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Yearly Archives: 2021

Mackert Automotive LLC Automotive Tips: Alternator

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.When GIG HARBOR drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your Mackert Automotive LLC service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of ... read more

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Alternator

Put on the Brakes: Brake Service at Mackert Automotive LLC

When it comes to preventive maintenance and vehicle care, most GIG HARBOR drivers know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A bra ... read more

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Brakes

Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Mackert Automotive LLC Really Save Gas?

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But GIG HARBOR drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at GIG HARBOR gas stations.When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything GIG HARBOR drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we ca ... read more

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Fuel Economy

Time for a Brake (Brake Pad Replacement)

Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably.  That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date. A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rotors (the metal discs).  Those pads usually have a metal back, and the part that presses against the discs is made of a material which provides friction to stop the vehicle. Because of that friction, the pads are expected to wear down and eventually the rotors will, too.  But the pads usually are the part that will need to be replaced more often. But how do you know when it's time? There are several signs, one of which is when your brakes squeak or make a high-pitched sound when you step on the brake pedal.  Many newer vehicles also have sensors on the brake pads.  When the pads get worn down to a certain point, the sensor will tell the vehicle's computer to turn on a li ... read more

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Brakes

Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in GIG HARBOR, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the GIG HARBOR area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.Some vehicles around GIG HARBOR come from the factory filled with synthetic oil&nbs ... read more

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Fluids

Smooth Shifting in GIG HARBOR, WA: Transmission Service

So you have some exciting plans for the weekend. You're going to take some of your friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you've gotten the boat all ready. And you haven't forgotten about your tow vehicle. You've gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your vehicle maintenance is up to date. Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of GIG HARBOR. There's hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it's going to be pretty hot in WA this weekend. And all the time you'll be towing around a lot of extra weight. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Let's just consider the transmission. It's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local W ... read more

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Transmission

It's About Time: Following Service Intervals at Mackert Automotive LLC

There are a lot of things in life that GIG HARBOR residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our GIG HARBOR dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don't stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences. Scheduled maintenance is also part of good vehicle care. GIG HARBOR drivers should take their vehicles in regularly for a good check-up. But many folks struggle to remember or actually even ignore this auto advice. When it comes to our vehicles, we're more likely to listen to, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it,” than, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more ... read more

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Inspection

The Mackert Automotive LLC Guide to Tire Specs

You know you need newtires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the GIG HARBOR service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.Tire size can be confusing for many GIG HARBOR drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for GIG HARBOR tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and hig ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

PCV Valve Service at Mackert Automotive LLC in GIG HARBOR

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. Unburnt fuel is forced into the crankcase as your engine runs.  The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve vents this unburnt fuel and oil vapors from the crankcase and sends it back into the air intake system to be burned in the engine.  A clogged PCV will not allow these vapors to escape. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause vehicle engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Mackert Automotive LLC. At high speeds on WA freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak. Back in the old days, vehicles were simply installed with a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the vehicle's engine.This is much better for air qu ... read more

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Parts

A Non-Starter (Alternator Problems in Cold Weather)

As the temperatures dip, we all know there could be problems starting our vehicles. After all, batteries can grow old and not hold a charge as well as when they were newer. Or starters can go bad.  But there's one more component to keep an especially sharp eye on during winter: your alternator. The alternator is sort of like a small generator. It sends power out to various parts in your vehicle that need electricity.  That includes the battery, which needs charging to keep its power topped off.  The alternator creates electricity by taking mechanical energy from the engine and turning it into electricity.  It is connected to the engine by belts and pulleys.  In cold weather, the material the belt is made from is less flexible than it is in warm weather.  That means it may not be turning the pulleys as effectively since it doesn't have the same grip. Also, when it's colder, lubricants, including the engine oil, are a little stiffer and parts just don't move ... read more

Categories:

Alternator
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