Your Car’s Cold Weather Checklist

Winter Car Service ChecklistLike it, love it, or loathe it, our next Maine winter is on the way. Regardless of how you feel about it, we have to prepare for ourselves, and our vehicles, for winter driving conditions.

To help you be sure that you’re not caught off guard, here’s a winter prep check list for your vehicle from our Service Department manager, Steve.


  •  Coolant- Make sure that the antifreeze protection level is adequate to -20 degrees.
  • Battery- Have the state of your battery’s charge and condition checked.
  • Wiper Blades- Make sure that your wipers blades aren’t cracking and still make water-tight contact with your windshield.
  • Tires- Have your tire pressure, condition, and tread depth checked.
  • Lights- Make sure that all outside lights are working with lenses intact and that your headlights aren’t cloudy.
  • Heater and Defroster- Before the temperature drops, test these to make sure that they are still working properly.
  • Washer Solvent- Make sure that this is full and adequate for winter use.
  • Alternator Belt- Ensure that this is in good condition and is properly adjusted.
  • Cabin air filter- See that this is clean and clear of outside debris.
  • The Legal Matters- With the changing season, be sure that your state inspection and registration are up to date. It can be easy to forget the expiration dates of these items with the hustle and bustle of life.

You might not be ready for winter, but you’ll feel better knowing that your vehicle is ready.


Tire Tread and Weather: What you Need to Know

As weather conditions and seasons factor into your footwear selection, they also factor into your tire selection. The proper tires in the proper condition are essential for steering, braking, and vehicle handling. With the huge impact tires have on your vehicle’s overall safety, it’s important to understand tire tread depths.

Read on or watch our Service Advisor, Megan, demonstrate tire tread options and services we offer at Downeast Toyota Scion.

Most state laws require tires to have a tread depth of at least 2/32 of an inch, but in snowy and slushy conditions 4/32” tread or more is necessary for good traction. It is important to understand that dry traction and handling will improve as a tire wears, but its ability to perform in rain and snow will diminish. At 2/32” of remaining tread depth, resistance to hydroplaning in the rain at highway speeds has been significantly reduced and traction in heavy snow has been virtually eliminated.

If rain and wet roads are a concern, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 4/32” of remaining tread depth. Since water can’t be compressed, you need enough tread depth to allow it to escape through the tire grooves. If the water can’t escape fast enough, your vehicle’s tires will be forced to hydroplane (float) on top of the water, and lose traction.

If snow covered roads are a concern, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 6/32” of remaining tread depth to maintain good mobility. You need more tread depth in snow because your tires must compress the snow in the tread grooves and release it as they roll. If there isn’t enough tread depth, the “bites” of snow your tires can take on each revolution will be so small that your traction will be reduced. Because tread depth is an important element for snow traction, winter tires start with deeper tread depths than standard all-season or summer tires.

Toyota Quality Champion Award

Nothing is more important than consistent expert feedback to maintain product quality. That’s why Toyota requests Dealership Product Reports (DPRs) from dealership Master Technicians and Service Managers from across the USA. Each year, dealership employees who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to DPRs are recognized with Toyota’s Quality Champion Award. We are pleased to announce that our Shop Coordinator, Dan, was one of only four Quality Champion Award winners in the Boston Region’s network of 72 dealers!

"Dan has been selected as a Toyota Quality Champion for outstanding dedication to the continuous improvement of Toyota vehicles."

“Dan has been selected as a Toyota Quality Champion for outstanding dedication to the continuous improvement of Toyota vehicles.”

Product reports submitted by committed individuals like Dan document specific concerns with product quality or design that dealership technicians encounter. These reports are extremely detailed and can require the submission of pictures or videos of the concerns.

The Quality Champion Award is based on the number of DPRs an individual submits. Quality, originality, thoroughness of documentation, and value to Toyota design and manufacturing staff are also considered. Dan was recognized for the quality of his reports and their value to Toyota.

Information submitted in the reports is analyzed at Toyota’s corporate office and is used for decision making on product recalls, service bulletins, or developing customer support programs.

We thank Dan for his commitment to quality and congratulate him on his recognition from Toyota.