Many families make road trips part of their annual traditions, whether it’s going to Grandma’s house for the holidays or someplace exotic for a summer vacation. If you have a road trip in your near future, you need to make sure your car is ready to go. Here are a few common road trip maintenance tips to keep everything running smoothly.
Inspect Your Tires
Give all of your tires a thorough inspection, including your spare. Make sure they are all properly inflated and have enough tread depth. If you see any uneven wearing or cracks in your tires, you might need a new set before you hit the road.
No one wants to settle in for an hours-long ride in a hot car with no air conditioning. Get your HVAC system tested and recharged if it is feeling weak.
If you’ve fallen behind on any routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, or fluid top-offs, get your car back on track before you leave.
Check Your Battery
You don’t want to be left stranded with a dead battery in an unfamiliar location. Make sure your battery has enough power to make it through your trip.
Vacations are meant to be fun and relaxing, and unexpected car problems are a surefire way to ruin that. To get your vehicle checked before your trip, set up an appointment with the service department at Capital Toyota.
If you are purchasing a vehicle for the first time — or if it’s just been a while — you might be feeling a little nervous about the process. Before heading to Capital Toyota, review our tips for test driving a car.
Know what vehicles you want to test drive by researching
cars, trucks, and SUVs that fit your lifestyle and budget. Come with your
driver’s license and proof of insurance, and consider scheduling an appointment
to make sure you can get through all the vehicles on your list.
Inspect the vehicle
If buying used, do a thorough inspection of the condition of
the vehicle before driving it. You can also drive it to a trusted mechanic
during your test drive to have them look it over for you.
Drive it how you
would drive your daily driver
That means test it out on the highway at highway speeds,
test it out in city and suburbs driving (paying attention to how it brakes and
accelerates at intersections), and try parking in it in a lot or on the street.
Try out the features
Finding the right match isn’t just about exterior color and
horsepower. Also try out the infotainment system, climate control, and sound
system to ensure they all meet your needs.
If you’re ready to take a test drive, stop into Capital Toyota and we’ll make it happen.
We’ve all heard of winter emergency kits for our cars, but did you know that you should also pack a summer car emergency kit, especially here in the blistering heat of Chattanooga? Here are six essentials for your kit this summer:
- Water: In the scorching summer heat, there is nothing more important than staying hydrated, especially if your car breaks down and leaves you stranded. Keep a pack of bottled water in your trunk.
- Sun screen: If you are out on the road fixing your vehicle or waiting for a tow, be sure to protect your skin by applying sun screen.
- Blanket: It may be hot, but blankets will come in handy for providing shade from the sun if you are left stranded.
- Phone charger: Make sure you can call for help by keeping a phone charger in your car at all times.
- Visibility gear: Longer summer days mean we are more likely to stay out past dark. Pack a flashlight, flares, and hazard triangles, just in case you become stranded at night.
- Toolkit: Keep the essential tools for car repairs stored in your car. However, if you have zero car know-how, we recommend calling for roadside assistance instead.
These are just six of the many necessary items you can include in your summer car emergency kit. If you need a new ride to store it in, stop by Capital Toyota and see what we have on the lot.
At Capital Toyota, we look forward to the coming of spring all year long. Not only is it a welcomed break from cold winter weather, it’s also the perfect time to hit the road for a scenic drive. Before you do, though, it’s important to take care of some seasonal maintenance. The following are just three of the springtime services you should be considering for your vehicle.
From road salt to snow and ice, winter can be extra hard on windshield wipers. At the start of spring, make sure your car’s wipers aren’t bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged. Replacing them now is easy, inexpensive, and makes your car much safer. Since you should be replacing your wipers every six months or so, the turn of spring is the perfect time to get into the habit.
Rapidly changing temperatures can cause your tires to become deflated, so make a habit of keeping an eye on them throughout the winter. You should also be monitoring your tread level; consider replacing the whole set if any of your tires are looking particularly worn. Spring is also a great time to get your tires balanced and rotated.
Hit the Carwash
Doing a bit of spring car cleaning isn’t just a cosmetic measure. In fact, it’s important to wash your car after winter because it removes harmful salt and other corrosive materials that often build up on your vehicle during the winter. You’ll want to make sure that you pay special attention to the undercarriage, as salt can damage important suspension components and your muffler.
These are just three of the ways that you can ensure that you are taking care of your vehicle heading into the spring season. For more ideas, and to have these services performed by the experts, stop into Capital Toyota.
Every year, about 40% of adults in America set at least one resolution that they hope will change their life in some way. However, after about six months, nearly 60% of those people have already given up. So, how do you achieve your New Year’s resolutions? You follow these four steps.
- Focus on actions. Instead of thinking, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” focus on working to be healthier by watching what you eat and planning workouts.
- Make realistic goals. While we all have an ideal image of what we would like to be in our minds, it is unrealistic for most people. Set a goal that you can actually reach. So, plan to save $100 a month instead of $500, for example.
- Think positively. Have a positive outlook for your goals. In addition, have a plan for certain obstacles. Like, if you are trying to save money, when your friends ask you to go out, invite them to a potluck at your house instead.
- Get support. Talk to friends and family about your goals. You might find others with similar resolutions. You can work together to motivate each other and get some accountability.
If your plan is to save money for a new car, we can help you out. Give us a call at Capital Toyota when you are ready, and we can get you a great deal.
We’re a few weeks away from the New Year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your resolutions. Instead of focusing on yourself, why not pick a resolution for your car? Check out these helpful New Year resolutions for your car recommended by us here at Capital Toyota.
Be More Efficient
Toyota vehicles may offer exceptional efficiency, but that doesn’t mean you can hammer down the gas pedal without consequence. If you find yourself constantly speeding, odds are you’re getting less-than-average fuel economy.
Aiming to become a more efficient driver will be beneficial for both your car and wallet. All you have to do is slow down and leave yourself more time to get to your destination.
Keep Up With Maintenance
Routine maintenance is a necessity for drivers who want their vehicle to last as long as possible. Oil changes, tire rotations, and frequent inspections can help prevent, and spot, potential problems before they become a drain on your finances.
Consult your owner’s manual, then make a service appointment at your local dealership to get your New Year resolution offer to a good start!
Idling is a bad habit that can hurt your wallet, vehicle, and the environment. While idling has been the go-to method of warming up your car during winter, that’s no longer the best choice. Instead, driving at a moderate speed will help your vehicle warm up faster.
Stop idling and get on the road! You’ll save yourself time and money in 2018.
For years, Toyota has been working with Cincinnati Children’s on the Buckle Up for Life program, dedicated to educating parents on the importance of car seats. In honor of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which ran September 17th through the 23rd, Buckle Up For Life teamed up with millennial parent publication The Bump in order to give new parents all across the U.S. their very own car seat for free in order to raise awareness and protect new, young lives.
How did the program work? For every new registry created by upcoming parents on The Bump’s website or its mobile app, Buckle Up For Life contributed a new car seat to a family in need and provided them with information for how to correctly install it. Both organizations hope to improve the statistic that three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, endangering the lives of young passengers.
Nikki Jordan, a Cincinnati resident who received a car seat through the program, stated, “Not only did they provide a new car seat for my child, but they made sure to educate us on car seat safety. Buckle Up for Life made sure that the car seat was properly installed and even showed myself and my husband how to properly install it. I can’t thank them enough!”
Ask us at Capital Toyota about Buckle Up For Life or check out The Bump’s website for more information.
When springtime rolls around, you don’t want a dusty, dirty, car. If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, here are some tips on washing your own car.
Okay, so you know you’ll need water, but what other products should you use to wash your car? What you don’t want to use are household cleaners, dishwashing detergent, or glass cleaner. These are a little too harsh for the paint on cars. Instead, use a product that’s specifically for cars, like a wash & wax product from an auto store.
Use a sponge or lamb’s wool mitt. Why lamb’s wool? It’s soft and gentle on your car’s paint. Make sure to use a separate sponge on your tires because you don’t want to carry the grit and dirt from the tires to the paint.
When you actually get to washing your car, avoid moving the sponge or mitt in circles. Try moving it lengthwise across the hood and body. Be sure to rinse all car surfaces with water first before using soap.
Drying the Car
Be careful not to the let the car air dry. This can leave watermarks and streaks on your car. Instead, use terry towels or a chamois to try your car and blot up the water with them.
If you need extra, serious body work done to your vehicle, bring it to Capital Toyota’s service department!
Winter is finally fading away, which means there’s plenty of time to start preparing your car for spring. Waving goodbye to the cold means saying hello to warmer weather. Unfortunately, that warmer weather can cause some problems of its own. Take some time to prepare properly with these spring car care tips from us at Capital Toyota!
- Lights – Spring may bring warmer weather to the region, but it also brings heavy rains. Properly working lights are a necessity in normal driving conditions, let alone in heavy rains. Take the time to do a quick walk around your vehicle to make sure the headlights, taillights, and turn signals are all functioning properly. Replace any burnt bulbs as necessary.
- Wipers – If you’re like most drivers, odds are you found yourself using your windshield wipers frequently through the winter season. Snow, ice, and cold can do a number on wipers, which means you’re likely due for a new set. A new set is pretty inexpensive and your owner’s manual can provide installation instructions for your specific vehicle.
- Engine – Even if it wasn’t an issue in winter, your engine could have problems in warmer weather. Listen for odd sounds, rough idling, or anything else out of the ordinary. Have anything strange checked out by a professional before spring really arrives to avoid any potential problems.
If you’re having trouble starting your car, a number of issues could be at play. Different symptoms mean different things, so follow these tips on figuring out why your car won’t start and how to fix it. In any of these cases, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected afterward, even if you get your car started!
If the car is silent when you turn the key, your battery cables may be corroding and need to replaced. You can check this by forcing a screwdriver between the connector and terminal post and lodge it in, then try to start the car. If it starts, the cables are bad.
If you can hear the car crank but it won’t start, you may have bad spark plugs or a problem with your fuel line. A clicking noise when you turn the key means a dead battery or loose wiring, so if you have jumper cables and a friend whose car you can use, try to jump it.
When you go to jump a car, you have to follow specific steps to avoid messing up both batteries. Get the cars close enough together, nose to nose, for the cables to reach, and attach the cables like so: Clip the red cable to your positive terminal. Clip the other end of the red cable to other car’s positive terminal. Clip the black cable to other car’s negative terminal. Clip the other end of black cable to a metal spot on your car away from the battery.
Try to start the car. Once it’s started, detach the cables in reverse order and drive the car around a bit to recharge the battery.
Don’t forget to come into the dealership to get it inspected for any additional issues!