Tips for Winter Driving: Proper Maintenance

car tire in snow - tips for winter drivingWinter is here, which means you’ll need to get used to driving in cold weather. From ice to snow, driving conditions simply get worse when the thermometer dips. That’s why it’s important to stay prepared. Read on to learn more about tips for winter driving.

To begin with, check your tires. If you haven’t already considered buying winter tires, now is the time to get them. These tires are made with special rubber compounds that stand up in cold weather. They also have thicker treads to help with slippery surfaces, and special trenches divert water to prevent hydroplaning. In cold weather, it’s also important to check tire pressure, as the psi dips when the temperature lowers.

According to Market Wire, you should also be sure to add antifreeze.

Thwindshield on winter drive - tips for winter drivingough water works well as coolant during the summertime, it can freeze and crack the engine in the winter. Antifreeze prevents this—usually a 50/50 blend works best. In fact, many technicians find that a blend works better in lower temperatures than pure antifreeze. In short, follow the directions.

Finally, change your oil. Cold weather usually calls for a less viscous—or less thick—oil. Plus, by the end of the year, it’s likely that you need to change your oil anyway. Opting for a thicker oil will help coat the engine and provide a better layer of lubrication, extending the life of your car.

In conclusion, check your tire pressure, add antifreeze, and be sure to change the oil. These are the best tips for winter maintenance you’ll find anywhere.

Watch Out for These Vehicle Warning Signs!

Dashboard Warning LightsKeeping track of your vehicle’s health can be as easy as looking at the dashboard, provided you know what each light stands for. While most drivers know the basics, like the battery and tires, other warning lights are less common. That’s where we come in. Here are some explanations of helpful vehicle warning signs you should know.

  • Airbag – Lighting upon initially starting the car, the airbag fault light depicts a large circle in front of a seatbelt-secured driver. While it normally turns off after a brief second, it might stay on and that’s when you need to be worried. If the light stays on, it means the system has found a problem with the airbag system. Take it to a service technician for repair right away.
  • Overdrive – Simply “O/D OFF,” this light indicates that someone in the car has turned off the overdrive system. To turn it back on, simply press the on/off button and worry no more.
  • ESP – A triangle with an exclamation point in the middle surrounded by an arrow, this light indicates there’s a problem with the traction control system. It’s designed to keep you on the road, so professional attention is highly recommended to fix the problem.

2017 Ford Fusion Preview

2016 Ford Fusion

Current Ford Fusion Available at Friendly Ford

The Ford Fusion is an affordably-priced midsize sedan that’s seen great reviews among enthusiasts and drivers alike. With plenty of trims to choose from, drivers can get the exact car they want. Boasting plenty of power, a high-class interior, and a sleek design, the 2017 Ford Fusion promises to build on the previous model’s success.

Starting at just $22,120, the 2017 Ford Fusion comes in 12 available trim levels, including a hybrid model. With conventional models earning up to an EPA-estimated 21 city/32 hwy mpg and the hybrid variant earning up to an EPA-estimated 43 city/41 hwy mpg, the Ford Fusion is one of the most efficient models in its segment.

The new Ford Fusion features four available engines, ranging from a 1.5-liter four cylinder to a 2.7-liter V6. With power ratings from 175-325 hp and 175-350 lb-ft of torque, this midsize sedan packs a punch no matter what engine drivers choose.

Featuring an innovative Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that monitors and alerts you to a potential collision, the latest Fusion is the safest yet. With this car’s standard features designed to inspire peace of mind, drivers can rest easy behind the wheel of the Ford Fusion.

We are starting to see the new Fusions on our lot here in Roselle. Stop on by for a test drive!

Ford’s Pothole Protection System in Development for 2017 Ford Fusion

potholeOne of the more unfortunate parts of living in a big city is the potholes. Potholes seem to show up on the road all the time. What’s worse is that they can often cause some serious damage to your vehicle! If you’ve ever dreamed of a system that could help you avoid these potholes in the road, Ford has made your dream a reality.

According to a Ford press release, the automaker has developed a pothole protection system for the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Ford’s pothole protection system uses computer-controlled shock absorption to minimize the amount of damage potholes can do to your car.

“The new Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver,” says Jason Michener, Ford continuously controlled damping engineering expert. “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.”

The 2017 Ford Fusion is just the first vehicle in the Ford lineup to make use of this revolutionary technology. Hopefully, it will spread to other vehicles in the near future in order to help drivers everywhere avoid the constant and irritating potholes on city roads!

Ford Tests Driverless Vehicles in Snowy Conditions

snowy roadSeveral automakers are currently testing driverless technology. However, Ford Motor Company is going above and beyond to test driverless vehicles in a variety of conditions.

One of the biggest questions about driverless cars is how the sensors and cameras will be able to function in snow or other bad weather. Autonomous vehicles use sensors, cameras, radar, and other technology to pinpoint their location, but what will happen when snow covers the cameras and lane markers?

Ford is working to solve that problem by testing a fleet of driverless Fusion Hybrids on a snow-covered, 32-acre, closed-course testing facility in Ann Arbor. Ford has been working with the University of Michigan to develop special 3D maps. These maps will allow the vehicle to precisely understand the road’s signs and markings no matter what the weather.

Fusion Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

The 3D maps are created to contain useful information allowing the car to localize, even with snowy conditions. Ford is even hoping to enable the program to recognize when the weather is too rough and stop driving.

Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, said in a statement, “Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions — for the roughly 70% of US residents who live in snowy regions.”

We at Friendly Ford are thankful that we are part of a company that cares about the safety of its customers. Being in Chicago, we know about snow and are excited to see the testing of driverless vehicles in snowy conditions!

How to Find the Best Vehicle for a Young Driver

2016 Ford Focus

2016 Ford Focus

Finally allowing your teen to drive on his or her own can be a nail-biting experience. It’s not that they are incompetent but you can’t control all of the other drivers out there.

One thing that you can do to help is to get them a great car, one that has all of the important features to keep them safe and sound. The best vehicle for a young driver should have the following features.

Mild Horsepower

A lot of horsepower may tempt your teen to test the limits of the vehicle. On the other hand, healthy acceleration is actually essential to safety. In those rare times you need it, it should be there.

No Minicars

Just as you would imagine, cars that are extremely small simply do not perform as well as their larger counter parts.

Safety Ratings

By far the most important feature is safety. Both the IIHS and NHTSA test all of the vehicles on the market. You should look for top-scoring vehicles. In fact, the IIHS compiles a list of the Best Used Vehicle Choices for Teens every year. Check it out here!

 

Jump Start a Car in 15 Minutes or Less

jump startKnowing how to jump start a car is one of the basic skills every new driver should have to learn. Not only could it help them, it could help others as well. With the increasing availability of roadside assistance, the know-how of jump starting a car is slowly becoming something many young drivers don’t know. Jump starting a car doesn’t take long – it can take less than 15 minutes and we here at Friendly Ford have the steps to make it so!

  1. Arrange the cars nose to nose and put them in park. Manual transmission vehicles should be left in neutral with the parking brake set.
  2. Attach the positive (red) ends of your jumper cable to the positive (red) terminals of both the dead and live batteries in that order. Attach the negative (black) end of your jumper cable to the live battery’s negative terminal.
  3. The other end of the negative cable should be attached to a jumping post or other piece of non-painted metal near the dead battery. Don’t touch the battery itself. If you can’t find a jumping post, an unpainted bolt will do.
  4. Once all the cables are attached, start the car with the live battery and let it run for a few minutes. Lightly rev the engine once or twice.
  5. Try to start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, let both vehicles idle for a few minutes.
  6. Disconnect the cables in the opposite order you attached them. Start with the negative cable attached to the jumping post. If you’re unsure about any of this, your owner’s manual should have further instructions.

2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is a Top Safety Pick

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

The 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the second year running.

In the moderate overlap front, side, head restraints and seats, and roof strength tests, the C-MAX Hybrid received the highest possible score of “Good,” highlighting its ability to protect passengers in nearly all conventional crash scenarios.

In the more difficult small overlap front crash test, which the IIHS deems the toughest front-side test performed by either itself or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the C-MAX Hybrid earned the second-highest possible score of “Acceptable.”

It also comes with a plethora of standard equipment, including MyKey, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, driver and passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, a safety canopy system, SOS Post Crash Alert System, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Come test drive the 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid at Friendly Ford! And no, before you ask, we won’t let you try to crash it!