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.

How to Remove Scratches from Your Car

Most drivers like to make sure their ride stays in pristine condition for as long as possible. While a few scratches aren’t the end of the world, they can be can a blemish on your otherwise perfect car. Fortunately for you, they don’t have to be. Here’s our advice on how to remove scratches from your car’s paint.

Before you get started, you’ll need to check each and every scratch you plan to fix. Do so by dragging your fingernail over the scratch. If your nail gets caught, the scratch may be too deep to fix.

Once you’ve determined the depth of each scratch, clean them carefully. The last thing you want is dirt and grime caught in your paint. After the scratches (and surrounding areas) are clean, it’s time to get started.

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Grab a tube of toothpaste and a soft cloth. Dampen the cloth and add a few dabs of toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste over the scratches in small circular motions. The deeper the scratch, the more toothpaste and time this will take.

To check whether the scratch is gone, simply lift the cloth and take a look. If the scratch isn’t visible or you’re satisfied with the result, that’s it. Removing a scratch from your car really is that simple!

Dwayne Johnson and Ford Team Up to Promote Ford Service

In its newest marketing campaign, Ford has enlisted celebrity Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to lead a series of commercials that will tout Ford Motor Company’s factory service professionals. In his role, the Fast and Furious star will lead a team of “Specialists” who are prepared to tackle any issue that may come up with your Ford vehicle.

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Ford hasn’t released many details, but we do know that the Specialists are an elite crew of Ford technicians, trained and equipped to handle anything. We suspect the spots will offer a healthy amount of humor to highlight Ford’s superior service departments.

According to a recent news release, the Dwayne Johnson and Ford partnership stems from Johnson’s genuine love for the brand, having owned several Ford vehicles over the years.

Look for the ads to begin airing this week, along with other related content!

Here at Friendly Ford, we know you have a choice when it comes to servicing your vehicle. Stop by to meet our friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient staff, and see how we can meet your car’s needs!

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.

What Does Oil Do?

oilRoutine maintenance on your vehicle is just that—routine. So it isn’t often you think about why something needs to be done. Some drivers simply follow their owner’s manual while others listen to the advice of friends and family. One important part of routine maintenance is changing the oil regularly. This is an extremely important part of owning a car, yet many owners aren’t sure what oil does. We at Friendly Ford are here to answer that question: just what does oil do?

Oil works in three ways to keep the engine operating smoothly. First, it helps keep the metal parts that are constantly mashing together lubricated to prevent any damage to the engine. It also carries away any dirt, grime, and metal shavings between parts.

Second, the engine is constantly setting off very small, contained explosions within its cylinders. That generates a lot of heat; oil helps to remove some of that heat and heat caused by friction between the moving parts.

Third, it keeps carbon and varnishes from building up in the engine. A very expensive engine cleaning is the only effective way to remove carbon and varnish build up. The worst that can happen if you don’t change your oil is your engine could seize up entirely. Trust us; that’s not a bill you want to pay!

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.