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Toyota Service and Maintenance - Ron Hibbard Toyota - Gallatin, TN

 

It's a big deal when you first hand over the keys to your teenaged driver. Not only is it an emotional time because your once little child is all of a sudden so grown up, but it's also a time of worry. Will they follow the speed limit? Are they texting while driving? All sorts of questions like these will run through your mind from time to time. You have probably told them the importance of car maintenance. You may even have stressed it until they got annoyed with you. (Teenagers, right?) But, there's one area of maintenance that yo may have missed, and that's tire care. Whether your child is driving to high school, the movies or off to college, tire care is vital to on-road safety. Here are five tips to help you, and them, prepare their car for their time spent behind the wheel.

 

Check Tire Pressure

Tires are one of the most important parts of a car. They are also one of the main components that will help keep drivers safe on the road. We all know tires require air in order to roll correctly. But they also need a certain amount of air. Tires with poor pressure – too little air, for instance – can cause a number of problems. They decrease fuel economy and they provide poor traction with the road, which greatly lowers safety. Tire pressure should be checked regularly – once per month and before every long road trip. This means all four tires, plus the spare. To learn the correct tire pressure for your specific car and tires, check these spots:

  • Owner's manual

  • Gas tank lid

  • Driver's side door

  • Tire sidewall

 

Keep Car Aligned

A car in need of an alignment may just seem like an annoying pull to the let or right while driving. But, there is actually much more to it. Not only can an unaligned car lead to lower fuel economy and unsafe driving conditions, but it can also cause tire problems, like uneven and rapid wear. The result is poor traction with the road and more money spent on new tires. Wheels should be checked periodically for poor alignment or if you notice trouble signs like your car pulling to one side while driving on a straight, flat road.

 

Rotate Tires

When you hear the word tire rotation, you may wonder, “Is simply moving tires to a new spot really going to make a difference?” While the concept may sounds silly, to answer the question, yes, rotating your tires makes a world of difference in the overall performance and lifespan of your tires. When tires are rotated, they will wear much more evenly. As a result, you won't spend as much time or money shopping for new ones.

Tire rotations should be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. For a more exact timeframe, check your owner's manual.

Want to learn more about how to keep your teen safe behind the wheel? For more tips and tricks, check out our website, here.



This entry was posted in Ron Hibbard Toyota and tagged tires, car tires, car safety, automotive tires, tire maintenance, importance of tires on car, tire rotations, importance of tire rotations, tire traction, tire pressure, psi on 01/04/2017 at 9:51 PM

Tips for Buying Used - Ron Hibbard Toyota - Gallatin, TN

 

When given the choice between owning a new or used car, most everyone would opt for new. There's nothing like that new-car smell, right? While new cars are great, many shoppers opt for used due to the many benefits it has – the main one being a lower price. But, as everyone knows, there are some real lemons out there. Before you buy the first used car you see, here are some red flags to watch out for so you'll know to walk away and continue your search.

 

Excessive Rust

Cars are made up of a whopping amount of parts, and most all of them can be fixed or replaced. But, when it comes to areas that show excessive rust, fixing or replacing them is not typically ideal. There are many reasons as to why this is. Two reasons are that it is expensive and time consuming. Another is that if a car shows rust on its frame, then its body is actually rotting away. To replace a car's frame – even just part of it – means a huge expense. It also means there is a high risk of weakening the car overall.

When shopping for a used car, ti's okay if you see a little rust here and there. However, if you notice excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, it's best to continue your search for the perfect used car.

 

New or Mismatched Paint

Have you ever seen a car with mismatched paint? A red door and a black bumper, for instance. Even at a quick glance, you probably thought the car was a definite clunker. While this could be true, there is a little more to it.

A used car that shows new or mismatched paint is a clear indicator that repairs have occurred, typically due to a car accident. Some accident damage can, of course, be repaired. The problem, however, is that you don't know what other problems the accident cold have caused the car to endure, like damage to the frame, etc. If the seller is trying to camouflage accident damage, it could be a sign that they aren't someone you can trust. Walking away is most likely the best idea.

 

Warning Lights

We've all done it. Driven around with a warning light on. But, if you climb inside a used car for sale and see warning lights shining brightly at you from the dash – be cautious. Yes, warning lights can come on for minor reasons, like a loose gas cap, but they can also signify a much larger problem. If you think the car is potentially worth it, then be sure to take it to a certified technician who can inspect it and tell you if the lit warning lights are cause for concern.

 

Very Low Price

Yes, used cars are typically going to be sold for a lower price. They are second-hand, after all. But have you ever heard the expression, 'it's too good to be true'? Well, in the case of an unusually low-priced car, it probably is. If you see a car being sold for a very low price, yo may first jump for joy. But don't jump too high. Typically, a used car being sold for a super low price indicates the seller wants to unload it quickly and hopes the minimal cost will make you blind to any issues it has. Don't risk potential problems and repairs. Instead, steer clear of used cars being sold for much less than other models similar to it.

For more car-buying tips and tricks, visit our dealership in Gallatin, Madison and Nashville, TN.

 



This entry was posted in Ron Hibbard Toyota and tagged car-buying tips and tricks, used cars, buying a used car, buying used cars, car-buying tips, used car tips, rusty cars, newly-painted cars on 01/04/2017 at 5:19 PM

Toyota Service - Ron Hibbard Toyota - Gallatin, TN

Owning your own set of wheels means you get to go wherever you need to go, whenever you need to go. While your car may run great for the most part, there will be times that it doesn't run as it should. These times are definitely frustrating, and can also cost you a pretty hefty chunk of change. Unfortunately, when repairs are in need, there's no way around them if you want to get rolling again. Before your car hits a dead end and no longer serves its purpose, the best thing you can do is to be prepared in case problems arise. Here are some simple ways to stay ahead of the game to ensure your car gets the proper care when needed.

 

Have Access to Owner's Manual

In an age where everything is digital, it may seem odd to ever use your owner's manual. It's a book full of paper and printed words, after all. Isn't that a little old school? But trust us, your owner's manual is a very important tool to have at hand, no matter how “old school” it may seem. If problems arise, your owner's manual will provide you with all sorts of information – and pictures – from how to change a tire to what each warning light means. It will also tell you the specific make, model and trim level, which will come in handy when having your car serviced. This information will help your technician identify your car's engine size and configuration, transmission and other features pertaining to it.

 

Choose the Right Shop

Before taking your car anywhere to be serviced – whether for something minor or serious – it's important to figure out what sort of auto repair shop is best for you. You basically have two options, a dealership service department and independent garage. There are benefits to both.

Automotive technicians at the dealership are manufacturer-trained specialists. This means they are trained to work on a specific type of vehicle. Say your vehicle is a Toyota. Taking it to a Toyota dealership for maintenance and repairs will mean your technician is well-versed in your specific vehicle, a very positive quality. A downside is that dealerships can be on the pricier side due to the expertise of their technicians.

Independent garages, on the other hand, can be just as worthwhile as a dealership service department. These shops are typically owned and run by previous dealership employees, so they know the ins and outs of the business. They are also usually less costly.

While both types of places have their pros and cons, the best way to truly know if you are getting quality work is by speaking with the technicians who will be working on your vehicle.

 

Keep All Records

Every time you have your vehicle serviced, whether for regular maintenance or for repairs, it's a good idea to keep track of all service records. (The easiest way to keep track of them is inside a folder in your glove compartment.) Well-kept records can be key to correctly diagnosing any problems your vehicle may have. Incomplete records – or no records – can lead to redundant auto repairs that waste your time and money.

For everything you need to know about cars, and for all maintenance and repairs, visit our dealership in Gallatin, Madison and Nashville, TN.


This entry was posted in Ron Hibbard Toyota and tagged car maintenance, car repairs, broken car, broken down car, automotive maintenance, automotive repairs, automotive tips, automotive tips and tricks on 01/04/2017 at 5:09 PM

Ron Hibbard Toyota Service and Maintenance - Gallatin, TN

It always happens at the worst time – car trouble. From odd sounds to bad smells, there are a number of problems your car's engine may experience at one time or another. So what do you do when it happens? The best way to combat car woes is to be prepared and stay on top of regular maintenance services. Here are a few signs and causes of engine trouble and what you can do about them.

 

Warning Lights

When you start your car, the dashboard lights up like a ferris wheel at night, then quickly vanish when everything is working as it should. But when your car is suffering engine trouble, the lights on your dash will stay lit to warn you of a potential problem. If your check engine light is shining brightly, it can be very nerve wracking. It can also be caused by a number of different reasons, from a loose piston to a poorly screwed on gas cap.

To figure out why your engine light has sprung to life, there are two options. If you want to go the DIY route, you can invest in a diagnostic scan tool. This tool looks like an oversized calculator and plugs into a communication port inside your car. When plugged in, it will scan your car's internal computer to figure out what is wrong.

If you aren't the DIY type, then schedule a time to have your car inspected by a professional and certified technician.

 

Jerking

One of the most telltale signs of engine trouble is a car that jerks, stalls or surges while driven. A properly working engine should always run smoothly. So, if your car is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it's definitely time for an automotive checkup. The cause of a jerking, stalling or surging engine could be due to many issues, like a bad spark plug or a clogged fuel line or fuel filter.

It may sound like just a rougher ride, but these problems actually put you in harms way. If your car won't accelerate as it should when merging onto the highway or your engine revs when idling or accelerating, you may lose control of your car and the situation occurring on the road.

To help eliminate the risk of these problems, preventative maintenance is the best choice. So get your oil and belts changed regularly.

 

Bad Smells

Cars aren't typically known for having the best smell, but certain odors could signify a problem. For instance, if you notice your car's cabin begins to smell, it could be due to an oil or coolant leak, or a more serious problem like a carbon monoxide leak.

Another smell to watch out for is burning rubber. This smell could mean a damaged, loose or worn out drive belt or accessory belt. It could also be due to a rubber hose – filled with important fluids – that is melting because it is touching something it shouldn't be.

To decrease the risk of breaking down or engine damage, take any and all car smells seriously and have them checked out sooner than later.

For all of your automotive needs, visit our dealership in Gallatin, Madison and Nashville, TN.

 



This entry was posted in Ron Hibbard Toyota and tagged Toyota maintenance, automotive lights, engine trouble, engine damage, car maintenance, car problems, car trouble, on 01/04/2017 at 12:44 PM

Toyota Blind Spot Monitor - Ron Hibbard Toyota - Gallatin, TN

 

Being a safe driver means more than simply understanding road signs and abiding by traffic laws. It also means being physically and mentally able to drive a vehicle. As you age, physical changes occur that can make certain actions challenging, like braking or turning to check a blind spot. While driving can become an obstacle the older you become, remaining safe on the road is still possible. Here are some tips to consider.

 

Stay Physically Active

As we age, strength and flexibility begins to diminish. This can cause the simplest of tasks – bending over, climbing stairs, rolling out of bed, etc. – to become difficult. You may not realize it, but driving involves a lot of physical engagement. You may be sitting while you do it, but think about all the movements it requires, like turning the steering wheel, pulling a seat belt into place, and using the legs to actively engage the pedals. Staying physically active is the best way to improve strength and flexibility. As a result, driving becomes easier as well as safer.

 

Test Vision and Hearing

Driving requires all of the five senses, and being able to see and hear are two of the most important. From hitting a curb or another car to running a stop sign or red light, without good vision, accidents are bound to happen, which makes driving very dangerous. Not only for you, but for others on the road too. Hearing is also essential to safety on the road. With it, you will know when to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle, be able to hear a car honk behind you, and also allow you to hear any noises your car may make to signify a problem. Unfortunately, vision and hearing are two senses that tend to decline with age. To ensure your safety behind the wheel, be sure to get regular vision and hearing tests.

 

Know Your Limitations

Being a safe driver means knowing your limitations. Not feeling well or being in pain are two things that cause driving impairment. A doctor's visit may be enough to heal you of these problems, making it safe to step behind the wheel of a car. You may even consider choosing a different vehicle that will better suit your needs, perhaps one with larger features that are easier to read and use.

 

Manage Any Health Problems

There are many health problems that negatively affect the ability to drive, such as diabetes, arthritis or dementia. Many medications can also cause driving impairment. But, this doesn't mean driving is impossible or off limits. The best way to combat health woes and stay safe on the road is by working with your doctor to many any major concerns. Coming up with a treatment plan and sticking to is will not only ensure your safety, but also the safety of others.

 

Update Your Skills

Driving is kind of like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, you never forget. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't ever brush up on your skills. As drivers, we get lay over the years spent behind the wheel. This can lead to poor judgment and driver errors, both problems that put you at an increased risk of fender benders and more serious crashes. To remain safe on the road as the years pass, consider taking a refresher course for older drivers. Not only will it re-instill good driving habits, but it may even earn you a discount on your driving insurance.

For everything you need to know about automotive tips and tricks, visit our dealership in Gallatin, Madison and Nashville, TN.


This entry was posted in Ron Hibbard Toyota and tagged driving as you age, older drivers, driving tips for elderly, tips for older drivers, tips for aging drivers, driving tips, driving tips and tricks, how age affects driving, best cars for older drivers, safe driving, safe driving tips on 12/01/2016 at 10:03 PM

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