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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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Toyota of Abilene Listicles

5 Easy Ways to Extend Your Battery’s Lifespan This Fall

As the autumn winds sweep in and the weather turns colder, there’s nothing more frustrating than abandoning the warmth of your bed, only to find that your car refuses to start. This problem can often be attributed to a drained battery, which becomes more vulnerable to power loss as temperatures decrease, potentially leaving you stranded in the chill.

To address this issue, here are five simple and affordable strategies to help ensure that your battery remains in good health until the relief of spring warmth arrives:

1. Avoid Short Drives

Contrary to popular belief, frequently running your engine for brief periods can exhaust your battery faster than taking it on a lengthy journey. In essence, short bursts of driving do not allow ample time for your battery to recharge properly, as the process of starting your car puts a strain on it. If you turn off your car just five to ten minutes later, the battery won’t have sufficient time to recuperate, leading to rapid discharge.

It is therefore advisable to plan for extended trips, particularly on the highway, when possible. This strategy allows your battery an extended opportunity to recharge. Opting for a slightly farther grocery store could add a few extra miles to your trip, but the marginal increase in fuel cost is considerably less than the expense of buying a new battery.

2. Don’t Remain Parked in One Spot Too Long

Despite their modern conveniences and innovative technologies, current vehicles are equipped with a plethora of electronic devices that could unwittingly deplete your battery. Even when your vehicle is not in use, features like security systems and keyless entry continue to draw a minimal yet constant current, a phenomenon known as parasitic drain.

If you foresee your vehicle being idle for an extended period, such as when you park at an airport to depart on a holiday vacation, try to minimize parasitic drain by deactivating as many of these features as feasible. Moreover, if you plan to stay home for several consecutive winter days, consider making the journey to your car and running the engine for about 20 minutes daily. In doing so, your battery can stick to its regular charging cycle.

3. Don’t Leave Electronics On with the Engine Off

It’s never a good idea to leave your dashboard active after switching off your car engine, regardless of the season. However, this act poses a greater risk to your battery during the colder months. Always ensure that all electronic devices, including your heater, radio, and headlights, are switched off when you turn off your car. If you happen to be sitting in your car for an extended period of time, it’s more beneficial for your battery to just keep the engine running.

4. Have a Pair of Jumper Cables Handy

We know that your trunk space is precious, but donate at least part of it to a pair of jumper cables. When you find yourself stuck on the side of a wintry road, there’s no guarantee that the first driver to happen upon you will have cables of their own.

At minimum, make sure each time you leave the house that your phone is charged. Hopefully you’re able to jump your car and avoid making a call for a tow, but it’s best to keep every available option open.

5. Monitor Your Battery More Frequently

If you still find yourself frequently worried about the condition of your car battery this Fall, it might be wise to purchase a car battery tester. Regular voltage monitoring can alert you to any impending signs of drain. After each examination, confirm that your battery is securely anchored to avoid potential internal damage caused by vibrations, especially in uneven, rural terrains. If you observe any corrosion, gently clean the battery terminals with cold water and dry them thoroughly with a cloth.

And if all else fails, remember that Toyota of Abilene is here for all your battery service needs. Our comprehensive diagnostic tests will leave no doubt as to what’s ailing your battery and what steps need to be taken next.

Throughout the Fall, stop by our showroom and check out our new and used inventory. And don’t neglect the rest of your vehicle just because your battery is now humming comfortably! From oil changes to parts and more, Toyota of Abilene has everything you need to stay on the road this holiday season.

 

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Toyota of Abilene Maintenance Tips

How to Jump Start a Car: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reviving Your Dead Battery 

If your car battery has died, you’re not alone. It’s a common issue that can happen to anyone. Luckily, jump-starting a car is a simple process that can save you from having to call a tow truck or mechanic. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps to jump-start your car safely and easily. 

Step 1: Check Your Battery 

Before you begin, inspect your battery to ensure it is properly attached and free of corrosion or leaks. These issues can cause the battery to fail, so be sure to address them before attempting to jump-start your car. 

Step 2: Gather Tools 

You’ll need a few items to jump-start your car, including a set of jumper cables and a working car with a charged battery. Jumper cables are typically black and red with clamps on both ends and can be found at your local auto parts store or here at Toyota of Abilene. Park the working car close enough to your vehicle so that you can safely attach the jumper cables to both batteries with ease. 

Step 3: Attach Cables 

Start by ensuring both cars are turned off before attaching the jumper cables. Locate the positive and negative battery terminals on each car, terminals are usually color-coded and labeled with a plus (+) or minus (-) sign. 

Attach one end of the positive (+) cable (usually red) to the dead battery’s positive terminal. Do the same for the support car’s positive terminal. Take one end of the negative (-) cable (usually black) and attach it to the good battery’s negative terminal. Finally, attach the other end of the negative cable to the dead car’s negative battery terminal or an unpainted piece of metal on the car. 

Step 4: Start the Working Car and Wait 

With both vehicles properly connected, start up the working car and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes. As it runs, the charging system will begin to charge the dead battery on your vehicle.  

Step 5: Try Starting Your Car 

After fifteen to twenty minutes, attempt to start your own car. If it starts up, congratulations – you’ve successfully jump-started your vehicle! Next, disconnect the cables in the opposite order you connected them, taking care not to touch the metal parts of the cables together as you remove them. Remove the negative (-) cable from your car’s battery, then the negative cable from the support car’s battery. Do the same for the positive (+) cable on each vehicle.  

Once you disconnect the jumper cables, you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? 

Step 6: If Your Car Doesn’t Start 

If your car still won’t start, try repeating the process. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to get a new battery or have your car inspected by a mechanic here at Toyota of Abilene. 

Final Thoughts 

Jumpstarting your car is easy and a practical skill that every driver should know — but prevention is always better than cure. Ensure that you turn off all lights and electronics in your car when the engine is not running. This will help prevent your battery from draining. Regularly maintaining your battery by cleaning it and checking for leaks or corrosion will also help prolong its lifespan. 

With the right tools and knowledge, knowing how to jump start a vehicle can put you back on the road quickly and avoid a costly tow truck call. Remember to always handle jumper cables with caution, as they contain electricity that can be dangerous if not used correctly. Follow these steps, and you’ll be more than ready to jump-start your car the next time your battery dies on you. 

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Toyota News

Toyota Announces $2.5 Billion Expansion of North Carolina Plant with 350 Additional Jobs and BEV Battery Capacity

Toyota’s global investment climbs up to $5.6 billion, supporting electrification efforts

LIBERTY, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2022) – Toyota announced an additional investment of $2.5 billion in its newest North American facility, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing the total employment to approximately 2,100. Scheduled to begin production in 2025, the facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and BEVs.

Last year, Toyota Motor Corporation announced a global investment of approximately $70 billion (8 trillion JPY*) for electrification efforts. Today, as part of this aspirational goal, TMC announced a future battery production commitment of up to $5.6 billion (730 billion JPY), which includes the new North Carolina investment.  

“This marks another significant milestone for our company,” said Norm Bafunnosenior vice president, Unit Manufacturing and Engineering at Toyota Motor North America. “This plant will serve a central role in Toyota’s leadership toward a fully electrified future and will help us meet our goal of carbon neutrality in our vehicles and global operations by 2035.” 

In 2021, Toyota, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, announced the new Liberty location with an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production and the creation of 1,750 new jobs. With today’s announcement, TBMNC’s total investment is $3.8 billion. 

“This is an exciting time for Toyota, the region and the many North Carolinians we will soon employ, said Sean Suggs, TBMNC president. “This incremental investment reflects our continued commitment to ensuring jobs and future economic growth for the Triad region.”  

Join the Team
Toyota North Carolina is seeking motivated individuals to join its leadership team. To view and apply for open positions, visit www.toyota.com/careers. Production and maintenance employee positions will be available in early 2023. 

* Based on December 2021 Yen-Dollar exchange rate 

About Toyota  

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.   

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 43 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants.  By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles.  With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, more than a quarter of the company’s 2021 North American sales were electrified. 

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.

Source Article: Toyota Newsroom

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Toyota News

Toyota to Collaborate with Redwood Materials on a Sustainable, Closed-Loop Electrified Vehicle Battery Ecosystem

Areas include end-of-life battery solutions for its battery ecosystem, including battery collection, testing & evaluation, remanufacturing, recycling and battery materials production

PLANO, Texas and CARSON CITY, Nev. (June 21, 2022) – Toyota Motor North America (Toyota), as part of its commitment to reduce its environmental footprint year after year and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, has embarked on a mission to create a sustainable, closed-loop battery ecosystem for its electrified powertrains. This mission focuses not only on the collection, testing and recycling of batteries into raw materials to create a sustainable supply chain, but also aims to develop second-life opportunities for remanufactured and repurposed Toyota hybrid electric vehicle batteries by leveraging battery health screening tools and empowering data from its vehicles.

In connection with these goals, Toyota and Redwood Materials (Redwood) will explore a series of end-of-life battery solutions for Toyota’s proposed battery ecosystem. Initially, this collaboration will focus on the collection, testing and recycling of Toyota hybrid electric vehicle batteries. The companies will then look to expand into other areas such as battery health screening and data management, remanufacturing and battery material supply throughout North America.

“We are excited to be working with Redwood Materials to identify solutions for our electrified powertrains at the end-of-life that contributes to our vision of creating a sustainable, circular battery ecosystem,” said Christopher Yang, group vice president of Business Development at Toyota. “We are committed to developing sustainable solutions that allow our batteries to provide value beyond the initial lifecycle in an electrified vehicle. This also contributes to our carbon neutrality goals and our mission to build a more sustainable world for all.”

Redwood Materials is driving down the environmental footprint and cost of lithium-ion batteries by offering large-scale sources of domestic anode and cathode materials produced from recycled batteries. Redwood receives more than ~6 GWh of end-of-life batteries annually for recycling, which are then refined and remanufactured into critical battery materials. The company plans to ramp production of anode and cathode components in the US to 100 GWh annually by 2025, enough to produce more than one million electric vehicles a year. Together, Toyota and Redwood will investigate ways to seamlessly incorporate battery recycling through domestic battery materials manufacturing into Toyota’s battery production strategy, beginning with North America.

“Toyota helped pave the way for clean transportation with the introduction of the Toyota Prius more than 20 years ago. Their commitment not only to sell millions of electrified vehicles this decade but to ensure their circularity into the future is a critical step for electrification,” said JB Straubel, Redwood Materials founder and CEO. “Redwood and Toyota’s shared vision to drive down the environmental footprint and cost of transportation will continue to accelerate the adoption and access to electric vehicles.”

Toyota’s production plans include new and increased automotive battery production in the United States. Recently Toyota announced an investment of $1.29 billion in a new North American battery plant, Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC). When completed, TBMNC is anticipated to produce battery packs for 1.2 million electrified vehicles per year. Toyota expects to sell eight million electrified vehicles globally by 2030 and invest $70B in their development.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles.  With the more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2021 U.S. sales were electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to virtually visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.

About Redwood Materials

Redwood Materials is creating a circular supply chain to drive down the environmental footprint and cost of lithium-ion batteries and the electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage systems they power. Founded by JB Straubel, the Nevada-based company is offering large-scale sources of domestic anode and cathode materials produced from recycled batteries. Redwood receives more than ~6 GWh of end-of-life batteries annually for recycling, which are then refined and remanufactured into critical battery materials. The company plans to ramp production of anode and cathode components in the US to 100 GWh annually by 2025, enough to produce more than one million electric vehicles a year.

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Toyota News

The 2022 Toyota Mirai Ups Future Tech with New Toyota Teammate™ Advanced Driver Assistance 

  • Toyota Teammate™ Advanced Drive Executes Acceleration, Braking, and Steering Under Active Driver Supervision (available on Limited grade)
  • Striking, Elegant Coupe on Premium RWD Platform
  • Up to EPA Estimated 402 Miles of Range on XLE grade
  • Up to $15,000 of Hydrogen Fuel Included with Mirai Purchase or Lease

PLANO, Texas (March 10, 2022) – Toyota’s second-generation Mirai, a premium rear-wheel drive luxury fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) with striking coupe-like design, makes another leap into the future of driving with available Toyota Teammate™ advanced driver assistance technology for model year 2022.

Toyota Teammate is built around the philosophy that people and vehicles can work in partnership to achieve safe, convenient and efficient mobility. Toyota Teammate, available on the 2022 Mirai Limited grade, provides two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park. Mirai Limited will feature standard Advanced Park, while Advanced Drive will be available as a purchased upgrade.

The first-generation Mirai (2016-2020) was the first production FCEV offered for sale to retail customers in North America. This second-generation Mirai is a complete reboot from the first generation, with a stunning design that doesn’t quit, more engaging driving performance, a zero emission range of 402 EPA-estimated miles on the Mirai XLE (previous EPA rating of 312 miles) and technology that brings the future of mobility to the present.

Toyota Teammate Steps Up to the Plate

Toyota Teammate’s Advanced Drive function is designed to support drivers by accurately detecting driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking and steering commands under active supervision of the driver. It can also maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles.

Advanced Drive is classified as a Level 2 system as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE), where the driver continues to perform part of the dynamic driving tasks while the feature is engaged. This functionality allows for hands-free driving on limited access highways under certain conditions with eyes-on-the-road operation. This feature can benefit the driver by reducing fatigue over long periods of driving, enabling the driver to pay closer attention to surroundings for greater safety.

When initiated and monitored by the driver, Advanced Park performs the operations necessary for hands-free parking by controlling steering, acceleration, braking and gear changes when parallel parking or backing into a parking space. Using 360-degree sensing, which integrates the functions of complete-circumference cameras and ultrasonic sensors, the system also provides a bird’s-eye view display to allow the driver to check the vehicle’s position relative to any obstacles during Advanced Park operation.

FCEV: Making Electricity from Hydrogen 

The Toyota Mirai is an FCEV, in essence a “plug-less” electric vehicle. So how does it work?

An FCEV generates its own electricity onboard by combining hydrogen with oxygen from the outside air, with water as the only emission. Pressing the accelerator pedal yields immediate flow of electric power from the fuel cell and/or battery to the rear-mounted AC synchronous electric motor, which drives the rear wheels. As you drive, the fuel cell system combines stored hydrogen with oxygen from the air and a chemical reaction produces electric current and water, which drops out of a hidden vent pipe beneath the car.

Electricity generated by the Mirai’s fuel cell and regenerative braking system is stored in a lithium-ion battery. There’s no need to charge a big battery, which can take several hours in an EV even with fast charging. Instead, the FCEV driver simply fills the tank with hydrogen, just as millions of drivers do every day with gas vehicles.

With an FCEV, the fuel is non-toxic, compressed hydrogen gas rather than liquid gasoline. Every 2022 Toyota Mirai will include up to $15,000 of complimentary hydrogen with a purchase or lease. 

Mirai Pricing

The 2022 XLE grade has a starting MSRP of $49,500. An Advanced Technology Package, which includes Bird’s Eye View camera, Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking and front seat foot illumination, can be added for $1,410.

The Limited grade has a starting MSRP of $66,000. Advanced park is standard and the Toyota Teammate Package can be added for $5,170, which includes Advanced Drive with 10-year subscription (including extension of Safety Connect, Dynamic Navigation and Destination Assist trials); 2-year extension of Remote Connect trial; 12.3-in. color TFT LCD gauge cluster; 120V/100W power outlet and dual-bulb LED headlights. (New Advanced Drive System Service subscription required after expiration of 10-year period, if available. 4G network dependent.)

Both the XLE and Limited grades offer special colors for the price of $425 including Oxygen White, Heavy Metal, Supersonic Red and, exclusive to the Limited, Hydro Blue; 20-inch Super Chrome Alloy wheels are available for the Limited grade for an additional $1,120 (Super Chrome Alloy wheel option is not available on Limited grade models equipped with the Toyota Teammate Package).

Each Mirai comes with up to $15,000 of complimentary hydrogen.

An extended ToyotaCare maintenance plan, good for three years or 35,000 miles, is included with the vehicle. Other owner benefits include roadside assistance for three years (unlimited miles), an eight-year/100,000-mile FCEV warranty on key fuel cell electric vehicle components, a complimentary rental experience for up to 21 days during the first three years of ownership, and much more.

Related Media

 

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. 

Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants.  By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles.  With the more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2021 U.S. sales were electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to virtually visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.

Source Article: Toyota Newsroom