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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Vacation Tips

Summer Vacation Tips
Summertime is the time for sun, fun, and hopefully vacations!

All of us have our various rituals when planning to get away.  Each vacation brings with it potential opportunities and challenges. Here are some tips and tricks to help your vacation a memorable one:

Tip #1 – Do your homework.  Most, if not all destinations have websites.  A little research can save you time, money, and boredom.  The less time you spend traveling, the more time you can spend relaxing and/or having fun. Nothing can put a damper on a vacation faster than “Are we there yet?”

Tip #2 – The Bear Necessities – Think through your plans and get everyone on board.  If your destination has laundry facilities, amenities, and other conveniences, you may be able to pack half the clothes, food, etc.  Lighter packing can save backs and gas mileage.

Tip #3 – Get Everyone Involved– Get everyone involved in planning a part of your vacation.  Taking part in the planning will not only build anticipation, but grumbling is less likely to happen when everyone has a say in making memories. Who said planning a vacation couldn’t be fun?

Tip #4 – Double Up – Bring two of everything you plan to take - Two toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, phone chargers, swim diapers, sunglasses, whatever…two of everything, the works.  Better safe than sorry.

Tip #5 – Get What You Came For – Above all if you are going on vacation to have fun, relax, get adventure, etc. do it!  Seriously, if you let the stress of a vacation get you down, you may come back needing a vacation from your vacation.  The majority of us need a break from the rat race.  The last thing you need is to bring the stress of it all with you leaving you stressed out, upset, and worse off than if you never went.  Your vacation is calling; take a much needed break and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Looking for the right car to get you to your next vacation destination?  If you are searching for new and used car dealerships in the Tacoma,WA area don’t leave anything to chance! Turn to the experts at the Olympia Auto Mall, your source for all things automotive.  We’ll help you find the right vehicle for your needs.

The Olympia Auto Mall – Washington’s Largest !!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stereo Types

Stereo Types
Car Stereos

Choosing a car stereo can be challenging.  With so many choices here are some tips to help you narrow down your search. 
(FYI speakers are a huge part of your sound experience, but we will mainly be discussing the main “head unit” in this article)     


We know this is a bad word in some circles, but you really need to know what you can afford before making any type of purchase, especially the “stereo type”.


Okay, so it came with the car, but maybe that’s all you need.  Many people don’t need the “bells and whistles” as they get most of their music from their digital music player and driving directions from their smartphone.  If this is the case, just make sure your stock stereo comes with an aux jack otherwise you might be looking to upgrade your stereo rather quickly.  If your stock radio only has AM/FM and maybe a CD player there are systems that will allow you to tune your radio to your music player.  However, they are often unreliable and offer mediocre to low sound quality.

Manufacturer Offering

Many times you can upgrade your stereo inside the dealership before you even roll off the lot in your new or used vehicle.  These options come in digital, touchscreen, and even interactive.  Understanding your vehicle and its capabilities is key to determining the right stereo system for you.

After Market

If the shop doesn't carry what you are looking for with the internet and many car audio installation facilities, consider doing your homework.  Again, understand your car and its capabilities.  For example, if you have a car that doesn't have a satellite radio receiver the chances of you being able to make it work without purchasing additional equipment are about nil.  Chances are if your car is a 2001 or before, you will need some additional hardware installed.  If the budget works, you might consider this option.

Stereo Types

Stereo’s come in three types: audio, video, and GPS.  Audio is straight forward. No fuss, no muss, maybe some glowing lights and a CD changer, but that’s about it.  Video is the most brilliant as far as displays are concerned.  A video display generally offers a touch screen display that includes back up camera display, Directional Capabilities, and, of course, entertainment (radio, stereo, DVD’s, etc).  An in dash GPS system is often similar to the video display, but the main difference is a GPS system offers directional capabilities, radio, and stereo components.  In other words, it will get you where you want to go, play the radio, and maybe offer Bluetooth capabilities, but that’s it.

Best of luck to you in searching for a car stereo! Plan your budget, figure out what you want, and do your homework.  As part of your research call our professionals at the Olympia Automall.  We’ll help you find the stereo that’s right for you.  If you are looking for new or used car dealerships in the Puyallup, WA area, turn to the experts at the Olympia Auto Mall, your source for all things automotive!

The Olympia Auto Mall – Washington’s Largest !!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fill It Up: Check the Fluids

Check the Fluids
Don’t top off - This is not just a foolish recommendation.  When you top off the tank  you are doing several things wrong.  First, you are creating pollution that is harmful to you and those around you.  Second, gasoline burns best when its turned into vapor.  When you fill up the tank too far you fill a chamber that was meant for vapor not liquid.  Liquid in this area can cause the chamber to fail, your vehicle to run poorly, and could mean a costly visit to the mechanic in your future.

Oil - Change your oil regularly according to your instruction manual.  This will help to extend the life of your car as many times dirt, metal, and debris can often be found in used oil.  If you change your own oil, take proper precautions; check the engine oil at every other gas up, don’t overfill your crankcase with oil, wipe the plug and washer to the oil pan

Washer fluid - People often run out of this essential fluid at the worst times.  Snowstorms, rain storms, dusty roads…even just dirt collecting on the windshield can turn and everyday situation into a nightmare.  Fill with the proper fluid as directed.

Coolant - Follow the directions given in your owner’s manual.  Most engines need the water and coolant in a 50/50 ratio.  Never use straight water in your radiator.  Antifreeze prevents corrosion and freezing where the water allows for correct heat transfer from the coolant to the radiator.  Some manufacturers offer coolant premixed, but just remember, you are trading convenience for water.

Transmission Fluid - Experts suggest checking and/or replacing transmission fluid at 5,000 miles and then every 25,000 or every two years after that.  Consult your owner’s manual for confirmation.  Don’t dismiss this suggestion. We may make certain recommendations, but each car is unique and your owner’s manual is the best place for the specific need for maintaining your vehicle.

Steering Fluid - Have you ever tried to steer a car that is out of power steering fluid? If you have you know you will never want to do that again.  Low steering fluid can lead to the power steering pump going out.  Yes, that’s bad.  Use only the kind of fluid recommended by your owner’s manual.

Brake Fluid - If you change your own brake fluid, make sure to clean the master cylinder before opening it. Brake fluid can be easily contaminated and you want as little moisture and dirt in your fluid as possible.  We know it goes without saying, but please don’t put other fluids in your brake fluid pump, even temporarily.  Straight up brake fluid as instructed by your manual.

Be smart, be safe.  Check your fluids regularly.  Never guess or use the wrong fluids.  When in doubt consult your manual or the knowledgeable folks at the Olympia Auto Mall.  Happy driving!

For helpful advice on new or used cars in the Tacoma WA area, turn to the experts at the Olympia Auto Mall, your source for all things automotive.

The Olympia Auto Mall – Washington’s Largest !!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Put On The Brakes - Automatically

Automatic Braking

Automatic Braking

Brakes have changed so much from the invention of the automobile.  As time has gone on automotive experts have continuously been seeking to enhance the stopping capabilities for cars.  Statistics show faulty brakes are rarely the reason for rear end collisions. Instead, poor breaking on the part of the driver is more often the cause. Today science has invented technology for the both the distracted driver and the driver who is wrongly “cut off”: Automatic Braking. 

Automatic braking consists of a series of sensors located within the car to detect “imminent threats” and apply braking maneuvers to avoid accidents. Speed, direction, and distance between you and other objects are all taken into account.   

There are currently two types: collision avoidance and collision mitigation.  Collision avoidance is just what it sounds like.  Brakes are applied by the computer within the car without the driver knowing.  Critics of this system suggest that the chance of signals being misinterpreted by the sensors is high when the system uses radar or laser technology.  Proponents of this technology argue it is better to have the system on board then not.  Even if the signals are misinterpreted from time to time, it is better to have the system than not, especially when the signals are correct. In the case of collision mitigation, warnings are given to the driver in signal or voice form. The system calculates a safety distance and engages if the driver doesn’t take appropriate action.  Critics argue that the lack of engagement from the computer can be all it takes to cause an accident.  Proponents argue that with collision mitigation even misinterpretation of signals by the system don’t matter because the driver is in control and brakes are only applied automatically in extreme situations.

A recent survey suggested that automatic braking could prevent one in four low-speed crashes.  Obviously the higher speed you are going, your chances for a crash increase significantly regardless of whether you have automatic braking equipment or not.  Yet, these braking systems are expected to reduce fatalities and decrease risk of serious injuries.  It’s too early to tell, but recent estimates indicate a potential of 1.9 Million crashes avoided per year and prevent one out of three fatalities.

For helpful advice on automatic braking technology and new or used cars in the Olympia WA area, turn to the experts at the Olympia Auto Mall. Visit our showrooms and ask our knowledgeable staff about the new features coming with the 2015 models.

The Olympia Auto Mall – Washington’s Largest !!!