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

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.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Cypress, CA

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Cypress environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Cypress auto owners very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Downey area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.  The benefits to Cypress auto owners are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.

Cypress drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the Downey area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Cypress roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good fuel efficiency, but they cost Cypress auto owners less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Cypress to Downey.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Cypress area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our CA roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver MPG similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology from automakers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global vehicle manufacturers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use in CA.

A quick word from The Toy Shop about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Downey service technician at  The Toy Shop is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.

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.

Engine Air Filter From The Toy Shop


Many Cypress drivers have found themselves in the following situation: they go to get their oil changed and their thoughtful The Toy Shop service professional recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don’t know what an air filter is or what it does.

If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your The Toy Shop service advisor for more information. It’s your bucks and you have a right to understand what you’re paying for.

Let’s review: “What does an air filter do??”:

Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in Cypress right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in CA with hay fever can tell you that there’s plenty in the air that you can’t see. Well, the engine air filter’s critical job is to clean that air before it goes into your truck engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your truck engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, for every gallon of gas you burn, your truck engine needs 12,000 gallons of air. That little filter does a very big job. It’s no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn’t clean as well. It can’t move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way – the truck engine can’t get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced fuel efficiency.

That’s why your automobile manufacturer has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the Cypress conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in CA where it’s very dusty or where there’s lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your thoughtful The Toy Shop tech can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement, or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you’ll need to replace it soon – like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty truck air filter hurts your fuel economy, many Cypress car owners find that a new air filter pays for itself in better MPG before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

The better your car breathes, the better it runs – kind of like Cypress people. And don’t worry – if you have a question or don’t understand a recommendation just ask your The Toy Shop service advisor.

5051 Lincoln Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630
714.826.1171