Toyota vehicles are equipped with numerous electronic systems that provide a comfortable driving experience, and this number is continually rising. According to a 2020 study by Deloitte, modern cars are becoming more reliant on electronics, with 40% of the total cost of a new vehicle attributed to these components. Even putting aside the electrical parts, you might consider "features" such as infotainment systems and air-conditioners; at their very heart, Toyotas and all other cars rely on electrical components to get started and to keep them running correctly. There's no escaping your Toyota's electrical parts, so it's best to know what to look out for if you suspect they are giving you issues, when they need replacing, and how to get the most out of your existing parts or new purchases.
Sourcing Toyota Electronics (OEM vs. Aftermarket)
Used Toyota electronics are either OEM or aftermarket. When you buy a Toyota in its original condition, as when it came out of the factory, the parts it comes fitted with are OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Parts made by third-party manufacturers and usable in the vehicle are known as "Aftermarket" parts.
We recommend investing in OEM parts to return your Toyota to its original performance level. Because of the more stringent levels of manufacturing, you'll likely get more use out of an OEM replacement. Aftermarket parts might offer greater customization options, but not only are they not covered by Toyota's warranty, but they could also void the warranty and even damage your vehicle when installed. Finally, aftermarket parts are not always guaranteed to be cheaper than OEM parts, so you might be paying less for better fit and quality.
What Are the Most Important Electrical Parts of Your Toyota?
Give priority to the power-generating trio of the battery, alternator, and starter that help get all the other electrical parts running. It's important to promptly address any issues with the electrical components crucial to your Toyota's safety and comfort.
The battery stores electrical energy to operate the starter and to keep certain parts like the clock and radio running when you turn off the engine. The battery supplies the necessary power for the ignition and fuel injection parts. The battery can quickly run out because it is not designed to provide power for extended periods. One of the most common instances is returning to a dead battery after leaving the headlights on.
Toyota Hybrids use two batteries: a smaller 12-volt battery (similar to those in traditional vehicles) and a larger high-voltage hybrid battery. The larger battery is specifically for hybrid functions, while the smaller one powers standard electrical components. If you haven't driven your new hybrid in a while, it's important to note that the battery capacity may be smaller and could drain quickly. Furthermore, faulty batteries are more problematic in newer Toyotas, especially hybrids, as they rely heavily on electronics and computers. Look for a replacement when it starts causing issues.
Once your Toyota's engine is up and running, the alternator comes into play to keep the engine and all other electrical components working. Issues with a faulty alternator can result in no or trouble starting, dimming lights, and stereo output problems.
The starter is powered by the battery and is needed to run the engine. It contains a small gear connected to the engine's flywheel, delivering power to it and, in turn, starting the engine up. Your Toyota can only start if the starter is functioning correctly.
Fuel Pump Switch
The fuel pump switch is activated in an accident, cutting off the petrol flow to the engine to minimize the chance of a fire. When malfunctioning, your engine might occasionally shut off and need repair or replacement.
Cooling fans, or radiator fans, pull air through the engine radiator, allowing heat to dissipate. A faulty cooling fan can be catastrophic for engine health as it may result in overheating. If you experience any issues, it is essential to replace these immediately.
Air Conditioner Blower
The A/C blower ensures proper ventilation and heat transfer to and from your Toyota's cabin. Irregular airflow or unwanted noises can result from a faulty unit, so get yours replaced or repaired to avoid an uncomfortable drive.
Proper lighting is essential for safe driving. External lights on your Toyota ensure you are visible to other drivers, while internal lights, including displays, allow you to see inside your cabin. It is vital to regularly check that all your lights are in working order to ensure your safety on the roads.
Which Toyota Electronics Wear Out the Fastest?
Parts and materials that wear down and run out as they get used are known as the "consumables". These include short-life spark plugs, which produce a spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture. They have a lifespan of roughly 50,000 km. You should check the specific replacement interval for spark plugs in your Toyota against the owner's manual for more accurate details.
The coolant system in your vehicle functions by cycling coolant between the radiator and engine through the water pump. As the coolant passes through the engine, it absorbs heat and then releases it into the air, effectively preventing overheating and keeping your engine cool. The water pump has a lifespan ranging from 97,000 km to 145,000 km.
The factors affecting your Toyota suspension's lifespan are:
1. How smooth the roads you drive on are,
2. The weight of the loads carried by your Toyota and how frequently you load your vehicle, and,
3. Your overall mileage.
Ten years will be the upper limit of your suspension's lifespan and achievable if you have maintained it properly. If you haven't been careful with your Toyota, or your area's driving conditions are particularly bad, you can expect its lifespan to be reduced from eight years to five. When your suspension has gone wrong, you'll start to feel every bump of the road in your seat. Other signs your Toyota's suspension needs looking at are loose handling and steering wheel play, squeaking or clanging, or if your Toyota leans to one side when parked.
Are Toyota Electronics Expensive?
Toyota electronics are inexpensive, although you might be looking at higher bills if your Toyota has more electrical parts, such as newer models or hybrids.
Where to Buy Genuine Toyota Electronics Online
Authorized Toyota dealers and OEM parts retailers will be your go-to for brand-new electronics. Are you looking to save with little downside? Opt for second-hand Toyota electronics available at great prices here at BE FORWARD Auto Parts.