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Yearly Archives: 2014

Using Proper Fluids In Your car, truck, SUV Or Other Vehicle

Today Mackert Automotive is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It's become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It's not that people in Washington are confused as much as they don't realize how much things have changed in recent years. Let's take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness. It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it's cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn't thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine. Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever befo ... read more

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Mackert Automotive Advice On Buying New Tires

Today's tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Gig Harbor driver's style, habits and driving conditions. Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all Washington seasons. Gig Harbor off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires' high profile protects rims from damage. But what if you own an SUV but aren't interested in off-roading around Gig Harbor? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style. Mackert Automotive tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style. The same goes for wheels. When Gig Harbor auto owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at Washington tire stores. If they ... read more

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Check-Up

There are a lot of things in life that Gig Harbor residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Gig Harbor dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don't stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences. Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Gig Harbor drivers should take their car, truck, SUVs in regularly for a good check-up. But many Gig Harbor folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we're more likely to listen to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" than "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one. Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root can ... read more

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Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Mackert Automotive

Anyone that drives a car in Gig Harbor knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your car, truck, SUV cooling system in good condition. A vehicle's cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the car, truck, SUV's engine to absorb more heat. Why shouldn't Gig Harbor drivers just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your car, truck, SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boi ... read more

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Drive Train - What You Need to Know In Gig Harbor

One Gig Harbor automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around Gig Harbor, but they're very critical. First let's define what the driveline is: Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So Gig Harbor drivers need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit. Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins ... read more

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Super Slick at Mackert Automotive in Gig Harbor: Synthetic Oil

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the car maker recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Gig Harbor drivers. Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides critical advantages over conventional motor oil. First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Gig Harbor car owners, cooler operating temperatures, more engine power and increased fuel economy. Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than convention ... read more

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Stay Headed In The Right Direction, Gig Harbor

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Gig Harbor, Washington these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine. The pump generates power that assists car owners as they steer their car, truck, SUV around Gig Harbor, Washington. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to have your Gig Harbor service professional inspect them at every oil change. A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Mackert Automotive because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's important to use the correct type - just ask your service professional at Mackert Automotive. In addition to providing boost, the flui ... read more

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Mackert Automotive Engine Air Filter Replacement

When your experienced Mackert Automotive service advisor technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn't need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your service specialist's auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It's not expensive, and it makes a big difference to your car, truck, SUV. An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren't there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the car, truck, SUV engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine. But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Gig Harbor air. This doesn't allow the junk into the car, truck, SUV engine, bu ... read more

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Differential Service At Mackert Automotive: Viva la Difference

Every car, truck, SUV on Washington freeways has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Gig Harbor car owners don't have a clue what it is. The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the car, truck, SUV must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning. Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That's the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV's have differentials on both the front and the rear axle. You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You'd be right. But the differential is ... read more

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How Much is Enough for Gig Harbor Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth

Most Gig Harbor car owners know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that "bald" tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they're need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are pricey and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it's important for Gig Harbor drivers to know the answers to these questions. First of all, it's key to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Washington auto safety laws. That's why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection. In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch ... read more

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