cabin Air Filter "Info" pages may include tips and installation instructions.

Forum of the Month is a comprehensive and friendly online community of Toyota Tundra owners. This forum is active with members sharing information on all aspects of these trucks, from answers to technical questions to general all around Toyota talk. You will also find current discussions on other Toyota trucks and SUVs.

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

Many years ago, my brother helped me change the engine in my 1970 Dodge pickup. The body of that old pickup was not in terrible shape, but the engine was shot. A friend gave me a 1971 Dodge pickup that was completely rusted out but had a good engine. So one night, my brother and I dove into the project at the shop I worked at. We pulled the motor from the donor truck and installed it in mine. We were making good time, both of us were pretty tired, but we pushed though and got the engine installed. Then it was time to fire it up.

It cranked and cranked while trying to come to life but it just would not. We checked the timing and made sure all the wires were in the right positions. I cranked it again; nothing. We checked and rechecked but could not get that engine to fire. We could not figure it out...the engine was running great in the donor pickup. Finally, exhausted and exasperated, we gave up for the night, rolled the truck outside and went home.

The next day, my boss asked me if we got the truck running, to which I responded with a dejected, “No.” I opened the hood and started to tell him what we had done. At the same time I looked up next to the wipers and there sat a distributor rotor. We had been tired enough that we forgot to install it under the distributor cap. I installed the rotor and the truck fired right up!

Sam in South Dakota

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

The rugged International (Harvester) Scout competed with Jeeps, Broncos and other 4X4s until 1980. Which vehicle manufacturer is going to resurrect the International Scout as an electric pickup and SUV?

A. Honda


C. Volkswagen

Answer below

Stretch to Fit Belts
Tom's Story

I remember having my mind blown about 35 years ago when I learned I did not know everything about the humble lug nut after discovering my new-to-me '68 Chrysler 300 had reverse/left-hand threaded lug nuts on one side. People changing belts for the first time on a five, ten or even fifteen-year-old engine might similarly discover that there is more to learn about the humble belt.

Owners of newer Ford, GM, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota and other brand cars, SUVs and trucks may be surprised to find their engine has a conventional serpentine belt held in place with a spring-loaded belt tensioner and a second "stretch belt" that does not have a tensioner nor any other obvious way to remove/replace it.

Typical stretch belt and installation tool
Typical Stretch Belt and Installation Tool

Car manufacturers try to drive all the accessories (AC, alternator...) with one serpentine belt, but sometimes that belt gets so long or its routing so complex that it generates excessive friction and/or noise. The stretch belt gives car manufacturers a way to add an additional belt while avoiding the cost of belt tensioner hardware.

A stretch belt usually wears out at the same rate as the conventional serpentine belt. Belts often slip and make noise as material wears away, and the grooves/ridges on the belt are no longer able to adequately grip the metal ridges on the pulley. The worn belt's ridges may develop tiny cracks and small chunks of the ridges may be completely missing.

Stretch belts cannot be stretched twice or reused. An old stretch belt is simply cut off with a knife or clippers. Attempting to pry a new stretch belt (or other belt) on with a screwdriver, crowbar or other tool will destroy the new belt and might even damage a pulley. Stretch belts are typically methodically fed onto the crankshaft and accessory pulleys by rotating the crankshaft by hand with a socket wrench while a special belt installation tool (or just a zip-tie in some cases) guides the stretch belt on.

Look under "Belt Drive" for your specific vehicle in the catalog to see if your engine has a stretch belt. Stretch belt "Info" pages often include installation tips and videos. The correct Belt Installation Tool for the engine is also found in the "Belt Drive" section as are Belt Drive Component Kits that include the stretch belt plus a new serpentine belt and its tensioner. All types of Belt Installation Tools can also be found in "Belt Drive" under the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab.

Tom Taylor,

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

Aidan's 1992 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Aidan's 1992 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

This is my 1992 Cadillac Coupe de Ville built with RockAuto parts. It has 119,000 miles, a 4.9L V8, and a tendency to make everyone I know smile. My grandfather bought it from an extended family member in 1994. This car has been everywhere: California to Arkansas and back at least four times, and countless trips to Vegas and San Francisco. It is such a comfortable cruiser that, in the words of my grandpa, you can pass everything on a long road trip except a gas station! It has been my ride to and from school and my grandparents' house for as long as I can remember.

I have wanted the car since I was little. I used to open its massive coupe doors and pretend it was an airplane, and take apart the trunk to marvel at the spare tire. In 2018, it became my first car after receiving my driver's license. My granddad was not one to do any maintenance except change the oil. So I took it upon myself to learn how a car works and change out ancient parts from the Cooling, Ignition, Electrical, Emission, Engine Gaskets and Seals, Exhaust, Fuel and Suspension systems that undoubtedly were worn out after 30 years.

My Cadillac has been a daily driver for four years and has never let me down once. It is stylish comfortable, and never fails to turn heads. It may not be a classic '59 or a '76, but to me, my family, my passengers, and the countless curious strangers that I encounter in parking lots, it really is something special.

Thank you very much to you folks at RockAuto for fueling my interest in mechanics and helping to keep my beloved car on the road.

Aidan in California

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! For submission instructions and tips for taking pictures of your car, please visit our Photography Tips & Submission Info page

Automotive Trivia Answer
Automotive Trivia

The rugged International (Harvester) Scout competed with Jeeps, Broncos and other 4X4s until 1980. Which vehicle manufacturer is going to resurrect the International Scout as an electric pickup and SUV?

A. Honda


Answer: C. Volkswagen (source: )

Back up to trivia question