If you want to keep your Ford running like new, you’re going to have to work for it – to put it mildly. It’s not always easy (at least in your wallet), but if you’re willing to put in the effort, we can show you how. A good start will be to check this site if you prefer to deal with a certified service provider.
Interested in finding out how to maintain your Ford, so you’re not stuck in the middle of the road with a broken-down car? Great. Check out the tips below:
1. Check and Change the Oil Regularly
Engine oil is the lifeblood of your Ford – or any other vehicle, make or model. So, why should you check it? Well, the oil gets dirty over time and starts to break down. This can result in decreased fuel economy and increased wear and tear on your engine.
To check your oil, pop the hood and pull out the dipstick. Wipe it clean with a rag, stick it back, and pull it out again. Check the level and color of the oil. If it’s low, add more oil. If it’s black and gritty, a change will suffice.
Some vehicles have oil life monitors that tell you when an oil change is due. As for changing it, most mechanics recommend you do so every 3000 to 5,000 miles. However, check your owner’s manual first to be sure.
2. Keep an Eye on the Coolant Level
You’ve probably chanced upon a vehicle by the side of the road with the hood and steam billowing out from under it. Chances are, that car ran out of coolant.
Coolant, AKA antifreeze, helps keep your engine at the proper operating temperature. It does this by moving heat away from the engine and into the air. If you don’t have enough coolant, your engine can overheat.
To avoid this, check the level of your coolant regularly and top it off as needed. You can find the coolant reservoir near the radiator. Don’t forget to check the owner’s manual for the proper coolant to use.
Also, avoid the temptation to use water in place of coolant. Water has a lower boiling point than coolant. Plus, it easily contaminates your cooling system, which may lead to your engine overheating in no time flat.
Also, consider a coolant flush once every few years. It helps remove rust, corrosion, or other debris that can clog up your cooling system and cause issues.
3. Inspect the Brakes
Your brakes are arguably the most critical safety feature of your car. Hence, inspect the braking system regularly and replace worn or damaged parts when necessary. Some components to keep a close eye on include brake fluid level, brake pads, and rotors.
Over time, the pads wear down and need replacement. You’ll know it’s time if you start hearing a squealing noise from your brakes as you press the pedal. That said, the easiest way is to take your car to a professional for an inspection. However, you can also check the brakes if you’re DIY-inclined.
4. Change Your Air Filter
Your car’s air filter keeps dust, pollen, and other airborne particles from getting into your engine. Over time, the filter gets clogged, leading to many problems, including decreased fuel economy and reduced engine power. Hence, change it regularly – preferably as you change the oil or every 5000 miles.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Tires
Tire pressure can fluctuate for various reasons, including temperature and driving habits. As such, check your tire pressure regularly and inflate them as needed.
It also helps to inspect your tires regularly for signs of wear or damage. Consider getting new tires if you notice cracks, bulges, or bald spots.
Tire rotation is also vital, as it helps ensure even wear. This, in turn, ensures your tires last longer. When done correctly, it also helps improve your car’s handling and braking. Have a professional do it for you as the process differs for 2-wheel-drive and four-or rear-wheel drive systems.
6. Tune up Your Engine
Your engine also needs a tune-up now and then. This helps ensure it’s running correctly and at peak efficiency. Besides oil and filter changes, a tune-up typically includes the following:
- Checking and replacing the spark plugs.
- Cleaning the fuel system and replacing its filter (if applicable).
- Replacing ignition wires and coils.
- Inspecting the auxiliary system – belts and hoses.
- Changing the transmission fluid – at the recommended intervals.
Without periodic tune-ups, your engine will eventually start running rough. You could also experience decreased power and fuel economy, and the engine may stall – just to mention a few issues.
Vehicle maintenance is quite involving and is not limited to the aspects we’ve discussed. For best results, talk to your mechanic or take your Ford to a reputable, certified repair center to keep it in excellent running condition.