Proper tire inflation is a good thing, and the number of media reports, government pamphlets, and tire shop recommendations over the years have really highlighted the benefits of making sure that your rubber is properly inflated. Better fuel economy, reduced tire wear, and increased grip and performance are some of the highlights associated with keeping tire inflation at the appropriate level.
But what about filling tires with Nitrogen instead of “Air”?
There is an interesting tool that drivers can make use of to help not only keep their tires more consistently inflated but to also reduce the wear and tear on their rims and rubber, and that is the use of nitrogen instead of air inside the tire itself. Nitrogen is an inert gas that makes up about 78% of “air”, but when used in its pure form for tire inflation, Nitrogen offers several benefits to vehicle owners.
Depending on how you drive your truck and where you drive it, you may not give your shocks a lot of thought. Since shocks tend to “wear” very, very gradually, people often aren’t aware that their shocks have gone bad until they’re told by the local dealership or auto shop.
As you undoubtedly know, shocks aren’t just a part that improves your vehicle’s ride. They’re an important piece of safety equipment as well. Shocks help to prevent front end dive under hard braking, helping to reduce the amount of force that the front brakes must dissipate and decrease stopping distance. For truck owners, shocks are also important because they help keep large loads (either towed or hauled) manageable during turns, bumps, etc.
You need good shocks to have a safe vehicle. The trouble is, most people – and a fair number of auto technicians – don’t really know when it’s time to replace a shock and when it’s not. There are a lot of simple, amateur tests that you can do to “prove” your truck may or may not need shocks (like the one in the video below), but these types of tests are usually only accurate when the shocks are already in pretty bad shape.
A better way to evaluate shocks is to look at how much hydraulic fluid they’ve leaked. Shock failure is caused by leakage. While a little bit of leakage is considered normal, once a certain amount of fluid has drained out – or if the fluid has leaked out of the shocks in a very specific way – then it’s time for new shocks.
Fortunately, Toyota has given their dealership technicians some clear-cut illustrations that explain when shocks need replaced…and we’re sharing them with you.
UPDATE: We have recently become aware of a module that “fixes” this issue. See http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2012/10/24/air-injection-system-bypass-module for more details.
If you own a second generation Tundra, something you should be aware of is an apparent design flaw in the Tundra’s air injection system. While the likelihood of having this problem is probably pretty low (most of the dealers we talk to report this as a fairly rare problem), you never know if it could strike your Tundra.
Some trucks are covered under warranty (see the link above for more details), but if your truck has this problem and it’s not covered, you don’t have a lot of options. You can either rebuild the pumps and/or remove and clean the valves yourself, or you can pay your dealer a few thousand bucks to put in new parts…or maybe, hypothetically speaking, you might be to bypass the issue altogether…
Does the air coming out of your climate control vents smell like your grandma’s cellar? If so, you’ve probably got a little mold or mildew growing in the evaporator and/or duct work. To get rid of it, you’ve got three options:
1. You can shut off your A/C a mile or two before your destination but leave the fan speed set to HI. This will help dry out the system and keep the little guys from growing. Hopefully, they’ll die out.
2. You can use some chemical weapons on the fungi, bacteria, etc.
3. You can take the A/C apart, clean up the evap and any duct work you can get to, and then put it all back together.
Ready to get started? Here’s how you go about it:
Toyota recently sent dealers a TSB regarding “reduced cold start heater warm-up in cold conditions.” In English, that means “Tundras that don’t warm up quick enough.” The fix for this problem is really simple – it’s just a software upgrade.
Since the colder months are on their way, now would be a good time to talk to your local dealer if you have a 2007 or 2008 Tundra or a 2008 Sequoia. The TSB number is 0231-10 – here’s some more info on how your dealer will perform this software update: