New Ford GT

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This is what true innovation looks like. From its 3.5L EcoBoost® technology to its ultraefficient aerodynamics, the Ford GT is the culmination of everything great we do at Ford. And it’s the same passion for innovation that can be seen throughout our entire vehicle lineup.

Innovation. That’s what the Ford GT is all about. From its aerodynamically optimized shape to its multifunctional buttresses to its extraordinarily powerful 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine, everything about the Ford GT is designed to deliver pure performance.

This Ford GT is the ultimate expression of form following function. Its teardrop-shape body is the result of extensive work in the wind tunnel. Its carbon-fiber body and its 647 horsepower 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine are the ultimate expressions of technological innovation.

Whether on the road or on the track, every single element of the Ford GT was designed to deliver the extraordinary speed and exceptional handling found only in purpose-built racing cars.

From the depths of Ford’s Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., a dedicated team of designers and engineers worked in secret to bring the Ford GT back to race in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. And just as it did 50 years ago – the Ford GT returned triumphant.

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What Happens when You don’t Change Your Oil for 12,000 Miles?

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To find out what happens when you forget to change your oil, I sent a 12,000 mile oil sample to a laboratory. The results are not good, and should serve as ammunition to convince your stubborn friend or family member that no, it’s not “going to be fine for another few months.”

Earlier this winter, my brother and I were talking about his car at our annual family Christmas gathering. “How’s that crap-can doing these days?”, I joked about his Sunburst Orange 2007 Dodge Caliber, which inexplicably has almost 150,000 miles on it.

“It’s been making these weird noises lately. I should probably change the oil at some point,” he responded with a smirk on his face.

He then admitted that he hadn’t change his engine’s lifeblood—the fluid that lubricates, cools, cleans and prevents corrosion—in more than 10,000 miles. Upon hearing this, I did a spit take and scolded him for his terrible, terrible life choices, reminding him that he’s sending his car to an early grave.

Okay, so I didn’t actually scold him, perhaps because a hopelessly terrible car like a Dodge Caliber going to a scrapyard might actually be a good thing for car culture, and maybe because my brother could easily beat me up. Really though, I understood that my brother knew not the implications of his inaction.

The much-repeated adage is that you have to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or three months. On modern cars, with synthetic oil, you can go a lot higher. On my cars I stick to 3,000; on my brother’s Caliber, 5,000 is probably safe. But 12,000? He was playing with fire.

To make my brother understand why, I sent a sample of his oil to Blackstone Laboratories in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And boy, were the results shocking.

So how were the results? Not good! His lab results show 0.5 percent insoluble content, which is within the recommended range, but a representative from Blackstone Labs told me most engines show no more than 0.2 percent, so this is cause for concern.

In the end, the results show high levels of iron in the oil, indicating wear of steel parts like the camshaft and cylinder liners. The universal average amount of iron found in that engine, based on an average 5,400 mile oil change, is 11 parts per million.

My brother’s result: 167. That’s more than 15 times as much iron in the oil!

Blackstone Labs told me engines can withstand high iron wear much better than aluminum or chromium wear. And on those fronts, my brother’s Caliber fares no better. His aluminum and chromium values are both five times the universal averages, indicating piston and piston ring wear, respectively.

If you want to learn more about what each row of the lab report means, Blackstone’s got an explainer on their website. It’s pretty interesting to see what a simple oil analysis can tell you about your car.

See, my brother didn’t know that, as oil is subject to high temperatures and as anti-oxidizing and anti-wear additives break down, sludge can form, making it difficult for oil to flow and squeeze itself between moving metal parts. Or that his viscosity modifiers break down after exposure to high temperatures, making the oil thinner at high temps and less effective at separating metal parts sliding past one another.

My brother didn’t know that metal, dirt, soot and other particulate buildup in his oil—much of which is too small to get caught by the filter—causes the fluid to become abrasive, significantly accelerating engine wear.

He didn’t know he could prevent this increased wear by flushing those abrasive particles out via an oil change. My brother didn’t know that, over time, detergents and dispersants meant to combat those small insolubles break down, and are unable to protect the engine.

He also probably didn’t know he likely has something wrong with his air intake, because the lab results show very high levels of silicon (three times the universal average), indicating that dirt and dust is making it past the filter.

My brother’s report was all bad news, so the takeaway here is: change your damn oil, people! You don’t have to change it every 3,000 miles. In fact, on some newer engines using synthetic oil, you could probably get away with a 12,000 mile oil change, but I think that’s probably pushing it. Check your service manual, make sure you know your recommended oil change interval, and save your car from oblivion!

Whatever you do, just realize how important that amber fluid is in your engine. It’s what keeps your car’s heart beating.

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How does a turbocharger work?

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If you know how a jet engine works, you’re halfway to understanding a car’s turbocharger. A jet engine sucks in cold air at the front, squeezes it into a chamber where it burns with fuel, and then blasts hot air out of the back. As the hot air leaves, it roars past a turbine (a bit like a very compact metal windmill) that drives the compressor (air pump) at the front of the engine. This is the bit that pushes the air into the engine to make the fuel burn properly. The turbocharger on a car applies a very similar principle to a piston engine. It uses the exhaust gas to drive a turbine. This spins an air compressor that pushes extra air (and oxygen) into the cylinders, allowing them to burn more fuel each second. That’s why a turbocharged car can produce more power (which is another way of saying “more energy per second”). A supercharger (or “mechanically driven supercharger” to give it its full name) is very similar to a turbocharger, but instead of being driven by exhaust gases using a turbine, it’s powered from the car’s spinning crankshaft. That’s usually a disadvantage: where a turbocharger is powered by waste energy in the exhaust, a supercharger actually steals energy from the car’s own power source (the crankshaft), which is generally unhelpful.

How does turbocharging work in practice? A turbocharger is effectively two little air fans (also called impellers or gas pumps) sitting on the same metal shaft so that both spin around together. One of these fans, called the turbine, sits in the exhaust stream from the cylinders. As the cylinders blow hot gas past the fan blades, they rotate and the shaft they’re connected to (technically called the center hub rotating assembly or CHRA) rotates as well. The second fan is called the compressor and, since it’s sitting on the same shaft as the turbine, it spins too. It’s mounted inside the car’s air intake so, as it spins, it draws air into the car and forces it into the cylinders.

Now there’s a slight problem here. If you compress a gas, you make it hotter (that’s why a bicycle pump warms up when you start inflating your tires). Hotter air is less dense (that’s why warm air rises over radiators) and less effective at helping fuel to burn, so it would be much better if the air coming from the compressor were cooled before it entered the cylinders. To cool it down, the output from the compressor passes over a heat exchanger that removes the extra heat and channels it elsewhere.

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What Is the Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas?

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It’s a decision drivers face every time they fill their cars up at the gas station.

But if you’re like many drivers, you may have decided years ago to bypass premium and buy the cheaper regular unleaded gasoline.

But have you ever asked the question — what exactly is the difference between the two octanes?

“Premium is, yes, a few octane points higher, which provides a more efficient burn in the combustion chamber,” says Bill Griffin, owner of Griffin’s Neighborhood Auto Clinic in Farmington, Michigan. “But it is a choice. Slightly better fuel economy is there, but it’s not worth the huge price gap from regular to premium.”

Most gas stations offer three octane levels: regular (about 87), mid-grade (about 89) and premium (91 to 93).

Some gas stations may offer up to five different octane ratings, including a super premium, which typically has a rating of 93. Other gas stations may call their mid-grade “plus” or “special” and their premium “super.” If you’re unsure based on the description, check the octane level.

An octane rating, according to Exxon Mobile, measures the fuel’s ability to resist engine knocking, or pinging. The higher the octane, the greater resistance the fuel has to pinging during combustion.

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Trading Your Vehicle

sell-used-vehicle.jpgSelling a vehicle directly to a buyer should net a greater return on your investment, but will require more time, effort, and hassle than trading in at the dealership.

Kelley Blue Book’s Alec Gutierrez says that you can reap up to 15% more selling the car yourself. The process usually isn’t quick or easy, however. You’ll need to list the car, field calls, meet with prospective buyers, negotiate price, and then handle some basic paperwork to close the deal. Selling on your own typically takes between six and ten weeks. If your car has damage or unusual, undesirable features, like a lime green paint job or a manual transmission, expect the process to drag on longer.

If you need to unload quickly or don’t want to deal with the hassles, then the convenience of trading in is worth the hit you’ll take on the trade. Boosting the argument for working with a dealership is the fact that in some states, you will pay less sales tax when you trade in your old car, says Edmunds.com’s Philip Reed. These states charge tax only on the difference between your new car purchase and the value of your trade-in, rather than on the price the new car. (Edmunds.com keeps a list of which states offer this tax deduction.)

If you do want to trade in your vehicle, consider trying sites like Autotrader and CarMax, which provide online trade-in offers that are good for seven days and can be redeemed at participating dealerships. You can also take such offers to other dealerships and ask them to match the trade-in price.

 

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Ford Service Department

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Are you behind on your routine auto maintenance schedule or do you need collision repair services? The auto service center at Griffin Ford is the preferred choice for drivers in the Waukesha, WI area to keep their car, truck, or SUV on its maintenance schedule with oil changes and tire rotations, or have bodywork completed after a fender bender. Take a look at our full menu of auto maintenance and repair services and keep your car working and looking like new with the team at the Griffin Ford auto service center! Whether you’re looking for new tires or want The Works®, our team will deliver the maintenance and repair services your car needs to keep racking up the miles.

Ford Auto Service Specials & Coupons

Do you want to pay full price for auto service? To help our customers save a few dollars on their next routine auto maintenance or repair appointment, service specials and coupons help you get the same excellent service for less at Griffin Ford in Waukesha, WI. Our coupons are updated every month, so check back often or bookmark our specials page to find the latest deals every time your car, truck, or SUV needs routine maintenance or repair.

Schedule Auto Maintenance at Our Ford Service Center in Waukesha, WI

Is your car, truck, or SUV overdue for or about to need routine auto maintenance service? Schedule your next appointment online through our contact form. Let us know the date and time you want to bring your Ford in, and our team will promptly confirm the appointment.

Do you like scheduling an appointment with an actual person? Give us a call during business hours at (888) 519-3726 to book your next oil change, tire rotation, or other auto maintenance at our service center in Waukesha, WI.

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Ken Block’s Focus RS

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