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Driven To Learn
Preventative maintenance: all hype or truly helpful?
learn category
June 2021
4 min read
Toyotas are known for their dependability and reliability: a simple internet search will state the same from many sources. And with this reputation, it can be tempting to think that maintenance isn’t necessary on a regular basis.  
However, if you'd like to get the most out of your Toyota, it's best to stay on top of routine maintenance and inspections, whether you own or lease. Finding the time to bring your vehicle in for service is vital for several reasons. Regular service will often catch possible issues before they occur, you may prevent a small item turning into a larger issue over time, and you can help your vehicle maintain its value over time.  
Performing regular maintenance may also save you a lot of money and financial headaches long-term because you can often avoid costly repairs due to breakdowns or reduced fuel efficiency. As most of us know, these types of financial headaches have a way of popping up at the worst possible moment – and they can leave you without your vehicle while it's being repaired.  

Here's what you should know about the most common routine maintenance items: 

Follow your oil change schedule
Oil provides lubrication to all the moving parts in your engine. There are several benefits to maintaining your oil, which include reducing the friction and heat inside of your engine, maintaining fuel economy, and extending the life of your pistons and gaskets. Oil provides less of this protection as it ages. 
A woman inspects the underside of a car.  At a Toyota dealership, all technicians are specially trained, and they know your vehicle better than anyone else! 

As you drive your car, your oil slowly degrades and accumulates debris. A lot of this debris enters through your fuel line in the form of additives, detergents, and dirt. Your engine oil works to keep a lot of this debris from harming your engine, but as your oil absorbs these pollutants, it becomes thick and grimy. As a result, your engine needs to work harder due to increased resistance and friction, which reduces your fuel efficiency and makes engine damage or breakdowns more likely.  

Rotate tires regularly
You may notice that most service centers will offer to rotate your tires during your routine service visits. This is because the wear and tear your tires experience varies depending on how you drive and what type of drivetrain you have. Since your tires do not wear evenly, they need to be rotated regularly to last longer.  
What many people don't realize is that your tires have a marked impact on your fuel economy. Overworn tires will reduce your fuel efficiency and increase the risk of blowouts and slow leaks. The cost of rotating your tires pales in comparison to replacing tires that have worn unevenly. 

Regular service will often catch possible issues before they occur, you may prevent a small item turning into a larger issue over time, and you can help your vehicle maintain its value over time.

Don’t delay brake service
Whenever you put your foot on the brake, your vehicle slows because a brake pad or drum comes into contact with your rotors. This friction slows the movement of your wheels and brings you to a halt. Brakes are designed to slowly wear down and then make a metallic squeaking sound near the end of their lives. 

Paying attention to your brakes is critical because routine brake maintenance prevents damage to your rotors. If your brake pads become worn down, your brakes will contact your rotors directly and wear them down until they need to be replaced as well. It's worth noting that rotors are far more expensive to replace than brakes. 

Maintenance is vital on leased vehicles too
If you are leasing your Toyota, you may feel that maintenance is unnecessary since you will only have it for a short time. There are several reasons that this isn't true. As mentioned previously, you could find yourself needing costly repairs that would've been less expensive if addressed early on or may even see your fuel economy drop slightly over time.
A woman in safety glasses works on the wheel of a vehicle.  Your Toyota dealership has the right tools to take care of your vehicle.

Another significant reason you will want to stick to your routine maintenance schedule is that you are required to return your Toyota with normal wear and tear at the end of your term. While we don't expect you to return your vehicle in factory condition, there is a complementary inspection at the end of your lease. If it indicates excess wear and use, you may be charged at the end of your lease, per your lease agreement. 

Servicing your vehicle protects its value
Whether you own or lease your Toyota, it is a significant investment, and you want to take care of it. Sometime in the future, you may wish to trade it in or sell it when you are ready for a new vehicle. You want to get the most value out of it when this time comes.  
Well-maintained vehicles have higher resale values because they are not in disrepair. When a dealer provides a valuation on your trade, one factor considered is how much work it will take to place the vehicle up for sale again. If significant repairs are needed, the value of your trade will plummet. 

Where you service your vehicle matters
Advances in technology have made auto repair more complex than it has ever been. This is why you want to bring your vehicle to a Toyota dealership for maintenance and repairs. The technicians at your dealership have earned certifications specific to Toyota vehicles and have the equipment needed to perform more complex inspections and repairs.  
Additionally, your vehicle has ToyotaCare for the first 2 years or 25,000 miles – along with its warranty. You'll know which maintenance items are offered to you for free by visiting your local dealership for service. Why would you go anywhere else? 

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