Safe Driving in Foggy Weather in Tacoma

foggy weather driving, driving in fogTacoma residents know the city is prone to morning fog especially during the fall season. This poses a serious safety hazard. Nevertheless, life goes on and you still need to commute. Here are three tips for driving safely in foggy weather.

1. Create More Distance

The general rule is to maintain a two-second distance between you and the driver ahead of you. This applies to clear road conditions. If you can make out the vehicle in front, increase the distance to four or even six seconds. Even in deep fog, you should be able to see the taillights.

2. Do NOT Use the High Beams

Conventional wisdom is to switch to the high beams under poor visibility. We do not recommend this for dense fog. High beam lights reflect off the fog and can make visibility worse.

With respect to old lights, consider replacing the headlights at our auto service. Older bulbs or faded light covers can decrease the lights’ brightness. Continue Reading →

What to Do With a Car Breakdown on a Tacoma Highway

highway breakdownOne of the biggest commuting nightmares is experiencing a car breakdown in the middle of a busy interstate. This is certainly a cause for alarm and no doubt a dangerous scenario for you and other drivers. We’ll explain what to do in the event of a car breakdown on the highway.

Pull Over

Your car can still operate even with a blown tire or overheated engine. Pull over when safe to do so. If a freeway exit is nearby, take the exit and look for a parking area. You can also scout for an auto service in the vicinity.

If you have to pull over in the middle of a busy road, exit from the right side of the vehicle. Increase your car’s visibility by turning on the hazard lights. Continue Reading →

How to Handle a Tire Blowout

tire blowoutBlowouts occur more frequently in the summer because heat causes the tire rubber to expand; but who thinks about this? So here you are, going 65 mph+ on the freeway when you hear a pop. The car slows down drastically; you immediately recognize you have a tire blowout. What do you do in this precarious situation?

How to Recognize a Tire Blowout

Not everyone immediately recognizes the signs of a blowout. You may hear a banging pop followed by reverberation inside the car. Also, expect repeated flopping and flapping as the flat tire smacks the road.

Other points to keep in mind:

  • The car may pull to one side.
  • Expect more difficult steering if a front tire blows out.
  • Expect strong vibrations and bumpiness in the seat if a rear tire blows out.

How to Drive Through a Blown Tire Continue Reading →

Four Common Car Air Conditioning Problems

car air conditioning problems, car AC problemsWith summer in full swing, expect to become reacquainted with your car’s AC. You may notice, though, that something about the air coming out the vent just feels off. Car air conditioning problems are actually quite commonplace. Our auto service shop deals with faulty ACs all the time.

1. Moisture

Do you feel moisture in the air when flipping on the AC? This may be a sign of trapped moisture or solid particles in the AC system. If a musty odor accompanies the damp feeling, then you may also have bacteria or fungi growing inside the AC vents. At this point, not only are you not receiving cold air but the vent is emitting illness-inducing mold spores.

2. Barely Cool Air

Do you turn the AC on max but only feel air that is mildly cool rather than cold? You may have a clogged cabin air filter or bad condenser. If you are more mechanically inclined, then check the condenser and cooling fan while the car is running. You should also examine the condenser for signs of obstructions, such as leaves or bug parts. Continue Reading →

Why Summer Car Care Matters

summer car care, air filterIs your car ready for the upcoming summer? Your car undergoes more stress during operation under high temperatures. This is why summer car care matters to responsible vehicle owners across Tacoma.

Check Your Tires

According to the Rubber Manufacturer Association, only one in 10 car owners regularly check tire pressure. You absolutely cannot disregard tire pressure checks in the summer. Factors like under-inflation, misalignment, and worn treads all increase risk of a blowout. For every 10-degree increase in temperature, tire pressure increases by about 2 psi. This increases over-inflation, which can cause a rupture in the rubber.

Change the Air Filter

The air filter probably collected a lot of debris and road salt over the winter. A dirty air filter reduces fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. Unless the vehicle manual specifies otherwise, we recommend an air filter replacement every 12,000-miles. Continue Reading →

3 Reasons to Schedule your Car’s Spring Tune-up Now

spring tune-up, Jones Automotive ClinicSpring will arrive shortly in Tacoma, and the change of season is the perfect time of year to schedule a tune-up for your car. Reaching out to an auto shop now to book an appointment means you will beat the rush for scheduling your spring tune-up. You’ll be ready for warmer weather as soon as the mercury starts to rise, ready to hit the road enjoying the pleasure of driving.

Winter Driving Takes a Toll on your Tires and Alignment

Winter driving conditions are harsh, and may have caused more than the usual level of wear and tear on your tires. Bring your car in to have an experienced mechanic check the tire tread depths.

You’ll also want to check your front end alignment, especially if you notice that your car is shaking once you reach specific speeds. This could be a sign that your alignment is off and needs to be dealt with. Continue Reading →