Taking Care of Your Toyota: A New Year’s Resolution You Can Actually Keep

Posted at Fri, Dec 22, 2017 9:30 AM

If you’re like most other people, you’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution once or twice – and if you’re like most other people, you probably didn’t follow through until you’d achieved your goal. It can be tough to stick to resolutions, particularly those that deal with kicking bad habits or changing your lifestyle. Don’t get discouraged if you’ve let your resolutions fall through over the years. There are easier resolutions you can make heading into 2018, such as making sure your Toyota is kept in tip top shape.

After a while, it’s easy to forget to maintain your vehicle the way you did in the months after you drove it off the lot. Vehicle maintenance is very important, and that’s why we here at Westbury Toyota have put together a comprehensive list of care tips for you. Making sure your vehicle is looked after doesn’t have to drain your wallet or suck up all your time – and if you keep up with it regularly, it’s really nothing more than a few simple tasks. So, if you’ve been trying to find a resolution that you think you can keep for the new year, why not make it this one?

Keep up with Maintenance

There’s a reason you’re supposed to bring your car in for routine oil changes and inspections. Even if it’s new, everything needs to be kept in good condition in order to ensure longevity. Ignoring maintenance can lessen the lifespan of your car. Even though it’s easier to just forget about all that stuff, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you bring your car in to us when it’s time for some work.

As the team over at Moving.com explains, oil maintenance is essential to your Toyota’s engine performance. The general rule of thumb is to change it every three months or 3,000 miles, but sometimes it might need attention before then, especially if you tend to drive without letting the engine warm up, if you only go short distances at a time, or if you do lots of red light/green light driving. If any of this applies to your driving routines, bring your car into us and we’ll make sure to run the gamut of engine oil services, including:

  • Changing out the fuel, air, and oil filters
  • Changing the oil
  • Making sure the spark plugs are in working order

When you bring your vehicle to Westbury Toyota for a scheduled inspection, we’ll also be checking out the brakes, the battery, the exhaust system, and the transmission to ensure everything is operating just the way it should be. If we find a problem, we’ll fix it then and there to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue down the road.

Pay Attention to What Your Car Is Telling You

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but for some reason people still tend to ignore it when their vehicle starts making a strange sound or when a warning light appears on the instrument panel. The reason that people do this is because they assume that an unusual noise or light means that they’ll have to drop some serious money on repairs, but that’s often not the case at all. Ignoring these for extended periods of time can lead to some huge bills down the road however, so it’s always a better idea to check out something odd right away.

With warning lights, it’s a good idea to check out the user manual if you don’t know what you’re seeing. The manual will usually tell you what the light means and whether or not you need to bring your vehicle in to get checked out. It might be something you can take care of on your own, but if it’s not, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s a little different when it comes to strange noises. If you hear a grinding or clunking sound when you’re braking, it probably means that your brake pads need to be replaced. (Click here for a deeper breakdown of the sure signs that your brakes need some attention.)

However, it could be something else as well and that’s why it’s never a good idea to ignore a weird noise. Err on the side of caution and bring your Toyota in to us so we can look it over for you. If it’s a little problem, we can nip it in the bud and if it’s a larger problem, we can take care of it before it becomes a major (and potentially costly) issue.

Keep It Clean

While it’s not necessary that the interior of your car be spotless, it can lead to safer driving practices if you do some routine cleaning. Make sure there’s no loose objects rolling around on the floors or the seats, because these can be distracting in the event that you have to brake or accelerate quickly. What’s more, in the event of a collision, loose items can become dangerous projectiles. If you’re frequently eating in your car, it’s a good idea to vacuum up whatever crumbs and other bits of food might be lying on the floor mats or between the seats to prevent any odor/mold/mildew. Keeping your car interior free from dust and dirt can also keep the carpet and upholstery in better shape for longer, which in turn will improve the resale value.

“Regular washing along with other routine maintenance helps retain your car's resale value.”
- Liz Elias, Axle Addict Blog

When it comes to the exterior of your Toyota, it’s a good idea to keep it as clean as you can. As every driver on Long Island knows, winter driving can be pretty messy when you combine snow, slush, and road salt. What’s more, road salt can quickly lead to rust if not washed away often. Excess dirt and dust can also damage the finish, as Liz Elias from the Axle Addict blog describes. If you want your car’s exterior to look as good as it did when you first bought it, it’s vital that you make a point of washing it at least once every other week (or more, if you find that it’s getting really dirty, really quickly).

A Little Care Goes a Long Way

All of this might seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not as long as you pay attention to what your Toyota requires, bring it in for routine inspection/maintenance, and keep it clean. This doesn’t mean you need to be obsessing over it for hours every day. Instead, set aside an hour every other week to clean your Toyota inside and out. Make appointments whenever you receive a reminder from your dealership or whenever mileage dictates, and make sure to bring it in whenever you hear something strange or whenever a warning light comes on that you’re concerned about.

Keeping your car in great shape is a simple, easy resolution to make for 2018. It’s about forming good habits that don’t take a lot of effort or time away from your busy life, and that’s why we at Westbury Toyota encourage you to make it your New Year’s resolution. We want you to be able to enjoy your Toyota for years to come, so why not make a point of taking care of it as best you can? We’ll be right here to help you out in any way we can, so feel free to stop by or call us if you need our expertise.

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