Author Archives: Lauren Gilbart

What Do the Lights on My Dashboard Mean? {Part 3}

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Have you ever turned on your engine, only to see a brand new icon light up and utter confusion follow closely behind? Our vehicles are complicated and it’s important to know what all those lights and icons mean so you can maintain your car’s health and ensure its safety. Maybe you’re new to driving or perhaps you’re a seasoned driver who just needs a refresher. Either way, our new series “What Do the Lights on My Dash Mean?” will hopefully provide some insight on what all those many confusing icons are and what they mean about your vehicle and driving experience, so you can look out for potential problems!

If you’re new to our series, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

 

 

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Unlike the “change engine oil” light in our previous blog post, this light doesn’t refer to an impending oil change. It instead indicates that the engine oil level is low and requires a top-up immediately. If flashing, the oil level may be empty or at critical levels.


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The most common warning, the check engine light (CEL), is a catch-all light that may refer to an engine issue, loose gasoline cap or faulty sensor. If illuminated in yellow or amber, take your car to a mechanic at your earliest convenience. If it’s glowing red, take your car in immediately.


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This light refers to a convertible’s power retractable top. The light will most likely be illuminated when the roof is opening and closing. If it remains lit at all times, chances are there is an issue with the roof.


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These lights signify that the vehicle’s engine coolant level is low. The first light on the far left may refer to any coolant-related issue.


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These two lights indicate the vehicle’s coolant is too hot and overheating. If either of these lights come on, pull over as soon as possible before any more damage occurs.


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These lights mean the cruise control is turned on. It may not actually be active, but it is ready for use. The light can be any colour, but usually illuminates in green, yellow or orange. If the light is on even when the system is turned off, there might be an issue that needs to be looked at.


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This light is found in modern diesel vehicles only. It indicates that the additive fluid used to help control diesel emissions is low and needs to be topped up. If it remains on after the top-up, there may be a larger issue.


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Another light that is found exclusively in diesel fueled vehicles, these ones also relate to emissions controls. The particle filter that’s part of the exhaust system is most likely clogged and requires attention.


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One of the more obvious dashboard lights, these refer to a door being left open. In some vehicles, this light may illuminate if the rear hatch or trunk is open as well.


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More of a gimmick light than anything else, a lot of newer vehicles come with eco-indicators like this that inform drivers how efficiently their current driving behaviour is. Whether it’s on or not, there is no real concern with this light.

 

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Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or tweet us at @Advantage_Ford!

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This information was shared from AutoGuide’s 2015 article called “What Does That Light on My Dash Mean?”

What Do the Lights on My Dashboard Mean? {Part 2}

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Have you ever turned on your engine, only to see a brand new icon light up and utter confusion follow closely behind? Our vehicles are complicated and it’s important to know what all those lights and icons mean so you can maintain your car’s health and ensure its safety. Maybe you’re new to driving or perhaps you’re a seasoned driver who just needs a refresher. Either way, our new series “What Do the Lights on My Dash Mean?” will hopefully provide some insight on what all those many confusing icons are and what they mean about your vehicle and driving experience, so you can look out for potential problems!

If you’re new to our series, check out Part 1 here.

 

 

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These light refers to an adjustable suspension setup. It may illuminate when the suspension is changing heights or even when a vehicle has entered into a sport mode. Most likely though, if illuminated, it refers to a fault with the suspension system.


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This is an air bag warning light. In most cars it illuminates when the vehicle first starts up. But if the light remains on, there is an issue with one of the vehicle’s airbags and the car needs to taken to a mechanic immediately.


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This is Mercedes-Benz’s attention assist feature. Many other manufacturers have similar setups that are designed to help ensure a driver does not become drowsy behind the wheel.


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If this light is illuminated, it refers to a fault with the automatic transmission system. It’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible if this light remains on.


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This is the battery light. If the ignition is on but the vehicle is not, the light will remain illuminated to indicate the car is current running all accessories on battery power only. If it remains on while the car is running, it may indicate a fault with the vehicle’s electrical system.


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This light indicates that one or more of the vehicle’s exterior brake lights are currently inoperable. Most likely it will just be a burnt out bulb, but it could refer to a larger problem.


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This is the brake pad light. It indicates that a vehicle’s brake pads are faulty, damaged or in need of replacement. If this light remains on, take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.


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These lights indicate there is an issue with one of the exterior lights, not necessarily a brake light. It could be any one of the parking or indicator lights on the vehicle. They may be burnt out or there may be an electrical fault.


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No, this light does not mean the BBQ is warmed up and ready! (Unfortunately.) It refers to a vehicle’s emissions control catalytic converter being faulty and most likely in need of replacement.


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This is a fairly self explanatory light. A lot of new vehicles have an oil life monitor built on-board that tracks when exactly it’s time to change the oil. When illuminated, it’s time to head to the mechanic for some new oil.

 

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Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series next week! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or tweet us at @Advantage_Ford!

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This information was shared from AutoGuide’s 2015 article called “What Does That Light on My Dash Mean?”

What Do the Lights on My Dashboard Mean? {Part 1}

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Have you ever turned on your engine, only to see a brand new icon light up and utter confusion follow closely behind? Our vehicles are complicated and it’s important to know what all those lights and icons mean so you can maintain your car’s health and ensure its safety. Maybe you’re new to driving or perhaps you’re a seasoned driver who just needs a refresher. Either way, our new series “What Do the Lights on My Dash Mean?” will hopefully provide some insight on what all those many confusing icons are and what they mean about your vehicle and driving experience, so you can look out for potential problems!

 

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These lights signify the all-wheel drive or 4X4 system is engaged. They can also mean there is a problem with the all-wheel-drive system if the light remains on even when the system is disengaged.


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The is the ABS light. On some vehicles, it may illuminate if the anti-lock braking system is active. If it remains illuminated, there is most likely a fault with the ABS system. Light can be yellow, orange or red.


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These signify adaptive cruise is engaged. If the light remains on when the system is disengaged, there may a problem with the adaptive cruise.


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This can relate to a self-levelling suspension system or height-adjustable suspension. It may flash when system is raising or lowering the vehicle. If it’s constantly illuminated, there may be an issue with the suspension.


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This icon represents self-levelling and/or active headlights. It relates to the high-intensity discharge headlights that self level. If the light stays illuminated, there may be an issue with the system.


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This indicates low-beam headlights are currently turned on. It could be illuminated in green, yellow or even red. Note: it will never be illuminated in blue, as that colour refers to high beam head lights.


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This signifies the high beam headlights are currently active. This warning light is always illuminated in a bright blue. If the light is always illuminated even when the high beams are not activated, there may be a fault with the lighting system.


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This light indicates the automatic high beam headlights are active. Automatic high beams turn on and off when other vehicles are detected on the road. The light may remain illuminated even during the day time.


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This illuminates when the front fog lights are on. This light differs from the rear fog light warning light by pointing towards the left with the horizontal lines angled slightly downward.


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This signifies the rear fog lights are currently on. A rear fog light is used in poor weather conditions like fog, rain or snow. It allows vehicles approaching from behind to see your car. It should not be used in good weather conditions.

 

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or tweet us at @Advantage_Ford!

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This information was shared from AutoGuide’s 2015 article called “What Does That Light on My Dash Mean?”

Drive 4UR Community

On Saturday May 7, 2016, Advantage Ford and Woodridge Ford teamed with Ford’s Drive 4UR Community non-profit programs. For every registered test drive that day, Ford Canada donated $20 to ME to WE (our chosen charity), Douglasdale elementary school (Woodridge’s chosen school) and Free the Children. We raised $1060 and Woodridge Ford raised $1700! And in light of recent events, Ford Canada matched those funds to donate to the Canadian Red Cross’ Fort McMurray relief efforts. That’s a total of $2760 going to our community and Free the Children and $2760 going to Fort McMurray! Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the sunshine with a free BBQ and fun activities for the kids and to support these amazing causes!

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An Owner’s Guide to Vehicle Maintenance

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One of the best things you can do to ensure your car has a long and relatively problem-free lifespan is to perform regular maintenance. Giving your vehicle check-ups will help you catch any mechanical issues before they get worse and ensures that everything’s running in tip-top shape. Regular maintenance also helps you stay within your warranty contract, can keep fuel consumption efficient and reduces emissions.

Your owner’s manual is the number one place you should refer to when it comes monthly checks. Every vehicle is different but your manual is the go-to resource for specific details about your make and model.

While vehicle maintenance is best left up to the professionals, there are a few assessments you can perform on a monthly basis. We recommend that consumers look at the following areas to identify any problems and to potentially save money in the future:

  1. Check the tire pressure and look for signs of uneven wear, bulges or cracks, or embedded objects that could cause air leaks. You’ll want to measure the tire pressure whenever there are extreme temperature changes to make sure you have proper pressure.
  2. Look for any type of fluid leaks around the car and underneath. The colour of the liquid will help you identify what type of fluid may be leaking ― oil is black, coolant is bright greenish yellow, automatic transmission fluid is pink and power steering fluid and brake fluids are clear with a slight brown tinge. All of the fluids are oily to the touch. This is important to the condition of the vehicle, but also for health: coolant, for example, is poisonous to dogs and cats. You’ll want to be careful leaks are taken care of for your vehicle and also to ensure pets don’t lick the residue on your driveway and become sick.
  3. Observe the fluid levels in your car. You’ll want to make sure your engine oil, engine coolant level, transmission fluid and power steering fluid are all at the proper levels as outlined in your owner’s manual.
  4. Have a look under the hood for cracked or split spark plug wires, cracked radiator hoses or loose clamps and corrosion around the battery terminals.
  5. The next time you’re out on the road, see how well your brakes are working. Find a straight, flat and traffic-free road, rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and gently and gradually apply the brakes. If you find the vehicles swerves to one side, that could mean that one of your brake linings is more worn and your brakes could require an adjustment.
  6. Another test you can apply on a straight road, free of cars, is one to monitor your wheel alignment. To do this, just rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and drive at a steady pace. If you feel the vehicle pulling to one side, then the wheels may be misaligned.

If you find any problems with your vehicle after performing the above tests and regularly maintaining it, please make an appointment with us so our trained professionals can take a look at it and address any issues that need to be fixed.

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This article was written by Advantage Ford’s Shop Foreman, Kevin Schmitke, who joined our team in 2015 after spending 19 years at Ford SVC as a master technician.

How to Safely Drive with Your Pet in the Car

dog riding in back seat of car looking out window

Note: Although this is cute, dogs should never stick their heads out of the car windows when you’re driving! It’s a safety hazard!

Our pets love a good car ride as much as we do but not everyone transports their pet the right way. With warmer weather coming up, we know you’ll be taking your four-legged friend out on the road with you, so we want to help refresh your memory on how to let your dog travel with you safely. To help us out, Philip Fulton, Manager of Community Outreach at the Calgary Humane Society, is here to give you a few tips!

 

Calgary Humane Society's Dos and Don'ts When Driving With Your Pet

 

DO secure pets in a crate, carrier or confined to the back seat for your and their safety. Though some dogs love riding in cars and can do so without too much excitement, care should be given when travelling with excitable/anxious dogs or ones you are unfamiliar with as they could pose a danger if they distract the driver.

DON’T allow dogs to ride freely in the open bed of a pick-up. Dogs have died from this and it is against Calgary by-laws.

DO travel with extra water, a bowl, poop bags, leash and towel when on road trips and take the dog out for a bit of a stretch; your dog needs those pit stops as much as you do!

DON’T allow pets to ride in the driver’s lap where they could obstruct vision, interfere with steering or otherwise impair driving.

DO feed your pet a few hours before a road trip. This will help prevent them from getting carsick and will overall make their experience that much better.

DON’T leave pets unattended in a car when it’s too hot (or too cold). Even with the windows down, temperatures can rise very quickly causing serious health concerns or even death.

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To make car trips easier for the both of you, we’ve listed some great car accessories to look into for your pet.

Backseat covers and hammocks:

Barriers:

SUV cargo covers:

Harnesses:

Steps and ramps:

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If you have some great pet travel tips that we didn’t mention, please share below!

Christmas Kettle Campaign Wrap-Up

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In December 2015, the Wood Automotive Group (which includes Advantage Ford, Woodridge Ford, Okotoks Ford, Big 4 Motors, Village Honda and Driverz Auto) launched its Christmas Kettle Campaign. From every vehicle sold at any of the above dealerships, a portion of the proceeds was donated to The Salvation Army Alberta & Northwest Territories Division.

Well, this morning Wood Automotive Group president and our dealer principle, Gerry Wood, and his family presented a $100,000 cheque to this wonderful non-profit!

Thank you to all those who purchased a vehicle from any of our dealerships that month as you directly contributed to this amazing donation! We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a wonderful and giving community and we look forward to giving back more to our community throughout the year!

5 Free Apps All Drivers Need

In a world where distracted driving is being punished (and rightly so!), you might think it odd for us to talk about five cell phone apps we encourage you to download. But these aren’t like most apps out there ― they’re specifically designed to make the most of your car drives and your vehicle itself. From finding you the cheapest gas station nearby to aiding in keeping you focused on the road ahead, here’s our list of recommended free apps.

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GasBuddy

Save money and time with this nifty little app. Wherever you are in North America, GasBuddy will show you the ten nearest gas stations and their current prices, so you can pick the cheapest place to fill up. The prices are updated by other GasBuddy users and those who post gas prices they come across are entered for a chance to win $100 free gas daily.

Canary

Ideal for parents of teen drivers, this app lets you always be in the know. Canary will notify you when your teen is texting, calling, tweeting or anything else on their phone while the car is in motion, as well as alerts you when they’re speeding over your preset maximum limit. Feel more at ease when your child leaves the house thanks to this great app.

AroundMe

Perfect for road trips or even if you’re just in a foreign part of town, AroundMe is the best app to find what you’re looking for. Whether you are looking for a spot to eat, something fun to do, a bank or a hotel (or anything in between), simply search for it and the app will provide you with tons of nearby options.

Fuelly

This app is geared towards helping you track your fuel mileage, which will give you the tools to monitor changes to your driving habits and to the health of your vehicle. Fuelly was designed for users to track, share and compare their vehicle’s fuel consumption and costs, saving you money over time.

OneTap

A tool to prevent distracted driving, OneTap was actually designed in Calgary. It detects when you’re driving and automatically silences calls, alerts and notifications. Android users also get the added bonus of the app sending out instant replies to calls and text messages, informing the other person that you’re driving. And like Canary, it also has the ability to check in on your kids to ensure they’re driving safely.

 

Remember: only use these apps when you’re not driving. If you need to use GasBuddy or AroundMe, pull over to park your car first.

Comment below which driving/car app your favourite is and if we missed one, let us know!