Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mice love cars!

Here is a topic that comes up every year about this time. Mice & rodents. They chew wires, make nests and use the whole world as a restroom. The little critters just want to be safe and warm.

Here is a very bad case, but a great example of what can happen when they move into the neighborhood-

What do you do to keep them from damaging your car wiring and hoses? Poison is an option, but is hazardous to pets and other animals. So maybe we should call it a NON option. Just like you and I, they want to be comfortable. If it is uncomfortable for them, they will leave. Mouse traps with peanut butter can help rid the car of the unwanted guests. There are many non-lethal deterrents. Most have to do with a scent or smell that they do not like. This is the method we recommend. We use a product that I call "mouse pot pouree". It comes in the form of  a large tea bag and is should be renewed about every 4-6 weeks. Stop by today for a FREE quick visual inspection under the hood!

Have a great day.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer seems to be moving towards the finish line here in The Pacific Northwest.

Cooler, cloudy days, and depending what time you head to or from work, it may be getting dark before you leave home and maybe even close to dusk when you leave work.

Here are a couple of tips for Fall driving:

1-Check your tire pressures. Seasonable temperature changes can affect the air in your tires and cause the "low tire pressure warning light" to illuminate.
2-Clean the film off of the inside of your windows to reduce that hazy glare that builds up.
3-Is your battery over 4 years old? Consider having it checked. Average battery life for a new cars is about 3-5 years.
4-It is getting cooler. Remember that there are lots of little furry creatures that will be looking for a warm place to hide over the winter. Even if you have a garage for your vehicles, they can still get in. You may want to consider a rodent deterrent of some type to protect your hoses and wires.
5-Replace your wiper blades. After a long hot summer, the rubber on the blades has been degraded. A new set of wipers will work wonders. Consider a window treatment to help keep the windshield clean. It can improve night vision, especially in the rain.
6-Check all of your vehicles lights, inside and out. Ever try to find something in the glove box when the light is not working? If only you could find that flashlight that you put in the glove box. Wont you be thankful that you remembered to change those flashlight batteries?
7-If your headlamps are "foggy" due to ultra violet degradation of the lenses, have them refurbished or (in some cases) replaced.
8-Have your vehicle serviced. Most manufacturers recommend that the oil be changed at least once per year, regardless of the miles driven. Ask your shop for their advice.
9-Have your winter tires installed based on your local needs. You don't want to wait in line to have them installed when the weather person at your local TV station says "SNOW".

Want to learn how to do some of these things yourself? We are sponsoring a free clinic at Hockett & Olsen Automotive & Tire in conjunction with our sister store Benchmark Automotive & Tire in Kingston. We will be having 3, 2 hour sessions on Saturday October 3rd. The times will be:8:15, 10:30, and 12:45. Space is limited. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Andy at and specify which session works best for you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Why is my air conditioning not cold?


So you have turned on your car’s air conditioning and the air that comes out is not cold. If you don’t feel any air coming out of the vents, but hear the fan, the fresh air intake filter (more commonly called the cabin filter.) may be restricted or partially blocked. If you park near a tree or park outside, there could be a rodent of some kind who has made a comfy little home for themselves in your vents. If that is the case, the nest can be removed and the filter replaced. The vents can even be sanitized if needed.

What if you have air out of the vents, but it is not cold? There could be any of a number of things going on. There could be a blown fuse or relay, there could be a leak in the system, there could be a bad component or the system may simply need to be recharged. It could even be a broken drive belt.  The system will seep tiny amounts of refrigerant over time, very slow leaks are not that uncommon. There are a couple of types of refrigerants that are common. They have often been called Freon. There are new ones on the horizon as options are being tested that are more environmentally sound.

A visual inspection is performed prior to service to look for obvious problems. If all looks ok, then the technician will proceed with a recharge. When the system is being charged (or serviced) it is evacuated and checked for leaks under vacuum. The amount of Freon removed from the system is checked and documented. If no vacuum leaks are found, the Freon will be added to specifications and the system checked for leaks under pressure. The system will be checked to make sure that it is operating as designed and the vent temperature is documented. This way you know just how cool you are!

Andy Cotey is the manager at Hockett & Olsen Automotive and can be reached by email-, Scott Carlson is the owner and can be reached via email at with any questions or comments.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A deviation from the normal car stuff-Sweet & Sour pork or chicken

I have been thinking about Chinese food since lunch and thought that I would share my recipe for Sweet & Sour chicken or pork. It can be hard to think about cars when you have a hankering for something to eat. Maybe I should write about drive thru instead?

Have a car related question? Contact Andy via email- Andy is the manager of Hockett & Olsen Automotive