Friday, September 29, 2017

Learn about the dangers of potholes!

Picture it. You’re driving on one of Orlando’s many highways. Everything is going well, there’s not that much traffic and then WHAM! All of a sudden your car lurches and you feel like you’ve left your undercarriage behind you! You’ve probably had the misfortune of hitting a pothole. Potholes just aren’t unfortunate things to go through, they can cause some serious damage to your car! Our team at Toyota of Orlando is here to warn you about the dangers of these road hazards in addition to what to do if you think you have suffered damage from these pesky pits.
Avoid road hazards

What makes a pothole so dangerous?

We always suggest avoiding potholes at all cost. You can do that by practicing safe driving tips and being aware of your surroundings. What makes hitting these gaps in the asphalt so dangerous? They can potential cause pretty serious damage to your car! Here are some ways they can hurt your Orlando vehicle:

Suspension - When you hit a pothole, your car’s suspension is taking a major hit! Your car’s suspension is the reason why your Orlando Toyota is easy to handle and your passengers stay comfortable on rides. 

Alignment - If you hit a pothole that’s too deep or you hit it too hard, this could cause big troubles for your car tires and their alignment. Tire alignment is important to your car’s performance because when it’s off, you can have side effects like drifting on the road, your car pulling to the side, or the feeling of vibration in your steering wheel.
Fix car damage in Orlando

Fix damage from potholes at Toyota of Orlando

Do you think you are suffering from damage thanks to these annoying ditches in the road? Here’s how our service team in Orlando can help:

Car tire service - Not only can potholes affect your tire alignment, they can affect the tire itself! Not only can bulges and blistering occur, if you hit the edge hard enough it can cause a puncture or rip! Reduce your risk of a blowout by having your car tires inspected, and always keep a spare handy just in case. 

Exhaust service - Did you hear a clang when you hit the road, you could have damage to your exhaust. If you hear that, be sure to bring in your Orlando Toyota to our service center to get it looked at by our experts. If it stays damaged for too long, your car won’t function in the way that it’s supposed to. 

Do you need one of our Orlando auto service experts to look at your vehicle after you hit a pothole too hard? Bring it in! Our service center is open until 10pm every day. We’re located at 3575 Vineland Road just off I-4 near the Millenia Mall. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (407) 298-4500.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to jump start a dead car battery

You’re late for work, rushing to your car only to be greeted with that dreadful clicking noise we all never want to hear – the clicking of a dead car battery. However, there’s no need to feel helpless. Our Toyota of Orlando service staff is here to give you quick and easy-to-follow instructions on how to jump start your car and get back on the road! 

Jump start your car battery

Bring your car battery back to life

First things first, we always recommend you have a set of jumper cables in your vehicle in case this ever happens when you’re not home. Then, you will need to call a friend or flag down a helping hand to jump your car from. Once you have the right setup it’s time to get started!

1. Line both cars up as close as you can nose to nose.

2. Put both vehicles into park and start their ignitions.

3. Take one of the red clips and attach it to the positive (+) terminal on your car battery. Follow suit on the battery of the other car, ensuring both clips are securely fastened.

4. Now take one of the black clips and attach it to the negative (-) port of your car battery.

5. Take the fourth clamp and clip it onto a different surface away from the battery of the other car but make sure it is unpainted metal. This is to ensure that you have a safe jump without any sparks flying.

6. Start the working car’s engine. Then start your car. Don’t be discouraged if this takes a couple of tries.

7. Once you hear the roar of your engine you can remove the clips from both vehicles.

8. Drive around for 15 to 20 minutes before turning off your car to make sure your battery is recharged a bit.

9. Don’t forget to thank your friend for helping you get your car back on the road!

And there you have it! Jump starting your car is really that easy. Just as with any car maintenance, be sure to make safety your number one priority.

Toyota of Orlando car service

If your vehicle doesn't start back up after completing all of these steps call your local towing service to get your car into our Orlando Toyota service center so we can diagnose the problem. Typically, a jump start failure signifies your battery is too old or your car is having problems with:
  • battery corrosion
  • starter connection
  • vehicle fuses
  • a faulty alternator
  • the ignition switch
Orlando service coupons and price-matching - oh my! 
Once you have your vehicle back up and running make it a priority to head into our Orlando Toyota dealership so we can check out if your battery is due to be replaced. We offer price-matching on batteries and have several different Toyota Service Coupons for you to choose from.  Call our Orlando car service center at (866) 945-0493 and schedule your appointment today!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Orlando auto service your car needs this fall

The first day of fall is almost here! We are on the cusp of enjoying cooler weather, shorter days and premature Halloween candy. The autumn weather calls for more adventures which means more driving time. Whether you’re heading north to see the changing foliage or driving to your local pumpkin patch, you’ll want to give your Orlando Toyota some attention before you hit the road. So as you are eagerly bringing out your cinnamon brooms and Jack-o-lanterns, our Toyota of Orlando service staff wants to remind you to celebrate the season with some fall auto service.

Toyota of Orlando fall auto service

Let Toyota of Orlando get your car in fall shape 

We sat down with our Toyota technicians to see what service appointments you need to be scheduling this fall. Let’s check out what they suggested:

      Brake service: If the change of season means taking a trip to see the family up north, your brakes need to be in optimal condition. With more people driving on the highway for the holidays you’ll want to make sure you can come to an immediate stop if necessary. Ensure you have your brake linings, rotors, and drums checked.  

      Headlight restoration: Do you find yourself squinting even with your headlights on? With fall that will just worsen - shorter days, driving in the rain and foggy mornings will only decrease your visibility. For your safety, schedule an appointment to have your yellowed or burnt-out bulbs restored.

     Tire service: Avoid highway sliding on wet roads and leaves by having your tires checked. You want to make sure you have the correct tire pressure and that they are rotated. This will prevent you from having to replace your tires due to uneven tread. 

     Windshield wiper change: Combat the autumn rain and fog with new wiper blades. After the long summer months of constant rainy driving your wiper blades are most likely due to be replaced. If they are smearing, leaving a milky film, or squeaking you know it’s time. 

 Orlando car maintenance

More suggestions for fall car maintenance 

With changes in weather and driving conditions you will want to consider these other basic auto services as well:
  • Coolant and other fluid top-off: Start the season off right with fresh coolant and a top-off on all of your essential car fluids.
  •  Oil change: After the hot Central Florida summer your car may be experiencing an oil build up. Make sure your motor oil is properly lubricating your engine to avoid serious damage. Come in for a cheap oil change and avoid expensive future repairs.
  • Battery change: Your car battery is supposed to be changed every 3 to 5 years. If it’s been a hot minute, let our technicians change it for you! 
  • A/C and heater service: Experience the most comfortable driving conditions and proper use of your defroster as you head into colder climates.
Now that you know what auto services you need to schedule, call us today and start your fall season off on the right foot – or tire. We are always running Orlando service specials and are open seven days a week at 3575 Vineland Road! See you soon!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The 411 on car suspension

Throughout your driving life you probably have heard the term car suspension thrown around, but do you know what this part of your vehicle is and what it does? If not, Toyota of Orlando is here to clear the air and give you the rundown on your suspension system and how to know when it’s time to get it repaired. 

Car suspension maintenance

A car’s suspension is very important to the overall quality of a vehicle’s drive. This system is responsible for attaching your vehicle to its wheels, thus determining the handling quality of your ride. A good suspension is essential for proper stopping, steering, and stability. Your suspension is in charge of alleviating the impact on vital parts of your vehicle that stem from rough driving. Any time you hit potholes, bumps, or objects on the road your suspension system absorbs the impact and helps you maintain control. 

The symptoms of car suspension problems

A car’s suspension is composed of multiple joints and pivot points that permit your wheels to handle bumps, up and down movements, and turns while steering. All of these complex parts simply wear out over time. When this wearing occurs the parts of your car suspension don’t come together as they should. This will cause your steering and handling to feel loose and your tires to wear unevenly.  As you can see it is very important to know the signs of when it’s time for this kind of maintenance. The main indicators of necessary suspension repair are:

  • Excessive swaying: Is your Orlando Toyota swaying significantly to the left or right when making sharp turns? Does your vehicle lean far back when you press the gas pedal? This means your suspension could be worn down and needs immediate attention.

  • Uneven tire wear: If the wear on your tires seems to be uneven this could be an indicator that your car suspension isn’t distributing weight onto your tires evenly.
  • Dipped corner: If all of your tires are properly inflated but one side of your vehicle appears to be dipped down farther than the other then you have a suspension issue. When this system wears down on one side it will make your car look lop-sided.

  • Oily shocks: Take a peek under your vehicle. If your shocks have any oil residue or grease on them, this means they are leaking fluid and need to be replaced.  

  • A rough or bumpy performance: If your car is bumping up and down as if you’re off roading then this typically means your suspension is on its way downhill. A good way to double check this is the “bounce test”. Do this by pressing down on the hood of your vehicle. A car with a good suspension will typically bounce once and then return to its resting position. However, a vehicle with a worn suspension will bounce three to four times. 
Orlando Toyota car service

Toyota of Orlando can help
As you can see, there are several easily recognized signals to tell you when it’s time to give your car's suspension some attention. Our Orlando auto service techs recommend that you keep an eye out for these signs. Taking heed of these warnings will help you save a pretty penny in the future. After all, you don’t want to wear down new tires early just because of an ignored suspension problem. 

Next time your car experiences any of these symptoms hit the nail on the head and come on into Toyota of Orlando. We are open seven days at 3575 Vineland Road just off of I-4. Call us at (407) 298-4500 to schedule your appointment today!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Learn how to do your own oil change

Sometimes you’re just too busy to come in for “just” an oil change. You figure you can go on for more miles before you have to take your Orlando Toyota in. Postponing your recommended oil change can be unhealthy for your car’s engine. So, what do you do? Change the oil yourself! Our staff at Toyota of Orlando is here to help you figure out everything you need to know so you can do your own oil changes. 

DIY car maintenance

What you need for a DIY oil change

When tackling an oil change all on your own, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. The tools you’ll need include:

     Fresh oil (make sure to pick the right type of oil for you driving style and vehicle)
     A new oil filter
     A 5-7 quart oil pan
     An oil filter wrench
     Jack with jack stands

We also recommend a change of clothes. We recommend picking clothes that you usually wear around the house or when you’re doing chores. You wouldn’t want to accidentally get oil on your favorite blouse or pair of jeans!

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to change the oil in your Orlando vehicle! Here are some step-by-step instructions to master your own oil change:

  1. Jack your car up and rest it on the jack stands.
  2. Once the car is secure, go underneath the car to find the oil drain plug and place the oil pan there
  3. Once placed, idle your car for up to ten minutes so the oil can warm up
  4. Switch of the car and pop the hood you can loosen the oil filter cap to let the oil drain quicker
  5. Go back under your Orlando car and remove the oil drain plug. It should take approximately 5 minutes to drain completely.
  6. Find your oil filter and use the oil filter wrench to remove it.
  7. After disposing the old oil filter, replace it with a new oil filter.
  8. Tightly put the drain plug back in place, tightening it with the wrench.
  9. Use a funnel to pour the recommended amount of new oil into the filter hole under the hood.
  10. Replace the fill car and start running your car.
Toyota auto service

And there you have it! You can officially say you can do your own oil changes! If you need any help, feel free to ask our expert service team for advice the next time you come in for Orlando routine car maintenance. Or check out our tips on our website!

Come to Toyota of Orlando for all your maintenance needs

Does doing your own oil change seem like it may be too much to handle? Don’t worry! Our Orlando service staff will gladly change your oil along with other auto maintenance services.

Our Toyota service center is located at 3575 Vineland Road just off I-4 near the Millenia Mall. Call us at (407) 298-4500 to schedule auto service!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ways to Reduce Glare on Your Windshield

Here at Toyota of Orlando, we understand the struggles of driving under the Florida sun. Glare on your windshield can be a huge problem for any driver, so we’ve made a list of ways you can help prevent it. 

ways to prevent glare on your windshield

What You Can Do to Combat Glare

-Make sure your windshield is clean. Specks of dirt and grime will scatter light and make it much more difficult to navigate your travels. Wipe down the inside and outside of your windshield so that light can easily pass through from any direction.
-Try spritzing your windshield with white vinegar after a good scrub. The acid in it will help fight against future buildup and fogging and ensure a painless, glare-free drive.

-Use glass polish. Protective coatings can help reduce glare on your windshield by combating residue buildup while driving. Just be sure that the polish you use is specifically made for glass. Polishing agents for other types of surfaces may create a greasy, streaky appearance and work against you.

-Heat up your windshield. Though this tip may only be applicable in Florida for about two months, melting any ice that has accumulated on your windshield will drastically help reduce glare.  Frost, ice, and snow are some of the worst perpetrators when it comes to glare on your windshield because water is extremely reflective. When water is frozen to a somewhat solid state, you can bet it’ll build up and wreak havoc on your visibility. Melt it down with a warm A/C or your defroster and wipe it off before you get rolling.

-Adjust your mirrors to avoid headlight glare at night. A simple adjustment can redirect light away from your face and make your drive effortless – even at night when that guy who forgot to turn off his high beams is behind you.

-Consider investing in a dash cover. Dash covers are pieces of shaggy fabric that rest on the top of your dash. The fabric absorbs and disperses light, leaving you with a clear windshield. Need help finding the right one? Toyota of Orlando can help you out and even order it for you!

auto service

Auto Service Options

-Make sure your wipers are in good condition. Old wipers may do more harm than good if they aren’t making proper contact with your windshield and are just smearing dirt around. A fresh set of wipers will ensure you can push any grime to the side without a hitch. You may need moisture to get rid of whatever is causing glare on your windshield, so make sure your fluid reservoir is well-stocked at all times. Swing by Toyota of Orlando for regular fluid and wiper maintenance

-Tint your windows. Restricting light from entering your vehicle from multiple angles can only cut down the glare on your windshield. If you’re interested in tinting your windows, come see us at Toyota of Orlando, and we’ll get you squared away!

We hope this list helps you conquer any glaring problems you may have. For any and all of your Toyota service needs, come see us at Toyota of Orlando located just off I-4 near the Millenia Mall or give us a call at (407) 298-4500.