Unless you’re a certified mechanic, knowing the ins and outs of your vehicle can be a difficult task. Servicing your vehicle is best left to the experts. At Toyota of Hollywood, we make your automotive service comprehensive, simple, and rewarding.
1. How important is my warranty?
It is imperative that you are fully aware of the warranty that accompanies your new or pre-owned vehicle. While all new vehicles arrive with warranty, some pre-owned vehicles do not, and these vehicles are not under warranty coverage should the need for unexpected repairs arise. As with any contract, the fine print of your warranty should be read with a careful and attentive eye.
2. What are the most vital parts of my warranty to know and understand?
There are several components of a warranty, all of which should be read and understood by the person looking to purchase before doing so. It is very important to understand the duration of time a warranty covers repairs for, as well as what components the warranty covers. A typical warranty may be written as "50/52,000" meaning that the coverage of the warranty lasts 50 months from the initial purchase or until the vehicle has driven 52,000 miles. The warranty expires on whichever of these two conditions comes first. You also want to take into consideration what type of work is covered, and the degree to which such work is covered.
3. What is the significance of different warranty options?
The length of a factory warranty does indeed vary. Generally a comprehensive “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, often the shortest warranty period, covers pretty much everything except schedule maintenance. Often far surpassing the “bumper-to-bumper” warranty in covered mileage, the powertrain warranty covers engine and transmission defects. Some manufacturers include such features as roadside assistance and towing for a limited time, as well.
4. If I buy a used vehicle, will I still get the benefits of a factory warranty?
Warranties vary depending on the factory and specific circumstances. Generally, warranties are transferable, which means that if you purchase a pre-owned vehicle still under the mileage and duration caps specified on the factory warranty, the coverage will continue.
5. What is the driver’s role in maintaining the factory warranty?
It is essential that the driver performs the required service at the proper intervals, and pays attention to the needs of the vehicle. The vigilant driver should be able to respond quickly should anything go wrong. To eliminate confusion, the owner’s manual that accompanies your vehicle clearly lists service intervals. The car itself is often equipped with “check engine” lights on the dashboard to notify you that service is needed. The driver needs to be aware of these things and take the vehicle in for service or maintenance when the time arrives.
6. What kind of coverage is included in my warranty?
The terms of each factory warranty vary. While most warranties cover the costs for parts and labor involved in fixing unexpected repairs, the driver is often left responsible for costs of expected maintenance. It is very important to know the specific terms of your warranty, as factory-authorized technicians must perform the service to avoid the potential voiding of a warranty due to use of outside mechanics.
7. Am I responsible for knowing when to change my engine oil?
It is one of the most essential components of vehicular maintenance to change your engine’s oil and filter. Oil plays a vital role in the health and performance of your vehicle. It subdues friction in the engine and prevents the motor from seizing up. The typical intervals for changing engine oil in new cars run between 5,000 and 15,000 miles.
8. What is the role of engine coolant?
During extreme temperatures, water and antifreeze are the heroes that can prevent your engine from overheating or freezing. Intervals for replacing coolant and flushing the system vary widely, as some manufacturers will instill a general timeframe of 30,000 to 40,000 miles, while others promise long-lasting antifreeze for over 100,000 miles.
9. How often do I need to replace or adjust spark plugs?
Older vehicles require the replacement or adjustment of spark plus more frequently than new vehicles do. Most manufacturers today assert a promise of over 100,000 miles of plug power before they need to be replaced in a service. Still, it is never a bad idea to check your plugs periodically, preferably around the 50,000 mile point.
10. How often do I change the air filter?
Just as in cars themselves, air filters differ in degrees of quality. The interval for changing your filter depends on its quality, the type of vehicle you are driving, and the environment in which most driving occurs. Driving along unpaved and dirt roads is a sure way to clog your air filter faster than the typical highway. Local pollution also plays a role in your filter life.
11. What do I need to know about my battery life?
Batteries, like air filters, vary greatly. Each boasts its own lifespan, meaning the interval of changing the battery depends on the type of battery and vehicle, as well as local weather. Cold regions, for example, often require cars with stronger batteries of higher power. If you opt for a rechargeable battery, be aware that once it loses its charge, it may never reach its full potential of power again.
12. What should I have inspected during a routine scheduled maintenance?
It is always a good idea to have all hoses, belts, general pathways, and other connections under the hood inspected during a scheduled maintenance to ensure that everything is in proper shape and condition.
13. When do I need to consider replacing my windshield wipers?
In regions that host heavy ice and snow, wipers must be replaced within a timely manner if necessary. While wipers will eventually lose their efficacy with time, this generally occurs faster in colder climates with the aforementioned weather. Sometimes it is needed that just the blade be replaced, while other times the entire wiper unit must be renewed. There are different types of wipers that offer different levels of performance, should the driver opt to get creative.
14. What determines the life of my tires and brakes?
The type of vehicle, individual tire, and driving style determine the life of your tire. While 30,000 to 50,000 miles is the general estimate for tire life, an aggressive style of driving can wear tires in as little as 15,000 miles. For the sake of performance or looks, some customers opt to deviate from OEM specifications. Like tires, the lifespan of brakes depends heavily on driving style, as a large amount of abrupt braking will significantly lower your brake life. Rotors and pads must also be taken into consideration when replacing your brakes.
15. What should I look for in purchasing correct snow tires?
There is no all-around perfect performing tire. Excellent performance in one area of driving often means compromise in another. Often times a tire that performs great in snowy regions is mediocre on dry pavement, and just average under rainy conditions.
16. What are the most important things to note for tire maintenance and longevity?
For the sake of your safety, your vehicle’s performance, and longevity, be sure to maintain the proper inflation of your tires. It is generally preferable to buy four matching tires, rather than just two rear snows, for example, although some rear-wheel-drive cars can get by with just this. In front-wheel-drive cars, however, it is imperative that you use four matching tires, as inconsistency in grip during braking can be dangerous. All-wheel-drive vehicles require four matching tires, as well.
17. What is the extent to which vehicles are affected by the seasons?
It is important to be aware of the conditions of the season and their effects on your vehicle. Colder climates can often cause oil to thicken, which means thinner engine oil is needed in order to start the vehicle. Be sure to check your antifreeze and water-to-antifreeze proportions in the mixture. You can find affordable antifreeze testers at many auto parts stores. Always keep your washer fluid reservoir full to make sure you windshield wipers and operable. Double-check hoses and belts and general pathways under the hood, as cold temperatures have been known to cause rubber to shrink and crack. Flexibility is always optimal to have in your hoses and belts, so be sure to check for that, as well.
Hollywood, CA 90028