11105 Steele St S Ste 106 Tacoma, WA 98444 206-331-6475

My car suddenly won’t start. What’s wrong

If your car won’t start, there are three things that could typically be wrong: the battery, the alternator or the starter.  


The battery provides power to your car’s starter and electrical systems.  It is charged by the alternator while the car drives.  The battery can lose charge, and parts of the battery can start to corrode over time. 

Indicators that your battery may be bad:  If the car makes a low whining sound when you try to start it, and it fires up with a jump start and continues to run. 

If you think your battery may be dead, jump start your car and take it to your mechanic.  Your mechanic can run a test to determine if your battery has enough charge, or needs to be replaced. 

The alternator is responsible for keeping your car’s battery charged and run electrical systems while the car is operating.   A belt going from the engine to the alternator turns it as the engine runs.  The parts in an alternator can wear out, or an electrical short can cause damage.   

Indicators that your alternator may be bad: lights flicker, display lights on dash act strangely, you smell a burning smell, or the engine dies after a jump start. 

A mechanic can check your alternator and determine if it needs to be replaced.   

The starter initiates rotation that causes your car’s engine to start-up.  Wear down or an electrical short can cause issues with the starter.   

Indicators that your starter may be bad:  you hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, the dash lights are on but the car won’t start, and a jump start does nothing. 

Your mechanic can run a test to determine if your battery has enough charge for continued use or needs replaced, and they can also check your alternator and starter to determine if they need to be replaced.  Your mechanic can also do a battery check even when you aren’t experiencing issues as a part of regular maintenance.   

Full Throttle Auto Sales has a full-time mechanic, so come by if you have questions or want to get your battery checked!  

Should I have my car checked before a long trip

Regular maintenance on your vehicle is always best, but for safety reasons and extra peace of mind, it's always a good idea to get your car a "check-up" before going on a road trip.  Have your mechanic check your car's fluid levels, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid, etc.  Your mechanic can also listen to your motor, check the wear and air pressure of your tires, and test the charge on your battery.  Swing by Full Throttle Auto Sales before your next road trip and we'll help make sure your trip is smooth sailing.  

Tip: It's also a good idea to do your own check of your "emergency kit" before a trip.  Do you have jumper cables, a tool kit, water, spare tennis shoes?  It never hurts to be prepared for an emergency when you are away from home.  

Tips For Buying a Used Car - Part One

Part One: Finding a Reputable Dealer

Buying a used car can be confusing. There are so many variables to consider. How do you know you’re getting a good deal? Can you trust the dealership? What do you look for during a test drive? 

Full Throttle Auto Sales is going to walk you through how to get the best value for your money, and let you know what you should be looking for when buying a used vehicle.  

First, how do you know that you are buying from a reputable dealership? There are many platforms that can be checked to assure you’re buying from a great dealer you can trust. Do your research before purchasing your new used vehicle by checking user ratings and reviews. Places you can check online include Google, Yelp, Facebook, Cars.com, CarGurus, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Reading reviews can help you know what to expect when you visit a dealership. 

Full Throttle Auto Sales has over 100 five-star reviews and an A rating from the BBB because we care about our customers and want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Tips For Buying a Used Car - Part Two

Part Two: Vehicle Maintenance

Once you’ve visited a dealership and found a used car you’re interested in purchasing, it’s important to know the history of the vehicle. A great way to do this is by checking the CARFAX report. CARFAX is an independent organization that tracks the reporting of vehicle histories, including information about accidents, recalls, service history, mileage, previous owners, and more. It is a very useful tool for learning about a used vehicle and how it’s been treated.   

Full Throttle Auto Sales is a CARFAX Advantage dealership. Why is this Important? As a CARFAX advantage dealer, every vehicle we offer comes with a CARFAX report. The CARFAX report is an important place to start with any used vehicle.   

Once you have determined that the vehicle has a clean CARFAX, you will next need to look at maintenance performed. Maintenance of your used vehicle is significant as anything that needs to be done can really add up, adding to the overall cost of your vehicle.  

Here at Full Throttle Auto Sales we bring all maintenance up to date if needed, including replacing spark plugs, changing the air filter, changing the oil and oil filter, and replacing brakes and tires. Along with bringing all maintenance up to date, we also repair anything we find when inspecting our vehicles. 

Unperformed maintenance can add hundreds to thousands of dollars in additional expenses, so always ask the dealer to show you what has been done and the current condition of components such as brakes and tires.   

Tips For Buying a Used Car - Part Three

Part Three: Warranty

 you need to look at the warranty that is offered by the dealership.  Why is that important?  A warranty is going to give you the peace of mind that the vehicle you are purchasing has coverage that protects your vehicle in case of break downs. This is a big added value, but not all warranties are created equal. It is important to ask the dealer what is covered by the warranty and also how much is covered. 

At Full Throttle Auto Sales, most of our vehicles come with the manufacturer warranty still intact.  For those cars that aren't covered by the manufacturer warranty, we provide a three month/90-day warranty.

Tips For Buying a Used Car - Part Four

Part Four: The Test Drive

Finally, you will want to take your potential new used car on a test drive. The test drive actually starts when you first see the car. Before entering the vehicle, have the salesperson pop the hood and start the car while you listen for any strange noises during start up: grinding, popping or rattling is not normal, so listen carefully. If the car starts and sounds good, put your hand on the top of the motor and feel that it is running smooth and not rough.  

If everything sounds, looks and feels good, then look around the engine compartment and underneath the motor for any signs of oil or fluid leaks. If the bottom of the motor is covered in oil this could lead to pricey repairs.   
If the engine is clean move on to the tires. Inspect them to make sure they have a safe amount of tread and no unusual wear patterns. The tires should be evenly worn from inside to outside.  

Once satisfied with the engine and tires, have the salesperson rev up the vehicle while you observe the quality of the exhaust. If, when revving, you notice some blue smoke, then the car is burning oil, which could lead to pricey repairs.  

If all has checked out, then you are ready for your test drive. First, start out slow: hit the brakes at slow speeds and listen for any abnormal noises such as clunking or knocking. Put the car in reverse and then back into drive looking for abnormal shifting or clunking of the transmission. Then, turn the vehicle all the way left and right will driving at slow speeds and continue to listen for noises. If all seems well and there are no lights present, such as ABS or Check Engine lights, you are ready for your road test.  

While driving, let go of the steering wheel and see how the car is tracking down the road. If it is pulling constantly to the left or right, the car is in need of an alignment. If you feel a vibration in the steering wheel that increases with speed, you might have a tire balance issue.  

Continue to listen for any abnormal noises while driving. Also, be aware of smells while driving. If you smell burning oil when driving or while the car is sitting at idle, this could be a sign of a valve cover leak or more.  

Also, be sure to ask lots of questions. At Full Throttle Auto Sales, we are here to help! And our maintenance and warranty packages will give you reassurance that you can trust your purchase.

Tips for Buying a Used Car - Part Five

Part Five: Getting a Good Deal

So how do you really know you are getting a good deal with your used car purchase? By putting together all the things we’ve previously discussed, you will be prepared and know you are getting a good value by shopping at a reputable dealership, checking to see that there is good history and maintenance on the vehicle, being comfortable with the warranty, asking lots of questions, and knowing what to look for during the test drive. One last step is to check the price of the vehicle against the Kelley Blue Book price (a reference that lists the typical value of used vehicles). 

At Full Throttle Auto Sales, you can shop with confidence and peace of mind knowing that our vehicles are properly inspected, well maintained and priced great! Our maintenance and warranty packages will give you reassurance that you can trust your purchase. We are here for you with great service and answers to your questions! Come to Full Throttle Auto Sales, your destination for a five-star experience and the best value when buying your next used car.

Toys for Tots Fundraiser a Huge Success!

Full Throttle Auto Sales is happy to announce that, for this year’s fundraiser, we have donated $2800 to the Toys for Tots Foundation!  The owners, Steve and Parichat, also donated $400 worth of toys.  Toys for Tots makes it possible for so many children to “share in the magic of the holidays”. We are humbled that we are able to contribute and are grateful to our community for their support. Thank you to everyone who purchased a vehicle in the month of December!  You helped make a difference in our community and brought a smile to the faces of some very special children!  

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

The Full Throttle Family

How Often Do I Need to Get My Oil Changed

An oil change typically falls between 3,000 –10,000 miles of driving for many cars, but the exact amount of miles varies from vehicle to vehicle, so the best place to check is your car’s owner manual.  If you don’t have it, check for your year, make and model online.  The owner’s manual is a good place to start to get the recommended mileage, but you should also keep track of what is happening in your oil changes, as driving habits and type of oil can also influence how often it needs to be changed. 

When you have your oil changed, talk to the mechanic about how clean the oil was.  If your oil is very dirty every time you get a change, consider having it changed a little sooner and find out how dirty it is with less miles.  If your oil tends to be clean when it’s changed, you may not need to get your oil changed as frequently.  Keep a log of mileage, type of oil and the results of the change, and eventually you will have a good idea of the best timing based on your driving.            

Oil changes are a crucial part of regular maintenance on your vehicle.  Neglecting this can eventually lead to engine failure.  So visit Full Throttle Auto Sales today and schedule your next oil change.


Get Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Get Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Who is ready for summer? I know that all of us at Full Throttle Auto Sales, your used car dealership in Tacoma, WA. are! Barbecues, warmer weather, flip-flops, swimming pools. People across the United States load up the car and hit the highway to enjoy one of the great traditions of the season… the road trip. This is the time of year for a road trip! Go see the country!

All of us at Full Throttle Auto Sales want everyone to beware of potential expense and frustration. It’s the end of a long day in the hot sun, you’re on the road, excited to reach your relaxing destination, but not there quite yet, and not quite in a relaxed state of mind.

Just as you see the sign that says that you’re within 30 miles of the next town - CLUNK! You hear a very mechanical-sounding noise and feel your car lurch. Perhaps the noise gets worse, or the steering starts to feel not quite right. Maybe there’s a mechanical smelling… smell or even some visible smoke or steam. And then your heart drops, and the feeling of dread may start to sink in: that you may be in for a delay in reaching the relaxation you’ve been longing for. Frustration may set in at this point.

Prepare for happy travels

In order to make the most of your travels, it’s best to give your vehicle a thorough checkup before you take on the road. Let’s be sure you don’t get stuck with maintenance issues in the middle of your excursion.

If there is something you do not know how to handle, then bring your vehicle into Full Throttle Auto Sales to have it checked! Also, check your owner’s manual for advice on how to properly care for your car. Some of your equipment may be outdated and be ready for replacement.

9 Summer car care tips

Here is a list of areas to consider maintaining as summer begins:

·       Windshield Wipers – After long days of Washington’s rainy, snowy, and icy winters, the windshield wipers may be pretty worn down. Double check your wiper fluid and wiper blades to ensure they are full and in great working condition. Check and make sure they are not losing their grip, so you don’t end up stuck in a summer rainstorm unable to see the roads.

·         Coolant– Make sure to check your cooling system, since summer is a prime time for your car to overheat! Since the cooling system helps prevent the engine from overheating, consider flushing and refilling the coolant. Or bring it in to Full Throttle Auto Sales to do it for you if you do not know how to properly perform this task.

·         Battery– It’s not something we would call fun to go to your car, start it, and BAM… dead battery in the middle of a hot summer day. Make check your battery for any defects. Be careful when handling a battery! Try cleaning around the structure to prevent future problems. Look around it to make sure it is properly filled and cleaned. This can help lengthen your battery’s lifespan. Click here for more information on how to properly check your vehicle battery!

·         Engine air filters– During the hot summer months your car’s engine can be negatively affected by the extra dust floating around. You might be surprised how much dirt and dust can get caked on to them and reduce your car or trucks performance. It’s a good idea to check the filters to see if they’re caked with dirt and, if so, to replace them so your engine can function properly.


·         Oil change– It may be time for an oil change depending on your car and your usage of the vehicle. While most modern cars have sensors to warn you when your oil needs a change, make sure to check if your oil or oil filters need replacing. It’s also a great idea to check your oil weekly, just to ensure things are running right.

·         Air conditioning– You don’t want to get stuck in the summer heat without proper A/C, so it’s a great idea to check that your air conditioning is working at its best. Just turn it on and make sure that it is giving off the right amount of air flow. If it does not feel right or powerful enough, take it in to be looked at by a licensed mechanic. *If it’s a little sluggish, then it most likely just needs to have the freon recharged to have it blasting cool air throughout your car.


·         Tires and tire pressure– Take a look at your tires to see if they are in tip-top shape for summer road trips and hot summer roads. Also, check your tire pressure regularly! *Your vehicles appropriate pressure for your tires can be found on the tire place card in the driver’s side door jamb or in your vehicle owner’s manual.


·         Hoses and belts– Check any hoses or belts under the hood of your car. When your car is cool, feel around gently and see if there are any worn out parts or blisters. This could mean that the pieces need some repairs.

·         Brakes– Try pumping your brakes a few times to see if they are still in good shape. If they make a weird noise, or feel different while you’re driving, consider taking them to a mechanic to be checked, or replacing the brake fluids.

It’s a great idea to take your car for a quick test drive every so often. Listen for any odd noises, or strange feelings while driving. This can help you catch a problem before it gets worse.

These quick and easy steps can help you enjoy your summer knowing that you’ve worked to stay on top of your car’s maintenance. If you’re looking to purchase a new-to-you vehicle, then stop in to Full Throttle Auto Sales used dealership in Tacoma, WA., or click here to see our inventory!