Here’s Why We’re Selling So Many Car Batteries Right Now

Here's Why We're Selling So Many Car Batteries Right Now

When was the last time you started your car? Before quarantine? A few days ago? If you don’t have an immediate answer, it might be time to take it for a spin around the block. Now that you’re not commuting into the office and taking the long scenic route around Seattle on the weekends, you might find yourself without as much need for a vehicle. However, when you leave your car sitting, your battery can go flat—even if it is only a few years old. 

Subaru batteries naturally self discharge; and today’s models draw a small amount of power from the battery even when not in use to keep all the electrical systems working as they should. Over time, the battery will become fully discharged if not driven around—and at some point you may even require an early replacement. 

3 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car Battery

There’s really not a lot of things worse than finding yourself with a flat battery. Aside from driving your vehicle regularly, here are 3 ways to extend the life of your Subaru’s battery. 

1. Minimize the power used while the engine is off.

Even when the engine is off, your car battery is what powers the radio, fans, lights, and electrical components. Always check to make sure you’ve turned off the interior lights before leaving your vehicle and turn you headlights to ‘Auto’ to avoid leaving them on upon exiting.

2. Keep your Subaru out of the sun, if possible.

Summer heat can be harsh on a car battery. If possible, it is best to store your Subaru in a garage or cool, shaded location to avoid the sun. Even in sealed top batteries, extreme heat increases the rate of water evaporation from the cells and can zap the juice right out of a struggling power supply.

3. Avoid regular short trips.

Every time you start your car, your battery works up a sweat. During the journey, it has time to recharge via the engine…but only if it’s out on the road for long enough. Regular short trips will make it impossible for the battery to regain the amount of power lost. Driving frequently and for longer periods of time will help you keep the battery charged and in good health.

Suburb Service: How We’re Taking Care of our Seattle Customers During COVID-19

At Suburb Service, we have been replacing lots of batteries in Subarus that are 3 years old and older. If you’re local to Seattle and you’ve found yourself with a dead car battery, give us a call. Even during these trying times, the team at Suburb Service is doing everything possible to continue offering service for your Subaru. To learn more about how Suburb Service is keeping you (and your Subaru!) safe during COVID-19, visit our notice page. To make a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us today. Show your Subaru some love.

Can Hand Sanitizer REALLY Explode in Your Car?

Can Hand Sanitizer REALLY Explode in Your Car

In a post-coronavirus world, we’re all learning an entirely new set of social norms. Remembering to put on our masks before jetting off to the grocery store hasn’t been easy. Going on the hunt for toilet paper? That’s our idea of a Saturday adventure with the family. But, learning to navigate the new normal has come with its fair share of questions. Today, we’re tackling this one: can hand sanitizer really explode in your car?

COVID Question Answered: Can Hand Sanitizer Explode in the Car?

If you’ve been lucky enough to snag some travel hand sanitizer from the store, you might be wondering where it’s safe to leave—especially in the summer heat! you might be wondering where it’s safe to leave—especially in the summer heat!Rumors have circulated that leaving a bottle of hand sanitizer in a hot car can cause it to explode. We say no way. 

While nothing is impossible, the likelihood of your hand sanitizer exploding in the hot car isn’t very high. In fact, your car won’t get hot enough even in direct sunlight. According to a 2018 study from Arizona State University and UC San Diego, 160 degrees is the max temperature a car will get if left in direct sunlight for more than one hour. Even the rubbing alcohol in hand sanitizer would have to reach approximately 600 degrees Farenheit before it could spontaneously combust. 

What Sparked the Sudden Interest in Hand Sanitizer?

According to Snope, “in April 2020, a series of photographs started to circulate on WhatsApp and Telegram [in Brazil] that supposedly showed the aftermath of a car fire caused by an unattended bottle of hand sanitizer”. This social media phenomenon is what caused the sudden interest in leaving bottles of hand sanitizer unattended in the car—and then, in May, United States fire departments began circulating a similar message on Facebook urging citizens to take their hand sanitizers out of their cars. 

While the myth was debunked, experts continue to urge cautious drivers to store their hand sanitizer out of direct sunlight in their glove boxes or center consoles.

Suburb Service: How We’re Taking Care of our Seattle Customers During COVID-19

Even during these trying times, the team at Suburb Service is doing everything possible to continue offering service for your Subaru. To learn more about how Suburb Service is keeping you (and your Subaru!) safe during COVID-19, visit our notice page. To make a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us today. Show your Subaru some love.

Why Going for a Leisurely Drive Can Reduce Stress

Why Going for a Leisurely Drive Can Reduce Stress

For many, getting in the car can bring about thoughts of heavy traffic jams, honking horns, and stressed out commuters. If you live in Seattle, you might remember the dreaded daily traffic of the work week and even the hustle and bustle of the weekend roadways. 

But, according to researchers, taking a nice long solo drive on a long country road, a beautiful mountain bend, or stretch of interstate can actually help you reduce stress and clear your brain of all those creativity-blocking cobwebs. Here are 4 reasons why going for a leisurely drive in your Subaru can reduce stress and improve creativity. 

4 Reasons a Leisurely Drive Can Help Reduce Stress

You’ll get some alone time. 

Alone time is good for the soul and the mind. Taking a long drive all by yourself will give you a chance to think, breathe, or completely turn your brain off, if you prefer. If you experience any type of social anxiety or pressure around others, a leisurely solo drive can also give you the space you need to recharge. 

You’ll have time to practice mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is the practice of taking in the world around you, checking in with your body, and clearing the mind of any extra clutter. As we mentioned, solitude can be a cure-all—and it’s a great place to practice mindfulness. Take some time to hop in the car and drive around without a true destination. Turn off the music and resist starting a new podcast. Think only about your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Completely clear your mind and feel your stress melt away.

You can break away from your phone.

When you get a chance to be alone, out on the road, you focus on driving and you get to take a break from your smartphone. Smartphones, and screens in general, can be a major source of stress. It’s where a majority of our social interactions take place these days and it’s where many of us work. Getting in the car and putting your phone away can give you a short break from all the extra screen time.

You’ll get a change of scenery. 

Simply changing your environment can also be helpful in reducing stress. Often, we associate stress with our surroundings. Getting away from your home or office can help you clear your mind and separate yourself from whatever is causing you so much anxiety.

Suburb Service: #1 Independent Subaru Repair & Maintenance Service Near Seattle

We love Subaru customers—it’s why we’ve chosen to specialize in Subaru-only car repair, maintenance, and more. We’ve treated Seattle’s Subaru customers to excellent service for so many years—and we have continued to serve you even in these unprecedented times. Whether you need a maintenance appointment or a repair service, contact us today and we can walk you through how to make an appointment that best fits your unique needs. To learn more about how we’re handling COVID-19 Closures, click here. Show your Subaru some love.

5 Tips to Taking Great Car Photos for your Instagram or to Sell

5 Tips to Taking Great Car Photos for your Instagram or to Sell

Love your Subaru and want to show off your ride? You’re going to want to snap some pretty cool pictures for Instagram, especially if it’s new. Looking to sell your Subaru? You want it to look stunning—and a great photo can do nothing but impress potential buyers.

Whether you’re a car guy who loves to show off his ride online or you’re a Subaru owner looking to rehome your pride and joy, here are our team’s 5 tips for taking great car photos. 

1. Chase golden hour.

Any photographer will tell you that the perfect time to shoot outside is about two hours before sunset. Also known as “golden hour”, this peak time frame will give you the best lighting for shooting objects outdoors. If you can’t make golden hour work, shooting on a cloudy day will also help you capture the perfect shot without any light flares or misangled shadows. 

2. Avoid shooting at eye-level.

To make it artsy, mix up your perspective. Not every photo of your car has to be shot at eye-level. Often, the most dramatic car shots are taken from the ground up. Test out different angles during your shoot to make sure you capture just what you need.

3. Find a cool backdrop.

Location matters, too. Have you ever been amazed by a car advertisement that’s not driving ferociously through a city street or kicking up dust with a mountain view? Find yourself a scenic spot to shoot outdoors, but still make sure your car is the center of attention.

4. Get inside.

Shooting the inside of your vehicle can be a gamechanger, especially if you can capture it in good light. WIth multiple opportunities to showcase your car’s logo and special features, interior shots can increase your selling potential or set you apart from other car snaps on Instagram.

5. Capture details.

Details are so important to car geeks. Using the right lens, or even Portrait mode on your iPhone, you can capture close-up details like the wheels, badges or interior components. 

Suburb Service: How We’re Taking Care of our Seattle Customers During COVID-19

Even during these trying times, the team at Suburb Service is doing everything possible to continue offering service for your Subaru. To learn more about how Suburb Service is keeping you (and your Subaru!) safe during COVID-19, visit our notice page. To make a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us today. Show your Subaru some love.

How Hitting a Pothole Can Damage Car Tires & Alignment

How Hitting a Pothole Can Damage Car Tires Alignment

Thanks to crazy temperature swings, heavy traffic, and unpredictable weather, cities across the United States have begun experiencing an abundance of potholes. Potholes form when cracks in the roadway expand, and are usually a product of winter’s freeze-thaw cycles—plus they’re dangerous for your car. Here’s how hitting a pothole can damage your car’s tires and alignment.  

What to Do If You Hit a Pothole

Similar to a collision, potholes can take a serious toll on your car. Potholes have a sneaky way of damaging your tires, rims, suspension and other steering components without making much of a fuss. If you do hit a pothole, you should take a look at your wheels and tires immediately. 

3 Signs a Pothole Damaged Your Car

Odd wear on your tire tread.

Potholes can sneak up on you; and their damage is not always immediate. Some potholes can leave a strange level of wear to your tire tread—and over time this can become dangerous. Losing tire tread can make your vehicle more susceptible to future damage, like a flat tire or inability to grip the road during a rainstorm. If you’re having tire problems due to hitting a pothole, it could be time for some serious tire repair from your local tire shop.

Shaky steering wheel.

Another sneaky sign of pothole related damage is a shaky steering wheel. Often, this is the first sign of car damage our customers notice—and usually it’s alerting you to a wheel balance problem or damage to the tire or rim. 

Car pulls to one side. 

Did you hit a pothole a few days back? Are you noticing your car pulling slightly to the left or right when driving down the highway? This could be the first indication of an alignment problem caused by the impact of hitting the pothole.

Suburb Service: Seattle’s #1 Independent Car Repair Shop

Need a tire change or realignment? Even during these trying times, the team at Suburb Service is doing everything possible to continue service for your Subaru. We realize you need your vehicle ready to roll at any time, and we’re here for you. To learn more about how Suburb Service is keeping you (and your Subaru!) safe during COVID-19, visit our notice page. To make a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us today. Show your Subaru some love.

5 Scenic Drives to Take Around Seattle

5 Scenic Drives to Take Around Seattle

As stay-at-home orders have taken effect across Washington state, you’ve likely found yourself stuck inside the home. You’re limiting your non-essential travel…and your car? It’s likely been collecting dust in the garage. Here’s what you can do to change that scenario.

While traveling too far isn’t recommended (because traveling to communities where you don’t live, even by car, can spread the virus), you can drive around town. Thankfully, you live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and scenic drives are just minutes from your front door. Here are the best scenic drives to take around Seattle right now.

1. Lake Washington Boulevard

Looking for a picturesque lakefront drive? Head to Mount Baker Beach just south of the I-90 bridge. If you drive south down to Seward Park you’ll be able to take in the stunning views of Lake Washington and Andrews Bay…all from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle!

Wallace Falls by Sean O’Neill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2. Wallace Falls and North Cascades

Wallace Falls State Park is a great place for a fresh air hike to a breathtaking 265-foot waterfall if you’re able to maintain social distancing. Even still, the drive through North Cascades is excellent and laden with conifer-clad mountains, glaciers and lakes. 

Snoqualmie Falls by Randy Wick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state’s most popular scenic attractions. The Falls were featured in the popular cult television show “Twin Peaks” and have been anointed sacred place for Native American culture and spirituality. To get to the falls from downtown Seattle, simply take the Interstate 5 South and  I-90 East ramp toward Portland. Merge onto I-90 East via the exit on the left toward Bellevue, Washington. 

Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains View by Dennis Hamilton is licensed under CC BY 2.0

4. West Seattle

On the westside of Seattle? Lucky you. With the Olympic Peninsula Loop on your side of town, you are in for a real treat. In just a few hours, you can experience subalpine forest, rivers and lakes, the breathtaking beauty of the Olympic Mountains, and magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Olympia is accessible via exit 104 off I-5.

Mount Ranier Overlook by David Prasad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

5. Mount Rainier Loop 

Need a true getaway? Drive to the highest mountain of the Cascades via the Mount Rainier Loop. At 14,411 feet of elevation, Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the state of Washington. You’ll enjoy this scenic mountain drive as you wind through dense forest and get a glimpse of Mount Rainier every once in a while. Don’t forget to stop at a few turnouts to take a picture and enjoy the view.

If you need a respite from your new routine, there’s nothing like a serene drive around Seattle’s beautiful city streets and natural suburbs. Even if you’re just driving around town, you’ll want to make sure your car remains in tip-top shape. Suburb Service has treated Seattle’s Subaru customers to excellent service for many years. Whether you need a maintenance appointment or a repair service, contact us today

Suburb Service: How We’re Taking Care of our Seattle Customers During COVID-19

Even during these trying times, the team at Suburb Service is doing everything possible to continue offering service for your Subaru. To learn more about how Suburb Service is keeping you (and your Subaru!) safe during COVID-19, visit our notice page. To make a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us today. Show your Subaru some love.

Why We Don’t Provide Repair Quotes on the Phone

Why We Don’t Provide Repair Quotes on the Phone

Repairs can be costly and annoying, but they are an inevitable part of any car owner’s journey. When it happens for you, you’ll surely call around to find the best price on the repair you need—you’re just looking to get the best value! However, you may find that many car service shops won’t give you an estimate on the work over the phone. Here’s why.  

Why Don’t You Give Me a Car Repair Estimate Over the Phone?

At Suburb Service, we get a lot of calls about Subaru repairs. Many of them start with “so, here’s the problem” and end with “so, what will that cost me?”. Whether you were told by another shop that you needed rear-end links or a new engine, our team is too cautious (and cares too much about you as a customer) to give you an answer over the phone—here’s why.

Every problem is unique. 

Your car’s issues are uniquely yours. If we’ve never serviced your Subaru before, we’re not going to know your vehicle well enough to give you a quote. Even if we have serviced your vehicle and you are a regular face around the shop, we can’t know every detail of the issue without taking a peak ourselves. 

We want to quote you accurately.

Even the best storytellers can miss a few details; and we like to get all of the details upfront to quote you a price accurately. Imagine if we told you over the phone that your car repair was going to cost $200, but when you arrived, we see that it’s much worse than expected. Would you be mad if we raised the price to $400? Of course you would!  

Our team at Suburb Service will never quote you a low price just to get you in the door. We’re a customer-first business that’s only interested in quoting you a fair price at the time of service. 

We want to save you time.

Lastly, we don’t quote prices over the phone because we don’t want to waste your time by promising a price we might not be able to honor. We’re committed to giving a fair price to every customer after an initial diagnostic of your vehicle. Come to us first and we’ll do our best to save you time and money on your next Subaru repair. 

Suburb Service: #1 Independent Subaru Repair & Maintenance Service Near Seattle

We love Subaru customers—it’s why we’ve chosen to specialize in Subaru-only car repair, maintenance, and more. We’ve treated Seattle’s Subaru customers to excellent service for so many years. Whether you need a maintenance appointment or a repair service, contact us today and we can walk you through how to make an appointment that best fits your unique needs. Show your Subaru some love.

What Do the Sounds My Brakes Make Mean?

What Do the Sounds My Brakes Make Mean?

Unusual brake noise—you know the kind of screeching, grinding, and chewing sounds you hear when you slam on the brakes in a traffic jam—can be alarming. Brakes are an essential operating system for your vehicle. Without them, you’d be unable to stop your car in motion. But, are all sounds that brakes make bad? What do they mean? Let’s review. 

Brake Noises: What Do They Mean?

When you press on the brake, you’re creating friction between your brake pad and the tire. Over time, your brakes can take a beating—and sometimes when you slow down they may make noise or occasionally behave abnormally, even though nothing is wrong. Here are 4 common “unusual” or alarming brake noises and what they mean for your vehicle. 

Rattle

Hearing a rattle come from your brakes when you slow to a halt? Brake rattle is a common concern for drivers and should not be feared. Typically, rattling sounds mean your brake pads have expanded. If they were not installed with anti-rattle shims, this can be due to heat expansion. Typically, this issue will resolve itself. If your brake rattle becomes a common occurrence, go see a service technician to determine if this issue is more urgent. 

Squeaking

Squeaks can be nothing at all and, at the same time, a major annoyance for drivers. At specific speeds and applied pressure, the friction in your brakes can cause a squealing sound—but most of the time you don’t have to be alarmed. Squeaking brakes can be due to weather, heavy loads, water, or sand. Think about your surroundings before you panic. Consider any natural causes of squeaking brakes (i.e. is it raining outside?). If nothing is off, it might be your brake pads tell you it’s time to change. 

Grinding

Grinding noises are a bad sign. It’s your brakes telling you they need a little tender love and care; and often it means that the rotor disc has come into contact with part of the caliper. You’ll hear a grinding noise when your brake pads or rotors have experienced extreme wear.

Ideally, you’ll squeaking noises before grinding—get this checked out by a professional service technician as soon as possible. If you wait until your brakes grind before servicing them, you’ll be in a worse situation. 

Fade

Brake fade is a condition in which the brakes become overheated and no longer function normally. You might notice brake fade when you’re going down a long hill and required to step on the brakes for longer. To avoid brake fade, you can employ “engine braking” techniques by using the lower gear functions on your transmission. A simple solution? Pull over and wait for your brakes to cool off before continuing your journey.

#1 Independent Subaru Repair & Maintenance Near Seattle

At Suburb Service, we love Subaru customers—it’s why we’ve chosen to specialize in Subaru-only car repair, maintenance, and more. We’ve treated Seattle’s Subaru customers to excellent service for so many years—and we can’t wait to treat you too.

Whether you need to make regular maintenance appointments, schedule a repair service, or want to discuss installing a security system, contact us. Call Suburb Service today at 206-364-8089 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with us. Show your Subaru some love.

Giveaway: 4K UHD HDR Roku Smart LED TV

4K UHD HDR Roku Smart LED TV!

* Giveaway Extended until End of May!! * We want to spread some fun and positivity during these uncertain times. 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌

For every $100 on a single invoice in APRIL / MAY, you will receive one raffle ticket for a 55″ Class 4K UHD HDR Roku Smart LED TV! 📺 🎉

Up to a max of 5 tickets. This is pre-sales tax. Includes online coupons.

We can’t wait to give this tv away to one of our amazing + loyal customers! 🙌

YES, WE ARE OPEN! We are an Essential Service, and will continue to serve our community. A majority of our customers are nurses, doctors, first responders, grocery store workers, and more! These heroes 😇 need their vehicles to get to and from work, SAFELY.

Of course safety is our #1 Priority for both our Employees and Customers.

Stay safe and take care of one another,

Candy + Suburb Service Gang

What Your Driving Style Says About Your Personality

What Your Driving Style Says About Your Personality

Why are some drivers aggressive while others can remain totally calm behind the wheel? Why are some drivers uber cautious while others love a road race? Driving styles can totally vary based on the personality of the driver. Some people like to live their lives on edge; others prefer to stay cool as a cucumber no matter the situation. Wondering what your driving style says about your personality? See what we’ve observed below.

4 Driving Styles and What They Say About Your Personality

The Chill Charlie

The Chill Charlie doesn’t let anything ruffle his feathers. He’s cool as a cucumber in traffic. Not even aggressive drivers can get a reaction out of him. Typically, the chillest of drivers are a bit slower to pick up speed; psychologists have noted that this indifference towards road rage and surrounding traffic could be a sign of depression. 

The Road-Rage Roger

The Road-Rage Roger is the aggressive driver that’s easily annoyed on the road. Most often, you can find this driver in a large truck or SUV, and they can appear quite intimidating. Road-Rage Roger is easily ticked off by slow drivers in the left lane and cars that refuse to turn right on a red light. This driving style is often linked to an egotistical personality type. 

The Dangerous Danny

The Dangerous Danny is a thrill seeker. He’s not an angry driver; he’s just a happy one. Happy drivers tend to move faster and be more alert than sad drivers. For cautious drivers orchill drivers, Dangerous Danny can be a bit anxious to ride along with. This type of driving personality believes in making the most of every moment—and in making every moment memorable. Activities like bungee jumping and skydiving make for the perfect Saturday.

The Cautious Kelly

The Cautious Kelly is the safest of drivers. To this day, they’ve never forgotten the lessons learned in Driver’s Ed. They can most often be found driving at ten-and-two and going exactly the speed limit (…and not one mile-per-hour faster). You’ll never catch them driving without their seatbelt securely fastened. Cautious Kelly’s are likely cautious in real-life too. They are the kind of folks who pay their bills a few days before they are due and never let the gas light come on in their vehicle. Most often, they will shy away from high-risk activities.They are the exact opposite of the Dangerous Danny.

Suburb Service: #1 Subaru Repair Shop Near Seattle, WA

At Suburb Service, we love Subaru customers—it’s why we’ve chosen to specialize in Subaru-only car repair, maintenance, and more. We’ve treated Seattle’s Subaru customers to excellent service for so many years—and we can’t wait to treat you too.

Whether you need to make regular maintenance appointments, schedule a repair service, or want to discuss installing a security system, contact us. Call Suburb Service today at 206-364-8089 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with us. Show your Subaru some love.