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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free". Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever. Here are some examples for our friends in Gig Harbor. -Chalk one up for the myth. On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn't even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge. -A point to maintenance. -Myth gets a point. -Point for maintenance. I think you g ... read more

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Tire Pressure Monitoring System

We all know that under inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires. It's hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds. Uncle Sam to the rescue! A new federal law requires manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles by the 2008 model year. Some 2006 and 2007 models already have TPMS. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the manufacturer's pressure recommendations. The law covers all passenger cars, SUVs, mini vans and pick up trucks. The system must also indicate if it has a malfunction. This technology has been use ... read more

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Hey Drivers; What Is The Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around ?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee', then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in and around the country. Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year! You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won't have to worry about ... read more

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Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Welcome to the blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most of us drivers tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn't enough. Safe drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power. Let's focus on stopping in wet conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water. That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, drivers can actually spin out of control. At best, you won't stop as fast. So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're ... read more

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Fuel Filter Service in Gig Harbor, WA

There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn't seem right. Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but Mackert Automotive can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of. Some of us in really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends. But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let's take the fuel filter for example. You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they've accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere betw ... read more

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