The Best Family-Friendly Films of Summer 2016

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for theaters. That’s because there are so many blockbusters coming out! With so many big movies to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are suitable for the entire family. Fortunately, we’ve assembled a list of the best family-friendly films of this summer!

The Angry Birds Movie (May 20)

Based on the phone-based game of the same name, The Angry Birds Movie follows the adventures of some very perturbed birds on a mission to get their eggs back.

Finding Dory (June 17)

In a follow-up story to 2003’s Finding Nemo, everybody’s favorite forgetful fish Dory must embark on a journey to find her family somewhere beyond the sea.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Ever wonder what pets do when their owners are away? This animated movie from the team behind Despicable Me answers that question in a hilarious way!

Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22)

The latest installment in the Ice Age series of movies involves the gang looking for a way to stop a huge asteroid that is headed straight for the Earth!

My Old Car—Should I Trade it In or Sell It?

vehicle salesWhen the time comes to get a new car, most people want to get rid of their old one. To do this, you have two choices: you can trade it in or sell it yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which is best for you.

Trading it in

When you trade in your car, the dealership will evaluate your car, look at all of its features, consider any damage and offer you a price. You can use that money and put it directly toward the purchase of your next car. This is by far the easiest way to rid yourself of your old set of wheels since there is very little you have to do.

Selling it yourself

If you want to sell your car yourself, this will take a lot more work. You will have to advertise your vehicle, determine how much you are willing to sell it for, keep it insured, and take time out of your day for test drives.

When you do a private-party sale of your car, you may end up getting more money for it, but after you consider the cost of keeping it insured, possibly paying for advertising, doing any necessary cleaning and repairs, and taking time for test drives, that financial benefit begins to wane.

In the end, if you are willing to take the time and effort required to sell your own car, then by all means, go for it. But, if you prefer a no-hassle approach, bring your old car in to Friendly Ford and we promise to give you a fair price for your car.

An Explanation of Drive Systems: Which Is Right for You?

All-wheel-drive (AWD), front-wheel-drive (FWD), rear-wheel-drive (RWD), and four-wheel-drive (4WD) describe how the power from the engine is delivered to the wheels. These four systems help us to understand how the car drives, and how it will handle in different conditions. If you don’t understand the differences between the systems, it can be overwhelming to know which system is right for your lifestyle.

All-wheel-drive (AWD) – Power is delivered to all four wheels as needed, all the time, resulting in improved traction and reliable handling in all weather conditions. Car shoppers who live in areas that get a lot of snow, ice, or rain should consider AWD. Keep in mind that because AWD systems are heavier than FWD or RWD, you’ll likely sacrifice some fuel economy.

Front-wheel-drive (FWD) – Power is sent from the engine to the front wheels. Since the front wheels do the steering and deliver the power, FWD vehicles provide impressive traction on slippery streets. FWD has become increasingly popular as the go-to option for passenger sedans.

Rear-wheel-drive (RWD) – Power is sent from the engine to the rear wheels only. Most commonly found in sports cars, performance vehicles, and heavy-duty utility vehicles, the extra power in the rear allows for speedier takeoff and acceleration.

2015 Ford Mustang

The 2015 Ford Mustang is a RWD Sports Coupe

Four-wheel-drive (4WD) – Equal amounts of power are sent to the front and rear tires for improved traction while navigating difficult terrain in slippery conditions, including dirt, mud, sand, and snow. Generally, 4WD is reserved for true off-roading vehicles, like truck-based SUVs and pickups. Shoppers who are looking to get off the beaten-path should consider 4WD.

Visit thecarconnection.com for more useful information.

Here at Friendly Ford, we’d be happy to give you an explanation of drive systems to help you find the right fit for your lifestyle.

2016 Escape Equipped with Ford SYNC 3 Connectivity System

2015 Ford Escape

2015 Ford Escape Interior

The all-new 2016 Escape will be equipped with the Ford SYNC 3 Connectivity System that will provide quicker performance, voice recognition, and a touchscreen that’s easier to use than ever before. The new technology will also debut on the Ford Fiesta.

SYNC 3 will also include AppLink, which provides control over smart phone apps, as well as enhanced 911 Assist, Wi-Fi software updates, and Siri Eyes-Free capability for iPhones.

Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company Vice President of US Marketing, Sales and Service, said, “SYNC always has been about providing a safer way for our customers to connect their smartphones in order to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

Ford introduced SYNC to its lineup first in 2007 and continues to update it with the latest technology to provide the best in-car connectivity available. If you’re interested in learning more about Ford’s all-new SYNC 3 technology, visit us at Friendly Ford.

Summer Travel Tips for a Memorable Vacation

vacationThe time has officially come; summertime is here! For those of you about to head out on the vacation of a lifetime, or for those just making a road trip upstate, we’ve compiled a small list of some summer travel tips that will hopefully make your journey a little easier.

  1. Saving Money – If you’re traveling by car, save money by taking a cooler with drinks and food along with you. You’ll need to stop less and purchased food costs won’t add up. If you’re planning to fly, you can save money by bundling the hotel, car, and airfare.
  1. Think in Body Sections – Unless you’re a professional packer, remembering everything can be difficult. If you think in portions of your body it will help. Write your main body parts down and next to them write what you’ll need to take with you.
  1. Pack Old Clothing – If you’re like most people, souvenirs are a must when traveling. However, if you have a bag that’s already full, making room for new things will prove difficult. If you choose to wear old clothing on the trip that can be tossed at the end, you’ll have much more room for new stuff you buy along the way.
  1. Keeping Kids Occupied – Plan ahead and pack coloring books, paper, crossword puzzles, and other games to keep your kids occupied while on a long journey. Take a Ziploc bag full of crayons and you’re all set.
  1. Pack Change of Clothes – In a separate bag, pack one change of clothes for everyone on the trip just in case they’re needed.

We hope you all have a safe and relaxing summer vacation! For more summer travel tips, click here.

2015 Chicago Music Festivals

ChicagoOther than the wind, Chicago is also well-known for being a hotspot for some of the country’s biggest and most relevant music festivals. The following is a few of the bigger 2015 Chicago music festivals going down this year. We at Friendly Ford suggest you check one—or all—of them out!

 

Lollapalooza
Date: July 31-August 2
Location: Grant Park
The lineup for Lollapalooza 2015 looks like a who’s who list of the greatest and most influential artists in the world. Headliners this year include Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, and Metallica.

Pitchfork
Date: July 17-19
Location: Union Park
To say that Pitchfork, the internet publication, is an authority in the indie music world is a grand understatement. So they should be great at putting together the lineup for a festival, right?  Right. Headlining the Pitchfork Festival 2015 are Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper.

Chicago Blues Fest
Date: June 12-14
Location: Grant Park
One of the coolest things about the Blues Fest is that you can see contemporary Blues legends as well as local cats. Buddy Guy headlines on Saturday.

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

After a brutally cold and snowy winter, spring is finally just around the corner. The frigid winter months are tough on your car, and it’s time to tell your vehicle “thank you” for getting you through the season, and prepare it for the warmer months ahead. Those at The News Wheel are one step ahead of us, preparing a helpful checklist to make sure your car is in tip-top shape for hitting the road this summer.

Here is a checklist of our own:

Clean, wash, and wax. It’s important to give your car a good wash after the last snow of the season to remove salt, dirt, and grime. This is also a good time to wax your car to revive that new-car shine and add a protective coating.  While you’re at it, clean out the inside, get rid of all those extra winter layers, and vacuum the interior.

Check the battery. Frigid temperatures are particularly tough on your battery. Have the battery’s life checked to be sure it’s holding a charge.

serviceCheck belts and hoses. Cracked or worn belts and hoses can become a major problem. If you notice any wear and tear or loose belts, bring your car by Friendly Ford’s service department as soon as possible to avoid costly issues down the road.

Check the tires. Over-worn tires can pose serious safety issues. They don’t provide the traction or control needed for everyday driving, and can become downright deadly in rain. Also check to make sure your tires are properly inflated according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Check the windshield wipers. If your wipers aren’t clearing your windshield, make sure you replace them. Summer sunshine and heat will only damage existing cracks and worn rubber more.

Replace lights. Check the headlights, taillights, blinkers, high beams, and interior lights, then replace bulbs as necessary.

Check fluids. Check the engine oil, coolant, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.