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It might be argued that the greatest feature of Toyota cars and trucks is their longeveity, and by proxy, robust design. Toyota vehicles are meant to be used to the fullest. Whether you are a soccer mom/dad, a nine to five rush hour road warrior, an off-road outdoor enthusiast or all of the above your Toyota can be stretched to its limits and beyond. With that in mind, it makes good sense to regularly maintain your prized vehicle so that it remains in great working condition for when you are ready to trade it in for a new edition.
Today, we take a look at some very practical yet useful tips to maintaining the life of your Toyota.
6 Tips to Maintaining Your Toyota Vehicle
1. Regular (and Right) Oil Change
The most obvious maintenance tip is the most important and yet probably the most misinterpreted. While enhancements in engine manufacturing continue to improve upon oil efficiency you should still change your oil at least twice per year, regardless how often or not you have your vehicle out on the road. This will keep your warranty intact and allow you increase the life of your car beyond the warranty. How do you know if you should change your oil more than twice per year? If you do a lot of stop/start driving (common to urban settings), drive in dusty/dirty conditions (common to rural areas or industrial zones) or do a lot of towing (traits common to contractors and outdoor recreational enthusiasts alike) you should change your engine oil more frequently. Climate also plays a role in how often you need to change your oil. Moist and/cold climates create environments conducive to engine oil contamination. Combine the climate with short run-times and condensation can increase within engines. In addition, freezing temperatures equal longer engine warm-up periods which may also increase the amount of raw fuel and carbon levels in engine oils. Ultimately, every Toyota model is unique, and thus it is recommended that you refer to your Toyota's owners manual for information on how often you should change your oil, and then factor in the usage factors addressed above. Also remember to change your oil filter with every oil change.
Lastly, use the right oil. Engine oils are not created equally. You drive a Toyota so use an oil made specifically for your make and model - a Toyota Genuine Motor Oil.
2. Replace Your Air Filter
Your engine needs to breathe. A recent study from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) documented the detrimental impact of a clogged engine air filter on older vehicles with carbureted engines. A polluted filter can reduce gas mileage by up to 14 percent. While the make and model of your Toyota will help determine when you should change your air filter, the same conditions which impact oil health apply here too. As a general guide, drivers in urban settings should change engine air filters every 25,000-50,000 km. Drivers in rural or industrial environments will need to change filters more frequently. Follow this Toyota guide on how to replace an air filter if you intend on doing so on your own.
3. Replace Parts with Make and Model Specific Parts
Trying to cut corners when it comes to replacement parts only ends up costing more in the long run and can effect your warranty. It's common for our service team to find patchwork fixes done by other mechanics. More often than not it leads to poor vehicle performance, or worse, more costly maintenance bills. From spark plug to muffler every part that becomes a part of your Toyota should be one manufactured specifically to your make and model.
4. Check Tire Pressure Often
Low tire pressure contributes to poor fuel efficiency, tire wear and tear, and improper alignment. Don't just check your tire pressure before long weekend road trips and the like. Make it a more frequent habit. Tires naturally lose as much as 1.5 psi per month. If you factor in unique climate, environmental, and personal usage it simply makes sense to check your tire pressure once per month.
5. Keep it Clean Inside and Out (and with the Right Solutions)
This is a simple tip that can have an impact on the life and trade-in/resale value of your Toyota yet often goes overlooked. There is more at play aside from surface level aesthetics. When a layer of dirt and grime (including everything from bird droppings, airborne particles, dust, and dead insects) builds on your vehicle a chemical reaction can ensue and take its toll on your paint, causing it to discolor and chip. Keeping the inside of your vehicle clean is also essential, not only for the sake of driver/passenger comfort, but to keep vents and auto-infotainment components free of debris which can get in an impact functioning. Dish soap is not nearly as effective at cleaning and protect your vehicle as Toyota specific cleaning solutions.
6. Bring Your Toyota in for Annual Servicing
You schedule regular dental check ups twice per year. The same should apply to your car. What sets Toyota apart from other brands is the after-sales service available at premium local dealerships. For instance, at our Greater Vancouver dealership we are equipped to perform all of your Toyota's maintenance and repair under warranty, regardless of where your automobile was purchased. Factory-trained technicians, with the latest diagnostic equipment and ongoing manufacturer training, are on site and committed to providing you and your car with the best service possible. While a general guideline of 6 months or 8,000 km (whichever comes first) applies, every Toyota model is unique, which is why we have provided this Toyota maintenance calendar to use as a reference.
If you reside anywhere in the Lower Mainland we encourage you to schedule your next service appointment online, or contact us anytime at 1.877.458.2107. We also invite you to visit our New Westminster dealership at your convenience to witness the care we provide you and your vehicle.