Integrity Auto: Independent Toyota, Lexus, & Scion Specialists Blog

Is Flushing Your Toyota, Lexus, Scion Brake Fluid Really Necessary ?

Posted by Duke Bishop on Mon, Apr 06, 2015 @ 01:43 PM

You have probably have heard and also been given this recommendation by your auto repair professional. “Your brake fluid is black and needs to be flushed” and you usually decline because you feel that your vehicle is braking and stopping just fine. That may be true, but overtime many factors will begin to affect your braking system.

toyota_brake_fluidThe standard Dot-4 brake hydraulic fluid that Toyota, Lexus, and Scion and most other manufacturers use is hygroscopic-that is to say, it actively absorbs moisture out of the air, which then becomes a corrosive contaminant. Toyota is silent on service intervals for the brake hydraulics, which is odd, because Lexus-their sister company-recommends that it be flushed every 30,000 miles, which seems to be a common (though not universal) industry standard elsewhere as well.

 

The brake fluid starts out clear and almost completely without color. It gets darker and transitions to amber and eventually black with age. In the absence of service records, this serves as a casual indicator of age. Just as a casual aside, the clutch hydraulic fluid, which is identical to the brake fluid, turns black much more quickly than the brake fluid does. I speculate that this is perhaps because of two factors: First, the two systems are each exposed to the air through vent caps with the same sized vents in the reservoir caps. The clutch hydraulic system though has a much smaller amount of fluid in it. As a result, the same total amount of moisture absorbed becomes a much higher percentage of the whole, and so has a greater effect. Secondly, the hydraulic fluid in the brake system is routinely exposed to much higher temperatures, and so has a tendency to cook some of the moisture back out of the fluid. This is just my theory, and I haven't ever seen it discussed anywhere else.

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Toyota Parts versus Aftermarket Parts

Posted by Duke Bishop on Mon, Mar 09, 2015 @ 03:53 PM

toyota_genuine_partsToyota makes good parts, and that's what we want to use. Our biggest supplier of parts is a Toyota dealership. Our next biggest supplier is a company that sells us the same parts that were made by the original Toyota parts suppliers.

The result is that the vast majority of the parts we use either come from Toyota direct (through a dealership) or from the original suppliers of the Toyota parts. To give you an example, Nippon makes Toyota's fuel filters.

The Nippon fuel filters look identical to the Toyota filters, and in fact, if we care to peel off the strip of black tape that Nippon has applied to the filters they sell us, underneath the tape is the original Toyota parts sticker with it's Toyota part number.

It's the exact same part whether we buy it from Toyota or from Nippon. Same way with clutches. A company with the name Aisin/Asco makes clutches and water pumps for Toyota.

They used to sell those same parts to us new, in a Toyota box, at a price competitive with the same thing remanufactured from Toyota. There wasn't any question in my mind-I preferred the new to the remanufactured.

Since then, Toyota has prevented them from selling those parts in Toyota packaging, but the parts still have all of the same casting marks and look identical, except the water pumps have had the word "Toyota" ground off and replaced with other company markings.

Again, I have a strong preference for Toyota parts. I've just seen too many poor quality alternatives. As a side note, it's not an uncommon strategy for some aftermarket suppliers to offer a lifetime warranty on their products. This is strictly a marketing tool and usually seems to have no relationship to the quality of their product. Over and over I've met people who have gotten stuck with poor quality parts that repeatedly fail prematurely, and eventually they would get worn out with doing repeat repairs and decide that the better quality Toyota part was the better deal after all. Other times the life-time warranty was handled in such a slippery fashion and it was so difficult to manage their way through the hurdles set before them that the life-time warranty was effectively a lie.

 

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Keep your Toyota Wheels Rolling True - [Alignment/Wheel Alignment ]

Posted by Duke Bishop on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 @ 04:06 PM


You drive your car day after day and you just adapt to how it steers, stops and accelerates. You may say to yourself "wheel alignment" my car drives and so what's the big deal? Why should I care about wheel alignment? Eventually your tire's wear gets to the point that you need to get them replaced. You spend some hard earned dollars and your vehicle gets some news shoes. But what happens when you drive your car for the first time is nothing short of astonishing. Your cars turning ability is sharp and concise, your car accelerates with ease and your car becomes a pleasure to drive. The improved driving is only a small portion of the benefits of having your wheels aligned.

Wheel Alignment Fundamentals

When properly aligned, all four wheels should be pointing together parallel to the centerline of the car if you're driving down the road straight. And, they should be close to perpendicular to the road.

If the wheels are out of alignment, then it causes the tires to wear out more rapidly, it causes the steering to be to be more unstable, and can result in decreased gas mileage. The wheels can get out of alignment by hitting curbs or potholes too hard. They can also get out of alignment due to incremental wear of steering and suspension parts.

Proper Wheel Alignment

 

Benefits of Having Your Wheels Aligned:
1. Less Wear & Tear On Other Parts, Having your wheels out of alignment can be stressful to different parts of your car. A car that's wheels are out of alignment causes a continually need to put pressure on the steering system in order to keep the car straight, and when you brake you often feel the car pulling sharply to one side or the other, causing the brakes to work harder on one side than the other and wearing them unevenly.
2. Better Gas Mileage, with the price of a gallon of gas getting close to $4 per gallon, getting more miles to gallon has become paramount. Proper wheel alignment cuts down on rolling resistance, which means that your car doesn't have to work as hard or burn as much fuel in order to move forward.
3. More mileage from your tires, even the slightest out of alignment can have destructive effects upon your tires. If your tires have too much or too little toe-in (the degree at which they point in toward each other at the front, a narrow strip on each tire will begin to wear down very quickly, causing you to have to get new tires sooner. By getting regular wheel alignments, you ensure that your tires wear evenly, making them last as long as possible.
4. Protects Your Tires Warranty, having your tires have excessive wearing from poor wheel alignment is that it usually voids your warranty on the tires. Most warranties only apply to the quality of the goods. If your tires wear out too soon because of something other than poor quality, then the manufacturer is not responsible. The tire manufacture will site negligence by the car's owner and void the warranty.


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Tags: Toyota Repair

Toyota Owners: What Your Check Engine Light Is Trying To Tell You

Posted by Duke Bishop on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 06:37 PM

Check Engine Soon Warning

The check engine light only comes on when the computer believes there's an actual problem. It never comes on based on mileage.

The computer will give a trouble code that indicates either the condition that brought about the code (like "Lean condition") or the system that it believes to be functioning incorrectly (like "EGR flow insufficient").

Sometimes the failed system will be electrical in nature that will result in a code like "Open or short circuit in coolant temperature sensor circuit," in which case there's likely a circuit problem either in the temperature sensor itself, or the wiring between it and the computer.

Some failures won't be in any of the above items, but will rather be a result of a poor power or ground supplies to the computer that control it's ability to think properly. In any case, whatever the problem is it needs to be diagnosed. It's not uncommon for people to mistakenly believe that our use of a computer eliminates the need for diagnosis.

The computer is a wonderful tool that aids us in diagnosis. It's useful enough that we've spent thousands of dollars buying computers and keeping them updated, but a computer is still just a tool; it's not magic, and it doesn't know everything. We are still heavily reliant on the technician's knowledge, experience, and judgement. Depending on the complexity of the system, we will normally get permission to spend a range of time and money for our initial diagnostic time.

Within that time we will do whatever we think will best further your purposes. Once we engage with it, it can go three ways. Best case scenario, we diagnose your problem and repair it. Next best, but very common, we diagnose your Toyota and then call you up with a quote for the repair. At that point you can say yes or no, however you want us to proceed. Worst case, we get to the end of our allotted time and we still haven't come to a conclusion as to the cause of the problem. This worst case is unusual, but it's a real possibility that should be acknowledged.

People often ask if we charge for diagnostic time. The answer is yes. They also ask if we still charge for diagnostic time if the agree to do the service or repair. The answer to that is that to the extent that the diagnostic efforts and the repair efforts overlap, the customer gets the full benefit of that overlap. To the extent that diagnostic efforts and the repairs are separate, they will be charged for separately. So, for instance: If we have to disassemble something in order to tell you that it's defective, then we may already be half way through the labor required for replacement, and of course you'll get the benefit of that. But, if we diagnose something that doesn't require disassembly, then the repair is a whole new activity on top of the initial diagnostic time, and you'll be charged for each individually.

 

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Tags: Check Engine warning light

Keep Your Toyota's Engine Running Smooth, Oil Change Every 3K!!

Posted by guest guest on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 @ 04:25 PM


Faithfully changing your Toyota's engine oil is one of the least glamorous, but most effective steps you can take to insure that your car has a long and happy life.

One of the most important reasons oil needs to be changed is that, over time, oil breaks down due to use and exposure to heat. It becomes less effective at lubricating, which causes engine parts to rub against one another.

Maintain your engine with our Toyota Oil service.

 

Motor oil also gets contaminated by substances like dust, metallic shavings and even antifreeze. And did you know that the additive package, which is part of your fully formulated motor oil, will break down in time and become a contaminant, too? As contaminants are whipped into the oil, sludge is formed. This sludge will stick to parts of the engine causing the engine to perform less efficiently.  Eventually, this sludge can cause engine failure.

Bottom line replacing your engine is much more expensive than changing your Toyota's oil.

Our recommendation is to replace your engine oil and filter every 3000 miles. When performing this service, we also inspect it for any other needs that may have developed in the interim.

Contact Duke or Ryan to have your Toyota, Lexus, Scion Oil Serviced today! 503-408-6385

 

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Tags: Toyota Oil Service, Toyota Repair

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