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.

Toyota and Clemson University Team Up on Toyota uBox Concept

For the past few years, Clemson University’s graduate automotive engineering students have been teaming up with mainstream auto manufacturers to design futuristic concept cars in an ongoing project referred to by the university as the Deep Orange series. The most recent brand to partner with graduates at Clemson U happens to be Toyota, and together Toyota designers and Clemson University students put together the Toyota uBox concept.

According to the eighteen students who worked with Toyota on the uBox, the vehicle was designed with the needs and wants of young, urban millenials in mind. The ideal driver of the uBox, according to Toyota, would be “a young entrepreneur who wants a vehicle that can provide utility and recreation on the weekend but that can also offer office space or other career-centric or lifestyle uses during the week.”

While the uBox’s exterior is distinctly like something out of a sci-fi film, a following of enthusiasts sprung up following the concept’s unveiling due to its incredible versatile interior; because the whole of the cabin is decorated using 3D-printed elements, it’s totally customizable, and the low floor and removable seats provide tons of space in a market where large, spacious vehicles like SUVs and crossover thrive. Online auto communities were abuzz with fans of the uBox who brainstormed to come up with imaginative ways of customizing the concept.

The Deep Orange team revealed the Toyota uBox concept at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress and Exposition in Detroit on April 12th. It’s so awesome to see automotive brands working to help educate the engineers of the future.

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.

Former Scion FR-S Continues As The Toyota 86

So, Toyota has released their plans to retire Scion. For serious fans, it may seem like nothing can offer consolation.

In times like these, when the whole world seems topsy turvy, it’s important to remember that the Scion spirit will live on in a number of different models. Toyota has plans to rebadge the FR-S coupe, iA sedan and iM hatchback Scion models as Toyota models.

The former Scion FR-S model will now be sold in the United States as it has been all around the rest of the world, as the Toyota 86. While no longer a Scion per se, the 2017 Toyota 86 will still bear those lovely features that made the rear-wheel drive sports car so popular in the first place. It will still have the boxer engine, and all of the advantages that come along with it. It will still have be stylish as ever and fun as all get-out to tune.

Almost as if a consolation to fans, the 2017 Toyota 86 will also show some exciting improvements. Toyota tells us that the former Scion 86 will feature a “larger center intake,” “re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals,” and “revised shock tuning and a spring rate change.” Toyota plans to pull the curtain back on the 2017 Toyota 86 at the New York International Auto Show.

How to Change a Tire – 10 easy steps


Follow these 10 steps to learn how to change a tire:

  1. Make sure you have all the tools you need. This includes a jack, a correctly-sized wrench, and of course your spare tire. Optionally, a flashlight can come in handy.
  2. Park in a flat and safe area. Don’t park at the top of a hill or behind a corner in such a way that an incoming car wouldn’t be able to see you. Make sure you are on flat, solid ground to minimize the risk of the car rolling away.
  3. Raise the car with the jack. The jack should be perpendicular to the ground and placed under the metal frame near the tire you are going to change. Raise the jack until it is just supporting the car—don’t lift it just yet.
  4. Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts. Don’t take them all the way off—just loosen them enough to break the resistance and allow you to take them off by hand later.
  5. Raise the jack to lift the tire off the ground. Now that the wheel isn’t bearing any weight, you can remove the lug nuts completely.
  6. Take the wheel off.
  7. Place the spare tire on the hub and put on the lug nuts. Tighten them by hand only.
  8. Lower the car but without applying full weight on the tire, then tighten the lug nuts as much as you can with the wrench.
  9. Fully lower the car to the ground and remove the jack.
  10. Feel great about now knowing how to change a tire!

Toyota is Top Automaker in World’s Most Admired Companies


In Fortunate Magazine’s annual list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies,” Toyota once again led the automotive industry by being the highest-ranked motor vehicle company. It was ranked #28 overall out of all companies surveyed and featured in the top 10 for talent and for global businesses.

According to Fortune Magazine, the “World’s Most Admired Companies” survey into account nine attributes considered critical to a company’s global success. These include social responsibility, quality of management, people management, and global competitiveness. In all categories, Toyota ranked first in the motor vehicles sector, which speaks volumes to its reputation among other automakers and around the world. This feeling is reflected in the enthusiasm customers often show when visiting Glen Toyota.

“All of our team members and partners worldwide contribute to enhancing Toyota’s reputation by creating the future of mobility and contributing to a better society through safer, greener, and more fun driving experiences,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor North America chief executive officer. “This recognition is a reflection of their dedication to continuous improvement and exceeding customers’ expectations.”

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Joins US Lineup


Toyota’s compact SUV, the RAV4, has been a best-seller in the United States since its inception in 1994. Over the past two decades and then some, the RAV4 has sold over 2.4 million units. Now, the nameplate has an eighth variant joining its American lineup — the Toyota RAV4 hybrid. The 2016 model year of the RAV4 marks the SUV’s fourth generation, and adding a hybrid version to the nameplate is just one of many updates to the vehicle’s design.

The 2016 RAV4 features new styling that mimics the appearance of Toyota’s passenger vehicles. Features across the entire RAV4 family include standard all-wheel drive, rear view camera, Hill Start Assist, five-passenger seating and the Entune Infotainment System. Versatile seating allows for up to 70 cubic feet of cargo storage when the back rows are down.

The RAV4 Hybrid pairs the 2.5-liter gas engine with electric motors that power both the front and rear axles. This combination yields an output of 194 HP and an EPA-estimated 34 mpg in the city.

The RAV4 hybrid and other variants in the family are now available in the United States for the 2016 model year. The entry level RAV4 begins at $24,350, while upgrading to the hybrid model ups the price to $28,370.

Toyota Satellite Research Vehicle Based on Mirai Revealed in Detroit

"ISS on 20 August 2001" by NASA - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -
“ISS on 20 August 2001” by NASA – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

Toyota recently announced at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that they were using a satellite research vehicle based on the Mirai fuel cell car in order to investigate the uses of implementing satellite technology across production vehicles. This new research could give Toyota vehicles the ability to communicate with one another via satellite, and the brand is meeting with various upcoming companies around the world that could assist them in the pursuit of this feature.

The Mirai-based car in Detroit, for example, utilizes flat antennae technology from emerging company Kymeta. These “flat antennae” are different from traditional satellite tech such as the recognizable “dish,” instead using liquid crystal and software that actively detects and tracks satellite signals. Potential uses for satellite technology in vehicles includes distributing vehicle data, providing stable connections to emergency contacts, and allowing vehicles to communicate with one another.

The Mirai-based satellite research vehicle is only the first prototype of an ongoing relationship between Toyota and Kymeta. Prior to the partnership, Kymeta has already managed to get 8,000 miles of road testing with satellite-equipped vehicles, and Toyota has invested $5 million in the emerging brand to encourage further technology research and development.

Toyota Earns the Most Top Safety Pick+ Awards

Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests cars and rates them on their performance. The best-performing vehicles earn what it calls the Top Safety Pick+ award. This year, Toyota earned the most Top Safety Pick+ awards, nine in total.

“At Toyota, we continue to focus on the safety and peace of mind of our customers,” said Dino Triantafyllos, Toyota’s North American Chief Quality Officer, in a statement. “We are proud that IIHS has recognized our commitment to helping protect drivers and passengers.”

The awards for Toyota include Top Safety Pick+ ratings for the Toyota Prius v, Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota RAV4, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus ES, Lexus RC, Lexus NX, and Scion iA.

In order for a vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick+ recognition, it has to achieve the top “good” rating in all crash tests and offer an available front crash prevention system rated at “advanced” or “superior” with automatic braking capabilities. It is worth noting that the Scion iA was the only low-priced car available with a standard pre-collision system.

If safety is a top priority for your next vehicle, come see what these award-winning Toyota vehicles have to offer you today at Glen Toyota.

Winter vs. All Season Tires


Here in New Jersey, our winters can get pretty rough—many of us are still trying to recover from the record snowfalls from last year. If you want to make sure you’re not stuck on the side of the road…again, consider equipping your car with winter tires. What’s the difference? Here’s a Winter vs. All Season Tires comparison.

Winter Tires

  • They use a special rubber compound that stays softer at lower temperatures for better control.
  • They provide enhanced braking performance in wintery conditions.
  • They perform better in all winter conditions—snow, ice, sleet, slush, wet roads, and even dry cold roads.
  • They are designed with an aggressive tread to cut through the snow and reduce build-up on the tire.
  • They will help you feel more in control in challenging winter conditions.

All-Season Tires

  • They provide stable handling in wet and dry conditions.
  • They offer traction through a variety of weather conditions, but can’t compare to winter tires for traction in snow and ice.

As you can see, winter tires offer numerous benefits over all-season tires for serious winter driving. If you want to make the switch, stop by Glen Toyota today and we’ll help you choose the perfect tires for your car.