Now that August is here, school is just around the corner. If you haven’t already, it is time to prepare your kids to go back to school. By taking a few small steps now, you can get the school year started without any problems. Here are a few tips.
- Get back to your school sleep schedule. If your kids get to stay up late in the summer, it is time to start dialing them back to an early bedtime. Move it up about 15 minutes a day until you are back on track. You’ll want to get readjusted to the school wake-up time as well.
- Shop for school supplies. When it is time to buy school supplies, let the kids come along and have them pick out a few special items, like a new backpack, lunchbox, folders, and notebooks.
- Plan after school activities. Do your kids want to play any sports or take any extra classes? Make sure to sign them up now before the rosters are filled. But, make sure your kids aren’t overextending themselves. Limit them to one or two activities.
- Have a homework space. Find a space in your home that will become the “homework station.” If this is someplace like your kitchen table, use a storage caddy to keep supplies they might need, including pencils, scissors, a calculator, etc.
To make sure your car is ready for carpool, schedule a maintenance check at Courtesy Ford of Sauk City.
Preparing your car for summer is a necessity in optimizing performance and extending the vehicle’s lifespan. Here are some summer car service tasks that the average driver can take care of on their own.
Drivers should periodically inspect their vehicle’s lights and bulbs. Replacing burned out bulbs is a safety precaution that no driver should ignore. The lenses need to be cleaned and inspected for cracks just as frequently.
Worn windshield wipers can become a major safety hazard in heavy summer rains. As a general rule, drivers should replace their windshield wipers every six months, but fortunately, replacing worn wiper blades is an inexpensive maintenance task, and it’s easy to do, too!
A car battery can fail any time of the year, but failure becomes more likely if the batteryisn’t properly maintained. While the only way to determine a battery’s strength is with professional equipment, drivers can take some routine maintenance precautions to reduce the chance of failure.
First, drivers can scrape corrosion off of the posts and cable connections. Cleaning the surfaces and retightening the connections can help keep the battery looking like new while potentially extending its lifespan. Drivers can also check the battery’s fluid level, provided the caps are removable.
Of course, another good idea is, if you see something that looks out of the ordinary, bring your vehicle in to Courtesy Ford of Sauk City for our professional technicians to look at.
We’ve all had a long winter, so when spring begins to dawn and flowers begin to bloom, we’re ready to get out, explore the outdoors, and hit the road for some spring trips. Winter is tough on our vehicles, too, so with the arrival of spring, you will want to clean your vehicle, inside and out. Here are some spring cleaning tips for your car that we highly recommend.
- Exterior: After months of snow, ice, and salt hitting your car, your car’s exterior has seen better days. Give it a thorough wash and make sure to remove all residual salt, especially from the undercarriage, as salt is a corrosive material. If you’d like, you can use eco-friendly waterless car cleaners. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious once you clean the exterior, you can polish and wax your vehicle to give it a nice shine for spring.
- Interior: After months of windows rolled up and salt from your boots soaking into the carpets both the upholstery and carpets could use a thorough cleaning. Perhaps the best way to deep clean the interior is to use a carpet cleaning machine on both the floor of your car and the car’s upholstery. In addition, miscellaneous objects and trash tend to accumulate in your car during the winter, so clear it out and wipe down the car’s surfaces to get it feeling like new. You can even add a “new car smell” air freshener if you’d like!
For more cleaning tips and to schedule your spring maintenance check, call Courtesy Ford of Sauk City; our expert technicians will get your car ready for spring in no time.
From oxygen sensors to the mass air flow sensor. You can improve your car’s fuel efficiency with these quick fixes!
One of the best ways to improve fuel efficiency is to get a new car. New cars come with the latest technologies, which often means they’re more efficient. But for those who don’t want to buy a new car simply to improve their gas mileage, there are multiple car parts you can replace to improve your engine’s efficiency.
According to Bankrate, improving fuel efficiency is simple as long as you know which parts to improve. One of the simplest parts to replace is your mass air flow sensor. This sensor regulates the flow of fuel, the ignition system, and even shifting. On older cars, the sensor can be inaccurate due to wear and tear; therefore, by replacing it, you can get better gas mileage.
Oxygen sensors (also called “O2 sensors”) are another way to improve fuel economy. These sensors keep track of exhaust before and after it hits your catalytic converter, which adjusts fuel injection levels. Therefore, when the O2 sensor starts to fail, you’ll lose gas mileage.
Spark plugs are important to replace if you’re looking to improve fuel economy. Spark plugs create little sparks to ignite the air-fuel mixture in your engine, therefore causing combustion. Because spark plugs are located near small explosions, carbon builds up on them over time.
These are just some of the things you can do to improve fuel economy. Not sure if you know how to replace the mass air flow sensor, oxygen sensor, or spark plugs? Visit Courtesy Ford of Sauk City for a technician to work on your car.
Fords are built to last. But if you want your vehicle to run like-new for years to come, you need to take care of your Ford. Follow these car maintenance tips for fall to make sure you’re starting the season on the right foot.
Get New Wiper Blades
The autumn is sure to bring plenty of rain showers. Be prepared for safe driving in rainy weather by changing your wiper blades. It’s easy and inexpensive to do. Sure signs that you’re in need of new blades are streaks on the windshield and squeaking when the wipers are turned on.
Check Your Battery
As the weather cools down, your car battery will need to be in tip-top shape. Weak or old batteries can have a lot of trouble staying charged when the weather gets frigid. Have your battery checked no to avoid needing a jump during the winter months.
Change Your Oil and Air Filter
You should get an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, or according to your owner’s manual. Find a specific recommended schedule in your owner’s manual. Keeping your oil and your air filter clean helps ensure that your engine is running at its best, and that your fuel efficiency is at its highest.
If you need help or have any maintenance questions, give us a call at Courtesy Ford of Sauk City.
Keeping your tires in good condition is crucial for both safe driving and good fuel efficiency. If you’re wondering how to tell whether you need new tires, use these tips from Courtesy Ford of Sauk City to help you decide.
The Penny Test
A simple penny can help you determine whether your tread is worn enough to warrant replacing. Take a penny and stick it in your tire tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s definitely time for new tires.
If you’re experiencing vibration or an uneven, thumping feeling when you’re driving, there’s a good chance it has to do with your tires. Bring your vehicle to the dealership as soon as you can so we can check your alignment, your balance, and the overall condition of your tires.
Bulges and Cracks
Your tires often show their well-being in their appearance. Any signs of wear, like cracks or bumps, indicate that the tires are probably ready to be replaced. Get new tires as soon as you can, or you might end up blowing a tire while you’re on the road.
At Courtesy Ford of Sauk City, we’re all about efficiency in every way. Today’s automobile market is full of vehicles with technologies like EcoBoost engines that help boost fuel economy. Yet, did you know there’s even more you can do to save on gas? Check out these fuel-friendly tips.
It’s not hard to start saving on gas!
Clean Out Your Car
Those who use their trunk or back seat as a permanent storage facility are suffering from more than just a bad case of the clutters. Any extra weight in your car has an impact on its efficiency, and every 200 pounds of weight cuts off one mile to the gallon. Clean out and save on gas.
Check Your Tires
Just one under-inflated tire can decrease your car’s efficiency. Make a habit of checking your tire pressure every time you stop for gas so you can be sure they’re always inflated to the recommended PSI.
Use an App
Downloading an app like GasBuddy onto your smartphone makes it easy to find the best gas prices near you. All you have to do is put in your location and the app will tell you where to find the cheapest gas in the area. With handy apps like GasBuddy, there’s no more retracing your steps to find that lower price.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your trade-in!
Getting the most out of your trade-in vehicle may seem like a no-brainer for most drivers but can be more difficult than you think. Most dealerships look to reduce the value of your used vehicle any chance they get. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you get top dollar for your used model. We here at Courtesy Ford of Sauk City have a few tips to help you increase your trade-in value!
- Clean Your Car – Most drivers hate cleaning their car, especially when it comes to detailing the entire interior. All that hard work can pay off in the form of a couple hundred dollars of value to trade in on a new car. Wash and wax the exterior then detail the interior to the best of your ability. Alternatively, you could also pay someone to professionally detail your vehicle inside and out.
- Keep Documentation – Performing routine maintenance is one thing but having proof you did so is another. Keep all service documentation, such as records or receipts, and bring them to the dealership when you’re ready to trade in for a new car.
- Shop Around – Don’t settle for the first offer you get. Try to get a quote from each dealership in the area, providing they have a new car you’re interested in. Some dealerships offer different values for vehicles they buy outright and those that go towards a down payment on a new car. Choose wisely!
Has you car undergone routine maintenance recently?
A lot of families have to travel to see their loved ones during the holidays, but as you cross the U.S. in your vehicle, you might come across different climates and temperatures than you’re used to. Here are some holiday travel tips for families that might be caught out of their element as they’re on the way to visiting their relatives in other parts of the country.
Keep Maintenance Up to Date
It’s easier to stay out of trouble if your vehicle’s routine maintenance schedule is all caught up. Fluctuating temperatures can have a bad effect on tire pressure, battery capacity, and even the functioning of your engine.
Map Your Route in Advance
Make sure you have your GPS ready and directions printed out just in case.
Put Valuables in the Trunk
It’s better to keep your most valuable possessions stowed away out of sight, so keep them in the trunk if you have one. If not, try to keep them covered.
Keep Your Phone Charged
We do a lot of things with our phones – get directions, make phone calls, stream music, etc. If your vehicle breaks down you want to make sure your phone is charged so you can call roadside assistance.
These holiday travel tips are good things to keep in mind when you’re preparing to hit the road to visit family during the Christmas season.
It’s that time of year again; the kids are back in school and your driving duties are upped! If your kids can’t take the bus and you don’t want the stress of driving them every day, you should consider carpooling! Here are some carpool tips for you and other parents.
Follow these carpool tips to be ready for the start of the new school year.
Have a Schedule
Work out a schedule with the other carpool parents that stays consistent. For example, every Monday and Wednesday goes to you, every Tuesday and Thursday goes to “Jenny’s Dad” and every Friday you rotate.
Car Seat Safety
Even if you’re carrying kids as old as 8, they might still require a car seat or booster seat. Check the guidelines in your state so that you have all kids, your own and others, properly buckled. Remember that kids under thirteen shouldn’t sit in the front seat and that everyone should buckle up!
Make sure every carpool parent has the same rules. That way, you’re all on the same page on everything when it comes to things like running errands with kids in the car, how long you will wait for a child running late, etc.
Make sure you have all parents and kids’ contact info as well as other family member information in case of emergencies.
For more tips, suggestions, or questions visit us at Courtesy Ford in Sauk City, Wisconsin and we’ll be happy to help in any way that we can. Keep calm and carpool on!