Author Archives | ilovesftoyota

Toyota’s FT-1 Concept Gets a Second Design

The new face of the FT-1 premiered at Pebble Beach, and we can’t look away

Get ready to lift your jaws up off the floor. Back in January at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota debuted the FT-1 concept – a stunning new sports car dazzling in a red finish with two-tone red and black interior. Recently, Toyota showed that it had even more up its sleeve at Pebble Beach, when the FT-1 from January showed up with a whole new face.

Toyota took the FT-1 concept and drenched it in a graphite finish that is both menacing and beautiful as it accents the sculptural design of our favorite brand’s latest creation. The tan leather interior complete with exposed metal elements adds to the more upscale look of this version of the FT-1.

McCalls_Toyota_FT1_001 McCalls_Toyota_FT1_002 McCalls_Toyota_FT1_003 McCalls_Toyota_FT1_021 McCalls_Toyota_FT1_022

FT-1 interior design was inspired by high-tech performance materials used in modern superhero costumes, combining just the right parts style and function. The result is an authentic bold look that exudes luxury and power.

Players of Gran Turismo 6 will be able to drive both versions of the FT-1 in September, along with a racing-focused version aptly named the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo. To see the virtual version in action, click here. At San Francisco Toyota, we can’t wait to see the FT-1 in person, but until then we’ll just have to make do with photo galleries and virtual racing. Stay tuned for all the latest Toyota news, and stop by anytime to see Toyota innovation at work in our current inventory.

Images: Toyota

Getting Your Kids in the ‘Back-to-School’ Frame of Mind

Three children holding hands with teacherGetting your kids ready for school after a long vacation can prove to be a hassle for everyone involved. The transition can be smooth or bumpy, depending on your kids’ frame of mind during the summer. Successfully getting your children in the ‘back-to-school’ mindset involves organization, repetition, and routine. The team at San Francisco Toyota has compiled some tips for making your kids’ transition back to school as easy as possible for you and your children.

Talk about school

Frequently remind your kids that their first day back to school is coming up, and set up a calendar with the first day circled. Sit down with your kids and ask them how they are feeling about the upcoming school year. Be encouraging and supportive. Begin with the understanding that all kids experience some sort of hesitation or anxiety when going back to school. Remind your kids that it will be nice to see their friends and classmates again, and give them positive ideas about returning to school. Mention exciting opportunities such as making new friends, joining clubs or sport teams, or even just learning about interesting subjects.

Start a sleeping schedule

During the summer, kids often go to sleep late and wake up late. Start implementing earlier bedtimes at least a week or two before the first day of school. Nothing will make an early morning routine worse than a lack of sleep the night before. Plus, kids need a full night’s sleep to stay mentally alert and involved in class all day. Even older kids will benefit from this new sleep schedule, and it will make learning and morning routines much easier once school starts.

Establish morning and evening routines

Practicing daily routines will significantly decrease early morning chaos on the first day of school. Getting into a set morning routine that includes waking up, getting dressed, and eating breakfast will speed things along on that first day back. Set a morning schedule now, and get your child an alarm clock to decrease your morning rush and to give them the responsibility of waking themselves up in the morning. In the evenings, cut back on TV and videogame time. During the school year, this time will be spent doing homework. Get your kids in the routine of reading in the evenings during summer vacation to make the transition back to school easier.

Eat a healthy breakfast

Research has continually shown that eating a healthy breakfast every day is extremely important, especially for young children and students. Without proper nutrition in the morning, kids tend to feel drowsy and distracted. Many children don’t like eating breakfast in the morning because they are not used to getting up that early, so as soon as you begin setting a practical sleeping schedule for your kids, also introduce a healthy breakfast routine. A nutritious breakfast will give your kids the long-lasting energy that they need to kick start their school day.

Pack lunches

Unless you pay for school lunches, your kids’ midday meal usually comes from home. Get yourself or your children in the habit of planning their lunches the night before. You can also pack the non-perishable items in their lunches the night before to save even more time in the morning. Include healthy snacks and try to limit the amount of junk food and sugary drinks in their lunches. Nutritious snacks will give your kids the energy and important nutrients that they need to focus on learning.

Lay out clothes

Avoid last-minute searches for socks or your kids’ favorite article of clothing by laying out their outfit for the next day the night before. Ask your child for input and suggestions to help them feel a sense of inclusion and responsibility. For younger children, practicing getting dressed quickly and efficiently can save lots of time and hassle in the mornings.

Shop early for school supplies

Going shopping for school supplies ahead of time will relieve the anxiety of having incomplete supplies on the first day of school, and will also help prepare your child for school. Bring your kids along with you and have them help pick out the things that they want to use for school. Most school systems provide complete lists of necessary school supplies to make your shopping trip even easier.

Set up a study area

A designated study area will help keep your kids focused on homework, assignments, and studying. This space can also double as an area where your kids’ school items are located. Backpacks, lunchboxes, and the next day’s clothes will all be conveniently located in one spot the night before, so in the morning your kids have everything they need already prepared and laid out for them.

Go over safety tips

Last but not least, it is important to go over safety tips before your kids leave for their first day of school. Teach your children basic safety measures such as to never travel alone and to stay away from strangers. More importantly, teach your kids to be aware of situations and actions that are out of the ordinary, and to follow their own instincts. Make sure they know that if something doesn’t feel right, they should keep their distance and tell an adult.

Having everything prepared and organized ahead of time will save you and your children a lot of time and energy, and it will give your kids time to prepare and get excited for the upcoming school year! By reintroducing school-year habits and routines before school starts, kids naturally shift out of the summer mindset and get ready for a year of learning. At San Francisco Toyota, we wish you and your family a safe and exciting back-to-school season.

Top Reasons to Drive a Toyota Hybrid Vehicle

Red Prius c

Not only has Toyota advanced its hybrid technology, but the automaker is also making it more affordable with enticing leasing and finance incentives. There are many reasons to switch from a vehicle powered by a combustion engine to one powered by hybrid technology.

First, Toyota hybrids do not require extra work. Our hybrids convert energy produced by the gasoline engine and transfer it to the electric motor; you don’t have to plug in your car. In addition, you can enjoy less stresson the road. Toyota hybrids offer a much quieter, cleaner driving experience, and the engine automatically turns off when you hit a traffic jam.

Driving a Toyota hybrid is easy. The CVT transmission operates smoothly and seamlessly, just like any other automatic transmission. Obviously, our hybrids also save fuel. All six Toyota hybrid models offer superior fuel economy.

When you drive a Toyota hybrid, you’ll be saving the environment. Not only will you be reducing your dependency on fossil fuels by driving a Toyota hybrid, you’ll also be improving local air quality. Finally, Toyota hybrids can save employers money on the company cars. Employers may be able to enjoy tax breaks if they choose a Toyota hybrid model for their company car, as well as saving on fuel costs.

At San Francisco Toyota, we think you’ll be convinced once you’ve taken a test drive in one of our new Toyota vehicles. Call or contact us today to schedule your test drive or learn more.

Shown: Prius C

Image: Toyota

Checking and Changing Your Car’s Fluids

Changing oilA car is an intricately-designed machine with many components. Checking and replacing your car’s fluids at the recommended intervals is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your vehicle lasts for years to come. At San Francisco Toyota, we’ve got the skills and experience necessary to keep your vehicle at its best. The following fluids all play important roles in your vehicle:

  • Oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Engine coolant

Starting Out: Checking Your Oil

Your oil is the first fluid which will be checked during your vehicle’s lifetime, with more recent vehicles coming in around 5,000-7,500 miles. After that, a general rule of thumb is to have your oil changed approximately every 5,000 miles, with synthetic oil lasting much longer. However, it’s easy to check your oil on your own. To avoid any costly repairs and catch problems early, we recommend checking oil levels at least once a month. Use your vehicle’s dipstick to determine your oil level—it should be between the two level markers on your dipstick. The oil should also be light golden brown and be slightly thicker than cooking oil. If you notice any irregularities, bring your vehicle in regardless of your last oil change.

Your windshield wiper fluid will also be refilled as needed starting at your first service. This fluid is what is used to clean your windshield, and will need to be changed accordingly based on the frequency of use.

Continuing Maintenance: Replace as Needed   After your car’s first service, we’ll check all of your fluid levels regularly and refill as necessary. Your brake fluid and power steering fluid will be checked at each oil change, but do not appear in the regular maintenance schedule. However, both play important roles: brake fluid serves to generate the pressure needed to activate your brakes, and power steering fluid creates pressure to power your vehicle’s steering gear.

Engine coolant will need to be replaced at various times depending on the severity of your vehicle usage. The coolant serves to absorb the heat from your engine and disperse it through the radiator. Some experts recommend flushing and replacing your coolant every two years or 24,000 miles.

The Road Ahead: Changing the Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid can last tens of thousands of miles, but we recommend being cautious. Even then, your first flushing will likely not occur until 35,000-40,000 miles. This process is much cheaper than getting your transmission itself repaired, which can occur if fluids are not adequately maintained. The transmission fluid is used as a medium to create pressure for the transmission system, helps to absorb heat, lubricates moving parts, and keeps dirt and debris from building up in transmission. If you find yourself frequently towing, driving off-road, or idling your vehicle for long periods, you may need to get the fluid replaced sooner. Ask one of our service technicians for details.

The San Francisco Toyota service department is your one-stop-shop for fluid service and replacement. Schedule your service online today.

Toyota Top-Ranking Retail Brand for First Half of 2014

After being named the world’s most valuable car brand in the latest Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ study, Toyota is first in another ranking. The manufacturer announced its June 2014 sales on July 1, cementing its title as the top-ranking car retail brand in the first half of 2014.

Toyota, Scion, and Lexus reported sales of 1,165,607 units for the first half of the year—a 5.8 percent increase based on daily selling rate. Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, points to both a recovering industry and the strength of Toyota’s new models: “Sales in the first half of 2014 indicate a steadily recovering industry, and we expect this pace to increase as we move into the second part of the year. In June, Camry and Corolla posted double-digit gains as passenger cars showed renewed strength industry-wide.”

The Camry and Corolla are just two of the exciting new Toyota models we have available at San Francisco Toyota. Visit our dealership to see why customers love Toyota vehicles.

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