Roll Toyota Window Down and Start a Fire? Not Likely, But Get 2007-2009 Toyotas Checked Anyway

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Toyota Recalls 2.5 Million 2007-2009 Vehicles For Sticky Power Window Switch Lubrication

Toyota Voluntary Recall: The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch

Can applying WD-40 to a sticky Toyota Window switch really start a fire? It is highly unlikely. But, it is likely enough for Toyota to have issued a voluntary recall of certain models of 2007-2009 Toyota Tundra, Camry, Scion, Sequoia, Yaris, RAV4, Highlander, Corolla and Matrix. The recall was published October 10, 2012. The voluntary recall affects these specific Toyota Car Models:

  • 2007 to 2008 Yaris: 110,300 models
  • 2007 to 2009 RAV4: 336,400 cars
  • 2007 to 2009 Tundra: 337,100 trucks
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry: 938,100 vehicles
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid: 116,800 cars
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xD: 34,400 models
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xA: 77,500 cars
  • 2008 to 2009 Sequoia: 38,500 SUVs
  • 2008 Highlander: 135,400 SUVs
  • 2008 Highlander Hybrid: 23,200 SUVs
  • 2009 Corolla: 270,900 vehicles
  • 2009 Matrix: 53,800 models

There is a special grease from the Toyota dealer that you can get for that sticky drivers’ side window switch-just do not use an over-the-counter lubricant.

The first complaint about this issue occurred over four years ago-emitting a strange smell. But the switch supplier-Tokai Rika-could not discern a cause for the failure.

In 2010, similar odor symptoms were reported, but this time with the switch parts actually smoking. Toyota says it was trying to discern why the switches were failing before it issued an official fix.

Here is the official Toyota Dealer recall statement:

Toyota Voluntary Recall: The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch

“TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a safety recall involving approximately 2.5 million vehicles to inspect and apply special fluorine grease to the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS). The vehicles involved include:

• 2007 to 2008 Yaris (approx. 110,300)
• 2007 to 2009 RAV4 (approx. 336,400)
• 2007 to 2009 Tundra (approx. 337,100)
• 2007 to 2009 Camry (approx. 938,100)
• 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid (approx. 116,800)
• 2008 to 2009 Scion xD (approx. 34,400)
• 2008 to 2009 Scion xA (approx. 77,500)
• 2008 to 2009 Sequoia (approx. 38,500)
• 2008 Highlander (approx. 135,400)
• 2008 Highlander Hybrid (approx. 23,200)
• 2009 Corolla (approx. 270,900)
• 2009 Matrix (approx. 53,800)

The driver’s side PWMS may experience a “notchy” or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the “notchy” or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances.

The “notchy” or sticky feel may be caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

The recall remedy will involve an inspection, switch disassembly, and application of special fluorine grease. The switch inspection and repair will be performed at no charge to the vehicle owner.

Owners of vehicles covered by this safety recall will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail starting in late October 2012. The repair will take approximately one hour depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

Today’s announcement is for U.S. market vehicles only. No other Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicles are involved. We are not aware of any vehicle crashes for this condition.

Detailed information is available to customers at http://www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.”

So, look for your notice in the mail from Toyota, if you have not received one already. Or, like the notice says, call them yourself at 800-331-4331.

Since 1980, GT Automotive and our ASE certified and factory trained Toyota and Lexus technicians have been serving Toyota car owners in the Salt Lake Valley for all their vehicle repair needs. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and repairing your Toyota or Lexus in Salt Lake City.

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Car Care Checklist Tips: Salt Lake City Utah Winter Driving-Safe, Effective

Why is October National Car Care Month? Because Salt Lake City fall weather signals changes to driving conditions-outside temperature, road conditions, less daylight, more night time driving. With the incoming of the Utah winter, it’s time to give your car a full system review. Here is your checklist of car care items for you or your auto mechanic to inspect and evaluate, for safe driving, and optimal performance. For most of you-whose time is better spent at work, with family or in your hobbies-your friendly neighborhood auto repair shop (like GT Automotive in South Jordan) will give you this multi-point inspection review, as also noted in our Salt Lake City auto car care video.

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Car Care Checklist Tips For Salt Lake City Utah Winter Driving

Check Engine Fluid Levels

Your car contains several different fluids:

  • Engine Oil
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Radiator Fluid (Anti-Freeze) (only check this yourself when engine is cold-never hot)
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Brake Fluid (see above under “Brakes”)
  • Differential (axle) gear oil

Check the levels and conditions with your owner’s manual, and make sure to top off these before the season. This car care video shows the importance of each vital engine fluid. It won’t take long and it won’t be expensive. If you notice any very low levels, it might be time to have a professional check for leaks.

Brakes

Heat and increased travel during summer, and in the typical Salt Lake City summer heat, can wear out the rotors, shoes, pads, drums and calipers on your brakes. These are complex and computer controlled systems. Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are equipped with computer sensors on each wheel-exposed to the heat and road temperatures. Brake fluid (the fluid your brake pedal pushes when you apply the brakes) also is susceptible to breakdown under heat. Have your brake pads, calipers, brake fluid and ABS system checked and inspected.

Battery and Charging System

With each 10 degree night time plunge in outside temperature (starting at 40 degrees), your car’s charging system require more “juice”  (volts from the battery and amperage from your car’s alternator)  to start each morning.

Increased battery problems in the winter are actually often the result of the summer heat and extended driving. Corroded battery posts or a bulging case can indicate problems. Professional tools are needed to test the juice in your battery. Have your battery cables, battery posts, battery, starter and alternator (all part of your car’s charging system) checked out with your fall season oil change.

Tires

All Season Tires? Not all tires are all-season tires. In fact, snow tires (those tires with the extra deep “tooth ridges” on the outside edges) or studded tires (tires with small metal studs that grip even icy roads) may be a safer option for your vehicle, depending upon make and model. Check with your tire and auto specialist to determine if snow or studded tires are a better choice for the winter season, than your current set of tires on the car.

Tire Tread Depth. Check the tires for their tread life and any worn or bald spots. Rotating tires regularly can prevent uneven wearing and increase the life of every tire on your car.

Tire Pressure. Heat expands, cold contracts, correct? That applies to your tire pressure. Cold weather makes for lower tire pressure, so you will need to fill your tire with more air to reach correct pressure specifications in the cold winter months. Checking for the right tire pressure is important to do every month, but it is even more important as you move into winter.

Windshield Wipers

Your wipers are your key to visibility, and they are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive. You can visually inspect your wipers for pits and cracks or you can check them as they work.

Heat and cold are the enemies of your windshield wipers. Since Salt Lake City Utah has both extremes of weather and temperature, your windshield wipers should probably be changed annually (one hot summer and one cold, snowy, icy winter can be the lifetime of a normal set of windshield wiper blades).

If they have good contact and clear water cleanly, you probably won’t need to replace them for the winter.

Belts and Hoses

Serpentine Belts drive your water pump, alternator, power steering-a number of engine parts. Serpentine belts can last anywhere from 50,000 to 60,000 miles or more. But, as it is in Utah, extreme heat and cold temperatures can cause them to crack and break at earlier mileage intervals. Check for cracks in belts by inspecting the grooves on the underside of the serpentine belt.

Engine Hoses generally last longer than serpentine belts, but also break down over time. Check for cracks, bulges, and uncommon soft spots in hoses, which often appear near the hose clamps that attach the hoses to the radiator or engine.

Air Filter, Fuel Filter, PCV Filter, Cabin Air Filter

Air filters keep your car operating at peak efficiency and give you the highest fuel efficiency. As cars idle more in winter, this becomes increasingly important. Fuel and PCV breather filters are also part of regularly scheduled maintenance changes, based upon time and mileage.

The Cabin Air Filter is like your furnace filter at home, but for your car. It filters out dust, dirt, pollutants and allergens from the air you breathe inside your car. Since some cabin air filters are hard to locate in your car, (as well as hard to replace), a professional technician can inspect and/or replace these vital filters.

Lights

Winter driving means more driving in the dark. Check the alignment on your headlights to make sure you aren’t blinding other drivers. Make sure all of your brake lights, tail lights and turn signal lights are in good working order. This will make communication easier while on the road, and may keep you from getting pulled over and receiving a “fix-it” or citation ticket.

Few things are more important than good car care maintenance. Take the time to inspect, check and fix any problems with your vehicle to ensure you have a safe winter driving season.

Your Engine (Under The Hood)

If your car runs rough on the road or when idling, it’s best to have it checked out by a mechanic. Winter is a time when you are relying more on your car, so it’s worth the investment. Cold weather brings out the worst of your engine, especially if it is already performing poorly.

What Causes Poor Engine Performance?

  • Engine Filters need changing (see above).
  • Fuel injectors may require cleaning or replacement
  • Spark plugs wear out over time (although spark plugs on vehicles within the last 5 years can last up to 100,000 miles)
  • Spark plug wires.
  • Ignition components.
  • Engine sensors (like oxygen sensors, throttle position or EGR sensors) may malfunction or simply wear out over time and mileage.
  • Exhaust system parts (catalytic converters, mufflers, exhaust manifolds) become restricted or clogged.
  • Electrical system components-computers and regulators.
  • Charging systems (see “Battery” above).

Good car care maintenance is important. Take the time to inspect and care for your car or truck, before the harsh Utah winter arrives in full force. Safe and fuel saving performance driving will be the good results you experience!

GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for all make and model vehicles. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto repairs and service in Salt Lake City.

Honda Announces 3 Safety Recalls This Week: 2002-06 CR-Vs, 2003-07 Accord V6, Civic and Pilot Models

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Honda Announces 3 Recalls In The 1st Week Of October

Perennially known for its vehicle quality, safety and consumer confidence, Honda uncharacteristically announced three major vehicle recalls in the first week of October, 2012, for CR-Vs, Accords, Civics and Pilots.

1). 2002-2006 Honda CR-V Electrical Switch Failure.

Saturday, October 6, 2012, Honda Motor Co. issued a press release, recalling CR-V crossovers from the 2002 to 2006 model years, because an electrical switch in the driver’s side door that could possibly melt and cause a fire. According to Honda, there have been four reported instances of fires thus far, although no injuries, accidents or crashes have been associated with the fires.

The government agency NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) suggested owners should park their CR-Vs from those model years outside-as opposed to inside a garage or other confined space-until the recall is performed, to avoid any property damage from a fire. The NHTSA said a fire could start even when the ignition is off, and the CR-V is parked.

The recall covers over 268,000 vehicles. The Honda auto maker said rain or other liquids could enter through a driver’s open window and damage the master power switch on the door. If that happens, the switch could overheat and melt, causing a fire.

Due to the overwhelming number of vehicles involved, and the necessary parts needed to complete any needed repairs, the company will begin contacting owners in November, 2012, and will repair the vehicles for free.

2). 573,000 Accord V6 Sedans Recalled: Power Steering Hose Failure

Honda will begin sending notices in October, 2012 to 573,147 Accord V6 sedan car owners-model years 2003 to 2007-for possible premature deterioration of power steering hoses.

A total of over 625,762 Accord and Acura TL models are being notified. In May of 2012, 52,615 Acura TL models (2007 & 2008) were notified of recalls for the same possible power steering hose failure. Now, Honda has added the 2003-2007 Accord V6 models to the recall.

What is the problem? The power steering hoses in these vehicles may deteriorate prematurely, causing power steering fluid to leak onto hot parts of the engine. If power steering fluid were to spill onto a hot catalytic converter or a heated exhaust part, for example, it could cause smoke and potentially a fire.

Honda says it will begin notifying these new affected customers near the end of October 2012, though not all of these vehicles will be repaired immediately. The Accord recall will be delayed into next year, because the automaker doesn’t have enough parts to fix the problem. The updated power steering hoses won’t be available until early 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states: “Sufficient parts are not yet available for owners of the vehicles covered by the September 2012 expansion, but are expected to be available in early 2013.”

3). 2002-2004 Civic and Pilot Headlight Failure

Earlier in the week, the company said it was recalling 820,000 Civic compact and Pilot SUVs from the 2002 through 2004 model years because the headlights can fail. CR-Vs were recalled earlier this spring for that same issue.

The loss of headlights could limit a driver’s ability to see the road and potential hazards. However, Honda says no crashes or injuries have been reported in connection with this headlight problem.

So if you own a 2003-2007 Honda Accord V6, a 2002-06 CR-V, or a 2002-04 Civic or Pilot, Honda will be contacting you shortly. You may contact Honda for further information at 800-999-1009. Customer service will handle live calls from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Monday through Friday.

Since 1980, GT Automotive and our ASE certified and factory trained Honda and Acura technicians have been serving Honda car owners in the Salt Lake Valley for all their vehicle repair needs. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and repairing your Honda or Acura in Salt Lake City.

Audi Q5 Safety Recall: 2012 Models With Possible Sunroof Panel Glass Breakage

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Safety Recall of Sunroof Panels in 2012 Audi Q5 Models

As temperatures turn colder in Utah, and you own a 2012 Audi Q5, please verify that this safety recall of your sunroof has been checked out:

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) states that Audi is recalling 2012 Q5 Audi models because of possible sunroof panels that may break under extremely cold temperatures (like our Utah winter climate). Audi Q5 models manufactured between June 21, 2011 and December 9, 2011 are the cars being checked out. A total of 13,172 Audi Q5s fall into this production date.

Since nobody wants cracked or breaking glass in their sunroof, causing potential harm or damage to people or your Audi interior, take your Audi Q5 to the dealer to get this safety recall inspected and/or repaired.

There have been no published instances of injuries or crashes to date. But the danger of cracked and falling glass to drivers and passengers makes this recall one you want to immediately take to the Audi dealership.

The recall began in August. Audi says it will replace any defective sunroof glass at no charge to the consumer. Audi Q5 car owners may contact Audi directly at 800-822-8987.

Here is a copy of the complete press release:

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
AUDI / Q5 2012

Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC Mfr’s Report Date: JUN 27, 2012

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V299000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: VISIBILITY:SUN ROOF ASSEMBLY
Potential Number of Units Affected: 13,172

Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 AUDI Q5 VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 21, 2011, THROUGH DECEMBER 9, 2011. SOME VEHICLES MAY BE EQUIPPED WITH A FRONT SUNROOF GLASS PANEL THAT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO BREAKAGE IN EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER/TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS.

Consequence:
SHOULD THE SUNROOF’S GLASS BREAK WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN USE, THE FALLING GLASS COULD CUT AND INJURE THE DRIVER OR PASSENGERS. IT COULD ALSO DISTRACT THE DRIVER, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
VOLKSWAGEN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FRONT SUNROOF GLASS PANEL, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 7, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.

For all other Audi service and maintenance needs, GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for all Audi model vehicles. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and/or repairing your Audi in Salt Lake City.

 

Subaru Honda Toyota Audi VW Repair Salt Lake City Utah

Are you looking for that old fashioned neighborhood service auto repair shop, with dealership quality technicians and technology?

Come to GT Automotive in South Jordan-your choice for the best of both worlds-dealer quality auto repair and honest, neighborly service.

Watch this brief GT Automotive video, and take a tour of our car care facility-you will be impressed with our “Customer First” focus. Let Tim Stapleton, owner of GT Automotive, explain why we serve so many loyal auto repair customers in Salt Lake City since 1980.

For complete auto repairs on Japanese cars like Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Lexus, and European cars like Audi and Volkswagen, GT Automotive in South Jordan has certified mechanics to repair any make and model car-import and domestic vehicles.

With complete minor and major auto repair facilities, and full service oil change, express lube, safety inspections and emissions tests “Fast Lube” bays, we can serve every one of your auto repair needs.

Call 801.302.0912 for auto repair and express oil change/emissions test information.
We are your Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Lexus, VW and Audi car repair specialist in South Jordan, Utah.

Subaru Outback, Legacy, Impreza 2012 Safety Recalls: Have You Been Notified?

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2012 Subaru Factory Recalls

There are two safety recalls on a specific number of Legacy and Outback models that the dealer will check and fix, if needed.

2012 Safety Recall#1: Side Airbags May Not Deploy: 2012 Outback and Legacy Models-381 Specific U.S models and 6 in Canada

Only 387 that need recall-but better to be sure and safe, than regret and sorry later…

If you own a 2012 Subaru Legacy or Outback, make sure you are aware of the 2012 factory recall notices of 387 specific Subaru Legacy and Outback models. Here is the NHTSA Subaru recall notice (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

“These vehicles may be equipped with side curtain airbags that contain an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component used, resulting in insufficient output of compressed gas…The side curtain airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury.”

When the NHTSA released this statement in February 2012, Subaru told the agency there had been no field reports of any vehicle problem from any market-either the United States or Canada.

The issue was revealed when component supplier Takata-through Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.-informed Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries that the side curtain airbags had not deployed during their sampling inspection.

The recall began in April. While the few number of Subaru models affected do not qualify this as a major recall, since air bags and air bag deployment are safety measures, it would be wise to make sure your Legacy or Outback vehicle is not on the list.

2012 Safety Recall #2:  2012 Legacy, Outback, Impreza Excessive Brake Pedal Travel: Brake Master Cylinder Replaced

This factory recall on brake master cylinders affects 2012 Legacy and Outback models built from 10/17/11 through -11/23/11, and 2012 Impreza models built through 11/15/11.

Affected Subaru car models already on dealer lots were inspected and repaired before they were put back for sale to the public in November/December 2011. 

Cars already delivered to customers when the recall notice was released received their master cylinder parts in early December 2011.

Subaru  received about 130 complaints of excessive brake travel among the first 3,000 new 2012 model year vehicles sold. That initial 4.3% complaint ratio is enough to make sure your brakes are functioning properly and safely.

If you drive one of these affected Subaru cars (look on the driver door decal for the production month and date), and do not know about the excessive brake pedal recall, take your Subaru to the dealer. The fix takes about one hour to complete.

Remember that Subaru quietly leads the way in lifelong performance and safety. Our Subaru specialists are just as passionate about your Subaru as you are. Since 1980, we have hired specially trained ASE Certified Technicians to service and repair Subaru vehicles. Call GT Automotive today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and/or repairing your Subaru model here in Salt Lake City, Utah.