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Now there’s a way to ensure more reliable power from EcoBoost-powered 2.3-liter engines with the introduction of MAHLE Motorsport’s 4032 alloy Ford EcoBoost 2.3L PowerPak Plus Piston kit.
Designed for heavy-duty applications in which the OE cast piston has been known to fail, MAHLE Motorsport has introduced a 4032 alloy option that not only adds much-needed strength, but also allows for a tighter piston to wall clearance for quieter cold startup, according to the company.
MAHLE Motorsport’s 2.3L PowerPak kit is loaded with value-added features for reliable power production for any 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, according to MAHLE.
To help correct problems associated with the OE cast piston, MAHLE Motorsport manufactured this kit with a thick slipper-skirt-style forging and an enhanced OE crown design with increased radius for improved strength. Other special features include a heavy-duty 0.200-inch wall thickness; H13 tool steel wrist pins; and a hard anodized top ring groove that is ideal for extreme-duty applications.
The pistons are engineered with thick 0.235-inch top and 0.200-inch second ring lands. The pistons are designed for OE 149.3-millimeter-length connecting rods and OE 22.5-millimeter wrist pins and an OE 32.8-millimeter compression height. Valve pockets and depth accommodates both the 2-liter and 2.3-liter OE EcoBoost heads with a 9.5:1 compression ratio.
The new PowerPak Plus kit is available in 87.51-millimeter (No. 197937145) and 88-millimeter (No. 197937165) bore sizes and includes a nitrided steel 1.2-millimeter top, 1.2-millimeter second, 2.8-millimeter oil-ring set. The pistons are coated with MAHLE’s unique GRAFAL anti-friction skirt coating and phosphate to prevent microwelding and pin galling.
For more information, visit www.mahlemotorsports.com, or call MAHLE Motorsport toll-free at 888-255-1942.
The post MAHLE Introduces Ford EcoBoost 2.3L PowerPak Plus Piston Kit appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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Meet “the Marble family.” Mrs. Marble drives a two-year-old BMW, which she takes to the dealership for all maintenance and repairs. Since the pandemic hit, she’s been working from home entirely, saving her vehicle from the wear and tear of a 30-mile daily commute.
Traditionally, Mrs. Marble hasn’t supported the independent automotive aftermarket at all. But, she picked up a new hobby during the pandemic: car detailing. And her husband, who drives a 10-year-old Ford F-150, has decided not to purchase a new truck due to inventory shortages and skyrocketing prices on the showroom floor. Instead, Mr. Marble has been tackling delayed maintenance needs such as new brakes and a coolant flush. On top of that, the Marble family bought a new camper, which they’ve taken on 20 road trips since the pandemic started.
Then there’s “Hailey.” Although she’s been working from home and driving less during the pandemic, the extra time at home inspired her to restore her 1966 Mustang that’s been sitting in the garage. Meanwhile, “Charles,” who lives in New York City (and previously didn’t own a vehicle), bought a car during the pandemic, because he can’t stand the prospect of using mass transit due to fears of being exposed to COVID.
Nathan Shipley, executive director, industry analyst, for The NPD Group, used these fictional but “very real” examples to show how the pandemic has spurred major changes in consumer behavior – many of which have benefited the automotive aftermarket in a big way. During a presentation at AAPEX 2021 in Las Vegas, Shipley shared NPD Group data showing that the automotive aftermarket gained nearly 4 million new retail buyers in 2020.
“That’s a big number,” Shipley said. “Those are folks who had not bought anything on the DIY side of the aftermarket prior to 2020, and all of a sudden magically appeared and were engaged with us as an industry.”
Looking back, the whys behind the boom in DIY sales have become crystal clear: more time at home; a windfall of discretionary cash from stimulus checks, child-tax credits and (for some) extended unemployment benefits; an aversion to airplanes and public transportation; and cabin fever, which drove sales of RVs and boats to record levels.
As Shipley discussed The NPD Group’s 2022 outlook for front-room retail sales in the automotive aftermarket, he noted a number of “mixed signals” on the horizon. On the positive side, the job market remains strong in the aftermath of the 2020 recession; COVID-inspired activities such as camping, boating and road trips are showing no signs of slowing down; and the new- and used-car marketplace is pushing consumers to keep their older vehicles on the road longer than planned.
“There are more cars on the road now than ever,” Shipley added. “Scrappage rates are down. VIO is up. The average [vehicle] age is trending older because of what’s happening with new cars. Those are all nice tailwinds for the aftermarket.”
However, there are a number of pandemic-era tailwinds that could become headwinds for the aftermarket in 2022 – notably the absence of stimulus payments and the expiration of the eviction moratorium, expanded unemployment benefits and student-loan forbearance. Shipley believes that many consumers likely will be surprised by a smaller-than-usual tax refund, because “they just don’t understand the mechanics” of the child-tax-credit payments that showed up in consumers’ bank accounts in 2021.
And, while Shipley said he expects miles driven to return to 2019 levels this year, rising gasoline prices remain the ultimate wild card. At press time (Jan. 7), the average price of gasoline was $3.303 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA.
“We can go back years … and there’s a direct correlation between gasoline prices and miles driven, notably when we get to gasoline-price thresholds of $3.50 a gallon, $4 a gallon,” Shipley added. “That’s when we start to really see – at least historically – major behavior changes as it relates to driving. So this has crept back into the conversation.”
NPD’s data modeling for 2022 calls for U.S. aftermarket retail sales to pull back 5.7% from 2021 – a year in which sales were up nearly 8% compared to 2020. However, the 2022 forecast anticipates that aftermarket retail sales will be 8.5% higher this year than they were in 2019.
“This is a bullish forecast,” Shipley said. “This is suggesting that 2021 was the peak, and things are going to keep trucking right along,” assuming there are no new sales-triggering events such as additional stimulus packages.
He added: “I think the big takeaway is that the fundamentals of this industry are very, very strong. We should feel very, very good about where we’re at as an industry. But, overall, we expect things to settle in just below where they were in 2021.”
The post NPD Group Bullish On Retail Aftermarket For 2022 appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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AMN/Counterman and Babcox Media are thrilled to kick off the nomination process for our third-annual “Women at the Wheel” celebration!
For our May 2022 cover story, Women at the Wheel, we will be profiling some of today’s top female professionals leading the charge in the automotive aftermarket.
We are looking for candidates from the executive level to the counter pro to the shop owner who make a difference through innovation, business acumen or serving as a role model in the automotive aftermarket.
Click here to nominate a woman in your professional community who creates that spark. We can’t wait to share your stories.
The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.
The post Nominations Now Open For 2022 ‘Women At The Wheel’ appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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BBB Industries has launched the first in a series of Remy brand-awareness videos.
“These videos align with BBB’s commitment to helping its customers by promoting the Remy brand,” said Matt Heater, director of product and marketing management. “Video marketing continues to be a valuable tool for our company to leverage and boost brand awareness. In addition, these videos reinforce the position of Remy as the trusted brand of automotive professionals.”
The first video features a football coach giving an inspirational locker-room speech.
“Alright. So you got a little beat up out there,” the coach says. “They’re saying you’re washed up. They’re saying you’re past your prime. Are you really going to let them think that about you? You’re tougher than that. You’ve still got a lot of fight left in you.”
About halfway into the video, the camera reveals that the coach is addressing Remy remanufactured starters and alternators.
To watch the video, click here.
The post BBB Industries Launches Remy Brand-Awareness Video appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. Announces Dates for Its Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2021 Earnings Release and Conference CallBy Auto News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (the “Company” or “O’Reilly”) (Nasdaq: ORLY), a leading retailer in the automotive aftermarket industry, announces the release date for its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results as Wednesday, February 9, 2022, with a conference call to follow on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
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