Water pump replacement

Filled under: Auto service Uncategorized | by Bob

A reputable shop which offers a warranty to replace that faulty water pump is a must.

The price and time for replacing your car’s water pump can vary widely.

Water pump is vital to the safe operation of your engine.

This water pump helps keep a supercharged AMG 5.5 litre V8 cool

A water pump like the one shown goes to a supercharged Mercedes-Benz V8. The retail price for this pump is about $500. That’s just for the part. You don’t want just anyone replacing such an important component on your $120,000 car. You are going to want an experienced professional doing the job. Of course even if you are replacing a $50 part on a $20,000 car you want a trained experienced mechanic.  A reputable shop which offers a warranty  is a must.


The water pump circulates coolant through the engine cooling system and heater. When the pump fails a few bad things can happen. The coolant can leak out causing the engine to overheat. The bearing can fail causing engine and or radiator damage or the pump can simply stop pumping because of an internal failure.

The pump seals to the front of the engine with a gasket.  A serpentine belt operates this water pump. Timing belts spin some coolant pumps. More on that later. The shaft from the front of the pump connects to an impeller which circulates coolant. A bearing and a seal hold the shaft so the pump can spin freely and not leak coolant.

One of the reasons mechanics recommend regular coolant replacement is to keep the bearing and the seal on the water pump shaft lubricated. A coolant flush can save hundreds of dollars for an expensive water pump replacement.

Even good quality parts can fail. Once again a warranty from a reputable shop can save you money.

Remember that $20,000 car we were talking about? This car may have a water pump which is run by a timing belt.  A serpentine belt can be removed in a few minutes but a timing belt can be an all day job. When mechanics replace timing belts and the timing belt operates the water pump a good mechanic will recommend replacing the water pump even if the timing belt driven water pump is not leaking or lose. Again replacing that water pump for slightly more now can save hundreds later if the timing belt must be removed again to replace the water pump a few months or weeks later. Even good quality parts can fail. Once again a warranty from a reputable shop can save you money.

My Car Heater is Blowing Cold Air

Filled under: Auto service | by Bob

My car heater is blowing cold air. What can I do?

Why is your car heater blowing cold air when you want hot? Is the engine at the proper operating temperature? Does your car’s engine have the proper amount of coolant and what condition is the coolant? Is your climate control system working correctly? How about your cabin air filter. Replace dirty cabin air filters.

Hot coolant flow makes the cabin warm.

Your car’s heater operates by circulating engine coolant through a heat exchanger called a heater core. The heat exchanger lives in the dash.  The climate control channels air across the heat exchanger. If the engine is cold, there will be no heat in the heat exchanger to transfer into the cabin. If the engine coolant is low there may not be enough hot coolant circulating through the heat exchanger. For the climate control to heat the cabin there must be enough hot coolant flowing through

We all ove wood heat but this is ridiculous

Car heater repairs don’t necessarily mean extreme solutions. Sometimes simply topping off the radiator can solve your no heat problem. The exchanger supplies heat to the cabin. A plugged heat exchanger will cause a no heat problem.

You may have noticed semi trucks on the freeway with a zipper over the radiator. Many semis have louvers built into the radiator assembly to close off the cold air going through the radiator. Large diesel engines don’t produce enough heat to keep the engine at the proper operating temperature. When the engine runs cold it destroys fuel economy, creates excess wear and of course keeps the heater from heating.

A stuck thermostat in your car’s engine can cause the engine to run cold and so affect your climate control.

Both the heat exchanger and the evaporator live in a climate control air box made up of various plastic doors and a blower motor housing. Depending on the sophistication of your car’s climate control the doors channeling the air to meet temperature demands of the passengers may be operated by cables or by electric, “stepper” motors operated by a climate control computer. If hot coolant is circulating through the heat exchanger but no air is being channeled across the hot heat exchanger into the cabin the heater won’t heat the cabin.

Part of the reason we recommend regular coolant replacement is to avoid expensive heat exchanger replacement. When coolant no longer circulates through the heat exchanger the heater will not work. In the same way if air can not circulate across the heater you will also have no heat.

Start with the simple things.

To address car heater problems first make sure your radiator coolant is topped off and your cabin air filter is not plugged. Never place “stop leak” or other quick fixes from a can into your cooling system. Make sure your engine is at its proper operating temperature. If you are still having a no heat problem give us a call at Master Auto Tech. 360733-3043

Cooling System Car Care.

Filled under: Auto service | by Bob

Master Auto Tech can service your radiator and cooling system

Changing your engine antifreeze / coolant will protect and save from expensive repairs

Antifreeze Cooling System Care can make your winter driving carefree.

Our mission of serving people by caring for cars means we want to save you from expensive and inconvenient break downs. Studies have shown that regular maintenance like replacing your coolant antifreeze mixture on time can save ten to fifteen cents per mile. For the average driver who drives their car ten thousand miles a year this is a significant savings. Our mission is for you to enjoy the lowest lifetime operating costs when traveling or going from place to place around Bellingham and Whatcom County.

We’ve all seen that car alongside the highway  steam billowing out the open hood. Chances are that person has not properly cared for his car’s cooling system antifreeze. We don’t want to see any of our customers stuck along side the road, ever.

Your car’s cooling system removes excess heat from the engine.

This system uses a water pump to circulate coolant/antifreeze through the engine block, radiator and climate control. The engine thermostat regulates engine coolant. Just like your home your car’s thermostat maintains the proper operating temperature so the engine can function efficiently.

Coolant/antifreeze (from here on in the article referred to as simply coolant) circulates in the engine’s cooling system.  Coolant protects your car engine’s internal parts. A proper coolant mixture reduces electrolysis and chemical corrosion of internal parts. When water passes over dissimilar metals it creates an electrical charge. Electricity causes erosion of the metals themselves. A proper 50% coolant water mixture will mitigate the effect of electrolysis. Coolant also helps lubricate the water pump as well as  promoting the heat exchange occurring at the car’s radiator. A proper mixture helps remove excess heat from the system. To weak of a mixture can lead to overheating but to strong of a mixture can cause plugging of internal passages.

Antifreeze Coolant has changed over the years.

For decades auto manufactures have used the common green colored Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) coolant designed to protect copper core radiators and the solder joints holding them together. The green coolant worked well for this but is very toxic and damaging to the environment when it leaks out.

Manufacturers developed a new mixture called, Organic Acid Technology  (OAT) originally billed as life time coolant which the engineers told us never needed replaced. Mechanics know engine coolant antifreeze mix needs replaced. Engineers discovered the the OAT coolant typified by the orange colored Dex-Coo coolant should be changed every five years.

In their never ending search for better technology engineers developed a Hybrid Organic Acid Technology  (HOAT) to meet the specific needs of modern cooling systems. The specific protective additive packages used by the various manufacturers are often proprietary. When replacing the HOAT coolant it is critical that the proper coolant is used in order to maintain the best protection and reduce the high cost of repairs. A rule of thumb is to replace coolant with the same color coolant which came out.


Engine Oil Change Service

Filled under: Auto service | by Bob

Fresh engine oil is your cars life blood

Master Auto Tech Oil Service keeps your car costs down

Engine Oil Change Service and the life of your car.

Engine Oil Change Service is important to the life of your car. All these fluids and lubricants can all be very confusing; Engine oil, coolant, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission oil, power steering. All these fluids are vital to the health if your car. A healthy car saves money and promotes reliability.

1. The right oil

What are all these fluids and lubricants? Does it matter what kind of oil or coolant I put in my car? Some of it is green some of it is red. Some fluids are clear and some are even blue or orange. The colors usually indicate which one is right  for your Car, truck or SUV.

Engine oils all look the same. Using the wrong oil in your engine can  damage even destroy it.

There are synthic engine oils, synthetic blends and conventional oils. Every engine oil has a couple of ratings. The first most recognized is the weight or viscosity rating expressed in numbers written on the container under the letters SAE (Society of Automotive Engneers).

2. What is oil “weight?”

Two numbers separated by a W indicate the engine oil’s weight or viscosity. The W after the first number refers to the thickness or viscosity of the oil in cold weather. Think W for winter driving.

The second number indicates viscosity  when the oil gets hot. The higher the number the thicker the oil. 5W30 oil is less viscous when it is cold. 10W30 is heavier when it’s cold.

The correct weight of  your car’s oil is very specific. The best viscousity for your can depends on ambient temperatures found in the climate here you live. A car that lives in Florida may use a different recommended viscosity  from the same car living in Minisota in the winter. Lower numbers can improve starting and milage. With modern chemical engineering the first number may even be 0. Hot oil Viscosity is indicated by the second number. It is very important to not exceed the car’s recommended hot viscosity, the number after the W. To high of a viscosity can actually starve the engine of it’s critical lubrication.

Refer to the owners manual to find what oil your car takes.

3. The right protection

Let Master Auto Tech help

Using the correct oil for your cars engine is important. This API symbol can tell you which one is right for you

The API (American Petrolium Institute) rating is an important designation. This rating for engine oil consists of a group of letters. These letters signify how well the oil protects against engine sludge, oxidation, component wear, oil consumption and deposits.

You will find the API rating in a circle or dot on the side of the oil container.

Decode the oil’s protection level by noticing the the two letters starting with S.  The higher the second letter the more up to date it’s technology.  SN is the current most up to date rating for today’s  gasoline powered cars. Labels indicating an API rating of SA – SH are out dated and should not be used. Using outdated oil could cause engine damage.

If you drive a diesel powered car or truck you will want to look for oil of the correct viscosity and an API rating starting with the letter C for compression ignition or Diesel engine. Please note some oils have both. API oils recommend for Diesel engines wil have the letters CH, CI,CJ or CK. Again refer to your manufacturers owners manual of take your vehicle to a certified trained mechanic.

4.  The Right Time

How often should I change my engine oil? It really depends. Most manufacturers are recommending an engine oil change service at 5,000 miles.  Some manufacturers recommend 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Old timers recommend an oil change every 3,000 to 3500 miles. Who is right?

Engine oil technology has improved engine oils since SA API rated oil. 5,000 miles betwween oil changes under normal driving conditions using SN rated oil with a good filter is not unreasonable.  Change your oil more often if you drive short distances of five to ten miles at a time or live in an area with extreme temperatures. More often is always better. Driving habits and conditions make a big difference.

Be sure to check your engine oil level between services.

Money Saving Brake Fluid Service

Filled under: Auto service | by Bob

Save with regular maintenance.

Master Auto Tech likes to help you keep costs down with regular maintenance service. We like servicing engine oil, Radiator coolant/antifreeze, transmission oil and brake fluid. That’s why we recommend replacing your brake fluid every two years.

Brakes; the most powerful system in your car.

Ever wonder how your foot on a little pedal, the brake pedal can stop a 3,000 pound car? The inertia for your car traveling that fast is hundreds of tons.  How can you stop all that weight with just your foot? Brake fluid in your hydraulic system along with the power assist acts as a force multiplier. This creates tremendous heat which far exceeds the boiling point of most fluids. Engineers solved this problem by creating brake fluid. The boiling point of brake fluid is over 400 degrees F.

Moisture, your brakes enemy.

The problem here is that brake fluid is what they call hydroscopic. hydroscopic is a $64 word that means it attracts moisture. In the  North West all our moisture (rain) can create problems with your brake system. As little as 3.7% moisture in your fluid can lower the fluids boiling point by nearly 1/2 causing brake fade. Brake fade is a very uncomfortable feeling, under emergency or extreme circumstances.

Here to serve you.

At Master Auto Tech as we seek to help you maintain the lowest life time operating costs of your vehicle. Corrosion caused by moisture in the brake hydraulics can turn a $200 brake job into a $600 brake job with pads and hydraulic calipers.

We find our happiest customers are those who elect to take care of regular maintenance. Studies suggest you can save $.10 to .15 per mile by taking care of regular maintenance like flushing the brake fluid, servicing your cars transmission and changing your engine on time.

Give Danny a call at 360 733-3043 or schedule an appointment on line :  https://masterautotechllc.com/appointments/ to start saving today with regular maintenance for your car truck or SUV.

Positive Car Care Place

Filled under: Auto service | by Bob

For a Positive Car Care Place visit Master Auto Tech

In our efforts to bring you a consistently positive car care  experience all our service professionals attend regular training. The last weekend our technicians attended technical training, our guest services hosts received training in how to best serve and our leaders receive leadership training. Good service doesn’t happen by chance. It takes training and deliberate effort.

Training for a Positive Experience.

I didn’t learn about the law of attraction last weekend but one class reminded me of how important that natural reality is.

The Law of attraction is very simple and dynamic. What you think about is attracted to you. My wife has a card written backwards on the dash of her car so when it reflects up on the windshield it says: Everything is Always Working out for Me. Sounds simple and it is but it becomes more and more true as she says and therefore thinks, everything is always working out for me. Things tend to work out in her favor.

May be you know someone for whom life is just a struggle. Time and chance happens to everyone but often times I see folks whose life is more full of trouble than others. Often times those folks exhibit a negative outlook on life. Listening to words people use is a  the obvious clue. But better than listening to the words other people use Becki and I are focusing more and more on the words we use especially when we talk to ourselves.

Those organic computers we call our heart and mind can be programmed for a more positive outlook and a more satisfying outcome.

WE are here to serve you by caring for your car.

The Positive Car Care Place


One of my favorite presenters was Steve Beck. Here is a short clip. Love this guy.

Best Mechanics in Bellingham

Filled under: Auto service BMW Auto Repair Chrystler Auto Care Domestic auto service Domestic car repair Ford Auto Care General Motors Auto Care | by Bob

Serving Volvo owners by caring for cars made in Sweden.

Christopher Wise comes to us from the local Volvo dealer. He is a master mechanic who’s expertise is in Volvo and domestic brands GM, Ford and Chrysler

Christopher is one of the best auto mechanics in Bellingham. Master Auto Tech is happy to welcome Christopher Wise. Christopher is a master mechanic with extensive background in Volvo and US made vehicles.

This is quite a claim. How can you say such a thing?

I guess the real question is what makes a good mechanic? A good mechanic loves what he does. A good mechanic is methodical and has a mind for the technical spacial aspects of the trade. You can always tell the really good technician/mechanic by the deliberate attitude. Another way to put it in the word of ancient eastern wisdom; wisdom is evidenced by the conspicuous absence of desperate activity. The best mechanics are never frazzled or if they are never show it.

Mechanic or technician? A technician is a person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory. A mechanic a person who repairs and maintains machinery. So the person who cares for your car really needs to be both. I like mechanic because the most sophisticated automotive engineers in Formula 1 motor sports prefer to be called mechanics

Volvo-car“After a lengthy interview process with a number of technicians we believe Christopher’s feel to Serve people by caring for cars is so closely aligned with our mission, Chris was our natural choice.”

Christopher is well known in automotive circles and most importantly, well thought of. I have received many kudos for bring him on board.

Stop by our new location at 3709 Bennett Dr. at the top of I-5 Exit ramp 258 right next to the ARCO on Airport Way and welcome Chris. Our no charge courtesy inspection is a great way to get acquainted. Call the shop (360) 733-3043 to schedule an appointment.

Grand Opening Special

Filled under: Auto service BMW Auto Repair Domestic auto service Mercedes Auto Repair Toyota Auto Repair | by Bob

Our Grand Opening at Master Auto Tech’s new location is June 1st, 2015.

To better Serve you by caring for your car.

Master Auto Techs Grand Opening at our new location 3709 Bennett Dr Exit 258 next to the ARCO on Airport Way.

To celebrate we are offering a get ready for Summer courtesy inspection at no charge. That’s right, but time is limited so please call for an appointment. We are also offering an oil service with inspection for just $29.95. Call (360) 733-3043 for details.

At our new location we will have more room for you and your car. Our clean spacious waiting area will feature a viewing window, restroom, complementary coffee bar and the same prompt courteous service you have come to expect from Bellingham’s premiere independent auto service facility. The good news is that we are now also serving owners of American made vehicles like General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

We will continue to bring excellent service to owners of foreign made vehicles like Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota and Honda. You can count on Bob our Mercedes trained Master Technician to care for your foreign made cars. And now we are happy to serve you and your friends who may also drive an American made vehicle.


Growing To Serve You

Filled under: Auto service Brake Service Chrystler Auto Care Domestic auto service Domestic car repair Ford Auto Care General Motors Auto Care Toyota Auto Repair | by Bob

Master Auto Tech is growing to serve you from our new location at  3709 Bennett Drive on the corner of Airport Way by the ARCO where I-5 South exits to Bakerview. On June 1st, 2015 you can enjoy our same excellent service and a larger, brand new location.

Not only are we expanding our facilities, but we our services also now include auto repair of domestic cars like General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Why should foreign car owners be the only ones who have Mercedes quality service and care. Even with this excellent care and service our rates are still a good value.

Lots of room

The old parking lot was gravel. A paved parking was an important up grade for us

Letting light in

Lots of light is what we want. This store front is just the ticket.

Remodeling the new shop

insulated but not isolated

Watch the techs while they work.

Here we see a familiar window installed into the new dry wall.

Save $25 on a fuel injection cleaning

Filled under: BMW Auto Repair Lexus Auto Repair Mercedes Auto Repair Smart Car Toyota Auto Repair | by Bob

Clean your cars intake and file system as part of regular maintenance.

WE clean the outside of our cars but not cleaning the inside of our cars engine can ross a loss of performance, fuel milage and expense when the engine needs to be disassembled and cleaned.

Fuel injection cleaning is an important part of your cars health and efficiency. Inside your cars engine little explosions are going on thousands of times a minute. Thats why they call it an internal combustion engine. Any time there is fire or explosions there is going to be residue soot and varnish. In the same way the chimney in a fire place needs to be cleaned periodically your cars internal engine parts need to be cleaned.

Modern cars are wonders of mechanical engineering. Todays cars are getting better milage, with less emissions and more power all at the same time. One of the ways they do this is with direct injection. This is a very efficient means of getting fuel to those thousands of explosions first used in the iconic Mercedes Gull Wing 300 SL. The down side is this this type of injection is that like a chimney which doesn’t get cleaned soot of carbon builds up on the internal parts of your cars valves and other internal parts.

This carbon can be removed one of two ways. The engine can be taken apart and cleaned, very expensive and time consuming or you can bring your car in to Master Auto Tech for a regular intake and fuel injection service.

We will place an additive in your engines oil and run the engine to clean the internal piston rings, then we will clean out the intake and fuel injectors with a special cleaner and even add a supplement to the engines oil to make it run happier till your next oil change.

After Todd cleaned the fuel system on the Smart Car he got 22% better gas milage after cleaning the Smart fuel injection. I can feel the difference in the way my Audi preforms and I try not to think about the fuel milage it gets, ever.

Make your appointment with Todd today to have your cars fuel system cleaned. Your faithful vehicle will thank you for it.