Monday, November 24, 2014
Pickup trucks tend not to advance at quite the same pace as the rest of the industry. That's what makes the new Ford F-150 so remarkable, jettisoning its old steel construction in favor of aluminum. It's a game changer that Ford is betting big on, and in anticipation of surging demand, the Blue Oval automaker is adding 850 new jobs to put the thing together.
Those 850 new employees will be centered at Ford's Rouge complex in Michigan – with 300 at Dearborn Stamping, 50 more at Dearborn Diversified and 500 at the Dearborn Truck facility, the latter of which has already kicked off what Ford describes as "the largest manufacturing transformation in decades." Old manufacturing equipment is being replaced with the latest technologies, and even the Ford Rouge Factory Tour is undergoing a complete overhaul.
The new jobs come as part of the commitments Ford made to the UAW in 2011 to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015 – a number which Ford has already exceeded at 14,000. Over 4,000 of those are centered in southeastern Michigan.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Avoiding these habits can go a long way in preventing an expensive repair bill.
Most things you own will last longer if you take care of them and treat them well. Your car is no exception to this rule. While neglecting your car may seem harmless in the short term, regular neglect and mistreatment will add up and will reduce your car’s lifespan. To keep your car running longer and stronger, avoid these five harmful habits.
1. Delaying regular maintenance
Regularly maintaining your car is vital to your car’s longevity. Regular maintenance includes oil and filter replacement, as well as transmission fluid, air filter and brake pad care. Every vehicle manufacturer specifies a different maintenance routine, which can be found in your owner’s manual. While regular maintenance requires you to invest some time and money, it’s peanuts compared to the cost of a new engine or transmission.
2. Ignoring dash warning lights
When a warning indicator lights up on your dash panel, it’s important to address the problem immediately. If you don’t know what the light means, check your owner’s manual or call your mechanic. Dash warning lights can alert you to some very serious problems, such as a coolant leak, which can cause your engine to overheat. A simple preventative repair can often prevent a large problem down the line.
3. Shifting while moving
The transmission is one of the most complex and expensive parts in your car and it’s important to use is as it was intended. Be careful not to shift from drive to reverse or vice versa while the car is still moving. This “jerky” shifting places excess strain on the transmission’s internal gears and can instantly destroy it.
4. Jerky driving
We all know someone who accelerates wildly on every straightaway only to brake hard at a traffic light or stop sign. This type of driving won’t destroy your car immediately, but will cause your engine, transmission and brake system to deteriorate much more quickly than intended. Cars that have been abused will have premature fluid leaks, broken seals and mechanical problems.
5. Putting off tire replacement
Tires for some cars can be expensive, so replacing them is an unwelcome cost. Driving on bald tires is very risky, however. If a tire blows out while you’re driving, you can lose control of your vehicle and have a serious accident. And if you drive with bald tires in the rain, the risk of hydroplaning goes up tremendously. A new set of tires may seem pricey, but probably costs less than your car, and even less than your insurance deductible.