How can I maintain my Ford throughout the seasons?
Canada is one of the few countries in the world that experiences all four seasons, each with its own driving challenges. Follow these seasonal driving tips to stay safe in every type of weather this year.
Spring Maintenance Tips
Suspension and Wheel Alignment
Winter can be unfriendly to shocks and struts. Having an inspection to determine wear or leaks, as well as having your wheels properly aligned after tough weather conditions, can help lead you in a safe direction.
Your car has several air filters that should be replaced regularly, especially during allergy season. Check your engine air filter, your cabin air filter (also known as the pollen filter), and your fuel filter for damage or clogging and replace them if necessary. Every 24,000 kilometres is a common standard.
When you change your filter, you should also check your power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, your windshield washer fluid, and your coolant. If the levels are low, top them up, and flush/replace them as recommended in your Owner's Manual.
Windshield Wiper Blades
If they are torn or cracked, your wiper blades will not do you much good in the middle of unrelenting spring showers when visibility is reduced.
Interior and Exterior Lighting
Check all exterior and interior lighting to identify any problems. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn.
Oil and Oil Filter
Changing your oil and filter at the intervals recommended in your vehicle's Owner's Manual is one of the best ways to keep the engine running smoothly, significantly decreasing the risk of high fuel consumption or severe engine damage.
- Check the pressure of all your tires (including the spare) monthly, and maintain the optimal pressure recommended in your Owner's Manual.
- Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and for cuts or bruises on the sidewalls. See Signs That You Need New Tires for more information.
- We suggest rotating your tires every oil and filter change and replacing them if they are worn or damaged.
After a season of snow and ice, we recommend that you inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, parking brake, and brake fluid for proper level. We rely on our brakes, and something as simple as a brake pad change can help put an end to any worries about brake safety.
Winter Maintenance Tips
Avoid Spinning Your Tires
Stuck in the snow? Stop spinning your tires and use a shovel or ice scraper to remove any snow or ice from underneath the tires. Pour sand, gravel, or salt if you have it, under the drive-wheel tires to help improve your traction. Then turn off your vehicle’s Traction Control™ (if equipped) and try accelerating gently both forward and in reverse. If none of these techniques work, call for Ford Roadside Assistance.
Know What to Do if You Start Skidding
If your vehicle starts to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, gradually turn your vehicle in the direction you are skidding and gently apply steady pressure to your vehicle’s brakes. Do not pump your brakes, as it may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Measure Tires for Optimal Pressure
Cold temperatures can cause tire pressure to decrease. Always keep your tires properly inflated and measure them regularly for optimal tire pressure.
Keep Your Gas Tank Half Full
Keep your gas tank at least half full because it gives you added weight to the vehicle and also helps keep ice crystals from forming in your fuel line.
Winterproof the Windshields
Check your windshield wipers for cracks, which could cause streaks. Also, top off your windshield washer fluid regularly and keep an extra jug designed for cold weather in your vehicle.
Keep Your Cellphone Charged
Keep your cell phone charged and keep a phone charger handy in case you need to call for help.
Be Prepared to Jumpstart Your Vehicle
Keep a set of booster cables in your vehicle in case you or another driver needs a boost. You can view instructions on how to jumpstart your vehicle here or in your Owner's Manual.
Keep Your Car Emergency Kit Handy
Keep a first-aid kit and warning devices (such as road flares) in your vehicle. Make sure to replace items if you use them.
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