Latest Posts

Texas Camping Road-Trip Essentials

 Planning a camping trip this summer? Leif Johnson Ford would love to help! Welcome to part one of our two part camping trip blog. For our first post, we’ll be covering camping essentials to bring with you on your road-trip. For part two, we’ll cover five of our favorite camping spots in the Austin area. Buckle up, friends!

Note – This list is meant for longer camping road-trips. You may need less items for a weekend trip, but this list will still be regardless in gauging what items you’ll need.


Texas Summer Camping Road-Trip Essentials 

  • Tent with Rain Fly and Footprint
  • Tent poles and stakes
  • Extra tarp or canopy
  • Repair kit for tent
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Camp Pillows
  • Quick dry towels
  • Umbrella
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight and/or Lantern
  • Trash bags
  • Food storage containers
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste
  • All Purpose Tool
  • Light blankets (or camp blankets. Perfect for summer!)
  • Backpacks, small suitcase and/or large rolling duffle
  • Hot/Cold bag
  • Cooler
  • Fishing hooks, road and bait
  • Flexible cutting board
  • Tupperware
  • Good knives
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Spatula
  • Bin or container for cooking related items
  • Small and large boiling pots
  • Wine bottle opener
  • Strainer
  • Portable mini-burner and extra fuel
  • Firewood
  • Oven mitts
  • Water bottles
  • Can opener
  • Travel mugs/ Thermos
  • Sponge, dishcloth and dish towel
  • Non-stick pan
  • Tongs
  • Marshmallow/ hot dog roasting sticks
  • Dish soap in carry on bottle
  • Wash cloths
  • Cast Iron Pan
  • Large tub or pot for washing dishes
  • Camping stove + fuel for stove
  • Lighter or matches
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings
  • Tin foil
  • Sweetener
  • Instant coffee or portable coffee maker + coffee
  • Plates, bowls, utensils, cups
  • Hot dogs/Burgers/ Buns/ Marshmallows/ Etc
  • Food storage container bags
  • Wipes and paper towels
  • Portable Hammock
  • Portable chairs
  • Hiking + walking shoes + comfy shoes
  • Hiking + walking clothes + comfortable clothes
  • Swimsuits

 Are you already packing up your Ford?! We’ll see you next week with our top camping destination picks!

How To: Flush Your Radiator & Change Coolant

While the official start to summer is still about a week away, those of us in Texas are definitely already feeling the heat. Having a vehicle A/C that works properly is absolutely a must with this 100+ degree weather. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that your radiator has recently been flushed and that your coolant has been changed. Not sure how to do the flushing or change? Your friends at Leif Johnson Ford are here to give you simple and step-by-step instructions!


  1. Open the radiator fill cap. This can usually be found on the top of the radiator. If your vehicle has a plastic tank or reservoir for coolant, go ahead and open that too.
  2. Now it’s time to check your vehicle’s owner manual. First, look for the location of the radiator petcock. (Petcock = Small valve) Position the petcock underneath this area to capture the antifreeze.
  3. Open the drain and let all coolant drain into this container until it ceases to flow. Proceed to close the petcock/drain.
  4. Now it’s time to pour your radiator flush product (such as Ironite ThoroFlush 468-9110-16) into the radiator. Take your garden hose and fill the radiator until it’s about one inch below radiator neck. From there, follow the directions on your radiator flush product.
  5. Close the caps to your radiator and reservoir.
  6. Turn your heater on high and run your engine for approximately ten minutes after it reaches operating temperature. Turn car off until your engine and radiator are cool to the touch.
  7. Close the petcock or drain after you have drained the radiator. Refill the system with water and put caps back on. Once the engine has reached operating temperatures, run the heater on high again for ten minutes. Let cool once again.
  8. Remove caps and repeat step 3.
  9. Place used coolant in a closed container and drop off at your closest recycling center. You will probably have a lot of diluted and used coolant by the time you are finished with this process.
  10. Now it’s time to refill your radiator with pre-diluted coolant! Make sure that it’s the type approved by your vehicle’s manufacturer. (If you are using a full strength coolant, use diluted water. It’s a good rule of thumb to use 50/50 water and coolant in most climates.)
  11. Run your engine until the cooling system ceases to bubble and the coolant level begins to rise. Put the radiator cap back on the system. If your car has a coolant bleed screw, use this in lieu of the radiator cap method.
  12. Check the radiator coolant level once again. Add more coolant in the radiator and the plastic tank if the coolant isn’t reaching the “full level” indicator.
  13. You’re almost done! Go ahead and close and tighten the radiator cap and reservoir cap. Check the coolant a day or two later to ensure it is still looking nice and full.
  14. That’s all, folks! In the winter, consider using an antifreeze tester to check the lowest possible temperatures that your coolant can reach without freezing. Other than that, you should be good to go. This is a relatively simple process that is safe for beginners to tackle!

If you need absolutely any help at all, feel free to call your friends at Leif Johnson Ford with questions or to schedule an appointment! 


5 Summer Road-Trip Spots Outside of Austin

It’s time to start planning those summer vacations! If you don’t have much PTO or just don’t have the time or money to escape for long, your friends at Leif Johnson Ford are here to help. We have five mini road-trips from Austin that will leave you feeling like you’re on vacation miles from home!


  1. Krause Springs

This gorgeous camping and swimming site in Spicewood, Texas is an awesome addition to your summer agenda. Don’t miss the butterfly gardens while you’re there!

2. Magnolia Silos

Waco, Texas was put on the map by Chip and Joanna Gaines, and there’s a good chance you’ve heard of their famous Magnolia Silos. It’s very much its own little world full of shopping, food, a garden and games. Expect big crowds at the market and eateries, but know the treats, sights and Instagram photos are well worth your time!

3. Hamilton Pool

A beautiful and natural pool created when the dome of an underground river collapsed, this popular attraction boasts arguably the most incredible waterfall in the Austin area. Look out for a variety of birds and rare plant species when you’re there. Reservations only for this one!

4. Enchanted Rock

Climb to the top of Fredericksburg’s ancient dome and you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views of the Texas Hill Country! Hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, stargazing, and picnicking are just some of the options for having a rockin’ day at Enchanted Rock.  Make sure to get there early on the weekends as the park often closes due to capacity.

5. Wimberley Market Days

The oldest market in the Texas Hill Country offers more than 475 booths of incredible things! Drive out the first Saturday of every month to enjoy live music, tree-shaded paths and plenty of shopping. Hours are 7am to 3pm during the summer months.

Which of these do you want to visit first? Have you visited a few already? Or are you planning to hop in your Ford (or other vehicle, we don’t judge.) and drive out to one of these spots? Let us know in the comments below! 

Summer Organizational Tips For Vehicle

Summer is officially upon us. This means the kids are out of school, and road-trips, sports games, slumber parties and new adventures are probably in the works. This also might mean that your car is a mess, or has the potential to be that way soon. But with all of the upcoming car rides, this is also the time that it’s best to have a well-organized vehicle. Leif Johnson Ford is here with some easy ways to keep your vehicle organized and ready for all of the fun summer has in store!


  1. Grab a box with a lid from the dollar store and pack all of your summer necessities. Think sunscreen, bug spray, extra shoes, extra clothes, swim suits, sun hats, baby powder for removing sand, etc.
  2. Keep a durable and labeled folder with important items such as your insurance and registration safe in the glove compartment. These are items that often seem to disappear right when we need them most, and this simple trick helps ensure that doesn’t happen!
  3. Hang a shoe organizer and use as backseat pockets for toys and miscellaneous items.
  4. Make a ‘Summer Ouch Kit’, aka a first aid kit especially for your car. Use an old baby wipe’s for your kit’s base. Pack assorted sizes of Bandaids, instant ice packs, Neosporin, gauze, Ibuprofen + Tylenol, Benadryl, Antiseptic spray, a flashlight, non-latex gloves, a roller bandage, scissors, tweezers, a thermometer, extra sunscreen and anything else you think could be needed in an emergency!
  5. Buy fabric bins from the dollar store or Walmart and place emergency items such as jumper cables, an umbrella, an extra phone charger, and a flashlight inside. Store in the back seat or in the trunk.
  6. Recycle an empty and plastic Folgers coffee can by turning it into a car trash can. You can use it as is or have fun and paint/decorate before using in your vehicle.

Whatever your destinations this summer, these simple organizational tools will help your get there in style!

How to Replace A Vehicle Air Filter

Your vehicle’s air filter helps protect your vehicle by preventing harmful contaminants such as pollen, dirt and sand from being sucked into your vehicle’s engine. There are warning signs to look for that indicate your air filter is dirty. Look for poor gas mileage, a misfiring or idling engine, gasoline smell, black smoke, the check engine light illuminated and decreased engine power, throttle response and acceleration.

Your air filter should be changed every 12,000 miles or 12 months to best protect the engine. Luckily, the process of changing an air filter is relatively simple. Your friends at Leif Johnson Ford would love to walk you through the steps!


  1. First, purchase an air filter that matches your vehicle’s make and model. If you need help with this, do a quick internet search or call your friends at Leif Johnson Ford!
  2. Mark your new filter with today’s date. This will help you remember how long it’s been since your last filter change.
  3. Make sure the your vehicle is secure. Park the car on level ground and apply the parking brake. Shift into first gear (manual) or Park (automatic), and turn off the ignition.
  4. Raise the hood and look for the air filter housing box. Oftentimes this is a black plastic box with a hose coming out of it, and can be found near the front of the engine compartment. However, if it’s an older vehicle with a carburetor, look for a round air filter in a metal housing that fits over the carburetor.
  5. You will now need to figure out how the cover on your vehicle’s air filter housing box is removed. There are usually two clamps, wing nuts, or screws holding it in place. Go ahead and release and remove cover.
  6. Now it’s time to remove the old filter. Make sure to take note of which direction it was installed, as this is important for air flow. Look over your old filter, checking for dirt and debris. If it looks clean and at least somewhat new, it most likely does not need to be replaced quite yet. A rule of thumb – If it’s in good enough shape, you should be able to see light through the filter.
  7. Compare the old and new filter to ensure that they match.
  8. Place your filter in the filter box in the same direction as the old one was installed.
  9. Replace the filter box and make sure that is secure.
  10. Check your air filter again in 30 days to keep your car’s engine in the healthiest shape!

This is usually a fairly simple process. But if you have absolutely any questions or something isn’t going quite right, ask for your Leif Johnson Ford service pals at 512-454-3711. We would be more than happy to help!


5 Tips To Having A Stress-Free Car Buying Experience

At Leif Johnson Ford, we want to sell you a vehicle. But we want more than that. We want to sell you a vehicle at a price that works for you, and we work hard to save you money. We understand that sometimes it can be hard to know exactly how to save dollars when vehicle shopping. Our number one goal is to make that process easy for you, so we’re making purchasing a car a little less overwhelming with these simple steps.


  1. Research your vehicle options ahead of time

Of course you want to get a good deal, but don’t only consider an incredible price tag. Is this vehicle reliable? Does the size and fuel-economy work for you and your family? Will it work for your lifestyle? These are all important things to research and consider when looking to purchase a vehicle. Sites like Edmunds and are great for guiding you to vehicles that will help fit your needs.

2. Email ahead

Have a list of vehicles in mind and want more information? At Leif Johnson Ford we are happy to help and answer questions over email, phone or in-person. Whatever way is easiest for you, works great for us!

3. Take a test drive, and ask plenty of questions 

You probably plan on taking a test drive, and this is a great time to ask your car dealer any and all questions you might have. Use all of the research you’ve done to really get to know your future vehicle.

4. Shop online

You can browse new and pre-owned vehicles, sale prices and vehicle info at!

5. Find a dealership you can trust. 

We work hard to defy the typical car-buying experience at Leif Johnson Ford. Our team of employees wants to get you into your new vehicle at the best price point possible. We make it a goal to make your purchasing experience as fun and stress-free as possible!

Interested in a stress-free car-buying experience? Call us at 512-454-3711 and we will get you teamed up with one of our sales experts today!

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.

Sources –

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.