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Velde Ford Answers Your Frequently Asked Service Questions

At Velde Ford want to be able to help take care of any car problem you have. Our service experts have answered all of your frequently asked questions and conveniently put them into one spot. We then categorized them to make any question you have is easy to find. Take a look at our categories below – General Car Care, Under the Hood, Oil Changes, Tires, Brakes, and Wipers – to learn all about routine maintenance and your vehicle. If you have any other questions, give us a call at (888) 221-2804.


How often should I get my wheels aligned?

Your car’s alignment can be affected by everyday driving conditions like potholes, hitting curbs, and dirt roads. When your vehicle’s alignment is affected, the wear and tear of your tires is affected too. To keep your vehicle performing at its best you should have your tires aligned every other oil change, or when you get new tires. If it’s been a long time since you’ve had your tires aligned, bring your car in and our tire experts will get it taken care of for you.

How long can I drive on a spare tire?

Spare tires should not be driven on any more than 50 miles. You should also never go over 50mph on a spare. Fixing or replacing a tire is quick and easy at Velde Ford, and it should be done as soon as possible.

How do I know what my tire PSI should be?

Your vehicle’s recommended PSI can be found on the inside of the driver’s door and in your owner’s manual. You should never follow the PSI that’s printed on the side of your tire. This is the max PSI that your tire can hold, and could greatly change your driving habits and decrease the life of your tires. If you’re ever unsure of your tires’ PSI, bring your car into our service center and we’ll check it for you.

Why does my tire pressure light go off when it’s cold outside?

When it’s cold outside the air in your tires compresses and sets off the tire pressure light on your dashboard. A lot of times, the light will turn on in the morning when the temperature is colder and go off in the middle of the day when it gets warmer. If you’re ever worried about your tire pressure, you can bring your vehicle into our service center and we’ll check out your tires to ensure they’re filled to the right PSI.

How do I know which tires to buy?

If you only need one or two tires replaced, try to get the same ones you already have on you vehicle or get them as close as possible. If you need to replace the entire set of tires you have two possible options. If the set of tires you had worked well for you, your first option is to replace them with the same brand. If you didn’t like how the tires performed, talk to one of our tire experts at Velde Ford. We’ll be able to tell you which tires will work best for your driving style and needs.

Why are tire alignments important?

Regular tire alignments keep your tires parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road. This ensures that each tire is wearing evenly. With routine tire alignments, your vehicle will have optimized fuel efficiency and keep your tires from swerving too far left or right on the road.

When should my tires be replaced?

If you’re not sure when your tires needs to be replaced look for these warning signs:

  • Irregular or severe tread wear
  • Unusual bulges
  • Cracks in your tires’ sidewall

To check the wear of your treads, you can use the “penny test” (See next FAQ). By keeping up with routine tire rotations and proper inflation you’ll increase your tires’ life expectancy.

How can I check my tire’s tread?

The ‘penny test’ is a super simple and quick way to check your tires’ treads. Follow the instructions –

  • Find the lowest tire tread groove and stick a penny in it with Lincoln’s head pointing down into the tire.
  • Move the penny along the groove.
  • If any part of Lincoln’s head is NOT covered by the tread, your tire tread is very worn. This means your tire cannot get the grip it needs on the road when you’re driving. If your tire failed the “penny test” you should bring your vehicle into our service center so we can get the tire replaced.

Why is it important to have the right tire pressure?

Having the correct tire pressure improves the overall performance of your vehicle. The right tire pressure will give you a better handling of your vehicle, help your tires last longer, and increase your fuel-efficiency.

How often should I get my tires rotated?

Our tire experts at Velde Ford recommend that your tires get rotated every 6,000 miles or every other oil change. If you avoid getting your tires rotated they can wear unevenly.

What is the main cause of tire damage?

Improper inflation is the main cause of tire damage. This is why it’s crucial that you’re checking the air pressure of your tires regularly. You can check your tires with a tire gauge, or you can stop by our service center and we’ll check it for you.


How do I know which windshield fluid I should use?

When choosing a windshield fluid, you have two options. The first option is a diluted formula. The second option is a more concentrated formula that you need to dilute with water. When choosing which solution you want, make sure you check the label to see if it works in the temperatures you’re driving in. Some fluids will help you clear off the ice in the winter, and some will work better in hotter temperatures. If you need help choosing your windshield fluid and filling your washer fluid tank, come to Velde Ford and we’ll give you a hand.

Where can I find the size of my wipers?

The size of your wipers is dependent on your vehicle’s make and model. Most cars even have different wiper sizes for the passenger and driver side. To make sure you’re getting the right fit for your vehicle, check your owner’s manual, online, or ask one of our service technicians at Velde Ford.

How do I know if my wiper blades need to be replaced?

The purpose of your wiper blades is to clear your windshield of any dirt or debris that could be blocking your view of the road. If your wipers show any of these signs, they should be replaced –

  • The rubber strip is completely removed
  • Streaks are left on your windshield after use
  • The rubber strip is dried out or cracked


How often should I get my brakes checked?

Your brakes should be checked regularly because they’re a key safety component to your vehicle. A routine brake check is every 5 months or every 5,000 miles, but you should also consider your driving style and habits. If you’re someone who drives in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, your brakes will likely wear down faster. On the other hand, if you don’t drive a lot your brakes will last much longer in between checks. In any case, if your brakes start to grind or squeal, you should bring your vehicle into our service center right away.

How do I know if my brakes need to be replaced?

Look for any of these warning signs if you think your brakes need to be replaced:

  • Increased braking distances
  • A weak hard brake
  • Steering wheel vibration when stopping
  • A bad smell occurring after a hard stop
  • High pitched squealing
  • Grinding noise when stopping
  • Car pulls left or right when stopping

If you experience any of these signs, bring your car into our service center and we’ll fix or replace your brakes for you.

Why does my steering wheel shake when I brake?

Your steering wheel is most likely shaking because your brake rotors have become too thin to disperse the heat or they’re warped. Either way, you should have your rotors replaced.

Why are my brakes squealing?

It’s not uncommon for brakes to squeal. If any squealing does occur, you should pay attention to how often it happens and when it happens. Sometimes a squeal could mean nothing at all, and sometimes it’s a sign you have damaged brake pads or rotors. In any case, it’s suggested you have your vehicle inspected to make sure your brakes are working properly and you’re driving safely on the road.


How often should I get my oil changed?

The recommended time between each oil change is every 3,000 miles, or the suggested time in your owner’s manual.

Should I consider synthetic oil?

Synthetic oil is more expensive than mineral-based oil, but also offers benefits like increased fuel economy and a longer interval between each oil change. Normally, vehicles that are supercharged, turbocharged, or have a higher performance need synthetic oil. Vehicles that work in extreme weather conditions or tow regularly will benefit from synthetic oil as well.

Why does my engine oil look milky brown?

Milky engine oil is a sign that your vehicle has coolant in the oil. A number of things can lead to this like a blown head gasket, a damaged casing, or a failed transmission cooler. If this is the case, you should have your vehicle inspected and serviced as soon as possible.


When should I have my A/C serviced?

If you’re A/C isn’t pushing air out and cooling your car’s cabin off like it should, it needs to be serviced. Our service experts will be able to detect the problem quickly and get you back on the road nice and cool.

How often should I have my battery inspected?

If you battery is any older than 3 years, it’s recommended that you have it inspected every year. An average battery life is 3-5 years. You should also have your battery inspected if your car is having a hard time starting up, or not starting at all. This could mean that your battery is at the end of its life.

How often should my coolant be changed?

Generally, your coolant should be changed every 24,000 miles or every two years, depending on which one comes first. Schedule an appointment to get your coolant flushed online or by giving us a call.

Why is my alternator important to my vehicle?

Your alternator is a very important component to your vehicle. The first job it does is sparking your engine when you start it up. It also recharges the engine while your car is running. Additionally, it powers all the electronic components in your vehicle like your radio, lights, and phone charger. Without your alternator, your vehicle would get all of its electrical power from the car battery, and your battery is not powerful enough to do that.

How do I know if I’m having alternator problems?

If you think your vehicle is experiencing alternator problems there are few signs to look for. The first sign is the warning light going off on your dashboard. Other signs could be dimmed head and taillights, a whine or growl coming from your car, or your vehicle not starting. By bringing your vehicle into our service center we’ll be able to detect the problem for you and get it fixed.

What’s the importance of having my belts and hoses inspected?

Over a period of time your belts and hoses can become cracked and worn. If this is the case it can cause serious problems for you and your vehicle. Your hoses and belts could be damaged if you hear a whining noise or your vehicle isn’t working properly. If you bring your vehicle in for our service experts to inspect it we’ll check the following:

  • Proper tension
  • Spills and leaks
  • Clamps that are worn or loose
  • Proper drive pulley alignment
  • Cracking, softening, or hardening of hose pipes
  • Fracturing, glazing, or softening of belts

How often should my hoses and belts be replaced?

To ensure your vehicle is performing as efficiently as it should be, your belts and hoses should be replaced every 30,000-60,000 miles. This will also help you avoid serious car problems in the future.

When should my vehicle’s suspension system be serviced?

Your vehicle’s suspension system should be serviced if any of the following warning signs occur –

  • Your car sways or bounces excessively
  • When you stop, your vehicle bottoms out or nose dives
  • Uneven tread marks on your tires
  • Leaking shocks

If any if the items listed above happen with your vehicle, bring it into our service center. We’ll inspect and fix the problem to ensure you’re back on the road safely.

How do I know if my transmission is having problems?

The first, and most common, warning sign you should look for if you think your vehicle is having transmission problems is the “Check Engine” light on your dash. Other signs to notice are your transmission slipping (making a high pitched sound), a burning smell, or any fluid leaks. If any of these happen, the problem should be addressed right away for you and your vehicle’s safety.

How should I check my antifreeze?

To make sure your vehicle is working at the best of its ability, you should check all of your car’s fluids once per month. If there’s something wrong with your antifreeze you may notice these signs – a yellow, green, or pink puddle under your car, your coolant light going off on your dash, or your temperature gauge higher than it should be. If any of these happen, bring your car into our service center and we’ll take care of the problem.

When should I get my car’s fuel filter replaced?

Your owner’s manual will have a recommended interval to follow, but as a general rule we recommend every 30,000 miles.

How should I check that my car battery has a good electrical connection?

Check your battery’s cables and terminals periodically, and make sure they’re nice and clean. This will ensure that your battery keeps a good electrical connection.

When should I change my spark plugs?

It’s suggested that you replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles or every 3 months – whichever comes first for you. There is an exception though if you have the 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs. By replacing your spark plugs when needed, you’re improving your fuel economy and engine performance.

My car has a burned out fuse, what should I do?

The most important thing to keep track of when replacing a burned out fuse is that the new fuse has the same amperage. You can find the amperage by looking for a printed number on the side of the fuse. If replacing the fuse doesn’t work, it may be a faulty circuit. In that case you should bring your vehicle in, and our service experts will take care of the problem.


How do I know which fuel type is better for my car?

Your owner’s manual will tell you exactly which fuel type is suggested for your vehicle’s make, model, and trim level. Keep in mind that sometimes Premium Unleaded fuel is recommended, but not always needed. Normally vehicles that are at a higher performance need a higher-octane level for the engine. Just make sure that you never mix the fuel types.

Something smells; what should I do?

If anything smells unusual in your vehicle this could be an early warning sign that something is not working the way it should be. Some fixes are easy and some are more complicated, but just to be sure we recommend bringing your vehicle into our service center so we can find the root of the problem and have you back on the road odor-free.

What should I have in my car emergency kit?

  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Multipurpose tools
  • Extra clothing
  • Blanket
  • Kitty litter
  • Phone charger
  • Extra cash

How does my driving affect my vehicle’s performance?

Your driving style and daily commute have a major affect on the wear and tear of your vehicle. For example, if you’re consistently driving in rush hour traffic, your brakes are likely to wear a lot faster. If you’re a more cautious driver and keep your speed around 60mph on the freeway, you’re probably getting better fuel-efficiency. By understanding how you drive and how it affects your vehicle, you’ll be able to make the adjustments you need to get the best performance from your car.

Why is my car having issues starting in the cold weather?

Cold winter temperatures are harsh on your vehicle, which could lead to a few reasons why your car is having problems starting. One reason may be a bad fuel mixture or lack of fuel. A common rule to follow in the winter is to have at least a quarter tank of gas at all times. Another reason could be a weak battery. If your car battery is at the end of it’s life, chances are it’s getting weaker in the winter and it may need replacing. Lastly, your oil could thicken in the cold temperatures and your engine has a hard time spinning when this happens.

How long should I warm up my engine before driving in the winter?

No matter what season it is, your engine doesn’t need to idle anymore than 30 seconds to warm up. Your vehicle will actually warm up faster by being driven. When you’re driving in colder weather though, driving a little more cautiously for the first 10 minutes could help.

What should I do if my engine temperature gauge starts to rise too high?

If your engine gauge starts to rise too high the important thing to do is get your engine back to a steady temperature. There are a couple of ways to do this –

  • Turn off your air conditioner because it actually strains on your engine.
  • Turn your heater up. This will pull heat away from your engine.
  • If those don’t work, pull over and turn off your vehicle.

If you have to pull over, you should get your vehicle inspected by our service experts at Velde Ford as soon as possible. We’ll be able to find the problem and fix it for you in a timely manner.

What does it mean if my check engine shows up on the dashboard?

There are many of little sensors in your vehicle to make sure everything is working, as it should. If any of these sensors detect something wrong, your engine light will light up. If this happens, bring your vehicle into our service center and we’ll find the problem for you and get it fixed.

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