Keeping Up with Maintenance for Your Toyota

Keeping Up with Maintenance for Your ToyotaWhen it comes to maintenance, many car owners try to cut corners. However, the time and cost savings of taking good care of your car can be worth it. In 2017, Consumer Reports revealed that properly maintained cars can last for 200,000 miles or more. The average age of all cars is over 11.4 years, according to IHS Automotive (which now includes research firm Polk). In 1995, it was just eight years.


That’s not just because things are made better, although technology has improved. The use of lubricants and rust-prevention products and better-publicized care guidelines have made a big difference. Car dealerships in Lancaster, CA will agree that most automobiles are not that different from one another. Basic maintenance has a lot to do with how a Toyota runs and how long it lasts, whether it’s new or used.


Why Keep Your Car in Good Running Condition?

You might save as much as $30,000 by keeping your car running for 15 years, which is how far the 200,000-mile benchmark takes an average driver.2 Safety and reliability are factors to consider when choosing a car that may last a long time. The options you select, such as a rear camera, electronic stability control, lane departure alerts, forward collision warning, or blind-spot detection, are certainly worthwhile modern amenities, but they don’t take the place of maintenance.


Engine performance issues will diminish reliability. It can take just one missed oil change Lancaster, CA auto owners need to cause enough wear to damage the motor. Skipping out on tire rotations can reduce the vehicle’s stability and increase wear. Any missed maintenance can reduce the vehicle’s dependability, operating life, and safety. After all, nobody wants to be left without a ride, or damage the brakes or transmission.


The frequency of maintenance depends on the manufacturer’s guidelines and how the vehicle is used. A severe-use schedule requires, for example, more frequent oil changes, especially if one does a lot of city driving, lives in an extremely hot or cold climate, lives in a mountain region or near the ocean, or drives in dusty conditions. California has a lot of rugged terrain. If you’re driving in the city or up in the mountains, Toyota Palmdale is the place to go for maintenance on the right schedule.


Recommended Maintenance Services

Vehicle maintenance tips are provided in most owner’s manuals and by dealers. Some even provide their own service programs. Toyota Express Maintenance is a prime example. It is offered at dealerships nationally, where owners can quickly receive all major forms of maintenance during one visit at a price that’s lower than at most automotive shops.


Here is a basic car maintenance checklist, with why each type of service is so important for your vehicle, its occupants, and your safety.


Regular Oil Changes

Regular Oil ChangesAn oil change is simple and fast. Some manufacturers say one is needed every 3,000 miles, Others say up to 10,000 miles, so it’s important to check the owner’s manual for how often your vehicle needs one and whether it takes conventional or synthetic oil. Motor oil gets dirty, over time, and contaminants and impurities can do a number on the engine. Changing it also gives mechanics an opportunity to check the engine for other problems, which can be fixed before more damage is done and/or the vehicle breaks down in traffic.


Brake Service

The brakes should be checked every 5,000 miles—this should be at the top of your car maintenance checklist. Brake systems are designed to wear, which makes this so important. The longevity of brake pads depends on how much you drive, in what types of conditions you do, and how hard you hit the brakes.


Without maintenance, the pads will wear down until the rotor disc or drum and caliper are touching. This causes an audible squeaking sound; it will also reduce braking efficiency and potentially cause parts to fail, leaving nothing to stop the vehicle except the motorist, pedestrian, or structure in front of you.


Filter Replacement

Mechanics will replace your oil filter at the shop, to ensure the new lubricant stays clean. The air filter is also important to service. A clogged one can reduce acceleration and cause the engine to become contaminated. By replacing the filter on a schedule, it can improve fuel economy as well.


Tire Pressure

The tire pressure is something you can check yourself. A small, affordable gauge connects to each tire’s air valve, providing a direct reading of the pressure level. This should be done regularly and when the vehicle is serviced. Uneven levels will cause the treads to wear out faster and can reduce fuel efficiency.


Battery Replacement

Batteries lose their charging capacity over time. Four years is a good benchmark to consider replacement. The harsher the weather conditions and the greater the exposure to corrosive ocean salt, the more susceptible the battery, its cables, and connections are to damage. Replace the battery as soon as you need to jumpstart it; you won’t have long before the vehicle breaks down.


Inspection

Annual inspections are required by some states. Regardless, be sure to schedule service when the owner’s guide recommends it. Mechanics will check the fluids, filters, brakes, and see whether you need wires, spark plugs, timing belts, and other parts. By doing so, you can keep the vehicle running as efficiently and safely as possible.


Lubrication

All moving parts require lubrication, from oil for the engine to grease for suspension ball joints. Driveline components, wheel bearings, and other wear-prone moving parts will only last if they are properly lubricated. Friction, heat, and metal fatigue can otherwise cause premature and dangerous failures, but this is one of the most frequently neglected vehicle maintenance tips.


Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Wheel Bearing Maintenance Although these are not often maintained, check the manual for service intervals and when to have wheel bearings inspected, cleaned, and repacked. Greasing the wheel bearings costs much less than replacing spindles and hubs. It’s also something vehicle owners and occupants prefer over having wheels separate while driving.


Wash the Car

A thorough washing will remove dirt, chemicals, bugs, and bird droppings that can damage the wax and paint, so it shouldn’t be left off your basic car maintenance checklist. Visit a car wash, or, if washing the vehicle yourself, use a solution engineered specifically for automotive care. Also, hose off the underside, where road grime and salt can build up.


Clean the Inside

Cleaning Exteriror of car A quick vacuuming can remove dirt and sand and protect carpeting and other interior materials. Cleaning the seats can avoid premature wear, so tears and holes don’t become a problem after just a few years on the road. Inside and out, fix and paint over scratches, and repair or replace any loose or broken parts.


Protect the Interior

Interior plastic can be easily damaged by prolonged exposure to sunlight. To avoid this, try parking in the shade. You can also apply a UV-resistant covering to plastic and vinyl materials, or use a window deflector screen.


Windshield Maintenance

Windshield wipers don’t last forever. Change them as soon as they chatter, leave behind streaks, or tear, or if the glass is not cleared adequately when they’re working. By replacing wipers, you’ll be able to safely see the road ahead in precipitation and less-than-ideal conditions. Also, use a windshield glass cleaner for the window; home glass cleaners with ammonia will damage the heating elements that help defrost the windshield.


Keep Your Toyota in Top Condition

Always stick to the maintenance schedule recommended by car dealerships in Lancaster, CA, the mechanic, manufacturer, and owner’s manual. However, don’t ignore signs of trouble, either. Parts, belts, and hoses can break no matter how long they’re indicated to last. It’s therefore important to: 

  • Find the sources of any leaks, noise, odors, or changes in performance.
  • Check coolant, power steering, and brake fluids.
  • Listen to the engine, brakes, and suspension.
  • Service the vehicle quickly; minor repairs cost less than major ones.
  • Respond quickly to any warning lights on the dashboard.

Proper maintenance can extend your vehicle’s life by several years. However, the day will come when it’s time for a new car. That won’t be necessary unless repairs cost more than the value of the vehicle (small repairs, done before problems escalate, cost less and help parts and vehicles last longer). A new car may be the answer if rust compromises structural integrity, frequent repairs don’t improve reliability, or it succumbs to a serious accident or flood.


You can avoid problems with regular maintenance and by addressing signs of trouble. Never ignore the check engine light, Tire Pressure Monitoring System light, or brake light. Fluid checks, tire rotations, regular filter changes, oil changes, and inspections are important for the longevity, reliability, and safety of your ride. Never continue to drive if the engine overheats; the extreme heat can destroy critical parts, so turn off the ignition and get towed to the nearest service station.


There are many reasons to have a happy Toyota. It is a reputable brand, but your new or used vehicle will continue running smoothly and last only with proper care. Keeping up with maintenance is the key. For assistance, an oil change in Lancaster, CA (and information on specials), or to schedule a maintenance visit, contact Toyota of Lancaster via our service department at 855-682-2777.

Categories: Parts, Service, Body Shop
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