Category Archives: Car Tips and Tricks

How to Prevent Car Rust in Winter

prevent car rustWinter is the season of rust—snow itself is bad enough, but add in all those chemicals from salting the roads and you have a recipe for disaster. Once rust finds its way onto your car, it spreads like the common cold. Here are some easy tips to prevent car rust this season.

First, wash your car regularly. Whether you’re at home or you go to a drive-through one, you need to get all the salt and grim and mud off your car before it starts to damage the metal. In winter, it’s good to do this once every week or two.

Don’t forget to spray the underside of the car! If the person or machine doing your car wash doesn’t get the underside, take it home and spray it down. This is where the most salt collects.

You can also protect your car by waxing it. A wax at the beginning of the season should keep the paintjob safe from the elements for the season, though if you live in very salty area you might want to invest in some anti-rust spray.

If you’re looking to schedule a service appointment, be sure  to take advantage of our online scheduler!

How to Choose Best Vehicle for a Young Driver

The Toyota Prius is a great car for a young driver.
The Toyota Prius is a great car for a young driver.

So it’s time to choose a vehicle for your teenage son or daughter. Although your child will be out on his or her own without your helpful guidance from the passenger seat, this doesn’t mean you can’t help them at all. The best way to do that is to choose the best vehicle for a young driver.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety recommends that the vehicle you choose for your child have certain characteristics. And luckily, Toyota has vehicles that fit all of these criteria! Keep these in mind when shopping for your teen’s new car:

Lower horsepower. While it is good to have a little pep when you accelerate, too much horsepower can prove too tempting for young people, increasing the chance of them speeding. Autobytel recommends the Toyota Prius and Pruis Plug-In.

No minicars. Generally, the bigger and heavier the vehicle the safer that vehicle is. Look for a big vehicle to keep your kid safe out on the road. You can check out the Toyota Highlander or Sequoia!

Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC is built on the anti-lock brake system and any car built in the US after 2011 must be manufactured with these systems standard. If you purchase a vehicle made before that, make sure it has ESC.

Good Safety Ratings. This is a given.  The best vehicle for a young driver is the safest vehicle. The IIHS rates every vehicle on the market. See their list of recommend vehicles for young drivers here. Toyota cars that made the list are the Avalon, Carmy, Prius, RAV4, Highlander, Venza, Sienna, and Tundra.

Signs You Need New Brakes or Brake Pads

Signs You Need New BrakesWhile air bags and active driver assistive technologies have made the road safer, there are no safety features on your car that are more important than your brakes. There’s nothing that contributes more to the safety of your car’s occupants and to that of everyone else in the street than your brakes. Conversely, nothing is more dangerous than driving a car with bad brakes.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a brake expert to figure out if yours need replacing. In fact, if your brakes and brake pads are worn, you should be able to tell without so much as having to take a look at them. Here are some of the biggest warning signs you need new brakes.

  • The brake pedal vibrates. A pulsating or vibrating pedal, which feels a bit like when the ABS kicks in during a panic stop, is a sign of warped rotors. If you are certain your wheels isn’t out of alignment, and if you have recently
  • The brakes make a squealing noise. Don’t worry about it if it only happens once or on rare occasions. But if your brakes squeal regularly, that’s a sign your brake pads need to be replaced. Do so quickly before the problem gets worse.
  • The brakes make a grinding noise. That’s when the problem is worse. If your pads are excessively worn, the brake disc and caliper will rub together and make a terrible grinding noise. You’ll need to replace the rotors in addition to the pads.
  • The car pulls to one side. If the car pulls to one side while braking, this is usually a sign that the pads are wearing unevenly and need to be replaced.

If any of these are happening to you, visit Haddad Toyota at once to get your car back into shape!

Why You Should Buy Winter Tires

winter tiresSome of you might be wondering why anyone would buy winter tires when all-season tires exist. But there are actually several good reasons why you should buy winter tires, and fewer downsides than you might think.

To begin with, winter tires provide more grip on wet or snowy roads than all-season tires, reducing braking distance and increasing cornering ability. It’s not just more fun for the thrill seekers out there: it’s also safer.

Secondly, summer tires, which you would likely use when not using winter tires, provide more grip on dry roads than all-season tires. All-season tires provide a compromise between the two, one ultimately driven by cost and convenience. It’s cheaper to just use one set of tires all year round… isn’t it?

Well, not really. Yes, buying two sets of tires will be more expensive at first. But because you’ll use each set about half as long per year, by the time you buy a new set of all-seasons, your summer and winter tires will still have half their life ahead of them.

The only real downside? It’s about an hour out of your year to change the tires. If that’s too much of an inconvenience for you, we’d be happy to help change your tires at Haddad Toyota!

What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

what to do when your car breaks downSometimes unexpected things happen. Even if you keep up with your routine maintenance on your car, you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road in a car that won’t start.

Knowing what to do when your car breaks down can save you time and money, so remember these tips if you ever find yourself on the side of the freeway with engine troubles.

If you can pull over and off the road, do so, or park it in the middle of the street if you can’t, but either way turn on your hazard lights so other cars will know to go around you or switch lanes so they don’t get too close to you.

Next, call for help, preferably your roadside assistance provided either by your insurance or through your manufacturer, and tell them your location so they can come and give you a tow or try to help you fix the problem.

Also, don’t leave your car! Roadside services may take a while to show up, but you have to be with your car when they do, so even though it’s not ideal, you can’t have a friend come pick you up and wait for roadside assistance to show.

And finally, be wary of strangers. Police officers are one thing, but some good samaritans aren’t necessarily good.

How Can You Tell When You Need New Tires?

16215274363_b7d721bcde_z (1)Your tires are a very important part of your car, but they can wear out pretty quickly. Imagine running thousands of miles while barefoot. Your feet would be pretty damaged. That’s what can happen if your cars’ tires don’t have enough tread!

There are plenty of ways to tell if your tires need replacing. First, check your tire pressure using a gauge. If your tires are low (according to your owner’s manual), you can give them some air. If your tire isn’t holding air, you definitely need to come to the service center to get it repaired or replaced.

Also check your tires regularly for bulging or cracking, and also for nails or other things sticking out of them.

Finally, if you need to know whether your tread is too low, go for the penny test. Find a penny and place it in between your tread, with Abe’s head pointing downward. If you can see the top of Abe’s head, your tread is too low and the tire needs to be replaced.

If you’re unsure whether you need new tires or not, come over to Haddad Toyota’s service center and we’ll help you out. We also have great deals on new tires!

What Do You Do When You Witness a Car Crash?

car crash

It’s happened: a car crash. Thankfully, you weren’t involved, but you witnessed the accident. So the question is: What do you do when you have seen a car crash?

Don’t Get Too Close – This tip applies to two things—your car and yourself. You will want to keep your car back so that emergency vehicles and personnel can get to the crash and help the people involved. Never leave your vehicle in the middle of traffic or somewhere it might cause another accident. As for yourself, you will want to keep your personal distance if you think that the scene is unsafe.

Call 911 – If you think anyone was injured, immediately call 911. If the scene seems safe to approach, you can try to make the victims comfortable, but DO NOT MOVE THEM. Leave that to professional medical personnel, since moving someone with a minor injury can easily make it into a major one.

Write Down What You Saw – When police arrive, they are going to need to know what happened. So, to make sure that your account of the accident is accurate (and to help if one of the parties in the accident is being dishonest to avoid being placed at fault), write down a few notes about what you saw. Make sure that you are honest—you may be called upon to testify to this information while under oath. Alternatively, if the accident was a hit-and-run situation, write down the license plate of the car that drove off to give to police.

Accidents are sometimes unavoidable, but if you drive a new Toyota, you can rest assured that every measure has been taken to ensure the safest ride possible.

5 Road Trip Tips That Will Ensure the Perfect Vacation

Road Trip TipsThe weather is warming up and the kids are coming up on their last weeks of school. Summer is almost here! And you know what that means – it’s time for vacation!

Whether you’re taking a short weekend trip or a long trip to a place far away, chances are you’ll be in the car at some point. If you’re driving to your destination, you’ll probably be in the car for extended periods of time, and if you’re prepared, your car ride can be the best part of your trip! Take a look at these 5 road trip tips to take your vacation to the next level.

  1. Bring Snacks. If you’re stopping every hour because someone is hungry, you’ll never reach your destination. Bringing some extra food and snacks with you can also help cut down on costs related to fast food stops.
  2. Bring Games. Nothing puts a damper on the fun mood of vacation than hearing your kids say, “Are we there yet?” If you can keep the family entertained during the car ride, everyone will have much more fun. One of our favorite games is Road Trip Bingo. It’s easy and everyone can play – even the driver!
  3. Take pictures. Some of the most beautiful scenery can be found on the highways and backroads of America. While you may be more focused on taking pictures during your actual vacation, road photos can be just as fun to take. Have a photo scavenger hunt with your kids in the car to see who can capture the best photo of the road.
  4. Have a map in the car with some alternate routes. Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances, like a road closure or accident, that you didn’t plan on during your trip. If you have some alternate routes planned out you could save hours of your drive. Having a map with you can also help when you’re in an area with no cell phone service.
  5. Be prepared. You should always have a first aid kit and emergency water and snacks in your car in case you break down or get stranded.

Road trips can be fun for the entire family if you’re prepared. Follow these tips and you’re sure to have an amazing summer! And if you’re looking for the perfect vehicle for a road trip, we have several at Haddad Toyota. Stop in today!

Spring Car Maintenance Tips from Haddad Toyota

spring car maintenance tips
Make sure to check your tire treads. Use a penny – if you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.

All of us at Haddad Auto Group are excited that spring officially starts this Friday. While we may not have spring weather yet, we still want to make sure that we are starting to think about how to take the best care of our cars with the changing of the season. So, here are our spring car maintenance tips to help get you started off in the right direction this coming season.

  1. Be sure to check your battery. Winter’s harsh weather can take a toll on your battery, so be sure to stop by your local mechanic’s shop to get the battery tested for the months ahead.
  2. Check your tires for normal wear and tear and if you have winter tires, it’s time to switch to your all-season tires.
  3. Replace old wiper blades to keep up with the spring rains.
  4. Inspect your air conditioning system to make sure it’s working before you need it.
  5. Wash and wax your vehicle to get all of winter’s grime off your car and protect it for the future.
  6. Check the belts and hoses on your car to help prevent a break and major mechanical issues down the line.

What To Put In Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

 

Woman placing cone on snowy road
Should the worst happen, and you get stranded this winter on the side of the road, your emergency preparedness kit could save your life. Be sure to put one in your trunk, just in case you should need it.

With the holidays coming up, and road trips inevitable, it’s important to be prepared for your trip. No, we don’t mean ensuring that you have packed everything from your extra shoes to your toothbrush. Nor do we mean ensuring that your suitcase get in the car. We mean making sure that if the worst should happen, and you get stuck on the side of the road somewhere this winter, that you are prepared to stick it out.

While this may not be a fun thing to think about, every winter we tend to hear stories about people who got stuck in a snow bank and had to survive in their car.  If it happened to you, would you have enough supplies to make it until help arrived? Sadly, most people don’t. That’s why at Haddad Toyota we suggest that you have an emergency preparedness kit in your car at all times. This can simply be a small duffle bag or Tupperware container that you keep tucked away in the corner of your car, but this kit could save your life one day. Here’s a short list of what to include in your kit:

  •  Water
  • Snacks
  • A flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra cash
  • Blankets
  • Matches

Let us know what else you think could be useful in your emergency preparedness kit and be sure to stay safe and be prepared for whatever gets thrown your way this winter.