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Yearly Archives: 2021

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for GIG HARBOR Automobiles

GIG HARBOR drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down GIG HARBOR, WA, streets and roads.When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around GIG HARBOR are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.The team at Mackert Automotive LLC in GIG HARBOR wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which ... read more

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Alignment

Taking the Heat (Heater Hose Maintenance/Repair)

If you have an internal combustion vehicle, you know it has a lot of hoses that carry various fluids.  And if you have a heater in your vehicle, you'll have heater hoses. A heater hose connects to and from the engine so some coolant can be circulated through a little radiator called a heater core.  In cold weather, that heater core acts as a heat exchanger to heat up your cabin. Even in the hot weather, the heater hoses can prove problematic.  That's because they may remain pressurized even though you're not running your heater.  Heater hoses are made out of tough materials since they must handle heat and pressure.  But even the durable rubber, plastic and metal they are made out of can crack or leak from years of use.  That means coolant can be sprayed out into the engine compartment or leak onto a driveway or garage floor.  You may be able to see a puddle of coolant under your vehicle or perhaps smell the odor of the coolant under the hood.  So ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service at Mackert Automotive LLC in GIG HARBOR

Most WA auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.Why is it important for GIG HARBOR area drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.GIG HARBOR folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won't know the sys ... read more

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Air Conditioning

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

Categories:

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

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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

Categories:

Serpentine Belt
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