Corrosion prevention and appearance care

Protecting your Toyota from corrosion 248

Washing and waxing your Toyota 249

Cleaning the interior 251

Protecting your Toyota from corrosion

Toyota, through its diligent research, design and use of the most advanced technology available, helps prevent corrosion and provides you with the finest quality vehicle construction. Now, it is up to you. Proper care of your Toyota can help ensure long-term corrosion prevention.

The most common causes of corrosion to your vehicle are:

• The accumulation of road salt, dirt and moisture in hard-to-reach areas under the vehicle.

• Chipping of paint, or undercoating caused by minor accidents or by stones and gravel.

Care is especially important if you live in particular areas or operate your vehicle under certain environmental conditions:

• Road salt or dust control chemicals will accelerate corrosion, as will the presence of salt in the air near the sea-coast or in areas of industrial pollution.

• High humidity accelerates corrosion especially when temperatures range just above the freezing point.

• Wetness or dampness to certain parts of your vehicle for an extended period of time, may cause corrosion even though other parts of the vehicle may be dry.

• High ambient temperatures can cause corrosion to those components of the vehicle which do not dry quickly due to lack of proper ventilation.

The above signifies the necessity to keep your vehicle, particularly the underside, as clean as possible and to repair any damage to paint or protective coatings as soon as possible.

To help prevent corrosion on your Toyota, follow these guidelines:

Wash your vehicle frequently. It is, of course, necessary to keep your vehicle clean by regular washing, but to prevent corrosion, the following points should be observed:

• If you drive on salted roads in the winter or if you live near the ocean, you should hose off the undercarriage at least once a month to minimize corrosion.

• High pressure water or steam is effective for cleaning the vehicle's underside and wheel housings. Pay particular attention to these areas as it is difficult to see all the mud and dirt. It will do more harm than good to simply wet the mud and debris without removing. The lower edge of doors, rocker panels and frame members have drain holes which should not be allowed to clog with dirt as trapped water in these areas can cause corrosion.

• Wash the underside of the vehicle thoroughly when winter is over.

See "Washing and waxing your Toyota" for more tips.

Check the condition of your vehicle's paint and trim. If you find any chips or scratches in the paint, touch them up immediately to prevent corrosion from starting. If the chips or scratches have gone through the bare metal, have a qualified body shop make the repair.

Check the interior of your vehicle. Water and dirt can accumulate under the floor mats and could cause corrosion. Occasionally check under the mats to make sure the area is dry. Be particularly careful when transporting chemicals, cleansers, fertilizers, salt, etc.; these should be transported in proper containers. If a spill or leak should occur, immediately clean and dry the area.

Use mud shields on your wheels. If you drive on salted or gravel roads, mud shields help protect your vehicle. Full-size shields, which come as near to the ground as possible, are the best. We recommend that the fittings and the area where the shields are installed be treated to resist corrosion. Your Toyota dealer will be happy to assist in supplying and installing the shields if they are recommended for your area.

Keep your vehicle in a well ventilated garage or a roofed place. Do not park your vehicle in a damp, poorly ventilated garage. If you wash your vehicle in the garage, or if you drive it covered with water or snow, your garage may be so damp as to cause corrosion. Even if your garage is heated, a wet vehicle can corrode if the ventilation is poor.

Washing and waxing your Toyota

Washing your Toyota

Keep your vehicle clean by regular washing.

The following cases may cause weakness to the paint or corrosion to the body and parts. Wash your vehicle as soon as possible.

• When driving in a coastal area

• When driving on a road sprinkled with antifreeze

• When exposed to coal tar, tree sap, bird droppings and carcass of an insect

• When driving in areas where there is a lot of smoke, soot, dust, iron dust or chemical substances

• When the vehicle becomes remarkably dirty with dust and mud

Hand-washing your Toyota

Work in the shade and wait until the vehicle body is not warm to the touch.


• When cleaning under floor or chassis, be careful not to injure your hands.

• Exhaust gases cause the exhaust pipe to become quite hot. When washing the vehicle, be careful not to touch the pipe until it has cooled sufficiently, as touching a hot exhaust pipe can cause burns.


When the front wiper arms need to be lifted away from the windshield to wash the vehicle, raise the arm on the driver side first. Conversely, when returning the wipers to their original positions, fold down the arm on the front passenger side first. Failure to perform the operations in the correct order results in damage.

1. Rinse off loose dirt with a hose. Remove any mud or road salt from the underside of the vehicle or the wheel wells.

2. Wash with a mild car-wash soap, mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use a soft cotton mitt and keep it wet by dipping it frequently into the wash water. Do not rub hard—let the soap and water remove the dirt.

Fuel filler door: Do not apply water (high-pressure car wash, for example) at or near the fuel tank inlet with the fuel filler door opened. If the water enters the air vent, you may experience trouble with refueling or rough engine idling.

Plastic wheel ornaments: The plastic wheel ornaments are damaged easily by organic substances. If any organic substance splash an ornament, be sure to wash them off with water and check if the ornament is damaged.

Aluminum wheels: Use only a mild soap or neutral detergent.

Plastic bumpers: Wash carefully. Do not scrub with abrasive cleaners. The bumper faces are soft.

Exterior lights: Wash carefully. Do not use organic substances or scrub them with a hard brush. This may damage the surfaces of the lights.

Road tar: Remove with turpentine or cleaners that are marked safe for painted surfaces.

3. Rinse thoroughly—dried soap can cause streaking. In hot weather you may need to rinse each section right after you wash it.

4. To prevent water spots, dry the vehicle using a clean soft cotton towel. Do not rub or press hard—you might scratch the paint.


♦ Do not use organic substances (gasoline, kerosene, benzine or strong solvents), which may be toxic or cause damage.

♦ Do not scrub any part of the vehicle with a hard brush, which may cause damage.

Automatic car wash

Your vehicle may be washed in an automatic car wash, but remember that the paint can be scratched by some types of brushes, unfiltered washing water, or the washing process itself. Scratching reduces paint durability and gloss, especially on darker colors. The manager of the car wash should be able to advise you whether the process is safe for the paint on your vehicle.


To prevent damage to the antenna, make sure to remove it before driving your Toyota through an automatic car wash.

Waxing your Toyota

Polishing and waxing is recommended to maintain the original beauty of your Toyota's finish.

Apply wax once a month or if the vehicle surface does not repel water well.

1. Always wash and dry the vehicle before you begin waxing, even if you are using a combined cleaner and wax.

2. Use a good quality polish and wax. If the finish has become extremely weathered, use a car-cleaning polish, followed by a separate wax. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and precautions. Be sure to polish and wax the chrome trim as well as the paint.

Windshield washer nozzles: Make sure that the nozzles do not become blocked when waxing. If a nozzle becomes blocked, contact your Toyota dealer to have the vehicle serviced.


If a nozzle becomes blocked, do not try to clear it with a pin or other object The nozzle will be damaged.

Exterior lights: Do not apply wax on the surfaces of the lights. Wax may cause damage to the lenses. If you accidentally put wax on the light surfaces, wipe or wash it off.

3. Wax the vehicle again when water does not bead but remains on the surface in large patches.


Always remove the plastic bumpers if your vehicle is re-painted and placed in a high heat paint waxing booth. High temperatures could damage the bumpers.

Cleaning the interior /l\ CAUTION

• Vehicles with side airbags and curtain shield airbags:

Be careful not to splash water or spill liquid on the floor. This may prevent the side airbags and curtain shield airbags from activating correctly, resulting in serious injury.

• Do not wash the vehicle floor with water, or allow water to get onto the floor when cleaning the vehicle interior or exterior. Water may get into audio components or other electrical components above or under the floor carpet (or mat) and cause a malfunction; and it may cause body corrosion.

Vinyl interior

The vinyl upholstery may be easily cleaned with a mild soap or detergent and water.

First vacuum over the upholstery to remove loose dirt. Then, using a sponge or soft cloth, apply the soap solution to the vinyl. After allowing it to soak in for a few minutes to loosen the dirt, remove the dirt and wipe off the soap with a clean damp cloth. If all the dirt do not come off, repeat the procedure. Commercial foaming-type vinyl cleaners are also available which work well. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Do not use solvent, thinner, gasoline or window cleaner on the interior.


Use a good foam-type shampoo to clean the carpets.

Begin by vacuuming thoroughly to remove as much dirt as possible. Several types of foam cleaners are available; some are in aerosol cans and others are powders or liquids which you mix with water to produce a foam. To shampoo the carpets, use a sponge or brush to apply the foam. Rub in overlapping circles.

Do not apply water—the best results are obtained by keeping the carpet as dry as possible. Read the shampoo instructions and follow them closely.

Seat belts

The seat belts may be cleaned with mild soap and water or with lukewarm water.

Use a cloth or sponge. As you are cleaning, check the belts for excessive wear, fraying, or cuts.


The windows may be cleaned with any household window cleaner.


When cleaning the inside of the windows, be careful not to scratch or damage the heater wires or connectors.

Air conditioning control panel, car audio, instrument panel, console panel, and switches

Use a soft damp cloth for cleaning.

Soak a clean soft cloth in water or lukewarm water then lightly wipe off dirt.


♦ Do not use dye or bleach on the belts—it may weaken them.

♦ Do not use the belts until they become dry.


♦ Do not use organic substances (solvents, kerosene, alcohol, gasoline, etc.) or alkaline or acidic solutions. These chemicals can cause discoloring, staining or peeling of the surface.

♦ If you use cleaners or polishing agents, make sure their ingredients do not include the substances mentioned above.

♦ If you use a liquid car freshener, do not spill the liquid onto the vehicle's interior surfaces. It may contain the ingredients mentioned above. Immediately clean any spill using the method mentioned above.

Leather Interior

The leather upholstery may be cleaned with neutral detergent for wool.

Remove dirt using a soft cloth dampened with 5% solution of neutral detergent for wool. Then thoroughly wipe off all traces of detergent with a clean damp cloth.

After cleaning or whenever any part of the leather gets wet, dry with a soft clean cloth. Allow the leather to dry in a ventilated shaded area.

♦ Mildew may develop on soiled leather upholstery. Be especially careful to avoid oil spots. Try to keep your upholstery always clean.

♦ Long exposure to direct sunlight may cause the leather surface to harden and shrink. Keep your vehicle in a shaded area, especially in the summer.

♦ The interior of your vehicle is apt to heat up on hot summer days, so avoid placing on the upholstery items made of vinyl or plastic or containing wax as these tend to stick to leather when warm.

♦ Improper cleaning of the leather upholstery could result in discoloration or staining.

If you have any questions about the cleaning of your Toyota, your local Toyota dealer will be pleased to answer them.


♦ If a stain should fail to come out with a neutral detergent, apply a cleaner that does not contain an organic solvent.

♦ Never use organic substances such as benzine, alcohol or gasoline, or alkaline or acid solutions for cleaning the leather as these could cause discoloring.

♦ Use of a nylon brush or synthetic fiber cloth, etc. may scratch the fine grained surface of the leather.

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