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 →

What Happens When You Miss an Oil Change in Tacoma?

miss an oil change

Contrary to the prevailing belief, you actually don’t need an oil change every 3,000 miles. However, you definitely need to do a change in accordance with the interval in your car’s user manual. What are the ramifications for your car’s engine when you miss an oil change?

The Role of Motor Oil

Most commuters have never seen an engine when it’s in operation. Automotive engines consist of multiple moving components that rub against each other. This creates friction, leading to heat that leaves the engine vulnerable to overheating. Oil serves as lubrication and buffer between the parts when they’re in motion.

What Happens When the Oil Dries Out?

Motor oil degrades over time due to the buildup of metal shavings. The oil becomes sludge-like as particles begin increasing in concentration. With significantly decreased lubricative ability, the engine begins building heat. Components like the bearings, camshaft, and crankshaft heat up due to decreased oil flow. The eventual result? Excess and premature engine wear and tear.

An Oil Change Is a Money Saver

Our auto repair technicians have restored and rebuilt numerous engines. Almost every time, the damage could have been prevented with a scheduled oil change or flush.

Think about this: a typical oil change averages around $25 to $55, or up to $75 if requesting synthetic oil. Do you know the average cost of an engine rebuild? It ranges from $600 to $4,000. Would you rather pay $25 to $75 every few months, or be billed up to $4,000?

The lesson? Whether you own a mainstay model like Toyota or a more exotic brand, all automobiles need an oil change without exception. Eschewing this general care significantly shortens engine lifespan.

Never Miss an Oil Change in Tacoma

Visit our auto service center for your vehicle’s next oil change. Jones Automotive Clinic will keep the engine running optimally. Never miss an oil change again; we make the process quick and affordable.

Don’t Miss an Oil Change; Schedule Your Next Servicing in Tacoma

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

Posted on February 28, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Car Hacking: A Modern Roadside Threat for Tacoma Commuters

car hacking

People go to great lengths to safeguard their PCs and mobile devices from viruses and malware. Why not take the same protection measures for your car? With smart technology, car hacking is becoming a rising threat. How can you protect your vehicle?

Car Hacking in Tacoma Is on the Rise

Hackers can target a vehicle’s vulnerability points, including its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Just how susceptible is your car to hacking? In a controlled demo, A cyber-security team managed to hack into a Jeep SUV mid-commute. They were able to remotely control the car’s dashboard functions, including the wipers and air vents.

More disturbingly, they were able to fully control the transmission and braking system, causing the vehicle to skid and veer into a ditch. The researchers gained control by exploiting the SUV’s Uconnect infotainment system. 

No matter the brand or model, all modern vehicles are vulnerable. This includes classic cars retrofitted with today’s technology and navigational menu.

Prevention Measures

Automakers have made significant advancements in safety technology. Unfortunately, the advancements have not carried over to remote hacking prevention. Commuters, though, can take their own precautionary measures. Think of the following:

  • Enable automatic software updates
  • Keep up to date with the auto manufacturer’s latest news regarding recalls
  • Switch off the vehicle’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them
  • Scan flash drives for malware before inserting them into your car’s USB port
  • Maintain regular auto servicing, which includes a checkup of the car’s engine control unit.
  • Keep your keyless remote in the refrigerator or a faraday bag. This stops cyber-crooks from amplifying the remote’s signal and tricking it into thinking you’re within close proximity of the car.

Safeguard Your Vehicle from Remote Threats

Cyber-security isn’t our specialty. However, as an auto repair service, Jones Automotive Clinic understands car hacking is steadily on the rise. Complete safety on the road should take into account both safe driving habits and car hacking prevention.

Be Aware of Car Hacking in Tacoma

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

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

Should Tacoma Motorists Switch to Winter Tires Near Sumner?

winter tires

Some commuters use all-season tires year-round. Winter tires (also known as snow tires) aren’t a must in the Pacific Northwest. However, making the change does make handling and maneuvering more manageable on wet and slippery roads.

Winter Tires Explained

As implied in the name, the tires are designed for winter use. The treads are deeper with larger gaps, giving them enhanced traction and the ability to wick away water more effectively.

These tires are a must-have in areas with a lot of snowfall. While winters in Washington hardly entail heavy snow, they do bring about rain spells that lead to slippery roads. The tires are comparable in price to conventional tires, and most auto services provide and install them.

The Statistics

If you’re on the fence about making the switch, here are some statistics that might help you reconsider. The data is compiled from Consumer Reports.

  • Most motorists consider snow tires advantageous whether they own a front-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle.
  • Commuters with snow tires on average worry less about losing control of their car.
  • 67% of drivers believe winter tires are unnecessary if they have all-season tires at present. However, road tests from Consumer Reports confirm that snow tires have better gripping ability.

Can You Use Snow Tires After Winter?

Some people make the switch to snow tires and continue to use the tires long after winter. We don’t recommend this. The tires have more pliable tread rubber. This increases grip in cold weather, but it also wears out more quickly when the road surface is hot. The tires will be subjected to unnecessary wear.

We Provide and Install Snow Tires Near Covington

We have snow tires in inventory for most vehicle models. Browse our gallery to see what we do in our auto garage. Bring your car to Jones Automotive Clinic to switch to winter tires; the switch will significantly enhance road safety.

Snow Tires Installation Near Covington

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

Posted on December 30, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Defrost Your Car Windows During a Tacoma Winter

defrost car windows

Tacoma isn’t the chilliest region, though it does get cold enough to cause the windows to frost. You need to defrost car windows before your morning commute. Failing to do so reduces visibility and is a major safety hazard. We’ll go over some easy ways to clear your windshield of morning ice.

1. Pour Warm Water on the Glass

This is an easy-to-do hack; pour warm water over the windshield. The trick is to use warm but NOT boiling water. The latter can cause the window to crack due to the extreme and sudden temperature change. Warm water melts the ice just enough for you to scrape away using a scraper or a credit card.

Our auto service suggests a more effective hack. Instead of using plain warm water, use a mixture of one-third water and two-thirds rubbing alcohol.

2. Idle the Engine 

When you turn the ignition, let the engine run for about two minutes. While running the engine, switch on the defroster. This defrosts the windows on the sides and rear, which drivers tend to overlook. You should also roll down the windows by about one-inch. This lets in some dry outdoor air, which infuses with the warmer humid interior air and speeds up the defrosting process.

3. Prevention Measures

Prevention is the best remedy for preventing frost. If you park outdoors, then cover the windshield with a piece of cardboard. This shields the glass from moisture that leads to frost once the temperature starts to drop. Alternatively, you can cover the windows with a towel.

Defrost Car Windows to Stay Safe on the Road

Winter is a good time of year to address auto repairs. This is the season when hidden issues tend to arise. Bring your vehicle to Jones Automotive Clinic; we diagnose all car types, especially Subaru and Toyota models. Defrosting your car windows is vital for optimum road visibility.

Winter Vehicle Maintenance

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

Posted on November 30, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Spot and Minimize Pothole Damage in Tacoma

pothole damage

Anyone who commutes daily on Tacoma streets can attest to the numerous potholes. This is especially problematic during fall and winter because most potholes are difficult to detect due to leaves and puddling water obscuring them. Learning more about these road imperfections will help you prevent pothole damage.

Why Potholes Form?

Water that puddles on the road during autumn seeps into the cracks in the pavement before freezing and subsequently thawing. As this process repeats itself, it causes the road to contract and bulge. When vehicles drive over the bulge, the weight causes it to crack apart, and the tires dig out the cracked pieces.

How Do Potholes Cause Damage?

Driving through a pothole causes an immediate shift in tire air pressure. In severe cases, this can cause a blowout. Potholes may also cause a bend or crack where the rim meets the tire. Finally, driving over a pothole may lead to a misaligned suspension or uneven wear. If the car starts veering in one direction, then you have an alignment problem. Bring your car to an auto repair ASAP.

How to Avoid a Pothole

If you see a pothole ahead, slow your vehicle to minimize the impact or drive around it if possible. Unfortunately, not all potholes are clearly visible. Pooling water is a strong indicator of a pothole. Also, slow to a crawl when driving through leaf-strewn roads. You can never be certain what the fallen leaves are concealing.

You should also leave ample space between you and the vehicle ahead. Tailgating minimizes reaction time to a pothole if you spot it at all. 

We Repair Cars from Pothole Damage

Our auto service routinely inspects potential vehicle damage from potholes. View our gallery of our technicians in action. Jones Automotive Clinic advises motorists to exercise caution to avoid pothole damage

Fall and Winter Auto Maintenance

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

Posted on October 30, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Safe Driving in Foggy Weather in Tacoma

foggy weather driving, driving in fogTacoma residents know the region is prone to morning fog especially during autumn. This poses a safety hazard you cannot ignore. Nevertheless, life goes on and you still need to get behind the wheel. Here are four tips for foggy weather driving to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

1. Leave More Distance

The general rule of thumb is to maintain a two-second distance between you and the car ahead. This applies to clear road conditions. If you can see the vehicle in front, increase the distance to four to six seconds. Even in heavy fog, you should still at least be able to see the taillights.

2. Avoid Using the High Beams

Conventional wisdom is to switch to the high beams under low visibility. We don’t recommend this for dense fog. High beam lights reflect off the fog and can worsen visibility.

With respect to old lights, consider replacing the headlights at our auto service. Older bulbs or faded light covers can decrease the lights’ brightness, making it harder to see past the fog.

Continue Reading →