For the past 3 months, we have been driving a Toyota Sienna as part of the #SiennaDiaries campaign. We’ve received a stipend for use during the program, but any opinions shared are from our own experiences and viewpoints.
Since we began driving the Sienna minivan, we’ve put at least 6,000 miles on the vehicle. So it was only a matter of time before the car was going to need some type of service.
And this happened….
Did you get shutter or get goosebumps?
Honestly, I was never happier to see a maintenance alert. Yes, it’s definitely easier when you are driving a vehicle similar to a company car that is someone else’s expense, but during our experience I also got to test drive the Toyota dealership service department and learn about their maintenance services provided under the ToyotaCare warranty.
Auto maintenance is something that we aren’t strangers to in the Wilmot household. We average about 220,000 miles on a vehicle before we trade it in. I know that most people think those scheduled maintenance services aren’t worth the money, but we value our safety and will vow that it’s most likely the preventative maintenance from our present dealership that has allowed us to average so many miles on our vehicles with generally only routine maintenance.
If you are considering buying a new Toyota, I was happily surprised at how inclusive the service warranty was, as well as how specific the features were inside the vehicle that allowed me to walk more confidently into a new service department.
- The maintenance alert pictured above was a visual reminder that was displayed on the dashboard above the radio, it first began blinking and disappearing, when the service was due, it was permanently displayed until the vehicle was serviced.
- Prior to entering the dealership, because our vehicle is equipped with a Navigation system, there was a maintenance screen (as pictured) that indicated the type of maintenance the minivan needed which included a tire rotation, oil change and new oil filter. Granted this is a newer vehicle and I wouldn’t expect any surprises, but as you can see there were indicators for a dozen different options.
- Even though the maintenance wasn’t at my personal expense, with the purchase of a new or leased Toyota, it won’t be yours right away either. Buyers can currently receive ToyotaCare, which is a free maintenance plan for 2 years or 25,000 miles, where oil changes and tire rotations are included in the purchase price
- For an additional fee, purchasers can also include ToyotaCare Plus for up to 5 years or 75,000 miles and the major services are included
- 24 hour roadside assistance is also included for 2 years, irregardless of mileage driven, and includes amenities such as gas delivery, lockout protection, towing, winching, tire device and battery jump starts
- Inside the vehicle there is a safety button that can be pushed in the case of an accident to summon help. Besides knowing that there’s someone virtually available to help during a traumatic event, while we’ve never pushed it, the button doubles as a great bribe for Gavin because I’ve told him that it’s a direct connection to Toyota —so he better be on his best behavior in the car
When I left the dealership, I was provided with a verbal status update on the car, and a multi-point safety checklist. I didn’t expect to hear anything other than positive comments on a vehicle with only 10,000 miles, but our dealership has the same policy, and it’s always good to know what type of maintenance is around the bend. In terms of our cars, we’ve found that preventative maintenance or knowing what’s scheduled to come next helps us to financially plan for big ticket expenses like brakes and tires before our safety may be at risk.
Right after Derek and I were married we purchased our first vehicle together and aside from the price and amenities of the car, the one detail he was adamant about understanding was the service department. While I knew we’d have to interview daycare providers, it hadn’t really dawned on me to interview the dealership service department. For us it hasn’t ever been about finding a vehicle from the dealership for the cheapest price, it was locating a service department we trusted to advise us on how to plan for the longevity of our vehicles and our ultimate safety.
While this is only my personal experience, I felt comfort knowing that the vehicle itself has some safeguards in place to help identify which service is needed prior to entering the maintenance department, which brought some great peace of mind. If you purchase a Toyota, for 2 years while you get to know your vehicle, you can use your own experiences to choose and find a dealership that you trust for the long haul.
For the past 3 months, we have been driving a Toyota Sienna as part of the Sienna Diaries campaign. We’ve received a stipend for use during program, but any opinions shared are from our own experiences and viewpoints.