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.

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!

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.

Winter-Ready Features

Winter-Ready FeaturesIn Roselle, we have had our fair share of cold weather days – in fact, months of it! Below is a list of winter-ready features that make winter driving a little more enjoyable.

  • Heated Seats – These are perfect on mornings where you don’t have enough time to let your car run long enough for it to heat up the entire inside. Heated Seats can take the chill away sooner, making your drive in to work a little more enjoyable.
  • Heated Mirrors – These are great on days when your car is covered in ice! Instead of having to scrape the ice off of your mirrors, your car does it for you!
  • Winter-Ready Features

    2014 Ford Explorer Interior

    Have an all-wheel drive option – AWD and 4×4 vehicles can make you feel a little bit better about hitting the road when there are inches of snow on the ground.

  • Remote Start – This comes in handy in the mornings! You can turn your car on and get the heat running from inside your warm and cozy home. When you’re ready to hit the road, your car is too!
  • Dual Zone Heating – You and your passenger can choose the temperature that is just right for them! This way you will not be too hot or too cold.

Many of these features are available on Ford models found at our dealership! Which winter-ready feature is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!

Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow

Winter is officially here. It did not take long to make its presence known either as much of the Midwest and the East coast has already been hammered. This is probably a sign of things to come the next couple months as well. After a big snow storm hits, playing in the snow can be a lot of fun. Shoveling snow on the other hand, is not much fun. In fact, it can be pretty dangerous.

Shoveling driveways and sidewalks can actually make for a pretty good workout. However, snow shoveling has also been linked to an increasing number of heart attacks.

According to researchers, this could be caused by the quick increase in heart rate and blood pressure caused by the strenuous exercise of shoveling. Combine that with frigid temperatures and it can make breathing a lot more difficult.

Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid injuries and heart problems:

 

  • Make sure to bundle up and dress warmly. Multiple layers is recommended.
  • Do a couple warm up exercises to get your body loose. It’s never fun pulling a muscle.
  • Shovel in short intervals. It’s also good to take 10 minute breaks in between
  • When lifting snow bend from your knees and not from your back
  • It’s much less strenuous to push the snow whenever possible instead of lifting and carrying it
  • Try not to shovel snow after a big meal, or after consuming caffeine and nicotine. This can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated. It’s always good to replenish your fluids during any physical exercise.

Friendly Ford hopes everyone enjoys their winter and is able to stay safe this season!