Common CVT Transmission Problems in Tacoma

CVT transmission problems, CVT transmissionMany modern vehicles contain a CVT transmission, which shouldn’t be confused with a typical automatic transmission. Like all other car parts, issues can occur that require auto service from a professional. What are some of the common problems that arise with this transmission type?

How a CVT Transmission in Tacoma Works

A CVT transmission is very similar to an automatic transmission. The former, however, is a more recent innovation that delivers smoother acceleration. With an automatic transmission, you may actually feel the gears shift as you pick up speed. This makes the ride and performance feel “clunky” as some people describe it. With a CVT, the system auto-adjusts to the optimum torque depending on your speed. The result is consistent and brisk acceleration.

CVT transmissions are now common in most cars, including Toyota and Subaru models. Larger trucks and diesel vehicles, though, still utilize more conventional transmissions. Continue Reading →

Obscure Auto Repairs in Tacoma

obscure auto repair, spark plug, oxygen sensorWhen you need auto repairs, typical services include an oil change, tire rotations, timing belt replacement, etc. There are also some obscure auto repairs most car owners aren’t aware of or only heard of in passing. Here is a list of some of these services.

Spark Plug

The spark plug is what starts the engine combustion process. If it fails, it can also cause damage to the catalytic converter. When you repair or replace the spark plug, the ignition coils may need to be changed out as well. 

Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor regulates the oxygen in the exhaust system and sends the data to the vehicle ECU. The data is essential for ensuring proper air-to-fuel ratios. When the oxygen sensor is damaged, it may give inaccurate input, causing a miscalculation in the air and fuel mixture. All modern automobiles, including popular brands like Toyota and Subaru models, all have an oxygen sensor.

Other Sensors

Cars have a lot of sensors. The oxygen sensor is just one of them. Others include the manifold absolute pressure sensor and crank position sensor. These are all capable of failing at any given moment.

Fuel Cap

A fuel cap may seem like such a simple and non-essential component. Car owners may think it’s not a big deal if this part goes missing. However, driving without a fuel cap is detrimental to fuel efficiency. With the cap gone, your car may burn an extra 25 to 30 gallons of gasoline each year.

We Perform Obscure Auto Repairs in Tacoma

Jones Automotive Clinic performs repairs and auto services on residential and fleet vehicles. Make an appointment today if you notice odd performances. Considering cars today have thousands of parts, obscure auto repairs are bound to occur sooner or later.

Obscure Auto Repairs on all Makes and Models in Tacoma

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


Posted on March 30, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Dangerous Driving Habits That Can Damage Your Car Near University Place

dangerous drivingAs a motorist, there may be certain driving patterns you do on a consistent basis without being fully aware of them. Some of these are actually dangerous driving habits that also accelerate wear, leading to preventable auto repairs. Here are some habits to be aware of and minimize.

1. Driving on a Near-Empty Tank

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t let the gas tank fall below the one-fourth mark. However, some drivers will allow the tank to reach near-empty before stopping by the gas station. When you drive with the gas tank on the verge of empty, sediments from the bottom of the tank may get sucked into the fuel system and disrupt the filter. Eventually, this can cause stalling and starting problems.

2. Overloading the Car

Do you constantly drive with heavy freight in tow? Unless you have a pickup truck designed for heavy payload, this can tax the suspension, especially the shocks and struts. It also forces the engine to work harder during acceleration to move the vehicle forward. Never exceed the car’s weight limit. Take into account the total weight of freight, the driver, and passengers.

3. Abrupt Braking and Acceleration

Our auto service commonly works on cars with acceleration and braking problems. This is partly the cause of slamming on the gas and braking pedal. This leads to rapid wear.

4. Not Disengaging the Clutch

For motorists that operate a manual transmission vehicle, one terrible habit is fully engaging the clutch even when the car is idle. This causes wear to the release plate, release bearing, and pressure plate. This is a primary cause of transmission failure in stick-shift vehicles.

Minimize Dangerous Driving Habits Near University Place

Do you know what else is a bad habit? Never scheduling routine auto maintenance. Make a positive change by setting up an appointment at Jones Automotive Clinic. We service common manufacturers like Toyota and Subaru as well as more obscure brands. Strive to minimize dangerous driving habits to prolong your car’s life.

Dangerous Driving Habits to Minimize Near University Place

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


Posted on February 28, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Power Steering Flush: What Is It and Do Fircrest Car Owners Require One?

power steering flush

Steering is quite effortless thanks to the advent of power steering in modern automobiles. This requires fluid, though, in order to function. When the fluid is low or goes stale, then you may need a power steering flush.

How Does a Flush Work?

A power steering flush is similar to a transmission flush. The mechanic completely drains the fluid and tops off the system with fresh fluid. This removes all contaminants that accumulate over the years as you rack up the miles. Too many impurities in the fluid can cause wear and tear to the seals. The power steering system also doesn’t have a filter, making contaminant removal all the more important. 

We highly recommend a power steering flush at your local auto service center, performed in accordance with your vehicle’s user manual.

Does My Car Require a Flush?

The most apparent sign of low or stale fluid is a stiffer steering wheel. You may notice the car becomes a lot harder to steer and requires a lot more muscle, especially when making tight turns or U-turns. It will feel like an arm workout when driving.

In some instances, there may be a leak, stemming from a rusted seal. In addition to low fluid, this may also be an indicator of a worn drive belt or an issue with the power steering pump.

We Perform Power Steering Flushes Near Fircrest

Make an appointment with Jones Automotive Clinic if you suspect a power steering failure. Our auto repair crew can assess whether a power steering flush is in order, or if your car can make do with a standard fluid change. We perform these services on all models, especially Toyota and Subaru vehicles. 

Power Steering Flush and Fluid Change Near Fircrest

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


Posted on January 30, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

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