ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

(L) Jeremy Cadwell – Toyota Service Director (R) Steve Becvar – ALS Executive Director

 

A couple of weeks ago, Toyota of El Cajon was challenged by Steve Becvar, Executive Director of the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, to participate in The Ice Bucket Challenge! In addition to our staff enjoying the refreshing ice water on an exceptionally hot San Diego day, we have also made a donation to the ALS Association.

If you’d like to make a donation as well, you can do so by clicking HERE.

The Truckstop

“Our food is larger than your appetite at Truckstop, where we’re known for serving up a hearty helping of Southern hospitality.”

Looking for a traditional breakfast with a twist? Look no further! The Truckstop in Pacific Beach surpassed all my expectations when we decided to dine here.

Hippie Hash

The Hippie Hash

We started our Saturday brunch off with a bottle of champagne that did not disappoint. The Truckstop does not just hand you a cheap bottle of bitter champagne; this was sweet and slightly dry making it a  perfect compliment to their mango, watermelon puree. They actually freshly squeeze a new concoction of farm-fresh fruit on a regular basis so you can construct a new mimosa flavor with every visit.

I had the Hippie Hash, which was better than I could have imagined. Trying to go a little on the healthy side, this dish comes piled high with spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, goat cheese, citrus hollaindaise and rosemary potatoes – I added avocado. The potatoes were perfectly crispy and the veggies’ were cooked just right. This skillet of deliciousness may not have been the healthy meal I was looking for, but it was completely satisfying in every way.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken & Waffles

My sister had the chicken and waffles. Whether you’re a chicken and waffle connoisseur or have never tried this surprisingly perfect pair, The Truckstop’s recipe will make it hard to order anything else on the menu. The chicken is a boneless breast pounded thin and coated with their own mildly spiced seasoning and deep fried. It’s then piled on a thick golden malted waffle which they actually refer to as mud flaps – a much deserved nickname considering their size. Obviously, my sister couldn’t even wait for me to snap a picture before she decided to dig in.

The Truckstop is located in Pacific Beach (where The Eggery used to be). I know this can be quite the drive, but it is totally worth it! I recommend taking the 8 West to Mission Bay Dr/Sports Arena Blvd to avoid traffic on the infamously busy Garnet Ave. See below for my recommended driving route. From El Cajon this drive is about 22 minutes.

  1. Follow I-8 W to W Mission Bay Dr in Point Loma, San Diego. Take the W Mission Bay Dr/Sports Arena Blvd exit from I-8 W
  2. Turn right onto W Mission Bay Dr
  3. Keep left to continue on Ingraham St
  4. Turn left onto Pacific Beach Dr
  5. Turn right to stay on Pacific Beach Dr
  6. Turn right onto Mission Blvd (Destination will be on the left)

Want me to review a restaurant for you? Let me know where I should go next on our Facebook page!

Customer Service

IMG_0509Everyone claims to have the best customer service around. I could go on and on telling you all about our numerous awards and phenomenal online reviews, but that’s not what you’re going to read. Don’t get me wrong, we are beyond proud of our customer service accomplishments, but it’s not just our awards and reviews that we pride ourselves on. It’s the little things.

We all know that buying a car or getting your vehicle serviced can be quite the ordeal – an all day event even! There are times you will be with us long enough to even order-in a meal. One afternoon there was a customer who decided to do just that, but the restaurant she ordered from neglected to include any silverware. Our IT Director recognized the issue and reassured her that he knew of several hiding places around the office where he could find her a fork. After rummaging our usual utensil stash spots, he returned to her with silverware in hand!

Our IT Director gets no bonus or recognition (beyond this blog post) for his above-and-beyond efforts to please our forkless patron. That’s just what we do around here. Need a fork? We’ll get you one. Need a car? We have those too, but your comfort and satisfaction is our number one priority.

So, beyond our WiFi lounge, big screen T.V.’s, complimentary coffee, tea, and water station, we are here to make you as comfortable as possible – even those in our IT department!

Share your experience with us online: Yelp, Google+, Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!

Buckle Up for Life

Buckle up your kids

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week ( September 15 to 21, 2013) and the first annual Buckle Up for Life Day (September 17), a nationwide movement dedicated to improving child passenger safety, we want to share with you a couple tips and general feed backs from parents across the country to bring awareness to the heartbreak of losing young innocent lives.

Car crashes are the number one killer of children in the United States between the ages 1 and 12. Only 1 out of every 4 child car seats are properly installed. Furthermore, due to multiple factors, Hispanic and African American children are 10 times less likely to be properly restrained in a vehicle.

Toyota’s Buckle Up For Life program had conducted a survey to find that most parents are aware of the procedures to the proper car seat installation, but many still put their children at high risk by being overconfident.

Key Survey Findings and Tips

  • Confidence levels are high: When selecting the appropriate car seats, 96 percent of parents are “very/somewhat confident.” However, 41 percent of parents are unaware that car seats have an expiration date.
    • Tip: Always remember to read the user’s guide to find out the seat’s expiration date and other important information. Every car seat is different.
  • Car seat inspection station usage is low: Nearly half of parents (42 percent) have had their child car seat installation checked by an expert. Yet many also mentioned practicing unsafe behaviors, such as dressing their child in bulky outerwear or not removing their child’s jacket before buckling him/her into the child car seat (41 percent); and more than a quarter of parents surveyed (26 percent) have allowed their child to ride in the front seat of the vehicle before the age of 12.
    • Tip: Always buckle your child in the car seat first before placing coats or blankets over the harness. Keep in mind that bulky clothing can alter a snug fit.
    • Tip: Look for a local child car seat inspection station via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • African Americans are less informed about some critical child passenger safety issues: African American parents surveyed are more likely than average to acquire a second-hand car seat (22 percent) without knowledge of the car seat’s history. Among those who say they have acquired a second-hand car seat, 61 percent are unaware whether or not there was a product recall and 27 percent did not know the age of the car seat.
    • Tip: Always remember to get as much information as possible about a second-hand car seat, including the user’s guide. Be aware of technology and standard improvements as well as car seat recalls.
  • Hispanics feel overwhelmed by the choices: Only one-third of Hispanic parents are confident when researching, choosing, acquiring and installing a child car seat. However, for some Hispanic parents the research phase can leave them feeling overwhelmed (18 percent) while the installation phase can leave them feeling frustrated (8 percent).
    • Tip: Always remember that there is information available for every stage of the child car seat journey.

In addition to bringing awareness to the public, Toyota partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to ensure the message is sent to more homes and cities through providing an increase the Buckle Up for Life funding by six million dollars in addition to the two and a half million in the past nine years.

 

“At Toyota, we are strongly committed to the belief that driver and passenger safety is a universal need and something everyone should have access to,” said Latondra Newton, group vice president of Toyota Motor North America Inc. “That is why we partnered with Cincinnati Children’s to create Buckle Up for Life.  We consider today to be both a celebration of all we have achieved and a call to action for the tremendous amount of work still to be done.”

 

Visit BuckleUpforLife.org for more details about child car seat safety.

Article reference: http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+bufl+cincinnati+childrens+hospital.htm

What’s this LEED Certified business, You ask?

Our loyal customers know us here at Toyota of El Cajon as the friendly dealership that they can count on for generations. We take great pride in the satisfaction we are able to deliver with our services and products. However, what most of you don’t know is that our dedication to the community goes beyond our cars!

When we had the opportunity to move into our current building in 2009, we wanted to do more than provide great cars and truly exceptional services to our friends and neighbors. We wanted to give our future generations the opportunities they deserve. How do we do that, you ask? Well, we got ourselves and our buildings LEED Certified!

So what is LEED? What does it mean to be LEED Certified?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, it is an internationally recognized certification and rating system issued only by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to improve the built environment. To earn this LEED Certification, a project like ours must receive credits in these 5 major categories established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Sustainable Sites

  • Water Efficiency

  • Energy and Atmosphere

  • Materials and Resources

  • Indoor Environmental Quality

When we had the chance to rebuild our current dealership, we incorporated many features that will allow us to care for the future generation and the environment. With our LEED Certified building, we

  • Recycled 93% of our construction waste

  • Conserve 43% more water

  • Use 25% less energy

Our efforts don’t stop there! You can also see for yourself in these informational signs around our dealership locations at El Cajon and Santee!

We take our green business seriously with every employee! Here is our Guest Relations Manager Laura demonstrating her recycling routine.

Toyota of El Cajon is the first and only green dealership of all Southern California, we raise the bar to achieve the highest level of guest satisfaction for you and your family! Being green is just one of our many ways to make positive contributions to our neighborhood!

Green Flash Concert

Toyota of El Cajon has the pleasure of sponsoring The Green Flash Concerts at the Birch Aquarium.The Concerts take place every third Wednesday of the month, and is open to ages 21+. Attendants get to enjoy the ocean view along with delicious food and drinks, while listening to live music. All Proceeds benefit exhibits and educational programming at Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

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Here is a list of who will be performing next.

Wednesday, July 17

The Fixx

Wednesday, August 21

Matt Costa

Wednesday, Sept. 18

Steve Poltz

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Check out the rest of our photos of the last Concert we attended, where we got to bring Our 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid and enjoyed listening to Vicci Martinez and ZZ Ward.

For info on how to get tickets click here.

 

Vehicle Maintenance Checklist For Summer

Make sure your Vehicle is in top condition for Summer. As the weather gets warmer Toyota of El Cajon wants to make sure you take several simple precautions to keep your family safe before hitting the road this summer! We put together a quick and easy maintenance check list so you can prepare to enjoy your Summer!Image

Follow this Checklist to care for your vehicle this Summer!

  • 1.Change the Oil and Air Filter- Get an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If you live in a mild climate or will be towing a trailer, a higher viscosity oil might be necessary. 
  • 2. Check Belts and Hoses -Inspect your belts and hoses for cracks, leakage or swelling. Summer heat will only make these conditions worse, and might cause a breakdown. 
  • 3. Check Fluids -Besides the oil, make sure all fluids are at proper levels. Take a look at the condition of your coolant, If necessary, add coolant or perform a flush-and-fill. 
  • 4. Check your Battery- Test your battery. Summer can be more demanding on your battery. Bring your vehicle in to our service department for a Free battery inspection. 
  • 5. Check the A/C -Assess your air conditioning system’s performance. If it fails to give you the usual relief, you might need to add refrigerant. Or, see if there’s another cause, such as a leak. 
  • 6. Check Your Brakes- Make sure that your brake pads are not running thin and replace damaged rotors and drums. 
  • 7.Check Tires –Before you hit the road, check your tires. Make sure they have enough tread. You can check tire wear by sticking a penny upside down between the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Also make sure to check the air pressure as well. Big temperature swings can cause your tires to lose pressure more quickly.

Helping Teens Hit the Road Safely!

Earning a driver’s license is a big step for your teen and for you. Its a time for new adventures and a spirit of freedom and it also a time for increased responsibility, and trust on both sides. Toyota provides families with tools to help keep their teen safe on the road. Arrive In Style is a campaign with Teen Vogue to promote safe driving among teenage girls. Toyota conducted a study, with the University of Michigan and it shows a significant correlation between parent and teen driving behaviors. Here are a few of the findings;

  • What Teens Think Their Parents Do Behind the Wheel Matters More Than What Parents Say They Do:   What teensthink  their parents do while driving has a greater impact on the teens’ behavior than what parents actually report they do.
    • If a teen thinks that his or her parent looks for something in the vehicle while driving, the teen is four times (4.1) more likely to also look for something while driving (as compared to if the teen does not think their parent does this at all).
    • If a teen’s parent reports looking for something in the vehicle while driving, the teen is two times (2.2) more likely to do the same (as compared to if the parent does not report this behavior at all).
    • If a teen thinks that his or her parent eats or drinks while driving, the teen is three times (3.4) more likely to likely to do the same (as compared to if the teen does not think their parent does this at all).
    • If a teen’s parent reports eating or drinking while driving, the teen is two times (2.2) more likely to do the same (as compared to if the parent does not report this behavior at all).
    • If a teen thinks that his or her parent deals with passenger issues while driving (interacts with passengers regarding requests, concerns and conflicts), the teen is five times (4.7) more likely to do so themselves (as compared to if the teen does not think their parent does this at all).
    • If a teen’s parent reports dealing with passenger issues while driving, the teen is two times (1.7) more likely to do the same (as compared to if the parent does not report this behavior at all).

To take a deeper look at the findings, click here. When it comes to your teen’s driving, you aren’t just a disciplinarian; you are a partner, mentor and role model. With the right information and plenty of parental involvement, you can both breathe easier when your teen takes the wheel.

Take the Pledge to be safe and have the chance to be featured in an upcoming issue of Teen Vogue! 

To join the movement and take the pledge visit the Arrive in Style site.