What is the minimum octane rating gasoline that I should use in my vehicle?

Our “current model” year vehicles have the following unleaded fuel octane rating recommendations:

MODEL OCTANE
4Runner 87
Avalon 87
Camry 87
Corolla 87
FJ Cruiser 87
Highlander 87
Land Cruiser 87
Matrix 87
Prius 87
RAV4 87
Sequoia 87
Sienna 87
Tacoma 87
Tundra 87
Venza 87
Yaris 87

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And about Toyota Entune

by staff writer, Peter Kottwitz
Toyota of the Black Hills

If you have been in the market for a new Toyota in the past year or so, you may have noticed that hands free calling via Bluetooth is the next big thing. Almost every trim level of every model in Toyota’s lineup comes equipped with this feature thanks to recent regulations on talking and driving laws.

If you are looking at a higher end trim, most have a large display screen where the radio sits, this new feature is called Entune, Entune takes hands free calling to the next level by connecting to the internet via your smartphones data plan. From there you can search for nearby coffee shops with Bing, check your stock’s look at the weather forecast, or even find the cheapest gas in your city! It’s truly a technology with the user in mind, just after playing with it for a few minutes we became instant experts.

Unfortunately there are many people that buy vehicles that come equipped with Entune and never use it, what a shame! A lot of times we hear that connecting your telephone to your car is the hardest part, for that, here are some easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to get started using your hands free feature.

1.       Touch Setup on the faceplate

2.       Touch Bluetooth, Setup

3.       Touch Search for Bluetooth, Devices or Make This System Discoverable

a.       The system will begin searching for devices

b.      Touch Cancel if you wish to cancel the search

4.       Touch the device to be paired.

5.       A message will direct you to start the pairing process on your phone.

6.       Touch Accept to pair your smartphone to your vehicle

7.       A confirmation will appear that your phone has been paired

That wasn’t so hard was it? Now that you are connected for calling, you also will probably also want to connect so you can use the internet through your new Toyota. To do that, you will need to download the Entune app on your Blackberry, Droid, or IPhone, from there you need to register your vehicle and create a username, then you just follow the simple instructions on your smartphone app, and there you go! Make sure to keep track of how much you use the data on your Entune system, as it is billed to your phone’s data plan, and if you don’t have unlimited data, could end up costing some money.

All in all we love the new Entune, It is sure to raise the bar in hands free car technology, Let us know how you like your Entune, have you had any problems with it? Or could you never live without it?

Change your oil every three months or 3000 miles!

Sound familiar? More than likely your parents ground it into your memory, so every time the little sticker in the corner of our windshield matches our odometer we immediately head for the nearest Jiffy Lube.

When was the last time you went 10,000 miles without changing your oil? If your like most of us, probably never, however, some cars are made to run that long or longer on a single oil change thanks to tighter engine tolerances, better materials, and synthetic oils.

According to a recent government survey only 33% of people had ever driven their cars 4000 miles or more on a single oil change.

The truth is, changing your oil every 3000 miles is just too often, todays engines are made to run 5, 8, 10, and even 20,000 miles between oil changes. The average oil change costs around $30, and lets say we drive the standard 12,000 miles a year, that’s $120 a year in oil changes when really you should only be spending half that, it’s not a big savings, but over time really can help line your pocketbook.

Every year we throw away millions of gallons of half used oil, one analyst from Edmonds.com said “you would not change your bath water halfway through, why would you change your oil” and he’s right. If you want to find out how often you should change your oil you can either check your service manual, or go to http://www.checkyournumber.org put in your year make and model, and it will tell you how often you really need to stop in to the service station.

Is your vehicle dependable? If it’s a Toyota brand, you are in luck.

You go to the car dealership and buy a brand new vehicle, you are ecstatic about your new purchase until one day you’re driving down the road and you see it, the dreaded check engine light staring back at you. Don’t worry you won’t have to deal with this nearly as often depending on which vehicle you choose to buy.

According to J.D. Powers and Associates Vehicle Dependability study, Lexus is the most dependable vehicle on the road today with only 86 problems per 100 vehicles, to put that in perspective Chrysler was dead last with 192 problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus’s success was followed closely in rank by Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota, and Scion.

Toyota being the owner of Scion and Lexus we are thrilled to hold 3 of the top 5 spots!

Here is a complete list of how the study turned out; problems are based on 100 vehicles:

1.       Lexus, 86

2.       Porsche, 98

3.       Cadillac, 104

4.       Toyota, 104

5.       Scion, 111

6.       Mercedes-Benz, 112

7.       Lincoln, 116

8.       Ford, 124

9.       Buick, 125

10.   Hyundai, 125

11.   Acura, 129

12.   Honda, 131

13.   Chevrolet, 135

14.   Volvo, 143

15.   Audi, 148

16.   Smart, 148

17.   Subaru, 149

18.   Nissan, 152

19.   Mitsubishi, 153

20.   BMW, 154

21.   GMC, 158

22.   Mini, 161

23.   Mazda, 163

24.   Suzuki, 167

25.   Kia, 169

26.   Volkswagen, 169

27.   Infiniti, 172

28.   Jaguar, 172

29.   Ram, 174

30.   Jeep, 179

31.   Dodge, 183

32.   Chrysler, 192

Taking a road trip in a Toyota Sienna

When I first began working at Toyota of the Black Hills, I can honestly say I’d never noticed all the hype behind one of the most popular mini-van’s. Growing up we always had a Ford van which generally suited us just fine. I can say now that if the Sienna has been around when I was a child, I would have been begging my Mom to buy one.

Recently I took one of our rental Sienna’s for the weekend to haul around our family in the Black Hills. As a sedan lover, I wasn’t too excited about driving a van but I was quickly impressed the moment I drove it off the lot.

toyota sienna, toyota of the black hills, black hills toyotaWhat makes it so nice to drive?

With enough room to fit six of us and three dogs, there was no reason to worry about space and comfort. The best part of hauling the dogs for us was they fit perfectly into the lowered trunk area. Give them a blanket and they were as happy as can be!

Why we loved the Sienna…..

  • Comfort – We drove a more standard model with cloth seats (my preference is leather), but it was surprisingly comfortable as we sat in the van for hours at a time. The kids liked the back seats so they could recline and take a nap too!
  • Reliability – If you have ever traveled through the winding hills in Western South Dakota, then you know that it can take it’s toll on your vehicle. The Sienna preformed great for us and drove through the hills without a single issue.
  • Styling – While not a huge fan of minivans for their complete lack of style or luxury, I believe the Sienna is the only van out there that makes me think, “oh that looks cool.”
Would I buy one? 
Honestly, I’m not sure. Not because I don’t think it’s a great vehicle, it’s simply too big for my family and our needs. If you are in the market for a people carrier that holds a lot of great features, then the Sienna is truly for you.
By Rapid Auto Group - Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota Posted in Sienna