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Yearly Archives: 2019

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

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Cooling System

Speak Up: Talking with Your Mackert Automotive LLC Service Advisor

About 80% of the vehicles on GIG HARBOR roads today are behind on their preventive maintenance schedules. That translates to about 160 million vehicles in the United States that aren't performing as well as they could be - thousands right here in WA. Some of the maintenance issues are minor. Others represent serious safety concerns. There are many reasons GIG HARBOR drivers neglect their routine car care. Some of the more common ones are complacency, lack of confidence, lack of trust and budget issues. Modern vehicles are amazingly reliable compared to their older counterparts. They can run for years without any repairs, and we sometimes translate that to mean they don't need any maintenance. The trouble is that without maintenance, parts in the vehicle are gradually wearing out, fluids are getting dirty, oil is developing sludge — a lot of stuff is happening that we can't see, and it is destroying the vehicle. The first time we learn there is a ... read more

A Bright Idea

You've probably noticed how much easier it is to see when you're driving in the daytime as opposed to at night. It's one of the main reasons about half of all fatal vehicle accidents happen when it's dark. That's why it's important that your vehicle's headlights are in top condition and working the way they should.  That means that they're aimed correctly and producing the amount of light they are intended to produce. For many years, headlights were a standardized size and shape.  They were what is called a "sealed beam," and when you needed to replace one, it was pretty simple.  You just took the old one out and plugged a new one in.  But now there are hundreds of different types of lighting systems on vehicles, producing light with such illuminating technology as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), halogen bulbs, high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs and more.  Some vehicles have systems that turn your lights in the direction you turn your steering wheel so you can ... read more

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Headlamps

GIG HARBOR Tire Repair

Most GIG HARBOR residents have experienced a flat tire. You know it's inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn't just a big safety issue for GIG HARBOR drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high WA gas prices, we've all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to save on gas. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer.  There's another danger with under-inflated tires for GIG HARBOR residents. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don't just keep adding air every few days. You want to avoid tire damage. GIG HARBOR residents should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs - we have a whole team of them at Mackert Aut ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Time for Differential Service at Mackert Automotive LLC?

Hello GIG HARBOR - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so th ... read more

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Drive Train

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance for GIG HARBOR Drivers

Hello, GIG HARBOR residents. Let's talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.GIG HARBOR auto owners don't need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your vehicle engine will run.Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner's manual to find out how often it should ... read more

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Fuel System

Stay Safe in GIG HARBOR by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

We don't want to think about it, but each GIG HARBOR resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with WA rescue workers. Rescue workers and GIG HARBOR police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need. This contact information is critical in an accident because GIG HARBOR medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in WA, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged. ICE provides a solution for these ... read more

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Emergency Items

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, Mackert Automotive LLC service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle needs ... read more

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Diagnostics

Automotive Tips from Mackert Automotive LLC: Timing Belt Overview

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute when you are driving around GIG HARBOR. The timing belt’s important job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is important. If it should break, you could end up at Mackert Automotive LLC with expensive engine damage.Ask your friendly and professional Mackert Automotive LLC service advisor when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.Give us a call.Mackert Automotive LLC3416 57 STREET CT NWGIG HARBOR, WA 983352538513307http://mackertautomotive.com

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Timing Belt
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