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Yearly Archives: 2013

Keeping Your Gig Harbor Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter? Clever you, it's C. A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your car. It filters out common Gig Harbor air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows. These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns. Not all Gig Harbor motorists have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene. Last check, about forty percent of new vehicles sold in Gig Harbor come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year. Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant. Your car can be a haven during our Gig Harbor allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter ca ... read more

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Coolant Antifreeze Service In Gig Harbor Washington

You may know that most automotive failures in Gig Harbor Washington are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause for vehicle failure? Nope, it's not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But, if you take good care of your coolant system, it will take good care of you. A car's engine creates a lot of heat - so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and repair bills. But when everything is working right, your engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause engine damage. This could be very expensive, not to mention inconvenient. The right mix of water and antifreeze protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this ... read more

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Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Mackert Automotive

At Mackert Automotive we love doughnuts. So let's pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today's discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don't eat them now - your going to need them later. Many Gig Harbor motorists want to accessorize their car - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Port Orchard area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Port Orchard car owners, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more. So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to kno ... read more

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Mackert Automotive: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

ost Gig Harbor drivers want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Mackert Automotive, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Gig Harbor, WA car owners actually save? The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Gig Harbor motorists can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your car engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you're paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas, you could save fourteen cents a gallon. In today's Mackert Automotive article, we're focusing on the things you can do to improve your carfuel economy driving around Washington. We'll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we'll show a chart tha ... read more

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Gig Harbor Washington Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

When winter approaches in Gig Harbor, Washington, we break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime - but the stakes are higher in the winter. There are some specific things that we need to do in Gig Harbor Washington to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done. In the cold months around G ... read more

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Serpentine Belt Service At Mackert Automotive In Gig Harbor

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your car hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that's driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your car. Let's go over them. First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Gig Harbor. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your car's electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost). And, on most cars, the serpentine belt powers the water pump ... read more

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The Importance Of Gig Harbor Drivers Following Service Intervals

Today in our Mackert Automotive blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your car isn't the only aspect of your life in Gig Harbor with recommended intervals: Let's start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills? Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You'd may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off. Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Gig Harbor takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money. So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our cars ... read more

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Brake Service

Brakes really aren't optional equipment. And taking care of them isn't optional either. A regular brake inspection is on every car's maintenance schedule. An inspection 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 into a Gig Harbor or Port Orchard service center right away. And watch out for these problems: Low or spongy brake pedal Hard brake pedal A brake warning light that stays on Constantly squealing or grinding brakes Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes 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. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle. There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with us ... read more

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The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Gig Harbor Drivers

People in Gig Harbor have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues? Some new vehicle manufacturers in Gig Harbor are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Gig Harbor were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals. The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail. What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge ... read more

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The Mackert Automotive Guide To Vehicle Diagnosis

The Mackert Automotive Guide To Vehicle Diagnosis

Modern Gig Harbor vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions - and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle. Think about that for a minute - things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their car it can be pretty complicated for Gig Harbor drivers to track down the source of the problem. To help your Mackert Automotive service advisor figure out what's wrong, your car is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine Light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and courteous Macke ... read more

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