Category: AutoTopic

Free Oil Change Intervals

As you may already know, we offer Free Lifetime Oil Changes.

The question has often come up, “How often should I redeem my free oil changes” & “Are there any limitations to how many per year I can get”

• You cannot void your Free Oil Changes; our only requirement is that you purchase a vehicle from us. Once you have done that, you qualify for the life of that vehicle. We do not keep tabs on how many you use, how many miles occur between them, or where you have your other work done. If you miss some, you miss some. They are free so we encourage you to use them, but if out of convenience from time to time you go elsewhere, we do not question you about it. • As for how often you SHOULD change your oil, again, we do not track mileage. I can offer this simple advice though. We use synthetic blend motor oil. These fluids contain different cleansing agents and additives that are designed to breakdown over a longer period of time, better withstanding extreme temperature changes, both factors that cause conventional motor oil to dissipate quicker.

That being said, my professional advice is to consider a 5,000 to 7,500 mile oil change interval. Whatever you choose, be consistent with that. This allows all of the intended functions of the Premium oil to properly care for your engine. You will not be hassled regardless of how often you come in though.

Feel free to comment with any questions.


With a few simple steps, you can endeavor the upcoming winter months, with assurance you wont be roadside with a pair of jumper cables and a hope of someone pulling over to your rescue. I intend to keep most of this post very basic, so as not to encounter any “Don’t try this at home” fears.

I have provided at the end, a video blog, to walk you through the steps, but you’ll want to read through the detailed steps first.

It all starts under the hood. Without overwhelming or boring you with what goes on under there, we will focus on the battery, the belts and the noises.

For around $30 you could stop in at any of our Vision or Transitowne stores for a computer aided diagnostics check of your charging system.  It’s important to understand that the functions of each individual part of the charging system can pass these tests as a whole, but in some cases any one of the components can malfunction independently and require further diagnostics. Following these simple steps will simply allow you to do all that you can with little to no experience or tools.

The Battery: In most cases it will be located under the hood. You should look for 3 things.

  1. Visual inspection… It has 2 cables attached to it, are they corroded? If they look textured or powdery, they need cleaned. Before going any further, battery acid and residue will destroy what ever it touches, so dress accordingly. Proper fix: remove terminal and clean post and cable with a wire brush or terminal cleaning tool. Real world fix: pour a can of coke on it and hose it off after 5 minutes. Note: Some batteries have a sight glass (peep-hole) on the top that should appear green inside, but I don’t condemn a battery based on that inspection.
  2. Wiggle it… now that they are clean, grab hold of the red and the black and try to wiggle them. If they move at all, that’s not good. If you are unsure what to do about it, leave a comment and I will address it for you. If you own a socket or wrench set and know how to use them, have at it.
  3. Bulges… In the event that you have a battery not enclosed in a case, you can inspect each of the sides. You are looking to see that there are no bulges. You want to see square flat sides. Bulges are caused from overheated batteries, and this would typically be a sign of needing replaced.

The Belts: You are looking at 2 things. You’ll have either 1 belt (Serpentine belt) or more than one belt (accessory belts) and look for the same things in either case.

  1. Belt condition: On the side that runs along the pulley’s, you are looking for any cracks (dry rotting), which can be common in older belts. Depending on its location, you may have to find a spot on it where you can “turn it inside out” enough to see the inside surface. Any spot will do, if you can examine a section of 3-4 inches or more you have found the right spot. Flexing it backwards will expose any surface cracks, and if you see them, its time to consider a replacement. 30,000-45,000 miles is the low-end of a life expectancy of a belt.
  2. Belt tension: If you can find a spot in between pulleys, 6-8 inches of free belt, you want to tug on it. It should be quite stiff with 1-2 inches of play. (see video for normal travel) Excessive travel with no cracks in the belt could be a worn belt, but could also be a result of a bad tensioner.

The Noises: This part can get tricky. I suggest checking out my video at the end, for a good explanation and visual, of whats going on here. There are 2 methods of listening;

  1. The ear: With an engine running, you’ll hear noise. What you are listening for is any high-pitched noise, or any groaning/moaning sounds. Typically, an engine at idle will only emit those noises if it has a bad pulley or other moving part. If it sounds sick, either see step #2 or consider one of our Dealerships for a service visit.
  2. The Doctor: What you’ll need to do is simulate a stethoscope. By way of an extended screwdriver or similar object. The combination of a steel shank and plastic handle will amplify the noise output when the handle is cupped next to your ear, and the opposing end placed at the “heart” of the source. Once you have located the alternator, you would place the end of the screwdriver on the aluminum casing, as close to the pulley as you can, without touching the pulley. If you get a great deal of noise feedback or vibration in the handle, this results in 2 things. The first being a worn bearing, and the 2nd, this creates excessive static electricity causing premature failure of internal parts such as Diodes and brushes.

That should do it. Upon completing those basic precautionary checks, you have done everything you can do without additional skills and equipment. If you still question the strength of your charging system, I would first start with a computer aided charging system test at a trusted service station. Your system will be tested for Voltage and Amperage output, among other things. Above and beyond that it would go through component bench testing if needed.


Please check out my video, and always feel free to visit it on YouTube “HeadlightsVlog”

It all started in March 1990, when Ford Motor Company replaced the Ford Bronco II, with the 1991 Ford Explorer. Built in Louisville, Kentucky the new breed was greatly responsible for turning the mid-sized SUV segment into a practical, everyday requirement for families all across North America.

Let’s have a look…

Generation 1 – 1991-1994

Generation 2 – 1995-2001

Generation 3 – 2002-2005

Generation 4 – 2006-2010

Generation 5 – 2011-

This upcoming 2011 Ford Explorer release should excite many of you, for many reasons. To name a few, Inflatable rear seat belts, Terrain Management System & it is 85% Recyclable! Remember that EcoBoost engine technology that I mentioned in an earlier blog? Well the new Explorer, with this technology, delivers more than 30% better fuel economy.

Bring your family in to see if the available 7 passenger seating is everything it promises to be. Coming to a dealer near you, this winter.


tur·bo·charg·er – [tur-boh-chahr-jer]


A form of a supercharger that is driven by a turbine, turned by exhaust gases from the engine. The turbocharger increases the density of air entering the engine to create more power.

It’s cheaper because – Ford has paired up the dual turbo chargers with a Direct Injection fuel system. It delivers the fuel directly to each individual cylinder, in a fine, controlled and highly accurate mist. Meaning less waisted gas!

It’s powerful because – In the past you had Turbo Lag Now you have responsive power! Turbo lag is the time it takes from the moment you press on the gas pedal to the time the turbocharger delivers the increased power. Turbo “Lag” is very common in single turbocharged engines. With Fords EcoBoost, they utilize 2 smaller turbochargers, boosting the combustion pressure at an even faster rate. Giving you the “On Demand” results you look for.

Why should you have it? – Environmentally friendlier, very fuel-efficient, very powerful, and very cost-effective. Popular Mechanics

  • Ford has built the first of a new breed of turbo engines designed to improve fuel efficiency. In the past, turbocharged engines have been used to boost power rather than save fuel. They ran at efficiency-killing low compression ratios and rich air/fuel ratios to prevent meltdowns. The 365-hp* 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 uses several tricks to overcome these limitations. For instance, the direct fuel-injection system squirts fuel into the combustion chamber instead of the intake ports — this cools the chamber, allowing for a fairly high 10.0:1 compression ratio. The new V6 debuted in the Lincoln MKT and MKS, and the Ford Taurus SHO.

As you might have heard, the Ford Fiesta has finally arrived. I’d like to briefly walk you through my 1st impression…

Walking up to this thing, you cant help but think… “This car is short, I’ve never seen anything like it, and very short”

The 2nd thing noticed is that highly anticipated window sticker, and to see that exceptional fuel mileage.

As I grabbed the door handle, it felt big, and ergonomic. The door was noticeably heavy, I suppose that has a lot to do with how quiet its claimed to be. Everything inside was fresh looking, quality feel and unexpectedly spacious. The dash and lower bolster are very much out-of-the-way making room for your legs, and the door trim is compact and really not cluttered with anything. It was very comfortable. Most of the controls are located on the center stack, within easy reach. Everything is located relatively high so as I was playing with the features, my head was up, and eyes would have been on the road.

The back seat boasts quite a bit of room, easily seating two good-sized adults comfortably for any length of trip. The trunk on the hatchback is deceiving, as it is deeper than expected. Front to back not bad, but top to bottom exceptional! This car over all will not replace a full size family sedan, but it’s very capable of accommodating big needs, and fun traveling.

Typically, the next part of a car review would be the ride quality and handling… but the car sold! 🙂 I don’t expect they will ever last long on the lot. Not when its starting price is at $13,320.

Whats the point?…

  • ” To create a memorable event for customers, invite them to join a unique community of owners, and initiate a relationship that will create advocates of the Ford Brand” – Ford Fiesta Movement Communications

Whats in the box?…

  • A Ford Fiesta
  • USB mp3 player/thumb drive (a pretty cool one)
  • 5 Podcasts (Display, Electronic Stability Control, Safety, Sync & Transmission) I know what you’re thinking…”who cares?” Think about you, in that car, safe, comfortable and connected!
  • Exclusive “Fiesta Community App” (yes, there is an app for that) including the following:
  • Wiki-Fiesta – The app is an owners Wikipedia, where owners can share what they know and have learned about how to get the most out of their Fiesta
  • a “Photo Shop” there will be a photography session, and its yours to use
  • Fiesta Faction” connection – a site where Fiesta enthusiasts can interact

Whats unwrapped?…

  • Welcome: A quick introduction video to your new Fiesta. Nobody else owns one, and owners have already been tweeting and updating Facebook status as they learn the progress of their new Ford Fiesta. “Just got my VIN number….”
  • Celebrate: A minor photo shoot, so come prepared, come creative. Its exciting and only the Fiesta can create it. This is your own avatar for the Fiesta Community App. We’ll upload it for you and register you upon delivery.
  • Listen: That cool mp3 player, we’ll send you on your way with a pre-loaded audio welcoming. 19 minutes of introduction to the fine details of your new Fiesta. Introducing you to the details you cant see, that make it the safe, comfortable, and most technologically advanced car in its segment. Take a deep breath, and listen. Its new, its fun and its yours!

Now what?…

  • Brag: By the time you get home, we will have uploaded your avatar, and registered you for you own personal experience in the Fiesta Community App. Simply plug in your USB mp3 player/thumb drive into a computer, click on “Install_FiestaCommunity-PC” and sign in. You can now share your experience with your followers and facebook friends, and begin to interact with other Ford Fiesta owners.
  • Picture yourself: In a Fiesta, you can upload any image of your face or a friends face in one of many pre-loaded fun Fiesta pics.
  • Widget: As previously mentioned, you can send your friends to our web page and they can put their own faces in the seat of a Fiesta
  • Fiesta News: The Fiesta Community App regularly keeps you up to date with Fiesta news and your dealerships Social Media engagement. We encourage you to share your experience, and your emotions!! 🙂
  • Twitter Ticker: At the bottom of the App, customers can view our latest Social Media updates… and stay connected.