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Yearly Archives: 2024

No Strain, No Gain (The Basics of Oil Filters)

Ever wonder what one of the best things is to ever happen to your vehicle's engine?  It's the little thing that usually looks like a can, the oil filter. Just like your kitchen sink strainer filters out errant particles of food from clogging your drain, the oil filter cleans out small particles that could cause your engine harm. Your engine operates in a dirty, hot environment and gathers a lot of tiny contaminants like dirt, dust, little metal shards and unlucky bugs that get sucked in.  Get those things circulating in your engine and those little particles can cause friction, which starts wearing out those finely machined metal parts.  You know how important it is to change your oil regularly.  It's vital that you change your oil filter at the same time to keep the oil as close to brand new as possible. Most oil filters look like a metal can with some holes in the bottom.  Inside there are carefully chosen materials that can screen out the contaminants while ... read more

Selecting New Tires and Wheels

Some of us GIG HARBOR drivers just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. We live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive around WA, where you want to go or the look you're after; there is a tire for you.The same is true about wheels. The hardest part is choosing from the thousands of wheels available at WA tire shops.The team at Mackert Automotive LLC can help you get some things in mind before you make a purchase. Let's start with function and think about how you drive.For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don't drive off-road around WA, so an off-road tread isn't important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the WA backcountry, you don't need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won't ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Budget for Maintenance in GIG HARBOR

Sometimes busy GIG HARBOR residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around WA in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time GIG HARBOR residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's GIG HARBOR drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's GIG HARBOR drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles ... read more

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Maintenance

Losing Your Cool (Why is My Air Conditioning System Not Working?)

When you turn on the air conditioning in your vehicle, you expect cool air to come out of the vents.  You depend on it, especially in hot weather, but it can also be important in humid weather when you need it to help defrost your windows and windshield. The air conditioning system has a lot of parts to it.  It has fans and blowers to move the air through the vents into the cabin.  It has parts that take hot air and cool it off. An electrical problem can be as simple as a broken switch or a broken blower motor. The air may not be getting cool because a hose in the system is broken or the refrigerant has leaked out.  Two major components are the compressor and the condenser.  The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, one step in the air conditioning process.  The condenser takes that hot refrigerant and cools it down. It also reduces the pressure. Because the climate control system in your vehicle is so complex, it’s best to leave the diagnosis to a ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Fuel System Cleaning at Mackert Automotive LLC for Better Performance

Hi GIG HARBOR residents. Let's talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detri ... read more

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Fuel System

What to Do in Case of an Accident in GIG HARBOR

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it's an accident! If you've ever been in a car accident in GIG HARBOR, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.Let's review what GIG HARBOR drivers should do in case of an accident:When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in GIG HARBOR is considered a crime - even if it's not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your WA driver's license or even jail time.Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call GIG HARBOR emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.You should always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seem ... read more

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Automotive News

Gas Smell! (What Causes Gasoline Odors)

If you've ever walked into your garage and noticed it smelled like gasoline, pay attention. Gasoline can be dangerous, both from the health problems fumes can cause and the fire danger gasoline presents.  There are many things that can cause a vehicle to give off a gasoline odor.  One of the easiest to track down is the gas cap.  It could be missing or it doesn't seal well any more (they do wear out).  That can also cause the Check Engine light to light up, so those are clues to tell your service advisor when you take it in for diagnosis. Another thing that can cause the Check Engine light to come on and produce a gasoline smell is the fuel filler neck. It's the part that goes from the place you put your fuel in to the gas tank. Over time, these can wear out and fail (they're made out of rubber or metal).  They can leak gasoline, too. It's always a good idea to check the garage floor for any gasoline puddles.  Note the location of the puddle in relation to ... read more

Are There Blind Spots in GIG HARBOR?

  All GIG HARBOR drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around GIG HARBOR.First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.First, GIG HARBOR drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. GIG HARBOR folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middl ... read more

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Automotive News

Straight Ahead (Wheel Alignment)

If every road was straight and smooth, we wouldn't have to worry much about wheel alignment. But they're not, so we do.  Hitting potholes or driving on rough pavement can knock your vehicle out of alignment and you'll notice it in one of several ways. Your steering wheel may not be centered when you're driving straight ahead, or your vehicle may pull to one side.  You may find your tires wearing on one side or they may squeal.  All are signs that could point to you needing an alignment. Your wheels should be perpendicular to the road and parallel with each other.  If not, your tires will wear out faster and your vehicle won't go straight on a level straightaway. In alignment, there are several factors that must be checked.  One is camber.  Your wheels should be straight up and down if you look at them from the front. If not, you'll wear your tires unevenly on one side. Another factor is caster, the angle of the steering pivot.  Most vehicles have what ... read more

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Alignment

The Mackert Automotive LLC Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

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Fluids
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