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10 Essential Items to Have In Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

Safety should always be a number one priority on the road. One big way to guarantee this priority is a vehicle emergency kit. Even if you have a vehicle that’s in great shape, you never know what’s going to happen on the road. Breakdowns can happen anywhere, and there may not always be cell phone reception or tow trucks close by. Being prepared is key! But what should you put in an emergency kit? Your friends at Leif Johnson Ford are here to give you the essential items needed to keep you safe and sound during your drives!

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  1. First Aid Kit – Bandaids, adhesive tape, gauze pads, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex glove, an instant cold compress, scissors, hydrocortisone ointment packets, an oral thermometer, antibiotic ointment packets and antiseptic wipes are all great items to have on hand.
  2. Fire Extinguisher  – Make sure it’s for Class B and Class C fires by the National Fire Protection Association. Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids, like gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment like switches, panel boxes and batteries.
  3. Jumper Cables – A small and portable lithium-ion with jumper cables will also work. Bonus – These batteries will also recharge computer and cell phones!
  4. Flares or triangle reflectors – This will both let others know you need help and can alert oncoming traffic of your vehicle.
  5. Bottled waters and energy bars – In case of a breakdown, it’s always good to stay hydrated and healthy! Have a three day supply of both handy.
  6. Flashlight and extra batteries. You don’t want to get stranded in the dark!
  7. Basic Tool Kit – This is important to have for any minor repairs that might need fixing on the road.
  8. Spare Tire – Flat tires are a common issue during drive time, and having a back up will keep you safe and prepared. Always remember to make sure your spare tire is inflated and that there’s no cracking in the rubber. Tires do expire, so if you’ve had your spare for more than five years, it’s time for a replacement!
  9. Jack/Tire Iron – These two items are vital for changing a flat tire, so make sure to have them ready and that both items are in good shape!
  10. Rescue Tool – This tool helps crash victims escape from a vehicle. On the off chance that your vehicle falls into a body of water and the windows are unable to work, this is the ideal item to have on hand. This tool will also help you save others on the road in case of an emergency. Tip – Go for the dual-purpose tool that breaks glass and cuts seat belt webbing.

These emergency kit items will help keep you and others safe, prepared and ready for the road ahead. Literally!

If there is anything we at Leif can do to help get your vehicle in the safest condition possible, or if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to call our service department at 512-454-3711!

 

 

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Romantic Places to Drive Your Date

Happy Valentine’s, friends! 

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If you don’t have plans for tomorrow, may we suggest a cruise around town? We’ve rounded up our five favorite romantic places to stop while driving around Austin. What better way to enjoy the day of love making new memories with those you love most?!

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  1. Mt. Bonnell – This is one classic that never goes out of style. Park your car and walk the steps up to this famous spot. Gorgeous views of Lake Austin and the city make for a charming spot to spend with your love.
  2. The Oasis – While the food isn’t the best in Austin, the views are absolutely unbeatable. This Lake Travis area is nearly a world of its own, so if you’re craving something else, there’s plenty of other eats to choose from. Regardless, you won’t miss out on the amazing sights.
  3. I Love You So Much Mural – This famous mural is an ideal spot for lovebirds everywhere. Snap some photos and get ready to swoon!
  4. Mayfield Park – Though it’s in the middle of downtown Austin, this peaceful spot is perfect for couples. 21 acres of trails, gardens, peacocks, and a historical cottage makes for an idea date spot.
  5. You’re My Butter Half Mural – Another famous Austin mural, this one is as adorable as it is love-inspiring. Butter, bread and heart street art makes for an ideal photo op with your s/o.
  6. Zilker Park – Kayak, canoe, stroll through the botanical gardens, fly a kite, have a picnic…. There’s no shortage of spots to share adorable moments at Austin’s favorite park.
  7. Blue Starlite Drive-In – You don’t even have to get out of your vehicle for this one! Enjoy a movie the old-fashioned way at Blue Starlite. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Princess Bride and Sixteen Candles will give you all of the feels this Valentine’s.
  8. River Place Nature Trail – If you’re looking for a place to walk hand-in-hand that’s a little more secluded, this is the spot. Choose from three different trails boasting waterfalls and gorgeous views. It’s the absolute perfect place to share heart eyes with your person.

So grab your butter half, grab the whole family, grab any and all of your favorite humans, and pack your Ford for a mini road-trip full of L-O-V-E!

Top 5 Free Apps For Driving In 2018

It’s 2018, which means there is no shortage of great apps to make driving easier and more fun. With so many out there, trying to decide which ones are a necessity can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we at Leif Johnson Ford have decided to find you the best of the best when it comes to vehicle apps in this new year!

  1. Waze

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Waze uses crowd-sourcing to keep you up to date on traffic, accidents road conditions and even police traps. SYNC 3 also now comes with Waze, (Click here to see our recent post for more info on the dynamic duo) making this an app that’s perfect for Ford-users. Pair that with turn-by-turn navigation, the ability to send your ETA to your friends and automatic rerouting and you’ve got one incredible navigation system.

2. Spotify

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If you ever get bored of the radio and its many ads, Spotify is a must. Users can use the free version for online streaming with ads, or pay $9.99 a month for offline play and no ads. Spotify and Waze have also teamed up to allow you to use Spotify from within the Waze app, making this a safer and easier app to use on the road.

3. GasBuddy

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This money-saver allows you to find the cheapest gas in your area. Search via your location or via a city or zip code, meaning you can easily plan road-trips as well. Submitting gas prices even gives you the chance to win $100!

4. iExit

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If you need something to eat, are low on gas, need to stop at an ATM, or even if you’re just looking for a WiFi hot-spot, iExit is the app for you. Great for road-trips or even just finding handy spots on your daily commute!

5. Drivvo

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Drivvo allows you to record all expenses, supplies and services of your vehicle. It also allows you to set reminders that will keep you from forgetting to make maintenance appointments or vehicle payments. Finally, you’ll also be able to track your vehicles performance through a timeline, summary reports and charts. Use the free app for most features, but pay a small fee if you’d like cloud back-up, data syncing and no ads. This is complete car management, all fit into one easy-and-fun-to-use-app!

Do you have a favorite app for commuting or cruising? Let us know in the comments!

 

Essential Winter Driving Tips

It’s not always cold during Austin winters, but when it is, Austinites are often left feeling unprepared for the weather. Rain or shine, ice or snow, we want you to feel safe on the road. So your friends at Leif Johnson Ford are here with some ways to help you and your vehicle survive even the chilliest of days!

Tips for Driving Safe in Winter Weather

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  • Make sure your vehicle is winterized before driving. This means having your Leif Johnson Ford service department check the battery, antifreeze, wipers, windshield wiper fluid, ignition system, thermostat, headlights, hazard lights, exhaust, etc.
  • Ensure that your car is running well. Change your oil, check your battery and make sure your gas tank is always full. This will help keep you from becoming stranded in bad weather. Again, your Leif Johnson Ford team would be happy to help get your vehicle into the best condition possible.
  • Plan in advance. When weather conditions are poor, it’s important to always be prepared. Check weather conditions in your area before leaving the house, and always make sure to take the safest route to wherever you are heading.
  • Have an emergency kit handy at all times. A cell phone and charger, battery operated or hand-crank radio, jumper cables, a spare tire, flares, blankets and sleeping bags, flashlights with extra batteries, a first aid kid, water, warm clothing, matches, sand, a windshield scraper and brush, a basic toolkit, tow rope, compass and road map are all great essentials to have on hand.
  • Ford owners, have Sync with 911 assistance handy. This assists drivers to place a call to emergency operators in three different languages and also gives GPS coordinates of the car’s position in case of an accident.
  • Buckle up. This may seem like a given, but it’s something that is all too often forgotten. No matter how close you are to home, always make sure everyone in your vehicle has their seatbelt fastened.
  • Be extra careful when driving on bridges and overpasses Elevated roadways are the first to freeze, so always use caution when driving in bad weather.
  • Always leave a large space to traffic when driving up hills. If you need to stop while ascending a hill, it can be difficult to pull away again.
  • Reduce speed and keep a farther distance from other vehicles. On slick roadways, a vehicle needs 3x more space to stop.
  • If your vehicle begins to skid, gently steer in the direction of the skid. This will allow you to regain control. You may feel the need to jerk the car in the opposite direction, but make sure to resist this urge. Straighten your vehicle when you have regained traction.
  • Do not make sharp turns or brake suddenly. This can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Pump the brakes when stopping. This will keep your tires from spinning on the ice and you will reduce the risk of losing traction and fishtailing.
  • If there is ice on the road, take extra precautions to be smooth with the steering and the throttle. Abrupt movements can cause slides on slippery surfaces.

These simple but effective tips will allow you to be safe, regardless of the weather Texas decides to throw our way! If there is anything we can do to help winterize your vehicle, contact us at 512-454-3711 and make an appointment today!

Pros and Cons Of Warming Car Before Driving

This winter has been an odd one for us Austinites. While the weather is always fairly unpredictable this time of year, these last few months have fluctuated even more than normal. The unreliability of 70 to 30 degrees in a twenty-four hour span can be taxing on the wardrobe and on the nerves. Many car-owners prefer to warm their car up by turning it on before driving off. What are your thoughts on this? Does this make for a better functioning vehicle? Yay or nay?

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Today we’d love to take a minute to answer that exact question.

Question: What are the positives and negatives of warming up my car prior to leaving the house? 

Pros :

  • Let’s start with the obvious… You’re cozy and WARM during your entire commute.
  • With newer Ford models offering remote start, you don’t even need to step outside to warm up your car. A heated car is as simple as pushing a button from the comfort of your home!
  • Your safety is another reason to warm up your car before driving off. Defrosting allows for a much better line of vision, making an accident much less likely. 
  • When vehicles had carburetors before the 1980’s, it was often necessary to warm up the vehicle; warming the car for several minutes allowed the right amount of fuel and air to go to the engine. Without this combination, vehicles would stall and sputter. The transition to the electronic fuel injection meant that the proper air-fuel mix was delivered without the necessity of warming up a car. Though the tradition has continued over the years, warming up the car is not currently necessary to keep your car running.

Cons –

  • Idling your engine for long periods of time has the potential to cause a raw gasoline seep into the oil. This may cause wear and tear and damage to your vehicle.
  • The longer the car is on, the more fuel burns. For every 15 minutes your car idles, you lose a quarter gallon of gas. The more fuel that burns, the more money you are burning!
  • Excessive idling can cause damage to other parts of your car, such as the spark plugs, exhaust system and cylinders.
  • Idling for a prolonged amount of time is also noted to be bad for the environment and human health.
  • The engine actually warms up faster being driven!

The verdict: 

Taking about 30 seconds to let the car warm up for your own comfort and safety is one thing. But when it comes to your car’s overall performance and our environment, it’s best not to leave an idle car for longer than that. The idea that your car needs time to warm up before driving is based on vehicles that are now decades old. With current car technology, you are good to quickly drive away into your daily routine. Happy commuting, friends!

 

 

Using Waze in your Ford thanks to SYNC

Great news! Waze, the popular smart-route navigation system available on Apple and Android, is now being added to Sync 3 thanks to our friends at Ford!

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Not familiar with Waze? We’d love to explain.

Waze allows its users to improve their drive time around traffic, and gives info on accidents, road hazards, construction, HOV lane support and more. That is especially great for days like today, where the weather is below freezing in Austin and #ATXWX road closures, extra congestion and accidents are all-too-common. Winter weather is much easier to combat with the safety and convenience of Waze in your Ford.

This community-based app will be available via Ford’s AppLink tech. The Waze interface featured on the in-car central display is powered by your phone, making it both simple and accessible.

Ford is the first manufacturer to integrate Waze into its own entertainment system. Now when a phone with Waze is plugged in to your Ford, it will automatically display with voice command, touchscreen controls and overall full functionality on the Sync 3 system.  This feature will be available to all 2018 Ford models in the next few weeks, and all you need is a USB cord to get going.

The integrated Waze compatibility means that driving your Ford will be even more fun and convenient than before.

Five Things We LOVE About The 2018 Ford Expedition

Howdy, friends!

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Great news – The 2018 Ford Expeditions are finally beginning to roll into our dealership lots! We are SO excited about this, and wanted to share that excitement with you. So we’ve decided to share five things that we are loving about the new Expedition!

  1. The Ford Expedition has been redesigned and now offers the same aluminum body as our F-150s. This means it’s about 300 pounds lighter yet stronger than ever before!
  2. Tech features such as a wireless charger and a Wi-Fi hotspot help ensure you stay connected throughout your commute.
  3. Options such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control lane departure warning and lane keeping assist are all available to help keep you and your passengers as safe as possible.
  4. This vehicle is SPACIOUS, y’all. Even this third row has plenty of leg room for kids and adults alike. This makes the Expedition a great road trip vehicle with enough room for up to eight people.
  5. The Turbo V-6 Engine makes the Expedition a towing-capable powerhouse.

There you have it! The Ford Expedition is a gentle giant, ready to tackle new roads and your every day routine, all in the same day!