Articles:

Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in Gig Harbor

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle. Your car, truck, SUV engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned. It's critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all. The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It's vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can brea ... read more

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Easy Miles

Easy Miles

Have you ever noticed that your vehicle manufacturer has a schedule in your owner's manual for what is called "severe service" maintenance? Let's define what severe driving conditions aren't: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for twenty miles or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour in 75°F weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly, and you are driving under severe conditions. Let's look at the essential parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Gig Harbor are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn't stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate so it starts to build up in the engine oil leading t ... read more

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Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello Gig Harbor motorists! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your car, truck, SUV feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good MPG. The fuel filter's job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won't start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow harmful particles into your engine. A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around Gig Harbor, but sputter and strain on the highway because it's starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in Washington and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural W ... read more

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Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Mackert Automotive LLC

Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Mackert Automotive LLC

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Gig Harbor drivers know how vital it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order. The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically. Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced. But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A ... read more

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Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades For Gig Harbor Drivers

When Gig Harbor drivers talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Washington? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them, or until our wiper blades fail. It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm - that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, Gig Harbor motorists need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a harmful safety hazard. Instead, we Gig Harbor motorists need to make wiper blades an important part of our preventive maintenance routine. Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Washington areas that experience harsh ... read more

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The Mackert Automotive LLC Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Gig Harbor drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does.Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Gig Harbor. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine - there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing. Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does - it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on Washington interstates. And automatically shifts back down to climb Gig Harbor hills, pass or start up again. Car, truck, SUV automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five ... read more

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What Gig Harbor Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things Gig Harbor motorists should know about Gig Harbor car service and repair. First and foremost, Mackert Automotive LLC cares about you and your family's safety. And we really appreciate your business. Mackert Automotive LLC in Gig Harbor wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come. Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The friendly and courteous technicians that work for Mackert Automotive LLC need extensive computer training - not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with oth ... read more

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Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Gig Harbor Drivers

Knowing how their engine works can help Gig Harbor motorists make informed decisions about car care and prevent costly repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts. An engine's power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust. All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just ... read more

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Time Out: Suspension Problems in Gig Harbor

Your vehicle's suspension system has two important jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump. To see your suspension system, you'll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle's frame is part of the suspension system. They're heavy-duty parts that work hard while you're driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your friendly and courteous Mackert Automotive LLC tech look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for an inspection is every time you get your alignment checked. If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn't as smooth as it should be, or if your vehi ... read more

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Are There Blind Spots In Gig Harbor Washington?

All Gig Harbor motorists have blind spots - and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Gig Harbor. First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others… To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your car, truck, SUV before you start to drive. First, Gig Harbor auto owners should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their car, truck, SUV. Gig Harbor folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty simple, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear. Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your ca ... read more

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