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Getting New Tires in GIG HARBOR?

There are so many tire choices in the GIG HARBOR area that selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for drivers. And even though it's kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they're a significant investment for most GIG HARBOR area folks so you want do it right.Tip: talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Mackert Automotive LLC tire professional. He'll help you sort through the choices.Here are some of the issues you'll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is . All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your GIG HARBOR tire professional can help stay within manufacturer's specifications or program a different tire size into your vehicle's computer.And you'll want to discuss how and where you drive to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all s ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

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 the GIG HARBOR area 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 diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.Diesels are popular in WA because they get better fuel economy 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 WA as for other vehicles.Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic ... read more

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Fuel System

Don't Stack the Mat

In the sloppy cold weather months, you might be tempted to pick up an all-weather mat and throw it on top of the mats you already have in your vehicle. After all, double protection is better, right? In this case, wrong. Here's why. It's important to keep the accelerator and brake pedals clear so they can function the way they are supposed to. Stacking mats in the driver's side footwell can make them sit up too high on the floor. That can, in turn, jam your accelerator pedal forward, causing your vehicle to unintentionally speed up; it may get stuck in that position. Same thing applies to the brake pedal. The mats can get caught underneath it and prevent you from stopping. Here are some other good practices when it comes to mats. It's best to get those designed for your vehicle. They are shaped to fit your specific car, truck, van or SUV. Ill-fitting mats can have the same untended consequences as stacked mats. Good mats will have either a Velcro-type fastener on the back of them or a h ... read more

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Auto Safety

Serpentine Belt Service at Mackert Automotive LLC in GIG HARBOR

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.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 vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some GIG HARBOR vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, GIG HARBOR drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If t ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

The Edible Engine

You may have had a friend whose vehicle was the victim of hungry rodents.  After all, mice, rats and squirrels—even rabbits—have been known to gnaw on wires in engine compartments, causing vehicle electrical systems to go haywire.  They can disable a vehicle completely and be very expensive to fix. In 2017, some drivers noticed their vehicle's wiring was being chewed and found out the automaker was using a relatively new material for covering their wires: soy.  Many of the repairs to their new vehicles weren't covered under warranty by the manufacturer when it was discovered rodents were eating the wiring.  So the owners filed a class action suit, saying the soy covering was essentially baiting the critters.  The automakers tell a different story, saying mice, rats and squirrels have been chewing through wire insulation long before it was made out of soy.  Regardless of what the insulation is made of, vehicle owners should make sure rodents are ... read more

Under Pressure in GIG HARBOR: TPMS

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in GIG HARBOR, or have your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on WA roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, GIG HARBOR drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

GIG HARBOR Car Owners Ask: Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?

Any GIG HARBOR driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for GIG HARBOR residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.3. In many GIG HARBOR residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steer ... read more

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Serpentine Belt

Slippery When Wet (Driving on Wet Leaves)

When the leaves fall, you might take a sightseeing trip to see them at peak color.  Or you may simply live in a spot where there are a lot of trees.  When those leaves get wet, you'd be surprised to learn just how slippery they can be.  We all know ice is slippery to drive on.  What causes tires to slip on ice is a thin layer of water that comes between the road and your tires.  Wet leaves can have the same effect.  The surfaces of leaves are super slick when they're dry, even worse when you add a little moisture.  There's one other thing about leaves.  They are smaller than each tire's footprint, so your tread grips the pavement with uneven traction. One study showed that your stopping distance can more than double on a surface covered with wet leaves when compared to that same road when it's dry.  Double! That can spell trouble.  So if you find yourself heading into an area with wet leaves on the road, slow down before you get into a ... read more

A Cool and Smooth Transmission in GIG HARBOR

When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us GIG HARBOR drivers remember to get our oil changed. But services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is part of car care. A poorly maintained transmission will fail and lead to repairs.The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it's clean and well-lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your transmission will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this service. Or, you can ask your friendly and knowledgeable Mackert Automotive LLC service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your vehic ... read more

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Transmission

Keeping Your Engine Cool in GIG HARBOR, WA

The cooling system keeps WA vehicle's engines from overheating while they are driving around GIG HARBOR. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let's talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.The radiator is the part most GIG HARBOR drivers associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there's enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the vehicle is idling.In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your vehicle off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The wat ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System
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