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Monthly Archives: August 2021

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

Categories:

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

Slippery When Wet (Driving on Wet Leaves)

When the leaves fall, you might take a sightseeing trip to see them at peak color.  Or you may simply live in a spot where there are a lot of trees.  When those leaves get wet, you'd be surprised to learn just how slippery they can be.  We all know ice is slippery to drive on.  What causes tires to slip on ice is a thin layer of water that comes between the road and your tires.  Wet leaves can have the same effect.  The surfaces of leaves are super slick when they're dry, even worse when you add a little moisture.  There's one other thing about leaves.  They are smaller than each tire's footprint, so your tread grips the pavement with uneven traction. One study showed that your stopping distance can more than double on a surface covered with wet leaves when compared to that same road when it's dry.  Double! That can spell trouble.  So if you find yourself heading into an area with wet leaves on the road, slow down before you get into a ... read more

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