Maintaining your vehicle
Routine maintenance and upkeep can greatly extend the life of your car, truck or SUV. Still, many people wait until there are major issues before visiting a shop. Failing to properly service your vehicle can result in increased repair costs, as well as greatly reducing its value.
Easily topping the list of routine maintenance musts is an oil change. Scheduling this service every three months or 3K miles will not only help to ensure your vehicle remains running smoothly, but will also extend the life of your engine.
Maintaining fluid levels
Having your fluids topped off is simple and can be performed in just a few minutes. These include: oil, radiator, transmission, power steering, windshield washer and brake fluid. Additionally, they can be flushed/changed as needed. Allowing many of these fluids to become dangerously low, or old/corroded, can cause serious damage to your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s filters should be changed between 15K–30K miles. Most can be inspected/replaced during a routine oil change. These include the engine air filter, oil filter, fuel filter and cabin air filter.
Your spark plugs should be changed every 100K miles. A bit more complicated than a routine oil change, the time and cost will depend greatly on the year, make and model of your vehicle.
Belts and hoses
Belts and hoses play an integral part in your vehicle’s performance. It is very important to ensure that both are maintained. As belts age, the rubber becomes brittle, causing it to crack. Once the belt begins to crack, it should be replaced as it can fail at any time. If the belt is showing signs of wearing on its outer edge, this is also a sign that it will need to be replaced.
Since coolant is very hot, about 200 degrees, the hoses that carry coolant are extremely important. A belt or hose failure can cause loss of power steering and the electrical charging system, as well as an overheated engine. If your engine overheats, this can cause the cylinder heads to warp. In other words, a very expensive repair.
Hoses are generally inspected for softness and swelling. They are then checked for hardening cracks, chafing and heat damage. If any of these issues are detected, your hoses will need to be replaced.
Brake issues can start out small but worsen over time. Waiting to have them repaired can greatly increase the costs involved. Having your brakes inspected during a routine maintenance visit can help save you both time and money. During a brake inspection, all major components — discs, brake pads, shoes and brake lines — should be evaluated.
Discs or rotors are vital to slowing down and stopping your vehicle. Discs should be inspected for rough spots, warping or damage. If they are shiny and show little signs of wear, maintenance is likely not needed. If they are damaged or warped, these parts should be resurfaced or replaced immediately.
Your vehicle has both rubber and metal brake lines. Both can crack and leak. A technician will first examine the rubber hoses to ensure they are soft and don’t have cracks. They’ll then check the hard metal brake lines for corrosion and leaking. If either are damaged, replacement is recommended.
Your tires should be inspected routinely to ensure they remain at the recommended PSI and tread levels. To determine the health of a tire’s tread, a penny test can be easily performed. Place a penny headfirst into the tread grooves of your tire. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, this indicates your treads are shallow/worn and that your tire/tires will need replacing. Additionally, tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles to ensure even wear.
The benefits of routine vehicle maintenance
Routine checkups help to determine the state of your vehicle’s overall condition. Simple maintenance, such as routine oil changes, having fluids checked/flushed and tune-ups, can greatly increase your vehicle’s performance and reliability.
Saves you money
Another benefit of routine maintenance is it gives your Ford service provider the opportunity to detect other possible issues your vehicle may be experiencing. The earlier these problems are detected, the more likely you are to save time and money.
Proper vehicle maintenance is the key to maintaining value. It’s good to keep this in mind if you plan on selling or trading your car, truck or SUV. If your vehicle is mechanically sound and free of exterior/interior damage, you can expect to receive more for it. Conversely, an unmaintained vehicle will be worth far less, regardless of its make or model. Logging your maintenance schedule is not only a great way to keep track of your service history, but it also adds valuable documentation to a sale or trade-in.
Why should I choose my Ford dealership for service and repair?
Trust, knowledge and expertise
Today’s vehicles and their maintenance needs aren’t as basic as they once were. It has never been more important to ensure your technician is familiar with your car, truck or SUV’s maintenance needs.
There are over 35,000 factory-trained Ford technicians across America ready to service your car, truck or SUV. Their training has been developed by the same company that designed, engineered and built your vehicle. This means they have the knowledge, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, tools and training to help ensure your service is done correctly the first time. These services include:
- Full-service maintenance and repair facility
- Parts and labor warranties
- Clean, comfortable waiting areas
- Shuttle service to and from your home
- Friendly and knowledgeable staff
Though many people tend to think using a dealership service center is more expensive, the truth is the price of routine maintenance, an oil change and other services at your local Ford dealership are highly competitive with other shops. In fact, they can provide you with a complete vehicle checkup that includes a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and pressure check, brake inspection, multipoint inspection, fluid top-off, battery test, filter check, plus belts and hoses check. You’ll also enjoy the added comfort of relaxing in a clean, comfortable waiting room — many with free Wi-Fi and refreshments — rather than sitting in your vehicle.
Ready for a visit? Search for your service coupon here. Then, contact your local Ford dealer or log into your Ford Owner account to schedule an appointment today.