The Importance of Summer-Ready Tires

The summer heat is here and so are the summer troubles. Cars work very hard in the summer, especially their tires! That’s why having summer-ready tires is important.

Your tires are important. Obviously, since they’re what keeps your car rolling! Unfortunately, they’re put under more pressure (literally) in the summer months when the pavement is hot.

AAA Mechanic Richard Santiago warns about the danger of tires on hot roads, “You’re driving on very, very hot roads. It’s definitely going to have a substantial impact. Heat friction definitely causes a lot more pressure to build up inside of the tire.”

He knows what he’s talking about. During the summer months, tire-related problems are the most frequent calls that AAA gets.

Keeping the proper PSI is essential to maintaining the life of your tires. In the summer, heat outside can expand the pressure inside of your tire. So even if you start the summer with proper PSI, your tire might gain pressure instead of lose it. This is when blowouts happen.

It’s also essential to make sure your tires aren’t underinflated. The hot pavement can wear down your tread easily.

Got more tire questions? Ask us here at Glen Toyota!

Why Take Road Trips in a Toyota

There are plenty of vehicles to take road trips in and while many choose the average sedan or crossover, that can get expensive. If you plan on heading across the country, a more fuel efficient car will save you a good amount of money. That’s where Toyota comes in. Here’s why you should take road trips in a Toyota:

  • Money – Fun fact: you can travel the entire United States in a Toyota Prius for about $500. That’s cheap for any vacation, let alone traveling the entirety of the United States of America.
  • Space – Believe it or not, the Toyota Prius features an absolutely incredible amount of space. With enough room to fit a small mattress with the rear seats down, there are few vehicles that can compete in sheer amount of space.
  • Comfort – With the sheer amount the Prius has to offer, avoiding hotels is easy. You won’t be too hot or cold either. Thanks to the hybrid system, climate control can run all night without using much gas at all. Climate control will run off the battery and the engine will turn on in order to charge ever so often. Even better, the engine is so quiet that you won’t even notice it’s on.

Giving Your Car An At-Home Oil Change

Changing your oil is vital to keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape, especially when it comes to the health of your engine. Regular routine oil changes will help your car stay at the top of its game long after other vehicles have been driven into the ground. However, shelling out money for an oil change every three months isn’t very fun. However, giving your car an at-home oil change can save you a lot of money and make all the difference in keeping your vehicle healthy and functional.

In terms of what you need, you should have:

  • Motor oil – the amount and viscosity depends on the car, so make sure to check the owner’s manual
  • An oil filter
  • A drain plug socket wrench and an oil filter wrench
  • A large drain pan
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • A funnel
  • Ramps or jack stands

First, you should obviously prepare by raising your vehicle off the ground, whether you’re doing this with the aforementioned ramps or jack stands. If you want to spread a plastic sheet underneath your vehicle before you do this to make disposing of the mess afterwards easier, you can, but it’s not a requirement. Place the drain pan underneath the oil drain plug, but don’t open the drain plug until after removing the oil filler cap, because this would create a vacuum that prevents the oil from draining more quickly and freely.

While that’s happening, it’s time to replace the oil filter. All you have to do is remove the old filter by loosening it first with the wrench, then removing it the rest of the way by hand. Then, screw the new filter onto the threaded oil line, making sure it fits snugly. Don’t tighten with the oil filter wrench! After that’s done and all the old oil has been drained, pop the oil plug back on and get ready to pour in some new, clean oil.

To finish up your at-home oil change, all you have to do is use the funnel and pour the recommended amount of oil into the filler hole on top of the engine. Be careful not to spill. Double-check the dipstick to ensure you’ve added a good amount, then replace the oil filler cap. Then, you’re done!

Before undertaking a DYI oil change, check your owner’s manual for any specific instructions for your vehicle. If you are in any way uncomfortable with the process, come see the service department at Glen Toyota.

Don’t Be A Victim: Fun Wintertime Activities

fun wintertime activities pic
This girl is partaking in some fun wintertime activities. Like hitting her brother with snowballs.

Don’t be bored this winter! In fact, you are more at risk for depression in the winter due to light deprivation and other factors. Throw caution to the wind—that bone-chilling, artic wind—and do fun stuff. Here are some fun wintertime activities…

 

# 1 – Go winter camping! This may sound crazy but given you’ve got the right gear, it can be fun in that “I’m overcoming a great challenge” sort of way. At the very least, make sure that your sleeping bag is rated for below freezing temperatures.

 

# 2 – Catch up on all the Oscar prospects. There is no better excuse to stay inside than watching an incomprehensible art-house film.

 

# 3 – You know all of those books you’ve been meaning to read? Wintertime is a great time to do it. Consider joining a book club.

 

# 4 – Cook more. Not only will help you save some cash, you can experiment with different dishes.

 

# 5 – Go to MeetUp.com and look for activities that interest you! Ever been interested in underwater basket weaving? You might find a group that does it!

Rental Car Tips and Tricks for Saving Money

Rental Car Tips pic
Rental Car Tips can help you have a lot of money when traveling.

Renting a car can be costly – in fact, depending on the size of the car you need and length of time, your rental could end up costing quite a bit more than your plane tickets. Get the most out of your vacation dollars with these rental car tips.

Look past brand names. National chains pay big bucks on advertising and prime airport locations, making the cost of the rental higher for you. Instead, consider renting from lesser-known companies, like Payless and Fox Rent a Car. You can find other companies based on location at CarRentals.com and similar sites. Expect to pay prices as much as 15 to 30% below those of the national chains.

Look for online discounts. Check coupon sites like CouponWinner.com for coupons for rental cars. If you’re part of a frequent flier program, or belong to AAA or other partnered organizations (like Costco), ask for discounted rates.

Stay away from the airport. If you can help it, don’t pick up your rental car at the airport, which can tack on fees that amount to 30% or more of the total rental price. If you can find public transportation or a shuttle to a location in town, you’ll stand to save some big bucks.

Over-estimate. It’s better to book an extra day or two in advance, then add time on at the last minute. If you’re travel plans are flexible, it’s worth booking the car for the longest amount of time you’ll need it, which could actually reduce your daily rate.

Looking for something more… permanent? Stop by Glen Toyota today and check out our lineup of reliable and stylish vehicles!