Yankee Ford http://www.yankeeford.com Mon, 11 Apr 2016 18:43:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 10 Spring Car Care Tips http://www.yankeeford.com/top-10-spring-car-care-tips/ Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:56:19 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=777 Top 10 Spring Car Care Tips Our spring car care tips will help you stay safe and keep your vehicle running smooth. Fact: 2,600 deaths a year occur from neglected vehicle maintenance. – National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

Each and every year cold temperatures, snow and ice, road salt, potholes, frost heaves, batteries, tires, brakes and suspensions put our vehicles to the test. While most new vehicles have “smart” computer systems that can alert us about this and that there can be some components that can make our vehicles unsafe if left unattended.

Add A Checkup To Your Spring Cleanup

Spring is the time to “thank” our hard-working vehicles for their great winter performance with a maintenance overhaul. There are plenty of things you can do yourself to help your vehicle get back to 100%. A spring checkup can help uncover winter damage but there may be some components that are harder to check without requiring a skilled technician to pinpoint the problem. You should have your engine analyzed by a competent technician and determine the if any of your vehicles components are in need of servicing.
  1. Batteries, Plugs & Wires: All of these components give the spark to your your vehicle and they work extra hard when it’s cold. Winter stress can compromise their performance up to 60 percent. Test and replace old or weak batteries, plugs and wires, especially those more than three years old. It will certainly be cheaper than a tow and replacement down the road.
  2. Tire Pressure: Cold weather can reduce tire pressure, so make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and balanced. You can check the inside of your car door to find out what the proper air pressure should be.
  3. Belts and hoses: Inspect and replace worn or cracked belts, as well as hoses that are blistered, brittle or too soft. Belts and hoses older than five years, even if they look intact, might need to be replaced.
  4. Brakes: After a season of snow and ice it is advisable to 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 worrys about brake safety.
  5. Suspension & Wheel Alignment: Deep potholes aren’t friendly to shocks and struts. An inspection to determine wear or leaks can alleviate bigger issues down the road. Also having your wheels properly aligned after a season of tough conditions can help keep you on the road in a safe direction.
  6. Fluid Levels: There are lots of things to check but don’t skip over any of them: engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze/coolant and, yes, even windshield washer fluid. Commonly a brake fluid flush can get your sluggish brakes working as good as new and because this is recomended once a year there is no better time to get it done.
  7. Engine Air filter: Changing out the engine air filter is a quick job that can be done during any oil, brake or transmission fluid change.
  8. Windshield Wipers: Check them for wear and cracks and replace them if necessary, think about doing this each spring and fall.
  9. Clean the interior: It’s easy to use your car or truck as a storage area for all kinds of things (including useless junk and garbage), especially in the cold months when you don’t feel like cleaning your car in the freezing cold. Take the time to declutter your car, losing the extra weight can significantly increase your gas mileage too. It’s worth it.
  10. Clean the exterior: Take special care to address the undercarriage where road salt can eat away or corrode the metal. A thorough cleaning at a car wash should do the trick.

100,000 mile maintenance

The average family drives about 12-15k miles which means that it is around the 7-10 year mark and time for a little more than your average overhaul. If you keep up with seasonal maintenance and the major maintenance benchmarks then there is no reason that you can’t see your vehicles odometer go to 200,000 miles and beyond.]]>
Regular Oil Change Service For Long Vehicle Life http://www.yankeeford.com/regular-oil-change-vehicle-life/ Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:05:35 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=758 Benefits of Regular Oil Changes The benefits of regular oil changes are many. In order to keep your vehicle performing optimally and to get the maximum life from your engine, your vehicle ABSOLUTELY needs an oil and filter change regularly. Why does your engine need a regular oil change? Let’s keep it simple and highlight some key facts about oil. Engine oil is a:
  • Lubricant – Oil, whether it is synthetic or natural is first and foremost a lubricant. After a while the oil will break down and lose its lubricating properties, this is natural and with almost any vehicle this will occur every 3 months of solid driving or 3,500-5,000 miles.
  • Coolant – Oil’s lubricating properties reduce friction and pulls heat away from the moving parts of the engine. Also most newer cars have an oil cooler that pumps cooled oil back through the engine to reduce overall temperature.
  • Cleaner – Engine oil will filter debris from the crank case and oil galleys. Most oil is also built with detergent packs which keep all internal moving parts clean. Cheap oil will work for any vehicle but your vehicle can really benefit from the good stuff.

The Importance Of An Oil Filter

Because engine oil is in constant contact with the many moving parts it can start to collect minor pieces of debris. An oil filter will sift these fine particles of debris out and collect them in its catch. If debris is left to build up the filter can become clogged and the entire system can suffer. Changing the engine oil filter at least every other oil change is recommended to ensure safe operation.

A Well Oiled Machine

Auto shops, like ours here at the Yankee Ford service department, can test your oil for signs of abnormal wear or metal deposits by testing oil. Catching these abnormalities early can help you save big money and increase fuel efficiency and the overall health and lifespan of your engine. Schedule an appointment today to help ensure the longevity and top performance of your vehicle.]]>
Why You Need a Wheel Alignment & How It’s Done http://www.yankeeford.com/why-you-need-a-wheel-alignment-how-its-done/ Thu, 28 Feb 2013 17:40:28 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=710 What Would Cause Me To Need A Wheel Alignment? In a word: Potholes. Potholes are an enemy of your car or truck. They show up unexpectedly and cause damage to tires, steering, and suspension parts, shocks and struts and not least of which…wheel alignments. If a pothole is large enough for the tire to drop into it you can expect damage to occur. Your only defense against the damage caused by potholes is avoid as many as possible and slow down for the ones you can not avoid. If you do hit a pothole with a jolt that jars your teeth it is best to have your vehicle looked at by your servicing mechanic. Even though there may not be visible damage there is the potential for problems.

Do I Need A Wheel Alignment?

Road surface such as potholes, hitting a curb, and just plain old driving time affect your wheel alignment and it is the alignment of the vehicle that maintains the tire’s proper contact with the road surface. If you notice that your vehicle is pulling left or right, or that your tire’s tread is wearing off on the inside or outside edge consult an alignment shop. However, pulling problems are not always related to wheel alignment. Problems with tires (especially unequal air pressure), brakes and power steering can also be responsible. It is up to a good wheel alignment technician to determine the cause. You will find that a properly aligned vehicle will save you money by increasing fuel economy by as much as 6% and providing extended tire life. Even if you don’t live in a pothole filled area, like Maine, a wheel alignment should still be performed annually as a preventative maintenance.

What’s Involved In A Wheel Alignment?

A proper wheel alignment should always start and end with a test drive. The front end and steering linkage will be checked for wear before performing an alignment. The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns from proper tire rotation, deep tread and sufficient tire pressure. A technician will determine, through a series of test and measurements how each tire needs to be balanced and aligned. However, if you find yourself discussing the specifics of an alignment you are really talking about toe, caster and camber measurements.
  • Toe measures the difference between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. This is determined by checking if the front of the tires are closer together than the rear of the tires your tires are toed in. This means your vehicle is going down road like a crab. If the toe isn’t corrected you can expect the tires to wear quickly.
  • Camber is the measurement that looks at how much a tire is leaning in or out. A camber problem will cause wear to the inside or outside edge of the tire.
  • Caster measures the relationship of the wheels to one another. Most vehicles today require a four wheel alignment. To have your vehicle properly aligned you need to find a shop that has the proper equipment and a qualified technician to perform the service.
Why You Should Rotate Your Tires & How Often http://www.yankeeford.com/why-you-should-rotate-your-tires-how-often/ Thu, 28 Feb 2013 17:26:23 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=697 Is Tire Rotation That Important? Regular tire rotation ensures that you are maintaining uniform tread-wear on all four tires which increases safety and generally prolongs the performance of your tires. And even though tire rotation can’t correct malfunctioning mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures, rotating them at regular intervals can help you to identify various mechanical issues, like wheel vibration, before they get out of hand.

Stay Legal – Stay Safe – Save Your Pennies

Legally speaking your tread needs to be a minimum of 1/16th of an inch deep. The “Penny Test” can help measure whether your tread is deep enough. When you put a penny into your tire trend Lincoln’s head should be covered? If it is then you are legal and safe. While checking the depth of the tread you should also note any differences you see between your front and rear tires tread-wear as you may be in need of a tire rotation. If Lincoln’s head is showing then you need to bring your vehicle in to Yankee Ford immediately so we can get you back to street-legal operation.

How Does It Work?

This tire rotation will bring the gently used rear tires up front, and place the heavily used front tires in the back, which extends the life of all four tires. Most cars on the road are two-wheel drive (2WD) and because the front wheels are responsible for moving and turning your car the tire treads will wear differently than your rear wheels. If your tread-wear is already uneven and isn’t being addressed it can start a chain reaction of mechanical issues which can jeopardize your safety and cost you a small fortune to fix. *For all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles the recommendation will likely be found in the Owner/Operator manual or can be obtained by speaking to the manufacturer or dealership. **Some specialty cars and trucks that have custom tires will NEVER need a tire rotation, so consult the manufacturer or dealership if you are unsure.

So How Often Should I Rotate My Tires?

We recommend a rotation every 3,000 – 5,000 miles whether they show signs of wear or not. We find that this timing is the easiest for our customers to remember because they are already bringing in their vehicles in for an oil change. To make sure everything else on your vehicle is running smoothly we will gladly give you a FREE multi-point inspection, so you can leave knowing your vehicle is safe and mechanically sound.

What About The Tire Manufacturer Warranty?

In fact, some tire manufacturers actually require periodic rotation as a condition of their warranty while some will even throw in free tire rotations. So make sure that you read your tire warranty thoroughly and maintain your tires appropriately.]]>
Winter Driving Safety Tips http://www.yankeeford.com/winter-driving-safety-tips/ Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:44:17 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=604 Top 10 Winter Driving Safety Tips Following basic winter driving safety protocol can make you safer and keep your mind at ease during snowy and icy conditions. Driving in the Northeast during winter or for that matter anywhere where snow is not uncommon can be a harrowing experience. It can be quite surprising how many people that live in cold weather climates are unprepared for winter driving. Here are our top ten winter driving tips that we have come up with that will make you safer and make your winter driving experience more enjoyable.
  1. Take More Time & Drive Slowly: It may seem obvious, but this point can’t be stressed enough, SLOW DOWN during snowy, icy road conditions. Give yourself extra time to arrive safely. Set your alarm early, leave early, do what you have to do.
  2. Accelerate Slowly: Applying gentle, even pressure when pressing the accelerator pedal will help prevent your vehicle wheels from spinning.
  3. Brake & Slow Down Gradually: Like acceleration, slowing down at a slower rate will help prevent you from going into a skid. Apply gentle, gradual pressure to the brake pedal will keep you from going into skid and coming to complete stop will be accomplished much easier.
  4. Remove Snow & Ice From Vehicle: Take the time to remove all the snow and ice from the windows, lights, and the wipers of your vehicle. Good visibility is critical to avoiding accidents and maintaining safe speed.
  5. Good Tires: Ideally, snow tires will make your travels safer but even all seasons with plenty of tread make a big difference. Investing in good tires is well worth it to stay safe.
  6. Cooling & Heating System: Make sure your vehicles cooling and heating system is in good working order. A coolant flush can help ensure the system is working well.
  7. Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your car in case you slide off the road or break down in winter conditions. At the minimum this should include snow shovel, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and blanket.
  8. Winter Wiper Blades & Washer Fluid: Winter blades will help keep your windshield free of snow and ice for better visibility. Winter washer fluid will help keep the liquid from freezing further improving your visibility.
  9. Avoid Cruise Control: Cruise control can put your vehicle into a slide if you hit ice; avoid using it during winter driving.
  10. Full Gas Tank: Keep your tank at least half full if not more so that you have enough fuel should you encounter lengthy travel or other problems.
Cooling Systems – Don’t Lose Your Cool! http://www.yankeeford.com/cooling-systems-dont-lose-your-cool/ Mon, 12 Nov 2012 16:06:27 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=449 Cooling Systems – Don’t Lose Your Cool! The number one cause of vehicle failure on the highway is cooling system failure. Overheating is caused by either restricted air flow through the radiator or a lack of circulation of coolant through the system. Automobile engines without proper cooling generate enough heat to destroy themselves. Even running a few miles with an overheating engine is risking doing damage that will cost in the thousands to repair. The best way to prevent over heating from occurring is by maintaining your cooling system. The average mileage recommendation for replacing coolant/antifreeze is 30000-40000 miles. There are coolants that require less service. Old antifreeze will corrode the radiator, water pump and other vital engine components. The carrions will cause blockage of the cooling system leading to overheating. The hoses that transferee the coolant through the system need to be inspected on a regular basis. Heat, vibration, cold, and age will deteriorate the rubber hoses. If hoses are cracked or show signs of wear have them replaced. I recommend you replace any hose that is over 3 years old. The drive belt that turns the water pump that circulates your coolant needs to be in good condition. Replacing the drive belt every 30000 miles is sound advice. It would be a shame to lose a $3000.00 engine because you neglected a $50.00 drive belt. Most cooling system failures can be prevented by following scheduled maintenance and routine inspections. Unfortunately, many customers disregard the preventative maintenance and find themselves facing huge repair bills. Cooling system maintenance can be measured in pennies per mile when done as recommended. Don’t neglect your cooling system I guarantee that if you do you will end up on the back of a tow truck.]]> Car & Truck Air Conditioning Service: Eliminate Bad Smells http://www.yankeeford.com/car-truck-air-conditioning-service-eliminate-bad-smells/ Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:32:23 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=388 Eliminate That Smell From Your Air Conditioning

Do you turn on your air conditioner and get hit in the face with an obnoxious bad musty smell? This is caused by mold mildew and other odor producing organisms that grow in the evaporator core of the the air conditioning housing. Not only is this musty smell an annoyance but it is unhealthy to be breathing this bad air.

Our A/C cleaning service will restore and freshen the air conditioned air. The service will remove the mold mildew and the foul odors associated with it. Our cleaner is injected directly into the evaporator, it foams up and completely fills the evaporator case. This process completely surrounds the evaporator core, blasting away bugs, pet hair, nicotine residue, and other objectionable residue. This service sells for $74.95 and is recommended every couple of years. Call us at 799 5591 or schedule an appointment. Air conditioning season is here, now is the time for our A/C service.

Power Steering Fluid Service http://www.yankeeford.com/power-steering-fluid-service/ Tue, 05 Jun 2012 12:43:35 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=379 Power Steering Fluid Service

We have recently introduced an all new Power Steering Service. Our trained technicians use a specialized piece of equipment that allows them to remove the old power steering fluid, clean the system, and replace it with fresh new fluid. The benefits of this service include:

  • Alleviate steering pump squeal
  • Correct hard, erratic steering
  • Reduce wear
  • Prevent costly future repairs on steering components

Our Power Steering Service comes with a BG Lifetime Protection Plan for vehicles with less then 75000 miles. Our experience tells us that by servicing your power steering two or three times in the life of your vehicle, we can likely prevent you from having a costly steering component failure in the future. This Power Steering Service is available for all vehicle makes and models. Schedule an appointment today for this important service.

Vehicle Maintenance Tip: Prepare For Vacations & Travel With Transmission Service http://www.yankeeford.com/vehicle-maintenance-tip-prepare-for-vacations-travel-with-transmission-service/ Wed, 23 May 2012 15:03:48 +0000 http://www.yankeeford.com/?p=357 Prepare For Vacations & Travel With Transmission Service

Vacation time is just around the corner. If you are towing your boat, camper or just taking a road trip in the family car now is the time to think about having an automatic transmission fluid service. According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of automatic transmission failures occur due to fluid breakdown. The hotter the fluid the quicker it breaks down. Last year 3.4 million transmissions were overhauled and another 4.5 million were replaced. Most transmission failures occur between 73000 and 100000 miles. A transmission fluid service between 30000 and 50000 miles can save you upwards of 3000.00 in transmission repair/replacement cost. The transmission service at Yankee Ford comes with a BG Lifetime Protection Plan for any vehicle with less than 75000 miles on it.

This means if you have a transmission failure after we have performed the service we back you up with the repair or replacement. (Ask a service advisor for details). Our goal is to change your automatic transmission fluid before it is contaminated and causes damage to your transmission.