Irvin Gordon has driven so many miles that the distance he’s traveled could circle the Earth 120 times. And he did it with one car.
Exactly 3,039,122 miles. That’s how much distance Gordon has covered in his 1966 Volvo 1800S.
While you may not reach the three-million-mile mark like Gordon, it’s actually quite easy to maintain a vehicle. Especially if it’s a well-made one like a Ford.
But in a vehicle with thousands of parts, where do you even begin to achieve that well-deserved longevity?
Today, we’ll explore the top ten places where you should direct your attention when considering a Ford repair. Most of them are a lot simpler than you might think.
Is Maintainenance Really Necessary?
Many people neglect to maintain and repair their vehicles because it saves money, which is why used car inspections are always a good idea when purchasing a vehicle.
Except neglecting your vehicle really doesn’t save money.
In the long run, continuing to perform routine maintenance will save you hundreds of dollars. Replacing brake pads, for instance, may cost around $150. This may seem like a high price for maintenance until you consider the cost of rotor repair, which a vehicle will need if its brakes have been ignored for too long.
Taking care of the brake pads instead of brake pads and rotors will net you $500 in savings.
When it’s time to sell your car off to the next person or trade it in, taking care of your ride will also mean that you can typically secure a higher price. Sometimes the difference can mean thousands of extra dollars.
And then there’s a simple fact that it’s safer. That month you spent $150 on brakes and had to cut back on eating out could quite literally save your life.
The Top 10 Ford Repair Tips
Mostly, it really comes down to routine maintenance. Many of the suggestions listed below have the added bonus of low or moderate costs.
“Aside from fuel the most important fluid your vehicle needs is oil,” states Will Maley of US News.
It may seem like a bit much to change the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or whatever your Ford owner’s manual states. However, oil plays a crucial role in how your vehicle runs.
Oil lubricates the metal parts within your car, ensuring they do not wear and cause damage. It also collects dirt and particles to keep the vehicle’s engine running at a smooth purr.
When the oil isn’t changed regularly, the particles caught within it will begin to corrode the parts in your vehicle. The substance will also lose its ability to lubricate, meaning you’ll have metal scraping against metal.
Even worse is when sludge builds up from old oil, causing catastrophic engine damage.
2. Tire Rotation
Have you ever driven a very old vehicle with very worn tires on a very icy road? It’s no picnic.
Tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 to 7,500 miles to help your wheels wear evenly. Doing so also gives you more control over the vehicle so that if you have to stop or turn in an emergency you will have an easier time doing so.
And in the case of that old vehicle with the worn tires, it means a lot less sliding about over ice.
Furthermore, rotating the tires extends the life of the rubber products themselves.
If cars were alive those high-pitched screeches would be akin to the worst possible toothache you could imagine.
It’s one of the reasons we have it listed as a necessary Ford repair. Because, really, your poor Ford Escort or F150 shouldn’t be in that much agony.
Brake systems squeeze your tires, creating friction so that the vehicle slows. When brake pads begin to wear, however, you may have metal squeezing against metal.
The destruction can be horrific, causing damage to rotors and disks and putting you — and any other passengers — in jeopardy.
If you hear high screeches or if your car shudders while braking, get those pads replaced.
4. Transmission Fluid
Rebuilding a transmission can cost thousands of dollars, and we’re sure it’s a cost you want to avoid. That’s why changing the transmission fluid is another tip when it comes to Ford repair.
Just like oil, this fluid is necessary to properly lubricate components.
Change this fluid every two years or 30,000 miles if you want a long-lasting car.
Frayed or snapped accessory belts can result in damage to the engine, steering and electrical charging systems.
It doesn’t take much to notice if a belt is worn. Look for cracks, tatters, and splits.
These are the weakest part of a vehicle’s cooling system, which is why it is a necessary Ford repair.
Coolant hose failure has the same results as weakened belts, but it can be much more difficult to spot potential problems. The most common reason hoses fail, rupture or leak is because of contaminants in the coolant, which eat the hose from the inside.
To prevent this, ensure your coolant is always at the appropriate level and flush it accordingly. You can also check hoses for soft spots, cracks, and bulges.
7. Air filters
Tri-City News explains, “For every gallon of gas a car burns, it uses the equivalent of 12,000 gallons of air, and that air must be filtered to help keep an engine clean.”
Air filters catch all the nasty stuff our vehicles collect as we zoom along. When these aren’t cleaned, the engine is compromised.
Keep that filter clean by replacing it with every oil change or every 8,000 miles. It’s cheap, easy to do and well worth the effort and cost.
Cool your engine. We mean that literally.
Engine coolant alleviates the extreme heat created by a vehicle’s engine. Antifreeze, or coolant, also lubricates vehicle parts and contains anti-corrosive compounds, meaning it will make all those important pieces do what they’re supposed to do.
The average life of antifreeze is 5 years and 60,000 miles, quite a long time before it needs to be flushed. However, it’s a good idea to check it periodically to ensure it shouldn’t be topped off.
And please, do not add water to the coolant (like, ever) or open the radiator cap to check fluid levels until the car has had ample time to cool. This will keep you and your vehicle safe.
We get those letters in the mail and groan, but we really shouldn’t. Recalls are free ways to ensure our vehicles are maintained correctly and safe to drive.
If you have limited time, consider taking your vehicle in during its regularly-scheduled maintenance to attend to recalls.
10. Use Ford Parts
Yes, they’re more expensive than the off-brands. But will they last longer?
After-market parts might offer similar durability, but many are not fitted correctly for your vehicle, making their comparison to OEM parts questionable. It’s better to play it safe.
Give Your Car the Life It Deserves
If you’re not car-savvy, don’t worry. There are several ways to find the perfect mechanic for your Ford repair needs.
However, by following these 10 guidelines, your car will live long and prosper. Keep up with that maintenance so that you can zoom around the country with an easy mind.