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Five Things You Can Do to Extend the Life of Your New Toyota

Posted at Fri, Feb 2, 2018 11:15 AM

There's nothing quite like driving a new Toyota off of the lot, is there? From the fresh paint shining in the sunlight to all of the tech-friendly features and creature comforts in the cabin, feeling a little starstruck about this whole process really is one of the most enjoyable parts about owning a new Toyota of your own.

However, if you're not careful when it comes keeping this great vehicle in top shape, it's only natural for standard wear and tear to eventually build up into serious problems that can affect the longevity of your Toyota car, truck, or sport utility vehicle (SUV). To ensure that you never fall prey to this unfortunate set of circumstances, the team here at Westbury Toyota would like to offer up five simple tips and tricks that are sure to extend the life of your favorite Toyota – and guarantee that you enjoy that new car feeling for years to come.

Warm the Engine Before You Drive in Cold Weather

There’s a bit of a debate about whether or not you need to let your engine idle when the temperature dips in the winter, and most popular opinions are on the side that with older vehicles, warming up before you drive is a must. When it comes to newer cars, however, opinions are divided. Newer vehicles actually warm up better while driving, which means you don’t need to turn them on 15 minutes before you leave.

Even so, as Jason Torchinsky of Jalopnik explains, it’s still a good idea to let your new Toyota idle for a few minutes (at least) in super cold weather because there will be some strain on the engine until all parts and fluids are warm. Putting your car through unnecessary stress every day in the winter will take a toll over time, so it’s a good idea to get in the habit of assigning a few extra minutes to your morning commute to make sure your car’s engine has enough time to get suitably warm.

“Even if the car can start and drive nearly immediately, every rubber thing in that engine is still hard and cold and brittle, those fluids are still highly viscous, and while driving is possible, putting any load on that engine isn’t doing it any favors.”
- Jason Torchinsky, writer for Jalopnik

Clean It Often (Inside and Out)

Sometimes it's easy to fall behind on washing your car, particularly in the warmer seasons when you think your car isn’t that dirty. The fact is that your car is always accumulating road grit, which can lead to scratches on the finish and headlights and can eventually lead to rust. While the interior isn’t exposed to the open air like the exterior, the same logic applies. If you don’t take care of the upholstery/leather and console/dash surfaces, it can lead to unsightly wear. We recommend that you make time every other week to do a full interior and exterior cleaning of your vehicle. If you want to do the most to protect your Toyota’s inside and outside, here are the steps to take:

  • Wash the exterior carefully, making sure to get hard to reach places like under the wheel wells. Pay extra attention to the headlights to make sure that the layers of road dirt that accumulate there are cleaned away.
  • Wax your car with your product of choice. While this isn’t a necessary step, it is one that we recommend as it helps to protect the finish.
  • Vacuum the interior thoroughly, making sure to get under/between the seats.
  • Remove the floor mats and wash them off. Let them dry before putting them back in the car.
  • Use an interior car cleaning product to remove any stains, dirt, or dust. Use a detailing brush to clean out small spaces like the vents. Adding in an upholstery protection product can help keep leather seats supple and prevent any cracking or other kind of damage.

Interested in learning even more about how best to keep your car looking like it's fresh from the factory? Then don’t forget to check out Westbury Toyota's complete guide to detailing your new vehicle.

Take Care of Your Tires

It’s easy to forget that the tires (and the parts attached to them) are just as important as the rest of your car. Easing the strain on your tires goes a long way toward keeping your car in decent shape, too, and that’s why you should always pay attention to how you drive. The editors over at Reader’s Digest explain it best: Drive carefully and be aware of what surfaces your tires are going over. This means avoiding potholes (when safe and possible), accelerating and stopping at safe speeds, and driving in a manner that avoids running over curbs or medians.

On top of adhering to common sense when driving, you should also keep an eye on the pressure of your tires. Check them every other week and make sure that the pressure is within the recommended range.

(Quick aside: Westbury Toyota can also help you take extra special car of your tires with this comprehensive tire maintenance review.)

Don’t Tax the Engine in Extreme Conditions

Vehicles aren’t impervious to extreme hot or cold temperatures, though they are more resilient than we are. One of the worst things you can do in this kind of weather is tax your engine by driving at very fast (and unsafe!) speeds. Accelerating too quickly when the temperature is either very low or very high is also not advisable, as it puts unnecessary strain on the engine. If you drive within the posted speed limits, you’re doing it right.

Keep up with Oil Changes (and Check Your Fluids Often)

There’s a reason oil changes are scheduled periodically, and that’s because it’s crucial to the internal health of your car. Make sure you keep up with them as they’re recommended – and if you have to miss an appointment, make sure to book another as soon as you can.

The oil isn’t the only fluid in your car that you need to pay attention to, though. Elan McAfee of YourMechanic describes it best: All the fluids in your car (transmission, power-steering, coolant, and brake) are meant to optimize your Toyota’s performance. Keeping them topped up means that you’re keeping everything under the hood running smoothly.

Put in the Extra Effort

The tips detailed above might feel a little overwhelming at first, but once you get into a rhythm you will actually find that abiding by these concepts is a pretty simple undertaking. They do require a little extra time from you on a regular basis, of course, but in the long run they’re going to help extend the life of your Toyota. Your new car won’t be new forever, but if you’re willing to put in some additional effort, you can keep it looking and running like it just came off the lot for a lot longer!

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