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Balance: Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation

Everyone in the area wants our tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to maximize tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation. When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from to , the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire. Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Washington

Screeching tires, crunching metal - it's an accident! If you've ever been in a car accident in your area, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do. Let's review what you should do in case of an accident: When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in is considered a crime - even if it's not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time. Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other and motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed. Always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ... read more

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Automotive News

Economics of Maintenance For Auto Owners

Buying a new car in is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape?How do you decide? People in who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty? For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com. Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs ... read more

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Blog

Exhaust And Emissions Service

Sometimes when we talk about exhaust service in Gig Harbor, we think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it's too loud. But, exhaust service at a place like Mackert Automotive is really a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, in the U.S., the federal government mandated catalytic converters for all cars in in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Cars sold in Canada follow the same guidelines. So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now a big part of that. And because it's so sophisticated, your vehicle manufacturer recommends having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Mackert Automotive, regularly to make sure everything's working r ... read more

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Gig Harbor, WA

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions to our environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for us very soon. For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline. You should only use E85 if you have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires. Diesel engines have been around the area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Die ... read more

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Blog

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near Gig Harbor, WA

A lot of gas is wasted in the area by dirty fuel delivery systems. Let's start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That's why there's a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently. The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at will leave your intake as clean as a whistle. The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they're clogged, the fuel doesn't get atomized the way it's supposed to and doesn't get burned as efficiently. See your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Mackert Automotive when a fuel system cleaning is recommended

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Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in the Puget Sound?

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in ? Is it: Stereo Wheels Air Bag DVD System Well, if you said stereo - you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in the Puget Sound region - approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market online. Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags - or no airbag is installed at all. That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so recommends following these guidelines:Use a reputable collision repair center ... read more

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Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free". Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever. Here are some examples for our friends in Gig Harbor. -Chalk one up for the myth. On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn't even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge. -A point to maintenance. -Myth gets a point. -Point for maintenance. I think you g ... read more

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Tire Pressure Monitoring System

We all know that under inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires. It's hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds. Uncle Sam to the rescue! A new federal law requires manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles by the 2008 model year. Some 2006 and 2007 models already have TPMS. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the manufacturer's pressure recommendations. The law covers all passenger cars, SUVs, mini vans and pick up trucks. The system must also indicate if it has a malfunction. This technology has been use ... read more

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Hey Drivers; What Is The Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around ?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee', then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in and around the country. Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year! You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won't have to worry about ... read more

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