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How To: Prepare Your Car For a Road Trip


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    • By Counterman
      Counterman’s “
      link hidden, please login to view” contest challenges our readers to solve an automotive riddle, for a chance to win $100. And each month, we receive hundreds of responses from aftermarket professionals trying to guess the model of the vehicle depicted. The correct answer for the October/November contest is the AMC Javelin. The winner is George Widmer IV, an ASE P2-certified parts pro at Parts Authority in Norcross, Georgia.
      Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
      CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
      GW: Since 2001. I started off as a stock clerk my junior year of high school and I worked my way up from there.
      CM: What do you like most about your job?
      GW: The interaction with customers. Building a relationship with our regular customers and dealing with the general public.
      CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
      GW: I had a customer asking for the Firebird emblem for a ‘77 Trans Am. He was restoring it, and [the emblem] was old and it was peeling off. He just happened to call us up. I told him we didn’t have anything like that here, but I’ll see if I can get one. I outsourced one and got it for him. He’s been a customer ever since for the last three years.
      CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
      GW: My dad was a technician for a Pontiac dealer for 30 years. I would say the coolest car I’ve ever owned was my first vehicle, which was a 1986 Chevy S-10 pickup that we customized. We lowered it, painted it, put 18-inch wheels on it, added a custom stereo, and it was all done by me and him. It was a father-son bonding kind of thing that was really special.
      CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
      GW: I’m a big video gamer, and I collect model cars and model trains. I’m a devoted fan of NHRA; I’ve been to eight different tracks and I’m looking forward to attending a ninth track in 2023. I’m also a world history and football/soccer reader.
      CM: What’s your dream car?
      GW: We’ll go with my top two. The first one would be a 1971 Pontiac Trans Am in cameo white. The second one would be a 1956 Porsche Speedster in polyantha red; that’s an extremely rare color. The Pontiac was because my dad worked at a Pontiac dealership, and I’ve always had an interest in air-cooled Porches and Volkswagens.
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    • By Counterman
      Counterman’s “
      link hidden, please login to view” contest challenges our readers to solve an automotive riddle, for a chance to win $100. And each month, we receive hundreds of responses from aftermarket professionals trying to guess the model of the vehicle depicted. The correct answer for the August/September contest is the Honda Clarity. The winner is Don Maloney, store manager at Carquest in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
      Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
      CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
      DM: About 15 years or so.
      CM: What do you like most about your job?
      DM: Talking to people about vehicles and helping them solve their problems – that’s usually the most fun. And you get to meet some very interesting people and hear some interesting analysis.
      CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
      DM: What I like is the customer who comes in and buys oil and an oil filter and says, “OK, where do I pull the car around to get this done?” That’s probably the best question we get asked. We even get that question with belts and alternators and starters.
      CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
      DM: The coolest car I ever owned was a 1986 Mercedes 190E Cosworth. It was a four-door sedan with a Cosworth-built engine. It came standard with Recaro seats and a dogleg five-speed transmission. It was what they call a homologation car, which means that Mercedes had to build a certain number of these cars [for street use] and put them on the market for sale to qualify for a race series.
      CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
      DM:  When you have seven grandkids, you pretty much have your days off occupied. That is my hobby, pretty much.
      CM: What’s your dream car?
      DM: My dream car would be a Mercedes 190E Evolution. There may be a few floating around the United States, but way beyond anything I could ever afford.
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    • By Counterman
      You may notice a different type of show car at the 
      link hidden, please login to view this year. It only has 140 horsepower, with a four-speed automatic transmission, and it clocks in at 20 feet long. This car is not arriving at the show on a trailer. Instead, it’s coming from Akron, Ohio, on its own power.
      The car and its adventures over the next nine days promise to be a rolling testimonial for the $1.6 trillion global industry that keeps more than 1.3 billion vehicles on the road: the automotive aftermarket.
      Over the past five months, 
      link hidden, please login to view and 16 sponsors have rehabilitated a 1989 Cadillac Brougham so it can make the epic 2,500-mile journey to be a part of AAPEX 2022. The journey from the used-car lot to the AAPEX show floor is being documented in a six-episode video series, starting on Sept. 19, called “The Road to AAPEX.” The finale will air on Oct. 31 just prior to the AAPEX opening reception. All episodes will be available on the 
      link hidden, please login to view as well as the  link hidden, please login to view. “This project car is not about quarter-mile times or chrome,” said Randy Loeser, executive director of content and video services, Babcox Media. “The project is a proof of concept to show how the auto care industry keeps the world moving, no matter what they drive.”
      link hidden, please login to viewThe Caddy When Babcox Media’s automotive video producer Joe Keene spotted the listing on Craigslist for a 1989 Cadillac Brougham, he knew it would be the perfect car for the journey to Las Vegas. The Brougham had more than 180,000 miles on the odometer. Unfortunately, it also had a leaking transmission, no A/C and the air suspension was no longer working.
      “After a quick inspection of the car, it was not as bad as I thought,” said Keene. “But we had to make it reliable, safe and able to handle conditions like desert driving.”
      The rehabilitation process addressed all mechanical systems on the vehicle. In addition, the body was restored with new parts and paint. The complete process will be shown on the first episode of “The Road to AAPEX.”
      “Many people think it would be difficult to get parts for a 33-year-old car,” said Keene. “However, all of our sponsors still manufacture and stock parts for this aging vehicle.”
      Check out the trailer for the Road to AAPEX link hidden, please login to view!
      Vital Statistics
      Make/model: Cadillac Brougham  Year: 1989 Hometown: Arlington, Texas Mileage: 180,000+ miles  Engine: 307 LV2 Olds V-8 Power: 140 hp and 245 lb./ft. Weight: 4,500 lbs. Length: 20 ft. Fuel capacity: 21 gallons Fuel economy: 15 city/22 highway Tires: 225/65R17 Transmission: Remanufactured Turbo-Hydramatic 200-4R Brakes: Front vented disc/rear drum brakes Air conditioning: R134a conversion Airbags: None The Route
      “The Road to AAPEX” begins in Akron, Ohio, at Babcox Media’s headquarters. Keene will then travel to Joliet, Illinois, to pick up the historic Route 66. Keene will take the “mother road” to visit historic roadside attractions, parts stores and shops in eight states. The trip will cover more than 2,500 miles in nine days.
      “The Road to AAPEX is an incredible demonstration of the freedom and choice that our industry provides Americans, every single day,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “Every part of our supply chain enables this freedom to go anywhere, anytime: from parts manufacturers, to distributors, to retailers and shops. There’s nothing more quintessential than a road trip across America, fueled by these essential businesses. Without the aftermarket, the affordability and convenience the motoring public relies on wouldn’t be possible – and we are proud to be that anchor for the consumer for generations to come.”
      After reaching the Grand Canyon, Keene will head north to Las Vegas and AAPEX. Following its debut at AAPEX, the Cadillac is being gifted to a U.S. Military veteran through the 
      link hidden, please login to view, with the whole project truly capturing the spirit of the aftermarket from start to finish. “The Road to AAPEX looks different for each member of our great industry, from snowy mountain roads to sandy, beachside highways or the classic Route 66. However, these journeys all have one thing in common – the strength and power of the aftermarket behind each vehicle,” said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association. “AAPEX is the home for each part, tool, chemical, technology or component needed to safely maintain America’s 280 million vehicles. We are proud of our industry, and to serve the millions of people who rely on the aftermarket on their own ‘roads to … ’ every day. I am glad AAPEX provides us with the opportunity to come together to build the relationships we need to grow our businesses.”
      The Driver
      Joe Keene is an automotive video producer for Babcox Media. He has worked in the auto care industry as a technician, service advisor and instructor. He is the host for “Auto Pros on the Road,” which is now in its third season. Keene is an ASE-certified automotive technician and is the chief mechanic for the Cadillac. 
      The Sponsors
      Transtar Industries Transtar Autobody Technologies AP Emissions BCA Bearings  Blackburn OEM Wheel Solutions Continental Tire MotoRad Motorcar Parts of America, Inc. (MPA) O’Reilly Auto Parts Wix Filters TRW Litens PennGrade Auto Care Association AASA Right to Repair    AAPEX
      AAPEX represents the more than $1.6 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry. Historically, the event draws approximately 2,500 exhibiting companies that display innovative products, services and technologies that keep the world’s 1.3 billion vehicles on the road.
      AAPEX also provides advanced technical and business management training for professionals to maintain excellence and take their businesses to the next level. Industry buyers include automotive service and repair professionals, auto parts retailers, independent warehouse distributors, program groups, service chains, automotive dealers, fleet buyers and engine builders.
      AAPEX is co-owned by the 
      link hidden, please login to view and the  link hidden, please login to view, the light-vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). For more information, visit  link hidden, please login to view or e-mail: [email protected] On social media, follow AAPEX at #AAPEX22. The post
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    • By Counterman
      The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has introduced a new corporate-support aspect to its popular UAF Coffee Club recurring-donor program.
      Called the BARISTA level, the new donor program provides organizations with a pathway to join individual donors in “pouring it forward” to benefit of the automotive aftermarket through education.
      “We are excited to offer this unique new program to give aftermarket organizations a chance to ‘expresso’ their support and help provide scholarships and educational opportunities for the next generation of industry professionals,” said Mike Buzzard, UAF trustee and chairman of the UAF Coffee Club sub-committee.
      Organizations that donate a minimum of $3,600 to the UAF that is earmarked for the Coffee Club campaign will be recognized as BARISTA at the UAF Coffee Club event during AAPEX on signage, the UAF Website, UAF newsletter and other UAF communications. BARISTA donations apply toward Lifetime Trustee status.
      “BARISTA donors will join UAF Coffee Club members at a special networking event at AAPEX which has proven to provide a valuable venue and professional connection springboard for those new to aftermarket careers to interact with industry veterans,” said Buzzard.
      To learn more and become a BARISTA, contact UAF Executive Director Jennifer Tio at [email protected] For more information about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and its available scholarships, or to make a donation, visit
      link hidden, please login to view. The post
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By Counterman
      Well this is a first.
      Apparently, after months of easy puzzles, the August/September “Guess the Car” contest has stumped our readers.
      So far, Counterman hasn’t received any correct answers. However, we’ve seen some excellent guesses, and we can tell you this: Some of you are on the right track.
      The woman in the picture is having an “aha moment.” That much is obvious. But how does that translate into the name of a vehicle model?
      Here are a few answers that are close but not correct:
      Fiat Idea GM Bright Idea Honda Insight If we don’t receive any correct answers in the next week or two, we’ll provide more clues to help you gain some clarity on the current puzzle.
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