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Differential Service at Mackert Automotive

Here at Mackert Automotive, we have customers, like you, from all across the state who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: What is a differential and what does it do? You may have been told your differential needs service, or seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does. As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels - which is why they're ... read more

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Suspension Service In Gig Harbor, WA

When you hear the word ‘suspension‘, you may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your car's suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your car up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride. It needs to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your car, it's basically everything that connects your wheels to the car's frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service. Here are some warning signs that your suspension may have problems: . . . You just don't feel in control when you're driving. Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every ... read more

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Air Conditioning Service In Gig Harbor

Hey , Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked. It's real easy to take your car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. When most people in hear the words "air conditioning problems", it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's expensive to repair. What things can we do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns? A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. The system doesn't 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 ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once stated, "You've gotta have good brakes. If you've got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble." That's why a regular brake inspection is on every car's maintenance schedule. An inspection at Mackert Automotive will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems. Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car intoright away. Here are some symptoms to watch for: If you are experiencing any of these, it's time to get your brakes checked. There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your car. Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to ... read more

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Vehicle Warranties

If you own a vehicle with a warranty, beware! Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that you need to get your maintenance services at a dealership in order to keep your warranty. That simply isn't true! You can have your vehicle serviced at your trusted, local service center without affecting your warranty. A federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, prohibits a manufacturer from voiding your warranty just because you got parts or services from a non-dealer. In fact, a manufacturer can't require you to use their brand of oil filters, lubricant, or any other part in order to maintain your warranty protection. This protection is true for aftermarket extended warranties purchased on new or used vehicles. This protection also applies to leased vehicles. There are similar laws in Canada as well. If a manufacturer can prove that the replacement parts or service lead to a vehicle failure, they can void a portion of the warranty. Of course,uses quality parts ... read more

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Exhaust Service

Whenever we talk about exhaust service, most people normally think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your vehicle manufacturer recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers. If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at handle emission problem ... read more

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Radiator Service at Mackert Automotive

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common, it is easy to prevent. The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then goes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again. There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. The proper mixture keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Both of which can result in massive engine damage. Another very important coolant issue that is often overlooked is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that prot ... read more

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Power Steering Service Near Gig Harbor, WA

For most of us living in the area, it is hard to remember life without power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels? It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine - a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump. These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea to inspect them at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owners' manual for the right type - or just ask your service technician at. The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the po ... read more

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Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of the public's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees. Twenty years ago, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. We called them snow tires back then and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. You couldn't wait to get them off in the spring. Then all-season tires started to come along. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life, and you can get through m ... read more

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Mackert Automotive 10th Anniversary BBQ

A big thank you to all of the folks that came out to our 10th Anniversary BBQ. We wouldn't be where we are today without all of the support from our faithful customers

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