How to Jump Your Vehicle in 10 Steps

How to Jump Start Your Car

It’s the sound drivers dread when they turn the ignition: clicking while the key is turned and engine silence.

After a few more tries and a quick check beneath the vehicle’s hood, the sinking realization hits you that a dead battery is to blame for your lifeless vehicle.

Ideally, you are wise enough to have a pair of jumper cables stashed in your trunk but, do you know how to use them?

Here at Suburban Toyota Scion of Troy, we want stranded drivers to know this very basic skill, so we devised this 10-step guide.

  1. Find a live vehicle. Take stock of your surroundings to locate another driver who has a vehicle with a live battery to boost your dead one. Have the individual park the vehicle close to yours, typically with the hoods facing one another or the cars parked alongside one another, but not touching.
  2. Shut off both vehicles. Cut the engines on both vehicles and turn off stereos, headlights or other electronics to prevent a voltage or electrical surge from harming either vehicle. (Yes, pull your smartphone or MP3 player out of the charger, too.)
  3. Determine the battery’s positive and negative terminals. Most jumper cables identify red as positive, or “+,” and the negative cable, or “-,” with the black cable. To be certain, we recommend reading the instructions that come with your jumper cable set to be certain you know how to properly connect the cables. “Jumper cables or cables on a portable battery booster should be connected properly to avoid sparks, which can cause an explosion of the hydrogen gas emitting from a battery. Beyond this, an incorrect hook up can damage critical, and expensive, electronic components,” notes car experts from Midas.
  4. Roll out the cables. Unwind the cables, separating the red and black cables so their respective clamps do not accidentally touch one another.
  5. Protect your hands. Some batteries may have plastic coverings you must remove to connect the jumper cables. Be sure to wear gloves or use a rag to touch anything on either vehicle’s battery in case of corrosion, which can be toxic to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract. If the battery is leaking or cracked upon inspection, do not attempt to jump the car. Replace the battery entirely.
  6. Connect the positive cables. Firmly clamp the red (positive) cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal marked by a “+.” Then connect the corresponding red or “+” cable to the live battery’s terminal, also marked with a “+.”
  7. Connect the negative cables. Connect the black or “-” jumper cable to the live battery first. Then, clamp the other end to unpainted, grounded metal and as far away from the dead battery as possible, such as the engine block or a metal fixture, like a screw. This will ground the charge so neither vehicle is harmed. Connecting the jumper cable to the dead battery’s negative terminal could produce a spark strong enough to ignite hydrogen fumes from the battery.
  8. Start the vehicles. Start the vehicle with the live battery first, letting it run for at least one minute. Then start the dead vehicle, and—if the engine turns over—let that one also run for at least a minute. Occasionally give each vehicle a little gas. Allow the cars to run for a few more minutes.
  9. Remove the black cables. Unclamp the black cable from the once-dead vehicle, and then remove the black cable from the vehicle giving the battery boost.
  10. Remove the red cables. Unclamp the red cable from the originally live car, then remove the cable from the once-dead vehicle.

Keep your car running for a while before turning it off. It is best to drive several miles to help keep the battery charged.


Stay Cool during Summer Road Trips with Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance

Toyota AC car Service

By the time summer rolls around, the weather starts to heat up and so does the inside of your car. In fact, temperatures in Troy can reach well over 80 degrees Fahrenheit between June and August! There’s nothing like turning the air conditioner on during a smoldering afternoon on your way home from work, but if you haven’t kept your air conditioner properly maintained, you may not get the cool relief you were seeking.

A/C maintenance

Here are few tips in maintaining your car’s air conditioner from Suburban Toyota Scion of Troy. While a newer model may fare better between scheduled maintenance, the A/C on your older model can easily get overworked and fail completely. Before you end up with a bigger, expensive problem, bring your car in to Suburban Toyota Scion of Troy and let one of our technicians take a look.

First, our technicians will check to see if the pressure in your system is too low. If it is low, we will bring it up to manufacturer suggested levels and using a special thermometer, we will run the A/C on the highest setting to ensure your system is now giving the desired output. If the output isn’t correct, we will check for a leak next and examine the components of your system such as the compressor. Once we locate the problem, we will have your A/C up and running in no time.

Proper A/C use

Here at Suburban Toyota Scion of Troy, our tips in maintaining your air conditioner are more effective if we also provide you with tips on the best way to use the A/C.

  • Filters need to be changed regularly because dust, pollen and smoke will make it dirty.
  • If temperatures are hotter outside than inside the car, try using re-circulated air to stay cool. On the other hand, if the temperature inside your car is hotter than outside, set your A/C dial so you are pulling air from outside.
  • Park under a tree or put a sunshade in the windshield to keep the inside of a parked car cooler.
  • During winter, run the A/C a few minutes once a month to keep the compressor and seals lubricated.

Car Cooling Tips for Hot Days

Car Air conditioning

It sits, lonely, for 8 hours in a parking lot under a sweltering sun. Just touching the paint can deliver burns to the skin. But there’s nothing quite as disappointing than a steaming-hot interior after a long day at the office.

With the summer sun moving closer to our neck of the woods, finding ways to keep your car cooler for a comfy ride home is a must. Let Suburban Toyota give you tips for keeping your car cool.

1. Sunshades and window visors
They’re not just for babies anymore. From suction cup sunshades to large, fold-out windshield shades, these easy-to-find car accessories are great for the beating the summer heat. Putting up your shade or visor when you leave the car means your interior will be protected from soaking up the sweltering heat from the direct sun.

2. Aim for parking in shady areas
It’s a pretty easy tip, and one that doesn’t cost money if you’re parking in a well-shaded lot. This isn’t always an option, of course, but parking under shade is a great way to keep the car cool. If you have to park a ways away, consider it extra exercise and calorie burning (without burning the interior of your car).

3. Cover your steering wheel cover
Ouch! That hot steering wheel is the worst part of all. There’s no safe way to drive when you can’t touch the steering wheel, so placing a sheet or a towel over it will help absorb the sun before it reaches the leather or surface of your wheel.

4. Cover your seats, too
If you have vinyl or leather interior, the last thing you want to give your passengers is second degree burns. Throw sheets, blankets or towels over your seats to help protect passengers (and your own bottom) from the scalding heat.

5. Air it out!
Opening your doors before you get in is a great way to let some of the stuffy heat out before you even climb in. Only about five minutes will protect yourself from panting all the way home until your air conditioning kicks in.

Check out your local auto stores for other interior accessories, including solar-powered interior fans to help keep your car crisp and cool while you’re elsewhere. At Suburban Toyota, we’re here to give you tips to keep yourself (and your car) cool all summer long.

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Auto Battery

CAR BATTERYSpring has officially sprung. Now’s the time to see how your vehicle has fared the winter and ensure it’s in shape for summer. After all, you don’t want to get stuck out in the heat because your car won’t start!
Beat the heat

Hopefully, you’ve parked in an insulated garage this winter, which helps protect your battery from extreme cold. Parking in an insulated garage is also a good idea during the summer, because excessive heat can also shorten the life of your battery.

Spring cleaning for your battery

While you’re DE cluttering your home and cleaning up your yard, take a trip out to the garage to take a look at your auto battery. Keeping your battery clean is key, because a dirty connection weakens the charge and affects performance. To clean, simply remove the clamps and clean any dirt, grease and oxidation. This should be done seasonally to maintain your battery.

Go green for spring

As Mother Nature makes herself over in shades of green, be inspired to make your car battery more eco-friendly. A solar charger is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to keep your battery charged with a green energy source. Pair with an affordable monitor to ensure you don’t overcharge the battery.

Keep your battery hydrated

You know how important it is to stay hydrated when the weather gets warmer. Well, a little H2O can also help maintain your battery. Water can stretch the life of a conventional battery, but be sure to use distilled water and avoid overfilling the cells.

Replacing your auto battery

Spring is the season of rebirth, but it might also be the time to put your car battery to rest. The most obvious sign that your battery is done for is if it fails to start the car. It’s a good idea to keep a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle, which can save you the cost of a tow if your battery dies unexpectedly. If your vehicle’s instrument panel includes a voltage meter, you’ll know your battery needs replacement when it’s in the red (when vehicle is switched on but not started).

Although it’s uncommon, a battery can sometimes have an internal short circuit. This can cause the battery to overheat or swell. If this happens, the battery should be replaced immediately. If you notice any cracks when performing battery maintenance (cleaning or adding water), it needs to be replaced.

If you’re not sure whether your battery needs to be replaced, or you just want the peace of mind that it’ll get you through the summer, bring your vehicle to Suburban Toyota Scion of Troy, and we’ll take a look for you. We can make sure that your battery is working properly, and, if it isn’t, we can replace it for you. Feel free to ask us for tips on how to maintain your battery, because we want it to have a long and healthy life.


Five Tire Maintenance Tips From Suburban Toyota

Tire Maintenance Regular maintenance of your vehicle’s tires helps you stay safe on the road, delivers better fuel economy and prolongs the life of the tires. We at Suburban Toyota try hard to put into practice these five tire maintenance tips from our service department.

1. Perform a monthly inspection. Look over each tire for embedded nails, screws and the like, and also keep an eye out for gouges and worn or separated tread. Tread qualifies as too low if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head when you insert an upside-down penny. Some tires also come with bars that appear when tread wears too low. Make an appointment with us if you need tire repairs or replacement or if you’re not sure about your tread depth.

2. Check your tire pressure monthly.

Get the correct inflation amount for your tires — measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) — from your owner’s manual or from a sticker on the driver’s door jamb or glove box. When cool to the touch, check the PSI and inflate or deflate tires to the recommended level. Make an appointment with us if your tires will not maintain the correct PSI, as a value or the tire itself might require repair or replacement.

3. Rotate, balance and align your tires regularly.

We can tell you the exact mileage recommended for rotation of your specific tires, but it generally ranges between 5,000 and 8,000 miles. Our service department also can ensure you do not have an unbalanced wheel and tire assembly or poorly aligned tires, both of which can contribute to uneven or faster-than-usual tread wear. If you feel a wheel vibrating, pulling or other unusual issue, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible to avoid further problems.

4. Do not overload your vehicle.

Your owner’s manual also includes the recommended load for your vehicle. Stick to it, as an overloaded car or truck can result in faster-than-usual and/or uneven tread.

5. Drive with your tires in mind.

Starting, turning or stopping too quickly shortens the life of your tires. Also, avoid hitting potholes, objects in the road and curbs that can cause damage.

Our service department at Suburban Toyota is your best partner in keeping your tires driving smoothly for as long as possible. We also offer a wheel and tire warranty with all new vehicle purchases from our dealership.


How to make your home and vehicle more environmentally friendly

Earth day

Here at Suburban Toyota in Troy, Mich., we want to encourage everyone in the city and surrounding areas to celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, by joining the effort to commit a billion “acts of green.” For us, of course, that means starting with our cars—especially our hybrids.

We have a large selection, including the 2013 Avalon Hybrid Sedan, the 2013 Camry Hybrid Sedan, the 2013 Highlander Hybrid SUV as well as our many models of Prius—including a plug-in hatchback. At Suburban Toyota, we have a whole host of alternative cars that help save the earth’s resources. Even our regular cars do their part, with ever-increasing MPG ratings that help you get the most bang for your fuel bucks.

You don’t have to let your efforts to help the earth stop and end with your car, though. You can get your whole family involved at home, whether you’re doing something as simple as recycling cans, cardboard and newspapers or something as energy efficient as using solar panels for your home.

Other simple efforts around the house include using earth-friendly products that aren’t harmful to the environment. Check the labels of your cleaning supplies and detergents to see if they fit the bill. Consider using regular plates and cloth napkins instead of paper ones to avoid adding more to your landfill.

As spring finally starts creeping into the Midwest this year, investigate more natural options for fertilizing and weeding your lawn rather than using chemicals that can harm the environment. Plant a rain garden or use a rain barrel to capture water to reuse when watering plants or washing the dog. Xeriscaping helps, too, by choosing plants that are native to Michigan and therefore need less water.

To really dive into Earth Day, you can help the official Earth Day Network in several ways, from planting trees to becoming a climate reporter to recycling your electronics. Visit Earth Day Network’s website to find out more.

Come full circle here at Suburban Toyota, and remember that you can help the earth by trading in an old gas-guzzler and choosing a more fuel-efficient car—maybe even a hybrid. Come see us at Suburban Toyota in the Troy Motor Mall on Maplelawn Road, north of Maple and west of Crooks Road. We’ll give you a personal tour of all our environmentally friendly options.