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Latest News and Information in the World of Lubrication

Reprinted from The Direct Line & The Action News

July through September 2007

Past issues of Auto Technology & Lubrication News

Performance & MPG News
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September 15, 2007
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Greasing Tip

To ensure a bearing is lubricated with the correct grease, Noria Corporation recommends installing a thin colored washer at the fitting and painting the grease gun the same color. "To install the washer, unscrew the grease fitting - find a washer with an inner diameter a little larger than the outer diameter of the threaded shaft of the fitting. Insert the fitting into the washer and screw in the washer/fitting assembly."

Inventory Rotation and Product Storage

In order to ensure customers receive top performance from their AMSOIL products, AMSOIL recommends Dealers rotate their lubricant inventories and adhere to the following guidelines for storing product:

1) Store lubricants in a cool, clean and dry indoor area.

2) The ideal storage temperature for lubricants is between 45ºF and 80ºF, and the temperature should not fluctuate significantly.

3) When storing drums or other large containers outside for extended periods of time, ensure no dust or moisture enters the container.

4) Grease containers should be stored right side up to avoid bleeding (fluid separation). Bleeding commonly occurs with grease and is more prominent at higher temperatures.

5) Wipe off the tops and edges of containers before opening to avoid contamination from improper handling.

6) Always use clean tools.

Customers Choosing Fuel Efficiency

Customers are trading their SUVs for more fuel efficient crossover vehicles.

According to the Power Information Network (PIN) division of J.D. Power and Associates, demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) has decreased dramatically in recent years, with many customers switching to more fuel efficient crossover utility vehicles (CUVs). Share of the total new vehicle market for the midsize non-premium utility segment, once among the most dominant segments in the industry, has dropped 43 percent since May 1997, while sales volume for the midsize SUV segment has dropped 18 percent since early 2006.

Demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) has decreased dramatically in recent years, with many customers switching to more fuel efficient crossover utility vehicles (CUVs).

The percentage of midsize utility owners trading their vehicles for another of the same type is also on the decline, from 29 percent in May 2004 to 17 percent in May 2007. Owners of these vehicles are increasingly switching to more fuel efficient vehicles. In fact, the percentage of owners trading for a midsize crossover vehicle more than doubled between May 2004 and May 2007, while the percentage trading for a compact crossover increased from 6 percent to 11 percent and the percentage trading for a compact conventional car climbed from 8 percent to 13 percent in the same time period.

"We can see the decline in this segment by looking at specific models like the Ford Explorer, which was the third-most-popular model in 1995, 1996 and 1998 in the United States," said Tom Libby, PIN senior director of industry analysis. "But now, the Explorer ranks 46th through the first five months of this year and there are no midsize utility models among the top 20 most popular vehicles in the country."

Vehicle manufacturers have taken notice of the decreased demand for midsize utility vehicles. While the number of models in the segment peaked at 22 in 2003, 2004 and 2005, only 16 models are present in the segment this year.

"Clearly, consumers are responding to changing economic forces – from rising energy costs to growing concerns about the environment," said Jeff Schuster, J.D. Power and Associates executive director of automotive intelligence. "Manufacturers are responding by dramatically increasing the number of new products in the CUV segment to provide substitutes for midsize SUV models. This shift is far from over and will fundamentally change the mix of vehicles on the road in the years ahead."

A Closer Look at the Do-It-Yourself Market

With gas prices at an all-time high, do-it-yourselfers around the country are taking a bite out of the increasing expenses of vehicle ownership by performing their own maintenance and repairs. In fact, according to the 33rd annual Aftermarket Business Do-It-Yourself Survey, 70 percent of respondents cite saving money as their primary reason for being a do-ityourselfer, an increase of 14 percent from 2006 survey results.

Main Reason for Being a DIYer
To save money 70%
Enjoy doing the work 13%
To do the job right 8%
Mechanic in family 4%
Preferred Shopping Location
Auto parts store 57%
Discount store 15%
Dealership 14%
Department store 6%
Internet 4%
Junkyard/salvage yard 3%
Hardware/home center 3%
Warehouse club 3%
Most Attractive Advertising for DIYers
On-site/in-store promos 39%
Word of mouth 26%
Direct Mail 23%
TV 23%
Newspaper 22%
Magazine 9%
DIY Participation
Motor Oil
Click Bottle for more information on Heavy Duty 5W-30 Diesel Oil

Changing motor oil is one of the most popular do-it-yourself activities, with 75 percent of DIYers performing the task. Although this number is down from previous years, 34 percent of these participants are beginning DIYers, up from 10 percent in 2006.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 92%
2004 78%
2005 81%
2006 83%
2007 75%
Click picture for more information on EaO Oil Filters

Although fewer overall DIYers report changing oil, air, fuel and cabin air filters, an increased number of beginning DIYers are participating in this activity, with their percentage of total participants increasing from 10 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2007.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 89%
2004 77%
2005 82%
2006 79%
2007 65%
Click picture for more information on AMSOIL propylene glycol antifreeze

DIYer participation in antifreeze/coolant maintenance has steadily increased over the past few years, with participation up nine percentage points over 2006 and 20 percentage points over 2005.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 78%
2004 68%
2005 65%
2006 76%
2007 85%
Spark Plugs
Click here for more information on NGK Spark plugs

Changing spark plugs has become an i n c r e a s i n g l y popular DIY activity, with participation up 21 percentage points over 2006.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 58%
2004 46%
2005 53%
2006 52%
2007 73%
Wiper Blades
Click here for more information on Trico Wiper Blades

An easy task for both beginning and expert DIYers, participation in changing wiper blades increased 10 percentage points over 2006.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 76%
2004 71%
2005 76%
2006 69%
2007 79%
Click here for more information on Miracle Wash waterless cleaner and polish
Car Wash Products

DIYer use of car wash products soared to 96 percent in 2007, an increase of 26 percentage points over 2006. Because anyone can use them, car wash products present excellent opportunities for add-on sales.

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 70%
2004 71%
2005 68%
2006 70%
2007 96%
Click here for more information on Mothers car care products

Similar to car wash products, DIYer use of waxes and polishes soared in 2007, increasing 37 percentage points in a year's time to 96 percent

DIY Participation, Last Five Years
2003 60%
2004 63%
2005 60%
2006 59%
2007 96%
September 01, 2007
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Ford Oil Leak

According to Ford Motor Company, some 2002 4.6L two-valve Mustangs may leak oil from the top of the engine. Ford advises inspection of the PCV valve. The leak can usually be attributed to off-kilter stack-up tolerances between the valve and hose, and the problem can be resolved by installing an ordinary worm-type clamp onto the hose.

Sources of Water Contamination

According to the book Filtration Technology, damaging moisture can enter hydraulic and lubricating systems in several ways:

1) Reservoir breather caps in humid air - The system fluid absorbs some of the moisture and some condenses on the inside surfaces of the reservoir.

2) Worn seals - Coolant and cutting fluid sprays can enter hydraulic systems through worn rod seals as the cylinder moves, and they can enter lubricating systems through rotating shaft seals on pumps, machine tool spindles and gear boxes.

3) Damaged heat exchangers - Worn or damaged heat exchangers can cause cooling water to leak through seals and ruptured lines into the oil system, and vice versa.

4) New oil - Lubricant barrels stored outdoors and vertically often collect rainwater around the bungs. Temperature changes can suck the moisture into the barrel.

Rinker Earns First Victory of Season

Team AMSOIL powerboat racer Terry Rinker puts heat on points leaders with win in Warsaw.

After sweeping the 2006 ChampBoat Series schedule, breaking the world record for consecutive victories and walking away with his third ChampBoat Series championship in four years, Team AMSOIL powerboat racer Terry Rinker knew everyone would be aiming for him in 2007. Rinker opened the season with a strong third place podium finish at the opening weekend of racing in Augusta and has kept himself in the points race with an eighth place finish in Bay City and a fourth place finish in St. Louis.

Entering the fourth race of the season on the Ohio River in Warsaw, Ky., Rinker was determined to earn his first win of the season and make up some ground in the standings. He did just that, beginning the race from the sixth starting position before skillfully taking the lead on his way to earning the victory. Earning 400 points for the win and 566 total points on the weekend, Rinker has moved to within only 91 points of the championship lead.

"We made some important changes this morning and it really paid off for us today as we pushed hard from our sixth starting position to win," said Rinker. "We want to dedicate this victory to our friend Wyatt Nelson who was injured yesterday in a heat race and feel we finally have the momentum and confidence back that we need in order to push for our third straight championship at season's end."

Teammate Randy Rinker finished the race in seventh place and holds sixth in the overall points standings.

Terry Rinker
Warsaw Final Results
1) Terry Rinker
2) Shaun Torrente
3) Chris Fairchild
4) Tim Seebold
5) Lynn Simburger
6) Jeff Shepherd
7) Randy Rinker
8) Brian Normand
9) Brian Venton
10) Mike Schubert
11) Wyatt Nelson
Points Standings
1) Tim Seebold 2138
2) Shaun Torrente 2122
3) Chris Fairchild 2097
4) Terry Rinker 2047
5) Lynn Simburger 1779
6) Randy Rinker 1767
7) Jeff Shepherd 1708
8) Brian Venton 1664
9) Brian Normand 1620
10) Wyatt Nelson 1545
11) Todd Bowden 1398
12) Mark Major 1335

Extend Gearbox and Lubricant Life

Click here for more information on semi-fluid 00 grease

When the oil within a gearbox is changed, five percent or more of the old oil is often left inside. When the oil is not drained immediately after shutdown, sludge and contaminants have a chance to accumulate and remain with the residual oil in the bottom of the sump, becoming resuspended when the gearbox is refilled with lubricant and put back into service. In order to keep contaminants out of fresh oil, Noria Corporation suggests the following steps:

1) Drain the oil within 15 minutes of shutting down and pre-filter the fresh oil.

2) Filter the oil periodically with a portable filtration cart while the machine is running. Have the oil analyzed periodically to determine if it requires changing.

3) Employ full-time filtration.

Gearbox oil drain intervals can usually be extended dramatically after incorporating filtration and oil analysis, not only reducing both lubricant and labor expenses, but extending the life of the gearbox.

Semi-Fluid 00 Synthetic EP Grease

AMSOIL Semi-Fluid 00 Synthetic EP Grease (GSF) is ideal for leaky or difficult-to-service gearboxes in industrial and fleet applications, providing superior protection and performance in shockloading applications that rupture the oil film of conventional greases.

Superior Products for the Quick Lube Market

Competition within the quick lube industry is intense, and many operators have expanded their service offerings in order to boost profitability. In fact, many operators have the capability to recommend additional services by searching their computer systems for the customer's vehicle service history. According to the 2006 Lube Benchmarking Report released by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, the following are the top five additional services purchased by quick lube customers:

1) Wiper blade replacement
2) Air filter replacement
3) Belt replacement
4) Radiator flushes
5) Transmission fluid drain/flush

AMSOIL Dealers have a full arsenal of top quality products to offer the quick lube market, including XL Synthetic Motor Oils, Ea Oil and Air Filters, Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid, Propylene Glycol Antifreeze and Engine Coolant and TRICO Wiper Blades.

Click here for more information on AMSOIL XL Motor Oils
XL Synthetic Motor Oils

AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils (XLM, XLF, XLT, XLO) provide 7,500-mile/six-month drain intervals or longer where stated by vehicle manufacturers or indicated by oil life monitoring systems. When using XL Synthetic Motor Oils, protection and performance are not sacrificed with longer drain intervals.

Click picture for more information on EaO Oil Filters
Ea Oil Filters

Featuring advanced full synthetic nanofiber technology, AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters (EaO) provide greater efficiency, capacity and durability than cellulose filters, extending engine and filter life and reducing engine wear.

Click picture for more information on EaA Air Filters
Ea Air Filters

AMSOIL Ea Air Filters (EaA) incorporate advanced nanofiber technology, offering greater efficiency and capacity than cellulose and wet gauze filters, effectively extending engine and filter life and reducing engine wear.

Click here for more information on AMSOIL Synthetic ATF
Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

AMSOIL Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) offers smooth shifting, extended transmission life, excellent lubricating protection and better performance over a wider temperature range. Synthetic ATF effectively resists oxidation and thermal breakdown and is formulated for extended drain intervals.

Click picture for more information on AMSOIL propylene glycol antifreeze
Antifreeze and Engine Coolant

AMSOIL Propylene Glycol Antifreeze and Engine Coolant (ANT) combines the benefits of biodegradability, low toxicity and all-climate protection. It offers excellent protection for 250,000 miles/7 years in gasoline vehicles and 750,000 miles/7 years in over-the-road diesel trucks.

Click here for more information on Trico Wiper Blades
TRICO Wiper Blades

AMSOIL offers top-of-the-line TRICO Exact Fit, NeoForm, Oktane, Winter and Classic Wiper Blades.

Quick Lube/Oil Change Fast Attack Pack

The G-250Q Quick Lube/Oil Change Fast Attack Pack contains everything Dealers need to register quick lubes and oil change centers as AMSOIL accounts, including brochures, catalogs, applications, data bulletins, price lists and more.

August 15, 2007
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Toyota Sells One Millionth Hybrid

Toyota recently announced the sale of its one millionth hybrid vehicle. Of the one million vehicles sold worldwide, more than half have been sold in the United States. "The cost benefit of hybrids is becoming more apparent with climbing gas prices," says Toyota Motor Sales executive vice president Jim Lentz. "We anticipate combined sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids of a quarter million units in the U.S. during calendar year 2007." Masatami Takimoto, Toyota Powertrain Development executive vice president, expects hybrids to become the standard drivetrain and account for 100 percent of Toyota vehicles by 2020. According to a recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study, hybrid vehicles have saved close to 215 million gallons of fuel in the U.S. since 1999. In addition to the fuel economy benefits, hybrid owners cite significantly reduced tailpipe emissions and reduced dependence on foreign oil as reasons for buying their hybrids.

Grease Fitting Tip

Prior to installing new grease fittings on a machine, Noria Corporation recommends purging them with a grease gun using the same type of grease that will be used later for regreasing. Following this practice will effectively remove any dust, burrs or other debris from inside the fittings, while reducing the risk of cross contamination between different greases.

AMSOIL Retail-On-The-Shelf Program Update

Changes provide increased opportunities for Dealers in the retail market.

In an effort to protect the AMSOIL Dealer network as the primary method of marketing AMSOIL products, AMSOIL changed the qualifications for AMSOIL retail-on-the-shelf accounts in September 2003. This change was necessary because an increase in the popularity of AMSOIL products led to increased demand for these products by large retail chain outlets. Without the change in 2003, large outlets would have been able to achieve a distinct advantage over AMSOIL Dealers due to efficiencies of distribution, low profit margin flexibility and mass advertising capabilities.

AMSOIL has redefined retail on-theshelf accounts in order to expand sales opportunities in a way that does not allow large chains a distinct advantage over the Dealer network or smaller retail businesses.

The change limited retail-on-the-shelf accounts to 12 stores, and it has had a positive effect for AMSOIL Dealers by protecting their markets. Even with the 12 store limitation, sales, registrations of all types of customers and commission checks have continued to grow at unprecedented rates.

Based upon the desire to offer Dealers as many opportunities as possible, AMSOIL evaluated options for expanding sales through businesses that own more than 12 retail outlets. Therefore, AMSOIL has redefined retail-on-the-shelf accounts in order to expand sales opportunities in a way that does not allow large chains a distinct advantage over the Dealer network or smaller retail businesses. The following definitions and qualifications are effective immediately:

"An AMSOIL retail-on-the-shelf account is a business that operates out of a storefront or outlet where there is public access for customers. This business must also sell associated merchandise at retail prices or provide product as part of a service. This business must not sell AMSOIL products through the internet or retail catalogs and must not operate or be located at a residence, and AMSOIL should not be the primary business.

"Businesses that own more than 12 retail outlets may register individual outlets as separate retail-on-the-shelf accounts. Each outlet/ account must have the authority to establish an account and place individual orders for their own store. Individual outlets/accounts may not use centralized distribution, group shipments, transfer inventory between outlets or combine co-op advertising credits. An AMSOIL Dealer may register and/or sell to a maximum of 24 individual retail outlets that are owned by the same business.

"Businesses that own up to 12 retail outlets have two registration options. They may apply for one retail-on-the-shelf account to service all outlets. Invoices, co-op advertising credits and other documents will be sent to one billing address. The second option is to apply for separate retail-on-the-shelf accounts for each outlet. Each outlet must have the authority to establish their own account and place orders for their own store."

As a result of this change, AMSOIL Dealers can register a single Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Jiffy Lube or other large chain store if their company policies allow the individual locations to establish their own accounts and place orders. In order to protect all Dealers, however, AMSOIL will continue to avoid doing business with businesses having over 12 locations that use corporate distribution. AMSOIL reserves the right to stop selling to accounts that by-pass these policies by using centralized distribution, grouping orders, transferring products between stores, combining co-op advertising credits or other policy violations.

Invoices, statements of account and other important documents for businesses that own more than 12 retail outlets will be sent to the individual store locations in order to insure each invoice is paid on an individual basis. If invoices are not paid on an individual basis, it can be very difficult to determine which order or Dealer is owed commissions. If an account has the ability to utilize a centralized accounting service and still pay individual invoices, the servicing Dealer should contact the AMSOIL Account Services Department for approval to change a billing address.

AMSOIL is confident these changes will provide even more opportunities to all Dealers and will continue the trend toward larger commission checks, brand name recognition and registrations of all customer types. It is important to understand that when AMSOIL implemented the first 12 store policy, it was with the understanding that the benefits and effects of the policy would be evaluated and possibly changed in the future. The same holds for this updated policy; it may be adjusted again in the future.

The G-47A Sales Plan Policies, G-1097 Commercial and Retail Marketing Procedures and G-1183 Retail Account Profile Sheet have been updated to reflect these changes.

August 1, 2007
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Hot Running Twin Cam 96 Engines

Harley-Davidson has recently acknowledged that its Twin Cam 96 engine tends to operate at higher temperatures. In particular, owners of 2007 Ultra Classic Electra Glide motorcycles have noticed an excessive level of heat radiating from the engine. This model has fairing lowers that obstruct some of the cooling air that would usually cool the rider's legs at slower speeds. In addition, the Twin Cam 96 engine operates at higher temperatures than the Twin Cam 88 engine because it has almost 10 percent more displacement and because it is calibrated to run a leaner fuel mixture to meet exhaust emissions standards, often elevating engine heat at slow riding speeds when little air is flowing around the bike.

Bearing Lubrication Tip

According to the Basic Handbook of Lubrication, bearing failures can often be attributed to overpacking them with too much grease. "If too much grease is present, internal friction can cause the temperature to rise, causing oil separation and oxidation of the base fluid, resulting in premature bearing failure. As noted earlier, the relubrication interval and the amount of grease used during relubrication depend entirely on the application. When lubricating a bearing in a housing without a grease vent plug, do not rupture the seal. Once this seal is ruptured, external contamination will be free to enter the bearing, and the seal's ability to hold the grease in the housing will be lost. Note that common grease guns can generate up to 100 MPa (15,000 psi) pressure."

Windham Earns Win in New Berlin

Team AMSOIL motocross star Kevin Windham capitalizes on quick starts to earn first place podium finish.

Entering the sixth round of the 2007 AMA motocross season in New Berlin, N.Y. on July 15, Team AMSOIL rider Kevin Windham held seventh place in the overall standings and was looking to add some big points. With points leaders Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart sitting the race out, New Berlin presented a golden opportunity to land on the podium.

In the first moto, Windham started strong and came out of the gate hot on the heels of leader Mike Alessi. He remained in second for almost 30 minutes before capitalizing on an Alessi mistake to move into first and take the win.

In the second moto, Windham started almost equally as strong, settling into third. He battled Alessi once again, who was eventually forced to the pit with goggle problems. While Tim Ferry took the moto win, Windham raced strong to stay in third, which was good enough for the overall first place podium finish. With the win, Windham maintains his hold on seventh in the overall standings.

In the Lites class, Josh Grant finished sixth and fifth for an overall fourth place finish, while teammate Jake Weimer finished seventh and 14th for an overall 10th place finish. Grant holds third in the points race, while Weimer is sixth.

Kevin Windham
Kevin Windham (center) celebrates his first place podium finish in New Berlin.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Bruhn.
New Berlin Final Results

1) Kevin Windham
2) Tim Ferry
3) Andrew Short
4) Mike Alessi
5) Ivan Tedesco
6) Davi Millsaps
7) Grant Langston
8) David Vuillemin
9) G Gracyk
10) Josh Summey 11) John Dowd
12) Jason Thomas

Consumer Purchasing Habits

The Continuing Consumer Automotive Maintenance Survey (CCAMS) conducted by Industrial Marketing Research (IMR) reveals valuable consumer purchasing habits for motor oil, spark plugs and wiper blades. Be sure your customers know AMSOIL offers all of these products.

0W-30 Synthetic Motoroil
Motor Oil

According to the survey, consumers change motor oil less often as their vehicles age. Although changing oil was once a key doit- yourself (DIY) activity, the task is now more evenly divided among do-it-yourselfers and various do-itfor- me (DIFM) outlets.

NGK Spark Plug
Spark Plugs

According to the survey, spark plug replacement remains a strong DIY activity, while dealerships and traditional repair facilities handle the bulk of the DIFM market.

Trico Wiper Blade

According to the survey, wiper blade replacement is primarily a DIY activity. Replacement rates are fairly constant across all vehicle ages.

Age of Vehicle
0-3 years 24%
4-6 years 21%
7-9 years 18%
10-12 years 15%
13-14 years 10%
15+ years 12%
Where Consumers Go For Oil Changes
Quick Lube Specialist 24.43%
Dealership 22.62%
DIY 19.52%
Traditional Repair Discount Store/ 13.69%
Mass Merchandiser 6.81%
Tire Dealer Auto Repair 5.66%
Other 2.23%
General Repair Chain 1.96%
Repair Specialist 1.58%
Auto Parts Retailer w/ Bays 1.25%
Auto Parts Wholesaler 0.24%
Why Consumers Choose Specific Repair Outlet
Previous Experience 43.7%
Convenience 30.3%
Price 10.1%
Knowledgeable Staff 8.9%
Other 4.1%
Recommendation 2.0%
Brands Offered 0.5%
Advertising 0.5%
Why DIYers Choose Specific Retail Outlet
Convenience 37.0%
Price 36.3%
Previous Experience 16.2%
Other 4.4%
Knowledgeable Staff 2.7%
Brands Offered 2.6%
Recommendation 0.5%
Advertising 0.3%
Age of Vehicle
0-3 years 8%
4-6 years 15%
7-9 years 18%
10-12 years 18%
13-14 years 14%
15+ years 27%
Where Consumers Go For Spark Plug Work
DIY 50.53%
Traditional Repair 17.20%
Dealership 13.77%
Auto Parts Retailer w/ Bays 5.79%
Repair Specialist 2.63%
Tire Dealer Auto Repair 2.27%
Other 2.07%
Auto Parts Wholesaler 2.00%
Quick Lube Specialist 1.23%
General Repair Chain 1.36%
Discount Store/ Mass Merchandiser 1.16%
Why Consumers Choose Specific Repair Outlet
Previous Experience 43.7%
Convenience 30.3%
Price 10.1%
Knowledgeable Staff 8.9%
Other 4.1%
Recommendation 2.0%
Brands Offered 0.5%
Advertising 0.5%
Why DIYers Choose Specific Retail Outlet
Convenience 35.7%
Previous Experience 25.4%
Price 24.0%
Brands Offered 6.1%
Knowledgeable Staff 4.3%
Other 3.1%
Recommendation 1.0%
Advertising 0.4%
Age of Vehicle
0-3 years 19%
4-6 years 22%
7-9 years 19%
10-12 years 15%
13-14 years 11%
15+ years 14%
Where Consumers Go For Wiper Blade Replacement
DIY 69.53%
Dealership 7.58%
Auto Parts Retailer w/ Bays 5.01%
Traditional Repair 4.91%
Quick Lube Specialist Discount Store/ 4.72%
Mass Merchandiser 3.64%
Tire Dealer Auto Repair 1.68%
Auto Parts Wholesaler 0.87%
Other 0.80%
Repair Specialist 0.66%
General Repair Chain 0.60%
Why Consumers Choose Specific Repair Outlet
Previous Experience 37.1%
Convenience 36.4%
Knowledgeable Staff 10.4%
Price 8.5%
Other 3.7%
Recommendation 2.2%
Brands Offered 1.2%
Advertising 0.5%
Why DIYers Choose Specific Retail Outlet
Convenience 46.7%
Price 28.1%
Previous Experience 16.8%
Brands Offered 3.1%
Other 2.2%
Knowledgeable Staff 2.1%
Advertising 0.5%
Recommendation 0.4%
July 15, 2007
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Tonneau Covers and Fuel Economy

In order to determine the effects truck tonneau covers have on drag and fuel economy, SEMA recently conducted wind tunnel tests on 13 different tonneaus from nine different manufacturers. Test results indicated the tonneaus improved drag coefficient by an average of 5.73 percent. "Other tests would need to be conducted in order to determine the exact effect on fuel economy," wrote Megan McKernan of SEMA. "Aerodynamicists often say that a 10 percent improvement in aerodynamic performance is good for a 2 to 3 percent improvement in gas mileage, based on an EPA road speed of 48 mph. Therefore, an improvement in Cd of 5.73 percent could account for a 1.8 percent improvement in gas mileage."

Oil Analysis Tip

The effectiveness of procedures taken to control oil contamination can be communicated with a few simple calculations. "We came up with a way to show the effectiveness of our oil program to the non maintenance people in our plant," said Bill Jacobyansky, maintenance manager with Guardian Industries. "We added up all of our three-part ISO particle count numbers and divided it by the number of pieces of equipment that we routinely sample. This gave us a plant-wide average oil cleanliness. This number means nothing by itself. But every quarter we recalculate this number using our latest sample results. We use it to show how our oil has become cleaner as we began to routinely filter it and took other actions to reduce contamination. Everyone can now see that our oil program is having a positive effect."

Prevent Bearing Failure

High quality grease is key to preventing rolling element bearing failure.

Because electric motors are invaluable to the daily operation of industrial facilities, failures of any kind can be disastrous. Proper lubrication of rolling element bearings is essential to prevent bearing failure that can take motors out of commission and increase repair expenses and downtime. According to Machinery Lubrication, the following are common causes of bearing failure:

Proper lubrication of rolling element bearings is essential to prevent bearing failure that can take motors out of commission and increase repair expenses and downtime.

Loss of Lubricant

Equipment failure caused by loss of bearing lubrication occurs when bearings are not regreased at proper intervals with the appropriate level of grease or when overheating causes the oil to separate from the base thickener.

Grease Incompatibility

Because not all greases are compatible, it is a good practice to ensure new grease is compatible with the grease already in use.

Incorrect Grease

Ensure the proper grease is being used for the application. Some bearing designs require extreme pressure (EP) greases to ensure optimum protection.

Grease Degradation

Grease hardening, chemical breakdown and oil separation are common types of grease degradation that seriously compromise protection.

Excess Lubrication

A problem seen primarily with open face bearings, too much grease churning in the bearing can lead to dramatic temperature increases. Excess grease can also be pushed into the windings of the motor and lead to overheating and damage of electrical insulation.

The following regreasing steps help ensure optimal bearing performance while minimizing failures:

1) Because grease is less viscous under operating conditions, regrease bearings while the motor is running and hot or after the motor is removed from service (before the grease cools).

2) Be sure the proper lubricant is in the grease gun.

3) Thoroughly clean the areas surrounding the fill and drain fittings to ensure contaminants are kept out of the bearing cavity.

4) Remove the drain fitting to allow excess grease to leave the bearing.

AMSOIL Synthetic Mult-Purpose Grease information click here

5) Leave the drain plug out for the entire regreasing procedure.

6) When the motor is running at normal operating temperature, add the proper quantity of grease or add it slowly until it starts to move into the relief tube.

7) After excessive grease has been purged, reinstall the drain plug and clean any extra grease from the drain area.

When regreasing is completed, check motor noise and vibration to establish a baseline and measure them again at regular intervals. Inspect lubrication upon any sudden or significant change. Monitor and trend motor bearing temperatures. Increasing temperatures could indicate a problem with a bearing, an overgreasing issue or a need to renew the grease. High frequency noise output or vibration levels are also signs of a bearing lubrication problem.

AMSOIL Synthetic Multi- Purpose Grease

Composed of premium quality synthetic base oils and lithium complex thickeners, AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease is ideal for rolling element bearings, providing superior film strength, shear resistance, adhesion properties and mechanical stability. It excels in temperature extremes and is compatible with many other types of greases. NLGI #2 (GLC) is recommended for regular to hot temperatures, while NLGI #1 (GLB) is recommended for colder temperatures, some centralized lubrication systems or high speed bearings.

July 01, 2007
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Dual Remote Filtration System Ideal for Off-Roaders

A July 2007 4-Wheel & Off-Road article by feature editor Jerrod Jones entitled "Fantastic Filtration" recommends 4x4 enthusiasts use remote mount oil filtration systems in their off-road vehicles in order to extend engine life and oil drain intervals. Jones specifically expresses his satisfaction with the AMSOIL Dual Remote Filtration System recommended by the Dyno Shop in Santee, Calif. and includes pictures and instructions for installing it.

Hydraulic System Tip

According to Fluid Power Maintenance Basics and Troubleshooting, low oil levels in hydraulic systems can lead to increased contamination. "When the oil level is low, more air gets into the tank and this often leads to destructive cavitation in the pump and to condensation on the tank walls which generates sludge. Sludge decreases the lubricity of the oil, producing scoring and friction on surfaces with close tolerances. Cavitation is the result of implosion - breakdown - of air or oilvapor bubbles in the hydraulic system. It can be prevented by making certain that suction screens (if used) are clean and the oil reservoir is always full; this is another good reason for preventing leakage anywhere in the system. A clean reservoir with good return line filtration may eliminate the need for suction screens. Suction screens can be difficult to clean. As a result, they may not be cleaned and pumps may be lost as the screens plug."

A Look at the Personal Watercraft Market

First-time buyers and diverse product offerings are fueling a strong personal watercraft comeback.

Although the future of the personal watercraft (PWC) industry looked grim just a few years ago, it now appears to be enjoying a healthy comeback. Manufacturers are offering diverse product lines designed to draw a wide customer base, and sales numbers have stabilized and increased slightly since 2005. With four-stroke engines now the standard in an industry once beleaguered for polluting the nation's waterways, legislative battles have increasingly been settled in favor of allowing PWC access.

Manufacturers are offering diverse product lines designed to draw a wide customer base, and sales numbers have stabilized and increased slightly since 2005.

"The PWC industry is strong and stable," says Mark Speaks, president of Yamaha WaterCraft. "Boat show sales were favorable for Yamaha year-over-year, and we believe there are a number of key market drivers in place for this growth to continue throughout this year and in years to come."

New buyers are key to sustained growth in the personal watercraft market, and several manufacturers offer affordable, entry-level machines designed to draw in new customers. "We're seeing tremendous growth among new and first-time buyers," says Speaks. "It's never been easier and more cost efficient for families to begin enjoying the PWC lifestyle, and these new market entrants are great for the long-term stability and growth of the industry."

"Growing the first-time-buyer market has been a focus for several years now, and we're beginning to see these consumers who came in two and three years ago showing interest in trading up to more full-featured watercraft. So it's clear that once people come into the market, PWC become an important part of their lives."

The touring segment of the PWC market is expected to provide the best potential for long-term growth, although these customers are not necessarily interested solely in long distance cruising. "Some PWC usage has changed in recent years, and will continue to change," says Kawasaki product manager Croft Long. "One change might be called 'touring' or 'long distance,' but we really see this as more of a 'comfort' trend. Folks don't just stay in their cove, or their part of the lake. They want to explore and see it all. We positioned our new Ultra series to be more comfortable for longer riding times, whether just taking another lap around the lake or navigating the Mississippi. Most users are day riders, carrying gear for a day on the water, rather than overnight campers or those riding cross country."

Industry officials believe the recent PWC revival is just the beginning of a long period of healthy sales. They cite both a dedicated base of PWC enthusiasts and exciting new technology developments as reasons to expect increased sales to continue into the future.

pwc_2007 (20K)

"We believe the industry will experience growth because the PWC park is getting older," says Sea-Doo director of communications Louis Levesque. "New PWC technology will attract new customers, and baby boomers are looking into new lifestyle experiences like RV, PWC, boating, etc. They have disposable income, and kids and grandkids to entertain."

"The industry is strong this year and the forecast for coming years is encouraging," says Speaks. "We think this is reflective of a number of key trends. First, consumers are beginning to see the benefits of PWC and the impact of PWC on their lives. Quality family time together is hard to find, and personal watercraft offer a unique way to bond and grow as a family. Second, the value for the first-time buyer is unprecedented in the history of the industry. This is driving industry expansion and creating more consumers who will remain in the market for long-term growth."

AMSOIL Personal Watercraft product informationAMSOIL Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil information

"Lastly, the versatility of PWC makes them attractive to a wide range of consumers for many different activities. We're seeing WaveRunners used offshore for pulling surfers into large waves. Adventure trips and long tours are becoming more common. And people are even beginning to fish from PWC, as they can take you places no other boat can."

"We are, in essence, at an inflection point with the combination of these trends, and it's why we're seeing, and why we expect to continue to see, positive signs for the market moving forward."

AMSOIL 10W-30 (WCT) Formula 4-Stroke® and AMSOIL 10W-40 (WCF) Formula 4-Stroke® Marine Synthetic Motor Oils offer unsurpassed protection for four-stroke personal watercraft applications and AMSOIL INTERCEPTOR Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil is ideal for twostroke personal watercraft applications, offering unsurpassed wear protection for extended equipment life and trouble-free performance throughout the riding season.

Off-Road Retailers Stock Up on Air Filters

According to an Off-Road Retailer online survey, air filters are the most common performance-related products that offroad retailers plan to stock, purchase or inventory over the next year. AMSOIL offers premium Ea filtration products that provide unsurpassed filtering efficiency and performance for off-road applications.

Air Filters 81%
Fuel Pumps 60%
Headers 54%
Spark Plug Wires 53%
Ignition Modules 48%
Coils 44%
Fuel Injectors 44%
Plug-in Tuning Modules 43%
Carburetors 43%
Camshafts 42%
Distributors 40%
Throttle Bodies 39%
Regulators 39%
Cylinder Heads 34%
Nitrous Oxide 32%
Superchargers/Turbos 27%
Other 25%
Ea Air Filter information
Ea Air Filters

AMSOIL Ea Air Filters incorporate advanced nanofiber technology that is more efficient and has greater capacity than cellulose and wet gauze filter media, effectively extending engine and filter life and reducing engine wear. Cleaning of Ea Filters with a shop vacuum or low pressure shop air is recommended every 25,000 miles or one year, and they have a total service life of 100,000 miles or four years.

AMSOIL Ea Induction Performance Air Filter information
Ea Universal Air Induction Filters

Constructed of a d v a n c e d nanofiber technology. Fit most popular air intake systems on the market, providing improved cold air intake and excellent efficiency for superior engine protection and performance. Cleaning of Ea Air Induction Filters with a shop vacuum or low pressure shop air is recommended when designated by the restriction gauge or according to operating conditions.

AMSOIL Ea Performance Racing Filter information
EaAR Air Filters

S p e c i a l l y d e s i g n e d for carbureted racing and street rod applications, AMSOIL EaAR Air Filters are composed of advanced nanofiber media for higher dirtholding capacity, lower pressure drop and greater air flow and efficiency compared to traditional filter medias. Cleaning of EaAR Air Filters with a shop vacuum or low pressure shop air is recommended when designated by the restriction gauge or according to operating conditions.