Another minute, another happy Camry owner. On average during the month of May, a new Toyota Camry was sold to an American buyer every minute of every day. Nearly 50,000 new Camry sales in May contribute to the 10.3 million Camry models sold in the US in the past 31 years, 6.7 million of which are still on the road today.
For decades, the Camry has been reliably reliable. It’s been awarded top honors in the JD Power and Associates IQS and VDS studies, 5-star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and named one of the “Best Midsize Cars for the Money” by US News and World Report as well as one of the “Most Popular” vehicles by Edmunds.com.
Record breaking sales and accolades aside, however, the Toyota Camry’s true value lies in its ability to consistently bring you and your family from point A to point B safely, securely, and in style. And it’s only getting better. The updated 2015 Camry is set to arrive later this year and it’s sure to continue the Camry’s positive legacy.
Save wear and tear on your vehicle and try out the latest Toyota models
Toyota of Greenville is excited to offer Toyota Rent a Car to our customers, and summer road trips are the perfect time to take advantage of this service. Need a little extra room for luggage, or want to save wear and tear on your vehicle? Toyota Rent a Car offers a full line of the latest model Toyota products for rent including cars, trucks, SUVs, hybrids and minivans for personal, business, service and insurance rental reimbursement needs. The fleet includes popular Toyota products such as the new Avalon, Camry, and Corolla.
Toyota Rent a Car also offers free 24-hour roadside assistance to all of its customers, so you can enjoy peace of mind no matter where you travel. If you're looking for some fun this season, the area around Greenville offers three major waterparks:
- Discovery Island Waterpark- Simpsonville, SC
- Otter Creek Waterpark- Greenville, SC
- 7th Inning Splash Waterpark- Piedmont, SC
Toyota of Greenville has information on these waterparks and lots of other fun things to within the area. Stop by today to learn more about recreational opportunities or about Toyota Rent a Car. A valid driver’s license, major credit card and proof of auto insurance in your own name is required. To make a reservation at Toyota of Greenville, please call 864-478-1608 or email Lyndsie Schucking at email@example.com. Call or contact us online and we will be happy to share what we know.
Toyota has long been championing hybrid vehicles. From the popular Prius liftback to the nimble Prius c, Toyota has become synonymous with hybrid fuel efficiency over the years thanks to the brand’s commitment to various hybrid technologies and its litany of appealing hybrid models.
Not content with resting on its laurels, the Japanese automaker recently announced plans to increase efficiency in its hybrid vehicles by a further 10 percent, thanks to the development of new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for use in power control units (PCUs).
The new PCU, which will begin testing on Japanese roads sometime next year, utilize a new silicon carbide compound and suffer less electrical resistance, which improves efficiency when passing electrical current between the vehicle’s battery and electric motor. Additionally, the new PCU units lose less power once shutting off, and can operate at a higher frequency than existing models.
Toyota says that the net power loss of the new PCU measures in at one-tenth of the current silicone versions, which equates to a roughly five-percent increase in fuel economy, with the potential of a further ten-percent increase once the new silicon carbide models actually come to market.
Additionally, the new PCU is smaller (roughly 80 percent smaller), which when coupled with improvements to other key areas such as enhanced engine technology, aerodynamics, and lighter materials, should prove a boon to overall MPG in future Toyota hybrids.
Toyota says it aims to have the technology up, running, and implemented by 2020. And while the future looks bright (and green) for Toyota, potential owners don't have to wait years to drive an incredibly fuel-efficient hybrid. for more information, or to test drive a Toyota hybrid, be sure to contact your local Toyota dealer and schedule a test drive today.
Toyota teams up with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)
Toyota is a brand that is known for building reliable vehicles that last a long time, but did you know that it is also focused on building important community programs as well? In fact, the automaker has been teaming up with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to help foster stronger communities for 20 years! Now, the Toyota Family Learning program has announced that it will be giving out its second round of grants. Keep reading for details from Toyota of Greenville.
The Toyota Family Learning program is designed to provide opportunities for children and parents so that they may learn and grow together. It does this by providing $175,000 grants to mentoring and service learning programs. The first round of grants proved incredibly successful with a total of $875,000 that went to support Lincoln Public Schools, the Houston Public Library, and other community programs across the country.
The success of the grants was undeniable. 17,000 hours of additional family learning was conducted, gains in the organizational and leadership skills of parents were reported, an increase of involvement by fathers was reported, and much more.
Toyota Vice President of External Affairs Mike Goss commented on how the new round of grants fits in with Toyota’s goal of creating sustainable and healthy communities: “Toyota’s more than 20 years of partnership with the NCFL has taught us that bringing parents and children together to learn works,” he said, adding that Toyota is “proud to support programs across the country that extend learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and into homes and communities.”
The team here at Toyota of Greenville cannot wait to see what the next round of grant winners do with their funds. While you’re waiting to find out, why not stop by our dealership or contact us online to find out what other exciting community events we have around the corner.
Air conditioning systems are specifically designed to be largely maintenance free, but small issues can grow into big problems without regular checks. In short, it pays to be prepared for the unexpected in hot weather conditions.
If you want to keep your cool during your daily commute or on an upcoming road trip, our team at Toyota of Greenville has a handy checklist to help you prepare your car’s air conditioning system for spring and summertime driving.
- Timing is everything. Don’t wait until the hot weather has arrived to start using and testing your air conditioning. Use the system regularly throughout the year, and particularly in the spring, when you have a few weeks before the hot weather kicks in to get any remedial work carried out.
- Test the air flow in the system. Turn the air conditioning on high and manually inspect each of the vents. Is air coming out of every vent? Is the air pressure the same around the car, or are some vents weaker than others? Change the temperature of the system. Is the air cooling down as you would expect?
- Listen for strange noises. This isn’t about things that go bump in the night, but more about ticks, rattles, or knocking sounds that might indicate there’s a problem with the system. Listen at each vent and also at the dashboard when the car is idle, and when you put your foot on the gas. It’s quite possible that there is a small obstruction (such as a leaf or twig) somewhere in the system, or there could be a more serious problem.
- Check out unusual smells. Excessive oily, mechanical smells could indicate that the system is damaged or underperforming in some way and may need mechanical attention. Stale or unpleasant odors may indicate that the air filter needs replacing or that something is caught somewhere in the system. Your owner’s manual will be able to tell you how to change the filter, or get your mechanic on the case if you’d rather not do it yourself.
- Check the coolant level. If the air is powerful but doesn’t appear to cool properly, you may have a problem with the coolant level in your air conditioning system. This will naturally deplete over time, but low levels may also indicate a leak in or damage to the system. The owner’s manual for your car can probably give you instructions on how to check, but if you're unsure, one of our service technicians will happily look over it for you.
Though your vehicle's air conditioning system may not require frequent attention, scheduled maintenance checks are key to keeping the cabin comfortable and your bank account safe from costly repair bills.
A routine examination by our certified technicians at Toyota of Greenville will help your vehicle's air conditioning system stay in top shape for years to come. Additionally, it’s a small and affordable maintenance that will guarantee many miles of driving comfort ahead. Contact our service department to learn more.
More than a decade atop the sales charts means the Toyota Camry has become pretty much ubiquitous on our nation's roads, and no wonder. Good fuel economy, strong residual values, and a reputation for reliability make this four-door sedan a logical choice among family cars. But let's take a closer look.
Redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Camry offers conservative styling that succeeds in attracting attention without being polarizing. Headlights integrate neatly into the grille for a clean, unfussy look that continues along the flanks to the rear where horizontal lines create the impression of a larger, more expensive car.
It's a similar story inside, with horizontal lines dominating along the instrument panel and a prominent center stack presenting a 6.1-inch touchscreen between two columns of buttons. Seats are comfortable and large windows with relatively small "A" pillars create good visibility. Generous rear legroom, a 15.4 cubic feet trunk, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat ensure this sedan is a practical hauler of people and their gear.
The Camry comes in four trim levels, L, LE, SE, and XLE, and for 2014 the SE is also available as an SE Sport. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the standard engine, although the SE and XLE can be ordered with a 3.5 liter V6. The four-cylinder delivers 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels while the six outputs 268 and 248. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission and EPA mileage numbers are an impressive 25/35 for the smaller engine and a respectable 21/31 for the larger.
Those seeking to do even better in the fuel consumption stakes could look at the hybrid Camry. Available in LE and XLE trims, this marries an electric motor to a 2.5 liter four and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), for a total output of 200 horsepower. Gas mileage is 43 City, 39 Highway, in LE trim, dropping to 40/38 in XLE.
The L trim includes air conditioning, 16-inch rims, cruise control, and a four spoke steering wheel with controls for audio and Bluetooth. Stepping up to LE adds power locks and keyless entry, plus a bolder grille.
The sports-flavored SE is distinguished externally by 17-inch alloys, a chrome-tipped exhaust, and a discrete trunk-lid spoiler. Fog lights with additional chrome trim pieces and a sport mesh front grille also help set this trim apart from the rest. Inside, seats are trimmed with SofTex sport fabric, trim is silver-finish, and the driver holds a paddle shifter-equipped leather-trimmed sport steering wheel. To this the SE Sport brings 18-inch alloys and a moonroof.
The more luxury-oriented Camry XLE is the LE with wood grain-style interior trim, automatic air conditioning, a moonroof, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-trimmed four spoke steering wheel. Wheels are 17-inch alloys.
Hybrid equipment levels are essentially the same, other than the Hybrid LE getting automatic air conditioning.
The LE can be ordered with a power-adjustable driver's seat and the moonroof while the SE and XLE are available with those plus navigation, the Convenience Package, the Leather Package, and the Blind Spot monitor. The SE V6 can also have an upgraded JBL audio system.
With prices starting at around $23,000, including delivery, the Camry presents a great value proposition. It's comfortable, reliable and inexpensive to own, and it's conservative styling will look good for years to come. Continued dominance of the sales charts seems assured.
Cars have a way of transforming the human personality, especially when a person slips behind the wheel. Nice, normal, relaxed people can transform into monsters that threaten the fabric of society. Just in case you’re not aware of how driving changes you, take the following quiz. An answer key at the end will help you interpret your answers.
- You’re on a two-lane road (one lane in each direction) with a double-yellow line in the center. You are behind a driver that is moving at about 20 mph (the speed limit is 45). What do you do?
- Ride up to the car’s bumper while leaning on your horn, flashing your lights, and waving vulgar sign language out your window.
- Pass the car illegally on the left or right to get in front of it and then slow down to about 10 mph to teach that driver a lesson.
- No one says any one person must go the speed limit.
- Establish a safe following distance and set your cruise control to match the speed of the car in front of you and enjoy the scenery.
- You are driving on an interstate highway where the speed limit is 55. How fast are you driving?
- The capabilities of my car and the appearance of flashing blue lights are the only speed limits I know.
- I go 8 mph over the speed limit at all times. If I’m feeling lucky, I’ll jack that up to 15 or 20.
- I will go 55, but I see the speed limit is changing up ahead, so in a few seconds I can lawfully jack up my speed to 65.
- I’m afraid my speedometer reads too fast, so I’ll go about 10 mph slower than the speed limit just to be safe.
- You’re approaching an intersection that has a light that just turned yellow. You’ve stopped for 15 red lights already, so you don’t think you should have to stop again. What do you do?
- Put the pedal to the metal and run it. You must break the cycle to get better luck.
- Use your illegal traffic light changer to give yourself a green light.
- Stop, but complain about how the government is making you late.
- Calmly stop, knowing that you have planned enough travel time so you won’t be late.
- What part of your car do you appreciate the most?
- The gas pedal.
- The nitrous oxide power boost system.
- The all-around airbags.
- The fuel economy rating.
- According to your belief system, who or what makes the roads you travel most dangerous?
- Traffic lights.
- People who don’t wear their seatbelt.
- Poorly maintained roads.
- Why did you get your last ticket?
- The cop saw my “Life is Good” bumper sticker and wanted to prove it wrong.
- I was the slowest speeder out there.
- OMG. I had a burnt-out taillight and didn’t even know it! Thank you officer!
- Failure to drive the minimum speed.
If you answered A or B to all six questions, you are an aggressive and irresponsible driver. You should check into a counseling program immediately. If you answered A or B to three or more questions, you are an annoying driver who could lose control at any moment. If you answered A or B to zero to two questions, you are very relaxed and responsible, but you might become a victim of road rage.
A father's tale
My wife really needed a vacation, notwithstanding the one she took to Florida less than a month before, by herself, without our five children. Yes, our five children, the ones I had to take care of during her absence. This time, though, she wanted a family vacation, one that included me and the five children. To save money and give the kids their first taste of one of life's most classic family bonding experiences, we decided to go camping. We may or may not have been prepared for what that would really mean.
For those who don't think parenting is hard enough, I encourage you to pack up the kids, enough comfortable clothes to withstand 11 of the world's 13 climate zones, every possible toy that might occupy a toddler for up to three minutes, bikes, scooters, helmets, five pairs of shoes per kid, a first aid kit, 23 books, and enough ibuprofen to satisfy an ultramarathoner—and head to a campground near you. Oh, and don't forget sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses, a minivan full of blankets, and a tent.
But your sanity? You can leave that at home. There won't be enough room in the van, anyway.
My children are all under the age of ten. If you decide to take your children under the age of 10 camping, allow yourself at least six days to pack the minivan. If you do not have a minivan or a comparable automobile, don't go camping. The minivan is, in fact, the greatest development in family camping since the creation of the tent. It serves many purposes, the most important being a place to put your kids when they're in time-out.
Here are some other essential items when camping with kids.
- A big tent. Only because sleeping in a minivan is uncomfortable and smelly. You could rent an RV for what it would cost to take the entire family to Maui. I'll take the beach front condo, thank you.
- Portable crib(s). The portable crib, commonly called a pack-and-play, might be the greatest invention since the minivan. Your two babies (yes, I have two kids young enough for cribs) should not sleep on the ground, with or without a sleeping bag.
- Baby backpack. At home you can set the baby down on the carpet with only a slight risk that she’ll put something totally unacceptable in her mouth when you turn your head. While camping, the only place to set your baby down is on a pile of dirt. Put the baby in the back pack.
- An MP3 player loaded with soothing music. You’re communing with nature, sure, but rest assured that there will come a point during your kid-friendly camping trip that you'll want to assume the fetal position and start sucking your thumb. Mellow tunes are the antidote you’ll need.
- A good pair of running shoes. Each parent will need an excuse to get away, and although you haven't actually run for nine years, morning number two of the campout seems like a great time to trot a few dozen miles.
- Food. You foolishly prohibited the bringing of electronic devices. Your only option to keep the kids from driving you insane is food. Bring lots of it, the junkier the better.
- Baby powder. It works wonders when removing mud from your children's legs.
I won't bore you with the details of my most recent outing, but suffice it to say I used all the above items—multiple times.
In all seriousness, though, a family camping trip is a great way to bond, enjoy the outdoors, explore new activities, and travel together as a family without breaking the bank. Sure, it takes a lot of planning, not to mention packing, but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s worth it in the end.
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Heat affects many automotive systems both under the hood and inside the cabin, but drivers can win the battle against heat by following a few simple tips.
Engines create a lot of heat because of their moving parts and the friction they create. Although engine oil and coolant help keep heat manageable, summer heat can drive engine temperatures to dangerous levels. Car owners should have the coolant systems in their cars flushed according to the service interval recommended by the auto manufacturer. Drivers can find this information inside the owner’s manual that came with their cars or by calling our service department. Between coolant flushes, car owners should periodically check the coolant level in the engine of their car.
Heat contributes to the breakdown of engine oil. Drivers should learn about proper oil-change intervals by checking the owner's manuals that came with their cars. Drivers who live in exceptionally hot areas should ask for advice about changing to a different type of oil for summer driving. Meanwhile, drivers should periodically check all engine fluid levels in their car including transmission, power steering, and brake fluids.
Many drivers breathe a sigh of relief when they survive cold winter weather without having to buy a car battery. Those drivers do not realize that hot weather also affects the performance of batteries. Heat causes the fluid inside car batteries to evaporate, which contributes to the corrosion of battery terminals and makes them more susceptible to vibration. Bring your car to the dealer periodically to have your batteries checked. Our technicians have special tools that help determine when cars need new ones.
Hot weather and hot roads heat the air inside tires, causing over-inflated tires and potentially hazardous conditions. Under-inflated tires also cause heat-related problems that can affect braking and cause blowouts. Drivers should routinely check tire pressure and inflate or deflate them so they match the specifications recommended by the manufacturer.
Heat builds up inside parked cars on hot summer days, often surpassing 200 degrees and making conditions deadly for people and pets. Make sure everyone gets out of the car on hot days. Intense heat can also crack windshields and dry seat covers and upholstery. Whenever possible, park your car in the shade, use a removable windshield sunshade, and leave the windows slightly lowered. Visit our service center to have your air conditioning systems checked as well.
With excellent store-bought ice cream so readily available, the idea of homemade ice cream may seem like a contradiction in terms. But with the help of an ice cream maker, homemade ice cream is not only easy, but incredibly delicious. Here is a tried-and-true recipe for making perfectly smooth, creamy ice cream that is sure to steal the spotlight.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Active prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling/Freezing Time: 2 hours cooling - 30 minutes freezing
Servings: One half-gallon
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup Half-and-Half
1 cup whole milk
2 whole eggs, well beaten and 4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Pour cream, half and half, and milk into a 1 quart saucepan, add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Bring over medium high heat and cook until mixture begins to boil; just until bubbles are formed around the rim of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.
Add egg yolks and whole eggs into a small bowl and whisk/beat well.
After cooling milk mixture, add one cup of the hot mixture to the well beaten eggs and whisk to combine.
Pour the remainder of the hot mixture slowly into the egg mixture, whisking until fully incorporated. Place over medium high heat again and cook (stirring constantly) an additional 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Add vanilla and stir it in well.
Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap placed directly on the custard mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
To make the ice cream:
Remove cold custard mixture from refrigerator and pour into the container of ice cream maker, follow manufacturer’s instructions for use.
When the ice cream maker’s timer goes off or the machine turns off - carefully remove the container. If using a machine that requires ice and salt, wipe the lid of the container off carefully with a damp cloth so no salty water contaminates the ice cream.
At this point any add-ins can be stirred into the partially frozen ice cream; sugared nuts, chocolate chips, broken candy bars, fruits, or even ice cream sauces like caramel, strawberry, or chocolate can be added at this point. Fresh fruits are wonderful when pureed or chopped and added to the mixture.
Place the ice cream into a plastic, lidded freezer container and freeze an additional 1 to 2 hours.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving; this allows it to thaw slightly for easy scooping into nice big ice cream cones or pretty single serving bowls.
Sales Dept. Hours
- Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Sat: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Sun: Closed to spend time with family
Service Dept. Hours
- Mon-Fri: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Sat: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Sun: Closed