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Toyota of Abilene Maintenance Tips

Five Early Warning Signs You Need New Brakes

It’s a new year, which unfortunately means your car is officially one model year older. That also means your brakes have amassed another year of wear and tear.

Gaging the the state of your brakes can be tricky, but by staying vigilant for the subtle signals they send you, you can get ahead of any costly estimates your vehicle stands to inherit this year. Recognizing these signs and moving quickly to address them can also greatly extend your vehicle’s lifespan. 

Courtesy of the service technicians at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, here are five warning signs that suggest it’s time to replace your brake pads or rotors.

High-Pitched Screeching 

Often, you hear brake problems before you see or feel them. That’s thanks to the high-pitched screeching sound that emits from your brake pads when they’re wearing thin. Interestingly, the screeching isn’t a direct result of wearing brakes; manufacturers intentionally insert a piece of metal into the brake pads in order to alert you when a replacement is imminent.

If the grating sounds continue despite new brake pads, there’s a chance that your rotors may be glazed. This occurs when metal heats up and burns due to excessive braking. Check your rotors for blue marks for a dark ring; either could indicate that the rotors also need replacement. 

If the squealing is replaced by a grinding, metallic noise, that means your brake pads have completely worn down past the point where replacing them is possible. Take it to us for brake service immediately if this sound emerges, as it could lead to larger safety issues. 

The Eye Test 

Sometimes it’s easier not to overthink things. If your brake pads look like they have a problem, they likely do. You can find them wedged between the wheels’ spokes, pressed up against the rotors. Measure the pads, and if you find they’re less than a quarter of an inch thick, it may be time to schedule a service appointment with us.

Performance Anomalies 

When your brakes stop responding as quickly as they should, it may be a sign of a leak in your braking system. If your brakes are sending out vibrations (the kind that causes your steering wheel to quake, not the Beach Boys kind), either the brake pads or rotors are in need of replacement.

Your brakes are always sending messages like these to alert you to their condition. The more in tune you are with your vehicle, the better you’ll become at assessing when and why your vehicle is behaving abnormally. 

Extreme Sensitivity 

Perhaps you started your Camry today only to find your brakes acting unusually sensitive, jerking you to a halt at the slightest tap of the brake pad. This could be due to either the rotors wearing down unevenly or the brake fluid needing replacement. 

Alternately, you might have a problem when your brakes prove too insensitive and only engage when you apply excessive pressure. This could be a symptom of low brake fluid, thin brake pads, or even a sign that something is amiss with your car’s hydraulic system.

Puddle of Doom 

The last thing you want to see on a bright, sunny day is a puddle formed beneath your idle car. Unless it’s residue from an overnight shower, it’s most likely your brake fluid dripping out of your car due to a leak. You should be able to tell the difference between regular motor oil and brake fluid, which is notably thinner. 

Give Me a Brake

Life may be full of stops and starts… but you should have as much autonomy over them as possible. Don’t leave your fate to the whims of worn-out brake pads, glazed rotors, or a faulty hydraulic system. We’re here to assist you with all your brake needs, along with battery service, oil changes, and more.

Visit us at Lithia Toyota of Abilene today, where we never put the brakes on a good deal. With our extensive inventory of new and certified pre-owned vehicles at your disposal, your dream car is just a stop away.

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New Toyota Vehicle

The Toyota Tacoma Levels Up for 2024

The Toyota Tacoma has long been regarded as one of the sturdiest midsize pickup trucks on the market. However, it seems the Tacoma is no longer content with resting on the laurels of its reliability. Enter the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, which has received a notable glow-up, emerging as a faster, stronger vehicle by every measure.

At first glance, it may appear that little has changed with this year’s Tacoma. But while its cosmetic upgrades are subtle, this Tacoma is an feat of engineering ambition. In terms of comfort, performance, and technology, the 2024 Tacoma is a complete evolution from previous models. 

Overhauled and Ready to Haul 

The changes in the latest Tacoma may not be fully apparent when you see it, but you’ll detect them once you get behind the wheel. It sports a new i-Force turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With the same 278 horsepower, this 2.4-liter engine replicates the power output of the 3.5-liter V-6 it’s replacing. Additionally, the i-Force engine redistributes the torque dramatically, as the Tacoma is now able to hit 317 lb.-ft. from as low as 1,700 rpm. For the first time, the Tacoma feels nimble.

Most impressively, the midsize truck doesn’t sacrifice its hauling and towing numbers for the sake of its enhanced performance. If anything, the Tacoma’s payload ratings have also been elevated, now up to 1,447 – a 300-lb. improvement from the 2023 model. Towing, meanwhile, remains consistent with previous numbers at 6,400 pounds. 

And the Tacoma TRD Off-Road excels when it comes to off-road adventuring, as it’s able to easily traverse any terrain. From sand dunes to deep mud to uneven, rocky surfaces, there isn’t a challenge the newest Tacoma isn’t equipped to face. 

A Brand New Beast 

The cosmetic and interior changes to the new Tacoma may be less apparent than its performance enhancements… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t significant. For one, it marks the debut of Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia System, which runs alongside standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The high-mounted, 14-inch touchscreen features conveniently large app icons, perfect for on-the-move tapping.

The interior is noticeably more spacious than past models, with more lenient headspace for taller drivers. For a more decadent experience, consider the Premium package, which includes additional interior features such as:

  • Heated power front seats. 
  • A heated steering wheel. 
  • A sunroof. 
  • Surround-view camera system. 
  • 10-speaker JBL audio system. 

Drive a New Ride Into 2024

The Toyota Tacoma will continue to be known for its world-class reliability – but that’s no longer its sole, defining feature. By addressing and upgrading the Tacoma’s performance, driving dynamics, hauling, technology, and interior cabin, Toyota has created an evolved truck that looks like the 2023 Tacoma… but feels like the future.

Here at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, an evolutionary driving experience awaits you regardless of the type of vehicle you prefer, from the sporty 2024 GR Supra to the family-friendly 2024 Sienna. Abilene’s preeminent Toyota dealership also has you covered when it comes to servicing your current vehicle. Whether you need tires, brakes, batteries, or an oil change, we’ll keep you on the road until you’re ready for your next new car-buying adventure.