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

Drive Train – What You Need to Know In Cypress

One Cypress automotive service issue that doesn’t get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don’t get talked about very much around Downey, but they’re very critical. First let’s define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That’s not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you’re not moving. So Cypress motorists need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we’re going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call:
The Toy Shop
5051 Lincoln Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630
Call Us at 714.826.1171

Let’s start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel, come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, The Toy Shop driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it’s torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner’s manual or check with your thoughtful The Toy Shop technician.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in Cypress have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most Cypress auto owners have probably heard the term ‘u-joints‘. These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at The Toy Shop in Cypress.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or Cypress service advisor for intervals.

Now let’s go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The truck may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in Cypress, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don’t work well on dry pavement when they’re in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is critical as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There’s a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So Cypress motorists need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for Cypress car owners is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner’s manual. Your Cypress service advisor can answer any questions you’ve got. If this is the first time you’ve heard some of this stuff – it’s time to ask someone at The Toy Shop if any of it needs to be done now.

Watch our auto tips video from AutoNetTV

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Cypress Drivers

Cypress drivers know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your truck engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the truck engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional truck engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Cypress DriversWhy the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the truck engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the truck engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Cypress auto owners should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Cypress motorists will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Power Steering Service At The Toy Shop In Cypress

Many Cypress auto owners have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Cypress as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at The Toy Shop in Cypress use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At The Toy Shop In CypressPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects truck components from rust and corrosion.

Cypress car owners should be aware that automobile manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At The Toy Shop, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Cypress car owners don’t realize how key it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Cypress car owners should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at The Toy Shop in Cypress.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are vital mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at The Toy Shop includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your thoughtful The Toy Shop service specialist do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call The Toy Shop today at 714.826.1171.

Smooth Shifting in Cypress CA: Transmission Service

So you have some exciting plans for the CA weekend. You’re going to take some of your Cypress, CA friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your truck maintenance is up to date.

Think about it – heavy freeway traffic on the way out of Cypress. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Cypress this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.

Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local CA lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s essential to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s important for Cypress motorists to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at The Toy Shop in Cypress to make sure it runs efficiently.

An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Cypress drivers who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.

Cypress car owners who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience expensive transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

This reminds us of how much of our driving around Cypress, CA is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold CA weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Cypress, CA add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.

While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your tech at The Toy Shop will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.