Why It’s Better to Service Your Vehicle at a Dealership

Your car is one of your most important assets. It allows you to travel to work, take your kids where they need to go, see friends, get food, and all other kinds of important life activities. Unfortunately, many people do not treat their cars as they should. Here is why you should service your car at a dealership.

Quality

Dealership mechanics are backed by major car companies, which means the car companies put their word behind their service technicians. Local mechanics range from very good to very bad, but you know exactly what you’re getting when you take it to a dealership.

Better Tools

As they are backed by major corporations, dealerships often have the latest and most effective tools for their mechanics to use. Local garages can’t always afford access to these tools right away.

More Organization

Dealership garages are generally much cleaner and more organized than local garages, which leads to efficiency and less problems. There are also usually nicer waiting areas for customers at dealerships to allow you to wait in comfort.

While it’s always good to support locally owned business, you simply don’t always know what you’re getting at a local mechanic. When you’re talking about your car, one of your most important investments, it’s often better to go with the sure thing.

Signs You Need New Brakes

Keeping track of the braking system is something drivers tend to forget about or simply overlook. As one of the most important safety systems in a vehicle, ensuring that your brakes are in top condition should be a priority for most drivers. Fortunately, modern braking systems give plenty of warnings before they need to be replaced. Here are a few signs you need new brakes from us here at Glen Toyota.

  1. Screeching – Created by metal rubbing against metal, modern braking systems make a high-pitched screeching sound when the brake pads are nearly gone. Loud enough to be heard with the windows rolled up, the screech shouldn’t be ignored and drivers would do well to make a service appointment sooner rather than later.
  2. Seeing – Did you know it’s possible to actually look at your brakes on modern vehicles? By looking through the wheel spokes, drivers can see what’s left of the brake pad pushed against the rotor. If there isn’t at least a quarter inch of pad left, make a service appointment to have your braking system inspected.
  3. Vibrating – Vibrations in the brake pedal are a sign of warped rotors and indicate that the brake pad can’t grab the rotor’s surface evenly. Generally caused by long periods of braking, like when driving down steep hills, a vibrating brake pedal warrants a trip to a certified service department.

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!

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.

5 Must-Have DIY Auto Maintenance Tools

Like to get your hands dirty in the garage? The following are 5 must-have DIY auto maintenance tools

Air Compressor – Ever drive to a gas station in order to fill your tires up only to find out that the pay compressor is broken? You’ll never have to experience that kind of heartbreak again if you add an air compressor to your garage arsenal.

Tire Ramps – If you are the kind of person that likes to do oil changes at home, tire ramps can make your job so much easier. Use them properly and they can be safer than just a jack.

Oil Filter Wrench – Another tool that is absolutely essential for DIY oil changes is the oil filter wrench. It’s the only tool you can really use to remove an oil filter; the only one that can fit up above the oil pan.

Drip Pans – If you plan to change your own oil, or replace a radiator hose, drip pans are a great help. While not a tool per se, they go a long way in helping to keep your garage clean and save you clean-up time.

Spark Plug Spanner – Removing spark plugs is tricky because you don’t want to damage them on the way out or the way in. This tool lets you do so safely.