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For Brakes' Sake (Brake Rotor Service in GIG HARBOR)

Think of how much abuse your brakes take. Day in and day out, they stop your vehicle when it's going fast and when it's going slow. Maybe your vehicle has been vibrating when you brake, or maybe it seems like your stopping distance is a little bit longer than it used to be. Then it's time to get your brakes checked out. After all, you have to be able to stop if you want to be safe. Nearly all newer vehicles have disc brakes on the front, and many have that type of brake on all four wheels. That makes it likely you'll be getting disc brakes fixed at some time in your vehicle's lifetime. Knowing how disc brakes work is as easy as riding a bicycle. If your bike had hand brakes, you'll probably remember a mechanism that squeezed a couple of pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you applied the brakes. Disc brakes are similar; but instead of the bike wheel, there's a metal disc instead. If that disc is warped or has irregularities in it, it's going to vibrate. It used to be that roto ... read more

Categories:

Brake Service , Brakes

Keep Your Cool in GIG HARBOR

GIG HARBOR drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.Also, if it's freezing outside in GIG HARBOR, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the WA cold.So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than ... read more

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Cooling System

Hitting the Brakes in GIG HARBOR

Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other GIG HARBOR drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems. 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. You can also tell something is wrong with your 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 serious problems. If vibrations accompa ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of GIG HARBOR drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time." Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Sniffing Out a Problem

Your parents probably taught you to have common sense. When it comes to your vehicle, common scents can also come in handy. Different smells may tell you about some conditions in your vehicle that need attention. For example, you know what rotten eggs smell like.  If you smell them around your vehicle, it means sulfur can't be far away. Here's a surprising fact: Gasoline has a little sulfur in it.  There's a device in your exhaust system that's supposed to convert it to something that doesn't pollute the atmosphere. That device is a catalytic converter.  If you are smelling rotten eggs, maybe your catalytic converter is wearing out.  But it could also be a problem with your fuel injectors.  Either way, something's rotten that should be repaired. Ever smell something sweet around your vehicle, maybe a little like pancake syrup? If you sniff out a little sweetness just when your engine is warming up or after you shut off your engine, you might be smelling some co ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Cabin Air Filter From Mackert Automotive LLC

Here is a questions for GIG HARBOR drivers: What is a cabin air filter?Is it: A filter for a house in the middle of the woods? A fresh, piney scent? A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's 3.A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, sparrows, exhaust gas and odors.These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.Now not all vehicles in the GIG HARBOR area have cabin filters. They are fairly new on the scene in WA. About 40 percent of new vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment for GIG HARBOR. Your car can be a haven during WA allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, like all filters, your cabin air filter eventually ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Mackert Automotive LLC Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in WA. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep GIG HARBOR residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. GIG HARBOR residents can't afford to overlook any of them.The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the GIG HARBOR area. They are not presented in any particular order.1. Mackert Automotive LLC Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.2. Mackert Automotive LLC Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignmen ... read more

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISIBILITY (Cleaning Vehicle Glass)

We've all been through it. The vehicle ahead of us kicks up mud, slush, snow or salt on our windshield and we can't see a thing.  And not being able to see a thing when we're driving?  Not a good thing. Debris on a vehicle's glass can be blinding when driving directly into the sun.  And other things can ruin visibility: scratches on the glass, fogged windows, mineral deposits.  So lets make one thing clear:  Your windows.  Here are some tips. Number one rule, don't use abrasives on glass. That means no gritty cleaners that are made for metal.  Avoid at all costs those dark green abrasive pads on some kitchen sponges that are made to clean metal pots and pans UNLESS the manufacturer specifically says they can be used on glass. Use the appropriate cleaner for the substance that's being cleaned off. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and your Mackert Automotive LLC service advisor can make recommendations. Vinegar can work wonders. Sometim ... read more

Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Mackert Automotive LLC

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing WA residents to review their finances. More and more GIG HARBOR drivers are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles/120,000 km on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many GIG HARBOR men and women haven't dealt with in the past. Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for people in GIG HARBOR because many owner's manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles (96,000 or 145,000 km). Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their vehicles on the road. First of all, any service in your owner's manual that comes with ... read more

Coolant Service at Mackert Automotive LLC

GIG HARBOR residents' vehicles have to operate in a wide range of WA temperatures which requires the engine coolant to be able to perform 'no matter what.' Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive...And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That's why vehicle manufacturer’s recommend different types of anti-freeze for our GIG HARBOR, WA, vehicles.There are several different 'families' of anti-freeze available to us here in GIG HARBOR. Your owner's manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Mackert Automotive LLC will know the right kind for your vehicle.It's important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most c ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System
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