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Yearly Archives: 2015

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Gig Harbor, Washington, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Gig Harbor auto owners don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of mind for our Gig Harbor customers. So it's not uncommon for auto owners to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Gig Harbor high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run. The differenti ... read more

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Emergency Items For Gig Harbor motorists

Emergency Items For Gig Harbor motorists

Safe Washington travel starts with preventive maintenance and good car care at Mackert Automotive. But there are other things Gig Harbor drivers can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here's some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life - or someone else's. First, Gig Harbor motorists should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their car. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road. Some vital items you should carry in your car, truck, SUV include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats. But taking care of your car ... read more

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Mackert Automotive Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Mackert Automotive Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Gig Harbor service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Gig Harbor drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed. Mackert Automotive fuel system cleaning: Over time, the car, truck, SUV fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way. Mackert Automotive headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It's usually good to change them every year or so. Mackert Automotive inspections: Gig Harbor drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they're going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle's ready for Washington summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used car, truck, SUV and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or ar ... read more

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Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas in Washington has got Gig Harbor drivers talking. It seems that Gig Harbor folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve gas mileage. First let's start with how we drive in the Gig Harbor area. Gig Harbor motorists may not realize that they can really save money on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel efficiency, and it wears out your brakes faster too. Another thing Gig Harbor motorists can do is drive slower - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the inter ... read more

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The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Mackert Automotive

Service to a vehicle's power steering system is a critical part of preventive maintenance for astute Gig Harbor motorists. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your car, truck, SUV's wheels would have to come from you. The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer car, truck, SUVs have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost. Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system. Gig Harbor car owners should remember that fluid ... read more

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It Is Time To Check Your Intervals

It Is Time To Check Your Intervals

Part of the engineering that goes into designing a vehicle is testing the components to ensure that they meet durability and safety standards. Because of this, manufacturers have a good idea as to how long the parts in your vehicle will last under normal driving conditions. For this reason, they give us guidelines to follow regarding how often to inspect the various parts and systems on our car, truck, SUVs. Vehicular components are required to meet certain standards. The government mandates some of these standards. Others are set by the auto industry. Recommended car maintenance schedules are designed to help Gig Harbor car owners maintain these standards. Disregarding routine maintenance or procrastinating preventive maintenance will result in lowered performance and reduced safety for a vehicle. Maintenance schedules are designed to ensure three areas of essential automotive performance for Gig Harbor auto owners: protection of the vehicle itself, fuel eff ... read more

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Budget For Maintenance in Gig Harbor

Budget For Maintenance in Gig Harbor

Sometimes busy Gig Harbor residents dream about going back to the "simpler" days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Gig Harbor in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Gig Harbor car owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before. Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple - you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Gig Harbor motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it's likely that yesterday's Gig Harbor auto owners didn't care ... read more

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Hitting The Brakes In Gig Harbor

Hitting The Brakes In Gig Harbor

Safety should always be a key element of your car care. So even if you don't care about how your car looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself - and other Gig Harbor auto owners - on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes. Brakes need a regular inspection. There are essential parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have issues. Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. Gig Harbor motorists can also tell something is wrong with their brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate troubles. If vibrations accompany brakin ... read more

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Getting the Right Tires And Wheels In Gig Harbor

Getting the Right Tires And Wheels In Gig Harbor

A lot of people get custom wheels in Gig Harbor. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that. Consulting your Mackert Automotive tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your Gig Harbor driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub. If you don't want to make any modifications to your car, truck, SUV, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some Gig Harbor people like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift. Also, most Gig Harbor drive ... read more

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Maintaining Your Diesel in Gig Harbor

Maintaining Your Diesel in Gig Harbor

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in Gig Harbor because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Gig Harbor car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's. Diesels are popular in Gig Harbor because they get better MPG than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past. Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Washington as for other vehicles. Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel ... read more

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