Serra Toyota, Inc Birmingham, AL Service FAQ

How often do I need to change the oil in my vehicle?
There are many variables that determine how often an oil change is needed (climate, drive time, highway or city street driving, etc.) You should refer to the Scheduled Maintenance section in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes.

How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.

Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.

I have a belt making a very loud squeal on my car. Should have it changed?
Inspect & replace belts regularly. The belt system in your car helps such things as your alternator and air conditioning compressor to operate correctly. When a belt breaks, they can cause costly damage. To avoid this, inspect them regularly for wear. If they are showing signs, go ahead and replace them before they become a problem.

What does it mean if my "check engine" or "service engine soon" light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.

What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to your local Scion, Toyota Dealership .

Why is engine oil milky brown?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (or other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.

How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.

When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car's fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.

When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles.
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