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Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

Improved fuel economy has two benefits: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. auto owners may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago. Auto owners that were around in the early 60's may remember that the PCV valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine. When fuel is burned in the engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase. Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate t ... read more

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Introduction to Diesel for Gig Harbor, WA

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around , is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses - We're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs. Most people in , are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import auto manufacturers offer a range of diesel engines abroad - even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in , . But that's about to change. In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in , so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years. Why are so many motorists interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more pow ... read more

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Ethics of Automotive Repair in Gig Harbor, WA.

We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either. Unfortunately, every profession in has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards. Yet some people remain uncomfortable with automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level. If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work - and the pitfalls of putting it off - we'll have more trus ... read more

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Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you've ever had your brakes go out while you're driving around the area, you'll know how terrifying it can be. Today we'll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices. Often, the first indication that something's wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound. Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It's an early warning indicator. When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at soon at 253-851-3307. Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good ide ... read more

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How Your Check Engine Light Works

Have you ever had an experience like this in ? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing! You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off. You wonder; "What was going on?" Well, it's actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works. Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn't be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something's wrong. Whatever's wrong could cause some serious engine damage. Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action. It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to nor ... read more

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E-85 Fuel Safety Advice From Mackert Automotive

Today at we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 - the rest are not. E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local community. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank. At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of t ... read more

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Battery Basics

Battery Basics

It's important for car owners to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery - hot or cold weather. Most car owners think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold engine. However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. car owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger - say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter. As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your alternator has to work o ... read more

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Keep it Flowing With A Fuel Filter Replacement At Mackert Automotive

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around use fuel filters. Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up. That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often. A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enoug ... read more

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Keeping Your Vehicle Young Even If Its Old

Sometimes it seems in we live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in , our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without. We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules. Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra ... read more

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Road Trip Preparation for Summer!

People from love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road - it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt. Now you can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. Let's look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip and what you might do to avoid them. It all starts with a thorough trip inspection by your service professionals at . Let's talk about some of the items on the trip inspection checklist. The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems. A good tire inspection will start with looking over the condition of ... read more

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