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Headlight Replacement

Like everything automotive, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. We can all drive more safely at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility down the road, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is important because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as the country's population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome. Most new cars come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on the road, they're very bright and have a bluish tint. From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many people complain about HID l ... read more

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Selecting New Tires and Wheels

Some of us just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. We live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive, where you want to go or the look you're after; there is a tire for you. The same is true about wheels. The hardest part is choosing from the thousands of wheels available. We may not be able to help with that, but we can help you get some things in mind before you consult with your tire professional. Let's start with function and think about how you drive. For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don't drive off-road, so an off-road tread isn't important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the backcountry, you don't need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look. If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won't ma ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Air Conditioning Service at Mackert Automotive

Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around , but not in your car. When your car's AC System has a problem, you'll often feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it? You know, the old comfort versus cost dilemma. But a more comfortable drive around has a lot of benefits, and keeping the AC System well maintained can help prevent expensive repairs. A common cause for AC failure is water and air in the system. The system does not work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to try to cool the air. That is why periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer. You should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself an ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Battery Replacement For Your Import or Domestic Vehicle

Modern cars and trucks in and around run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every ... read more

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Fuel Injectors

The last new car sold with a carburetor in North America rolled out of the dealership in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injection is a much more precise way of delivering fuel than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and power. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure. A few auto makers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure - hundreds of times the pressure of port injection sy ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter From Mackert Automotive

What is a cabin air filter? Is it: A filter for a house in the middle of the woods? A fresh, piney scent? A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's 3. A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, sparrows, exhaust gas and odors. These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns. Now not all vehicles have cabin filters. They are fairly new on the scene. About forty percent of new vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year. Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment. Your car can be a haven during allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, the filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. Th ... read more

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Severe Service Requirements

A lot of our viewers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners' manual. It can be confusing. Let's clear the air on this subject. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for 20 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owners' manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called ‘regular service' and ‘severe service'. Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time. Manufacturers create these specific schedules for each vehicle they make. So there isn't one generic schedule that ... read more

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Trip Inspection

North Americans love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than the 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. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling - winding byways or super-highways? Mountains or plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel? How much weight will you be hauling - passengers and luggage? Lugging a trailer or roof top carrier? Will it be dusty? Armed with the answers to these questions, you can start a trip inspection to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our customers prefer to go through this exercise with an automotive servi ... read more

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Alignment

Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

We would like to give you an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday - and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace. The do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many car owners rely on the advice of their service consultant to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their car and the way they drive. Let's start with engine oil. If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20W-50 or 5W-30. Manufacturers r ... read more

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What To Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle

So you've bought a used car in the area. How do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because people in the area sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you've sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from. Maybe it was a little of both? Used cars with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or vehicles that have done duty in rental fleets. We feel pretty confident because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained? If you plan on owning a car for a long time, you'll keep up on the maintenance so that you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the car for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn't ruin a brand new engine. Then it'll be someone els ... read more

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