Beach Ford Blog

Total Tire Care

Your tires are literally where rubber meets the road, and keeping them maintained should be a top priority for any Ford owner. The consequences for not maintaining your tires can be as mild as poor fuel economy or as severe as a roadside blow-out that can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

For optimum performance, tires must have the correct air pressure, tread depth, balance and the wheels of the vehicle must be properly aligned. If all of these variables line up properly, you have a great foundation for safer driving.
Air pressure can be checked at almost any gas station. Simply use a pressure gauge on the air pump for an accurate reading. Compare that number to the recommended air pressure for your tires by looking on the inside of your door for a small chart. Do this for all four tires as well as the spare.

Tread depth refers to the recesses in your tires. These deep grooves provide traction and help your car keep control in wet conditions. If the tread on your tire is barely visible then you have what is called a "bald" tire and it should be replaced immediately. An easy way to check the tread depth on any vehicle is to insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington's head facing down, if the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32" of tread and are fine for continued use.

Tire balance refers to the amount of vibration your tires experience at higher speeds. If your care vibrates more than you think it should, take it into your local Beach Ford to have it inspected. The fix could be as simple as balancing your tires.
Similarly, ensuring your wheels are aligned to vehicle specifications can help maintain fuel economy and the overall life of your tires. If your fuel economy has been dropping steadily or is not close to what is advertised, you may want to have your alignment inspected.

Maintaining your tires will pay dividends down the road, remember to perform visual inspections for wear and cracks in the rubber at least once a month. If anything seems amiss, bring your car to Beach Ford and we can help get you back on the road safely.

Now You are Driving With (Less) Gas!

As we enter the summer season, gas prices begin to make a steady climb skyward and everyone is looking to pinch pennies at the pump. Luckily there are some fairly simple and inexpensive  solutions to improving your fuel economy and saving money. Don't leave home without these tips.

1.    Bad Habits = Bad MPG. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. So the first step to better fuel economy is tot take a look in the mirror and really understand our driving habits. In the age of technology this is a lot easier than you think. A simple device can be plugged into your car and feed your phone data on how well you drive. You can use these stats to modify your habits effectively and perform mini experiments yourself.

2.    Maintenance = More Miles. Simple care maintenance can improve your fuel economy by making your engine run more smoothly. Changing your oil regularly and making sure your tires are properly inflated are simple rituals that can boost or maintain your MPG.

3.    Weight = Wasted Energy. Hauling cargo on your roof increases aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and lowers fuel economy. A large, blunt roof-top cargo box, for example, can reduce fuel economy by around 2% to 8% in city driving, 6% to 17% on the highway, and 10% to 25% at Interstate speeds. Additionally traveling with excess weight in your vehicle makes your engine burn fuel faster thus degrading your fuel economy. A good solution is to either ditch whatever excess weight you've been carrying around, or buy rear-mount cargo boxes or trays, which can reduce fuel economy by much less (1% or 2% in city driving and 1% to 5% on the highway).

4.    Braking = Bad. Why speed up to a stoplight where you waste all of the energy it took to get up to speed? Every second you aren't on the accelerator or the brake, you are saving money. If you look far down the road and anticipate when you will have to stop, you can manage your speed more efficiently and sometimes never even need to stop on your way to work. Make it a personal challenge by counting how many times you brake on your commute every day.

5.    Cruise Control = Costly. Cruise Control is great for flat straightaways with little traffic. But most of Americas roadways aren't built that way. There are curves, hills, bumps, traffic jams, and all other manner of variables in your way. If you listen to what your engine does to maintain speed on a hill you will quickly realize you've been losing money every mile. Instead, drive your car like you ride a bike. Go slower up hills if you have to, but let off the accelerator to take advantage of downhill momentum to save gas.

6.    Planning = Paramount. Plan ahead and take the path of least resistance. That's one with fewer stoplights, not as much traffic and, yes, lower speed limits. Even if you save 0.1 gallons of gas each day, you'll save more than $130 per year.

Your Oil Mileage May Vary


For decades dads have been telling their sons to change the oil in their car every 3,000 miles. And this standard has persisted throughout the auto industry despite technical advances in engine technology and oil chemistry.
Today's off-the-shelf oil brands have greatly improved overall viscosity, oxidation resistance, and self-cleaning agents on the molecular level. And standards have changed to accommodate for this (outside of service stations). If you check your car's user manual, you'll probably find you've been changing your oil more often than you need to, at least according to the people who designed your car. Depending on the make model, and year of your car, the manual may advise an oil change every 5,000 or 7,500 miles. Some people even go 10,000 miles or more without any guilt -- or damage to the engine.

For most Ford vehicles made after 2008, every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first is the standard. If your driving conditions. If you often drive off-road, in dusty areas, idle extensively, tow heavy loads, or travel at slower speeds frequently you mileage may vary. Ford suggestion for those vehicles is every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first (assuming your car was made after 2008).

The best advice, then? Ignore the oil industry and go by your car's user manual. You'll save some money -- and possibly keep the world a little greener in the process.
To schedule your next oil change, you can call Beach Ford today at 888-219-4077 or our Suffolk location at 888-415-6324
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