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

Denny and Jim
Denny and Jim

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I got a flat tire across the street from Tom's Automotive. Although they don't repair tires, they immediately sent over a technician to change my tire. They also filled it with air so I could make it safely to a tire shop, all free of charge. Thanks Adam and the friendly staff at Tom's Automotive for your great service!

Bethany Manahan
Bethany Manahan

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months 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!

TJ Rawlinson
TJ Rawlinson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I had a great experience with Tom's. We had a good dialog, lots of great communication, and I am happy with the work done. Prices were as expected and no work was done that didn't need to be. I will be going back as needed.

Michael Mizell
Michael Mizell

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I always take both my company vehicle and personal vehicles directly over to Tom's whenever I need issues taken care of...except for that one time I had to change a headlight in my Yukon. After struggling with trying to figure out how to take it out, I watched a YouTube video and followed all the steps. It turns out that you cannot simply take the headlight casing out, but you need to take the grill off first, then take the wheel well liner off (which I successfully completed) and then there is a hidden screw that needs to be removed. You cannot see this screw because it is tucked away behind the frame, and a standard socket wrench head is too large and will not work to remove. Feeling defeated, I called Tracy. He said to come on by and they took the screws out for me and helped replacing the headlight. I told him I wanted to at least pay something for the service but he refused to accept anything. These guys have always been good to me, and I appreciate their hard work and honesty.

Kt McVeigh
Kt McVeigh

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

They were very professional and helpful at all times - even when I didn't have time to use their services before I headed out of town, Casey spoke with me on the phone for upwards of 15 minutes to figure out what was wrong with my car, so I could get help elsewhere. Really stand-up place!