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

Bree Fealy
Bree Fealy

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I went to Tom's yesterday to get my car diagnosed and it was a great experience. First, they were all booked with appointments but they still said to come by and they would try and get me in. Within 10 minutes, they informed me what the issue could be, looked up the warranty on my car and instructed me on how to talk to the dealership to get the issue fixed. I was impressed by the genuine care and empathy I received and I will definitely go back if I have another issue.

Amrakx Mark
Amrakx Mark

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 days ago

It is with pleasure that I share my experience with Tom’s Automotive in West Seattle. In expedited response to the service engine light indicator I drove to their reliable and expert shop. They were kind enough to take the time to read the codes and source the issue to low radiator fluid. I had just had BMW Seattle perform an oil service and complete top off of fluids a few days ago, which they obviously failed to do! Obviously I was unable to schedule the oil service with Tom’s due to my schedule. Tom’s Automotive service to the rescue! They are simply the BEST at what they do!

sam brenner
sam brenner

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I had a snag on my latch to open my car hood and John at Toms was very helpful at fixing the problem. He also graciously replaced both of my headlight bulbs while he checked to make sure everything was good to go! Awesome service and will be taking my business to Tom’s from now on.