New Looks for 2024 Toyota Models: 2024 Tacoma, Land Cruiser, and Grand Highlander

Toyota showcases its dedication to automotive excellence through the much-awaited updates to three of its iconic models: the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, Grand Highlander, and Land Cruiser. These vehicles hold a significant place in the Toyota family, symbolizing dependability, top-notch performance, and an adventurous presence. Let's delve deeper into the thrilling 2024 Toyota redesigns that are bound to captivate both enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

2024 Toyota Tacoma

2024 Tacoma

For years, the Toyota Tacoma has been a symbol of robust endurance, and the 2024 rendition elevates this tradition even further. This latest model showcases a striking exterior evolution, featuring a broad upper grille and a streamlined body, complemented by refined LED headlights for a contemporary flair. Underpinning the Tacoma's reliability is a robust boxed steel ladder frame, reinforcing its prowess for off-road adventures. This vehicle stands as the ultimate companion for adventures beyond the beaten path.

Where Cutting-Edge Meets Off-Road Grit

The Tacoma is known for its robust performance, and the 2024 rendition continues this legacy. Engine options have undergone meticulous refinement, delivering enhanced power and efficiency while catering to individuals looking for top-notch truck performance. A standard i-FORCE turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers an impressive 278 horsepower and a formidable 317 lb.-ft. of torque. For those craving even more power, the optional i-FORCE MAX unleashes an astounding 326 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly doubling the current V6 engine's output.

Toughness Never Looked This Good

The 2024 Tacoma’s interior has been significantly upgraded with the latest technology and information screens. Higher grades feature a standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, while lower grades offer a 7-inch gauge cluster. The upgraded infotainment system presents an eight-inch or an optional 14-inch touchscreen. Elevated connectivity features and advanced driver-assistance systems like push-button start to ensure continuous control and connectivity on your travels. The Tacoma effortlessly merges durability with technology, setting a new standard for midsize trucks.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

2024 Grand Highlander

The reimagined 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is a three-row SUV aimed at delivering an unmatched driving venture for families and adventurers. It stands as a revolutionary choice for those seeking the ultimate fusion of roominess, luxury, and state-of-the-art technology.

Elevating the Drive to New Heights

Taking inspiration from the Highlander's form, the Grand Highlander showcases a trapezoidal, hammerhead front grille and a defined rear bumper, striking a graceful equilibrium between elegance and agility. Inside, the redesigned cabin of the Grand Highlander features a plush, soft-padded instrument panel and separate driver/passenger armrests, crafting a welcoming and cozy atmosphere.

Empower Your Journey

The Grand Highlander provides three powertrain options tailored to meet your specific needs: a balanced 2.4L turbo gas engine, an efficient 2.5L hybrid engine, and a high-powered 362 horsepower Hybrid MAX for those seeking performance. By offering the Hybrid and Hybrid MAX variants, Toyota reaffirms its dedication to achieving carbon neutrality, emphasizing the brand's strong commitment to sustainability and groundbreaking innovation.

Adventure-Ready, City-Savvy

Perhaps the most noteworthy updates are the Grand Highlander’s technological advancements. Extensive infotainment upgrades, Over-the-Air (OTA) software updates, a suite of advanced safety features, and an array of driver-assistance technologies redefine the SUV experience in the modern era. Inside, the Grand Highlander incorporates a wireless charger and seven USB-C ports, ensuring ample charging for all occupants. For music enthusiasts, an optional JBL® Premium Audio System boasting 11 speakers promises a concert-level sound experience during your journey. The 2024 Grand Highlander isn't merely a vehicle; it's a sanctuary on wheels.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

2024 Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser has established itself as an indomitable force in the world of adventure, embodying off-road supremacy. The 2024 redesign enhances this legacy by blending timeless toughness with modern sophistication.

Bold Design, Unmatched Presence

The Land Cruiser offers seven unique exterior color choices: Ice Cap, Wind Chill Pearl, Underground, Black, Meteor Shower, Trail Dust, and Heritage Blue. Its sturdy contours, circular heritage LED headlights, roof racks, and distinctive interior design all heighten the SUV's authoritative stance. Electric power steering and 17-inch front and rear disc brakes elevate steering precision and maneuvering, while the newly engineered double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension bolster off-road capabilities. The Land Cruiser is the ultimate choice for those seeking unparalleled performance in any terrain.

Sleek Sophistication, Unmatched Reliability

The Land Cruiser’s interior is crafted to provide a luxurious and comfortable experience. High-end materials, advanced technology, and meticulous planning come together to create an environment that blends elegance with functionality. Its latest multimedia system ensures Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and offers an extensive range of convenient connectivity options, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. For added comfort, the Land Cruiser trim incorporates SofTex-trimmed seats with heating and ventilation, an optional 14-speaker JBL premium sound system, and a 12.3-inch multimedia display. No matter where your journey takes you, you’ll always be connected.

Toyota: Setting the Bar for Innovation

Toyota's 2024 revamps of the Tacoma, Grand Highlander, and Land Cruiser models represent a bold stride forward for the brand, reinforcing its commitment to excellence, innovation, and the pursuit of adventure. Whether traversing the wilds in a Tacoma, embarking on family voyages with a Grand Highlander, or tackling rugged landscapes in a Land Cruiser, these vehicles transcend mere transportation—they are gateways to a world of limitless possibilities.


If you’re looking for a new Toyota in the Columbia, SC area, look no further than Midlands Toyota. We have a wide selection of new and used Toyota models at incredible prices, as well as a state-of-the-art service center. Whether you're navigating city streets or conquering off-road trails, our dealership has you covered. Welcome to the future of driving.

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What’s New For Toyota in 2024: Redesigns, New Trims, Comebacks, and More

As we step into 2024, Toyota enthusiasts and prospective buyers alike are in for a treat. The iconic automaker has rolled out some exciting updates and redesigns across its model lineup, including the highly anticipated Land Cruiser, RAV4, and Tacoma, along with two eye-catching new trims, the Nightshade Edition and the Woodland Edition. Join us on a journey through Toyota's 2024 offerings and discover what's in store for the year ahead.


2024 Toyota Tacoma

2024 Tacoma

For truck lovers, the 2024 Tacoma redesign is bound to be a game-changer. This midsize pickup has been reengineered from the ground up and is now more powerful, more capable, and more connected than ever before. With a fresh new look and enhanced performance, the Tacoma is set to maintain its position as a leader in the segment.

All-New Styling

The 2024 Tacoma’s exterior redesign is similar to the Tundra with a new body-on-frame platform, robust skid plates, and a diverse range of options available, including two cab and bed configurations. Designed with the theme of “A Badass Adventure Machine” at Toyota’s CALTY Design Center, the 2024 Tacoma’s slim body and expansive upper grille pay tribute to the classic HiLux. Features like hexagonal grille motifs, integrated roof and tailgate spoilers, and side functional air intakes contribute to a design that is both familiar and entirely modern.

Trailhunter and TRD Pro Trims

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro makes its bold return in 2024 with a new 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, IsoDynamic Performance seats with their shock absorbers, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. For those looking for more adventure expeditions, the newly introduced 2024 Tacoma Trailhunter features the newest integrated off-road equipment from ARB, Old Man Emu, and RIGID, making it specifically designed for people who enjoy overlanding.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

2024 Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser makes a bold return in 2024 after a 3-year North American hiatus. The latest model has been completely redesigned with a retro look that pays homage to its historic roots of over 65 years. Some of the standout features of this new model include:

An Iconic Redesign

Toyota has given the Land Cruiser’s exterior a sleeker design that seamlessly combines modern aesthetics with its iconic ruggedness. The new model features a heritage front grille, retro circle headlights, and a strong silhouette with a low beltline. Inside, you'll find an updated and spacious interior, premium materials, and advanced safety features to ensure a smooth and secure ride. It's a perfect blend of classic ruggedness and contemporary luxury.

Unrivaled Performance

The 2024 Land Cruiser features the latest off-road technology that is used in the newest generation of Toyota trucks. Its i-FORCEMAX hybrid powertrain pairs a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a 48-hp electric motor, resulting in 326 hp of max system output and 465 lb-ft of peak torque.

Special Edition Trim

The Special First Edition grade of the Land Cruiser is equipped with round heritage LED headlamps, a roof rack, rock rails, and an exclusive interior design. This special trim is limited to only 5,000 units in North American markets.

Exclusive Trims

Toyota is introducing two distinctive trims in its 2024 lineup: the Nightshade Edition and the Woodland Edition.

Nightshade Edition

With blacked-out accents and exclusive design elements, the Nightshade Edition brings an air of sophistication to Toyota's lineup. You'll find black alloy wheels, darkened badges, and stylish black upholstery inside the vehicles. Available on various models across Toyota's range, including the Camry, Corolla, and Sienna, the Nightshade Edition offers a unique blend of sportiness and elegance, making it a perfect choice for those who crave a little extra style.

2024 Nighshade trim

Woodland Edition

Designed to appeal to nature enthusiasts and those with a passion for the great outdoors, the Woodland Edition trim shines on the 2024 RAV4. With its all-terrain tires, a standard 1¼-inch activity mount, and a new Weather Package that adds heated front seats, a leather steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers, this army green edition offers a distinctive blend of function, style, and efficiency.

2024 Woodland trim

Where Innovation Meets the Road

2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Toyota enthusiasts. The redesigned Land Cruiser and Tacoma offer improved performance and style while retaining the rugged qualities they are known for. The Nightshade Edition adds a touch of sophistication to several Toyota models, while the Woodland Edition allows drivers to embrace the beauty of nature in their vehicles.


At Midlands Toyota, we're thrilled to offer these fantastic options and more in our 2024 lineup. Whether you're a long-time Toyota fan or new to the brand, there's something to suit every taste and preference. Come visit us when you’re in need of a Toyota dealership in the Columbia, SC area and explore these incredible updates and trims for yourself. With options that range from luxurious style to rugged versatility, there's a 2024 Toyota model that will suit everyone’s individual style.

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Why You Should Lease A New Toyota

The decision to buy or lease a car is considered a difficult one, so before making the final decision, you should carefully consider your current financial . . .
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Discover The Best Used Toyota Models for Young and New Drivers

Investing in a used vehicle doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality or performance. Toyota, renowned for its reliability and innovation, offers a lineup of vehicles that have stood the test of time and continue to deliver excellence even in their pre-owned forms. In this blog, we'll spotlight five of the best used Toyota models, along with the optimal years for each, and delve into the reasons why these vehicles remain favorites among discerning buyers seeking safety, fuel efficiency, and overall value.

Check Out These Used Toyota Models for New Drivers

  1. 2017 Toyota Camry

2017 Camry

The Toyota Camry, a midsize sedan celebrated for its dependability and comfort, shines in its 2017 model year. This iteration brought a stylish exterior redesign, a refined interior, and a suite of advanced safety features as standard. With high crash-test ratings, including a 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the 2017 Camry offers a reassuring blend of security and comfort for both drivers and passengers.


  1. 2015 Toyota RAV4

2015 RAV4

The compact SUV segment was revolutionized by the Toyota RAV4, and the 2015 model year stands out as an excellent choice. With its fuel-efficient engine options and generous cargo space, this iteration strikes a perfect balance between efficiency and versatility. The 2015 RAV4 also introduced the available Advanced Driver Assistance Package, which includes features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control, enhancing safety for your journeys.


  1. 2016 Toyota Highlander

2016 Highlander

As a family-oriented midsize SUV, the Toyota Highlander has consistently delivered comfort and practicality. The 2016 model year brought improvements in terms of fuel efficiency and a refined design. Notably, the Highlander's impressive suite of safety features, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, was made standard across all trims, cementing its reputation as a safe and dependable choice for families.


  1. 2016 Toyota Corolla

2016 Corolla

The Toyota Corolla, renowned for its affordability and efficiency, found its stride in the 2016 model year. This iteration boasted modern styling, improved cabin materials, and a user-friendly infotainment system. With its excellent fuel economy, the 2016 Corolla is perfect for daily commutes and long trips. Additionally, the Corolla's strong resale value makes it a wise investment for budget-conscious buyers.


  1. 2013 Toyota Tacoma:

2013 Tacoma

For those seeking a rugged and capable pickup truck, the Toyota Tacoma has proven its mettle, and the 2013 model year is a gem among them. This iteration offers a balance of power and efficiency with available V6 engines and impressive towing capacity. With its reputation for durability and off-road capability, the 2013 Tacoma is the go-to choice for outdoor enthusiasts and workhorse needs.

Keep Your New Driver Safe With a Toyota

The Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Corolla, and Tacoma exemplify the brand's commitment to quality and innovation. Whether you're searching for a comfortable sedan, a versatile SUV, or a rugged truck, these Toyota models offer a range of exceptional used models that combine reliability, safety, and efficiency. The next time you’re in the Columbia area, stop by Midlands Toyota and discover the best used Toyotas on the market today!

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How To Choose The Best Toyota For Your Summer Adventure

Summer is the perfect time to hit the road and explore new places. Whether you're planning a family vacation, a solo trip, or a weekend getaway with friends, you need a reliable and comfortable vehicle that can handle any terrain and weather. That's why Toyota offers a range of models that are ideal for summer adventures. Here are some of the best Toyota models for summer adventures, based on their features, performance, and reviews.

The Best Summer Adventure Toyotas

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is a versatile and spacious SUV that can accommodate up to five passengers and plenty of cargo. It has a powerful engine that delivers 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, as well as an available hybrid option that offers 219 horsepower and 41 mpg combined. The RAV4 also has a standard all-wheel drive system that can adapt to different road conditions, as well as an available multi-terrain select feature that lets you choose from four modes: mud and sand, rock and dirt, snow, and normal. The RAV4 also comes with a host of safety and technology features, such as the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite, which includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and more. The RAV4 also has an 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a wireless charging pad, a JBL premium sound system, and a panoramic glass roof.

2023 toyota Rav4

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is a rugged and reliable pickup truck that can handle any challenge. It has a durable body-on-frame construction that can withstand tough terrain and weather, as well as a reinforced composite bed that can carry up to 1,620 pounds of payload. It also has a towing capacity of up to 6,800 pounds, thanks to its available 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The Tacoma also has an available TRD Off-Road package that adds features like crawl control, multi-terrain select, locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, and skid plates. The Tacoma also offers a range of convenience and entertainment features, such as the Toyota Safety Sense P suite, which includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with sway warning system, automatic high beams, and more. The Tacoma also has a 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a wireless charging pad, a JBL premium sound system, and a power sliding rear window.

2023 toyota tacoma

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is a fuel-efficient and eco-friendly hybrid car that can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. It has an impressive EPA-estimated rating of 54 mpg city and 50 mpg highway, as well as an available all-wheel drive system that can improve traction and stability on slippery roads. The Prius also has a spacious interior that can seat up to five passengers and offer up to 50.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. It also has a smart-flow climate control system that can optimize the airflow and temperature for the driver and front passenger. The Prius also comes with a variety of safety and technology features, such as the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite, which includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, and more. The Prius also has an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay compatibility, a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, and a color multi-information display.

2023 Toyota Prius

Find Your Summer Ride at Midlands Toyota

As you can see, Toyota has something for everyone when it comes to summer adventures. Whether you're looking for an SUV, a truck, or a hybrid car, you can find a model that suits your needs and preferences. Toyota models are known for their reliability, durability, safety, and technology features that make them stand out from the competition. Visit Midlands Toyota today in Columbia and find your best summer Toyota today!

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The All-New 2023 Toyota Crown: A bold New Take on the Premium Sedan

The Toyota Crown is a nameplate that has been around for over 60 years but has never been offered in the United States. That changes in 2023, with the arrival of the all-new 2023 Toyota Crown. Toyota, a brand synonymous with reliability and innovation, has once again captivated the automotive world with the introduction of its latest flagship sedan, the all-new Toyota Crown. Building upon its rich heritage and pushing the boundaries of luxury and performance, the new Toyota Crown offers a driving experience that is both refined and exhilarating. At Midlands Toyota, you can check out the all-new 2023 Toyota Crown for yourself as well! But let's get you up to speed first.

Getting To Know The Toyota Crown

The new Crown is a bold departure from the traditional sedan formula. It has a more SUV-like stance, with a raised ride height and a sloping roofline. The styling is also more aggressive, with a large grille and swept-back headlights.

Under the hood, the Crown is available with two different powertrains. The base model gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the top-of-the-line model gets a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Both powertrains are available with all-wheel drive.

Inside, the Crown is just as impressive as on the outside. The cabin is spacious and luxurious, with high-quality materials and comfortable seating. The Crown also has a long list of features, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a JBL sound system.

The 2023 Toyota Crown is a truly unique vehicle. It offers the luxury of a sedan with the utility of an SUV. It's also one of the most technologically advanced cars on the market. If you're looking for a car that stands out from the crowd, the Crown is a great option.

Toyota Crown Exterior

Here are some of the key features of the 2023 Toyota Crown

  • Bold new styling with an SUV-like stance.
  • Two available powertrains: 2.5-liter four-cylinder or turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder with electric motor.
  • All-wheel drive is standard on all models.
  • Spacious and luxurious interior.
  • Long list of standard features, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and JBL sound system.
  • Advanced technology, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ and Toyota Connected Services.

Toyota crown interior
Find Yourself in a Toyota Crown Today!

The new Toyota Crown represents the pinnacle of luxury, style, and performance in the sedan segment. Toyota's commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of this remarkable vehicle, from its captivating exterior design to its opulent interior and advanced technologies. Whether you crave exhilarating speed or a serene and comfortable ride, the Toyota Crown delivers on all fronts. As a testament to Toyota's unwavering dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction, the new Toyota Crown raises the bar and sets a new standard for luxury sedans in the automotive industry. At Midlands Toyota, we'll not only help you get your own Toyota Crown, but we'll make sure it stays at it's best for years to come! Visit us in Columbia today!

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8 Tips to Save Money On Your Car

Save More Money On Your Car

Looking to cut down on your car-related expenses and keep more money in your pocket? Whether you're aiming to reduce fuel costs, save on maintenance and repairs, or find ways to lower your insurance premiums, there are numerous strategies to help you save money on your car. From adopting fuel-efficient driving habits and performing regular maintenance to exploring alternative transportation options and maximizing insurance discounts, implementing these tips will not only ease the strain on your wallet but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Download a gas finder app – There are plenty of apps available to help you find the cheapest gas in the Columbia area. These apps will help you compare the prices at all of the gas stations in your area. Simply download one of the apps on your phone and begin your search!

2. Drive smoothly – Seriously. Accelerating your car too roughly, speeding, or braking too hard can cause a lot of fuel to be used. Drive smoothly and enjoy the ride!

3. Use a GPS – Using a navigation system in your car or on your phone can help you find the fastest route. Not only will this save you time, but it will also save you money as your trip may be cut shorter.

4. Regular Car Maintenance – Take care of your car by bringing it in for your regularly scheduled maintenance. Avoiding this can cause bigger issues in the long run, and these issues will surely cost more money! It is also important that you pay attention to your car’s dashboard warning lights so that you know when it’s time to bring your car in for service.

check tire pressure

5. Check Tire Pressure – Not only can having low tire pressure possibly cause premature wear to your tire, but this can also reduce your car’s fuel economy. Pay attention to your car’s tire pressure warning signal. This can also help you spend less on tires in general, as keeping your tires at the appropriate pressure will maximize their lifespan. Want more tire tips? Buy all-season tires that will keep you going strong no matter the weather!

6. Take a Look at Fuel-Efficient Vehicles – If you’re already on the search for a new vehicle, you should probably take a look at more fuel-efficient models. Buying a car with excellent fuel economy is one of the best ways to save money in the long run!

7. Use Your A/C Wisely – Nobody enjoys uncomfortable, hot rides in a car, but blasting your air in the car for too long can affect your fuel tremendously! Try using your air on a low setting, or take a few rides with the windows down.

8. Shop Around For Car Insurance – Other than your car payment, car insurance is typically where most of the money on your car is spent. While it is important to find an insurance policy that offers plenty of coverage, you should still shop around and compare rates.

Spend Less, Save More, Enjoy The Ride

Adopting smart strategies to save money on your car can have a significant impact on your overall financial well-being. By implementing regular vehicle maintenance, improving your driving habits, shopping around for insurance and fuel prices, and considering alternative transportation options, you can reduce your car-related expenses and put more money back into your pocket. Remember, even the smallest changes can add up over time, and with a little effort and awareness, you can navigate the road to financial freedom while still enjoying the convenience and independence that your car provides. So, start implementing these money-saving tips today and watch as your savings grow, allowing you to achieve your financial goals and live a more financially secure life.

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5 Simple Ways To Get Your Car Ready for Winter

For the majority of the year, driving conditions are pretty tepid. But the true test of your integrity as a car owner, and the quality of your car comes during the winter months. This is when you can truly get punished for not taking care of your car unless you take care of the necessary winter car prep. Between harsh winter weather and the toll the cold, ice, snow, and salt can take, you really have to step up your winter car care game to get your vehicle winter ready. 

Winter Car Care Checklist

We don’t want to see you or your car on the side of the road this winter season. The best way to avoid any issues is to make sure your car is ready to take on whatever the next few months have in store. So before things get really rough, here are 5 simple winter car care tips that will help you and your car be ready for the colder months ahead. 


Juice Up Your Battery

car battery test

Having to wait for a jump in the middle of the cold and possibly snow is up there with the worst things to happen in winter. If you don’t check your battery before the cold weather sets in, you’re really taking a gamble. The extreme cold that we tend to see can make it difficult for your battery to operate. And the last thing you want is to come back to your car left in a cold parking lot and find it dead leaving you with no heat. The best advice you’ll get today is to get a volt test on your battery now. This will tell you what the health of your battery looks like and whether or not you should invest in a new battery. 

Maintain Your Tires

winter tires

When it comes to driving in winter, the quality of your tires is paramount. But it’s not just about what kind of tires you have but keeping an eye on your tire pressure as well. Investing in winter tires or all-season tires is a great idea and one we highly recommend. You want something that you can rely on for snow, rain, mud, and anything else you may encounter this year. However, something that gets overlooked often is tire pressure. As the air gets colder, tire pressure can drop up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop. Keep an eye on your tire pressure and make sure you fill them if they are looking low. 

Check Your Fluids

oil change

Every fluid in your car is going to help it perform the best it can during the colder months. For this reason, it’s very important that all of your fluid levels are good and fresh. Change your oil and filters if it’s coming near time, flush and refill your coolant/antifreeze, and fill your windshield wiper fluid. Doing all of these now will ensure that your car works the way it should even when temperatures drop. 

Wash Your Car

car wash

This may seem like a weird thing to do, but it’s surprisingly important. However, this is something that you should do throughout the winter months. As more snow hits the roads, the county will salt those roads in an effort to keep them as clear as possible. But that salt will also end up on your car, especially all over your undercarriage. While the salt really helps the roads, it can wreak havoc on your car and cause rust. That is unless you give it a good wash after a big snow. Both an automatic and manual wash will work, as long as you can hit your undercarriage well. 

Pack an Emergency Kit

winter emergency kit

Everything is all fun and games until your car dies in the middle of a snowstorm. Whether you slid on ice or something happened with your engine, or maybe even ran out of gas, having an emergency kit may just save your life. Depending on the weather and where you are, you definitely need to be prepared for anything. Here are some things you should have packed: 


  • First-aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Snow brush and ice scraper
  • Flares
  • Multi-tool with a knife
  • Portable charger
  • Air pump
  • Shovel
  • Cat litter or sand
  • Candle and lighter
  • Thermal blanket
  • Snacks and water


Stay Safe Out There


Winter can be a crazy time, but making your vehicle winter ready ahead of time can go a long way. These are just a couple of things you can do, but there’s always more. Do your research and talk with our fantastic service technicians about what you should have done before the colder months are on top of us. Be smart and stay safe this holiday season!

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Stay Ready For Winter With This Fall Car Care Checklist

Fall is finally here! The weather’s getting cooler, leaves are changing color, all signs that winter is not far behind. And while we may not be able to get you mentally ready for the change of the seasons, we can certainly help you prepare your car for fall and winter! Welcome to Fall Car Care Month at Midlands Toyota!


The Quintessential Fall Car Care Month Checklist


Fall is the perfect time to start checking up on your car. The weather isn’t entirely too cold yet, the Holidays are still a ways off, and you aren’t facing any severe weather conditions. The autumn season is prime for getting out in the garage or bringing your car to our service centers to get everything checked out before the real test of your car’s performance comes. 


Now you may be asking yourself, why is it important to check up on your car before winter? Well, dealing with car problems when it’s cold out is just not a great time. And we want you to always have a good time driving your Toyota. And while these tips may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised just how often these can fly under the radar and end up causing much more serious problems down the line. 

Fall Car Care Midlands Toyota

15 Tips to Prepare Your Car For Winter


  • Checking and Refilling Fluids: All of your fluids play a crucial role in keeping your Toyota performing at its absolute best, and during the cooler months you don’t need anything less. Taking a look at your oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid and refilling or changing any that need it is a great way to prepare your car for the winter months ahead. Also, checking your antifreeze/coolant is an absolute must, as that will keep your engine from getting too cold should the temps drop.  
  • Change the Oil and Filters: While we’re on the topic of fluids, your oil is a big one that you should be up to date on. Ignoring an oil change, especially in winter is not a great idea. Old oil in your system greatly increases the risk of your engine overheating, severely damaging the engine. Check when your Toyota is due for its next oil change and make sure you get the filters changed as well. That way your brand-new oil stays new for as long as possible! 
  • Test the Heating/HVAC: Yes, your AC system may seem like an afterthought when it comes to having to prepare your car for winter and Fall car care. However, your HVAC is also responsible for filtering the air, dehumidifying your windshield, and heating your car. So making sure everything there is in working order before the weather gets too cold is probably a good idea. 
  • Tighten Your Hoses: Making sure your antifreeze and fluids are all topped off is great, but it won’t do you any good if it can’t reach your engine. If your hoses have any leaks or breaks, there’s a good chance you’ll overheat your engine when the cold weather hits and your engine has to work overtime to keep it warm. Be sure to give your hoses a good look over and tighten any that seem loose. 
  • Look at Your Belts: This actually goes hand in hand with your hoses. Hot summer months can severely degrade the belts in your engine. When checking under the hood, you should look for any signs of excessive wear, fraying, cracks, or looseness. If you do notice any of these, bring your Toyota over to Midlands Toyota and we’ll set you up with a new belt. 
  • Test Your Exhaust: Checking your exhaust system as part of your fall car care checklist could actually save your life. If there’s a leak in your exhaust, carbon monoxide could seep into your car. Not only that, but a damaged exhaust system can also result in lower mileage. Keep on the lookout for weird noises, smells, a vibrating gas pedal, or a rumble when your car is sitting still. All are signs that your exhaust system is damaged. Our Toyota-certified technicians will look for rust, holes, leaks, and other damage that may be present during our inspection. 
  • Check Your Brakes: You want to be able to stop when you need to stop right? Especially if the weather is giving you trouble, you don’t want your brakes to be something else to worry about. Bring your Toyota over to Midlands  Toyota and our service team will make sure your brake system is in good working order. Replacing your brake pads and rotors is an essential part of your Fall car care and winter prep. 
  • Inspect All 4 Tires: The quality of your tires is just as important as that of your brakes. If your tires are worn down, they’re not going to do you much good in snow or rain. Make sure to not only check the tread but also their pressure. Tires tend to lose pressure when the temperature drops and changing a flat in 30-degree weather isn’t fun. If you really want to future-proof yourself, getting a good set of snow tires or all-season tires will be greatly beneficial. 
  • Pay Attention to Steering and Suspension: You want to be in complete control of your Toyota in the event of bad weather. Making sure your power steering and suspension are up to par is the best way to remain in control at all times. If you’re worried, our team can take a look at your shock absorbers, struts, and chassis to see if anything needs adjusting or replacing.
  • Test The Battery: Bering able to rely on your battery during the winter months can be a huge weight off your shoulders. So be sure to check the charge and quality of your current battery. If it’s been more than three years, it may be time to replace the battery completely. Visit our service center and we’ll be able to set you up with a brand-new battery just in time for Winter. 
  • Replace Your Wipers: Did you know that the quality of your windshield wipers actually factors into your yearly inspection? That’s because if your wipers are leaving heavy streaks on your windshield, you will not have very good visibility. And visibility is essential in any type of winter weather.
  • Wash Your Car: This may definitely seem unnecessary, but hear us out for a second. Cleaning your car of all the summer mildew and dirt can help prepare it for what’s coming. Waxing your car can also protect it from snow, ice, and salt. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to regularly clean your car after it snows. Icemelt and salt can accumulate and erode certain components of your undercarriage if left on for extended periods of time. While not as immediately important as other tips on your Fall car care list, it won’t hurt. 
  • Clean Your Headlights: Between dead bulbs and cloudy headlight covers, there’s enough to check to warrant this being on your Fall car care list. Your headlights do two things out on the road. They help you see what’s in front of you, and they help other drivers see you. Make sure both of these functions are unimpeded by checking your bulbs and cleaning your headlight covers. 
  • Pack Roadside Kit: If the unfortunate happens and you have car issues or slide on ice or snow, having a pack of supplies to fall back on is a great idea. Some things that should be in your roadside kit include an ice scraper, jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. You can never be too careful. 
  • Get AAA/Roadside Assistance: No Fall car care list would be complete without roadside assistance. These guys can be literal life savers and save you from having to sit out in the cold waiting on a tow company and praying that they’re open. Companies like AAA offer 24/7 support and assistance so they’re always there when you need them. 


Stay On Top of Your Fall Car Care


It may seem like a lot to keep track of, but if you follow this Fall car care checklist, you’ll be more than prepared for when the colder months roll around. And if there’s anything you need to replace or you can’t check out yourself, you can always make Midlands Toyota a part of your winter car prep by scheduling an appointment with our service center in Columbia. Make sure you prepare your car for winter right with Midlands Toyota!

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Protect Your Toyota During a Hurricane

Summer may be over, but we’re still in the thick of hurricane season. While Florida usually gets the brunt of the storms, there are good chances that those strong residual winds, rains, and other terrifying weather will affect the Columbia area as well. And when that happens, it’s crucial to protect your Toyota from the damage these strong storms can cause. 


Storms can cause a lot of damage, especially if you’re unprepared. Falling trees or limbs, hail, debris blown around by the strong winds, and all of this and more can pose significant risks to a car sitting out on the street unprotected. And there’s nothing worse than waking up after a crazy storm to see your car dented or windows cracked or broken as a result. While your favorite local Toyota experts at Midlands Toyota are here to help repair any damage, we’d rather you avoid that situation completely. So here are some things you can do to keep your Toyota out of harm's way! 


How to Protect Your Car During Hurricanes and Tropical Storms


Strong storms like hurricanes or even severe thunderstorms can produce some crazy weather conditions. These can include hail the size of quarters or larger that can fall at speeds faster than 100 miles per hour, fast and strong winds sometimes reaching speeds of 74 miles per hour, and incredible amounts of heavy rain averaging around 16 inches, all resulting in flooding from storm surges, personal and property damage, and more. If you’ve left your car out on the road in the middle of a hurricane, tropical storm, or even a severe thunderstorm, there’s a good chance that your car will be on the receiving end of some crazy damage from trees, debris, water, and a lot more. We’re here to help give you some tips on how to protect your car in the event of severe weather events and future-proof yourself a bit in the process. 


Preparing Your Car For The Storm


Protecting your car from any potential damage is definitely the first thing you should be thinking about. There are a handful of things you can do to prep your car from the barrage of wind, rain, and more that is bound to come during any severe weather event. 


  • Remove any crucial documents and personal items
  • Lock all doors and close windows and moon/sunroofs
  • Protect windows and lights with foam and duct tape
  • Set your hand/emergency brake to brace your car
  • Fill the gas tank
  • Use a car cover or large blanket/rug


The number one thing you want to do is secure any and all documents as well as personal items. This can include your insurance cards, registration, and any other important papers you may be keeping in your glove box. In the event of flooding, you definitely don’t want any of those papers to receive any severe water damage. Once you’ve got all you wanted to out of your car, you can begin adding layers of protection. Placing foam against the windows secured with duct tape will support your windows during intense winds. Setting your parking brake gives your car something to brace against in the event of flooding and winds. And of course, covering your car with a heavy blanket paired with a tarp will help protect against falling debris or hail. Filling your gas tank is a really good way to give yourself an out if you suddenly need to move your car or evacuate from your house or apartment. All of this, as well as anything else you come up with, will be great ways to protect your car the best you can from damage during a storm. 


Where to Park Your Car During a Storm


Knowing where to park your car during a storm can give you a huge advantage and help you avoid serious damage. It should come as no surprise that parking under a tree or next to the water is probably not the greatest idea during an intense storm. You want a place that does more to protect your car and avoid anything that may easily break off and land on said car. Places like covered parking garages are very ideal, as they provide not only nearly complete coverage on all sides but often place your car at a higher elevation which can protect your car from flooding. You definitely want to avoid basement or low-level parking areas, as those will be the first places to flood during heavy rainfall. However, any enclosed parking space will be more ideal than an open-air parking lot, so if you have a parking garage best make use of it. And even if you’re car is protected on all sides, it’s still a good idea to implement all of the layers of protection. More protection is always a good idea.  


Future-Proof Yourself


Before any serious storm, if you’re expecting the chance that your car may be damaged, it may be a good idea to take pictures of the condition of your car BEFORE the storm. Most car insurances do provide a level of natural disaster coverage. However, insurance also typically will look for any reason not to pay out that coverage. If you take pictures of the condition of your car before the storm, you have a solid baseline to compare any damage that may have taken place during the storm. And photo evidence is irrefutable in most cases. 


Driving During a Severe Storm


Obviously, it’s not a great idea to head out on the road in the middle of a hurricane or other severe weather event. However, some situations are unavoidable, like having to evacuate from your home or apartment building, or driving back home and you get stuck in a storm. So if you’re going to be driving in the middle of one of the worst situations possible, be smart about it. 


The number one thing to avoid is any flooded roads or washed-out bridges. Even if you have a decent off-road vehicle that’s prepared for situations like that, you likely don’t have the necessary training or experience to come out of that unscathed. Find a new route that takes a higher road. Another road hazard to watch for is fallen objects or downed power lines. Storms can bring down a whole manner of branches, whole trees, telephone poles, and power lines that can pose a great risk to you on the road. Don’t take the risk of trying to move the branch and definitely don’t touch downed power lines as they are likely still live and extremely dangerous. Stay in your car and find a way around or a completely new route. 


The way you drive will also change depending on the situation. During low visibility and high winds and rain, it’s best to slow down as much as you can. Driving slow allows you to have more time to respond to stalled vehicles or road hazards, while also giving you more control against strong winds. 


Stay Safe Out There

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and other forms of severe weather are no joke. They’ve accounted for billions of dollars of damage and countless deaths over the years and we don’t want you to fall victim to the increasing danger these severe weather events bring with them. While these tips are not a guarantee that you’ll avoid any and all danger or damage by any means, they are certainly a good start to protecting yourself and your property. To learn more, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and stay safe out there! Remember, a car is replaceable, you are not.

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Tips For Safe Street Parking in Columbia

Columbia is gorgeous at all times of the year, but what isn’t is the parking situation. As with most larger cities, parking has become a huge hassle, especially if you aren’t entirely comfortable with parking on the street. But we’re here to help!

As a Columbia resident, you know that parking downtown can be hard to come by, especially on weekends. With street parking as one of only a few options available to you, it's simply an unavoidable part of your life behind the wheel. So, if you have to park on the street, you may as well stay safe. Below are some basic things every Midlands Toyota driver can do to ensure the safety of their vehicle when parking on the street.


One-Stop Guide for Street Parking in Columbia


Having to parallel park on a busy street can certainly be nerve-wracking. In fact,  parallel parking is something that many drivers struggle with, but it’s still an important skill to master. So, how comfortable are you with parallel parking? More importantly, can you parallel park? Because if the answer to either of these questions is no, you may want to just pony up the twenty-or-so bucks required to gain access to an oversaturated parking garage. However, if you have the mettle to take on the tall task of parallel parking on a busy city street, keep reading. 


Quick Hacks for Street Parking

  • Pay attention to the street signs: A common joke among big-city drivers is street signs are something that should be simple to interpret but, oftentimes, they’re not. With differing messages, time restraints, and symbols all coexisting on the same small rectangular sign, parking legally on the street can require some focus and mental fortitude. Take your time, read the signs and ensure that you won't be returning to a freshly booted vehicle.
  • Park under street lights, not tree branches: If possible, it's always a good idea to park your car in a well-lit area. In general, the more visible your car is, the safer it will be. On the other hand, parking under trees should be avoided whenever possible. Trees shed debris with rain and wind and, on occasion, come down completely in severe weather. Not to mention bird poop is rather annoying, especially with a convertible.
  • Fold in side mirrors: One of the easiest ways to protect your car when parking on the street is by simply folding in your driver-side side mirror. This prevents an irresponsible driver from passing too close to your parked car, clipping off your mirror, and continuing on with their day, leaving you with the bill for repairs.
  • Take or hide your things and lock up: On average, over 80,000 unlocked cars are stolen yearly. That's right, unlocked cars. So, while this may seem like an obvious tip, it is an important one. Lock your car, take your keys with you and be sure that no valuables are visible to people passing by and peeking in. Make sure potential thieves are not interested in your car or anything inside it.
  • Hey Siri, drop a pin: People are forgetful. We forget our keys, our phones, our wallets. Heck, sometimes we forget whether or not our kids are in the backseat. We also, on occasion, forget where we park. Prevent this issue by dropping a pin on your maps app before you leave your ride behind. Then, when you're ready to return, simply pull up the pin and find your ride in no time.


Worthwhile Investments

  • Car wash: Getting your car washed about every two weeks is a great way to make sure your car looks presentable. Beyond that, it shows would-be thieves that you pay attention to your vehicle. Oftentimes, car thieves target vehicles that look neglected. The idea here is that they will have more time after the theft to do with the car what they want before the owner even notices it's gone. So, protect your car's exterior appearance and show people you care about your ride with frequent washes. 
  • Snow cover: A snow cover or car blanket protects your car from all elements. Whether that's snow, hail, tree debris, or bird droppings, a cover is a great way to protect your ride and prevent passersby from seeing what's inside.
  • Sunshade: Over time, constant exposure to the sunlight will cause fading and cracks on your dash and other areas of your interior. A sunshade is a great way to protect your car's interior and prevent potential thieves from seeing something worth stealing in your car.
  • Catalytic converter shield: This may sound like an unnecessary precaution, but when you consider the fact that an experienced thief can steal a catalytic converter in about two minutes, that $350 shield is looking a lot better than a $2,000+ converter.


Enjoy Columbia!


With more and more people moving to major metropolitan areas each year, parking in areas like Dayton is getting harder and harder to find, while inventory for car thieves has never been higher. However, if you follow these steps, you can rest easy knowing that you've done all you can to protect your car while it's parked on the street.

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