Plaes to teach teens to drive near Seattle

Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog

Good Places to Help Your Teen Learn How to Drive Around Seattle

If you have an upcoming driver at your house, you might be wondering how to teach your child to drive. While you could head out on I-5, that might not be the best solution for someone who hasn’t been behind the wheel before. It’ll probably take some time to warm up to that kind of traffic. Try some of the following suggestions for starters.

Magnuson Park

Located in Sand Point, Magnuson Park has various small roads weaving through the entire park. While there will be people in the park to watch out for, it’s a low-traffic area where speeds shouldn’t reach very high. This gives you an opportunity to show your teen some of the specifics of driving, while they drive at only 10 or 15 mph.

Discovery Park

Located in the Magnolia neighborhood is Discovery Park. It has some long stretches that are perfect for the beginning driver. There are some areas that are shaded and others that are in direct sunlight, giving you a chance to teach your teen driver about different lighting situations. With the lighthouse or the bluff as a destination, you can help your child learn how to safely follow directions or a map to find a certain location. The Magnolia area itself is a nice place to teach your teen as well, as it is a quiet neighborhood with long stretches of road.

North Seattle College

There are a lot of empty parking places at North Seattle College during the evening and on weekends. While you should always be considerate of students and faculty at the college, there are some peak times when hardly anybody is there and you have an open area to help your teen focus on parking, starting and stopping, going in reverse, and other skills.

Industrial District

The Industrial District is definitely not suited for your first lesson, but after your teen is comfortable behind the wheel, this is a good place to learn about railroad tracks, viaducts, and eventually venture onto on- and off-ramps to I-5.

Where to Start

Now that you’ve got some physical locations to start at, you should know where to start in the learning process. As you know, there’s a lot that goes into driving a car, and teen driver safety should always be your number one priority. The following are some points to begin with.

  •  Physical Safety – This includes teaching your teen the importance of buckling up, as well as having all passengers buckled. This might be a good time to talk about keeping both hands on the wheel at all times. You could also go over eliminating distractions, such as turning off the cell phone, turning the radio volume down, etc.
  • Basic Maneuvers – This includes teaching about safe braking practices, checking the blind spot before turning, turning correctly, coming to a full stop at lights and stop signs, staying at a safe distance from other cars, and aggressive visual searches for bikers, animals, runners, and other pedestrians.

While most of these skills can be learned at the parks or community college, there are some things that will require heading out on an actual road. Once your teen feels comfortable with safety issues and basic skills, you can venture into residential areas with low speed limits. Again, when your child is comfortable in that environment, you can move the lessons to the highway. Also remember your teen needs practice in the dark, during busy hours, and during different weather conditions as soon as he or she feels comfortable with basic skills behind the wheel.

Keep Your Car in Good Repair

Before you take your teen driving around Seattle, make sure your car is in good condition. Contact Greg’s Japanese Auto for all your maintenance needs at 1-800-794-7347.


Image: Shutterstock

amazing ski havens

Where Is the Best Skiing Near Seattle?

Seattle is a gorgeous place all year round, with coastal views, incredible atmosphere, and some of the most stunning mountain backdrops seen anywhere. The city’s close proximity to amazing ski havens turns winter snowfall into playtime. Here are three of the best ski resorts near Seattle that are a must for your next trip.

1. The Summit at Snoqualmie: Alpental

  • Satisfyingly tough black diamonds
  • Extreme skiing
  • Exciting and technically complex runs
  • Bucket list destination for skiers

The Summit at Snoqualmie is divided into four separate areas: Summit Central, Summit West, Summit East, and Alpental, and each one is breathtaking in its own right. The same ticket gives you access to any of the areas, making The Summit at Snoqualmie one of the most popular ski resorts in the state, with a variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced courses.

For professionals, there’s only one place to be: Alpental. It’s one of the most intense and rewarding experiences possible. Massive peaks and steep cliffs combine with gorgeous wooded areas that turn this place into ski heaven. Pro skiers come from around the world to push themselves to the limit here. Don’t forget to apply for a special pass if you want to take on the legendary Alpental Back Bowls and Backcountry.

Best for: Pros and adrenaline enthusiasts

Where to go: Snoqualmie Pass

How to get there from Seattle: Take Interstate 90 east for one hour.

2. Crystal Mountain

  • Spectacular views of Mount Rainier
  • The largest ski resort in the state
  • Close proximity to hotels and restaurants
  • Excellent variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs

This resort offers some of the best skiing near Seattle for spending time with friends and family. With a huge selection of runs, it’s easy to hang out with friends and check out perfect slopes together. Crystal Mountain is massive; there are over 2,500 acres of powder to explore, not counting the pristine backcountry views ideal for people who prefer snowshoeing and cross-country trails.

Great for: Couples, families, and groups of friends

Where to go: The eastern edge of Mount Rainier State Park

How to get there from Seattle: Take Interstate 5 south to exit 142A, traveling east on Highway 18 until you reach Highway 164. Follow 164 south to highway 410, and continue east on 410 through Mount Rainier State Park.

3. Mission Ridge

  • Over 2,000 acres to explore
  • Uncrowded slopes
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Sunny weather year round

Mission Ridge is the perfect place for people in search of peace, solitude, and excitement, possibly with some romance thrown into the mix. Whether you want to combine smooth slopes with some photography or show off your shredding skills to friends on an advanced run, this enormous ski spot has it all. Especially beloved is the incredible powder here.

Perfect for: People who crave a mixture of peace and excitement

Where to go: Wenatchee, three hours east of Seattle

How to get there from Seattle: Follow Interstate 90 east until you come to U.S. Highway 97. Follow this road north to Highway 2, and travel east to Wenatchee.

Prepare for the Most Amazing Ski Havens & Trip Ever

amazing ski havens

Seattle’s central location and proximity to so many amazing national parks mean that incredible powder is never far away when winter comes. No matter your preferred way to hit the slopes, the best way to enjoy yourself is to make it an all-day trip or a weekend. Make sure your vehicle is ready to go beforehand with a quick trip to see our experts at Greg’s Japanese Auto. By taking care of necessary winter preparations or vehicle maintenance, nothing stands in the way of an unforgettable ski getaway. Contact us right away to schedule an appointment.

how to change a flat tire

How to Change a Flat Tire: A Step by Step Guide

Too often, you’re not in a convenient location when you need to change a flat tire. Fortunately, with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to ruin your day. Changing a flat tire might be tricky at first, but before you know it, you’ll be a pro.

1. Collect Your Tools

The tools needed should always be stored in your vehicle. Items most vehicles come equipped with include:

  • A jack
  • The vehicle’s owner manual
  • A lug wrench
  • A spare tire (check this periodically to make sure it’s full)

Other items you’ll need to supply on your own include:

  • A flashlight or headlamp
  • A tire gauge
  • Wheel wedges
  • Work gloves
  • A rain poncho

2. Safely Pull Over and Park

The moment you realize your tire is flat, turn your hazard lights on and begin to slowly reduce your speed. Never settle for changing a flat tire on a narrow shoulder of the road. Slowly drive to a safer area. This could be a larger shoulder, an empty parking lot, or a nearby field.

After you have safely pulled off the road, apply your parking brake. Get out of your car and immediately place wheel wedges on the correct tires. If you are changing a back tire, your wedges should go in front of the front wheels. If you are changing a front tire, your wedges should go in back of the back wheels.

3. Loosen the Lugs

If your tire has a hubcap, remove it. They pop off fairly easy with the end of a lug wrench, but if yours doesn’t, you may need to consult the owner’s manual.

With the lug nuts exposed, give them a quarter to half turn counterclockwise using the lug wrench. They should be loose, but not completely off.

4. Jack Up the Vehicle

Check with your owner’s manual to find the right spot to place the jack so you can ensure safety. It’s typically underneath the frame near the flat tire. After it’s securely placed, begin to crank the jack so the tire rises off the ground. You don’t have to go too far up. Just look for light to shine under the tire, and you’ve got it high enough.

5. Remove the Bad Tire

Using the lug wrench, finish loosening the lug nuts and place them somewhere they can’t roll away. If the tire doesn’t come right off, give the sidewall a kick or two and it should break free. Set it out of the way on its side.

6. Mount and Tighten the Spare

Line up the rim of your spare tire with the lug bolts. Give it a good shove to make sure it sits where it should. With your fingers (not the wrench), begin to screw the lug nuts onto the bolts. Get them as tight as you can, but don’t worry that they’re not all the way tight yet.

7. Lower and Tighten Again

With the jack, slowly lower the vehicle until the tire touches the ground. Using the lug wrench, begin to tighten the lug nuts further. Lower the vehicle the remainder of the way so full weight is on the tire once again. Remove the jack. Tighten the lug nuts one last time, putting all the pressure you’ve got on the lug wrench so they’re as tight as you can get them.

8. Clean Up and Head Off

Before you clean up completely, check the pressure in your spare with the tire gauge. Put your tools away, wipe yourself off, and you can be on your way. Remember to head to the car shop for a replacement as soon as possible because spare tires aren’t meant for driving long distances.

9. Contact the Professionals

If you’re having trouble understanding how to change a spare tire, come to Greg’s Japanese Auto in the Puget Sound. Taking care of all your car maintenance needs, we’ll make sure to get you on the road again. Contact us today!

Best Drives With a View Around Seattle

Thanks to its famous rain, the Pacific Northwest is chock-full of natural beauty. Even the busiest cities in the region have ample access to nature. A simple drive across the floating I-90 bridge from Seattle to Mercer Island or Bellevue is a treat of stunning lake and mountain views. If you’re looking for scenic drives near Seattle that really show off our state’s gorgeous landscape, check out some of these routes.

give back

Join Greg’s Japanese Auto and Vine Maple Place in Helping Homeless Families this Holiday Season

The Greg’s Japanese Auto family is excited to announce that we’ll be celebrating the season of giving by partnering with Vine Maple Place, a charitable organization that provides support to single parents and their children who are facing homelessness. As part of the Puget Sound community, it’s always been important to our team that we give back to those in need – especially during the holiday months. This year, we’re excited to provide the opportunity for our customers to join us in making a difference in the lives of families right here in the Puget Sound. Together, we can ensure that these families have everything they need to not only enjoy the peace and joy of the season but also be ready to begin 2019 on a hopeful note.

Best Stops Between Seattle & Portland

Road trips make for amazing adventures whether you go with a group of friends or that one special someone. Although you likely have an ultimate destination you want to reach, the best parts of any road trip are sometimes the stops you make along the way. One of the most famous road trips people make in Seattle is to Portland as it is not too far, with many wonderful sights to visit along the way.

How to Winterize Your Car – Winter Car Safety Tips Every Driver in Washington Should Know

With the fall season gradually approaching, winter will blow in before you know it. Just as preparing your wardrobe to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold months is essential, it is just as important to prepare your car with specific winter car safety tips.

The experts of Greg’s Japanese Auto are here to teach you how to winterize your car with these winter car safety tips to keep it up and running safely this―and every other―winter driving season.

drive safe

How To Drive Safe This Holiday Season

Whether you are headed to sunny beaches or frozen mountains, driving during the holiday season can be full of fun, adventure, and occasional danger. There are lots of reasons to enjoy a road trip over the holidays. However, to ensure you and your family drive safe and make it safe and sound to your destination, consider these five important tips for safe holiday driving.

christmas road trip

Create New Family Traditions with These Christmas Road Trip Ideas

A Christmas road trip can establish new family traditions. which is part of what makes the Christmas season so magical. Rather than dragging the artificial tree down from the attic, why not take a family road trip to cut down your own Christmas tree?

Load up the car, fill the travel mugs with hot cocoa, crank your favorite Christmas carols, and head to one of these bona fide Christmas tree farms within driving distance of the Puget Sound area.

Where to Find the Best Holiday Lights in Seattle

As Christmas and the holiday season is right around the corner, families gather to find great events throughout their towns. You can find some of the best holiday lights in Seattle if you know where to look. Whether you want to see a popular venue transform for the season, or witness a cozy neighborhood extravaganza, you will have a fabulous time.  Hit the road and see the many holiday light shows this holiday season. Here is a list of the top spots in Seattle. 

Greg’s Japanese Auto

Tired of auto repair shops that don't understand your car? Want a car mechanic who does? Come to Greg's Japanese Auto.

We only work on Japanese makes and models, and we have the experience and knowhow to give your car the service it deserves. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

Call Us Today

For quality service of your Japanese car model, rely on Greg's Japanese Auto Parts and Service. Call to schedule your appointment today at 1-800-794-7347.