How to Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Get Your Car Ready For WinterSummer has come and gone, and the blazing heat will soon be replaced by the bone-aching cold. Like in summer, winter requires some preparation in order to keep your car in working order and prevent an accident. Here are a few ways you can get your car ready for winter from us here at Capital Toyota!


  • Tires – The winter roads are known for being slick and dangerous. Tires with low tread simply won’t be able to deliver the maximum traction and safety. Check your tires and if there’s little tread left, replace them before winter strikes. Doing so could save more than just your car.
  • Battery – Your car’s battery has to work hard year-round, making it one of the most vital components of your vehicle. That’s why it’s important to make sure it can hold a charge. Since a car requires more current to start in winter, an old or weak battery simply won’t do. Check your battery and replace it if it’s a few years old or has any obvious signs of damage.
  • Oil – The oil is responsible for protecting the engine and that’s just as true in winter as it is in summer. For the most part, getting an oil change in winter is a sensible precaution in modern cars. Older cars, however, might need different oils in summer and in winter due to different requirements in oil viscosity.

2017 Toyota Corolla Changes

2017 Toyota Corolla

The 2017 Toyota Corolla is the latest iteration of the Corolla, and the bestselling nameplate is seeing some significant changes for the model year. In addition to absorbing a Scion model, the latest Corolla’s pricing is out in the open. With the new pricing, the Toyota Corolla sees a number of changes that range from improved safety to cosmetic details.

2017 Toyota Corolla iM
2017 Toyota Corolla iM

Scion has officially left the showroom and the Scion iM hatchback has joined the Corolla lineup as the lowest priced model. As for looks, the new Corolla gains a shiny new front fascia and the LED headlight option have changed.


Technology-wise, all Corolla models come with a standard rearview camera as well as the Safety Sense-P system. That system includes advanced technologies like Forward Collision Prevention with Emergency Auto Braking. Toyota plans to roll out the safety system to all models by 2018 with the Corolla leading the pack.

The Toyota Corolla’s prices change across the board. The largest changes come with just under a 3.5% increase on the Corolla L, coming in at $18,500. The Corolla XSE, on the other hand, falls just under 2% compared to the 2016 at $22,680.

Here at Capital Toyota, we’re happy to see the 2017 Toyota Corolla leading the charge with improved safety features!

How to Hand-Wash Your Car

How to Hand-Wash Your Car - Tips from Capital ToyotaGoing through the car wash is definitely the least time-consuming way to get your car clean (not to mention it’s totally fun), but the best way to take care of its body and paint job is to hand-wash your car. Here are some tips on the best ways to clean your car without damaging the paint!

How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

First of all, ideally you should wash your car about once a week. This isn’t realistic for everyone, but even if you live in an apartment without access to a hose, you can fill up a couple of buckets of water and take them out to your car. Try to wash your car once a week regardless, but if you get bird droppings, tree sap, or dead bugs on your car, wash them off as soon as possible.

Which Products Should You Use on Your Car?

When choosing what products to use, pick a product that’s designed for car washing, not a household cleaner. Have a couple of sponges and use one to clean the wheels and tires, then others to clean the rest of the car.

How Should I Wash My Car?

Rinse your car with water before you start washing with soap. Avoid washing your car when it’s hot, as it will make the soap dry out faster, which can be bad for your paint job. When washing with the sponge, don’t rub it in circles but instead move it in straight lines. Rinse the sponge often!

How Should I Dry My Car After Washing?

Don’t let your car air dry. Dry with soft terrycloth towels and blot at the water instead of wiping.

Meet Capital Toyota’s Assistant Service Manager

Capital Toyota’s Assistant Service Manager - Donnie Thacker
Capital Toyota’s Assistant Service Manager – Donnie Thacker

Capital Toyota is excited to introduce our new Assistant Service Manager, Donnie Thacker. Originally from East Ridge, Tennessee, Donnie has been working in the car dealership industry for 28 years. Donnie started working on Capital Toyota’s pre-owned lot sweeping the shop when he was 16 and slowly worked his way up to this position. Congratulations, Donnie!

Donnie is dedicated to serving the entire Chattanooga area, and Capital Toyota will service any make and model of car. If we don’t have the part on hand, we’ll get it from a local parts store as quickly as possible.

Donnie loves working at Capital Toyota because of his passion for cars, people, and the McKamey family, who founded the dealership in 1966. Capital Toyota is where Donnie met his wife, and their fifteenth wedding anniversary is in just a couple of weeks!

Cars are a big part of Donnie’s personal life, too—he races them in his free time and he even acted as pit manager for his son Trey’s kart races. Donnie’s favorite Toyota is the 2001 Tundra he drives, and he loves the outdoors and hunting and fishing with Trey.

Donnie has been an important part of the staff here at Capital Toyota for a long time, and he’ll make sure your car gets the very best service around, regardless of make and model!


Next time you’re in for service, say “HI” to Donnie!


Top Summer Adventures in the Chattanooga Area

Tennessee is filled with all sorts of fun experiences, and the Chattanooga area is no different, offering plenty of attractions, views, and cultural activities for both residents and visitors. With so many things to do, Chattanooga can become a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together a guide to the area’s top summer adventures for everyone looking for a good time.

Beat the Heat

Splash around in Lake Winnie’s SoakYa water park or The Passage. If you’re looking for a more thrilling experience, burrow 260 feet underground in a 60-degree year-round cavern to view the beautiful Ruby Falls.

Animal Encounters

Between the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Zoo, there are plenty of opportunities to see animal life up close and personal. Alternately, search for the legendary gnomes on the Lookout Mountain garden trails.

Play in the River

The Tennessee River is right there, and whether you want to take a guided boat tour or rent your own watercraft for a day of exploration, you can experience its scenic blue waters.

Musical Summer Evenings

Check out Chattanooga’s local event calendar for information on any upcoming music festivals or concerts. There’s plenty this summer, so make a note in your personal planner.

There are plenty more top summer adventures in Chattanooga, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of everything the city has to offer. Take the time to explore the area and find some adventures of your own!

Help Us Donate to the Fallen Five Fund

A year ago this month, on July 16th, a terror attack happened down the street from our dealership here at Capital Toyota. This hit close to home and greatly affected the members of our community. As a result, for the month of July we would like to help customers support the Fallen Five fund. Called the 7-16 Freedom Fund and started by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, this fund is dedicated to supporting the expenses of the families affected by the attack.

Support the Fallen Five with Capital Toyota and Lexus of Chattanooga this July

Interested in knowing how to help? It’s easy. All you have to do is go to our dealership’s Google+ page and leave a review. For every review left on our page during the month of July, Capital Toyota and Lexus of Chattanooga will be donating $5 to the fund. That’s all. It doesn’t matter if your experiences with us are recent, if it’s been a few years, or if you didn’t even buy anything — if you leave a review, you’re helping us give back to the local community.  You can also leave a review for Lexus of Chattanooga as well!

The Fallen Five fund will go towards not only supporting the daily financial struggles of those who lost loved ones in the attack, but towards the post-secondary educations of the children and relatives left behind by victims. You’re also free to donate to the fund yourself through the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.

Visit the Tennessee Aquarium

Whether you are visiting Chattanooga or live here, the Tennessee Aquarium is an attraction that should not be missed! Visitors rate it the Best Aquarium in America for overall guest satisfaction, and it is easy to see why!

River Journey, the first Tennessee Aquarium building
River Journey, the first Tennessee Aquarium building, Chattanooga, TN. Photo by TheCustomOfLife

The Aquarium offers a remarkable journey through aquatic areas and animals through two buildings. Located on the beautiful downtown riverfront, the River Journey building traces the path for freshwater from the mountains to the sea. In these exhibits, you will see brightly colored trout, mischievous alligators, curious otters, and other freshwater animals.


Ocean Journey viewed from Ross's Landing Park
Ocean Journey, the second Tennessee Aquarium building, Chattanooga, TN. Photo by Womump


The second building is called Ocean Journey and focuses on saltwater habitats. These exhibits house playful penguins, touchable stringrays, and beautiful displays of coral reefs. Immerse yourself in the marine life of the ocean and discover great diversity.



You will need at least two hours to visit the Aquarium, but we highly encourage spending more time there. There are also many free animal programs throughout the day which enhance the Aquarium experience.

In addition to the two buildings, there is an IMAX theater which will take you to beautiful new places!  There is an extra fee, but it is definitely worth the experience! For even more of an experience, add a trip on the River Gorge Explorer. An Aquarium naturalist will guide the two-hour excursion, help spot wildlife, and bring local history to life.

There is even a free Tennessee Aquarium app which you can use to plan your visit! We at Capital Toyota hope you find time this summer to visit our amazing Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

News of the Toyota-BMW Sports Car

We at Capital Toyota are thrilled to hear the update on the Toyota-BMW sports car!


If the combination of Toyota and BMW sounds crazy to you, you are not in the minority! However, Toyota and BMW have been discussing a partnership to build a two-door, rear-drive sports car since 2011. It has been kept very low-key, but now there is some news that brings this sports car to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

The new rumor is that the car will be built by the Austria manufacturing firm, Magna Steyr. Magna Steyr is the company that creates the Mercedes G-Wagen, so they know what they are doing!

BMW CEO Harold Krueger states that, “BMW has a long roadster tradition” which is why the replacement of the BMW Z4 is crucial. The new roadster will be the BMW Z5, but the Toyota sports car has yet to be named. We are hoping it might be the new Toyota Supra!

The car production is rumored to begin in 2018 and have a target of 60,000 cars per year. We are waiting to see if the car is the new Toyota Supra or a new sports car, so for now we will try to be patient!

Toyota Donates $1 Million to SAE’s LearnTwice Program

Toyota Motor North America understands the importance of creating a highly-educated future, which is why it has donated $1 million to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives, particularly its LearnTwice program.

Toyota Supports SAE’s LearnTwice“SAE International is honored and humbled by Toyota’s generosity and its confidence in our STEM programs,” said David L. Schutt, PhD, SAE International chief executive officer, in a statement. “As a leader and long-time partner in the STEM community, Toyota’s gift to the SAE International Foundation will allow us to further invest in our entire K-16 STEM portfolio that supports the next generation of engineers through their educational journey.”

Through SAE’s LearnTwice program, college students work with younger children in grades K-12 to teach and demonstrate STEM concepts. This program is based on the idea that when you help teach someone else something, you reinforce that knowledge in yourself, which is like learning something twice.

Here at Capital Toyota, we are proud to be part of a company that wants to invest in the future of our country by helping to educate the next generation, which we feel is one of the best investments anyone can make.

Mother’s Day Car Gifts

Mother’s Day comes early this year. It’s right around the corner on Sunday, May 8th. When you think about it, moms probably spend as much, if not more time in their cars than the rest of us. Just imagine how many hours a week she spends playing chauffeur. So, whether you’re shopping for your own mom, your wife, or another mother in your life, here are some Mother’s Day car gifts to make her time in the car more enjoyable.

  • Detailing. Any mom, especially those with young kids, would LOVE the gift of a car detailing. The stashes of old goldfish crackers, sticky lollipops, and more won’t clean themselves and Mom definitely doesn’t have time to clean it. Whether you choose to clean it up personally or pay a professional, Mom will thank you.
  • Music. Many of us like to listen to our favorite tunes while we drive. Give her the chance to do the same. You can give her the gift of a satellite radio subscription, or create a playlist with a range of music that will keep the whole family happy—and a happy family equals a happy mom.
  • Mother’s Day Car GiftsComfort. Give the mom in your life the gift of a more comfortable drive. Things like seat warming cushions, lumbar support cushions, or a neck cushion and lap blanket for when she isn’t driving.
  • Love. Telling your mom or wife that you love her will always warm her heart, but surprise words of appreciation and affection have an extra nice touch. Hide sticky notes with words of love throughout her car for her to find and it might just have the magical touch of turning a bad day into a great one.

Are you planning any Mother’s Day car gifts this year?