Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Now is the time to start thinking about winter, and your vehicle.

The temperatures are still warm, the sun still shines brightly, and even though summer has already begun its inevitable march towards fall, no one really wants to think about colder weather, winter driving or winter storage just yet. But right now is exactly when you should be thinking about winter as it relates to your vehicle. Doing so will accomplish several things. One, if you intend to drive your vehicle through the winter, preparing it now will help ensure it makes it through the colder months. Two, if you park your vehicle over the winter – whether it’s a tractor or SUV – winter prep today will enable it to start easily several months down the road.

Vehicles that are going to be stored all winter

Before you park your baby in the garage or barn for the winter months, carve out a few hours to take care of a few essentials.

Fuel preservation – gasoline doesn’t las forever, and when it starts to break down, it can make starting difficult and even damage the vehicle’s fuel system. Gas containing ethanol makes the problem worse, particularly in lawn and garden equipment. To avoid the problem, first consider switching to a fuel that’s 100 percent gasoline with no ethanol added. Second, add a fuel preservative to the gas tank and follow the instructions for using it to prevent fuel breakdown and engine or fuel system damage.

Trickle charger – a battery that isn’t being recharged regularly through everyday use may have difficulty starting several months later after it’s lost some or all of its charge. Be proactive when it comes to your vehicle power and connect the battery to a trickle charger to maintain the charge over winter. Another option is to disconnect the battery from the vehicle to prevent any power draws and to increase safety on older vehicles or lawn or farm e equipment.

Preventive maintenance – don’t wait to take care of maintenance items or something you know needs to be fixed. If you don’t do it now, the problem is still going to be there this spring, slowing you down when you would rather be using your vehicle instead of performing maintenance. For lawn equipment that won’t see the light of day again until the grass starts to green, sharpen the blades, change the oil and filter, install a new spark plug and check tire pressures. For cars, SUVs and farm tractors, test the antifreeze to ensure it will adequately protect the engine down to the lowest expected temperature.

Vehicles that are going to be driven all winter

Visibility – being able to see where you’re going is a top priority no matter what season it is, but in winter, it becomes especially important, and sometimes challenging. Check all the lights to confirm they are working. If your headlights are older, replace the bulbs with new ones that feature improved technology that enables you to see further down the road and to the sides. Replace windshield wipers with winter blades in climates where snow and ice can be expected, and fill the windshield washer tank with a deicing fluid.

Starting – summer’s heat takes a toll on batteries, and that weakness is bound to show up on the first really cold morning when your car won’t start because of a dead battery. Have your battery and charging system tested and replace the battery if it’s weak.

Heat – you and your passengers aren’t the only ones who need heat when driving in colder temperatures. The heat’s also required to defrost windows before and during travel. If you hear strange noises when you turn on the heating and cooling system, or you don’t feel any air moving, there could be a problem with the vehicle’s blower motor. Proper coolant levels and a functioning thermostat are also required for heat. Replace both according to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

Traction – snow and ice call for tires with plenty of tread life remaining. Check your tires’ tread depth or have a professional check them for you and consider adding tire chains to your vehicle’s trunk emergency kit.

Whether you’re driving or parking your vehicle through the winter, now is the perfect time to prepare it for spring. By doing so, you’ll save time, money and aggravation later on.

Editor’s note: Whatever parts and supplies you need to prepare your vehicle for winter, Advance Auto Parts has them. Buy online, pick up in store, and get back to the garage.

How a car engine works – an animated tale

Check out this amazing infographic on car engines by artist and car enthusiast Jacob O’Neal.


When asked about his inspiration, Jacob gave us the following background info:

“I believe car engines are works of art, and thus, [make] the perfect subject matter. I designed this graphic to satisfy a deep need to produce something amazing and totally different from what’s currently out there in image-based infographics.”

We appreciate Jacob’s sense of creativity and keen knowledge on how car engines work. Feel free to share this page with friends!



Car Guy or Artist?

photo:Fine Print NYC Blog

photo:Fine Print NYC Blog

New York artist Jonathan Brand bought a wreck of a Mustang for $500 when he was in high school.

He then “worked on it” for several years, but never actually assembled anything—all because he decided to buy an engagement ring for his fiance with the proceeds of its sale (say awww!).

But now, he’s come back around and has built parts of his dream car, a 1969 Mustang…out of paper.

Photo: Fine Print NYC Blog

Photo: Fine Print NYC Blog

According to the history provided by Hosfelt Gallery in NYC, where Brand exhibited this work:

“The surfaces of the works in One Piece At A Time consist of thousands of geometric facets, much like those on the surface of a cut diamond. To construct the sculptures in this show, Brand begins with computer drawings that are printed as large-format inkjet prints. He then cuts, folds and glues these shapes together, 3-D jigsaw puzzle style. The end result is a duplication of all aspects of the exterior and interior — from tires and hubcaps to door handles, glove box and engine.”

Watch the video below and check out many more images of this paper 1969 Mustang  in the article from  Fine Print NYC Blog.

Klingon Parts Available Soon

Let it be known that Advance Auto Parts will soon source parts for Klingon Cars!

(Well, as long as they’re for cars like this…made here on Earth!)


photocredit: Flickr-booturtle


Here’s hoping that Star Trek fans enjoy the premiere this weekend!

SEMA Show – All the latest automotive specialty equipment

Hurricane Sandy may be having her way in the east, but the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show is once again taking Las Vegas by storm. SEMA is only open to the trade—and you’d better believe there is a lot of trade going on! This week over 60,000 domestic and international buyers are deciding what new products to bring to their customers in the coming months.

Advance Auto Parts has a team at SEMA to find the latest and greatest in automotive specialty equipment from current and new suppliers.  Here are just a few photos from the show! Click any image to display the viewer.


Advance Auto Parts awards $2 Million purse at inaugural Charity Pro-Am

Money raised benefited four charities


ROANOKE, Va. (September 21, 2012) – Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP), a leading retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items, announced today that the Company and its vendor partners, raised $2 million for four charities at its recent inaugural charity Pro-Am tournament.  Proceeds from the Pro-Am benefited JDRF, the American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Building Homes for Heroes.  Celebrity teams from the PGA Tour and entertainment industry golfed with vendor sponsors, with each team representing one of the charities and competing for a share of the $2 million purse.

The tournament results are as follows:

1st Place                      American Cancer Society                  $650,000

2nd Place (tie)          Boys and Girls Clubs of America        $475,000

2nd Place (tie)          Building Homes for Heroes                  $475,000

4th Place                     JDRF                                                        $400,000


“It’s been a humbling and inspirational experience to witness our vendors, Team Members and communities come together in support of these wonderful organizations,” said Darren Jackson, President and CEO.

Every year Advance Auto Parts serves millions of customers in thousands of stores across the United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, while also supporting a variety of worthy causes locally, regionally and nationally.

“I am extremely proud of the impact our vendors have made and the commitment they have shown to supporting Advance’s charitable efforts,” said Charles Tyson, Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

Building Homes for Heroes is committed to supporting those who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with severe wounds and disabilities, with a goal to build homes for families in dire need.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents and adults with this disease. JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research.

About Advance Auto Parts

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, Inc., a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. As of July 14, 2012, the Company operated 3,692 stores in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found on the Company’s website at