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April 20, 2018
Maintenance Madness: The Top 10 Ford Repair Tips Every Owner Should Know
Irvin Gordon has driven so many miles that the distance he's traveled could circle the Earth 120 times. And he did it with one car.
Exactly 3,039,122 miles. That's how much distance Gordon has covered in his 1966 Volvo 1800S.
While you may not reach the three-million-mile mark like Gordon, it's actually quite easy to maintain a vehicle. Especially if it's a well-made one like a Ford.
But in a vehicle with thousands of parts, where do you even begin to achieve that well-deserved longevity?
Today, we'll explore the top ten places where you should direct your attention when considering a Ford repair. Most of them are a lot simpler than you might think.
Is Maintainenance Really Necessary?
Many people neglect to maintain and repair their vehicles because it saves money, which is why used car inspections are always a good idea when purchasing a vehicle.
Except neglecting your vehicle really doesn't save money.
In the long run, continuing to perform routine maintenance will save you hundreds of dollars. Replacing brake pads, for instance, may cost around $150. This may seem like a high price for maintenance until you consider the cost of rotor repair, which a vehicle will need if its brakes have been ignored for too long.
Taking care of the brake pads instead of brake pads and rotors will net you $500 in savings.
When it's time to sell your car off to the next person or trade it in, taking care of your ride will also mean that you can typically secure a higher price. Sometimes the difference can mean thousands of extra dollars.
And then there's a simple fact that it's safer. That month you spent $150 on brakes and had to cut back on eating out could quite literally save your life.
The Top 10 Ford Repair Tips
Mostly, it really comes down to routine maintenance. Many of the suggestions listed below have the added bonus of low or moderate costs.
"Aside from fuel the most important fluid your vehicle needs is oil," states Will Maley of US News.
It may seem like a bit much to change the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or whatever your Ford owner's manual states. However, oil plays a crucial role in how your vehicle runs.
Oil lubricates the metal parts within your car, ensuring they do not wear and cause damage. It also collects dirt and particles to keep the vehicle's engine running at a smooth purr.
When the oil isn't changed regularly, the particles caught within it will begin to corrode the parts in your vehicle. The substance will also lose its ability to lubricate, meaning you'll have metal scraping against metal.
Even worse is when sludge builds up from old oil, causing catastrophic engine damage.
2. Tire Rotation
Have you ever driven a very old vehicle with very worn tires on a very icy road? It's no picnic.
Tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 to 7,500 miles to help your wheels wear evenly. Doing so also gives you more control over the vehicle so that if you have to stop or turn in an emergency you will have an easier time doing so.
And in the case of that old vehicle with the worn tires, it means a lot less sliding about over ice.
Furthermore, rotating the tires extends the life of the rubber products themselves.
If cars were alive those high-pitched screeches would be akin to the worst possible toothache you could imagine.
It's one of the reasons we have it listed as a necessary Ford repair. Because, really, your poor Ford Escort or F150 shouldn't be in that much agony.
Brake systems squeeze your tires, creating friction so that the vehicle slows. When brake pads begin to wear, however, you may have metal squeezing against metal.
The destruction can be horrific, causing damage to rotors and disks and putting you -- and any other passengers -- in jeopardy.
If you hear high screeches or if your car shudders while braking, get those pads replaced.
4. Transmission Fluid
Rebuilding a transmission can cost thousands of dollars, and we're sure it's a cost you want to avoid. That's why changing the transmission fluid is another tip when it comes to Ford repair.
Just like oil, this fluid is necessary to properly lubricate components.
Change this fluid every two years or 30,000 miles if you want a long-lasting car.
Frayed or snapped accessory belts can result in damage to the engine, steering and electrical charging systems.
It doesn't take much to notice if a belt is worn. Look for cracks, tatters, and splits.
These are the weakest part of a vehicle's cooling system, which is why it is a necessary Ford repair.
Coolant hose failure has the same results as weakened belts, but it can be much more difficult to spot potential problems. The most common reason hoses fail, rupture or leak is because of contaminants in the coolant, which eat the hose from the inside.
To prevent this, ensure your coolant is always at the appropriate level and flush it accordingly. You can also check hoses for soft spots, cracks, and bulges.
7. Air filters
Tri-City News explains, "For every gallon of gas a car burns, it uses the equivalent of 12,000 gallons of air, and that air must be filtered to help keep an engine clean."
Air filters catch all the nasty stuff our vehicles collect as we zoom along. When these aren't cleaned, the engine is compromised.
Keep that filter clean by replacing it with every oil change or every 8,000 miles. It's cheap, easy to do and well worth the effort and cost.
Cool your engine. We mean that literally.
Engine coolant alleviates the extreme heat created by a vehicle's engine. Antifreeze, or coolant, also lubricates vehicle parts and contains anti-corrosive compounds, meaning it will make all those important pieces do what they're supposed to do.
The average life of antifreeze is 5 years and 60,000 miles, quite a long time before it needs to be flushed. However, it's a good idea to check it periodically to ensure it shouldn't be topped off.
And please, do not add water to the coolant (like, ever) or open the radiator cap to check fluid levels until the car has had ample time to cool. This will keep you and your vehicle safe.
We get those letters in the mail and groan, but we really shouldn't. Recalls are free ways to ensure our vehicles are maintained correctly and safe to drive.
If you have limited time, consider taking your vehicle in during its regularly-scheduled maintenance to attend to recalls.
10. Use Ford Parts
Yes, they're more expensive than the off-brands. But will they last longer?
After-market parts might offer similar durability, but many are not fitted correctly for your vehicle, making their comparison to OEM parts questionable. It's better to play it safe.
Give Your Car the Life It Deserves
If you're not car-savvy, don't worry. There are several ways to find the perfect mechanic for your Ford repair needs.
However, by following these 10 guidelines, your car will live long and prosper. Keep up with that maintenance so that you can zoom around the country with an easy mind.
March 26, 2018
The Latest 2019 Ford Ranger News
TSC Ford Specialist in Englewood is always up to date on the latest 2019 Ford Ranger news, and we want our customers to be in the know as well. This mid-sized pickup truck is making its big return to the market, and it's about time. Check out some of the latest news on this Ford tough truck, and get yourself in one to experience the ride.
First off, you will find a fully boxed ladder frame with six cross members making up the backbone of the 2019 Ford Ranger. The modified frame provides a sturdy mounting location for the front and rear steel bumpers, as well as an integrated trailer-hitch receiver as an add-on option. So what can we compare this truck to, and who might the competition be? Well, you can put it right up there with the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier pickups, and let's not exclude the unibody Honda Ridgeline.
In the powertrain department, the 2019 Ford Ranger is offering a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged I-4 engine backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. There will not be a manual transmission option offered, unfortunately. Engine output has yet to be released, but people are guessing it will be a similar rating to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost found in the Ford Explorer, offering 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
This head-turning truck comes in a range of fantastic colors: Saber, Lightning Blue, Hot Pepper Red, Absolute Black, Magnetic, Ingot Silver, White Platinum and Oxford White. But let's not forget about the stylish interior on the inside as well. With lots of leg room and simple, classic style, what's not to love?
The Ford Ranger will come in three trims to choose from, the XL, XLT, and Lariat, all studded with unique grilles and optional LED headlights. Choose from supercab and supercrew cab with four full-size doors for your preferred body style, as well as 4 drive modes for when you are out on the terrain: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand. It’s an adventurer's dream!
The FX4 off-road package styles it up with beefier, upgraded tires, a steel front bash plate, off-road tuned suspension, skid-plates, and a cool Trail Control/Hill Descent Control. Drivers also have the option of a two-speed transfer case and electronic locking rear differential.
The 2019 Ranger is set to hit the dealer showroom by late 2018, straight from the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant. Pricing, as well as fuel economy, and official power ratings will be available later on, but there is speculation that the price will start around $25,000 for a base model and about $40,000 for a Lariat FX4. We all know Ford’s reputation for world-class towing and payload capabilities, so expect ratings to get over the 7,000 pound mark.
TSC Ford Specialist in Englewood is excited to hear the latest 2019 Ford Ranger news, and we hope to have enlightened you on this newly revamped truck. Of course, no matter what Ford you drive, be sure to bring it by the shop for proper maintenance and expert repairs. We’ll keep your vehicle running smoothly and ensure a safe, efficient ride.
March 16, 2018
Ford Diesel Trucks and Common Engine Repairs
At TSC Ford Specialist in Englewood, we understand engines, so we want you to be in the know about Ford diesel trucks and common engine repairs that might be needed. Owning a Ford diesel has a lot of benefits to suit everyone's individual needs, but that does not mean that these engines are immune to ever breaking down. As we all know, if we don't take the time to maintain and service our vehicles, they will not be there for us in the long run. Here are some common Ford diesel engine repairs you may run into.
- Oil Oxidization
This occurs when trucks sit too long or are not used very often causing air to seep into the oil, which produces bubbles and eventually will not lubricate all the moving parts properly. This will inevitably damage an engine and needs to be changed immediately.
This will also cause water or wetness to contaminate the engine lubricant, and speed up the oxidization process, which will deteriorate the engine life quickly. If you live in a high-precipitation area or have left your vehicle sitting in a wet place, you will need to have it serviced, especially if you hear a knocking sound from the engine.
- Black Exhaust
No one likes to inhale the black smoke coming from a diesel trucks tailpipe, and exhaust is usually the result of an imbalanced air to fuel ratio, too much fuel, not enough air. This could mean a faulty injector, injector pump, air filter, EGR valve, or turbocharger. When it comes to Ford diesel trucks and common engine repairs, this is an issue that you’ll want a TSC Ford Specialist to look into right away.
- Difficult to Start
This is usually a sign of low compression or a fuel delivery issue. You may even notice a delayed start, which should be looked at promptly.
- Power Problems
Dirty fuel filters, loose throttle linkage, too much lubrication or a fuel injector can cause lack of power when accelerating or starting, relating to a fuel issue.
- Lead-Acid Storage Batteries Failing
These batteries take a lot of abuse and are essential to a Ford diesel truck. Failing batteries cause an imbalanced compression ratio, which can make the starter system act negatively.
- Bad Glow Plugs
Diesel engines rely on glow plugs to ignite the mixtures through a high-resistance heating element, unlike cars which rely on a spark plug. You may find you need to replace these, especially in colder weather.
- Bad Fuel
Diesel engines are much more viscous than gas engines, making it more susceptible to contamination. Glycol, dilution, soot, and water are extremely detrimental to your fuel system.
- High Compression Ratio
The average compression ratio for a diesel engine is 20:1, making it more powerful and efficient, but it can also cause fuel injection issues from undesirable burn patterns, and you may hear a knock in the engine.
We all know that diesel engines are in general louder than other vehicles, but if you hear knocking or otherwise, have it serviced, as this is not normal.
- Wrong Viscosity Weight
Engine oil with the wrong viscosity will be a major issue for the way your vehicle runs, so consider using a multi-viscosity oil year-round to avoid problems.
Ford diesel trucks and common engine repairs need not be your worry if you have an exceptional service center such as TSC Ford Specialist by your side. We offer qualified technicians who are trained with the latest Ford techniques to ensure you are receiving the best possible repairs. Call or stop by the shop and let us take great care of your Ford vehicle.
February 26, 2018
Get a Used Vehicle Inspection for that Ford
At TSC Ford Specialist, we’re fans of the brand. But we still advise you to get a used vehicle inspection for that Ford car or truck you want to buy. Many people opt to purchase used vehicles versus new, so it’s important to ensure that everything is satisfactory. Many used Fords have great value left in them, but it’s imperative to do your research and know all there is to know about the purchase beforehand. Set your budget, run a Carfax report, get an inspection, and if it just doesn't feel right, walk away.
Here is what you will need to know when getting a used vehicle inspection.
If you are buying a used Ford vehicle from a reputable dealership, it’s likely that there has already been a used vehicle inspection. Many dealers have certified preowned vehicle programs, and cars must pass hefty inspections to get certified. The Federal Trade Commission also requires dealers to post a buyer’s guide in every vehicle for sale, stating whether the car is for sale “as is” or if it comes with a warranty. If you want to make absolutely sure a dealership didn’t skimp on its inspection, you’re also well within your rights to have a third party inspection.
A private party purchase of a used vehicle is a whole other story. The responsibility will be yours to do your due diligence in finding out if the vehicle was in an accident, has structural damage, if it is safe and in good condition, or if it requires repair services. If you have a great mechanic that you trust and work with, that is a great starting point when getting your inspection done.
Another option is a mobile inspector will come to your location to inspect the vehicle. They will often print out a complete report right then and there and provide it to the seller or buyer, including photos of any damage they found. And your third option is finding an auto shop that specializes in used vehicle inspections like TSC Ford Specialist. Opting for an inspection by a shop comes with advantages. They can use a lift to thoroughly check the underside of the vehicle, and of course, they have more specialized equipment than a mobile mechanic with a bag of tools.
What’s included in a vehicle inspection? Most reputable companies will inspect the exterior, engine, brake system, tires, radiator, belts, hoses and fluids, and it costs around $100$300 on average. They will also look for a car that has poor bodywork, water damage, frame damage, even damaged upholstery from smoking. You will leave the inspection knowing the general condition of the vehicle, as well as its overall value which could be used as a bargaining chip with a dealer or private seller.
Now that you know how important it is to get a used vehicle inspection, let's break down the process in more detail, including items you could be looking for as well:
- Look for any rust damage on the fenders, panels, and roof
- Look for scratches, dents, dings and shoddy bodywork
- The paint color should be the same on each panel, look for blistered paint
- Be sure to check the wheel wells using a flashlight
- Open and close all doors, hatches, and trunk to ensure they are functioning easily, try out keys
- Check the glass of the vehicle for rock chip marks and body for hail damage, it could give you some bargaining power
- Check the suspension by walking around the car and noticing how level it sits on the ground
- Push down on all four corners and see if the car bounces back – if so, the suspension is not good
- Pull back and forth on each tire to check the wheel bearings, ticking and clicks are not good
- Check all the lights, signals and reflectors by having someone turn them off and on
Finally, tires are an excellent indicator of what a car may have gone through. A red flag is a low mileage car with new tires. This could mean the odometer was turned back. Check that all four tires are the same brand and model. Tread and wear should also be uniform. Ask if they have been rotated and how often, and check the sidewalks for bulging, cracks and scuff marks. Don't forget to check the spare tire along with the jack and lug wrench.
- Check for odors, such as smoke, mold, food smells on the carpeting, seats, and trunk
- Check the seats by sitting in each one and adjusting the positions, checking for rips and tears
- Check the rubber on all the driving pedals for wear
- Turn on all instruments and controls, including heaters and AC functions, sound system, etc.
- Check the headliner for stains and wear, and if there is a sunroof be sure it is properly sealed and the rubber is not too worn
- Inspect convertibles thoroughly, ensuring there are no tears
- Check the trunk for odors, leaks, or water damage
Under the Hood:
- Check all hoses and belts for wear and cracks
- Inspect fluids levels and for discoloration
- Check radiator for proper color – if it’s cloudy, rusty or milky, this is a bad sign
- Check the battery conditions to ensure they are charging properly
Under the Vehicle:
- Feel the tailpipe for residue, black and greasy means burnt oil
- Look for any leaks or rust
- Check the tightness of all components
- Look for dents or damage on the fuel tank
- Welding seams or fresh undercoating could indicate problems
Remember, if you don’t already have a trusted inspector, be sure to do your research on the subject. Look for certification in the shop's windows such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, AAA certified garages, and ASE certified shops. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for their ratings, and of course, recommendations are always a good idea too.
TSC Ford Specialist is always a good choice for a used vehicle inspection. They know that if you’re buying a second-hand Ford truck or car, going with a great brand is only half the story. How the vehicle is driven and maintained is the real mystery. And only an inspection can give you insight into the unknown. Our company specializes in all makes and models of Ford trucks and cars. When you are buying a used Ford and need a complete and honest inspection, why go anywhere else? Give us a call today.
January 18, 2018
How to Find the Right Mechanic for Your Ford
Do you want to know how to find the right mechanic for your Ford? Well, that's simple, just ask TSC Ford Specialist in Englewood. As the name suggests, we specialize in all makes and models of Ford, be it your big pickup truck for work, or your CMax for getting around the Denver area. Our technicians have the knowledge and expertise to back everything we do, and we just made your job of finding a mechanic for your Ford that much easier.
Here are some of the qualities you will want to look for when finding the right mechanic for your Ford:
- Credentials and Qualifications
As with any mechanic you search for, you will definitely want them to have some knowledge and education when it comes to working on the intricate motors of a Ford vehicle. Ford engines have a lot of diesel and power stroke parts that differ from just regular engines, so finding a mechanic that has been trained with the most up to date technology by Ford will be your better option in the long run. Don't be intimidated to ask to see their qualification or how much experience they have working on a specific type of engine. An ASE certified and manufacturer certified mechanic shop should be your first check on your list of to do's. Due diligence will pay off in the end.
- Ask Around
Word of mouth is a great way to find a Ford mechanic that you can trust. Chances are if your friends or family suggest them, they are satisfied with the results, and you will be too. Be thorough with your questions as to how they were treated and how the job was performed, and if the work held up.
- Ask Questions
When you think you have found the right shop and mechanic, have the following list of questions ready:
- How many years have you been in business? Or years of experience?
- Do you guarantee your work?
- Do you offer any warranties?
- What kind of parts do you use OEM? New, used or aftermarket?
- Do they specialize in Ford?
- Do they offer free estimates?
- Do they provide a loaner car while yours is being looked at?
- What are the labor rates?
- What are the payment policies?
- Can you provide parts?
- Internet Search
To find the right mechanic for your Ford, check out some repair shops online in your area, read the reviews, see if they are approved by the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Reports and have all their certifications and qualifications in order. Also, see if they specialize in Ford repairs and service.
You are more likely to be satisfied with a repair shop that is close to where you live or work. So, be sure to weed out the ones that are just too out of the way for a quick service or repair. You are far more likely to be frustrated or delayed by a long overdue oil change or transmission service, which could be detrimental.
- Price and Service
Be sure that the repair shop has competitive pricing, is clean and treats you well from the moment you walk in. You will be forming an ongoing relationship for the entire time you own your vehicle, as well as your friends and family, so why not make it a pleasant and affordable one also?
- Dealership vs. Independent Shop
This is a personal issue, but most dealerships are quite overpriced and overbooked with appointments. By all means, if you have a warranty that specifies it must be performed at the dealership, then do so, but most people will agree that an independent shop such as TSC Ford Specialist will offer more of what you are looking for in the long run.
- Proper Equipment
As stated before, Ford trucks have some pretty technical components involved in their engines, so if your repair shop does not have the precise diagnostic machines to give them quick answers on mechanical issues, you should steer clear from there. Ford based software with all the latest techniques is what you are seeking to find when speaking with your mechanic.
- Scope the Place Out
If you think you found a great Ford shop, go in and check it out. Are customers happy? Is it organized and clean? Do they have a nice waiting area? Maybe take your vehicle in when you know there is nothing wrong with it, and have them inspect it. If they come back with a list of things wrong, you should see this as a red flag and walk out the door.
- No Pressure
This, of course, is another red flag. If you don't get an overall good feeling from the shop, or they are pressuring you into getting repairs that seem outrageous, then walk the other way. Let's face it; you won't be satisfied in the end.
Finding the right mechanic for your Ford is not an easy task, but once you do, hopefully, they will be around for some time, and you can form a great relationship with them and the company they work for. The importance of protecting your vehicle investment and safety while driving is evident, so for the time it takes to research a repair shop that is perfect for you, you will definitely see the positive. TSC Ford Specialist is also a family run business that cares about each and every person that walks through our doors as if they were part of our own family. That is a wonderful feeling.
It is not really about how to find the right mechanic for your Ford, what it really boils down to, is what company provides the most skilled employees, has fair prices, excellent customer service and satisfaction, clean service bays, and convenience when booking. TSC Ford Specialist is a great place to start when answering those questions, and we are sure you will agree that our way of doing business will make you take notice. Call today to schedule your service or repair.