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Getting Your Vehicle Summer Ready

 Summer is right around the corner, friends. It’s vacation, road-trip, boating and fun time! It’s also a great time to make sure your vehicle is ready to let the good times roll. Is your vehicle ready for the hot months of a Texas summer? The heat can take a toll on your vehicle, so it’s important to ensure that your ride is in tip-top shape. Leif Johnson Ford is here with some quick tips on how to do just that!


  • Check the radiator and hoses for leaks and cracks. The radiator is located near the front of the vehicle after you open the hood, and there will be a cap enclosing the coolant. Ensure that all connections are secure, and that the reservoir is half full. Add coolant or antifreeze if it is low. Before you check under the hood, make sure the engine is cool. You could be injured if removing the radiator cap when hot or warm.
  • If your temperature gauge does reach high levels or your vehicle alerts you that your engine is overheating, pull over as soon as possible and turn the heater on in your car. While this isn’t ideal for a hot summer’s day, it helps to pull the hot air off the engine block. An engine’s normal temperature is between 195 and 220 degrees, so if your gauge is beyond this range, there is a good chance that the engine is overheating.
  • Inspect the air conditioning system for worn or damaged belts. You won’t get any air conditioning in your car without the help of these belts. Also inspect the fins of the air conditioning compressor. The compressor works to pressurize the air conditioning system and to circulate the refrigerant. When the fins are clear of debris, the refrigerant will do a better job of cooling your vehicle. The compressor is located at the front of the engine, and the A/C belt is routed over the compressor.
  • If you are a long time Austinite, it’s safe to assume that you already have summer-ready tires. But if you’re new or visiting from a colder area, it’s possible that you have winter tires on your vehicle. Summer tires will help with speed, handling and fuel efficiency. They also have a shorter sidewall and less aggressive tread. If you do have winter tires, you’ll either need a spare set of rims or will need to bring the tires into a shop to be changed. We would be happy to help with that!
  • Hot weather oftentimes increases the temperature of your brake system, and this can cause your pads to wear down faster. Make sure to check often to see how worn your brake pads are. You can check this by looking through the spaces of the wheels spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. In most cases, there should be at least 1/4 of a pad remaining.
  • Planning a trip or an excursion where you’ll be needing to tow your vehicle? Make sure to thoroughly inspect both your car and trailer. There are legal requirements for how much your car can tow depending on its weight, and these laws are in place to help ensure your safety. Let common sense be your guide, and always look over your car and trailer before driving off. Check that all lights are working properly, that the hitch is secure and safety chains are attached. After driving for a few hundred feet, consider pulling over to check for any load shifting.

If you have any questions about how to complete these tasks, or would like a professional to help you with the process, please feel free to call our service department. We would love to answer any questions you might have, or would love to schedule an appointment to help you make sure your vehicle is safe, sound and ready for the warmer months. Just call 512-454-3711 and ask for our service department. Summer is a time for new adventures, and we want to help you make sure that your vehicle is ready to go along for the ride.

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Top Five Underrated Outdoor Austin Spots

The weather is finally warming up and it’s a gorgeous time of year in the ATX! It’s the absolute perfect time to take your vehicle our for a drive to some of our city’s best outdoor spots. You all know about Barton Springs and Mt. Bonnell, but there are so many other gems often overlooked in Austin. Since we’ve been serving the area for over 60 years, we at Leif Johnson Ford know all about the treasures our city has to offer. Here are five of our favorite underrated Austin spots!


  1. River Place Nature Trail – This beautiful trail offers serenity, striking greenery, babbling brooks, and multiple trails great for beginners and expert hikers alike. It’s usually not too crowded and is perfect for a peaceful family or solo hike.
  2. Brushy Creek Park – This one is located outside of Austin in Cedar Park, but we think it is definitely worth the vibe. Go for a run with gorgeous lake views, let the littles enjoy the splash pad and park, go stand-up paddle boarding at the Mobile Kayak or simply enjoy a picnic with loved ones.
  3. Deep Eddy Pool – While most Austinites do know about Deep Eddy, it does often get overlooked for Barton Springs. While we absolutely adore them both, Deep Eddy gets bonus points for being the oldest pool swimming pool in all of Texas. Go to Deep Eddy when you’re looking to escape the madness and enjoy a more relaxed side of Austin life.
  4. Ski Shores Café – The Oasis and Hula Hut seem to get all of the lake-restaurant attention, but this one is arguably the best of them all. Ski Shores is right on Lake Austin, and offers a playground, a solid burger and live music on the weekends. The chill vibes and family-friendly environment make this a great hang-out spot, especially for the spring and summer months. 
  5. McKinney Falls State Park boasts a waterfall, various trails, a 500-year-old cypress tree and even a natural pool to swim in. This is a relaxing place to take a hike, and there will be just enough people to make you feel safe without the crowds. Admission is $6 per person and dogs are welcome!

Go ahead and cruise on over to one of these amazing Austin locations. These five spots don’t always get all of the attention, but they are some of the best places to visit and revisit. They are just too great not to share! LJF has been around since 1957, so we know a thing or two about cars AND the best city in the world. Let us know if you need any more tips with either of the two! PS – What are your favorite underrated Austin spots?! Let us know in the comments!


Dashboard Warning Meanings

Ever have a car warning appear on your dashboard and you have absolutely no idea what it means? This is an all too common occurrence – most of us have not memorized the meaning of each and every warning –  and one that could potentially be dangerous if left alone too long. At Leif Johnson Ford, we want to make sure you are safe and in-the-know at all times, which is why we’re here to give you the low down of each and every dashboard warning.


  1. Fog light (front.)
  2. Power steering warning light
  3. Fog light (rear)
  4. Washer fluid low
  5. Brake pad warning
  6. Cruise control on
  7. Direction indicators
  8. Rain and light sensor
  9. Winter mode
  10. Information indicator
  11. Glow plug/diesel pre-heat warning
  12. Frost warning
  13. Ignition switch warning
  14. Key not in vehicle
  15. Key fob battery low
  16. Distance warning
  17. Press clutch pedal
  18. Press brake pedal
  19. Steering lock warning
  20. Main beam headlights
  21. Tire pressure low
  22. Sidelight information
  23. Exterior light fault
  24. Brake lights warning
  25. Diesel particulate filter warning
  26. Trailer low hitch warning
  27. Air suspension warning
  28. Lane departure warning
  29. Catalytic convertor warning
  30. Seat belt not on
  31. Parking brake light
  32. Battery/alternator warning
  33. Parking assist
  34. Service required
  35. Adaptive lighting
  36. Headlights range control
  37. Rear spoiler warning
  38. Convertible Roof Warning
  39. Airbag warning
  40. Handbrake warning
  41. Water in fuel filter
  42. Airbag deactivated
  43. Fault problem
  44. Dipped beam headlights
  45. Dirty air filter
  46. Eco driving indicator
  47. Hill descent control
  48. Temperature warning
  49. ABS warning
  50. Fuel filter warning
  51. Door open
  52. Bonnet open
  53. Low fuel
  54. Automatic gearbox warning
  55. Speed limiter
  56. Suspension dampers
  57. Oil pressure low
  58. Windscreen defrost
  59. Boot open
  60. Stability control off
  61. Rain sensor
  62. Engine/emissions warning
  63. Rear window defrost
  64. Auto windscreen wiping

Some of these warnings indicate that you’ll need to visit your local service department. If that’s the case, we at Leif Johnson Ford would be more than happy to help. Call us at 512-454-3711 and schedule an appointment today!

Oh… and here’s what those dashboard warnings DON’T mean.



Ford – Always Going Further

By 2020, Ford will have transformed their North American car lineup. There’s so many reasons to be excited about this. news Here’s what 2020 will look like in the world of Ford


  • 75 percent of the vehicle lineup will be replaced with smarter and more connected vehicles.
  • These vehicles will also come with both better speed and quality than ever before.
  • The average age of Ford vehicles will drop to just over three years.
  • Customers are living more active lifestyles and want more trucks and SUVs. It’s  important for Ford to always give the customers what they want – This is why these vehicles will soon be a whopping 86% of Ford’s volume.
  • The F-150 will continue to be made as smart, capable and tough as possible.
  • The Ford Ranger is making a comeback in 2019, along with a new F-Series Super Duty.
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi will be standard equipment by the end of 2019.
  • Ford is adding a new line of off-road SUV’s perfect for adventuring near and far. These powerful SUV’s are inspired by the Raptor but are also still friendly enough to be a perfect family vehicle.
  • Lookout for new on-road vehicles too – This includes the upcoming Edge ST and the Explorer ST.
  • Also joining the lineup in 2020 is the all new Ford Bronco, a sleek and smaller version of the original.
  • Ford Co-Pilot 360 will bring standard safety features such as automatic emergency breaking with pedestrian detection, a blind spot information system and lane keeping system to vehicles.
  • Ford will  be focusing more on hybrid and electric strategy. The mission is to bring hybrid capabilities to the most popular and iconic of Fords. Both plug-ins and gasoline-electric hybrids will be offered on SUVs and vans. Ready for more excitement? Hybrid powertrains will even include the Mustang and F-Series vehicles. They won’t skimp in power either. Expect a V8 like performance from the Mustang and more low-end pulling power- along with mobile generator serving abilities –  from the F-Series.  It gets even better. This new hybrid system will be not only more efficient, but more affordable than ever before!

Now until 2020 is going to be an incredible journey for Ford-lovers in the US. We at Leif Johnson Ford are so thrilled to be a part of that ride. 


Giving Back with LJF and Ford

At Leif Johnson Ford, we are committed to making a difference and bettering our community. We are always looking for new ways to give back to different local causes, and are truly passionate about helping those in Austin and beyond.


Currently, we are partnering with Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer, and local elementary schools with Earning by Learning. Whether it be raising funds for cancer research or helping kids learn to love reading, we are honored to do whatever we can to be a resource for others.


Ford Motor Company is also passionate about helping their community. Each year, Ford Volunteer Corps performs more than 112,000 hours of work on community service projects around the world, and Ford Driving Skills for Life is a driving program that helps teens develop necessary driving skills.


Ford also values sustainability, and creates vehicles that will better our environment. They are working hard to reduce vehicle emissions in the vehicle product lineup, and believe in finding suppliers who share that same goal. From a global water management initiative, which has decreased our water usage by 61%, to creating 18.5 million vehicles with environmentally-friendly soy foam, Ford truly cares about protecting our planet.  They have even created PACE, or Partnership for a Cleaner Environment, to increase green efforts. PACE focuses on water and energy conservation, and reducing waste, carbon dioxide and air emissions. Due to current suppliers partaking in this program, carbon emissions could be reduced by 500,000 metric tons worldwide during the next five years! Ford has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for eight years in a row.

Ford is on a mission to make the world a better and greener place, and we at Leif Johnson are so proud to be right there with them. 

Ford Pass SmartLink

Do you have a 2010-2017 Ford? If so, you’re in luck! Ford just released SmartLink, which allows its owners to use the incredible features of Ford Pass on these older model vehicles.


This device will plug into the onboard diagnostics port below the steering wheel and is roughly the size of a deck of cards.

SmartLink allows older model vehicles to use all of the nifty features that have until now only been available on newer Fords. This includes 4G LTE WiFi, vehicle location tracking and smartphone integration of key fob features such as remote engine start, lock + unlock and vehicle health and security alerts. It will also allow users to create “geo-fences” around certain areas, and to create alerts when your vehicle enters this area. (This one is great for monitoring sneaky teenagers.)

The price for the SmartLink device is $16.99 a month plus installation fees for 24 months. This simple and fun device is absolutely perfect for turning your older car into a smarter car!

Call us at 512-454-3711 for more details on getting your SmartLink installed!

Ford Co-Pilot 360

Most of us spend a good amount of our lives driving, so feeling safe while on the road is absolutely essential. Ford understands that and is making substantial efforts to reduce any and all danger on the road. By 2020, most Fords will come with a variety of advanced safety features called Co-Pilot 360. This is starting with this fall’s 2019 Ford Edge!


These features include the following:

  • Rearview Camera 

Always see what is behind you when you’re reversing

  • Blind Spot Information System

Those scary blind spot are no more with Ford’s alert system, which also includes cross traffic alert.

  • Automatic Emergency Braking

 Accidents happen, but rarely with Ford on your side. If you can’t brake in time, your vehicle will help. This includes braking when a pedestrian is detected in front of you.

  • Auto High Beam Lighting 

Ensure excellent nighttime visibility with Ford’s automatic lighting

  • Lane Keeping System 

Stay in your lane even when you’re momentarily distracted with Ford’s Lane Keeping assistance.

Ford cares about your safety, and they make it look really good too!