Fords run like a dream when you treat them right. Nothing quite beats the feeling of driving down the road in an American-made vehicle.
But like any truck or car, Fords break down. It’s a part of car ownership we’re all too familiar with. It seems like there’s always something to work on.
And repairs are costly. The average person spends $100 per month on repair costs for their new car. The key word being new. Used cars cost even more.
That’s why we’re proponents of truck maintenance to stop issues before they arise. With the proper preventative maintenance, your monthly costs decrease, while your Ford’s lifespan increases.
To help keep your truck running for years to come, we’re bringing you our six best Ford maintenance tips.
Changing your oil is the obvious first step in DIY Ford maintenance. Everyone knows the standard 3,000-mile oil change mantra.
However, there’s a little more to DIY oil changes than pouring new oil into your vehicle.
Oil keeps your engine lubricated. Without enough oil, or with dirty oil, your engine component won’t run smoothly. This causes what’s known as a “seized” engine.
You’ll need to periodically check your engine oil using the dipstick. When you’re taking the levels is also the time to check your oil’s color.
A lighter color means cleaner oil, while a dark black color means dirtier oil.
Changing your oil involves jacking up your car to access the oil reservoir. First, run the truck to get the oil moving.
Next, turn the truck off and position your oil pan under your oil reservoir. Unscrew the oil reservoir bolt (on the bottom of the reservoir) and let the oil drain.
While the oil drains change your oil filter (located under the truck’s hood). Once the oil drains, screw in the oil reservoir bolt and then add fresh oil through the dipstick hole under the hood.
Make sure to consult your owner’s manual for the correct type of oil.
Brake systems break down into three main components. We have your brake pads, rotors, and calipers.
Calipers use the fluid pressure from your brake fluid to push your brake pads against your rotors. The brake pads then create friction with the rotors which slows down your truck.
Checking your brake pads for wear is the easiest way to keep your brake system working. Worn pads damage your rotors prematurely, causing unnecessary maintenance costs.
Brake pads have small indicators that tell when they’re too worn to use. You’ll know to check your pads when you hear a slight grinding while braking.
First, jack up your truck. Next, use a tire iron to remove a tire’s lug nuts. Finally, unclip (small clips hold your brake pads against the rotors) the pads and check their wear.
Worn pads are easily replaceable at your local auto-parts store. Repeat the process for every tire on your vehicle.
Watch the Recalls
Our next Ford maintenance tip might be the easiest. Make sure you’re signed up for Ford’s mailing list to receive recall notices on your truck.
Sometimes things go wrong during even the smoothest manufacturing processes, and it’s impossible to know when a problem could arise.
Driving your truck with a recall could at worst put you in danger, and at best cause long-term damage to your vehicle.
If you do get a recall notice in the mail, visit the dealership as soon as possible to have the problem fixed.
Recalls are usually covered under warranty, making the work free. And free is the best price.
Washing your truck does more than keep it looking nice. Grim, dirt, and salt in colder climates can eat away at your truck’s body and undercarriage.
Road salt especially destroys undercarriages, rusting them extremely quickly. If you live in a place with lots of road salt, washing your undercarriage is crucial.
Though even if you live somewhere without road salt it’s still important to periodically wash your truck.
Normal wear and tear can wear away at your paint, which in turn causes rust.
Exterior Ford maintenance goes beyond just washing your truck. Taking care of your vehicle’s exterior is an involved process.
After you’ve done the aforementioned washing, wax your truck to finish the job. The wax protects your paint job, which in turn protects your truck from rust.
Wax is easy to find at any automotive store, with different types working best in different environments. Make sure to pick the kind that suits your environment.
Regularly checking your vehicle’s fluids is our last Ford maintenance tip. Essentially, if it has a gauge under the hood, check the fluid.
This includes brake, wiper, coolant, and more.
Low brake fluid prevents you from stopping. Low coolant can overheat your car, and even low wiper fluid can damage your windshield wiper blades.
Brake fluid, oil, and coolant can all evaporate during normal usage. They’re all also prone to leaks.
While low wiper fluid might just mean new wiper blades, low coolant could mean an entirely new engine.
Take the few seconds to check and top-off your fluids on a routine basis.
Ford Maintenance is Simple
Taking care of your Ford truck takes nothing more than some time and knowing your way around your truck. And if you’re going to own the vehicle, you may as well know how to maintain it.
From oil changes to brakes, and washing to waxing, DIY Ford maintenance isn’t difficult. There’s no excuse not to extend your vehicle’s life.
But even though basic maintenance is easy, sometimes you’ll run into complex problems.
When you’re in need of some expert advice, we’re here to help. Our guides and repair manuals can help solve even the toughest problems.
We’re car enthusiasts, just like you. We take pride in providing like-minded people with high-quality information to make their lives easier.
So the next time you’re stuck, don’t stress! Just head over to our website and start searching. We’re confident you’ll find what you need.