Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog

The Spookiest Upcoming Halloween Events in Seattle

Halloween is just a few short weeks away, and the excitement for the celebrations is beginning to kick in! With a large mix of events in the Seattle area to get you into the spirit, there is something for everyone! From tame trick-or-treating events for the whole family to bone-chilling houses of horror for the older souls, you are bound to find plenty of ways to commemorate the scary season.

Best Pumpkin Patches and Farms in Washington for the Whole Family

When the days grow both shorter and cooler, you know the best season of the year is approaching; Autumn. To get into the spirit, there are plenty of activities to do in the fall. You and your family can visit some of the fabulous pumpkin patches and farms just a short drive from your Washington home. Here is a list of six of the most popular ones found around the area:

October Car Care Month: Prep For The Rain

In the United States, a driving exam is required to become a licensed driver and hit the road driving alone. It is required for one to know the rules of the road and how to drive in a way that keeps everyone, both the driver and other travelers, safe. However, no matter the extent to educate drivers on safe driving, there are a lot of situations one can not prepare for. You may comprehend the meaning of all the road signs, but what happens if you are unable to see them?

Remembering how to turn out of a skid is important in high-pressure situations, but it may be of no use when when your tires are too worn out to gain the right amount of traction to help you. No matter how aware you are with knowledge on driving in bad weather, you may still be put in danger. Your vehicle must be prepared at all times, just as you have to refresh your memory on helpful, hazard tips consistently. Luckily, October is Car Care Month; The perfect time to equip your car with everything it needs to drive safely in the rain.

October Car Care Month Means Check, Double Check, and Triple Check

Hopefully your car receives regular maintenance so that in the case of an emergency it will be ready; However, regardless of whether you are scheduled for maintenance or if your engine light is on, it is still recommended to double check certain parts of your car on your own.

Windshield wipers and wiper fluid – While windshield wipers act as the most obvious help amid a storm, they often go unchecked the longest. Your car may tell you when your wiper fluid is low, but it is recommended to routinely check to ensure your wipers work well and do not smear on your windshield. If they do, visit Greg’s Japanese Auto during Fall Car Care Month for $20 off on your windshield wiper blades.

Tires – According to Washington State law, driving a car when its tires have less than 2/32 inch treads stands as a traffic infraction. To measure this, you can use a tread depth gauge. Another easy way to check the tread on your tires is to take a penny, turn it so that President Lincoln’s head is upside down, and place the penny inside the tread. If the top of his head is concealed, you have the required depth, but if you can see his whole head, you are at a higher risk of losing traction on a wet road.

Brakes – Your brakes will likely be checked when you take your car in for its scheduled maintenance, however, it may be a good idea to have them checked every time your oil is changed as well. It is also important to be aware of the type of brake system your car has as your response in an emergency will differ in a car with an automatic brake system versus one without it. Come and visit Greg’s Japanese Auto during Fall Car Care Month for a free brake inspection and $20 off your brakes.

Lights – Aside from the fact that broken lights stand as a reason to be pulled over, your car’s lights are incredibly important in many situations. Taking proper care of your lights is one of the most significant car safety tips. Checking your lights may require the help of an additional person, but it is always worth it. Inspecting your lights for cracks on the lenses may save you from a bulb going out while you driving in the rain; Those few extra maintenance efforts could save your life on the road.

When Driving Is Daunting

Driving tips are not only for new drivers. No matter where you are or how long you have been driving, your safety is of paramount importance. Whether you need help checking your vehicle or you know something needs to be replaced, Greg’s Japanese Auto is here to help. The easiest way to make sure your car is ready for rain is to entrust it to the expert at Greg’s Japanese Auto. With their products and services, you can be confident that your safety comes first. Greg’s Japanese Auto is so concerned with your safety that they offer a free Roadside Assistance Program to their Rewards Members. Call us today to learn how we can take care of you and your car on the roads this fall.

Top 6 Best Places to See Fall Colors in Seattle

The summer heat is waning, and the days are getting shorter, which can only mean that Fall is just around the corner. The Seattle fall season makes for a prime time to go cruising in your vehicle. If you are searching for the best places in Seattle to see Fall colors, look no further. Here are the Top 6 best places to see autumn colors in the Pacific Northwest:

automotive business

Big Changes in The Automotive Business: What Will Cars Look Like in 10 Years?

Most automotive creators agree on this one – these next ten years might see more change in the automotive business than the last 20, and there’s been a great deal of progress in those previous 20 years.

Back in the day, there was no radar accessible to detect different vehicles out and about and most cameras still utilized film, making vehicle backup cameras impossible. Radios had either cassette players or CD players and messaging your friends while you were driving didn’t exist.

Best Life Hacks for Family Road Trips

Best Life Hacks for Family Road Trips

Are you heading on a road trip this summer but are wondering how to survive a road trip with kids? Tired of hearing the road-trip staple “are we there yet?” Here are five life hacks for your next long road trip with your kids.


Bring a Backpack

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but a backpack full of toys on a road trip is a parent’s best friend! Try to throw in toys that aren’t messy (save that puzzle for the hotel room), but that can keep the kids engaged, like coloring books, travel board games, and maybe a Rubik’s cube or two. Hang the backpack on the seat in front of the child, and allow them to play peacefully to their heart’s content.


Play Team Games

In case the kids get bored of the backpack, have group games on hand! Scavenger hunts work well for longer trips or play games that require nothing but your eyes and some teamwork, like “I spy” or “20 Questions.” The road trip will be over before you know it!


Plan Out Those Pit Stops

You’ll have to stop for gas at some point, so why not stop someplace the whole family can enjoy! Spending half an hour at a local park or pit stop is an excellent way for your kids to stretch their legs and hopefully tire themselves out before you must hit the road again. Bringing a frisbee, a football, or a baseball and a glove to add some fun to the stop, but, aren’t required!


Go on Adventures

There’s no doubt you’ve seen billboards advertising some wacky things, like the World’s Largest Jellybean or the Smallest Castle in the United States. If you’ve got time, at least drive by whatever it is with your kids in tow! Not only does this give you and your kids some cool bragging rights or a cocktail party conversation starter for you, but it also gives you something to think about besides how long you have before you get to your destination.


Plan Your Timing

Plan to leave for your longer trips in the middle of the night so that the kids can stay asleep for most of the ride.
Before you go anywhere with your kids, awake or asleep, make sure your car is safe and running at its best with a trip to Greg’s Japanese Auto shop. We can get your car in tip-top shape and ready to hit the road with our many affordable services. Check us out online or call 1-800-79-GREGS to make an appointment.

Screen-Free Road Trip Activities for Kids

Screen-Free Road Trip Activities for Kids

Tablets, smart phones, and laptops can be incredibly helpful when traveling. They help keep young ones entertained on long trips, keeping them calm and happy when you are on the road. While these screens have their uses, it is a good idea to give your kids lots of screen-free time as well. Road trips can be a great opportunity to bond with your family instead of staring at a screen. Too much screen time can lead to the development of chronic headaches and attention disorders in young children, making it important to find screen-free road trip activities your whole family can enjoy.


Mad Libs

One of the oldest screen-free activities is still one of the most entertaining. Before your trip, pick up or download a variety of Mad Libs. You can find them on almost any topic you like, so you are sure to wind up with ones that match your child’s interests. Not only are they entertaining, but you can also use them to reinforce or teach the parts of speech to your children.


20 (or 10 or 5) Questions

This is a great way to pass the time and help your children add a range of descriptive words to their vocabulary. Simply pick a topic, such as cartoon characters, animals, or plants. One person picks a character, animal, etc., and everyone else takes turns asking questions about it to find out what it is.


Guess the Song

Make a playlist on your phone or iPod that contains songs everyone in your family likes. Put the playlist on shuffle and award points to family members that can guess the song that is playing the fastest. You can adapt this for younger children by adding nursery rhymes and other songs they enjoy.


Read or Enjoy Books on Tape

As long as no one gets car sick from reading, bring along a few books for private, quiet entertainment. Younger children may enjoy “find the image” books or activity books, with a story and some type of challenge You can also pick a story the whole family enjoys and listen to it on tape.


Travel Games

If you have two or more kids, pick up a few magnetic travel games. These can keep your children occupied for hours.

Once you figure out which screen-free activities you and your family may enjoy most, you should turn your focus to your car. Be sure to have it examined and fully inspected before heading out on the road to keep you and your family safe. Visit us at Greg’s Japanese Auto for all your servicing and maintenance needs. Our focus is on taking care of you and your car, wherever you are!

Who is Winning the Self-Driving Car Race

Who is Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?

Car companies have always been in heated competition, constantly trying to produce vehicles that outperform others in their class. Taking advantage of current trends and the latest technology is how these companies stay ahead. This includes the development of self-driving cars. When it comes to determining who is winning the self-driving car race, there are a few companies that are leading the pack.

Tesla

Tesla is one of the best-known self-driving car companies, with its Autopilot project making repeated appearances in the news. Elon Musk is well-known for his determination and eagerness to push the envelope, which bodes well for the Autopilot. In the self-driving car race, data is key, and by just 2016, Tesla had already logged about 780 million miles of data. This much data is sure to give them a huge advantage.

Waymo

While Tesla has brand recognition, Waymo has clear successes. Their cars have already driven over five million miles in 25 cities. Waymo also has an entire fleet of Chrysler minivans capable of navigating San Francisco streets. Their data shows an incredibly low rate of disengagement (incidents when a human engineer or driver had to manually control the steering wheel), especially when compared to the Tesla. California tests also resulted in fewer accidents than other companies; just three collisions in over 350,000 miles. Waymo’s goal is to begin a commercial passenger service using driverless vans by the end of 2018. If they achieve this goal, they could come out as the clear leader in the self-driving car race.

GM

GM intends to launch a hailing ride project in 2019 using driverless cars. While they do not have the same real-world tests as Waymo, they do have a major investor. The extra cash invested into the company by SoftBank has allowed them to fully finance their self-driving car business. Another advantage GM has over the competition is their company-owned factory, just north of Detroit. This factory allows them to produce self-driving cars at a lower manufacturing cost, which is likely going to be reflected in the final sticker price.

Even cars that drive themselves require regular maintenance to perform well. Bring your vehicle, self-driving or otherwise, in to see us at Greg’s Japanese Auto. We have over 30 years of experience ensuring that drivers like you can continue to enjoy their vehicle’s strong performance on the road. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule your maintenance appointment today.

Best Road Trips from Seattle

Best Road Trips from Seattle for a Weekend Getaway

Taking weekend road trips from Seattle is a great way to unwind and recharge after a stressful week. They can also be the perfect chance to bond with friends, loved ones, or family members. Living in Seattle gives residents some fantastic options for weekend getaways, with a destination for almost every person. Here are just a few of the best road trips from Seattle.


Bainbridge Island

Located in Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island is a great getaway. You can arrange to stay for the day, or you can rent one of the beautiful cottages that line the shore on Airbnb. The island itself is filled with parks, gardens, and beautiful waterfront villages. Winslow is a highly recommended area, as it has numerous shops, dining options, wineries, and a distillery.


Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor is a short drive away, less than four hours, but once you are there, it feels like a whole new world. This adorable tiny hamlet gives those tired of the bustle of Seattle a small-town break. Visitors can walk along the beach, explore the tiny village, and enjoy some of the area’s best live music. There is a ferry from the mainland to Friday Harbor, so you can leave your car behind, saving some extra cash and enjoying the stunning scenery.


Westport

Westport is a beautiful beachside town with a lot for visitors to do. It is only a two and half hour drive away from midtown Seattle, making it a great choice for a day trip or for an extended stay. You can enjoy amazing seafood, including some of the best fish and chips in the region. Visitors can also get more involved in their food preparation, pulling crabs from the ocean for your dinner and picking local produce to use in your evening cocktails.


Mount Rainier

Individuals looking for a more athletic getaway option can visit Mount Rainier. The spot is also perfect for couples, friend groups, and families alike. In the middle of winter, the skiing options are incredible, with numerous trails for beginners and experts alike. The summer months are perfect for mountain climbing. You can easily find tours geared to individuals of all skill levels.

Before you head out for your Seattle road trip, be sure you bring your car into Greg’s Japanese Auto. Our skilled service technicians can inspect and detail your vehicle, getting it in the best possible condition. This guarantees your road trip goes off without a hitch, delays, or any fears about breakdowns in the middle of your weekend. Greg’s also offers a free 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance Program with almost every service. Contact us by phone or visit us at any one of our locations in Western Washington today to learn more or to book your service appointment.

 

Image Credit: oneinchpunch/Shutterstock 

7 Affordable & Fun Family Road Trips

7 Affordable & Fun Family Road Trips

Taking fun family road trips is a great way to stay connected with your family, especially if school and work stress have interfered with other family time. Living in Seattle presents numerous options for destinations. Consider taking one of these best family road trips today.


1. Lake Chelan

Less than four hours away, Lake Chelan is a great destination for families with young kids. This is a sunny destination, with a ton of outdoor activities, including a tour of the nearby lakes and numerous festivals throughout the year.


2. Cle Elum

If you are searching for a destination filled with athletic, outdoor activities like biking, horseback riding, and boat rentals, Cle Elum is the perfect spot for you. You can also find a ton of family-friendly restaurants and indoor entertainment options as well, making it a great choice for families of all ages and sizes.


3. Copalis Beach

Families search for a quiet, beautiful spot without a ton of planned activities may want to consider Copalis Beach. Bring a stack of games, books, and crafts for the perfect bonding experience. Enjoy time on the beach, in a cozy cabin, or at one of the beautiful resorts in the area.


4. Vancouver

Families looking for an international experience may want to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is just a short ride away with a decent exchange rate. Special spots you must visit include the Kids Market in Granville Island, the Vancouver Aquarium, and Stanley Park.


5. Port Townsend

Port Townsend is a charming Victorian seaport, filled with galleries, boutiques, and fantastic dining options. There are parks, tours, and a science center, making it a fantastic destination for families with multiple kids and a vast array of interests.


6. Leavenworth

This is a great destination with a diverse range of activities, including walking tours, spa treatments, and a ton of places to hike. It is only about two hours away from Seattle, so you can go for the day or extend your stay for the weekend.


7. Olympic National Park

You and your whole family are going to love the beautiful beach, stunning rainforest, and hot springs that adorn this national park. Day hikes of varying lengths and skill levels can keep you busy and in shape.

Before you pack your family away for one of the many fun road trips from Seattle available to you, take your car into Greg’s Japanese Auto for servicing. Our friendly and efficient technicians can complete a full inspection of your car, taking time to ensure it is running well so you and your family can enjoy a safe adventure on the road. Greg’s also offers a free 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance Program with almost every service. Contact us by phone or visit one of our locations in Western Washington to learn more.

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.