The Toy Shop

Serving Toyota, Lexus, and Scion owners in Cypress, Buena Park, La Palma, and all of Orange County

The Toy Shop - Serving Toyota, Lexus, and Scion owners in Cypress, Buena Park, La Palma, and all of Orange County

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From The Toy Shop

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. Cypress people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better MPG and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Cypress motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Cypress grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their trucks for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Cypress drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own trucks on the road in CA.

The quick Cypress drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At The Toy ShopThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your truck’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is detrimental for your engine.

There’s another important reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Cypress car owners. It’s simple – a The Toy Shop professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your The Toy Shop technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or expensive repair.

Your thoughtful The Toy Shop service advisor will also visually inspect your truck for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your The Toy Shop advisor will be able to remind you of other important services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Cypress dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your truck gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some cash, but they are less pricey than new truck payments in Cypress. With proper service at The Toy Shop in Cypress and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more cash in your wallet.

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Cypress Car Owners

A generation ago, Cypress auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your truck in to your Cypress shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Cypress used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the truck was in for a tune-up at The Toy Shop, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our trucks don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Cypress drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Cypress service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At The Toy Shop in Cypress, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and MPG. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern truck engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of important parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the truck isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your truck engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the truck engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this pricey damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Cypress motorists than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to important engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Downey who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Cypress folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Cypress auto owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel efficiency, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Cypress Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Cypress auto owners, truck manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Cypress auto owners follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles around Cypress?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero CA temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in CA?
Do you drive often in dusty Downey areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Cypress?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold CA weather?

Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Cypress highway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Downey or Whittier? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Cypress surface streets?

Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Cypress weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should Cypress motorists care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Cypress or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to harmful oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why CA auto owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in nice CA summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent detrimental corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your gas mileage. If you want some expert advice, talk with your thoughtful The Toy Shop advisor. We can help you restore your truck to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.

The Toy Shop
714.826.1171
5051 Lincoln Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

Cypress auto owners live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and Cypress motorists want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service in Cypress.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Cypress car owners shouldn’t forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don’t forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs less expensive.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Cypress drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don’t forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent pricey mechanical damage and improving gas mileage.

Now this is a lot to remember for Cypress motorists – too much really. But it is your Cypress automotive technician’s job to keep on top of this stuff. At The Toy Shop we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use – the regular schedule or the severe service schedule – depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older truck.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you’ll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us Cypress drivers can’t afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient – and pricey – problems down the road, and can keep driving “old faithful” for years to come.

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Cypress

The hottest CA news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Cypress. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Cypress car owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Downey environment. You can really improve your fuel efficiency by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Cypress car owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Cypress service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your The Toy Shopservice specialist. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Cypress gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the truck owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with vital information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Cypress auto owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s harmful dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Cypress residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced gas mileage! And with current gas prices in the Cypress area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Cypress drivers cash at the pump. 

Now most Cypress drivers aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other essential services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

The Toy Shop knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at The Toy Shop – which may also be updated with recall notices and important maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth In Whittier

There’s a segment of the Whittier population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the CA area over time. Many Whittier motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.

Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Whittier drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.

Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.

La Palma The Maintenance-Free MythNow, the ignition system in your truck is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to The Toy Shop for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Whittier have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.

Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your truck will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern truck engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

For example, your truck engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At The Toy Shop, we have been taking care of all those little things for 10 years. Your truck still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Whittier did not go away.

The Toy Shop Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Cypress service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Cypress drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

The Toy Shop fuel system cleaning: Over time, the truck fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

The Toy Shop headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

The Toy Shop inspections: Cypress drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for CA summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used truck and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

The Toy Shop oil change: – there are several options: Some Cypress centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

The Toy Shop PCV valve replacement in Cypress:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

The Toy Shop power steering service: Often overlooked. Your thoughtful The Toy Shop technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the truck system running well for a long time.

The Toy Shop serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the truck engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

The Toy Shop shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Cypress people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

The Toy Shop transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

The Toy Shop tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Cypress?

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Cypress?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Cypress – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Cypress.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact The Toy Shop for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 5051 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, CA 90630
You can reach us by phone at: 714.826.1171

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so The Toy Shop recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at The Toy Shop).
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

For more information, contact Robert at The Toy Shop by calling 714.826.1171.

The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Cypress Drivers

People in Cypress have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers in Cypress are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Cypress were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Visit The Toy Shop in Cypress, CA 90630

Severe driving around Cypress includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Cypress just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.

Some types of truck will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Cypress service advisor at The Toy Shop and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.

Training Received by Technicians In Cypress, CA

When your car breaks down in the Cypress, CA area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Cypress car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

We’ve been checking into some of the vital training our Cypress CA technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

Today there are four cylinder engines around Cypress that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Cypress motorists at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on CA highways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Cypress auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It’s a real challenge for the service specialists at  The Toy Shop and other Cypress auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Cypress techs go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Cypress automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

Service centers in Cypress, CA have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like The Toy Shop subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Cypress drivers want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your truck in. Cypress drivers can trust their thoughtful The Toy Shop techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at The Toy Shop. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

At The Toy Shop, we provide quality automotive service including air conditioning service, cooling system service and chassis lubrication.<br><br>