Do I need to maintain my truck differently than a car?

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I hope you have a Toyota Tundra or Tacoma! If so, maintenance at the Jaffarian Toyota Service Department will keep you truck in certified Toyota parts and easily comply with your warranties. Certainly we service all makes and models, so if you have another truck, we would love to be your service department. Generally, many aspects of maintenance are the same for trucks and cars, but there are some differences. Your owner’s manual will give you the important information you need.

Oil changes are the basics of maintenance and that is so important to extend the life of your truck. However, it is not necessary to change your oil every 3,000 miles which many “quick oil change places” will lead you to believe. Most oils are now designed to last longer. In newer vehicles, you can wait for the maintenance service indicator light to come on. In vehicles from 2010, most often oil doesn’t need to be changed until you go 7,800 miles. In trucks that use synthetic oil, you can often go 10,000 miles between oil changes.

Starting with model year 2011, all Toyota Tundra engines converted to 0w-20 full synthetic motor oil, therefore, the oil needs to be changed every 10,000 miles. The Toyota Tacoma has two options for engine size. The Tacoma with the V6 motor will use 5w-30 motor oil, a semi-synthetic, which requires oil changes every 5,000 miles. The Tacoma with a 4-cylinder engine uses 0w-20 motor oil, a full synthetic blend and must be changed every 5,000 miles as well.

Know that not all oils are the same. For vehicles that use synthetic oils, you get the same oil every time and nothing extra you don’t need. Gas and diesel trucks need different oils. Diesel oils have more additives, which may adversely affect gasoline engine parts. That is why it is so important to go to a dealership that specializes in your vehicle. They will know exact which oil to use. Using the wrong oil will void your warranty.

You may be one of those people who knows how to change your oil, but you may be overfilling your engine. Even if it leaks and you add too much oil, you may be making things worse. Excess oil can end up in the cylinders and cause unwanted burning. If you believe you have a leak, come to Jaffarian Service Department for the repair. Leaking oil will cause permanent stains on your driveway or street. Be sure to put a box top or cardboard under the vehicle until you can bring it in.

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For Toyota Trucks, the following is recommended generally every 5,000 miles:
• Rotate tires and check condition (tread depth)
• Set tire pressure to correct psi
• Check that all exterior light bulbs are functioning
• Inspect front and rear brake components
• Inspect and top off fluid levels
• Perform multi-point inspection with print-out
• Road test the vehicle.

Every 15,000 miles, add the following services:
• Inspect condition of drive axle boots
• Check condition of brake fluid
• Check transfer case and differential fluids
• Check operation of cooling system and/or indication of coolant leak
• Complete inspection of steering and suspension components
• Complete inspection of exhaust system
• Inspect air filter (generally needs to be replaced every 30,000 miles)
• Inspect wiper inserts/blades
• Inspect cabin air filter (if applicable)
• Lubricate propeller shaft (where applicable)
• Inspect fuel lines and charcoal canister
• Reset maintenance/tire pressure warning lights

You know the old saying, “an ounce of prevention…” and that applies here and to all vehicles. The better you take care of your vehicle, the less it will cost over time for expensive repairs that could have been avoided.

Make sure your air conditioning is in good working order, you’re going to need it this week for sure! Let us know how we can help. Our service advisors and certified technicians are here to help you Monday through Saturday.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Where do you recommend visiting for summer day-trips or weekend drives?

While most people in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire prefer going to Cape Cod, the Lakes Region of N.H. and Southeastern Maine, the Travel Channel named the “7 Wonders of New England.” Why not plan a day trip to Newburyport or a weekend away to the other destinations and explore these “7 Wonders of New England” (distance each way from Haverhill is indicated in parentheses).

According to Gas Buddy, the average price of gas this week is $2.68 per gallon. Traveling in your vehicle is generally the most economical way to go and allows for more luggage than other modes of transportation.

Cog railway1. The Cog Railway, Mt. Washington, N.H. (120 miles) This is the world’s first mountain-climbing train and you can get a spectacular panoramic view on this spectacular 3-hour guided tour up to the highest mountain peak in New England. You get to spend an hour at the top of the 6,288-foot high peak. Now passengers can choose to take the three-hour round trip in a vintage coach powered by a historic steam locomotive or the more modern and eco-friendly biodiesel engines.

CascoBay2. Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine (250 miles) Acadia National Park contains more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails. Many of these trails were established by local village improvement societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today many of the historic features, such as stonework, are still visible. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Visitors hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

MysticCT3. Mystic Seaport, CT (137 miles) Another great summer destination on the water, with loads of shopping and the renown Mystic Pizza, made famous by the movie of the same name, starring Julia Roberts in her first title role! The pizza is wonderful, as is the view from this quaint seaport.

 

Stowe4. Stowe, VT (178 miles) featuring the Trapp Family Lodge and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is a great place to visit in the summer. There is a zip-line adventure, shopping, dining, and loads of outdoor activities for the novice or the athlete.

 

rocky_gorge_bridge5. Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln, NH (120 miles) is by far one of the most majestic drives you will ever take in the entire country, though best in fall foliage season. The highway, designated an American Scenic Byway, is 34.5miles long and is part of the White Mountain National Forest loaded with trails, campgrounds and water falls. Just one word of caution, cell coverage may be an issue so plan ahead with necessary supplies and a bathroom stop!

 

NBPT6. Newburyport & Plum Island (18 miles) is a fun day of dining and shopping in the quaint downtown area while Plum Island has beautiful beaches, kayaking and bird watching. It lends itself to music festivals, shopping, walking and touring. Newburyport offers a beautiful view of the sunset, sitting on the benches on the downtown boardwalk at night or enjoy the sunset view from Plum Island.

 

CascoBay7. The Casco Bay Islands in Maine (246 miles) A little more complicated to access, these seven islands are off the coast of Maine. There is year-round ferry service from Portland to these charming islands filled with beaches, dining, campgrounds, arts and culture.

I still love the old favorites. But it’s always nice to visit a new place and see amazing new sites. Like most die-hard New Englanders, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But most of us don’t take the time to explore new places. Why not spend the rest of the summer seeing these beautiful 7 Wonders of New England? If you go to any of these 7 Wonders, share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Before you go, be sure to pack up your emergency items. I wrote about preventing overheating in my Ask Gary blog last week and some key items to have with you. Be sure to read that column before you leave. Haven’t had your car checked yet this summer? Be sure your vehicle is ready for your trip. We’ll check it out so you can enjoy the trip and have peace of mind. If you do need the AC serviced, check out our specials on line. We at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to be sure you have a fun and safe trip. If you need to schedule maintenance, you can schedule online or by phone.

Happy traveling and safe driving as you explore some new summer sites! I can’t wait to see your photos!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

With these hot temperatures, is there a way to prevent my car from overheating?

Overheating1Yes, there is a way to prevent overheating with proper maintenance. Bring your vehicle into Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion’s Service Department and we can be sure to do the following to prevent overheating:

1. Make sure your coolant system is topped off with antifreeze.

2. Check all hoses to be certain they are in good condition so they don’t corrode or leak.

3. Change your oil. If you change your oil yourself, check the water system, hoses, and belts. A good visual inspection is important. If you see something that doesn’t look right, bring it in.

4. Check your fan. Sometimes fans don’t operate properly and can cause the engine to overheat, so checking that is also important.

If your vehicle does overheat, you want to be sure you do everything to stay safe. As soon as you see smoke or steam coming from the engine, pull off to the side of the road and follow these steps:

1. Turn the engine off, open the hood and let it cool down.
Normally your car will have warning lights and a pressure relief valve. If your engine starts to overheat, it will give you plenty of warning before you could actually damage anything. You really can’t address any of the problems though until the engine cools off. Monitor the temperature gauge to catch it before it overheats; take notice if you see the needle moving up toward hot rather than staying in the middle.
If the gauge is already indicating the engine is overheating,  turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows. Turning the heat on can help to pull the heat away from the engine.

2. Do not take off the radiator cap until the engine is cool.
Be safe as you don’t want to get burned.  Do not uncap the radiator or water system. The pressure will be high and it will blow off.

3. Refill antifreeze and coolant.
Once everything cools down, open the system up and fill it back up with new antifreeze. The coolant tank is generally a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If it is empty, you may have sprung a leak. If you look under the vehicle and you see a drip or puddle, the tank is leaking.
If you have a leak, carefully open the radiator cap. Place a cloth over the radiator cap to protect your hand, and tilt the cap away from you as it opens. Refill the cooled radiator with your spare coolant or water. Do not pour cold water into a still-hot radiator — it could cause the engine block to crack due to the sudden change in temperature. If you absolutely have to add water while the engine is still warm, pour slowly while the engine is running in neutral or park.

4. Check hoses for leaks, blockages or bursts.
Conduct a visual inspection to see if you have a leak or something that caused your engine to overheat because a vehicle doesn’t usually overheat without a reason. Chances are you either have a leak in the coolant system, or a thermostat went bad, which can happen. It is more common for older vehicles, but we recommend a professional technician address the thermostat.

5. Keep a safety kit in your car.
Have a kit that contains coolant, a tool kit, a blanket, a working flashlight, non-perishable foods and water in the car at all times. By the way, an engine can overheat at other times of the year beside summer.

Come see us to have your vehicle checked out to avoid the hassle and frustration of being on the side of the road.  We’re here for you 6 days a week and you can book a service appointment online.

Drive safely, enjoy the beautiful weather, and keep your cool, even when your vehicle can’t!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

I want to buy an American-made vehicle. How can I buy a Toyota?

Camry&womanDon’t feel guilty! Most cars you make think of as foreign-made are actually made in America! The big news last week is that the Toyota Camry is actually the #1 vehicle made in the U.S. and the Toyota Sienna is the #2 vehicle. Because the Camry is the top-selling car in this country, it is actually manufactured here and contributes positively to the economy in terms of jobs.

“Cars with at least 75 percent domestic content are becoming an endangered species, and for the first time in the American-Made Index’s nine-year history, the list has fewer than 10 cars,” according to the national website and foremost authority on vehicles – cars.com. What they are rating for American-made is what percentage of parts are manufactured in the U.S.

“It’s not that automakers are slowing U.S. production. If anything, the opposite is true: Excluding heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles, automakers assemble 101 models in this country for the 2015 model year… These cars combine for the vast majority of new-car sales, and U.S. production remains on the rise,” cars.com wrote in their announcement last week, naming Camry as the #1 made in the U.S. vehicle.

“What is shrinking is the percent of overall domestic-parts content. Five years ago, 29 cars qualified for the America-Made Index (75% or more American made parts). Today it’s fewer than 10. Consider the opposing paths of U.S. auto production versus so-called “homegrown” cars,” they said. We at Jaffarian Toyota Scion are so pleased that the top two spots went to Toyota models.Sienna2

Production drives employment and the Camry, which is assembled at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant as well as in Lafayette, Indiana, accounts for about a quarter of the cars that the Lafayette plant produces and about two-thirds of the cars that Toyota’s Georgetown plant produces. Toyota Sienna is also manufactured in Indiana. Cars.com claims if you took the same ratio of employees from each plant, the Camry supports about 5,900 assembly-plant workers, according to employment figures provided by each plant. The Toyota Camry directly supports the most Americans!

As you evaluate makes and models to best suit your needs and budget, rest assured that when buying a Toyota, you are in fact buying American, supporting US jobs and of course, buying a quality vehicle.

Now that a real win-win decision!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

How did the new Volvo XC90 fare in the reviews?

XC90xI am proud to report that the 2106 Volvo XC-90 which was just released last month ranked the number one luxury midsize SUV by U.S. News and World Report, while the S60, XC60 and S80 received the 2105 Best Bet awards from Cars.com.

The U.S. News and World Report is significant, in that it is based on the consensus of the top automotive journalists who agree that the Volvo XC90’s 316 horsepower, seven-passenger SVU has “plenty of power and quick acceleration, confident handling and communicative steering and strong brakes.”

Several reviewers also said the Sensus “infotainment” with its 9-inch tablet screen is the best on the market thanks to its smartphone-like operation and responsiveness. The writers/reviewers  also noted that the third row of seats could comfortably accommodate adults. XC90 Display

In addition, editors at Cars.com, the leading website for car shopping, bestowed the 2015 Best Bet awards on three Volvo models: the S60 midsize sedan, the XC60 mid-sized crossover and the luxurious S80 full-size sedan. They were recognized for having excellent crash test results and finished in the top third of their class.

On Kelley Blue Book’s website, they declared “First Review: Promised Delivered” in referring to the 2016 XC90. As if Volvo’s safety technology could get any better, KBB.com also noted that Volvo topped the previous year’s model for safety – “In keeping with Volvo’s Vision 2020 goal to eliminate deaths or serious injuries in any of its new vehicles by the end of the decade, the new XC90 introduces two new world-first safety systems: Run-off Road Protection and Auto Brake at Intersections.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, come to Jaffarian Volvo. You can even book a test drive on line.

Happy Independence Day! Drive safely over the holiday weekend.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

“Why wouldn’t the Jaffarian Service Department plug a hole in my tire?”

tire-construction-diagramIn a word –safety!

A Volvo customer recently came into the Jaffarian Volvo Service Department with a tire issue. Upon investigating, the technician discovered there was a hole in the sidewall of the tire. She was so upset with us and let us know that she later found a service station to plug the hole.

We didn’t refuse to plug the tire in order to sell her a new tire. The tire sidewall is just one of several components that make up the tire. In addition to providing lateral stability, the tire sidewall prevents air from escaping. Some tire sidewalls may contain extra features components to increase lateral stability.

Whenever a driver turns a vehicle, the tires must overcome the lateral forces that are generated. Tires that have a lower profile tend to have sidewalls that are stiffer and shorter. As a result, such tires are better able to resist these cornering forces. Tires are more complicated in their construction than most people realize. After all, they have to support the entire weight of your vehicle and are responsible for the comfort and maneuverability of your vehicle.

While we understand every consumer’s desire to save money and the goal of avoiding spending unplanned and hard earned dollars on replacing a tire (and often two depending on the wear of the other tire), we are committed to safety first. We will patch tires, but we will not compromise customer’s safety or safety of others on the road. While other service stations will plug a tire’s side wall, we will not. It is strictly a safety concern. We do not want to risk the safety of any of our customers or their passengers. Will we patch a tire if the hole is not in the side wall? Yes, but that was not the issue in this particular case. Our service advisors and technicians evaluate every situation, and when it comes to tires, where the problem is determines the best course of action.

While I never want a customer to be frustrated with us, in this case I would rather have a customer upset with us for wanting to do the right thing, than a customer who is upset with us for plugging a tire that leads to could potentially be the cause of an accident, should the plug fail. A common topic in the Ask Gary blogs, I reference tires and brakes are two of the most important parts of the vehicle when it comes to safety. We’d rather not put a “Band-Aid” on a wound that needs surgery. Bottom line—we care about your safety first.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What does Father’s Day Mean to You?

I’m so happy to answer this question because the Jaffarian dealership and my life are based on my upbringing from the two generations before me that I was blessed to know—my grandfather and my father. I am also happy to be a father of two, Gavin and Mara, who have chosen to join me at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

It’s hard to believe we are now into our 77th year of business spanning four generations, beginning with a “filling” station.  My grandparents worked two full-time jobs as they were establishing their new business. They taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. As the first generation born in America, they were experiencing the American dream and proving that hard work pays off! (My grandfather was the first American-Armenian in Haverhill.)3generations

My father and uncle worked after school learning the service side of the business. They initially sold Hudsons and then Ramblers. My dad put many hours into researching quality automobile manufacturers. His research resulted in opening the first Volvo dealership in New England. Then after seeing  the Toyota Land Cruiser, he added Toyota and we became the first Toyota dealership in New England. I am still amazed at his business sense and his focus on quality manufacturers.

My late brother Paul, my brother Mark, now in charge of the Jaffarian Collision Center, and I joined in the business.  We weren’t  handed the keys to the business. The work ethic of my grandparents set the tone for our roles:  we cleaned floors and bathrooms.  We each found our roles as we worked afternoons, nights and weekends.  From  fixing cars to restoration to sales and service, we worked alongside our grandfather and our father.  In college, I would hitchhike back to the dealership.

While so much has changed over the years, we are still on River Street in Haverhill. Same street as where it all started with my grandparents.  “Service” was on the signs at the beginning and service is forefront in our minds today as we stay in Haverhill, serve the greater community with quality vehicles and quality service and keep that mindset of giving back to the community. My grandparents and my parents were committed to supporting local teams, especially kids’ teams, and we continue that commitment today.  I have many memories of going to pick up a customer to fix their car, servicing the fire trucks at all times of day and night – whatever it took to take care of a customer.  That is in our DNA thanks to my grandfather and father.   That is why we are proud to say we’re the dealership that is the “First to put you first!”

So you may think I am digressing as I answer the questions about Father’s Day. What is most important to know is that as we’ve expanded our dealership, and as I walk through the door every day, I know I am following in the footsteps of my grandfather and my father.  Those are very big shoes to fill. Today my brother Mark and I work to carry on the work, do the right thing, do what it takes to serve our customer and give back to the community in which we live.  It is with great pride that I work with my son and daughter on a daily basis.

I wish all the Fathers a very happy Father’s Day!  I will be thinking of my dad and my grandfather as I always do.  They will always be a big part of who I am, and what Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is today. Enjoy the day!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary
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