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Fall and Spring Checkup In Gig Harbor, WA

When I was a kid in , my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service. My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense. Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family , most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes. Your owner's manual or service advisor at can tell you the right oil to use. Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against b ... read more

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Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among motorists, manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?Here are some questions to ask yourself: Are most of your trips less than four miles?Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero temps?Are most of your trips off-highway?Do you drive often in dusty areas?Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around ?Do you drive in very hot or very cold weather?Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to or ? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets? Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between ... read more

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The Right Automotive Fluids For Drivers

The Right Automotive Fluids For Drivers

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for car owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well for car owners and could even cause damage. In addition to new grades of engine oil, many s now leave the factory with synthetic oil. car owners should always use the recommended grade and type of oil in their engine. All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at in . Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage. Most passenger vehicles on roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your power brake sys ... read more

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Synthetic Oil For Autos

If you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around , as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle. Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles? Synt ... read more

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Wheel Balancing

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? You can tell if your tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on freeways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat. Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at , it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the tire technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration. Most car owners are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after b ... read more

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Is Your Driving Severe?

People near often ask how often they should have a particular service done. It's a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner's manual, or have your service advisor at look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people - there are actually two service schedules. One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in will say that their driving is normal and that the ‘regular' schedule probably applies to them. ‘Severe service' sounds pretty extreme - ‘I don't drive like that'. Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions. If that's severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round - I'm thinking San Diego here ... read more

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Questions To Ask Your Service Advisor

We find that a lot of service and repair at are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisers. They want to ask questions, but don't want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road. You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction. It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when yo ... read more

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Watching Your Check Engine Light

Did you know that most of the cars driving around carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969? New cars sold in the area have as many as twelve networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions. Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do you know when there is a problem? It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a tr ... read more

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Keep Your Cool In Gig Harbor

Drivers rely on their car's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat. There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your ‘s engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain. Also, if it's freezing outside in , the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold. So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone. Coolant, or ... read more

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Deep Clean Your Fuel System At Mackert Automotive

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your into for a check up.MAckert Automotive, 253-851-3307 In today's auto post,we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. drivers need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel economy. A clean fuel system saves money at the pump. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things drivers can do to keep their fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system. So buying cheaper gas in can actually cost more in the long run. Now, most cars on highways are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be f ... read more

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