Your Ford Vehicle's Battery

Automotive batteries can be finicky because their performance is influenced by driving factors and environmental conditions. Although just the act of repeatedly starting your engine will wear a battery out over time, intense heat and cold are also great threats to the health of your battery. If you think about the weather in our region and your battery, you will likely determine that the extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year are a tremendous threat for your battery. If you catch a faulty battery before it totally dies, then you can get it fixed easily. However, if you ignore the signs of a faulty battery, then it is a guarantee that one day you will try to start your engine and nothing will happen….you'll be left stranded with a dead battery and it could have been prevented with a Ford battery inspection and testing.

Battery Testing

Battery Testing Service is just that: it evaluates your battery's performance precisely to tell you its exact condition. Battery Testing is a precision service that requires special diagnostic tools to accurately determine. Battery Testing is always completed with a factory trained technician that uses a voltmeter to assess that it can store adequate voltage while being able to provide a specific cold-cranking performance standard. The entire test focuses on two things: your battery is able to hold a charge and it is able to provide the starter with electricity at factory specifications. If your battery fails the test, you will be given a strong recommendation for a Battery Replacement that restores your vehicle to factory specifications.

Battery Inspection

Battery inspection is an important component of a thorough battery service because it provides an assessment of the overall appearance and physical characteristics of the battery, connections, wires, and a visual inspection of your entire battery charging system. Our factory trained technicians know how to evaluate the battery case and make sure it's not disfigured or bloated. Connections and wires will also be inspected to ensure it is properly linked to the starter, accessories, and battery charging system.

Conventional Oil Change Basics

The conventional motor oil in your vehicle is a vital fluid that circulates throughout your engine and helps keep your engine lubricated and cool. Conventional oil will eventually start breaking down because of its tough job being exposed to intense friction, extreme heat, and pressure. When your conventional oil starts to break down, it will start to lose its viscosity and become like sludge. When your engine oil is sludge, it will neither lubricate nor cool your engine and its vital parts. When your conventional motor oil becomes old, broken down, and sludgy, your engine and all of its vital component might be damaged. The worst possible outcome is when your engine overheats and seizes up because the oil just isn't doing its job right. This all means one thing: a routine conventional oil change service at the recommended maintenance interval is one of the best ways to protect your engine and prolong its useful life.

Conventional Oil Breaks Down Over Time

Sometimes certain driving factors can cause your conventional oil to start breaking down faster. For example, if you drive a Truck or SUV model that does any heavy towing or hauling, it is possible that the intensity of the work will cause your conventional oil to start to break down quickly. If you drive your Ford vehicle in much stop-and-go traffic, your conventional oil might be breaking down faster than the recommended service interval. Also if you have driven your Ford vehicle throughout the summer in extremely hot temperatures, this can also cause your conventional oil to start breaking down faster too. Regardless of the reason why your conventional oil is losing its integrity, we always recommend being proactive with conventional oil change service to prevent engine overheating.

Signs that you need an oil change:

  • You have driven your vehicle beyond the recommended oil life
  • You keep having to top off engine oil because it is low
  • The Change Engine Oil light is on
  • Your engine oil is noticeably dark and/or gritty
  • You hear a 'knocking' noise while running the engine

If you drive your Ford car, truck, van, crossover, or SUV with these warning signs, you are risking costly future repairs or even being left stranded.

Synthetic Oil & Your Ford

Synthetic Oil moves through your engine under extreme heat and pressure to keep your engine lubricated, cool, and removes harmful particulates and unwanted deposits. The key benefit offered by Synthetic Oil is that it has additives that help it resist sludge to keep your engine efficient, lubricated, and running as cool as possible. Even though you have genuine Ford approved synthetic oil, it will eventually start breaking down. That is when you will need to remove your old oil and replace it with fresh Ford approved Synthetic Oil.

Signs that your Ford needs Synthetic Oil Change Service:

  • Oil change maintenance light is on
  • Check engine light is on
  • Your engine oil is dark, sludgy, and/or gritty
  • You've driven beyond the recommended oil change service interval

If you drive your Ford car, truck, van, crossover, or SUV with these warning signs, you are risking costly future repairs or even being left stranded.

Genuine Ford Approved Synthetic Oil & Engine Parts Protection

Engine parts move and are in constant contact with other parts to generate friction and intense heat. In the extreme environment inside your Ford engine, components wear out and synthetic oil breaks down. Your synthetic oil is the protective barrier between these parts. As your synthetic oil breaks down, the oil is unable to lubricate your engine parts properly. Ford approved synthetic oils are able to retain their protective properties for much longer, which increases your engine's life.

Auto Engine Air Filter Service

Engine air filters prevent airborne debris from entering the engine vital air and fluids flow. Engine air filters have an important job to do and will eventually wear out. All engine air filters will wear out and become contaminated with pollutants and debris over time. Once the filter is dirty and clogged, it is no longer able to perform its job properly. When that happens, the engine air filter is ineffective and engine parts become unprotected. A dirty engine air filter will cause your engine to work harder than necessary. The consequence is poor fuel economy, higher emissions, and loss of power. We recommend replacing old filters to avoid placing stress on the engine and other critical vehicle parts.

Signs you need a new Engine Air Filter:

  • The check engine light is on
  • Rough idling
  • A decrease in fuel efficiency
  • Misfire condition

The Value of a New Ford Engine Air Filter

As the engine air filter wears out, your Ford vehicle will start to experience reduced performance and might even have damage to vital engine parts. The benefits of a new engine air filter are both performance-enhancing and engine-saving. The engine air filter protects critical engine parts by removing harmful debris so that your vehicle runs properly. The cleaner the engine air filter, the more it promotes maximum air flow through the engine. A dirty filter will starve the engine of clean air that reduces efficiency and can even cause damage. When an engine air filter becomes dirty, it should be replaced immediately. A new engine air filter will help ensure that your vehicle runs efficiently.

Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Every Ford vehicle engineered today comes equipped with a cabin air filter that removes airborne particulates from the air before they can enter the cabin. The airborne contaminants that get caught in your cabin air filter include dust, pollen, mold spores, and smog. The cabin air filter does an important job but it's sometimes 'out of sight and out of mind' until you have a funky smell coming out of your vents.

Don't Wait Until You Have a Bad Smell

If you have a bad smell coming out of your ventilation system, then it's already too late. We never recommend waiting until the last minute to replace your dirty cabin air filter. The best way to know that your cabin air filter is doing its job right is to have it replaced at the regular maintenance interval recommended by your Service Advisor at Bickley Ford.

Signs of a Faulty Cabin Air Filter:

  • Unusual noise coming from the vents
  • Reduced airflow through the climate control system
  • Smell of gasoline when starting the vehicle
  • Dirty or Musty smell when the blower is turned on

Transfer Case Explained

The transfer case can be found on a Ford that is a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. This transfer case allows these additional gears to be used during an operation. It has a responsibility to power both the front and rear axles on the vehicle, using transfer case fluid. Without this fluid, the vehicle would not be able to operate in four-wheel drive. Like all other fluids beneath the hood of your Ford, it requires a service periodically. During the transfer case service, a certified technician will drain the old transfer case fluid and replace it with fresh fluid.

Why You Need to Get Your Transfer Case Checked Out

Like all other fluids that are used for operation in your Ford, the transfer case fluid will break down and operation can become difficult. Having the service completed regularly ensures that the fluid remains fresh and the transfer case is able to properly shift gears when the Ford moves into four-wheel drive. Speak with your Service Advisor at Bickley Ford to determine when your vehicle should have the service performed.

What Happens If You Don't Have Your Transfer Case Serviced

If you choose not to have your Ford's transfer case serviced and the transfer case fluid replaced, you will see a performance decline in your Ford. First and foremost, the gears will begin to slip when attempting to use the four-wheel drive on your Ford. Once they completely slip, your vehicle will not be able to be used in four-wheel drive until service is conducted. The Ford will still be able to be driven in two-wheel drive for highway operation, but any work that your Ford is responsible for in four-wheel drive will be obsolete. Also, the damage to the transfer case could be much more substantial than just changing the fluid. If the gears slipped too hard without fluid, they may need mechanical repair. These repair costs compare to that of transmission services and can be hundreds or even a thousand dollars in damages.

Power Steering Fluid Exchange Basics

Your power steering makes it possible to drive your car with ease and less effort. Power steering fluid needs to be replaced often to help make sure it is of the proper consistency and volume. Every time you turn the wheel of your car, the power steering fluid helps to transfer the power from your turning the wheel to the wheels. This means that your power steering fluid makes it possible for you to easily move the wheels of your car. As you turn the wheel, the fluid goes to one side or the other to help you turn the wheels in response to the turning of the wheel. As your power steering fluid ages, it can change in volume and consistency which means that it may not be as effective as it was before. Please speak with your Service Advisor at Bickley Ford to determine the recommended time frame for the replacement of your fluid.

Exchanging Your Power Steering Fluid

Your power steering fluid may not need to be changed frequently but it certainly does need to be changed when it gets to a certain age and when the overall consistency and volume of it change. If your power steering fluid is out, if it starts to lose volume, or if it changes too much inconsistency, you are going to have to do most of the work when it comes to turning your wheels. Your power steering fluid makes it possible for you to drive your car easily and making sure you have the right amount and type of power steering fluid is going to make a big difference.

Delaying Power Steering Service

Delaying this type of service is going to mean that your fluid is eventually going to either run out or change so much inconsistency that it does not work anymore. It is going to get harder and harder to steer your car and it is eventually going to be nearly impossible to do so.

Ford Check Engine Light Diagnostic Service

Your Ford is indeed a well-engineered marvel, and a reliable one at that. Complex computer systems in every Ford keep them running powerfully and efficiently year after year, and even let you know when they need attention, such as by illuminating the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp (CEL or MIL).

What is Ford Check Engine Light Diagnostic Service?

The check engine light is just one indicator that there might be something wrong with your Ford. In fact, one or more of some 10,000 diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) could be "hiding" behind the MIL. Now, it's one thing to simply "read" DTCs with a scanner, even for free at an auto parts store, but Ford check engine light diagnostic service is on another whole level. Diagnosis means getting to the root of the problem, not throwing parts at it.

Why should I get a Ford Check Engine Light Diagnostic Service?

Unless there are some other symptoms, if the check engine light is on, you really can't know what's wrong with your Ford. It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or the Tire Pressure Check & Monitoring system. Still, DTCs and running conditions might point to something deeper. Without a comprehensive Ford check engine light service, you'll never know.

What happens if I don't get Ford Check Engine Light Diagnostic Service?

Sometimes, the check engine light illuminates with no accompanying symptoms. Depending on the fault, drivability might be considered normal. On the other hand, you might experience poor performance, increased fuel consumption, or fail emissions testing. Worse, some safety system may be disabled, such as anti-lock braking or airbags. If you don't have the warning light properly diagnosed and repaired, your Ford could be polluting your local community or even a danger to drive.

What is Ford Automatic Transmission Service?

There are generally two Ford automatic transmission services. The first is a drain-and-fill method, which can be used on most older Ford automatic transmissions, but there's a catch. The drain-and-fill method only replaces a quarter to a third of the entire automatic transmission fluid (ATF) capacity. Automatic transmission transfusion or flush service is more intensive and can replace over ninety percent of the transmission fluid and is also necessary on newer Ford vehicles where a drain and fill would be impossible.

Why should I get a Ford Automatic Transmission Service?

Ford automatic transmission fluid serves several purposes in the transmission. Primarily, it is a hydraulic fluid, transmitting engine power to the transmission on acceleration and operating brakes and clutches to effect gear changes. Secondarily, ATF functions as a lubricant and coolant, keeping gears and shafts moving smoothly without overheating. Over time, all this activity causes the ATF to break down, which can lead to transmission wear and gear slipping. Renewing ATF helps prevent these problems.

What happens if I don't get Ford Automatic Transmission Service?

Because ATF wears out over time, worn ATF can burn or leave deposits in the transmission, which can cause other problems, like shift delays or slipping. If you put off your Ford automatic transmission service for too long, you risk permanent and expensive damage to the transmission. At worst, you could be left stranded. Speak with your Service Advisor at Bickley Ford to determine when you should have these services performed.

Ford Differential Service

In most Ford vehicles, it takes several stops before engine power makes it to the tires and to the ground so you can move. Power is developed in the engine and sent through the transmission. In front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, power is distributed by differential gears to the axles, wheels, and tires. In all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles, the transfer case or PTU distributes power to front and rear differentials.

What is Ford Differential Service?

Some Ford front differential gears are simply part of the transmission, so they don't get a separate service, but all rear differentials, and some front differentials need periodic service. Differential gears are bathed in heavy oil to prevent wear and promote smooth power transfer. When you ask for a Ford differential service, one of our factory-trained technicians will drain the differential and refill it with fresh oil. Some vehicles might require additives, such as for limited-slip differentials.

Why should I get a Ford Differential Service?

Differential oil doesn't heat up as much as engine oil or transmission fluid, but it's still a factor in how long it lasts. Your Service Advisor at Bickley Ford will tell you when you should have the service done, but it depends much on how and where you drive. Driving habits, towing and hauling heavy loads can increase wear, and off-roading can introduce water into the oil, reducing protection, as well as any submersion in water from loading and unloading boats into the water.

What happens if I don't get Ford Differential Service?

Over time, most oils and oil additives tend to break down. If you put off a Ford differential service for too long, this might lead to excess wear in the differential gears or bearings. Just like a missed Brake Replacement Service, clunking and whining noises could result. In extreme cases, limited-slip differentials might fail, and even the heavy gears of the differential could break under stress. Because the differentials are hidden, it can be difficult to tell how worn the oil has become, so it's a good idea to change it before any wear becomes obvious.

Importance of Rotating Your Tires

To keep your car, truck or SUV performing at its best, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance. This includes regular tire rotation services.

Help Prevent Excessive Wear on Your Tires

As you drive around town, you'll be making lots of turns and applying your brakes. Over time, these actions can cause your tires to wear down, unfortunately, they won't necessarily wear in an even pattern. In general, the front tires will take more of a beating than the rear tires will, as they take most of the pressure when slowing to a stop and going around corners. By rotating your tires, you'll ensure that they aren't always getting worn on the same side. When you move the tires to a new position, the wear pattern will change, evening it out across all four tires. This way, you'll minimize the risk of developing thin spots that could lead to flat tires in the future.

How the Service Works

Tire rotation is a relatively simple process. Your technician will simply remove your tires from their current positions and replace them on the opposite side of your vehicle, front to back and side to side. This will spread the wear as evenly as possible across your tires to prolong their life span as much as possible.

It is important to note, that not all vehicles follow this pattern, though it is the most common. In some cases, the tires in the front may be a different size than the ones in the back. With this configuration, you'll simply need to switch the tires from one side to the other, not front to back. Our expert technicians will know exactly what to do, so don't worry if you aren't sure of your vehicle's recommended rotation pattern.

New Brake Pads

Your brake system is one of the most important parts of any car as it works to keep the driver safe and the other drivers on the road. That being said, making sure your brakes are in good working order is a must. Your brake system is made up of a few different parts that all work together to stop your car when you press the brake pedal inside the car.

Brake Pad Replacement & Full Brake System Inspection

Your brakes are made up of your calipers, rotors, brake lines, and brake pads. Brake pads wear down as you drive and eventually end up getting so worn and so thin that the calipers clamp down directly on the rotor which then warps the rotor and requires that it be replaced as well. You can save the rotors if you take the time to get your brake pads changed out every so often. In most cases, your mechanic or the manufacturer of the brake pads will suggest when to have them changed based on how many miles they have been on the car for.

Replacing Your Brake Pads

Having a brake pad service done close to home is a great way to ensure that you are going to be able to have your brake pads changed out and that you are going to be able to get back home after. The longer you wait to have a brake pad service the thinner the pads become. When your brake pads are too thin, they become less effective and they do very little to help to protect the rotors from direct contact with the calipers, this means that your brakes may or may not stop well when you apply the brake pedal.

Delaying Getting New Brake Pads

Brake pads are a necessary part of your brake system. Without them, your car is not going to be as effective when stopping. This means that your calipers are going to be clamping down directly on the rotors. When this happens, the rotors become very hot and can become warped. It is much cheaper to change out brake pads than it is to replace calipers, rotors, and brake pads. Bad brake pads are going to make it harder for your car to stop and are going to make your brakes less effective.

New Tires

Your tires help to keep you safe while driving. They have a tread pattern that moves slush, snow and water out of the way for you to travel safely without skidding or sliding on the road. Since your tires are in constant contact with the road, they will eventually wear down to where they are unsafe. You should then get a tire replacement service to secure new tires for your vehicle.

Importance of Your Tires

Fortunately, there are several warning signs that you need new tires. Newer vehicles have a tire warning light that illuminates on the dash to alert you to any tire that has low air pressure. This indicates a leak in the tire that needs to be addressed. If your tread is low on your tires, you should have them replaced. Other indications of needing new tires include cracks on the sides of your tires, wear on only one side of a tire or all four tires and vibration on the road as you drive.

What If I Wait to Get New Tires

If you notice any signs of needing new tires and you wait to get them, you could be in trouble if your car hydroplanes on water and causes an auto accident. If you need new tires and the tread is mostly worn out, you could damage your rims, leading to extra costs.

Wheel Alignment

Keeping your wheels aligned help keep your car going straight and your tires lasting longer. Some cars need only the front end aligned, but cars with all-wheel drive or independent suspension will need a four-wheel alignment. Certified Ford technicians at Bickley Ford have the latest equipment and know-how to get your car aligned no matter what you need.

Alignment Services

If your car goes straight when you let go of the steering wheel, it may not need an alignment. However, if it veers to either side when you let go of the wheel, you need an alignment. Sometimes the steering wheel will vibrate as well when alignment is needed. Tires normally wear out faster on one side or the other if the alignment is not correct. This will wear out your tires faster than needed and could cause problems with other areas of your car's steering system. Whether you notice a problem or not, it is a good idea to get your alignment checked annually.

Driving on Misaligned Wheels

Not keeping up with your alignment will probably end up costing you more than the alignment in the long run because you will have to buy tires sooner than you would have. A bad alignment makes your car harder to steer and could cause an accident in extreme cases. Wheel alignment will only get worse, so eventually, it will be hard to steer your car or even keep it on the road at high speeds. Getting your alignment done is a matter of economics and safety.

Replacing Your Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt is a very important part of your car and its inner workings. As the car ages, and the serpentine belt encounters hours and hours of wear and tear, it begins to wear out and may need replacing. Your serpentine belt is a continuous belt that runs through the car and works a range of different systems, often on the periphery of your engine. This belt runs things like your air conditioning compressor, your power steering pump, the water pump for the car, the alternator and more. Though these peripheral devices are essential to the running of your car, they are not run by the larger belts in the system. Without this belt, you are going to run into multiple issues. Replacement is often recommended after a certain amount of time that can be discussed with your Service Advisor.

Serpentine Belt Replacement Service

Your serpentine belt is going to start to go bad after a time and replacement is really the only way to repair a bad serpentine belt. Though your serpentine belt is often what is considered to be an accessory belt, it is still essential for your car. One big component that you lose when a serpentine belt goes out is engine cooling which means your engine will very likely overheat. Replacing a serpentine belt is going to make sure your car will run smoothly and comfortably as well.

What Happens if I Delay Getting a New Serpentine Belt?

If your serpentine belt goes out your car is still going to drive, it is just not going to drive well and it may not drive for long either. Without the water pump, your engine is going to overheat very easily and this can cause major damage to your engine. You are also going to lose things like your air conditioner and your alternator is not going to keep the battery charged which means your car may end up going dead as well. It is important that if you think you have a serpentine belt that is going out, you get it fixed quickly.

Ford Engine Timing Belt Replacement Service

To call your Ford engine a complex ballet of moving parts would be an understatement. Every time you start your Ford, you set that ballet in motion, idling around town or running high speed highways. To keep the dancers in sync, many Ford engines use timing belts.

What is Ford Engine Timing Belt Replacement Service?

On Ford vehicles equipped with timing belts, the timing belt is in the front of the engine, behind the drive belts, pulleys, accessories, and plastic or metal covers. In our state-of-the-art dealership Service Center, factory-trained technicians will remove your old timing belt and replace it with a new one. Along the way, your technician may suggest replacing other items, such as the water pump, camshaft or crankshaft seals, or idler or tensioner pulleys, which are difficult to access.

What happens if I don't get Ford Engine Timing Belt Replacement Service?

Ford timing belts are constructed of several materials, including steel, Kevlar, polyester, neoprene, and nylon, giving them the flexibility and strength to coordinate crankshaft-to-camshaft timing. The best-case scenario is that it simply leaves you stranded. In the case of interference engines, the worst-case scenario is expensive engine damage.

What is Spark Plug Replacement Service?

Your spark plugs in your vehicle are a key component of the ignition system. They ignite air and gas in your engine to provide the power for your car to go down the road. Spark plugs take high voltage electricity from the ignition coil and create sparks at a precise moment in the combustion cycle for them to provide the power of propulsion. The electrode on the tip of the spark plug eventually wears out and then you need to replace your spark plugs with new ones.

Why Should I Have Spark Plug Replacement Service?

The best idea is to follow your vehicle's schedule of maintenance for the correct intervals to replace your spark plugs. However, there are other signs that will alert you to needing new spark plugs. You may notice that your vehicle is difficult to start or a check engine light is on with a misfire code. If your check engine light is flashing during acceleration and you notice a reduction in power or your fuel economy, you will likely need new spark plugs. Other signs include rough idling or engine vibration and failing your provincial emission testing.

What Happens If I Don't Have Spark Plug Replacement Service Now?

If you go past the manufacturer's maintenance schedule for spark plugs on your vehicle or you notice signs that you need new spark plugs, you should get new spark plugs soon. If you wait and your engine is misfiring, there is a potential to actually cause damage to your engine and your catalytic converter because of overheating. Replacing a catalytic converter and your entire engine is a huge repair bill that you want to avoid at all costs.

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