Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog

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.

Tips for Driving in the Rain in Washington

Tips for Driving in the Rain in Washington

Washington sees an average of 38.15 inches of precipitation per year, much of it being rain. This can lead to hazardous driving conditions, especially if your vehicle is not serviced correctly. While many people have been behind the wheel for years, learning how to drive in the rain is a special skill that can be honed over time. These safe driving tips are an excellent place to start.


Pay Attention to Depth

Make sure you pay attention to the depth of the water around you, especially during heavy rains. Driving in water that is too deep can cause your car to get stuck and can create several mechanical issues, including a stalled engine. As long as you can clearly see the markings on the road, it is safe to drive. Once they are completely covered by water, you need to find an alternate route.


Turn on Your Headlights

Whenever visibility is low, you should turn on your headlights. Even if it does not help you see any better while driving, it can help other cars spot you. If the rain becomes bad enough that you need to pull over and wait for it to lighten up, be sure to keep your headlights and four-way lights on.


Watch for Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning happens when your tires have more traction on the water than the road. As a result, you lose control of your vehicle as it grips the water instead of the solid concrete. Hydroplaning can happen with less than a twelfth of an inch of rain, so be careful and take it slow. If you do find yourself in this condition, steer straight and ease off the accelerator until you regain control.


Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition

Vehicles in need of maintenance are dangerous on the road, regardless of weather. They become particularly hazardous in the rain, as you have to navigate unclear driving conditions while also maneuvering a car that is not functioning correctly. Regular maintenance also ensures that vital features, such as your windshield wipers and defogging mechanisms still work well.

Stay safe while driving in the rain by getting regular vehicle maintenance. At Greg’s Japanese Auto, we have years of experience with diagnostic and maintenance services. Our service advisors and technicians pride themselves on their dedication to the job, ensuring that each and every customer stays safe on the road. Greg’s offers additional protection on the road with their free 24-Hour Nationwide Roadside Assistance Program. All customers are eligible. If you are searching for ways to keep you and your family safe in poor driving conditions, contact us today to arrange for vehicle maintenance or to learn more.

 

Image Credit: Pierluigi.Palazzi/Shutterstock

AC running in car

The Benefits of Your Climate Control System in the Winter

The climate control systems in your vehicle can help make the seasons easier to endure in Western Washington. Your focus is likely more on the heating component during the winter months, but it’s important to take care of the air conditioning system all year round. If you neglect the A/C for too long, it can stop working completely by the time summer comes around. Luckily, running the unit even during the winter can prolong the life of your car’s air conditioner.

Use Your Car’s A/C Regularly to Prevent Breakdown

You certainly wouldn’t want your car to be any colder than it already is on one of the chilliest winter days in Washington. You should still make a point to run the A/C on full blast for at least ten minutes or so every couple of weeks. The activity keeps a few different components of your A/C in good health. Luckily, you can run the A/C and then immediately turn the heater to warm to avoid making your car unnecessarily cold.

Keep Rubber Seals and Pipework in Good Condition

Keeping your climate control system active will help coolant circulate throughout the system. Long periods of inactivity can cause coolant to settle into one place, and the lack of flow might damage the system. The coolant contains a lubricant that helps keep all the parts of the system oiled. If those pieces don’t get lubricated, it might create cracks and leaks. These kinds of flaws in the air conditioning system make it easy for necessary elements like cooling gasses to escape. If your vehicle loses too much of the coolant, the air conditioner won’t get your car very cold when summer rolls around.

Avoid Moisture Buildup in Vents

Long periods of inactivity can cause moisture to settle and collect in the vents of your climate control system. This collected moisture might harbor mold and bacteria. Developing such a problem creates an unpleasant odor in your car and can even pose a health hazard. Drying out the air a little bit serves other purposes too.

Any moisture that collects in your air conditioner can also lead to fogged windows. A foggy windshield is annoying at best, and it can even cause dangerous vision impairment at the worst. If you’re having a hard time clearing moisture from your A/C system, it may be time to contact a professional mechanic.

Vehicle Maintenance in Western Washington

Greg’s Japanese Auto offers a wide array of services to make sure your car stays up and running through even the harshest Washingtonian winters. Come in to one of our 8 Western Washington locations today if you need maintenance or diagnostics for your car cooling system.

 

Image Credit: Pavel L Photo and Video/ Shutterstock

Safe Winter Driving Tips for Washingtonians

Safe Winter Driving Tips for Washingtonians

Living in Washington exposes a driver to all sorts of nasty conditions throughout the year. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by brushing up on some safe winter driving tips. There are a few key things you need to know before taking to the roads this winter.

Black Ice

Dealing with black ice is one of the most common winter driving tips for good reason. Black ice is dangerous because it’s nearly impossible to see on the road. The best way to prepare for black ice is to know where it might be. It typically comes from moisture that freezes once it’s already on the ground, so expect to find it where liquid can accumulate.

Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses, and at the bottom of hills. Black ice is more common in shady areas where the sun can’t melt it. Go slowly and avoid sharp turns to minimize danger.

Heavy Rain

Downpours of rain can reduce visibility and create slick conditions. Stay prepared by keeping your car well equipped. Replace your tires as needed and keep them well-inflated to create maximum traction. Windshield wiper blades see a lot of action in this part of Washington, so make sure those are in top condition too. If your wipers are fresh and you still can’t see in the rain, it might mean you need new headlights or additional fog lights.

Snow

Snow can reduce the contact between your tires and the road. This makes it harder to control your car, so it’s important to make sure all your equipment is in great condition. Check tire tread and pressure before driving in snow. Since skidding can be an issue, double check that your brakes are in great shape as well.

Disaster Kit

In case of emergency it’s good to have some extra supplies on hand. Getting prepared with a small disaster kit can help you be ready for anything. Be sure to include the following:

  • Water and Snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets and Warm Clothes
  • Shovel
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Gas Can with Extra Fuel
  • Ice Scraper
  • Jumper Cable
  • Tire Chains
  • Road Flares or Reflective Signs
  • Greg’s Japanese Auto Roadside Assistance Card

Best Vehicle Maintenance in Western Washington

Regular maintenance is the best way to make sure your car is ready for anything winter can throw at it. Greg’s Japanese Auto offers premium services in all areas including safety diagnostics and routine maintenance. We’ll make sure your vehicle is tuned just right to handle any driving conditions you might encounter, but we’ll never try to over-sell you services you don’t need. Before you leave make sure to ask your Service Advisor about our complimentary Rewards Program that includes 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance. Come see us today at one of our 8 locations in Western Washington.

 

Image Credit: Alexkick/Shutterstock.com

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