Once you take every safety system into account, the braking system likely tops the list. Although new technology has made driving much safer, many of the systems, particularly those involving collision avoidance, are useless without a proper functioning braking system. Take care of your brakes to ensure all your systems are good to go on the road. Here are some of the most obvious and common signs you need new brakes from us here at Krause Toyota.
1.Squealing – A hard-to-miss sign that your brake pads need to be replaced, a high-pitched squeal is caused by metal hitting metal. In this case, the built-in indicator strips in the worn brake pads are hitting the rotors, causing the annoying squealing sound. If you hear this, you should take your car in for service as soon as possible to have the pads replaced.
2. Pulling – If your car pulls to either side when braking, odds are the brake lines are wearing unevenly or there’s something in the brake fluid that shouldn’t be there. Take your vehicle to a dealership for a quick fix before it becomes an expensive repair.
3. Sight – One of the best ways to see if you need new brakes is to literally see them. Look through the wheel spokes and you’ll likely see the brake pad pushed against the rotor. If the pad has more than a quarter-inch on it, there’s no need to worry just yet. If there is less than that, though, make a service appointment in the near future for a new set of brake pads.
Now that the summer is here, you probably have a road trip or two planned for your family. However, in order to have a successful road trip, one thing you need to do is make sure everything is packed away properly. Here are a few tips on how to pack your car for a road trip.
- Have everyone in the family, pack a small bag with things they would like to do while in the car—books, tablets, handheld games, drawing pads, etc.
- Snacks play a pivotal role in having a successful road trip. Pack plenty of easy-to-eat snacks that won’t make a big mess. Bring along a reusable water bottle for each person. You’ll want napkins and wet wipes to clean up any messes. Keep snacks and drinks in the center of the vehicle so all passengers can reach them.
- When packing the trunk or cargo area, make sure the heaviest items are on the bottom. Then, of course, the lightest items go on the top.
- Make sure you don’t pack your cargo area too high and impede your view out of the rear window. You also don’t want items to fall over and hit any backseat passengers.
- If you’ll be stopping overnight before you reach your final destination, pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes and basic necessities. This way you won’t have to unpack the whole car.
Now that you know what to pack, make sure your car is road trip ready. Bring it in to Krause Toyota for a quick pre-trip check up.
It isn’t even summer yet and the heat is already getting into cars, making them generally miserable to drive until they cool down. It’s never too early to start following these tips for keeping your car cool in summer.
Parking your car in the shade is one of the best ways to keep your car from getting too hot, especially in a garage, if you have one. Also consider leaving the windows down on sunny days with little chance of rain, if you feel comfortable with it. Invest in a reflective sun shade to put in your windshield.
To cool your car off quickly, put your fan on high and close the upper vents so only the vents by your feet are putting out air. This forces the hot air up through the open windows. Once the hot air is out, you can open the vents again.
A good way to keep your seats cool, especially when you have dark leather or vinyl seats, is to throw a damp towel over them. This will absorb the heat from the sun and keep your legs from getting burned when you sit down.
Spring is officially upon us, and you know what that means: rain. So much rain. The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” warns us of the impending storms. So what’s a driver to do?
Prepare yourself for spring weather by checking out these tips for driving in the rain:
- If possible, try to avoid driving in the rain, and keep in mind that the most dangerous time to drive is right after it starts raining.
- Never use cruise control when it’s raining and try not to drive through small puddles, in an attempt to avoid hydroplaning.
- Never, ever attempt to drive through large puddles, as merely a foot or two of water can make your vehicle lose touch with the ground.
- Be sure that your vehicle has a well-stocked first aid kit prepared, in the event of an accident.
- Lastly, leave much more room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you than you normally would.
Do you have any other rainy weather tips? Stay safe this spring, and to start your season out with a new vehicle, visit us at Krause Toyota.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, or IIHS, spends year after year testing a variety of different vehicles from many different manufacturers and determining their level of safety. Many cars are granted the prestige of the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ title. This year, the IIHS has given Toyota and the company’s sub-brands Scion and Lexus a total of nine Top Safety Pick+ awards, more than any other company in the auto business.
The IIHS made the criteria for 2016’s Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ categories more difficult to meet, but after Toyota added a pre-collision system to both the Avalon and the RAV4, both vehicles reached the Institute’s standards for a superior rating for front crash prevention. The Scion iA, which also comes standard with a pre-collision system, received an advanced rating. Other vehicles that took home the title include the Toyota Prius v, Toyota Camry, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus ES, Lexus RC, and Lexus NS.
All vehicles from Toyota that earned the Top Safety Pick+ award achieved at least a rating of good in all five crashworthiness tests, in addition to coming equipped with available front collision prevention systems. Toyota’s continued dedication and commitment to safety and quality shines through the acceptance of these awards.
Already dreading the impending snowfall this year, and the inevitable snow shoveling that will follow? Whether you’re a staunch believe in “shovel in stages” or “shovel it all at once,” here are some snow shoveling tips to help you out:
- First of all, invest in quality materials. Ditch your old, broken shovel and buy some new, durable gloves.
- Try to shovel the snow whenever the sun is shining. You will be less cold, and perhaps some of the snow could even melt.
- If you’re tired, take a break! A back injury is much worse than a snowy driveway.
- Once you’re done, be sure to lay down some rock salt, perhaps preventing more snow in the future.
- Find out if anyone in your neighborhood is offering snow-shoveling services, which is a great way for stronger kids to earn money.
- If all else fails, give in and buy yourself a snow blower.
For more winter weather tips, or to explore one of our many winter-ready vehicles, contact us or visit us anytime at Krause Toyota Scion.
April is distracted driving a month, a time to pay special attention to distracted driving, or the practice of driving while paying attention to something other than the road – like a cell phone or the mirror, which can cause fatal accidents.
In today’s world, we can be so attached to our devices that it can be difficult to avoid them while driving. Here are some distracted driving tips to keep you safe:
- Give your phone to someone else in the car that can read or send text messages for you as well as make calls.
- Put your cell phone in the back seat, so that you won’t be able to absent-mindedly reach for it.
- Avoid eating while in the car, however tempting fast food options may seem.
- If you’re tired, pull off the road. Sleepy driving absolutely is distracted driving.
- Try to limit the number of passengers in your car – especially rowdier guests, such as children or loud friends.
Do you have any other distracted driving tips? Let us know your ideas in the comments.