Brakes – FAQs Answered

BrakesAt Route 44 Toyota we get that taking your vehicle to get your brakes changed can be at the top of your avoidance list. Or you might think you need your brakes or brake pads changed but in reality, they’re doing just fine. So how do you know when to bring in your car for new brakes? We answer some of the most common brake FAQs that people ask.

My brakes are squealing – do I need new brakes?

If your brake light is on and your brakes squeak/grind, it’s time to bring in your car. If your brakes feel like they are pulsing or grabbing or feel “soft” when you hit the brake pedal, these are warning signs that your brakes are going bad. It can be dangerous to ignore warning signs like this and turn small brake problems into more expensive damage if not properly handled.

My brakes squeak when I step on the pedal. Why?

A little bit of brake noise is unavoidable like those awkward junior high dances we’ve all tried to forget. Stop-and-go traffic, dusty conditions and humidity can all cause brake pads to harden or “glaze”. When this happens it makes the friction surfaces generate noise on contact. Brake noise can also indicate a weak link somewhere else in your brake system and the noise is just the first warning sign. If your brakes are consistently making a lot of noise, it’s time to bring in your vehicle and get it checked out and serviced if need be.

How long do brake pads and rotors last?

The lifespan of your brake pads and rotors depends on a variety of factors including the type of pads and rotors you have and how you drive. Most brake pad companies say that pads last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles. Your brake rotors can last almost three times as long as your brake pads but it really depends on your driving style and the driving conditions.

These are just some of the most common questions we get about brakes and when they should be changed. If you think your brakes need to be looked at, bring them in to our service department at Route 44 today! You can even schedule your service with us right on our website!

Oil Changes: Why Are They Important?

Oil ChangeHere at Route 44 Toyota, we understand that taking your vehicle to get its oil changed isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. You may even put it off longer than you intended to but in reality, it’s hurting your car. We explain some of the most FAQ’s about oil changes and why it’s important to change your vehicles oil often.

Why should I change my oil?

Oil is what lubricates the moving parts of your engine. It helps keep them cool by lowering the friction and carrying the heat away. Oil also keeps any tiny particles from scratching tightly-fit parts. The heat breaks down your oil. It makes the oil watery or gummy which makes it not lubricate your engine correctly. The longer it’s in the engine, the dirtier it gets and the more damage it can do to your engine.

How often should oil be changed?

Oil changes are recommended once a certain mile limit is hit or time limit has been reached. The most popular interval is 3,000 miles or three months. So which is more important; time or mileage? Experts have said trust the odometer and not the calendar. Driving your car has more impact on the engine and your oil consumption. If you only drive your car in the spring/summer months, you wouldn’t need to get it changed in the middle of winter.

Do I need to change my oil filter each time I get my oil changed?

Yes. The primary job of an oil filter is to remove oil contaminants. The filter allows oil to flow through and restricts any solid contaminants and keeps them from re-entering the engine lubricating areas. When the oil filter is full, the oil contaminants can flow around freely and return to the engine. These contaminants can cause damage to moving parts and speed up the formation of sludge.

What happens when I skip an oil change?

Not changing your oil might not seem like a huge deal and you think you can go another 3,000 miles or 3 months on the same oil. If you skip an oil change, there will begin buildup in the cooler parts of the engine which can cause carbon deposits or sludge coming out of the old oil. This could cause you to get an engine cleaning which can be expensive. Even worse is when the pistons seize or the camshafts get damaged. Neither of these is a cheap bill so getting a regular oil change can save you money in the long haul.

Those are just some of the most common questions we get asked about oil changes. You can schedule your next service at Route 44 Toyota online today or give our service department a call! Think of regular oil changes as cheap insurance for your engine!

Repurposed Toyota Camry Battery Packs Power Lamar Buffalo Ranch at Yellowstone

We at Route 44 Toyota are dedicated to sustainable energy – and for many of our patrons, the allure of a hybrid not only stems from cleaner driving, but also the appeal of better fuel economy.

Toyota Camry battery packsBut some may be wondering what happens when the battery comes to the end of its automotive life – and where does it go from there? Great question! Even when battery packs are no longer deemed useful for the cars they were made for, as the energy-storage capacity dwindles over time, they can still serve an alternate purpose.

Recently, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus within Yellowstone has implemented an alternate energy system of 208 nickel-metal-hydride battery packs from used Toyota Camry hybrids. With 85 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity, the Toyota Camry battery packs store the energy generated from solar panels powering the ranch’s five buildings, which is enough electricity annually to power six average U.S. households, according to Toyota.

We at Route 44 Toyota are proud to be part of a company dedicated to sustainable and renewable energy. And while we can’t help you build your own power system out of used battery packs, we can definitely offer you the finest, most efficient fleet of hybrid vehicles! So be sure to come visit us, today!

It’s a “Pimped Out” Dad Van Fit for an Entourage – The Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna

Turns out one of Boston’s favorite sons has one of the coolest dad-vans around!

Called the “mint mobile” by his kids, due to the plethora of Life Savers always supplied, Mark Wahlberg recently, and proudly, revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that he has “pimped out” his Toyota Sienna minivan!

Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna“I like my car because it’s very unassuming,” says Wahlberg, “It’s got rims on it. Direct TV. Tinted windows. My kids love it!” And after seeing its picture, Ellen agrees, “That’s a nice lookin’ minivan!”

Termed the “Original Swagger Wagon” by the Japanese Auto maker, the 2015 Toyota Sienna features a stylish interior with a wraparound dashboard design, seating for eight passengers, ample storage capacity/versatility, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine ready to take you where you want to go!

The Hollywood star also appreciates the reclining seats so he can relax while being driven home from the airport – but not too many people get the privilege of driving the decked out van, as it’s his “new baby.”

If you too are in the market for a Mark Wahlberg Toyota Sienna – like van for your own entourage, be sure to come visit us at Route 44 Toyota, today!

Toyota Sienna Takes Best in Class Minivan Award at NEMPA

The original swagger wagon has been collecting awards and accolades since the 2015 model was introduced. The latest award the 2015 Toyota Sienna claimed was at the New England Motor Press Association, NEMPA, for Best in Class Minivan! The technology conference was organized by NEMPA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2015 Toyota Sienna - Best in Class Minivan AwardThis isn’t the first award for Toyota to walk away with from NEMPA. In the past Toyota has taken home the Wheels TV Previously Owned Vehicle Award for the RAV4 in 2006-2012. The RAV4 is the sporty and comfortable SUV from Toyota and is still a leader in the compact crossover segment.

This year at the technology conference there was a heavier focus on green vehicle technology and they even had a panel of experts who examined fuel economy, innovation in green vehicles technologies and emissions reduction to name a few. Director of Energy & Environmental Research at Toyota Manufacturing North America, Robert Wimmer, discussed details about the hydrogen fuel cell technology from Toyota.

The recently redesigned Sienna has a more stylish interior with a more comfortable and entertaining cockpit area. It has up to 150 cubic feet of cargo space making it easy for all of your storage needs. With its new intelligent infotainment system you’ll be able to enjoy the available Entune App Suite and your favorite apps to help you stay connected while you’re on the road. The 2015 Sienna is the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive in its class. It has an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg (city/highway) allowing you to go longer between your trips to the gas station.

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we love the swagger wagon and think that the 2015 Sienna makes a great family vehicle. Interested in more information on the 2015 Toyota Sienna? Visit our website for more details. We’re glad the Sienna took Best in Class Minivan at the NEMPA Technology Conference right here in our home state!

Getting the Most Out of Your Summer: Road Trip Tips

For some, warmer weather means more road trips. That’s why we’ve put together a list of road trip tips to help you get the most out of any long-distance excursions you might be planning this summer.

Summer Road Trip TipsThe most important thing to do before you go is make a checklist. According to the Travel Channel, you should secure a reliable cell phone (in addition to the one you may already have), get your vehicle serviced, and check your spare tire. By having doing an overall checkup and staying prepared, you’ll avoid ending your trip early.

Adding up fuel mileage is also important, as this is one of the major costs for your road trip. By filling up your car, resetting the odometer, and then recording how many gallons you’ve used when you fill up next, you can calculate your actual fuel mileage. Simply divide the miles by the gallons of gas, and that’s your vehicle’s mpg. By taking the average from multiple calculations, you’ll get a more accurate readout.

Though this may be a given for most, make sure to bring something to keep the kids entertained. Nothing drains the life out of a road trip like unhappy travelers. Bring games, snacks, and plenty of music for the trip.

Last but not least, pack light. Fewer bags mean more space, plain and simple. By following these tips, you’re bound to have a great road trip.

Let’s Go Places: Our Favorite Attractions in Plymouth, MA

Now that spring is upon us, we thought we’d share our favorite local attractions for getting out of the house, and discovering all Plymouth has to offer. Here are some of our favorite top-rated attractions in Plymouth, MA.

Let's Go Places - Attractions in Plymouth, MA

“Court Street Plymouth MA” by Raime

Jenney Museum. The Jenney Museum offers a peek into our country’s first years. Stories of how the pilgrims lived, who they were, and their beliefs and motivations are captivating. A number of tours offer an in-depth look at life in the 17th century. All tours require advance reservations.

Plimoth Plantation. This plantation recreates the Wampanoag settlement and Plimoth Village, allowing visitors to see how life was lived at the time of the pilgrims. Actors dressed as the individuals from that time period share stories and answer questions, bringing history to life. Also check out the craft center, rare breed animals, and Mayflower II.

Whale Watching and Deep Sea Fishing. Head out to sea with Captain John for an experience you won’t forget. The knowledgeable and accommodating staff ensures a positive experience for everyone on board, finding the very best spots for whale watching or deep sea fishing, depending on your tour.

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we have an exciting selection of vehicles to get you where you’re going this spring. Stop by today to find the right fit for your family and Let’s Go Places this summer!

Go Green with a New Toyota Hybrid

Toyota has been a leader and innovator when it comes to hybrid technology and building environmentally friendly vehicles. Now with 8 hybrid models, the extensive selection allows you to get exactly what you’re looking for. There’s never been a better time to go green with a new Toyota hybrid!

New Toyota HybridIf you want to stay in the car realm, you have a choice between the Prius, Prius c, Prius v, Prius Plug-in, Camry and Avalon! The Prius was Toyota’s first major hybrid milestone and continues to get better and better ever year. The Prius c offers the highest city mpg of any vehicle without a plug with an EPA-estimated 53 mpg rating. The Camry and Avalon offer a little more space and power with great mpg ratings as well!

SUV lovers don’t worry, there’s a hybrid for you as well! Take your pick between the Highlander or RAV4, which was just recently announced. The Highlander offers all the space and power you want from a traditional SUV but not the gas guzzling. It gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The RAV4 won’t be available until later this year, but it too offers excellent fuel economy as well as all wheel drive.

Purchasing a hybrid allows you to reduce your own carbon footprint and do something great for the environment, while getting the new car perks you desire. Not to mention, the savings over time really add up when you’re not purchasing gas every other day! Come visit us at Route 44 Toyota for more information about going green with a new hybrid!

Toyota March Sales: Automaker Dominating Market

Toyota took American-based automakers Ford and General Motors to the cleaners last month. This is the first time since 2009 that Toyota was within arm’s length of taking the top two North American automakers down. In all, Toyota March sales rose nearly 5% compared to last year.

General Motors and Ford both saw a decline in sales compared to last year. Overall, General Motors is lagging behind with a 2.4% decline while Ford is worse off, dropping 3.4%. This doesn’t seem to be effecting predications that the auto market will move 17 million vehicles in 2015 though.

Toyota March SalesInterestingly, Toyota isn’t the only foreign automaker to see an increase in sales during March on American ground. Hyundai, Audi, and Kia all saw their sales improve as well. Still, they all pale in comparison to Toyota’s nearly 226,000 units sold in March.

As the largest global automaker, Toyota gaining traction in the United States is no surprise. The surprise is that the foreign automaker is beating out Ford and General Motors on their own turf. Sales were brought home by a 12% rise in the truck and SUV segments. Another surprise, as Toyota is more well-known for its cars.

Here at Route 44 Toyota we are ecstatic that Toyota is taking over the top spot from the North American automakers! Thanks to all of our great customers who have helped take Toyota to the top of the leader board!

What other surprises will Toyota have in store of us this year?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driving AwarenessWith the technology we have it can be tough to not get distracted when you’re behind the wheel of a car. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and we want to give you some tips and tricks to use to help prevent you from getting distracted while driving.

  1. Use Your Cell Phone for Emergencies Only – Don’t use a cell phone, handheld or hands-free, while you’re driving unless it is an absolute emergency. Texting, talking, checking emails or playing games on your cell phone are extremely dangerous while you’re driving. If you absolutely need to make a call, pull over to the side of the road to be safe.
  2. Don’t Drive if You’re Drowsy – If you’re drowsy and driving it increases the risk of a crash by almost four times. If you feel tired, pull over and get off of the road. Do not try to get home faster as you could easily nod off.
  3. Limit the Number of Passengers – Limiting the number of passengers in the car can help keep you focused on driving and not what’s going on around you. If you’re a teen driver, or your child is, limit the amount of activity that is going on in the car. Driving with friends is very dangerous especially for new drivers.
  4. Avoid Eating While Driving – Everyone is busy but eating in your car while driving can be a big distraction. If you eat while you drive you are less attentive to the road and the drivers around you. If you spill your food that can cause you to jerk the car and hit someone else or run off of the road.
  5. Multi-Task Outside of the Car – Everyone spends a lot of time in their vehicle but multi-tasking while driving is never a good option. Whether it’s calling friends, looking for good music or even texting, it can wait until you’re not driving.

Here at Route 44 Toyota we understand the dangers of driving distracted. Stay focused when you drive and make sure to share these distracted driving tips with your family and friends to help them realize the dangers of distracted driving.