Creature Comforts vs. Critical Engine Operation

There are two different systems cooling totally different things in your vehicle. They are
  1. The air conditioning system, and
  2. The cooling system
These two systems are commonly confused, so we’re here to share the difference. And really, it’s the difference between creature comforts and optimal engine operation. First up, the air conditioning system This is the program that cools the human beings and the pets sitting on the seats and floor after a long play session down on Alki. You flip it on, direct the vents onto yourself & all of the passengers and you breathe a sigh of relief as the vented air cools you down. Usually, on hot days (yes, even in West Seattle) it can’t get cold enough, fast enough, for everyone in the car. This is also the system you use on hot days when you’ve gone to the store and have a gallon of ice cream. You put the bags in the passenger side on the floor and turn on the vents to get the air conditioning blowing there too.  
Then, the cooling system This is the system that cools your car. We’re talking about the engine, the radiator and many systems throughout your vehicle that need continual regulation and cooling. If you have a cooling system problem it can be catastrophic.   If your air conditioning system isn’t cooling your body, you might not be very happy about it but you’re not going to melt, you will just have to roll the windows down. If your coolant light comes on or your temperature gauge is at “hot”, please pull over and turn off your vehicle.   If you continue to drive you could do a lot more damage than what has already been done.  When in doubt, it’s always best to tow your vehicle to our shop than to risk driving and causing more damage. You can always have your car towed or brought over to us here at Tom’s Automotive Service in West Seattle. Call to let us know you’re coming: (206) 937-1144.

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Bethany Manahan
Bethany Manahan

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

My bosses were the ones that recommended me to see Tom's when I had my 'check engine' light on some time last year. They were very helpful, and kindly, turned the light off as there wasn't anything particularly wrong with my car. However, recently, my car was being looked at by them (as I've had other things happen to my car), and the staff helped me walk through the process of either furthering the fix or getting rid of my car. As someone who doesn't know anything about cars (oh boy), they really did a great job of explaining things to me. Thanks!

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

The staff was very friendly and helpful. I came in late and they serviced my within 30 minutes. Will definitely go back when my car need more service.

Rochelle Dobson
Rochelle Dobson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

I had an incredible experience with Tom's Automotive, my window was not working properly, after getting it replaced at a different auto body shop I decided to go to one I knew I could trust and took it in to Tom's. I first described the situation on the phone, brought it in for them to see, and their team spent time researching what could be wrong. They called me back to bring in my car and within minutes had it fixed. Tom's Auto and their whole team is top-class, I will DEFINITELY be using their services again. I highly recommend them. Thank you for going above and beyond my expectations!

Nancy I
Nancy I

5 out of 5 stars

posted 5 months ago

I take my car to Tom's because they are friendly and reliable. I appreciate they are able to "triage" and explain the maintenance needed to keep my car up and running. It's great they offer a shuttle in the morning and late afternoon to help the locals get back to work!
I once had to pull off the freeway due to my car acting oddly. I called Kandie at Tom's and she was able to explain what I needed to do. This helped me stay calm and confident in an otherwise stressful situation.