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Top Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.

THE CAR MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:

INSPECT AND MAINTAIN TIRES

Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.

CHANGE THE OIL

Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.

CHECK THE FLUIDS

There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.

TEST THE LIGHTS

A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.

REPLACE WINDSHIELD WIPERS

If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.

CHANGE YOUR ENGINE AIR FILTER

A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.

REGULAR CHECKUPS

Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.

HAVE YOUR BRAKES CHECKED

Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible

WASH YOUR CAR

Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.

CHECK BELTS AND HOSES

Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.

REVIEW YOUR CAR INSURANCE

Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

What is the fuel economy of the 2019 Ford Ranger


2019 Ford Ranger Efficiency Ratings

With the 4×2 configuration, the 2019 Ranger gets an estimated fuel economy of 21 city/26 highway/23 combined mpg. With the 4×4 configuration, the 2019 Ranger gets an estimated fuel economy of 20 city/24 highway/22 combined mpg. These are the best efficiency ratings of any gasoline-powered midsize pickup truck in the United States.


source:  ford.com

Payload and Tow Capacity of the 2019 Ford Ranger


BEST-IN-CLASS GAS PAYLOAD AND TOWING

You carry gear — and lots of it. And the new Ford Ranger has these big advantages over other gas-powered midsize pickups: best-in-class maximum 1,860-lb. payload* and 7,500- lb. tow** ratings. Need to haul more? Tow more? Head out to your next adventure in the all-new Ranger.
*Class is Midsize Pickups based on Ford segmentation.
**When properly equipped with the trailer tow package and a trailer brake controller. Class is Midsize Pickups based on Ford segmentation.

source:  ford.com

How does the Blind Spot Information System work on


Trailer blind spot profiles on the 2019 Ranger

While having blind spot warnings can be useful, if you are towing you may also want warnings about when a vehicles is next to your trailer. Fortunately BLIS on the 2019 Ford Ranger includes trailer coverage. Drivers can keep up to three trailer profiles in the Ranger’s system so that the radar knows the length of the trailer and how far back to provide warnings. It can be challenging to haul a trailer, but with the Blind Spot Information System on the 2019 Ford Ranger drivers can leave some worry behind.

You can see this in action on the video embedded in this page.

Rear cross traffic alert

In addition to BLIS (which will also work just fine without a trailer) the 2019 Ford Ranger is available with rear cross traffic alerts that will warn drivers if there is a car coming behind them when they are leaving a parking space. This can make leaving a parking lot or a tricky work site even easier.

source:  ford.com

2019 Ford F-150 CarGurus Test Drive Review

2019 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review

The Ford F-150 employs a few modest updates for 2019 to stay relevant in the face of completely redesigned competitors.

8.2 /10
OVERALL SCORE

2017 Ford Escape Test Drive Review


Join me in reviewing my time behind the wheel of Ford’s 2017 Escape SE!!!


Vehicle Stats

 

2017 Ford Escape

Trim:   SE

Exterior Color:  Black

Interior Trim:  Grey Cloth

Drive:  FWD

Engine: 1.5L 4-cylinder

MPG Reports:  City – 23 Highway – 30 

My MPG:  29.2 avg 85% Highway, 15% City

 

First impressions:  The 2017 Escape has a sporty and rugged appearance. It maintains the sleek body lines shared by previous model years, but has a more aggressive reconfigured nose and front end.

 

Ride, Drive & Comfort:  The Escape has a nice, smooth ride. I found the steering and suspension to be very responsive. It handled corners and transitions with ease. I noticed little road and wind noise. A definite improvement from previous model years. Like other 2017 Ford vehicles the cloth interior has a more rugged feel to it and seems much less prone to staining. The seats are comfortable and supportive. I found the seating position to be very driver friendly. It provided nice front and side visibility. The controls as well were all in easy reach for both driver and passenger. Ford SYNC system works very well and is leaps and bounds above previous versions. It paired seamlessly with my phone and automatically connected each time I entered the vehicle. The rear seats fold down allowing for additional storage. I also found that rear passenger leg room to be very reasonable for small vehicle. Something else that I found convenient was the Escape's tight turning radius. It made backing and maneuvering in tight parking lots easy.

 

Engine performance:  This Escape was equipped with Ford's 1.5L engine. It is a very good match for the FWD Escape. It is peppy and low speeds and pulling out into traffic and can still achieve 30 MPY Hwy, which is nice.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Ford Escape.  It's practical, looks good, nice MPG and reasonably priced. Which makes it a winner in my book.

2015 Ford F-150 XLT FX4 Test Drive Review


Join me in reviewing my time behind the wheel of a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT FX4!



2015 Ford F-150

Trim:   XLT, FX4

Drive:  4x4

Engine: 3.5L V6 Ecoboost

Fueleconomy.gov MPG Reports:  Combined – 19, City – 17, Highway – 23


 

First impressions:  There is a reason the iconic Ford F-150 has been the number one selling truck for 41 years straight. It is beautifully designed, powerful and fictional. Perfect for the family or job site, with a wide array of available options to suit any buyer.   

 

Ride, Drive & Comfort:  I have driven every body style Ford truck from 1957 - today and I have enjoyed each one for different reasons. The latest line of F-150's from Ford are truly awesome trucks. The truck was a joy to drive . The ride was really smooth and comfortable. The cabin is extremely roomy. Rear passengers have an abundance of leg room and the rear seat folds up clearing space for quite a bit of storage inside cab. I found front, side and rear visibility to be extremely good. No noticeable blind spots. Like all other Ford products, this truck had the optional back up camera. Which aided driver confidence when backing in crowded parking lots. Combined with the trailer tow package the back up camera also made hooking up a trailer easy. Driver controls are all within easy reach and easy to commit to memory. The radio had a great sound. A feature I particularly enjoyed when I was riding by myself was the ability to change the sound settings to driver only. It made it feel like the drivers seat had its own personal surround sound system!

 

Engine performance:  At 282 HP and 253 lb-ft of torque Ford’s 3.5 V6 is a very good match for this truck.  It had ample power for quick acceleration and passing.  The engine did what it was supposed to, when it was supposed to do it at a level that met / exceeded my expectations.  I took this truck on a trip to West Virginia to pick up a Ford Model T. On the way to West Virginia pulling an empty trailer we averaged 18.3 MPG. On the way home with car loaded we averaged 16.2 MPG. A side note after we were back home and had unhooked the trailer the truck averaged 23.1 MPG HWY. I was pleasantly surprised how power the 3.5L ecoboost engine was. Even when climbing hills towing the Model T in the Appalachians we could hardly tell the trailer was there. Can't say enough how enjoyable this test drive was!


Overall I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Ford F-150.  It is a sharp looking, versatile and practical vehicle.  With great power, smooth ride & great tow / haul capacity.