Most common Toyota engine repairs

Toyota is probably one of the most recognizable brands in the automotive industry with high-quality models which rarely break down if properly maintained. It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of all Toyota cars sold over the past 15 years are still on the road these days. Still, every vehicle has its downsides, and it is necessary to know what you may come across these problems when buying or driving a heavily used or older Toyota. Here are a list of top 5 most common Toyota engine repairs courtesy of Toyota Service Orange County.

1.     Power Steering Hoses And Pump Leak

Leaking in the power steering pump is perhaps one of the most common and also challenging issues in Toyota cars, especially Camry models. The trouble lies in the fact that the leakage could be formed in different areas. But in most cases, the mechanics often just replace it without looking for the leaking.  Sometimes repairing for a power steering leak can cost you thousands of dollars. Therefore, make sure to check the fluid levels frequently to ensure it is still normal.

2.     Check Engine Light

As a car owner, nobody wants to see a check engine light come on. One of the most commons reasons for this problem is due to a defective oxygen sensor. In general, this type of sensor plays an important role in detecting the level of exhaust oxygen in your engine whose performance might be affected by load, altitude, humidity, and temperature. It often costs you about $400 or more to replace a new sensor.

3.     Transmission Hesitation

Sometimes you would feel the lag of your automatic transmission while accelerating. This might be a computer issue, and the only way to fix it is to update the car’s software. On models with a higher mileage, it would be a worn transmission component. Once thee components are replaced, it is also essential to update the car’s software again. In most cases, the cost for transmission repairs often starts at approximately $1000 and more, depending on the severity of the issue.

4.     Wear And Tear In The Motor Mount

A motor mount can help absorb the vibration of the engine and the road, as well as secure the engine to the frame of your car. Wear and tear in this part is often common in Toyota models with a high mileage with some signs such as vibration or shaking while idling. If left unattended for a long time, this issue can result in a broken engine block, which might cost more than $3000 to repair. But if you detect the problem immediately and perform a replacement, the expense is just about $350.

5.     Oil leak in valve gasket and cover

The valves in most Camry’s engine are always covered by valve gaskets and covers, which help to prevent oil leakage. If these parts get broken, you might see oil on the road or smell burning oil. Sometimes, you just need to tighten the covers. But if the valve gasket or cover is broken, you might need a replacement, which can cost from $240 to $360.   Final thoughts

In overall, proper maintenance services of a skilled and experienced mechanic can play an essential role in increasing both the resale value and lifespan of your Toyota car. As a result, this will save you money, time, and frustration.

New wiper blades and other simple maintenance item you can do yourself

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, there are some issues that require the attention of a qualified mechanic; however Auto Maintenance In Austin wants to let you know there are some things that you can do yourself to save some costs. Remember you need to always keep you vehicle in good running condition to avoid the embarrassment of breaking down when on the road. A well maintained vehicle will serve you for a long time.     In this article we are going to look at some maintenance item you can do yourself without consulting a mechanic.

Wiper Blades

Some of the maintenance items you can do on your own includes replacing the wiper blades. Having the capacity to see the streets clearly while driving is very important and therefore it is advisable to change the wiper blades by acquiring new ones.


Replacing the blown fuses is also another thing that you can do on your own. If you find that your vehicle’s lights are not working or have some complications, you should check the fuses and replace the blown ones.

Air Filters

Your vehicle air filter should be kept clean to keep the engine in good running condition. The filter is located in the engine and you can easily replace it with a functional one. In case the front and/or back lights are not working, you can comfortably replace them on your own.


You can be able to get to the headlight assembly, remove the bulb holders, join any broken wires and you will be ready to go.

The above are some auto maintenance that can be handled easily if you are committed to keeping your vehicle in good running condition. The majority of us think that it’s much easier to take the auto to a mechanic and have these maintenance items performed by a professional. However by doing some of the above maintenance all by yourself can in the long run save some money other items, bring your car to us!

How to Change Spark Plug and Spark Plugs Wires

Spark plug wire is one of the important but highly neglected parts of a car. Masters Automotive Centers would like to share our knowledge in this article that spark plugs wear out easily and when it jumps the gap it burns off or what is called erodes some metals. With poor maintenance of the spark wire and plug, it causes the motor engine to run badly. Bad pluck wire can cost you tons of dollars if not properly handled on time such as turning of a check engine lights due to the misfire of the engine. Taking out some time to replace a plug or plug wire can save you some cost and time.

Tools needed for spark plug and spark wire Change

For easy in changing and installing a new spark wire and spark plug all by yourself, some basic tools are needed.

  1. Rags to clean up dirt and the top
  2. Needle nose pliers
  3. Socket set
  4. Swivel Socket
  5. A tongue wrench
  6. A gap gauge
  7. A spark plug wire puller

Here very easy do it yourself steps on how to change spark plug and spark plugs wires

  1. The first step in changing your car spark plugs and wires is allowing the engine of the car to cool off before commencing the change
  2. Examine under the hoods to know if your vehicle makes use of spark plug wire since many new vehicle models now make use of ignition coils.
  3. Mark out each spark plug and wire so as not to mix-up things. One very dangerous thing to do is fixing the spark wires in the wrong position. This can be hazardous and will prevent the car from performing. In other to make it easy for you, replace just one spark plug wire at a time, placing it exactly at the same spark plug
  4. Start by removing each spark plug by removing the boots so as not to break the wire. Make use of the spark plug remover tool. This wires boot can be found at the rubber housing at the tail of the spark plug wire you wish to remove.
  5. Make use of gapping gauge to get the exact plugs gap
  6. To prevent you from dropping the spark plug socket during removal or installation, use an internal gasket to grip it. And make sure to blow away dirt before that.
  7. Use an anti-seize lubricant for the spark plug thread in other to forestall any negative reaction if the engine has an aluminum cylinder heads.
  8. After that, use a torque wrench to fix your new spark plug. Remember to tighten it to the right specification given. Pushing it into the right place and then into the distributor. To show it is securely installed, you would notice a click sound.
  9. Finally, make sure you are installing the right wire back to where the old wire was removed. Always make sure that it does not come in contact with moving parts like the fan belt.

Don’t get yourself stranded, always keep your tools handy and remember to check your spark plugs and wire often to be able to detect tear and wears.

How and When to change your Brake Pads

Your brake pads are a critical part of keeping you safe on the road because they are what bring your car to a stop when you need to. The more you use your brakes, the more they wear down and will ultimately require replacement. In most cases, you can drive tens of thousands of miles before you need to change brake pads, however, at Y Tires & Sales we want you to know know how and when to change your Brake Pads

When to change your Brake Pads

If your brakes make a squealing noise while you are pressing down on the pedal that stops as soon as you release the pedal, this is a clear sign that you need to make an appointment for changing brake pads. Most brake pads are designed with a wear indicator, which is metal built into the brake pads that make a squealing noise when it rubs against the rotor. Thus, need to be changed.

It is definitely time to get your brake pads checked and most likely changed if you lose control when you are braking. Your car may skid to the right or left when you brake if your brake pads are wearing unevenly. To avoid causing a traffic accident, you will need to change your brake pads as soon as possible.

Inspect your brake pads visually; you may be able to look through the rims to see them. Otherwise, you can take off the tire to look through the hole in the caliper to see the brake pads. It is time to think about changing your brake pads if they are less than 3 millimeters thick. They will usually start squealing when they get down to 2 millimeters, so changing them preemptively will help you avoid the embarrassment of driving around with squealing brakes.

However, you should be aware of how to change brake pads.

Switching your own brake pads is actually a simple and also an easy process to perform. It really is as easy as loosening the set screw (or in certain cases a small hex bolt) on each the pads that you are going to remove. Once the screws (or hex bolts) are loosened, the pad will be able to be taken right out. Mount the brand new pads in reverse order to what we did to take off the old worn out ones. With the pad in place, you can re-tighten the set screw and you will be back in business.

When it’s time to change your brake pads, the best way to go is a professional auto mechanic unless you know what you are doing. In addition to changing the brake pads, the mechanic can also look for other parts of the brake system that may need to be repaired or replaced. It is important to have the hoses and brake rotors inspected and repaired if they need it because they also affect the performance of the whole system.

A Simple Guide to Replacing Headlight Bulbs

Driving your car without functional headlights is not only illegal but also dangerous. If you care about your life and we do at Universal Towing, it is time to replace the non-functional headlights. Replacing car headlights is not an uphill task even if you are a novice. Here is a simple guide to replacing headlight Bulbs.

Tools you will need

  • New lights bulbs- It is recommended to choose the right headlight bulbs for your car.
  • Alcohol wipes and tissues- The tools will be used cleaning and holding the new bulb while replacing it. Alternatively, you can use a clean piece of cloth of clean the bulbs.
  • Phillips screwdriver (Any other brand can be used as well)

Locate holder of the headlight

Many people find it tricky locating the bulb. The headlight bulb can be reached through compartment that houses the engine. It is not advisable to attempt to locate the same through the front of the vehicle. Open the car’s hood in order to locate the headlight near the vehicle’s front. There is also bulb holder and a power connector, which is made up of three wires linking it to the bulb.

Remove the headlight’s power wires

The power wires have to be removed before you can proceed. The wires are normally attached on the plug which lies at the headlight’s base. It is held in position by metal clip, plastic catch or screw cap depending on the brand of your vehicle. The plastic catch comes with a lever at the upper position. Push down on it to remove the headlight plug. If the car has a metal clip, simply pull it up and then remove. Make sure you hold unto the metallic clip until it is removed. A screw cap can be removed by unscrewing in an counter clockwise manner.

Disconnect the non functional bulb

The headlight holder can be removed after the disconnection of the wires. Gently remove the bulb you want to replace. In some situations you might be compelled to rotate it severally before it can be removed

Clean the new bulb.

Using tissue or gloves clean the new bulb in readiness for replacement. Cleaning removes the oils on your hands from the bulb before you fix it.

Install the bulb

Once you have cleaned the bulb, stick into the plug’s base. Make sure that none of the rubber gaskets of the bulb are visible. Once you are done, put back the headlight holders and the plug the power wires in their right position.

How to Replace a Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter, the part of the car that cleans its emissions, is a part that few drivers pay attention to until there is a problem. Once an issue has developed, the most common reaction people give is to immediately call a repair shop such as Hybrid Repair San Diego and have the car towed there. This will get the problem fixed, but it can end up costing the driver several hundred dollars. The worst part is that replacing a catalytic converter is something that can be done by just about anyone who has access to a car lift. By doing the work themselves, drivers can save hundreds of dollars, as well as having the peace of mind of knowing the job was done right.

Many people who consider themselves amateur mechanics complete their automotive repair jobs, big or small, in a driveway using nothing more than jacks and jack stands. That works fine for some jobs, but when it comes to replacing a bad catalytic converter, even the pros need the safety and security that comes from working under a car lift. Auto lifts provide more than just safety though, they also allow better access to the underside of the vehicle, making repairs easier and more efficient.

Replacement catalytic converters can be purchased from many different websites, or they can be bought directly from dealerships who sell the brand of car in question. Once the replacement “cat” has been purchased, diagrams and schematics of their location on the vehicle can be found in a basic repair manual and even online. In many cases there are complete guides to the actual replacement process available as well. The tools used in this kind of work can vary depending on the model and the location of the cat. Sometimes, simple hand tools are enough to remove the offending unit; other times, a heat gun or welding torch will be required.

The new piece is put in according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once the cat repairs have been completed, the car lift can be lowered. Drivers should pay attention to the warning signs of catalytic converter failure so that they can fix any problems before they become too serious. Warning signs of a bad cat include, slow acceleration, foul smell in the cabin, rattling, raspy noise from underneath the vehicle, and darker than usual exhaust. Any one of these signs is enough to put the car up on the car lift and have a look to make sure that everything is working the way it should. Many catalytic converters are rated for 100,000 miles or more of service. If the job is done properly a replacement cat should last just as long.

Thermostat Replacement and How to Do It Quickly and Effectively

Thermostat is considered as an important part of the engine that is responsible for regulating the temperature of coolants. Therefore it is important for this engine part to function optimally because any issues with it will affect the entire cooling system of the car. At BMW Repair Seattle we want you to know everything about thermostat replacement and how to do it quickly and effectively. This is especially important because a faulty thermostat can cause havoc to the engine parts of your car as it will also increase the temperature that can cause damages to the car if it is overheated.

If you find any issues with the thermostat then thermostat replacement is very important because its primary function is to accelerate the engine warm up and regulate the operating temperature of the engine. If you are looking for ways of how to do it quickly and effectively then the most important task is to locate the thermostat because it may either be located near the bottom hose or near water pump on cylinder head. Then the next step is to drain the coolant from radiator tap when it is cool so that it can come below the thermostat housing level. Then you will need to loosen the hose clip so that the hose can be disconnected from thermostat housing. You will also need to secure the hosing by removing the nuts and then you will need to stuff a clean rag into the opening of the thermostat so that debris does not get into the cooling system. Then you will need to install a new thermostat so that the cooper heat sensing element faces the engine because without properly placing it might stop the engine parts from functioning optimally.

For thermostat replacement, it is also important to inspect the accessible part of water jacket so that you can look for signs of corrosion. Then you will need to use a new gasket for replacing the tightening the housing in a proper manner. Then finally you will need to reattach all the hoses and put engine coolant inside the vehicle. After completing all these steps for thermostat replacement, you will need to start the engine for ensuring that it is working in full operating temperature. This is very important for your car because the thermostat tasks to ensure excellent fuel economy diminish emissions and reduce engine wear and tear along with keeping the vehicle warm for a comfortable ride.

How to replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor

The Mass Airflow (MAF) sensors in vehicles play a vital role in the operation of its engine. Typically the MAF sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine and determines how much fuel to deliver for optimal combustion. Although air does pass through a filter, over time, the MAF may become dirty or even fail entirely. If you notice rough idling at the start, then the MAF is the likely culprit that you might want to address. It may sound too technical to replace the MAF, but BMW Repair San Diego would like to present you with a few guidelines you can use that can save you some money by replacing it yourself.

To replace your vehicles Mass air flow sensor, you will need;

  • Gloves
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • A new mass airflow sensor

Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Locate and disconnect the MAF Sensor

The MAF sensor is situated between the air filter housing and the throttle body. To disconnect the MAF sensor, release the safety clip and pull the connector from the sensor. Pull the connector alone and not the wire, It may help to have gloves with rubberized coating to avoid slipping of the connector off your hands.

Step 2: Remove the MAF sensor

Two clamps hold the MAF sensor, so you will have to use the screwdriver to loosen the two clamps. You should be able to pull out the MAF. Note that different car model may secure the MAF sensor differently. Some will have the clamps hold the sensor in-line of the intake pipe, but by loosening the clamps, you should be able to remove the MAF sensor.

Step 3: Connect your new MAF sensor

One the MAF sensor is removed, you might want to take extra care not to touch or damage the elements inside the sensor. Inspect internal parts and the electrical connector in case of any damages. Compare the old sensor with the new one; they should be identical. Typically the MAF sensor should slide well into the intake. Gently reinstall it into the intake and outlet tubes and make sure there is a proper seal between your sensor and the outlet tube. Make sure that the screws are snug, because overtightening them may damage the sensor.

Step 4: Reattach the electrical connector reattach the connector to your new mass airflow sensor ensuring a small click that indicates that the connector is seated the way up and is locked into position.

After Mass air flow sensor replacement, it may be a good idea to start and leave the engine ideal for five minutes to ensure that the computer system on your vehicle to recognize any changes and make necessary calibration. If this job seems too much to handle for you, a qualified technician can help you replace your MAF sensor.

How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor

Once you have determined that your Oxygen Sensor is bad, follow the steps below to replace it:

What you will need:

  • A Flat tip Screw Driver.
  • An adjustable Crescent Wrench.
  • A New Oxygen Sensor.

BMW Repair Orange County presents in this article the general procedure of replacing an oxygen sensor, keep in mind, that every vehicle is different and could have other things that need to be removed or replaced along the way.

Step One: Locate your Oxygen Sensor On most vehicles, you will find your Oxygen Sensor located on your exhaust somewhere. On front wheel drive vehicle, you will often find it on the front side of the engine when you open the hood. On rear wheel drive engines, you will most likely find it located under the car right below the donut gasket.  There are often 2 Oxygen Sensors on rear wheel drive engines on either side of the exhaust piping.

Step Two: Remove the Oxygen Sensor First, you will need to see if your oxygen sensor has a wiring harness that can be removed from the tip of the sensor, or if it will need to be pulled off somewhere on the engine. Remove the harness to make removing the oxygen sensor easier.  At that point take your movable sickle torque, modify it to the fitting size and unscrew the sensor from the fumes. Note: It is very useful to have some Penetrating Lubricant around to help you loosen the seal on the Sensor.

Step Three: Put in Your New Sensor This step will seem a little weird because the best way to put in the new sensor is to have the wiring already connected, then turn the sensor a bunch until the wiring is bound up a bit and then start it into the hole where it needs to go. Then just tighten it into place. It might take a couple of tries, but just remember that you can do it! Some things to remember before starting this project:

*Make sure you have all tools necessary for oxygen sensor replacement.

*Make sure your engine is cold. You will be working around the exhaust and it gets HOT, so make sure your car has had lots of time to sit and cool down.

*Have some gloves and goggles with you. They will protect your fingers and eyes in small spaces. There is usually lots of rust and debris around exhaust that does not feel good in your eyes.

*Don’t force it! There is one rule of mechanics that I find most people will ignore which gets them into trouble. If you are forcing it, you are doing it wrong. Your parts only fit in one way, furthermore, despite the fact that it some of the time takes some elbow oil, constraining something into place will just purpose you more inconvenience!

Complete Guide — How to Replace Ignition Coils

The ignition coil is an integral element responsible for supplying voltage to the spark plugs in each car ignition system. If there are problems in the car with a misfire, or it does not start, then this could be the cause of the failure of the ignition coils. Fortunately for the car owners, to diagnose the serviceability of these elements of the car system is simple enough and will not take much time. BMW Service New York can help you to quickly understand whether your car needs new coils or if the problem is something else.

Practice shows that if there is no spark, then the repair will be not effective. In order to repair the car replacing the ignition coil is essential. And therefore, you should go to the store and buy a new element that will be completely ready for the work. Do not contact the car service center. The whole procedure will take a maximum of half an hour. So, you need to follow such steps:

  1. Take a new ignition coil and a few wrenches. You may also need a WD-40 rescue fluid.
  2. Be sure that you disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.
  3. The wire that is going to the center covers have to be disconnected from the defective coil of ignition.
  4. Loosen the two nuts that hold the wires at the top of the coil. If after the certain time they will very rusty than you need to use the WD-40 and wait a few minutes.
  5. Be sure to label the wires that were removed and draw their position on the cover (or take a picture before removing), in order to perform the procedure without any mistake when you will mount the new element.
  6. The ignition coil is attached to the car body with a few nuts. Slacken each one a little, but not completely.
  7. Then you need to displace the coil to the side and remove from the usual place.
  8. Connect the new element in the reverse order. That`s all, work is done.

In conclusion, with an independent replacement of the ignition coil, you will spend money only on its purchase. It all depends on the model and manufacturer of your car. There is no need to contact the car service because it takes a not so much time, and the process itself is quite simple. The main thing is to diagnose the problem on time, to acquire a right element and mount it. And how to do it right, you already know.