We have another guest blog post! This one is from Keith at Car Up Keep. Thanks Keith, and we hope ya’ll enjoy!
Christmas Gift Ideas for the Hot Rod Enthusiast in Your Household
If you have a car enthusiast in your life, you know how lucky you are at Christmas. There’s probably no one easier to buy gifts for than a person who really loves their car. It’s perfect — there’s no end of gift ideas, and they all center around the exact same thing. You don’t even have to make multiple stops when picking out a gift or visit more than one website because making him happy for the holidays comes down to buying something he can put on his car, something he can put in his car, or something he can put on himself to remind him of his car. With that in mind, here are some smart gift starters to get you headed in the right direction.
A Clean and Orderly Garage
During the winter, it’s too cold outside for your favorite car buff to do what he really loves best — tinkering with his ride. This Christmas, you can change all that by providing him with an organized garage. It’s a great chance to declutter all that accumulated junk in the garage but if you need extra storage space for garage stuff, consider keeping it in a storage facility until after the holidays. It’s convenient and affordable; for example, you can find a five-by-five self-storage space in Forsyth, Georgia, for as low as $28 a month.
Leather Driving Gloves
This one’s a little fanciful, but most car drivers at one time or another have fantasized about being Mario Andretti, Cale Yarborough, or Richard Petty, and they just need a slick pair of driving gloves to bring the fantasy to life. They look great and they’re practical because they really do keep your hands warm when it’s cold outside. This is just the thing for scraping the windshield during those frosty winter months.
Smartphone Dash Mount
No conscientious driver would try to drive and talk on the phone or text while behind the wheel. However, just to make sure, why not set your speedster up with a dashboard mount for his smartphone to ensure he stays safe. It’s perfect for the person who uses their phone for GPS, and it’s safe. The mount lets you glance at the map display to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. What’s more, you can use voice controls to place and hold phone conversations without ever touching the device. And at around $25, it’s a terrific bargain and an ideal stocking stuffer.
There’s one in every family — that man or woman who, for some reason, cannot remember where they left the car keys. Clear a designated space near the front door, hang a special hook or nail — it doesn’t matter. The keys will still manage to get lost. Well, no longer, because you’re going to put an end to it with the Tile Mate key finder, a small device that fits on your key chain, can be synced to your smartphone and can be located via GPS or a special app on your phone. For about $20, this may be the most economical and truly useful gift you give anyone this holiday season.
Clean Wheels, Happy Owner
Dirty rims, whitewalls, and hubcaps are among the car enthusiast’s greatest pet peeves. And it never fails – he comes home exasperated after a run to the car wash because the tires still aren’t up to snuff. Do him (and everyone else) a favor this Christmas with a wheel cleaner and tools, including scrub brush, sponges, towels, cleaner, polish, and protect-ant so he can take control of the situation himself.
This Christmas, go ahead and give the car owner who has everything more than he needs. Make him happy with car-related gifts that don’t cost an arm and a leg and the cleanest garage on your block.
If you’re out and about, head in to your local NAPA Store, we’re here to help with last minute gift giving! Merry Christmas.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We’re thankful for our cars, and we hope you are too!
Car Care Tips from our Team
Were back with our series on basic car care tips and advice from our managers. We began with Charles’ recommendation for using dielectric grease, and Alan’s plug for oil stabilizers and fuel treatment. Now it’s time to hear from Betty about windshield wiper blades and why you shouldn’t ignore them until its way overdue.
Griffin Store Manager
Checking and replacing your windshield wipers is a relatively easy, inexpensive maintenance task. It is often overlooked, however, until it’s desperately needed.
“Check your wiper blades on a regular basis!”
Most standards recommend replacing wiper blades as often as every 6 months or at least once a year. According to Rain-X, “When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility.”
What to look for
When you check your wiper blades, first look at the frame. Confirm that the joints are all moving smoothly and there are no broken connections or metal corrosion. Move on to the rubber squeegee and look for any cracks or tears, be sure the rubber is still flexible, and finally look at the wiping edge. A rounded edge is showing signs of age and will need to be replaced soon.
A few more tips to protect your windshield and wipers
- Clean your wiper blades with glass cleaning wipes. Sometimes dirt can cause streaking or smearing. Before you replace your wipers, give them a quick cleaning to see if that was all you needed. If you carry the wipes in your car, you can clean your wiper blades every time you get gas, or every time you wash your car.
- Protect your windshield with Rain X water repellent. A treated windshield causes water to bead up and roll off your windshield. It makes the glass surface less likely to collect dirt and easier to clean. The product is easy to apply (just follow the instructions on the bottle) and can really make a visible difference.
- Don’t use your wipers to clear ice from your windshield. If your wipers are frozen in place and then you move them, the rubber edge is very likely to tear. Once the rubber is torn, the wiper blade will have to be replaced. If you know a freeze is coming, it can be a good idea to lift your wipers up off your windshield overnight. Even if you miss that step, the biggest thing is not to move them until you have removed the ice by yourself or with your defroster.
- Choose a proper wiper fluid. Filling that little reservoir with water can lead to frozen lines in winter and bacteria growth in summer.
Thanks for reading, we hope the information was helpful! As always, if you have any more questions, head in to your closest NAPA store and our parts professionals will be happy to help.
We are beginning to use this platform to provide some answers to common customer questions. Of course every article won’t be relevant to every reader, but hopefully we will be able to provide some helpful information as we go through questions we hear repeated. If you have something you’d like to see us write about, head over to our contact page and let us know!
Our first question is regarding DOT compliance for trucking. Many people ask about the requirements for reflective tape and lighting, and we have the resources to help. Below are two documents (only one page each!) from the Georgia Department of Public Safety outlining the basics.
If you’re shopping for tape and lighting products, or still have questions on this topic, head in to your local NAPA store, we’re always here to help.
Car Care Tips from our Team
Recently we started a series sharing basic car care tips and advice from our managers. We began with Charles’ recommendation for using dielectric grease, and now we’re back to give you Alan McCullars’ plug for oil stabilizers and fuel treatment.
Reynolds Store Manager
“I use Lucas oil stabilizer and Lucas fuel treatment. And always, regular oil changes”
We hope we don’t need to convince you of the need for regular oil changes, but we will take a minute to provide some information regarding oil stabilizers and fuel treatment. Alan chooses Lucas Oil but there are many options on the market.
Oil Stabilizers are petroleum products that are significantly thicker than most engine oils. Mix them in to regular engine oil to help reduce friction and prevent wear. According to Lucas Oil, their oil stabilizer “creates a coating that clings to metallic surfaces, eliminating dry starts.” This thick coating is especially beneficial if you drive an older car or suspect you have a small oil leak. It won’t be a final fix, but can help to coat and possibly seal the leak. Lucas Oil makes stabilizers specifically for the heavy duty industry, high mileage vehicles, and imports or vehicles using synthetic oil.
Adding fuel treatment to your gasoline (or diesel fuel) at a given ratio and serves several purposes. Among those are improved fuel efficiency, cleaning for your fuel system, and lower exhaust emissions. Users commonly report at least a half a gallon better mpg using the product.
Though the benefits of these products can be debated, many people believe in them to prolong their engines life. If you think oil stabilizers or fuel treatments are something you’d like to try, talk to Alan at our NAPA location in Reynolds! You can also read this Q and A from Lucas Oil.
Car Care Tips from our Team
We asked some of our parts professionals for their number one car care tip – the one thing they always do for their own cars – and we’re sharing their advice with you. Without further to do, here’s installment number one, Charles’ recommendation for dielectric grease.
Forsyth Store Manager
Dielectric grease is a silicone based grease that is used to protect electrical components against corrosion. It is especially important for vehicles that will be exposed to harsh conditions like mud and humidity. The grease is a thick translucent substance that repels moisture and withstands high temperatures. It is effective in marine and outdoor applications.
“I use dielectric grease for everything electrical connector related – it can go on bulbs, wires, connectors, really anything that carries voltage.”
This grease is commonly used on spark plugs. It seals and protects the plugs from corrosion and keeps the boots from sticking when they need to be removed. Rub it inside the spark plug boot when you install the plug.
You can also use dielectric grease to protect battery terminal connections, just apply a thin coat directly on battery posts.
Use of dielectric grease with push on connectors will seal out moisture and reduce lost voltage in electrical connections. Apply a this coat in the beginning and when you secure the connectors they will displace enough grease to allow current to flow.
The grease comes in spray-on or rub-on form so you can use whatever suits your fancy. Charles personally recommends CRC dielectric grease in the pressurized can. If you have questions about its use or properties, stop by or call our store!
Shocks and struts wear out gradually over time, so how do you know when they need to be replaced? We’re here to help with a few pointers. And of course, you can always ask your service technician to check them out for you. (If you’re looking for a great technician, head over to one of our NAPA AutoCare Centers.) Though you may have a hard time recognizing the need for new shocks and struts, you will definitely feel the difference after the job is done.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Have you noticed a need to slow down to gain control of your car, specifically going around corners or over bumps (say, railroad tracks)?
- Have you noticed your tires or front brakes wearing out too fast? Or, have you have had to replace suspension components multiple times?
- Is the vehicle difficult to control when you reach highway speeds, in windy conditions, or when loaded?
- Can you feel excessive movement in the car? This could mean nose diving when braking, bouncing over a speed bump, or maybe potholes are particularly harsh?
Regardless, if your vehicle has over 80,000 miles, and still has the original shocks/struts, it could be time to get them checked out. When the shocks/struts are worn, the control and handling of the car will be poor, and the tire wear will be sped up or uneven. In certain driving conditions, new shocks and struts can even shorten your stopping distance.
If you’re thinking about replacing your shocks/struts you’re in luck! We’re offering 10% off when you buy a set of 4 in store through the end of the month!
We’re excited about our Spring Filter Sale and we hope you are too! NAPA Gold filters will be on sale from Monday, April 2nd – Saturday, April 14th. During the sale, we are also holding a give-away! Items we will be raffling off at the end of the two weeks include coolers, smokers, hammocks, and a NAPA corn hole set. Just in time for grilling weather.
Stop in one of our stores for details, and to enter. One entry with every $50 spent on NAPA Gold Filters during the sale.
What an exciting day it is – our first guest blog post! We hope you enjoy hearing from Jason Mueller with A1 Auto Transport, and check out his auto shipping company while you’re at it, you never know when it might come in handy!
As winter finally begins to make its exit and signs of spring start to emerge in Central Georgia, it’s a great time to start making plans to attend outdoor festivals, car shows and other fun events with family and friends. From early spring to late fall each year, those who love to see cool cars have ample opportunity to catch a great car show and have a little fun, but what about the weeks where there may not be a show scheduled? With quite a few car clubs throughout the central area of the state, car enthusiasts will be happy to know that they won’t have to wait for a show to be able to spend time with like-minded people and swap stories and information about those beautiful classics and other show quality cars.
Interested in joining a car club and staying on top of the latest news and information on events, shows and other car related topics? Here’s a few car clubs right here in Central Georgia that may interest you.
Old Timers Classic Cruisers
With more than 40 members in Middle Georgia, this club has an outstanding group of people who have a passion for collecting and restoring vintage muscle cars. If this is a hobby of yours, you might want to check into becoming a member and taking part in their car shows and expeditions. They often partner with other clubs in the state to host large events, and their shows are plenty of fun for all ages.
Old Timers Classic Cruisers
P.O. Box 13672
Macon, GA 31208
Phone: (478) 256-8892
Founded by Ronnie and Kay Ellison, LowLine Customs is a club for people who love show cars, trucks and motorcycles. Their members have a very large collection of some unique rides and they are family oriented and dedicated to raising money for charity. The club hosts events throughout the year and all money raised at the events goes to Children’s Miracle Network at Columbus regional.
5555 Whittlesey Blvd.
Columbus, GA 31909
Phone (706) 575-0514
Columbus City Stangz
The club that started in 2003 to celebrate the Ford Mustang, Columbus City Stangz has around 50 members and is still going strong today. The club is for people who have Mustangs from 1964 ½ all the way through the current year. Members of this club enjoy monthly meetings with the club, car shows and events as well as cruises and even drag racing events. They strive to offer a social avenue for like-minded car enthusiasts and to offer events to raise funding for charity. Club members also assist other members with advice and help when it comes to maintaining and restoring classic Mustangs as well as with purchasing advice and tips on repair work on the cars. You don’t have to own a Mustang to join the club, but if you love the Mustang, you’re going to feel right at home. The club hosts events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their social media page for updated information on time and place for shows.
Now that spring is heading our way and much warmer temperatures are on the horizon, be sure to take time to find the parts you need to get your classic car, truck or motorcycle updated and on the road to an upcoming show in the area. In the meantime, be sure to check out the local clubs to see what they offer and to be able to mingle with other car lovers in between all the fun car shows when warm weather is here.
What a privilege to see some great racing these past two weekends! Hope ya’ll enjoy some snapshots from our time at the Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway with some fellow NAPA jobbers. It was our first time at the Daytona 500, and it sure lived up to the hype!
In Atlanta, we had the chance to see the NAPA car in the garage, and hear from Chase Elliott (that’s him in front of the NAPA/Hendrick Motorsports banner). By the way, you can get a Chase Elliott hat with a qualifying purchase at your local NAPA store during the month of March, while supplies last!
Thanks for looking!
With Christmas on its way, we’re making it easy for you. Here are some gifts that we would love to find under our tree, so maybe your family or friends would too. (List provided by Charles in Forsyth)
Our Five Favorite Gifts
This is a 78 piece socket drive set comes with both metric and standard sizes. Manufactured by Evercraft.
Charlie Wayne Harris is a long time employee of Ham’s NAPA Auto Parts in Roberta. We thought you might enjoy hearing about his hobby – drag racing! He races in the Super Street Class at the Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, GA. Enjoy this video from the races and scroll down to read some Q and A with Charlie Wayne (nickname Rooster).
When did you start racing?
Raced dirt track from 1965 until 1993, and started drag racing in 1997
Where did you get your car?
I built the car from scratch with my brother-in-law and another good friend. Overall I have about $30,000 invested in the car.
Give us some details about your car.
427 Dart small block engine, 9 inch Ford rear end, 4.88 gear, Moser axels, Denny’s driveshaft, power glide transmission, MSD ignition, built aluminum air flow research racing heads, and one big ole cam!
Tell us a bit more about the Super Street class.
Super Street is heads-up style racing where we run 10.90 seconds, so anyone running below 10.90 will automatically loose (unless the other racer came in even farther below 10.90 – I have won lots of races at 10.89 when the other car ran 10.87.) We race with throttle stop installed on all cars, so the winner is generally whoever can cut the best lights. For this reason I have technically retired and have a friend Rodney Davis drive my car (my reaction time isn’t as good anymore.)
Haw does your car perform?
I generally place pretty well. I have never won but have made it to the final several times and lost by only a couple thousandths of a second. There are 15 – 20 cars in my class.
What is you favorite thing about drag racing at Silver Dollar Raceway?
The friendship of the Super Street Racers and all the track personnel!
How fast is your car?
With the throttle stop it runs about 125-130 mph, but it could go faster unrestrained.
Has your car ever been in a bad crash?
Luckily no. There was one time when I was about half way down the track when a tire went loose and my car did a 90 degree turn. It could have been very bad and everyone was scared but I was able to ease off on the gas and it turned out ok.
When is the racing season?
We race about once a month from March until November. The races last an entire weekend.
Thanks for reading! Also, thanks to Charlie’s son (also Charlie) for the pictures and video clips.
Our Fall Filter Sale is going on now, so we have oil filters on our minds. Here we will share a bit of information regarding qualities you do and don’t want in an oil filter. With so many choices on the market, it’s good to have an idea of what (and why!) you’re spending your money on.
First off, here’s what to avoid:
- Avoid filters with end caps made out of filter board. Filter board end caps can’t stand up to the necessary abuse and are more likely to leak. Buy a filter with steel end caps.
- Likewise, look for a filter with a solid metal base plate, that is attached around the full circumference, not just at say, 2 points.
- Stamped spring clips are more likely to bend under pressure. Look for a filter with a coiled spring to hold the filter element in place.
- Look at the placement of the bypass valve. This one is a bit more complicated, but if the bypass valve isn’t placed up-front it is more likely to allow dirt from the filter into the engine in bypass situations. (Why do you need a bypass valve? When your engine is cold and the oil is thick, you still need it to reach the engine quickly – dirty oil is better than no oil! Also, in the event that your filter becomes totally full and therefore blocked, you still need oil to your engine. Again, dirty oil isn’t great but it is better than no oil.)
- Rubber anti-drain back valves tend to harden and leak over time. A leaking anti-drain back valve allows the oil in the filter to drain back into the engine crank case when it is off. Then, when the engine is started up again, the filter is empty so the engine will run with NO lubrication for a short time. You can rest easy knowing NAPA Gold Filters are made of silicon, which holds up better over time. This is critically important if you are trying to extend your service interval. It is good to note, with some cars this valve is a part of the engine, not the oil filter.
NAPA Gold Filters
NAPA Gold Filters satisfy all of these requirements, and more. They use a specially blended T-03 glass-enhanced media for the pleated filter element. This removes microscopic particles without restricting the flow of oil. We feel confident recommending them. WIX manufactures all NAPA Gold Filters. They have been in the filter business for over 75 years and produce over 12,000 unique part numbers. You can read more about NAPA Filters and about WIX.
Many of these are small things, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but it is important not to cut too many corners for the cheapest possible filter. Right now you’re in luck because through the end of the week, you can save on all NAPA Gold Filters (not just oil filters), so why not find a store and come in today!?
Here are some of our absolute favorites.
1. Steve McQueen’s Mustang – Bullitt
Of course we can’t get enough of the classic chase scene! The car reaches 110 mph in downtown San Francisco! Two identical 1968 Mustang Fastbacks were used for the filming, one nearly destroyed by the stunts. (Though earlier this year rumored to have been found in a Mexican junkyard.)
Why we love it: In car cameras and engine soundtrack make you feel like you are there. (The movie was nominated for an Oscar in sound mixing.)
2. The Batmobile
What else can we say?
It even has it’s own website! Check out 1966batmobile.comfor all things classic batmobile.
3. Smokey and the Bandit Pontiac Trans Am
The 1977 Firebird Trans Am was driven by the Bandit, Burt Reynolds, on a mission to smuggle 400 cases of Coors to Georgia. Pontiac sales shot up in the years after the movie’s release. Last summer a new ‘Bandit’ model trans am was created with 840 horsepower and signed by Burt Reynolds.
Why we love it: Racing across the country, talking on a CB radio.. Willie Nelson would be proud!
4. James Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5
This is the definition of cool. James Bond’s gentleman’s car is complete with tire slashers, machine guns, an ejector seat, and rotating license plates valid in ‘every’ country. Read about Aston Martin’s relationship with James Bond.
Why we love it: Aston Martin is the car everyone aspires to, and a tricked out Aston Martin driven by 007 just had to make our list.
5. General Lee – Dukes of Hazard
The classic ‘good ol’ boys’ car. In the course of the filming of the TV show and movie, hundreds of Dodge Chargers (1968/1969) were used and destroyed, but the original ‘Lee 1’ is now owned by the golfer Bubba Watson.
Why we love it: Jumping cars – we can’t do it at home (can we?) but what a fun idea. For filming, the trunk would be full of concrete to offset the front end weight, and, in later years they took out the engine and transmission and catapulted the car into the air.
Of course, many other movie cars deserve a mention. The DeLorean from Back to the Future, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ferris Bueller’s Ferrari, Pixar’s animated Lightning McQueen. Recently Baby Driver filmed right here in our own backyard with a scene on the Juliette bridge. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you agree with our list? What other cars would you add?
This list is compliments of our operations manager, John. He works out of our Barnesville store.
Check out this 1970 Chevelle that our very own Chris Bryant and his dad refurbished together. It now has a Chevy Big Block 468 motor, a Chevy turbo 350 transmission, and a 2,800 Hughes stall converter with 12 bolt position and 373 gear rear end. How’s that for a Friday afternoon ride!?
This was truly a family affair. Chris did the work on the car together with his dad, Jimmy. In the photo above Chris displays his finished project with his son, Bryce. They’ve had the car in their family since 1981. Hope everyone enjoys some before and after photos of Chris’s chevelle
If you want to talk to Chris more about his experience, call or stop in our store in Griffin. Also, we’d love to hear about your projects – drop us a line or come in to one of our stores if you’re working on a car transformation!
Great News! In honor of our new website being live, we are giving away two tickets to see Jason Aldean in concert! The Show is at the Macon Coliseum on Friday August 11th, 2017.
Submit the form below to enter the contest. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, August 8th at Midnight. Winner will be notified by email on Wednesday, August 9th 2017 and can pick up the tickets in their closest Ham’s NAPA store. Limit one entry per person per day.