Ford

Strathmore Ford

1040 - Westridge Road
Directions Strathmore, AB T1P 1H8

  • Sales: (403) 934-2100
  • Toll-Free: (855) 313-7732
  • Service: (403) 934-2100
Info

Vehicle FAQ

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

We’ve all been in this situation before, you fire your car up but suddenly a small yellow light appears in the corner of your eye. If you’re like most car owners, you are unsure if you should panic and pull over immediately or calmly continue on your route. To the average car owner, we understand this light is a negative sign; however we are unsure how to properly diagnose and deal with this issue.

The often mistaken Check Engine light can be a signal of a number of issues; these issues can be both significant and insignificant to the operation of your vehicle. Typical issues include: Broken Oxygen Sensors, A misfiring engine or something simple like a loose gas cap.

The Check engine light is not telling you to pull over and turn off your vehicle immediately; however the light is telling you that it is time to bring your car into a registered OEM service center. By ignoring the light, you could cause further damage to your vehicle.

If your check engine light is on, it’s time to visit the factory trained service technicians at our local service center, we can diagnose what’s behind your light at the fraction of a price compared to a private garage.

How Do I Check My Oil Level?

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the longevity of your car's engine is to check the oil level regularly. Luckily, doing so is a rather quick and easy task that will help keep your engine running in top shape with minimal effort.

How To Check Your Oil Level (In 5 Easy Steps)
  • Ensure that you are parked on completely flat, even ground. This will prevent any inaccuracies in your level readings.
  • To be safe, it is best to have your car turned off while checking your oil. Open the hood (be sure to keep it propped up) and locate the dipstick. The dipstick is the metal rod used to measure how much oil is in the engine. When locating the dipstick, look for a rounded, colored handle (in most cases this will be either a bright yellow, orange or red color). Note** If you are unsure, please consult your owner’s manual or speak with a trained professional in order to help you take the correct form of action.
  • If you’ve just recently turned off your car, be sure to allow at least 10 minutes for the engine and other internal parts to cool off. Then, when safe to do so, remove the dipstick by pulling it upwards. Once removed, carefully wipe it off with a clean cloth to remove any traces of oil as you will need it to be clean in order to get an accurate reading.
  • Insert the dipstick back into place and be sure that it is completely pushed down into its original position. Should you have any difficulty re-inserting the dipstick or run into any snags in the process, remove the dipstick, clean it off and make another attempt.
  • After successfully inserting the dipstick, remove it again to check the oil level. The first thing you’ll want to look for are the indicators on the stick (usually little holes at the bottom of the dipstick or you may even see actual inscriptions that say “add” and “full”, this varies depending on the type of vehicle you have). In order to read the oil level, observe where the oil on the stick ends and where the dry part of the stick begins. If the oil stops below the bottom hole then this is an indication that more oil needs to be added. If the oil stops close to the top hole, you do not need to add any additional oil for the time being. Should any problems arise, be sure to speak with a service advisor for further assistance.
Most manufacturers consider normal oil consumption to be 1 liter per 1,600 kilometers, if you find you are using much more than this you might want to schedule a service appointment. Our service professionals will check to see if a little preventative maintenance can save you from having any major issues down the road.

How Often Should I Check My Oil?

Changing your vehicle's oil at the recommended intervals is the best thing you can do to ensure it has a long life. As simple as this task may sound, many people are confused about exactly how often their car's oil needs to be changed.

How Often Should My Oil Be Changed?

In the past, it was average for oil changes to be performed every 5000 km; however this average has changed along with the improved quality of oil over the years. You can ensure a long lifetime for your vehicle by following the manufacturer's recommended oil change schedule.

Driving habits can differ greatly among individuals, as such, how often your oil is changed should depend on your personal driving habits.

If you happen to be driving a brand new vehicle, following the manufacturer’s recommended timeline for oil changes is essential to keeping your car warranty. Many manufacturers require the warranty holder to have their oil changed at specific times in the vehicles life cycle. If your vehicle happens to need a warranty covered repair in the future, your manufacturer has the right to decline the cost if you did not follow their recommended timeline for oil changes. To avoid costly repair bills & headaches, Contact our service center today, we’ll get your service schedule back on track.

While changing your oil at home is not a difficult task, our service center provides a quick, one stop destination for getting your services performed. Our quick oil changes allow you to go about your daily schedule without breaking your wallet.

If you are still unsure about the right time to change your oil, feel free to contact our service department. Our certified technicians will be happy to help.

How Do I Change A Tire?

Eventually, A flat tire is going to catch up with all of us. Many drivers are covered with roadside assistance, however it is always good to know how to change a tire.

Safety First:
  • Find a safe and secure spot to pull over. If you happen to be on the highway, we suggest you pull off to the shoulder- as far as possible. If you have the option, pull off the highway completely. Be sure to look for a flat spot, jacking up a vehicle on an angle can be difficult.
  • Turn on Hazard lights immediately.
  • Apply your parking brake!
  • Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car or underneath the vehicle and bring them over to the tire that is flat. Use other tools or supplies if needed.

Loosen the Lug Nuts:
  • Use the provided wrench to loosen the lug nuts. The wrench is generally found along with the jack-stand.
  • Depending on your vehicle, you may need to remove the hubcap. Don't remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench counter-clockwise.
  • If the lug nuts are really tight, you may have to try hitting the wrench arm, or perhaps apply WD-40 onto the nuts.

Jack Up the Car and Remove the Lug Nuts:
  • Using your vehicle owner’s manual, pinpoint the location where your jack will lift the vehicle.
  • Using the Jack, slowly and carefully lift the vehicle off the ground.
  • Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about six inches off the ground.
  • Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the vehicle - Keeping the lug nuts in a safe place.

Attach the Spare Tire:
  • Place the spare wheel on the vehicle until it cannot go any further, then begin putting on the lug nuts.
  • Do not put the lug nuts on tightly, just enough to keep the spare tire on the vehicle.
  • Lower the vehicle onto the ground and remove the jack from underneath.

On the Ground:
  • With all four tires back on the ground, tighten all lug nuts.
  • Do not tighten the lug nuts in order, one by one. Instead - Starting with one lug nut tighten it about 50% then move to the opposite nut and tighten it about the same amount. Continue in a circular pattern.
  • Keep tightening opposite lug nuts until they are as tight as possible. With the final bolt tightened, you have now successfully replaced your vehicles tire.

If you have experienced a flat tire or your current tires are beginning to show wear, we recommend you visit our service center so we can assist you with repairing or replacing your old tires. Our trained service experts will ensure your vehicle is using the recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

If your tires appear worn or you have had a flat tire and need it fixed or replaced, contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.

How Do I Connect My Phone To Bluetooth?

Syncing your phone to Bluetooth in your vehicle can vary depending on the vehicle you drive. The process is generally the same however, first go to the setting menu on your phone and go to the Bluetooth settings. Next you will need to find the system (Your vehicle) that you would like to connect to. Simply connect and you should be on your way to hands-free calling while in your vehicle.

If you are experiencing any further difficulties connecting to Bluetooth in your vehicle, visit our service center today, our product experts will have the tools and the knowledge you need to get connected.

How Do I Change My Windshield Wipers?

Replacing windshield wipers is a quick and easy task. You can find the correct sized, OEM recommended wipers at our service center.

Removing the old wipers:
  • First pull wiper away from the windshield and it should hold itself up.
  • Using one hand to hold the arm of the wiper, use your other hand to depress the small tab underneath the wiper where it meets the metal arm.
  • Slide the wiper off by pulling the center towards the bottom of the arm.

Installing the new wiper:
  • Find the side of the wiper that attaches to the wiper arm. You will see that it is flat and has a curve across the top. Rotate this clip until the curve is pointing towards the wiper blade.
  • Hold the wiper upside down next to the arm where they match up and put the arm in between the sides of the wiper.
  • Make sure that the open end of the curve is facing the clip, and pull the wiper upward so that the rounded edge slides into the hook. Pull it on tightly to click it into place.
  • Repeat the process on the other side and you’ve successfully installed new wipers!

If you find you require some assistance with changing your windshield wipers, you could always drop by our dealership and one of our helpful sales representative or service technicians will be glad to help.

How Do I Check My Coolant Levels?

Measuring the coolant level in your vehicle is fairly simple. The opaque coolant overflow tank is most commonly located next to the radiator underneath the hood, and is best to be checked when the vehicle is cold. The tank is opaque to allow you to see whether or not the coolant is at a safe level with level indicator markings on the side. If the level appears to be low, the tank should be topped off with a 50/50 mixture of water and coolant. This allows your radiator the optimum boiling/freezing protection that your engine needs. You can usually purchase this liquid pre-mixed at an automotive parts store.

Here's how to do it:
  • Checking your coolant level should be done a few times a year to ensure there are no leaks in the system.
  • To add coolant, simply unscrew the cap of the opaque overflow tank and fill until it reaches the full mark.
  • Once filled, screw the cap back on and you are ready to drive!
  • Be sure to change your coolant every few years, as recommended by the manufacturer. *Most coolants are toxic, and can be fatal to those who come in contact with it. Please handle with care.
  • If any spills occur, clean up immediately.
  • Ensure the container is stored in a safe place.
  • Dispose properly by following the recommendations on the container. If you feel it is time to change your coolant or if you find you are consistently topping up your coolant. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment. Our service professionals are here to ensure your vehicle is at its best.
If you think there may be a leak in your cooling system or if you feel it is time to change your coolant, please feel free to schedule an appointment. Our service professionals will check to see if a little preventative maintenance can save you from having any major issues down the road.

How Do I Check The Transmission Fluid?

Inspecting your transmission fluid level in your vehicle is a simple task and should be performed monthly to ensure your vehicle is running at its peak potential. To ensure an accurate reading, you should check the transmission fluid with a warm engine and keep the engine operating as you measure. As with any fluid level reading, make sure your vehicle is on a level surface.

Check if you need to change your transmission fluid
  • Make sure you take the time once a month to check your transmission fluid level
  • To begin, ensure your vehicle is on a flat surface, your vehicle is in park with the brake on, and that the engine is running the entire time you are checking the transmission fluid level
  • Make sure your vehicle is up to regular operational temperature by checking your temperature gauge on the dashboard of your vehicle; it should be around the halfway mark on the gauge

Open up the hood of your car and locate the ‘transmission fluid’ dipstick
  • If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, the dipstick should be on the passenger’s side of vehicle, towards the back of the engine compartment.
  • If you have a front wheel drive vehicle, the dipstick should be on the driver’s side of the vehicle, by the transmission or coming straight from the transmission.
  • The dip stick is usually either red or yellow to make it easier to find.
  • If you are having any issues locating the transmission fluid dipstick, please refer to your owner’s manual.
  • There is a chance that your vehicle may not have a fluid dipstick. Over the past few years, many manufacturers have taken the transmission fluid option out of the engine compartment and replaced it with sealed units. This type of new transmission requires testing devices that the average vehicle owner would not have access to. If this sounds like your vehicle, give our service center a call and we would be happy to assist you. Ensure you make this appointment with us at least twice a year.

Check the transmission fluid levels
  • Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a lint free cloth.
  • Replace the dipstick and carefully remove again.
  • Check where your fluid level is compared to the warm and cold labels on the dipstick. Because your vehicle’s engine is warm, the fluid level should match up to the warm label mark.
  • If your fluid does not come up to the warm label mark, you will have to add more and be very careful you do not overfill the fluid.
  • Before adding more fluid, you should also check the color of the transmission fluid. Dip the tip of your finger into the transmission fluid on the dipstick. The fluid should be a light pink or red colour, and it should have no particles in it. If your fluid is a brown colour, smells burnt, or has particles of any type in it, you should make an appointment with one of our experienced vehicle technicians right away. This could be an indication of more serious issues.

Add transmission fluid.
  • If your transmission fluid is a light pink or red colour, and is particle free, it is time to add fluid until it is at the right level.
  • There are many different kinds of transmission fluids, so make sure you check which kind your vehicle needs in your owner’s manual, or give us a call before you add the wrong type.
  • Set the dip stick aside and carefully add the new transmission fluid in small amounts while checking the level on the dipstick as you go, until it is in line with the warm label mark. Be very careful not to go over this level.
  • Place the dipstick back in and your transmission will be in great shape for another month!

When checking your transmission fluid be sure to check its colour. Transmission fluid is a pinkish/red colour. If your fluid is brown, that is a sign that there may be something wrong with the car. If this is the case, schedule an appointment, where our experienced technicians are more than happy to help!

Why Is My Air Conditioning Not Working?

There are a number of issues which can explain why your air conditioning is blowing hot air instead of cold air. Below we will highlight some of the common issues which would explain why.

The first possibility could be because of a compressor has gone bad. The Compressor is responsible to pressurize and pump the refrigerant throughout the AC system. The heart of the AC system is generally the compressor, therefore if the compressor is faulty, the entire system will malfunction. A malfunctioning compressor is generally recognized by a loud noise when the AC is turned on.

Another cause of a malfunctioning air conditions unit is a refrigerant leak. Leaks can happen at various points in the Air Conditioning system, so this one might be difficult to spot. If you happen to suffer a leak, we suggest visiting our service center for recommended factory parts.

Another potential cause of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit is an obstructed orifice tube. If the flow of refrigerant is blocked through your orifice tube, your system will malfunction and blow warm air.

Whatever the reason that your air conditioner is not working we are more than happy to assist you! Bring your car to our service centre today and our experienced technicians will assist you in diagnosing and fixing any problem.

Why Is My Engine Idling Rough?

Idling problems can occur as a result of many different things. When it does happen, you should be able to feel them in your vehicle immediately. Some symptoms you will notice include your engine “chugging” when at an idle, idling too high, or sometimes even stalling the vehicle completely. You may notice that your vehicle is affected even worse in harsh weather conditions. If your vehicle is idling too high, you may find you have to hold the brake pedal harder than usual to prevent the car from moving. The longer you let these symptoms affect the vehicle, the more damage they may cause, and if left for long enough it can end up costing you more money than it should. A good way of preventing these issues before they arise is to bring your vehicle in for regular tune-ups and make sure your engine is reviewed thoroughly.

Issues with engine idling generally stem from five major categories in your vehicle:

Misfiring
  • Cylinders with low pressure
  • Dead cylinders
  • Timing issues
  • Issues with fuel injection or power production

Fuel Delivery
  • Bad fuel pump
  • Clogged fuel filters
  • Dirty fuel injector heads
  • Malfunctioning injectors
  • Failure of fuel delivery (too much/too little)

Air Delivery
  • Cracked/split/disconnected vacuum lines
  • Air control valves
  • Cracked air intake hose
  • Faulty IAC/clogged IAC channels

Sparking/Electronic
  • Ignition control module problems
  • Faulty coils
  • Faulty spark plugs

Mechanical Issues
  • Warn/eroded distributor cap
  • Timing belt or chain
  • Valves/valve spring/retainer issues
  • Blown head gasket/intake manifold gasket
  • Heat-warped block/cylinder heads

So what steps can you take to help solve your problem? The first part of the process is to get a diagnostic done on your vehicle. Bring your vehicle into our service center where a factory-trained service technician can use an OBD2 code reader to get to the core of the problem. Fiscally, this is much better than trying to find the problem yourself, as it can come from so many sources and you can spend a lot of time and money replacing parts. Another relatively cheap option is to run fuel injection head cleaner through your gas tank. These bottles can be purchased at any local auto parts store and even at select gas stations. Are you having issues with your vehicle idling rough, idling too low, or too high? Bring your vehicle into our service center for a full diagnostic and tune-up and let us get to the root of the issue.

Of course you can always bring your car to our service centre and our experienced technicians will be happy to assist you in diagnosing and fixing any problems.

What is wrong with my brakes?

As we all know, the brakes are one of the most important parts of a vehicle and when something goes wrong with this your brakes it can be quite alarming. It's often hard to determine if the noises the brakes make are the result of something simple, for example air in the brake line, or if they are an indication of more severe damage.

It is important to remember that when your service technician recommends any repair to your brakes, it should be it should be done at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid any damage or injury. Whether you need something simple, like a brake inspection, or the problem is something more complex, we can solve it. Our factory trained technicians get your car in optimum condition, and our prices are often lower than those of an independently owned garage.

Below are some answers to common questions related to brakes that we’ve prepared to help you identify any issues you might be having with your vehicle.

Why are my brakes pulsing?
  • The most likely cause of this problem is a warped rotor or out-of-round drum. This means that the brake rotor may not be perfectly flat and parallel with the plane rotation. This issue causes pronounced pulsating in the brake pedal.
  • Another common cause of brake pulsating is the failure of the brake pad to retract. In older vehicles, the brake shoes are pulled back from the drum using heavy-duty springs. On the other hand, in newer vehicles the pads are pulled back from the disc by the resiliency of rubber seals. Over time, these seals age or get damaged by contaminated brake fluid and this causes them to cease working properly. This results in the pad riding against the rotor and gets worn out too soon.
  • If the rotor happens to be warped, the pad can wear out without a failure of the rubber seals. This will result in the rotor wobbling while rotating and therefore it will scrape the pad as it turns. In this case the pad will wear out eventually and damage the rotor.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock brake system (ABS), you will feel a pulsating in your brakes when having to stop abruptly. This is normal.

Why is the brake pedal sinking to the floor?
  • The usual cause of this symptom is low brake fluid (possibly due to a leak) or an air leak in the brake hose. If you find a small puddle of fluid underneath your car where it has been parked, this is likely the cause.
  • Another problem you might be having is the master cylinder. The master cylinders cup seals or the cylinder bore may be worn. If you have found no external leaking of fluids, this may be the problem. The master cylinder pressurizes the brake system when the pedal is depressed and provides hydraulic fluid to each of the wheels to apply the brakes. The braking system is designed to illuminate the Red Brake Warning lamp when a hydraulic failure is present.

Why are my brakes grinding?
  • This sound most often indicates brake pads that have been worn down entirely. There is friction between the metal disc and caliper and this can make a very loud, metallic sound. This can “score” or scratch up your rotors, making their surface uneven. At this point your mechanic may “turn” your rotors to even the surface, or you may even need to replace them altogether. Have your brake pads replaced on a timely basis to avoid this issue.

Why are my brakes vibrating?
  • A vibration in the brake pedal is most often a sign of warped rotors (but can also be an indication that your car is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feeling of a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with ABS.
  • You can tell if the vibration is due to a warped rotor if the vibration occurs only during braking situations when the anti-lock brakes are not engaged. If you are doing severe braking for long periods of time, such as when driving down a steep slope or when towing, this can be the problem. Extraordinary amounts of friction are created under these conditions, heating up the rotors and causing the metal to warp. The brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly, causing the vibration. You can avoid this unnecessary heat and vibration by stopping occasionally to let your brakes cool off if driving under these conditions.

How much does a brake job cost?

The costs of having your brakes repaired depends largely on what the source of the issue is. The garage which you choose to have your brakes repaired at will also have a significant impact on the cost. There are usually costs for the initial inspection, repairing the damaged brake system, or replacing parts. If your entire brake system needs to be replaced, this is most likely a more expensive procedure. It is a common myth that a dealerships service department is more expensive than a privately owned garage. At our service department we offer affordable and professional service performed by factory trained technicians, these technicians know your vehicle inside and out, so you can be assured your vehicle is in safe hands. Contact us today to get started on your brake repair.

What Is A Powertrain Warranty?

It is not uncommon to hear the term “Powertrain warranty” when you’re in the process of purchasing a vehicle. Typically, a powertrain warranty is a guarantee from a manufacturer to repair an issue with parts of the vehicles powertrain, in the case a defect or an error occurs, based on the contract agreed upon by the buyer.

The powertrain of a car consists of :
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Driveshaft
  • Any of the internal workings of the engine

The powertrain is the system that provides power to the wheels; in essence, it is what powers your vehicle to move. If a mechanical error or problem occurs within the powertrain while the vehicle is covered under the warranty terms, either your dealership or vehicle manufacturer will be responsible to pay for the repairs to the powertrain. What your warranty coverage can vary greatly between vehicles, vehicle manufacturers and dealerships. When in the process of purchasing a vehicle, Warranty information should be reviewed thoroughly and carefully. This is especially important as a new vehicle buyer, to avoid unexpected bills you should review and analyze all terms of the warranty with your sales representative.

Want to learn more about GM's extended warranty program? Click here for more details.

If you believe you may be having powertrain problems please contact our service centre and we will be happy to check on your warranty status and get your issues fixed so that you can drive safely and worry free.

What Does An Extended Warranty Cover?

An extended warranty is a warranty offered to customers to safeguard against repairs that occur after the factory warranty has expired. It is similar to an insurance policy that helps you in unforeseen events. Depending on how you drive, or for how long you are keeping the car, you may or may not need an extended warranty. If you are not planning on keeping the vehicle for more than 3 years then you should be fine with just the factory warranty. Although you may be tired of making more negotiations and decisions during your vehicle purchase process, an extended warranty may be useful if you are planning to drive your vehicle for more than the length of the factory warranty or if the vehicle does not have a reliable history. The most important thing to do is your research. This may be explanatory but it can save you from having to purchase accessories or policies that you do not need. There are two types of extended warranties: one offered by the manufacturer and one offered by a third party. The one offered by the manufacturer is similar to an extension of the factory warranty and is completed at any franchised dealership with experienced technicians. The one offered by a third party may be cheaper and the work may be completed at a franchised dealership or at a third party repair shop. However, you may be required to pay for the repair first and then send the bill to the third party warranty company for reimbursement. The warranty backed by the manufacturer may also cover more than the third party.

So what exactly is covered under an extended warranty? The answer is, it depends on the warranty. Some cover up to wear and tear and some cover only the minimum. The most important thing is to know your vehicle and what is most likely to break down on it. Only then can you decide if you need an extended warranty and at what level. Keep in mind some components known to most likely fail:
  • Electrical components
  • Transmission
  • ABS
  • Manual clutches
  • Power-steering components

We may be able to provide you with an extended warranty that meets all of your needs. Please contact us and one of our friendly sales representatives will be happy to answer all of your questions.