Latest Posts

How To: Replace A Headlight and Taillight

The bad news: You noticed a headlight on your vehicle went out.

The good news: This is a fairly simple repair that can be done at home.

Your friends at Leif Johnson are here to take you through the step by steps for replacing headlights from the convenience of home!


Here’s what you’ll need: New light bulbs  (Make sure to check online, your local auto or with our service department for what bulbs your vehicle needs.), alcohol wipes and tissues and a Phillips screwdriver

Replacing a headlight? 

Step 1 : Locate the headlight holder. Access the headlight bulb through your engine compartment. Open your hood and locate the headlight near the front of your vehicle. You will find it in a bulb holder, with a power connector leading to the bulb.

Step 2:  Remove power wires. These will be attached to a plug at the base of the headlight and held by a plastic catch, a metal clip or a screw cap. Look for a small lever on the top of the plastic catch. Proceed to push down on it while pulling the plug out. If it’s a metal clip, pull it up and away and hold onto it while you pull. If it’s a screw cap, you’ll want to unscrew by turning it counter-clockwise.

Step 3: Remove old bulb: Now that you have disconnected the wires, you should be able to remove the back of the headlight holder. By holding onto the base, you should be able to remove the back of the headlight holder and the old bulb. However, you might also have to rotate the bulb to get it free.

Step 4: Install new bulb : Use tissues or gloves when using the new bulb to keep oils from your skin touching the bulb. Clean the bulb with al alcohol wipe before putting into your vehicle. Once this is done, place the bulb into the base of the plug. The bulb’s rubber gasket will not be showing if it has been installed correctly. Once the bulb is installed, go ahead and put the headlight holder in its original position and plug the power wires back in. Test the bulb by starting your car and ensuring that the headlight turns on.

Replacing a taillight? 

There are a few differences to note in this process. Sometimes the housing with the bulb is removed from the outside, and in others you must unscrew it  from inside the vehicle. After unscrewing the housing, look for tabs, screws or small knobs to open the taillight cover and work on the bulb. If you need to remove the screws, be very cautious not to lost them. Don’t worry about removing the electrical wiring, but don’t pull the housing out too far as this can rip the wires. You should be able to unscrew the bulb by pulling it our directly or by pushing it in and unscrewing it at the same time. Once you have the new bulb in, replace the housing and reattach the screws, tabs, knobs or whatever else was initially removed. You will test the bulb the same as you would the headlights, by putting the key in the ignition and trying the brakes.

If you need any help with this process or just don’t have time to do it at home, feel free to call us at 512-454-3711. Ask for our service department. We’d definitely love to help with your headlight and taillight needs. If you have any other vehicle concerns during your visit, let us know. We’d love to help with those too!




5 Austin Spots To Study & Relax

It’s back to school time, and that means it’s also time for buckling down with the routine and/or getting back to studying. Whether you’re a student, a parent or both, these top Austin spots are amazing for studying, relaxing and all of the fun in between!


  1. Austin Public Library – Central Library

Eat a meal or enjoy a cup of coffee at Cookbook Café, spend some time perusing the massive amount of books or just stand in awe of the incredible amount of beauty that makes up Central Library. We’re talking six stories and 200,000 square feet and a rooftop deck to boot. This is a perfect and awe-inspiring spot to study or relax!

2. Halycon

Whether you’re looking for coffee, a cocktail or some really tasty eats, Halycon has it. Order some tator tot nachos, grab a seat and get to business! With one location on 4th Street and another on Muller, all you have to do is pick the coziest spot for you.

3. Barton Springs

If you can go without WiFi for a bit, this is a great spot to unwind or study. This spring fed pool is a gorgeous spot to work hard or hardly work. Or maybe even a do a little bit of both.

4. The Hive Austin

If you have little ones and need to get some work done or just want a little you time, The Hive is the best. Enjoy coffee or wine while the kids enjoy supervised play! This combo is really the bee’s knees.

5. Brentwood Social House

This location is amazing for all ages to chill and/or be productive. Your littlest will love the play area while parents and older kids will love sipping on some tasty tea, picking out the perfect pastry and knocking out those pressing assignments.

Whether your goal is to unwind or get back to the grind, these Austin hot spots are sure to help you meet your goal! 



Back-To-School Vehicle Check

Summer vacation is coming to a close, and it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in the best condition possible for all of those school drops-offs, pick-ups, and “mom/dad-I-forgot-my-fill-in-the-blank’s.” Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you a rundown of what to check to ensure that your car is ready for back to school!


  • Check your oil level and condition of oil – Having little or no oil in your vehicle can cause serious damage. Oil keeps parts lubricated and protects against engine friction. This one is pretty basic, but also so important!
  • Headlights and brake lights – Burned out brake lights are dangerous and can get you a ticket, so it’s important to make sure that these are always in working order.
  • Brakes– If you are hearing any grinding, or if your vehicle doesn’t seem to be stopping efficiently enough, it’s time to get those brakes checked out. Brake pads need to be replaced and rotors need to machined periodically so that they wear evenly and brake smoothly.
  • Windshield Wipers and Windshield Wiper Fluid – Always check that you are able to quickly remove raindrops, bugs or other items from your windshield.
  • Test and clean battery – Batteries should be replaced on average every 4 years. Batteries usually give little to no warning that they are failing, so it’s important to check the date on the battery (located on top), and to clean corrosion off of battery posts and cables periodically.
  • Proof of insurance – If you have a driving student, make sure that they have proof of insurance in their vehicle. Roadside Assistance can also be added to a policy for $5 or less a month.
  • Tires – Check tires for under inflation and lack of traction. Under inflated tires put you at risk for a blowout, and lack of traction will have you slipping and sliding when the roads are slick. Don’t know how to check tread? We’ve got an easy tip for you! Grab a penny and put penny in the tread head down. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, your tire needs to be replaced.
  • Fluid levels – Coolant and transmission levels should be checked should be checked periodically to ensure that there is no leakage. Change coolant every 50k-100k miles(every 4 to 5 years) and make sure transmission fluid is flushed and filled every 40k-60k miles. Brake and power steering fluids should also be checked on and changed when needed.
  • Dashboard Lights – If there are any dashboard lights up that you haven’t quite had the time to get checked, make sure to figure out what these mean and fix the issue as soon as possible.
  • Jack and spare tire – Make sure that you have both of these items and that they are both in good shape! You never know when you might encounter one of those dreaded flats.
  • Emergency kit – Safety first! It is so important to always have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Make sure this includes jumper cables, plenty of water and current medications.

We hope this makes your back to school preparations just a little more simple, friends. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help get your vehicle prepared for the new school year! Call us at 512-454-3711 to make an appointment today!


Five Ways To Cool Off in Austin

Looking for some ways to stay cool in our great (but super hot) city? As the temperatures continue to rise, your friends at Leif Johnson Ford have compiled a list of five of our favorite ways to cool off in the Austin area!


  • Visit a swimming hole- The Austin area is full of lovely swimming pools and holes to enjoy on a sweaty summer’s day. Beloved Barton Springs, Wimberley’s majestic Blue Hole and Spicewood’s gorgeous Krause Springs are just a few of our favorite options! And if you’re looking for a little history with your swimming, dive into the oldest swimming hole in Austin at Deep Eddy’s!
  • Discover a splash pad – Austin has so many totally free splash pads. Pease Park, Downtown Round Rock, The Triangle and Liz Carpenter Fountain at Butler Park are just a few of the amazing options.
  • Go paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing. Lady Bird is Austin’s favorite, but spots like Brushy Creek Park and Lake Austin also offer these on-the-water excursions!
  • Spend a day at the lake. From dining on Lake Travis to swimming at the beach-like Lake Pflugerville and everywhere in between, the Austin area suffers no shortage of beautiful areas to love. Eat at the Oasis or Shack 512, rent a boat or just dip your toes in the water. You’ll have a blast no matter what you choose!
  • Surf at N-Land Surf Park. Ride the waves or just enjoy a restaurant and brewery with a review. This unique spot has something for everyone to love!

Get in the water and make the most out of every sweat-inducing moment. Summer will be over before you know it, so soak up the sun and every moment while you can!

How To: Save Money On Gas

Is gas money getting in the way of pinching pennies and saving dollars this summer? Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you some simple tips on how to save money at the pump!


  • Don’t leave your vehicle in the hot sun, as this will cause gas to evaporate. Stay in the shade as often as possible!
  • Do use the right kind of motor oil. You can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by one to two percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended oil.
  • Don’t lose your fuel cap. Gas is able to escape the system when the fuel cap is removed from your vehicle.
  • Do check your tire pressure. Checking your tire pressure once a month with a digital gauge, as under-inflated tires can decrease gas mileage by about 0.2 percent for every one psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.
  • Don’t top off your vehicle. Additional gas will only slop or seep out, and there’s no point for paying for gas that ends up on the street.
  • Do replace air filters. When the engine air filters get clogged dirt or dust, it causes the engine to work harder and your car will not be as fuel-efficient.
  • Don’t use high octane fuel. Premium gas costs 15 to 20 cents per gallon more than regular gas. Unless you hear your engine making knocking sounds, which could mean that the air-fuel mixture is incorrect, you shouldn’t switch the high octane.
  • Do buy gas earlier or later in the day, and earlier in the week. Gas is cooler and less dense when the temperatures are cooler. As it gets hotter, gas density falls and you get less of it when you pump. Gas prices also typically rise between Wednesday and Sunday, making the earliest days of the week the best times to fill up.
  • Don’t choose gas stations near the highway. These often end up being pricier than ones just a bit off the beaten path.
  • Do monitor your breaking. Excessive braking only wastes your gas and causes brake pads to wear quickly. Always try to keep a good distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you in heavy traffic, as to not tailgate or slam on your brakes.
  • Don’t keep your engine on at unnecessary times. Idling your vehicle is a big source of wasted fuel!
  • Do regularly tune your engine. A properly tuned engine wastes less gas. Leif Johnson Ford would be more than happy to help with this! Feel free to schedule an appointment with us by calling 512-454-3711.

These easy tips will help you save money and keep your car cruising happily along!

Five Perfect Daytrips From Austin

We all know that Austin is jam-packed with amazing spots. It’s totally possible to have lived here your entire life and to still have a list of places in mind to visit for the first time. But sometimes it’s nice to just get out of town and explore for the day. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the best nearby towns ideal for a mini road-trip!


  1. Wimberley

This picturesque town comes complete with plenty of lovely wineries and two famous swimming spots. Take a dip in the Blue Hole or Jacob’s Well and complete your day with dinner at the delicious Leaning Pear. And if you happen to be in town the first Saturday of the month, don’t miss Wimberley Market Days which features the oldest outdoor market in the Texas Hill Country!

2. Fredericksburg

This adorable little city may be known for it’s wineries, but it also boasts delicious German eats, museums, the loveliest Markplatz (town square), a city park and playground and some of the best peaches around. Plan a road-trip and be prepared for the entire family to fall in love!

3. Round Top

Grab a piece of pie at the famous Royer’s Café, wander through the former-church-turned-library and explore Junk Gypsy’s incredible array of items. Make sure to visit during one of their Antique Show weekends, when the streets are lined for miles with antiques from all over the world!

4. Georgetown

With claims of being “The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas”, this area has a lot to live up to. And it succeeds. Downtown Georgetown offers live music in the square, delicious eats and even a downtown splash pad. See a little live theatre at The Palace, grab some pizza at 600 Degrees and finish the night by strolling the square with a glass of wine in hand. If you have little ones with you, plan a stop at Hat Creek Burger. The burgers and milkshakes make it tasty, and the playground makes it fun for everyone in the fam!

5. Waco

Chip and Joanna have made this one a nationwide phenomena, and with good reason. Definitely spend some time eating and browsing through Magnolia Market, but also check out the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Waco Mammoth National Monument (both approved by the Gaines’ themselves!)

Texas is full of treasures both big and small. Since your friends at Leif Johnson Ford have been around since 1957, we’ve made it one of our missions to help you find those gems! If you have any questions or need an oil change (or a brand new car!) before you go, don’t hesitate to call us at 512-454-3711! We look forward to seeing your adventures, friends. 

2018 F-150 Powerstroke Diesel Overview

Great news, truck lovers!

Ford is making F-150 history with its very first half ton diesel. These beauties are just beginning to roll into our Leif Johnson Ford locations, and we could not be more excited. Interested in owning one of these legends? Here’s what you’re working with:


  • 3.0 Liter, Turbo-charged Diesel Engine
  •  250 Horsepower and 440 ft pounds of torque. These features are both best in class!
  • Fuel Economy. 25 MPG on the highway, and 20 in the city. Switching from a regular F-150 means you’ll be saving up to $1,000 a year on gas!
  • Can tow up to 11,400 pounds
  • Has a payload capacity of 2,020 pounds
  •  The SelectShift 10 speed automatic transmission allows for smooth and precise shifts.
  • Snazzy onboard tech including Sync 3 and and MyKey (The latter is especially useful if you have teenagers and want to encourage responsible driving. There’s even a setting for keeping music off until seatbelts are buckled!)
  • New variable geometry turbo-charger, fuel injection system, connecting rod and main bearings, oil pan and a forged crankshaft.
  • Ford has added a mechanical fan to the engine; This fan is better able to move air under hefty loads, and is more capable than an electric cooling fans in extreme conditions. To put it simply, your engine will have improved high temperature and high altitude performance!
  • Advanced safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Pro Trailer Back-Up Assist.
  • The diesel engine gives a peaceful and quiet drive. From the inside of the vehicle, you won’t be able to hear the engine at all!

Want to take a closer look? Call us at 512-454-3711 to schedule a test drive today!

4th of July in (and around) Austin

Looking to plan last minute 4th of July festivities? We’ve got six of our favorite Austin and Austin area events ready for you!


1. 4th of July Parade and Celebration in Cedar Park

10 am – Enjoy a parade along Discovery Boulevard, starting at the H-E-B Center and going to the Recreation Center.

5pm – 10:30 pm – Now it’s time for live music, bingo, air castles, watermelon and so much more at Elizabeth Milburn Park. This family-friendly day and evening is sure to be a blast for all.

2. H-E-B Austin Symphony Concert, Vic Mathias Shore

Tens of thousands gather Austin Symphony music played in sync with an incredible firework show. This event is the biggest fireworks display in all of Texas! The Symphony starts at 8:30, but get there earlier if you want a good seat.

3. Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Celebration

Enjoy live music, a potato sack race, an obstacle course, shopping, fireworks and so much more! The festivities begin at 4pm and go until 10 pm, so get ready for a day and night of fun!

4. July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration in Round Rock

The parade starts at 10 am and then prepare for a day of pig races, skydivers, cowboy-sing-a-longs, free ice cream, music from the Austin Symphonic Band and so many more celebratory shenanigans. Pace yourself for fireworks sponsored by H-E-B after dark followed by Star Wars The Last Jedi in the park!

5. Red White N’ Buda Independence Day Celebration

Morning – 9 am -12 pm

Join buda-ful Buda in the morning for a parade and then partake in other fun activities at the Buda Greenbelt!

Evening – 5- 10 pm

Meet back up at the Buda Sportsplex Drive for food, entertainment and an amazing fireworks show!

6. Pfirecracker Pfestival in Pflugerville

Ready to have some pfun in Pflugerville?! Bring your family to The Pfield for live music, food trucks, a kid’s play area and plenty of pfireworks!

Happy Fourth, y’all! Drive safe and have a blast celebrating with your favorite people. As always, your friends at Leif Johnson Ford are so honored to serve our community in our corner of the red, white and blue.



Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Transmission

Your transmission is a vital part of your vehicle, and it is so important to keep yours in the best of conditions. It’s especially important to ensure the health of your transmission is this Texas heat. Leif Johnson Ford is here with some tips on how to keep that transmission in tip-top shape!


Change Transmission Fluid

This is vital for lubrication and good performance.

Check your transmission fluid levels. Low fluid levels or fluid levels that drop quickly might mean you have a leak.

Also check your vehicle’s radiator and coolant levels. The radiator controls your engine heat, but it helps your transmission stay at a proper temperature as well.

Low or dirty fluids will increase chances of wear and overheating.

Change every 15,000 miles or once a year (See owner’s manual). If you have a vehicle that does heavy towing regularly, you will want to check fluids monthly.

Use a high-quality synthetic transmission fluid. These will be less likely to degrade at higher temperatures.

Use Brakes 

Do not downshift to slow down car.

Downshifting in lieu of braking puts unneeded stress on vehicle.

Transmission parts are usually more expensive than new brake pads.

Pay attention to overheating 

Overheating is the most dangerous factor for a vehicle’s transmission.

As the internal temp of your transmission climbs, transmission fluid begins to degrade.

Your transmission’s lifespan decreases by a factor of two for every 20 degrees over 200 degrees.

Follow speed limit  

Excessively fast driving puts unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s transmission.

“Peeling out” is especially harmful for your transmission.

Following the speed limit is beneficial not only for your transmission, but also your fuel economy.

Make overall wise driving choices 

Always make sure to drive in the right gear, whether you have an automatic or manual.

Use overdrive only when driving at highway speeds.

Use lower gears only when you need the power for going up hills or if you are towing a heavy load.

If you need any help with your transmission or if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to call us at 512-454-3711. We would love to help ensure that your vehicle is healthy and prepared for these dog days of summer!





5 Top Austin-Area Camping Spots

Welcome back, friends! Last week we shared with you the essentials needed for a camping trip. This week, we’ll be giving you our top picks for family-friendly camping spots in the Austin area. Get your tents and your adventuring pants ready!


  1. Cedar Breaks Park

Located on Lake Georgetown, this gorgeous spot offers 59 campsites to reserve. Boating, fishing and hiking the trails are all great adventures to partake in when camping at Cedar Breaks. Not only is this one on the water, mesquite trees provide shade to 90% of the scenic sites. That makes this is an absolutely perfect summer location!  Camping fees are $26.

2. Ink Lakes Park

If you’re a camper looking for a more guided experience, this is the spot for you. Get a history lesson at the visitor’s center and learn even more at the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are both campsites and cabins to choose from. Hike nine miles of forests and hills, go fishing, rent a paddleboat and so much more at this Burnet go-to. The water level stays pretty consistent so this is a great place to cool off year-round! Entry fees are $6 and camping fees range from $11 to $23.

3. Pedernales Falls State Park

Camp, hike, picnic, kayak, tube, swim, bird watch and more while camping at Pedernales Falls in Johnson City! Explore nature and enjoy so many fun activities, all in a day’s fun! Entry fees are $6 and camping fees begin at $10.

4. McKinney Falls State Park

Seven hundred acres of beauty, all located within city limits. From waterfalls to gorgeous greenery to hiking trails and swimming, there is something for the whole family to enjoy exploring here. Water, electricity and – if you really don’t feel like roughing it – even cabin rentals are available at this popular camping spot. Admission is $6 per person and $20 to reserve a campsite.

5. Windy Point Park

This Austin spot offers everything from free WiFi to a boat launching spot to rinse off showers. Get away from the crowds to soak in the Lake Travis views, BBQ with the family, take a dip in the lake and even go scuba diving at this chill local spot. Entry fees are $8-15 a person, $10 for camping and $15 for boat launching.

Happy camping, happy campers!