Service Tips from
Understand the conditions of your warranty
All new and many used vehicles arrive with a warranty covering unexpected repairs. Be sure to understand the duration and covered components of the warranty. A typical warranty might be written "60/75,000" meaning that coverage lasts either 60 months from the initial purchase or until the vehicle has 75,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Why are multiple warranty periods listed?
Depending on what is being repaired, the length of a factory warranty varies. Often a comprehensive "bumper-to-bumper" warranty covers everything outside of schedule maintenance. This is generally the shortest warranty period. A usually longer powertrain warranty covers engine and transmission defects. Anti-corrosion protection, some emission parts, safety restraints and seat belts last even longer.
Are used vehicles still covered under factory warranty?
As long as the vehicle is inside its mileage and duration caps it will maintain its factory warranty.
How does one maintain the warranty?
By performing required service at the proper intervals and responding if something clearly goes wrong. Your owner's manual explicitly lists service intervals.
What is the driver's job?
You just need to take the vehicle in for service when the time arrives. We will keep all your records on file incase they are ever needed.
Will a warranty pay for all expenses?
Many warranties cover the parts and labor costs involved in fixing unexpected repairs but maintenance is the responsibility of the customer. Rental days would be covered if you have purchased an Extended Service Plan that covers rentals. Premium Care plans cover up to 10 days when your vehicle is being serviced for a warranty repair. You can purchase a Rental Care plan for 3 days maximum coverage.
Changing your engine's oil and filter is one of the most vital maintenance procedures. Oil keeps friction down in the engine and prevents the motor from seizing. For Ford vehicles the oil change interval is 7,500 miles for 2008 and newer, 5,000 miles for 2007 or older models. Ford's Motorcraft semi- synthetic oil is engineered for these maintenance intervals. They are formulated to reduce engine friction, improve fuel economy and protect against deposits and wear. The American Petroleum Industry certifies them, so you know Motorcraft oil stands up to the tests of both Ford and independent engineers.
Water and antifreeze (50/50 mixture) keep your engine from overheating and freezing during extreme temperatures. In our cold climate the fluid protects your engine down to -34 degrees F. In hot climates, it allows the cooling system to operate at higher temperatures without boiling. Over time, these extreme temperature changes take a toll on the coolant and it begins to wear out. When this happens, a chemical breakdown occurs and deposits begin to drop out of the coolant and attach themselves to the inside of the cooling system. When left unserviced, these deposits will restrict the flow of coolant through the cooling system, plug the radiator and heater core, and eventually lead to overheating. Simply changing your coolant is not enough. The Granitize Cooling System Service is a two-stage power flush designed to safely and effectively clean blocked passages (rust and scale) and chemically treat the coolant to enhance it's cooling properties. The process also lubricates the water pump. We test the temperature level of your coolant every time you come in for an oil change. Intervals for flushing the system and replacing coolant depend on whether your vehicle used gold or green fluid. Gold coolant lasts for 100,000 miles or every 5 years. If your vehicle uses green coolant you should change it the first time at 45,000 miles and every 30,000 miles or every 2 years after that (whichever comes first).
Older vehicles require the replacement or adjustment of spark plugs much more often than new vehicles do. Ford Motor Company recommends replacing spark plugs at 100,000 miles. Still, checking the plugs at 50,000 to 60,000 miles is not a bad idea because of the tendency to seize in the head when the vehicle gets older. Spark plugs will wear more quickly with extended idle times i.e. remote starts, taxis and police vehicles.
The combustion air filter prevents abrasive particulate matter from entering the engine's cylinders, where it would cause mechanical wear and oil contamination. Most fuel injectedThe interval for changing the filter depends on the quality of filter, type of vehicle and environment in which most driving occurs. Traveling on dirt roads will surely clog a filter faster than paved highways. Also, local pollution can determine filter life. Ford recommends the air filter to be changed at 30,000 miles or when you can't see light through it. We will pull your air filter to see how dirty it is and if it needs changing when you come in for your oil change. vehicles use a pleated paper filter element in the form of a flat panel. This filter is usually placed inside a plastic box connected to the throttle body with an intake tube. Older vehicles that use carburetors or throttle body fuel injection typically use a cylindrical air filter, usually a few inches high and between 6 and 16 inches in diameter. This is positioned above the carburetor or throttle body, usually in a metal or plastic container which may incorporate ducting to provide cool and/or warm inlet air, and secured with a metal or plastic lid.
The cabin air filter is typically a pleated-paper filter that is placed in the outside-air intake for the vehicle's passenger compartment. Some of these filters are rectangular and similar in shape to the combustion air filter. Others are uniquely shaped to fit the available space of particular vehicles' outside-air intakes. Being a relatively recent addition to automobile equipment, this filter is often overlooked. Clogged or dirty cabin air filters can significantly reduce airflow from the cabin vents, as well as introduce allergens such as pollen and mold into the cabin air stream. You should replace this filter every 15,000 miles. If you wish to improve your air quality even more, see below.
Uview MIST improves air quality
Modern HVAC systems trap more moisture than in the past. To maintain cabin temperatures, these efficient systems require a larger percentage of air to be recirculated. These two factors create an ideal habitat for mold, mildew, bacteria and other mircro-organisms to grow. Spores from these mirco-organisms are regularly blown into the passenger cabin and colonize throughout the in-car environment. What makes this system so effective? Nano-droplets get to the source of the problem. They are drawn into the vehicle's ventilation system and travel through the recirculation intake, penetrating and treating the entire ventilation system including the evaporator, heater core, air ducts and passenger cabin surfaces. Ask your advisor for a brochure.
A fuel filter is a filter in the fuel line that screens out dirt and rust particles from the fuel. They are found in most internal combustion engines. Fuel filters serve a vital function in today's modern, tight-tolerance engine fuel systems. Unfiltered fuel may contain several kinds of contamination, for example paint chips and dirt that has been knocked into the tank while filling, or rust caused by moisture in a steel tank. If these substances are not removed before the fuel enters the system, they will cause rapid wear and failure of the fuel pump and injectors, due to the abrasive action of the particles on the high-precision components used in modern injection systems. Fuel filters also improve performance, with less contaminants present in the fuel, it can be burnt more efficiently. If a filter is not replaced regularly it may become clogged with contaminants and cause a restriction in the fuel flow, causing an appreciable drop in engine performance as the engine struggles to draw enough fuel to continue running normally. Ford Motor Company recommends you change your fuel filter every 30,000 miles.
Again, the interval of changing a battery depends on the type of battery, type of vehicle and local climate. Every 5 years is a good guideline. Cold regions may require a more powerful battery for cold starting. Also, rechargeable batteries that have completely lost their charge at some point often never reach full potential again. We will test your battery every time you come in for an oil change. The Motorcraft Tested Tough Max Series with its "long-life" design outlasted other long-life batteries by up to 200%. This battery comes with a 3 year, free-replacement and prorated-cost thereafter up to 100 months with unlimited mileage. It will also cover your towing if a dealer replaced it.
During scheduled maintenance it's a good idea to inspect all hoses, belts and other connections under the hood to be sure everything is in good shape and properly attached. If hoses show any sign of swelling or if belts are missing ribs they should be replaced.
Wipers need to be replaced, especially in climates with ice and snow. Sometimes just the blade needs replacing, while other times the entire wiper unit is needed. Some customers may choose different types of wipers for better performance.
The type of vehicle, specific tire and driving style determine the life of a tire. Many are rated to last 30,000 to 70,000 miles, but an aggressive driving style can wear out tires in 15,000 miles. Customers may deviate from OEM specification in the interest of better looks or performance. We have a wide selection and will meet or beat any competitor's published price. See more below.
Like tires, brake life depends heavily on driving style. Lots of stressful braking will significantly shorten the life. Replacement requires new pads and sometimes rotors. Check pads at least every 15,000 miles to prevent the more expensive pad / rotor repair. With regular inspection, rotors will need to be replaced every other time you replace the pads, as there is usually not enough metal left to reuse. We recommend checking your brake pad thickness every time your tires are rotated. All Ford Original Equipment replacement brake pads, shoes, rotors, and drums are vehicle tested for durability and noise suppression while being Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard compliant.
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid with a high boiling and low freezing point. It is intentionally hydroscopic, so that it will collect moisture if it is exposed to water vapor (humidity). The water impregnated brake fluid is the greater cause of brake fade and brake system corrosion. The water in the fluid changes the boiling point of the fluid which causes you to lose pedal pressure. This water / fluid mix also corrodes the metal and rubbler surfaces of the brake components. On ABS brake systems the rust and debris that accumulates in the fluid can do lots of internal damage. Brake fluid can also break down over time from excess heat that is created from within the brake system. We recommend this Granitize Brake Service at 50,000 miles or 4 years. We will test this fluid as part of our free inspection.
The average transmission holds approximately 12 quarts of fluid, of which only 40 - 50% gets changed in a common transmission service. The remaining old fluid is deemed unserviceable because it is trapped in the torque converter cooler lines and valve body. The Granitize transmission service is a complete three-stage flush. A pre-cleaner is installed in the transmission to clean any varnish and sludge from the valve body and pan. A machine is then hooked to the transmission that exchanges up to 99% of the old fluid. Finally the transmission fluid is treated with a special conditioner that contains antioxidants to smooth shifting and keep your transmission clean. This service should be completed every 30,000 miles.
Power Steering Service
A power steering system is a high pressure hydraulic system designed to provide power assist to the manual input of steering. As power steering fluid ages, it becomes oxidized and loses much of its ability to lubricate. When this occurs, metal-to-metal wear takes place and in no time contaminated fluid is pumped through the system at high pressure. When left unserviced, this contaminated fluid begins to deteriorate and harden seals, which causes leaks and eventually mechanical failure. The Granitize Power Steering Service safely and effectively flushes out the old dirty fluid and replaces it with a special high performance fluid. The new fluid has special antioxidants that keep it cleaner longer. It also contains anti-wear agents to provide a quiet and smooth operation. We recommend you flush this between 30,000 - 70,000 miles. This fluid wears faster on heavier vehicles
At Fairlane Ford we offer a complimentary inspection every time you come in. It only takes a few extra minutes and we like to have you do the "walk around" with our factory-trained advisors. This allows us to show you what is in good working order, what will need future attention and what needs immediate attention. We give you more for your service dollars! We have factory trained technicians and advisors, Ford diagnostic equipment and a large inventory of Ford and Motorcraft parts. We call it quality service. You'll call it Peace of Mind.
More tire information
Different seasons require different types of tires. Many manufacturers sell vehicles with all-season tires that are suitable for most conditions. However, if your vehicle arrived with performance summer tires you should invest in a set of snow tires for safety in the bad weather.
Always be sure to maintain the proper tire inflation for safety, performance and longevity. Performing a tire rotation will also help improve your gas mileage and save tire life.
Buy four matching tires, for the most part. Some rear-wheel-drive cars can get by with just rear snows, but front-wheel-drive cars should never have snows up front and non-snows out back. The inconsistency in grip during braking can cause the tail end to slide out of the driver's control. All-wheel-drive vehicles require four of the same tires as well
How does one find correct snow tires?
No tire is perfect, as extra competence in one category often means compromise in another. For example, a tire that is great in snow may be so-so on dry pavement and average in the rain. We can help you decide on what tire is best for you. When purchasing a set of snow tires try to pick up an extra set of wheels on which the rubber can be mounted. Not having to mount/dismount tires each season saves time and maximizes tire life. In most cases you can purchase a set of plain steel wheels to match the snow tires.
Be sure your engine oil is the correct viscosity. Colder climates can cause oil to thicken, demanding a thinner oil to start. Our Ford Motorcraft oil is semi-synthetic. We also carry full synthetic oil as well.
Check your antifreeze and be certain the proper water-to-antifreeze mixture is maintained. We check your antifreeze every time you come in for an oil change for free.
Verify that your windshield wipers are operable and keep the washer fluid reservoir full.
Double-check hoses and belts. Cold temperatures can cause rubber to shrink and crack, so be sure your hoses and belts have some flexibility left.
- Slow down and watch speed - Drive 55 miles per hour instead of 65 to save fuel. EPA estimates a 10-15 percent improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Also, aim for a constant speed. Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine. Using cruise control whenever possible on the highway helps maintain speeds and conserve fuel.
- Accelerate and brake smoothly - Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel. Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic and hard braking wastes fuel and wears out some of the car components, such as brakes and tires, more quickly. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and anticipate traffic conditions to allow for more time to brake and accelerate gradually.
- No idling - Today's engines don't need a warm up. Start the car immediately and gently drive away. Don't leave your car idling. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off in non-traffic situations, such as at bank and fast food drive-up windows, when idling more than 30 seconds.
- Check your tires - Keep tires properly inflated to the recommended tire pressure. This alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4 percent. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear more rapidly. Check the vehicle's door-post sticker for minimum cold tire inflation pressure.
- Be kind to your vehicle - Maintain proper engine tune-up to keep vehicles running efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other waste fuel. Replace air filters as recommended. Use a fuel with good detergent additives to keep the vehicle engine clean and performing efficiently. Always consult the Owner's Manual for proper maintenance.
- Travel light - Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy, reducing it by as much as 5 percent. Remove excess weight from the vehicle. Unnecessary weight, such as unneeded items in the trunk, makes the engine work harder and consumes more fuel.
- Minimize use of heater and air conditioning - Use heating and air conditioning selectively to reduce the load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10-15 percent of fuel. Use the vent setting as much as possible. Park in the shade to keep car cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Close windows at high speeds - Don't drive with the windows open unless your keep your speed under 50 mph. Driving with the windows open at highway speeds increases aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lowers fuel economy.
- Choose the right oil - Use good quality oils with the viscosity grade recommended in the owner guide. Ford recommends SAE 5W-20 oil for most cars and trucks to provide the best fuel economy. Only oils "certified for gasoline engines" by the American Petroleum Institute (API) with the starburst symbol should be used.
- Consolidate trips - Plan ahead to consolidate your trips. This will enable you to bypass congested routes, lead to less idling, fewer start-ups and less stop-and-go traffic. Whenever feasible, share a ride and/or carpool.
For additional information on how to save on gas, visit the Driving Skills for Life website and click on the "Eco-driving" module.