New Year’s Car Resolutions for Gig Harbor Motorists

New Year’s car resolutions, car resolutions

The typical resolutions for the coming year often include goals related to health and finances. These are fine and dandy. However, why not consider some New Year’s car resolutions near Gig Harbor? Automotive-related goals ensure better longevity of your vehicle. Here are some goals to consider.

1. Change Your Oil

Many motorists hold off on oil changes until the oil has badly eroded and turned into sludge, compromising engine and transmission performance. By committing to regular oil changes at an auto service, you significantly reduce the odds of premature wear that may require thousands of dollars in repairs or rebuild. Be sure to change the oil according to your model’s required interval. You can find this information in the user manual.

2. Learn How to Change a Tire

There are plenty of primers online on how to change a tire. However, you can’t be confident that you can actually do it until you give it a try hands-on. Practice several times in your garage; this way, you have the experience under your belt should you need to actually change your tire on the side of the road. Changing a tire isn’t difficult, but it is a multi-step process that requires using a jack, removing the lug nuts, and switching out tires.

3. Learn How to Jumpstart a Car

Like changing a tire, jumpstarting a car also requires hands-on experience. We suggest keeping a portable battery booster in your trunk, so you can perform a jumpstart without a second vehicle. However, using traditional jumper cables is still a useful skill to learn. When practicing, remember that the red cable is positive and the black cable is negative.

Celebrate 2022 With New Year’s Car Resolutions Near Gig Harbor

We perform auto repairs on all models, from common brands like Toyota and Subaru to more obscure manufacturers. Another resolution is to commit to regular car maintenance at Jones Automotive Clinic. Make 2022 the year to give your car exceptional care.

New Year’s Car Resolutions Near Gig Harbor

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on December 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Signs of Driveshaft Failure Near University Place

driveshaft failure

Are you able to tell if your car may be experiencing driveshaft failure? Most people are unable to do this since they aren’t really familiar with this vital automotive part. Learn to recognize the signs that the driveshaft may be failing. If any of the signs become apparent, then bring your car to an auto shop near University Place right away.

The Driveshaft Explained

The driveshaft is a cylindrical component that connects the gearbox and differential. Its purpose is to shuttle power from the engine to the wheels. The driveshaft is especially important in rear-wheel-drive cars. Vehicles ranging from Toyota and Subaru models to luxury brands all contain a driveshaft.

The driveshaft typically doesn’t give out completely. The wear happens little by little, and there are usually signs that alert the driver that something is wrong. 

Intense Vibrations

Car vibration can stem from a number of causes. However, if the vibration is emanating from the base of the car, then this may point to driveshaft problems, likely stemming from the accompanying U-joint or bushings. If the issue isn’t addressed, the wear can spread to adjacent parts.

Unusual Noises

As mentioned, a failing driveshaft may point to faulty bushings or U-joint. When these components give out, they can affect the driveshaft’s ability to rotate freely. This may lead to a noise akin to squeaking or metal-to-metal grinding; it’s especially audible when driving at low speeds. If the unusual noise and vibrations are both present, then it’s time for a trip to your local auto service provider.

Difficulty Turning

A faulty driveshaft may also result in the steering wheel feeling stubborn and stiff when making sharp turns or a U-turn. If you have driven an older car without power steering, then that’s what it feels like.

Driveshaft Failure? Leave the Repairs to a University Place Auto Shop

A failing driveshaft can affect the handling, making driving a safety hazard. Bring your vehicle to Jones Automotive Clinic for auto repairs right away if you notice the symptoms of a driveshaft failure.

Driveshaft Failure Diagnosis and Repair Near University Place

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on November 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Signs of a Bad Car Starter Near Fircrest

car starter

When the car won’t start, most people automatically attribute it to a dead battery. However, it’s possible the issue may lie with the car starter. The car will give you hints as to why it’s refusing to start.

Is the Engine Cranking?

Listen for a cranking noise when you turn the ignition. If there’s an audible cranking, then the problem is likely an issue with the fuel system and not the starter. Nevertheless, you need to have your car towed to the shop for auto repair to pinpoint the exact cause. If the problem is indeed the starter, then you may hear specific sounds, which we outline below.

Whirring Sound

The car starter has a part known as the overrunning clutch that releases the pinion from the flywheel. The starter solenoid then activates and engages the flywheel, which gives the engine the required energy to start. A whirring sound may point to a faulty solenoid.

Grinding Sound

There may also be a grinding sound. This may indicate that the pinion gear’s teeth are badly worn. The teeth are grinding due to the flywheel and pinion falling out of position. Another possibility is that the starter motor’s mounting bolts have come loose. This is actually quite complex to diagnose and requires an up-close inspection at an auto service station.

Buzzing Sound

If you hear a distinct buzzing noise, then there may be a lack of electric power that’s flowing to the solenoid plunger. Low electrical output may stem from a weak battery.

We’ll Repair Your Car Starter Near Fircrest

We examine and restore car starters on all automobile types, including those from well-known manufacturers like Subaru and Toyota. Make an appointment with Jones Automotive Clinic if the ignition is behaving stubbornly. A faulty starter requires immediate professional attention.

Car Starter Repair and Replacement Near Fircrest

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on October 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Is Your Car’s AC Blowing Warm Air? AC Maintenance for Gig Harbor Car Owners

car AC warm, car AC maintenance, car AC malfunction

Fall has arrived. However, the early days of autumn can still have their fair share of warm weather. This means you may still rely on your AC for several more weeks before the cooler weather kicks in. Some motorists have reported that the AC is blowing warm air and not providing the desired cooling. This may be a sign of multiple issues and that your vehicle is due for car AC maintenance from a professional.

Refrigerant Leak

Warm air may stem from low refrigerant levels, which may be a sign of a leak. This is difficult to detect because this type of leak doesn’t leave behind oily puddles on your garage floor. A professional auto repair technician can make the diagnosis through a careful examination of the AC hose.

Faulty Compressor

The compressor keeps the AC running by cycling refrigerant and removing heat from the car cabin. If the compressor is malfunctioning, then the refrigerant can’t generate cool air, leading to the AC vents blowing warm and stuffy air.

To care for the compressor, switch on the AC for about three minutes at least once every 30 days, especially during fall and winter. An alternative solution is to activate the defroster.

Faulty Electrical System

The car’s AC unit is way more complex than most motorists realize. This includes a multitude of fuses, wires, and circuitry. Any of these can abruptly give out from old age. In some models, the unit has an auto-shut feature to prevent further damage. It may continue to function but blow warm air. An auto service will have to examine the component up close to determine which specific part has malfunctioned.

Need Car AC Maintenance Near Gig Harbor?

Is your AC blowing warm air or just not working the way it should? Make an appointment with Jones Automotive Clinic if you’re experiencing AC issues. We service all makes and models, including common brands like Toyota and Subaru. It is not normal for a car AC to emit warm air; this warrants a professional diagnosis.

Car AC Maintenance Near Gig Harbor

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on September 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Engine Overheating Prevention: How to Stop Your Car from Overheating in Tacoma

prevent engine overheating, engine overheating

Heatwaves may continue even as summer winds down and fall approaches. As such, the car continues to be at risk of damage from overheating. Engine overheating prevention remains a critical component of car care. Learn how to keep excessive heat at bay.

Inspect the Coolant and the Radiator

Examine the radiator and the coolant reservoir weekly. You should certainly do this prior to a lengthy commute. With the coolant, you don’t even have to take off the cap. Just check whether the fluid is at or above the “full” line.

Switch Off the AC

Turning off the AC sounds insane when commuting on a blisteringly hot day. However, this is exactly the thing to do if you see the temperature gauge steadily rising. Switching off the AC eases the engine’s workload. Switch the blower on the max setting to remove some of the heat in the engine bay and transfer it into the cabin. This will make for a more sweltering and unpleasant ride, but it’ll assist in cooling the engine.

Pull Over

If the temperature gauge continues to rise, pull over or look for a place to park. Open the hood to let out the trapped heat. Keep the hood open for 20 to 30 minutes. Once the engine is sufficiently cooled, pour some bottled water over the radiator.

Even if the car seemingly works fine afterward, we highly recommend that you make an appointment with an auto service. A professional cooling system inspection will reveal any potential long-term damage.

Engine Overheating? Bring Your Car to Our Tacoma Auto Service

Bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop if the temperature gauge is incrementally increasing. This goes for all vehicle types, from American to foreign-made cars. Let Jones Automotive Clinic inspect your car; engine overheating is a serious problem and warrants professional diagnosis. 

Engine Overheating Prevention in Tacoma

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on August 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How Summer Heat Affects Your Car Battery Near Federal Way

car battery heat

Motorists often believe that the car battery typically dies during winter. Actually, the battery can die under either end of the temperature extremes. Discover how excessive car battery heat can accelerate power drainage.

The Truth About Car Battery Heat Around Federal Way

The ideal running temperature for a battery is approximately 80-degrees Fahrenheit. The heat in the air leads to chemical activity that occurs within the electrolyte fluid inside the battery. Excessive heat, though, causes internal corrosion and shortens battery lifespan. It also causes the electrolytes to evaporate. 

The effects, however, are gradual, and the battery typically doesn’t croak until several months later in autumn or winter. This leads motorists to suspect that it’s the colder temperature that’s the culprit. Our auto service sees a rise of dead batteries in the fall, though we know the damage began during the summertime heat.

How to Prolong Battery Life

Heat affects the battery regardless of if the car is in operation or parked in the driveway. Some easy modifications will keep the battery running longer.

  • Minimize the time the car is parked outside or park in the shade when feasible.
  • Think about installing a carport if your home lacks a garage. You may require written consent from your county to install one on your residence.
  • Routinely make an appointment at an auto repair shop, especially if you have an older car. These may contain batteries that you need to periodically top off with fresh fluids.
  • Inspect the battery for corrosion around the terminals. If there is corrosion, gently wipe it away with a soft-bristle brush.

We Examine and Service Car Batteries

Heat causes certain car parts to wear out. Bring your car to Jones Automotive Clinic this summer to examine the battery’s condition. Heat affects your car battery quite drastically regardless of the automobile make and model.

Car Battery Heat Checkup and Replacement

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on July 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Driving on an Empty Gas Tank in Tacoma: Is It Safe?

Driving with the fuel light on is never a good idea. However, thousands of drivers do this anyways. Why is driving on an empty gas tank a bad decision and how does this impact your vehicle? 

empty gas tank

Why People Drive on an Empty Gas Tank in Tacoma

According to a survey, two million drivers admitted they routinely commute with the low-fuel warning light on. Why? They refrain from going to the local gas station, hoping the price will drop if they wait just a few more days. However, by frequently allowing the fuel to get dangerously low, they’re unknowingly damaging their car. Consequently, they end up paying far more for auto repairs, nullifying any money they may have saved at the fuel pump.

We recommend never letting the gauge go below the one-fourth mark. If you’re concerned about the cost, there are apps that can show you the price per gallon at nearby gas stations.

The Risks of Driving on a Low Gas Tank

First, there’s a risk of running out of fuel in a very inconvenient place, such as a freeway fast lane. In addition, it’s simply bad for the car to drive on a low gas tank. How so? Fuel acts as a coolant by cooling the electric fuel pump motor. When gas is almost out, the pump ends up sucking excess air, which generates heat and causes accelerated wear.

The gas tank may also have sediment at the base. When the gas is low, the pump sucks up the sediment and ends up clogging the filter.

Be Privy of Fuel Levels

Prevent expensive auto service by never letting your gas run near-empty. Drop your car off at Jones Automotive Clinic for Subaru and Toyota repairs or service of any private vehicle. Driving on an empty gas tank may lead to needless wear and tear.

Refrain from Driving on an Empty Gas Tank in Tacoma

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on June 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Desert Driving Safety Tips in Tacoma

desert driving, desert driving safety

Unbeknownst to some people, deserts do exist in Washington, albeit on the eastern region of the state. Are you planning desert driving this summer? Be sure you’re prepared for such a road excursion; the weather may pose unique risks.

Bring Plenty of Water

You should have a case of water in your trunk. If your car breaks down, a tow truck may not be able to get to you for hours. When waiting for prolonged periods under scorching temperatures, you may be at risk of dehydration and heatstroke. It’s important to stay hydrated. Keep your car hydrated as well by giving it a nice supply of coolant before the trip.

Know Your Vehicle

A lot of modern cars have features the driver rarely if ever uses. Can you locate, for example, the spare tire and tools for manually changing a flat tire? Do you know how to use them? If driving a rental car, then take the time to get to know the vehicle inside and out. Continue Reading →

Know Your Automotive Repair Rights in Tacoma

automotive repair rights

Did you know that Washington state grants its citizens a set of rights when they visit an automotive repair center? Learn what these automotive repair rights are because they provide legal protection.

What Are Your Automotive Repair Rights in Tacoma?

Not every state has this type of law in place. Washington has the Auto Repair Act, outlined in its Washington State Office of the Attorney General. Here are the provisions.

Estimates: For in-person services where repairs are expected to exceed $100, you’re entitled to an estimate in writing. The shop can’t bill you more than 10% above the estimate without your consent.

Invoicing: The invoice must include a description of the labor and a list of all replacement parts provided. The mechanic must specify whether each part is new or a rebuild. The invoice must also include the price of each individual part and their respective installation fees.

All auto repair centers must abide by these provisions. This includes collision repair shops, windshield installers, tire replacement services, etc.

The Auto Shop’s Rights

The Auto Repair Act goes both ways, meaning it also bestows protections upon the auto service. The repair shop has the right, for instance, to place a lien on your car. Basically, they can legally hold your vehicle until you pay all due fees for provided services.

However, even this right has its limitations. The shop cannot hold your vehicle if charges surpassed 110% of the written estimate. The same applies if the shop failed to display a sign within the company premises outlining your customer rights.

We Honor Your Rights

At Jones Automotive Clinic, we run our business ethically. Whether you need general car or classic car repairs, we always honor your automotive repair rights to build customer trust.

We Respect Your Automotive Repair Rights in Tacoma

Serving Customers in Tacoma, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Gig Harbor, University Place, Fircrest and Ruston

Posted on April 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Why Schedule Your Car’s Spring Tune-up Near Auburn

spring tune-up, Jones Automotive ClinicSpring is here, and the transition from winter is the ideal time to book vehicle maintenance. Contacting an auto center now to arrange an appointment means you get ahead of the game. Your vehicle will be prepared for the warmer weather and perform at its peak. Learn why spring tune-up is a smart move regardless of your car make and model.

Winter Driving Affects Tires and Alignment

Winter driving can be quite rough, especially on the undercarriage, and may lead to accelerated wear and tear on the tires. Have a technician examine the tire tread depth.

Also, be sure to check the alignment, particularly if you notice that the vehicle begins to tremble at a specific speed range. This is a telltale sign of alignment troubles.

Continue Reading →