Toyota is a brand that has built a reputation for being reliable and for achieving many more miles than the average vehicle. Toyota has certainly won some pretty loyal customers because of their vehicle longevity. However, if you want to give your vehicle the best chance of lasting as long as possible, it is important to keep up on its recommended maintenance schedule. You can do this through the expert care of a Toyota service department or, if you have the know-how, at home.
But what exactly is a recommended maintenance schedule? Should you visit a Toyota service department rather than doing all the work yourself? What can you really do to increase the lifespan of your beloved vehicle?
Determining Your Vehicle’s Regular Maintenance Schedule
No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, its maker sent it to you with a recommended maintenance schedule. This schedule, if followed, will increase the longevity of your vehicle. Additionally, many car manufacturers won’t honor your car’s warranty if you don’t keep up with this schedule. And of course, when your car is checked out on a regular basis, you can stay on top of any upcoming issues and address them before they become an expensive or even a dangerous problem.
When you brought home your Toyota, you were also sent with a user manual. This user manual contains the details pertaining to your vehicle’s recommended service instructions. The manual goes into detail and tells you exactly which pieces of equipment and which fluids need to be taken care of at exactly which mileage checkpoint. However, nobody likes to dig through their owner’s manual in order to find all this info, so today, we’re going to touch on some of the most important things you should stay on top of.
Toyota Maintenance Guide
One of the easiest things you can do for your vehicle is to change the oil and oil filter according to the suggested schedule. Unfortunately, this is also a task that many people either choose to forgo for financial or convenience purposes or forget about altogether. Keeping clean oil in your car’s engine will ensure all the moving components keep working properly and don’t get full of harmful particles or sludge. If you neglect oil changes for too long, you’re going to find yourself in need of some very expensive repairs, or perhaps an all-around engine replacement.
Toyota recommends full synthetic oil for all their vehicles, which means your oil changes can take place roughly every 10,000 miles. However, you should still bring your vehicle to the service center at every 5,000-mile checkpoint at minimum to make sure everything is still working properly. This is also a good time to top off your other fluids and do a quick tire rotation.
Speaking of tires, in order to keep your vehicle safely on the road, staying on top of your tire care is going to be very important. You’ll want to rotate your tires to prevent uneven wear and tear. When your tires wear unevenly, you are more likely to experience a blowout, and while those are never fun, they are especially not fun while driving 70 mph down the highway. While rotating your tires might seem mundane, this is the kind of thing that can save you lots of money, not to mention lives.
Changing your vehicle’s air filter is another simple act that can improve performance, as is staying on top of your coolant levels. If your car’s engine cannot breath, or if it gets too hot, you’re going to be in for a world of problems. Make sure your air filter gets changed and your coolant system gets flushed and replaced every 30,000-40,000 miles.
It is recommended that you change your vehicle’s brake pads every 30,000-60,000 miles so that your brakes stay dependable. If you frequently ride your brakes or spend more time driving in the city than on the highway, you’ll want to lean towards the lower end of this range. Regardless, your brake fluids should be flushed every 20,000 miles to keep things running smoothly and to keep temperature levels where they should be.
When you are taking your vehicle to a service department every 5,000 miles, your mechanic can also take a look at other critical components such as the suspension, the spark plugs and gaskets, and power steering components, just to name a few. It is a lot easier and cheaper to change one tiny part than it is to allow that part to cause a whole myriad of damage. This is why it’s so important to stay on top of your Toyota’s regularly scheduled care.
Toyota’s No Cost Maintenance Plan
When you buy a brand new Toyota from a Toyota dealer, your vehicle comes with what’s known as a ToyotaCare, which is a no-cost maintenance plan. This means that for the first two years, all of your vehicle’s normally scheduled services will be covered for the first two years or 25,000 miles. This includes things such as oil changes and fluid checks, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections.
ToyotaCare also comes with 24-hour roadside assistance for two whole years regardless of mileage, so if you ever need to fix a flat or get a tow, Toyota’s got you covered. This roadside assistance also includes saving you if you run out of gas or accidentally get locked out of your car. Thanks to ToyotaCare, now there’s absolutely no reason to neglect your vehicle! Take advantage of this great service and keep your Toyota running in tip-top shape.
Why Go to a Toyota Service Department?
One of the most obvious reasons to go to a Toyota Service Department is expertise. Not only does each service center provide you with access to a certified mechanic, but this mechanic is going to be specially trained. Rather than having a general overall knowledge about cars and how to fix them, Toyota service center mechanics have learned the ins and outs of Toyotas.
These service personnel are true experts in the world of Toyota mechanics and know just about everything there is to know about Toyotas, so you know you’ll be getting the best care possible. And each service center will have a collection of specialty tools and parts that will fit your vehicle like a glove. Because of the quality standards to which Toyotas are built, they tend to require unique tools and equipment that are sometimes difficult to come by. But when you go to a Toyota service department, your mechanic will have all these specialty tools at their beck and call.
You might be tempted to save yourself some upfront money by doing the work yourself or taking your car to a neighbor, but think again. Those couple of dollars you saved could cost you thousands in the long run if you void your vehicle’s warranty. Check your specific warranty information for details pertaining to you, but most warranties state that if you take the vehicle into a mechanic that is not approved by Toyota, they will not honor any breakdowns or failures your vehicle may experience, meaning you’ll be sitting high and dry. Was that $8,000 engine repair you had to foot really worth saving $10 or $20 bucks on an at-home oil change? I don’t think so.
Your Toyota Will Thank You
When you take care of your Toyota, your Toyota will take care of you. Whether you plan to sell your car a few years down the road or drive it for the next few decades, keeping on top of the scheduled maintenance can only help you. When you are ready to sell your car, its value will go up with a record of service, or if you plan to hand your vehicle down to a family member in need, you can rest assured knowing it’s been properly cared for. So what are you waiting for? Find a Toyota service department near you and schedule your car’s next service check today!