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    • By NAPA
      Jack Wood was on track to collect a top-five finish at Kevin Harvick’s Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP) before trouble dealt him a 12th-place finish on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 16
      link hidden, please login to view Chevrolet SS was in position to secure a fourth-place finish but suffered a melted right-front tire bead with five laps to go. Wood started on the front row for his second appearance at KCRP after stopping the clock at 18.646 seconds to equal his career-best qualifying effort. He made an early bid for the race lead before settling into second position for the majority of the event’s first half. As the opening 75-lap run progressed, Wood began to battle brake issues and a loose handling condition. The balance hampered his ability to keep pace with the lead and was in fourth position by the halfway caution at lap 75.
      Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt and the NAPA Auto Care team made an adjustment during the five-minute halfway break to aid Wood’s handling balance. When the race restarted, Wood took advantage of the outside line to reclaim third position. However, his brake issues escalated in the second half despite running in fourth position. Wood suffered a flat right front tire in the waning laps and was handed a 12th-place finish.
      “We had a fast NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet today,” Wood said. “I’m proud of the speed these guys at BMR had in our car. We had a brake issue and I didn’t have much of a pedal before halfway and we got really loose. Kevin (Bellicourt) and the guys made a good adjustment at the halfway break on the balance and we got the car better. But the brake pedal just went to the floor as the night went. We were still in the top five and were going to have a good points night but had a flat right front at the end. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the result, but happy with the speed we had today.”
      Start / Finish: 2 / 12
      Points Standing / Total: 7th / 37 pts. (-12)
      Next Race: Friday, May 31, Portland International Raceway
      How to Watch or Listen: FloRacing
      NAPA: 
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      Jack Wood:  link hidden, please login to view
      Bill McAnally Racing / McAnally-Hilgemann Racing:  link hidden, please login to view The post
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    • By Alan
      To Importers in the Global Tire Industry:

      Please read this  as it might inspire you. Many international friends have been perplexed about how to import tires manufactured in China and sell them in their home countries. China's tire industry has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, marking a period of significant dividends. Many early investments in large factories have yielded substantial returns. However, with an increasing number of factories and brands, the competition has intensified. For those who wish to enter this industry but are unsure about how to proceed, please follow my website. I will periodically update it with information about China's tire industry for your reference. 
      please follow: link hidden, please login to view 
    • By Counterman
      rack: noun
      1. The linear component of a rack and pinion gearset.
      2. The short name given to a rack and pinion steering assembly for an automobile.
      This is one of those times when the same word is used over and over to describe two things that are related but different. When I first learned about rack-and-pinion steering, it was anything but new. Nonetheless, in my world, I was used to traditional. I was among the guilty who shunned things that in no way could ever be better than a carburetor, points, condenser and crank windows.
      When it came to steering, if it didn’t have a steering box, pitman arm, idler arm and a center link, it probably wasn’t a real car.
      You laugh, but now, so do I. Automotive technology always has changed for the better, and rack-and-pinion steering just made sense. It was simple, less expensive, lighter-weight and simple to maintain. The term “rack and pinion” describes a type of gearset that transfers rotational motion into linear motion. In the case of an automotive application, the rack-and-pinion gearset is housed in a unit that we simply refer to as the steering rack, or rack for short.
      So, a steering rack transfers the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion required to move the tie rods left or right for steering. They initially became commonplace on small economy cars and were additionally well-suited for front-wheel-drive applications due to the limited space they require. Now, almost every new car, SUV and light truck on the market has rack-and-pinion steering.
      A simple design and low maintenance are benefits of a steering rack, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t caused a headache or two over the years – and there are many questions you’ll still field about these systems. While they’re too difficult to describe, the service aspect is where you’ll get most of the questions, and this is where your customers will benefit from your knowledge. After all, as a counter professional, you’re in the business of answering questions.
      Many early steering racks on small cars were simple manual racks with no hydraulic assist. These were my favorite. They rarely developed any problems and, in many cases, would last the life of the vehicle. Then, cars got heavier, people got softer and hydraulic power steering for the most part became standard. Today, electric power steering is taking over, and in many ways with the lack of a hydraulic pump, hoses, lines and leaks, it has brought back the simplicity of the original manual rack.
      Although many aspects are the same regardless of the type of assist, in this article I’m going to focus on hydraulic power-steering racks. They’re still going to be around for some time, and service considerations are where you’ll get most of your questions. Making sure the job is done right is important for not only safety and efficiency, but it also helps prevent unnecessary warranty hassles.
      First and foremost is power-steering fluid. It’s commonly overlooked and neglected. The valving and seals inside a hydraulic power-steering rack rely on clean fluid for proper operation, and just like any other fluid service, ignoring this can shorten the life of the steering rack. When replacing a rack, fluid should be drained and flushed as best as possible, and it’s a good idea – as well as a good upsell – to install an inline filter. Most of these types of filters work with a magnetic mesh that’s especially beneficial to trap small metal particles.
      One of the most common problems to arise is a torn rack boot. These rubber bellows-style boots expand and collapse every time you turn the wheels, and it’s just unavoidable that they eventually wear out. There are two immediate problems with this. One, the inner tie-rod ends will collect dirt in the grease that lubricates them, and two, dirt and debris will be drawn into the rack seals every time you turn, eventually causing damage and leaks.
      link hidden, please login to view Torn boots should be replaced as soon as possible when they’re discovered, and the vast majority of them require the removal of the outer tie-rod end. An alignment is required afterward – no ifs, ands or buts.
      Worn inner tie rods are another common problem, and while “technically” not part of the steering rack, service procedures can affect the integrity of the rack. Many new racks come with new inner tie rods and boots pre-installed to prevent damage from incorrect installation, so the boots keep everything sealed up from the start.
      Most of the time, replacing the inner tie rods requires a special tool, kind of like a deep socket on steroids – deep enough to reach over the length of the tie rod and access the inner end where it bolts to the rack. On the end of the tool is a half-inch square drive. The factor to be aware of is that by-the-book service procedures call for holding the rack (the actual internal component) in a soft jaw vise when removing or installing the inner tie rod, so you don’t twist it and risk damaging the pinion gear.
      The problem is in practice, this is rarely done because there’s no way to do it with the entire assembly installed in the car. There’s simply no access to get any type of holding fixture onto the actual rack. For fun, I looked up the top videos on the internet for installing inner tie-rod ends, and none of them mention holding the rack. Perhaps because they don’t want you to know they didn’t do it, or they don’t know the solution because there really isn’t a good one – at least not one I’ve learned of yet.
      You might be able to get locking pliers clamped onto the rack to hold it, but that would gouge the machine-finished surfaces and tear up the rack seal, so that’s out. So, how serious is the problem? Most inner tie rods don’t require very high torque, and many of them use a type of thread locker, a locking nut or a type of retainer to prevent loosening. The bottom line is, if you use hand tools to loosen and tighten the inner tie rod, and slowly torque it to the correct specification during installation, the pressure against the pinion is going to be minimal, and damage is unlikely.
      Whatever you do, use hand tools. Do not use an impact wrench on the end of the inner tie-rod tool. This will transfer a series of blows directly into the pinion and the valve assembly inside the unit, and you could be asking for trouble.
      As mentioned before, any time the rack or a tie-rod end is replaced, an alignment will need to be performed. But, just as important is any time the rack is being replaced, the steering shaft will be disconnected. Always make sure the steering wheel isn’t allowed to spin free, or the airbag clock spring will be damaged. Also, make sure the rack is in its centered position before initially disconnecting the steering shaft and before reinstalling it.
      Quite possibly the most useful tip for new steering-rack installation involves cleaning the splined steering-shaft connection. It’s a precision fit. In other words, both sets of splines need to be perfectly clean. If they are, they’ll slide right together. If not, you’ll fight it forever. Many new (or remanufactured) racks are painted, and it’s not uncommon for overspray to get on the splines. This may seem inconsequential, but the thickness of the paint is enough to cause a nightmare.
      There are many opportunities for upsells with steering racks and related services. Outer tie-rod ends are often replaced one at a time and, in many cases, this is all that’s needed. Still, it’s a good reminder to check the rack boots and other ends closely. Since an alignment will be required, it’ll save money in the long run to take care of any pending issues now.
      If you’re replacing an inner tie rod, you’ll already have the outer and the boot off. It’s often much easier to replace them too. Brake/parts cleaner is a good solvent for cleaning out reservoirs and lines, but make sure they’re allowed to completely dry before sealing the system up. I like to use clean power-steering fluid as a final flush to make sure any trace of solvent is gone, so selling a little extra is a good idea.
      Tool upsells can include the inner tie-rod tool, an outer tie-rod separator and a grease gun if grease fittings are included on any of the front-end components.
      The crowning touch is service information for torque specifications and bleeding procedures. Everyone should have a manual, and you’ve got them on the shelf, right? This is the perfect job to recommend one.
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    • By Counterman
      The Tire Industry Association has joined other association leaders to support the critical global Right to Repair movement by signing the new Right to Repair position statement.
      The statement enumerates the core beliefs of the movement and the objectives and intended outcomes of right to repair legislation. The document also sets forth 10 best-practice principles to developing a framework for Right to Repair legislation that any supporting country can use and adapt them to their needs.
      Globally, the automotive aftermarket keeps 1.5 billion vehicles on the road while contributing $1.8 trillion to the global economy. After vehicles exit their warranty period, independent repair shops perform 70% of repairs. This vibrant industry and the consumer choice that it creates is being threatened by automotive manufacturers that block access to wirelessly transmitted vehicle repair and maintenance data, according to TIA.
      Without the convenience and choice of independent parts and repair, especially in suburban and rural communities, consumers will have limited access to affordable vehicle service and repair. These restrictions can have catastrophic effects on local economies and the well-being and safety of millions that rely on vehicle transportation daily, TIA says.
      In the United States, the automotive aftermarket is a $492 billion industry employing 4.5 million professionals, according to the Auto Care Association. 
      “Right to Repair is a top priority for TIA members and for the global automotive aftermarket,” said Richard “Dick” Gust, TIA CEO. “Without safeguards, independent automotive repairers and vehicle owners will have fewer repair options, face longer wait times and pay higher prices when they repair their vehicles. It is crucial for independent auto repair locations to have access to the equipment and data needed to repair today’s highly technological vehicles and that consumers have a choice in where they get their vehicles repaired.”
      Both 
      link hidden, please login to view and  link hidden, please login to view have successfully retained their drivers’ right to repair their vehicles. These countries are a model for similar legislation in the United States that levels the playing field and keeps the consumer at the heart of decision-making across the transportation ecosystem. Read the full position statement 
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    • Fast Free Shipping on All Orders Over $50
    • By NAPA
      Losing traction in the snow is no one’s idea of a good time. Even in areas not known for abysmal snowstorms, winter can create icy and hazardous road conditions that drivers must be prepared to deal with. Luckily the solution of adding snow chains for tires used on vehicles that need to brave the wintery roads. Adding
      link hidden, please login to view for cars can be a workable solution to get you where you need to go when the roads are not your friend — but they can also be a pain. Knowing when you should be putting chains on tires can help you get out of a slippery situation, but you have to know what you’re doing first. Here’s how to tell if it is time to use snow tire chains on your vehicle. Technically Speaking
      While tire chains are legal in all 50 states different
      link hidden, please login to view regulate chain usage in different states. Even Hawaii has a law on the books for tire chains (only if you are driving on on Mauna Kea though). Before you invest in a shiny new pair, make sure you know whether chains are allowed, permitted or even required in some cases. Generally, a chain “requirement” means you must have them in your vehicle if you want to pass certain checkpoints that pop up in inclement weather. Some go as far as requiring tire chains to be installed when road conditions reach a certain point with fines and penalties for non-compliance. Places where chains are permitted usually come with some disclaimer that restrict their usage, so make sure you know the law and follow it. There may even be different tire chains laws for passenger vehicles versus commercial trucks. Most tire chain laws are meant to help protect the roadway surface from damage caused by using chains without enough snow coverage. Leaving snow chains on tires when the conditions don’t warrant it can also damage your tires. The other important factor to consider is whether your vehicle is suitable for chains. You can find chains for most tire sizes, but there must be enough clearance for them to fit on without causing damage to the body, undercarriage or brakes. Make sure to check clearance around the front tires with the steering wheel turned fully to each side to make sure nothing rubs. If clearance is tight you may want to consider
      link hidden, please login to view, which sometimes have a lower profile. Consult your owner’s manual for tire chain specifications and allowances. Be Prepared link hidden, please login to view
      Because chains are something you will likely need to take on and off at least once per trip, and because the conditions surrounding their use are usually cold, soggy and snowy, it’s best to practice installation first, ideally when the weather is still nice. Without driving the car anywhere,
      link hidden, please login to view and take them off a couple of times to get the hang of it so that when you do eventually need them, you aren’t stuck fumbling and trying to figure out how to get them on with freezing fingers. Also, if you’re carrying car tire chains, pack a safety vest as well. There’s a good chance you’ll have to pull onto the side of the road at some point to adjust or remove them, and if it’s snowing, visibility will be low. Using Chains For Tires Under The Right Conditions
      Tire chains for cars should only be used if there is a layer of snow or ice on the road. Using chains on bare pavement can cause substantial damage to both your tires and the road itself. If you turn onto a road that’s clearly been plowed and salted, pull over and remove the chains.
      It always pays to be
      link hidden, please login to view, but chains require a whole new level of attention and care. Snow chains for car, truck and SUV applications all work the same way to increase grip but there are limitations. When on, the car should not be driven above 30 miles per hour and you have to be mindful of curbs when parking. On two-wheel drive vehicles, chains must be attached to wheels on the drive axle, but ideally you get them on all four. If installed only in the front there will be a tendency to oversteer and a tendency to understeer if they’re only in the back. Four-wheel drive vehicles should have chains installed on all tires. Once the tire chains are installed drive a block or two and tighten them again. Some vehicles with selectable driving modes may need to be in the appropriate mode when using snow chains, so check your owner’s manual just in case. Once you get to an area of clear roadway, take off the chains. The aggressive traction that make tire chains so effective can also cause increased tire wear, so only keep them on when you need them. Though they can be cumbersome, snow chains make a real difference in winter weather when you need to get somewhere without mother nature’s permission, but only if they’re being used safely and effectively. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. Once you are done using your snow chains inspect them for any breaks, corrosion, or physical damage before putting them away. Give them a good spray with WD-40 so they will be ready for next season.
      Check out all the
      link hidden, please login to view available on  link hidden, please login to view or trust one of our 17,000  link hidden, please login to view for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on tire chains for cars, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your link hidden, please login to view. Photo courtesy of
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