Car Safety Resolutions

Car Safety resolutionsThere are few better New Year resolutions than to become a safer driver in every way possible. Car safety resolutions can help reduce your insurance rate and save you money in traffic tickets. There’s plenty of ways to go about becoming a safer driver and they may not be as obvious as you’d think. Here are a few car safety resolutions suggested by us here at Swant Graber Ford.

  • Shopping – If you’re in the market for a new car this year, make sure to keep safety in mind! Most drivers look at fuel economy, performance, and standard features, but neglect crash test ratings and other safety indicators. Take the time to check out the standard safety systems, like the rearview camera, active safety systems, and more. It wouldn’t hurt to look into IIHS and NHTSA ratings as well!
  • Knowledge – Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. Learning how to take matters in your own hands when something goes wrong is a great resolution. As it turns out, learning to change a tire is pretty easy as well, making it a great place to start.
  • Intoxication – More than 30 people are killed each day due to impaired driving. Make an effort to help end intoxicated driving this year. Stop those who don’t possess the skills or mindset from getting behind the wheel. Avoid drinking too much and stay off drugs.
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Preparing Your Vehicle for Holiday Travel

2016 Ford EscapeTraveling during the holidays can be a stressful undertaking, but having a properly-prepared car can make all the difference. Taking care of your car before hitting the road on your holiday travels can ease stress and allow you to arrive on time. Here are a few tips for preparing your vehicle for holiday travel from us here at Swant Graber Ford. Safe travels and happy holidays!

  • Think Ahead – If you haven’t had necessary major repairs taken care of, now is the time to do so. Ideally, you want to have any major repairs taken care of two to four weeks prior to traveling. That allows for potential problems to rear their ugly heads and be taken care of before hitting the road. Check your tires, spare tire, coolant, and glove box to ensure you have all the necessities.
  • Preparing – Before you hit the road, it’s wise to have routinely scheduled maintenance like oil changes done. Check the tire pressure, clean the car, check the air filter, and pack an emergency kit.
  • Heading Out – Make sure the tire pressure is good to go one last time before heading out. Fill the gas tank too. Load your car and place objects evenly to avoid any problems on the road.
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Tips to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Winter Driving

Ford Escape Winter Driving - Barron, WI

Winter weather in Wisconsin is often bleak with low temperatures and snow being the norm. These conditions can be rough on the hardiest of vehicles, so make sure your vehicle doesn’t take a big hit in performance. Instead, get your vehicle ready for winter driving with these simple tips.

Get your engine problems checked out. Cold weather can make existing problems worse, so if you’ve been noticing an engine performance problem, including hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or diminished power, then bring your vehicle in for servicing.

Use fuel deicer. Once a month, add fuel deicer to your gas tank to help prevent moisture from freezing the fuel line. Also, make sure you keep your gas tank filled to stop moisture from forming.

Replace dirty filters. During the winter, you want your engine performing properly and as efficiently as possible. Getting new filters, including air, fuel, and PCV, will keep your engine running smoothly.

Check your battery. Cold temperatures can affect battery performance greatly. If your battery is more than five years old, then it is time to replace it. For those that have a battery that is less than five years old, consider cleaning it up. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections to keep it performing properly in the harsh winter.

If you have any questions on getting your vehicle ready for winter, contact one of our expert staff members at Swant Graber Ford today!

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New Ford F-150 Ups the Ante

Ford F-150 - Barron, WI

Ford keeps making the F-150 better and better!

The Ford F-150 is already the best-selling vehicle, let alone truck, in the United States market, but that isn’t stopping the American automaker from upping the ante. The latest model of brings the return of two popular models and powertrain upgrades that will have truck fans raving. The new Ford F-150 will roar into the new model year with more power and the Raptor and STX versions in tow.

Nearly two-thirds of all Ford F-150s that leave dealership lots pack a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. That engine gets a slight power increase of 10 hp as well as a shiny new 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Ford Raptor will also be making a return after two years off the market and fans will not be disappointed. The last Raptor we saw stocked a 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of producing 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. The newest Raptor will pack a small 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that pumps out a heart-pounding 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.

The Ford F-150 STX sits between the XL and XLT trims and boasts body-color bumpers and 20-inch wheels. That model starts at $35,615, a good chunk less than the larger trims while providing more capability than the XL.

Here at Swant Graber Ford, we can’t wait for the new F-150 to smash sales records!

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Heavy-Duty Technology Coming to 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty

2016 Ford Super DutyHeavy-duty trucks have never fared well when it came to new technology. It seems they were almost always the last segment to get the latest in-car tech—until now. Ford is adding some excellent heavy-duty technology to the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty lineup.

Starting up front, the new Super Duty has a distinctive LED headlight design. And, throughout the body, just like with the F-150, Ford used military-grade aluminum, including in the hood, fenders, cab, and bed. This lighter weight material allowed Ford to redirect some weight to more important areas, such as the steel frame and axles.

On the technology side is where the 2017 Super Duty will really stand apart from the competition. Depending on the options, buyers can add a whole suite of cameras for a literal 360-degree view of the truck, especially helpful when navigating crowded work sites or tight parking spaces.

Buyers can also add a variety of driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering, which varies the steering ratio depending on driving conditions.

As a final upgrade, the new Super Duty lineup is available in a wide range of trim levels. Upper trims offer features such as a panoramic moonroof, massaging seats, and leather seats.

The 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty lineup is coming to Swant Graber Ford later this year.

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What’s the Perfect Back-to-School Car? Try the Ford Fiesta

It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re a parent, teen driver, or college student, back-to-school driving can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have a safe or fun car. Thankfully, there’s a solution: the Ford Fiesta. KBB recently ranked the Fiesta as one of the Best Back-to-School Vehicles on the market.

According to Ford, the Fiesta received this prestigious award for three reasons:

  1. The Fiesta is fun.
  2. The Fiesta is safe.
  3. The Fiesta is affordable.

KBB also noted the impressive performance of this sporty compact model, as well as its great new features. If you’re looking for the perfect car, nearly any driver will love the new Fiesta.

2016 Ford Fiesta

2016 Ford Fiesta

Although a vehicle’s “fun” rating might not seem that important to some, teens and young drivers often appreciate this the most in a vehicle. The Fiesta has a powerful engine with a lightweight design, especially if you opt for the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine on the ST trim. This model has sharp handling, responsive acceleration, and a bold exterior. The car is, after all, named the Fiesta, so it has to be fun.

“Safety is the paramount decision when it comes to back-to-school cars, and practicality and affordability are also high on the list of desirable characteristics, at least according to parents,” said Jack R. Nerad, editorial director for “The kids involved prefer to have a car they’re happy to be seen in, which suggests style is part of the equation too. Ford Fiesta addresses all of these wants, with an array of features returning students are sure to appreciate.”

Safety features include dual-stage airbags, available driver assist technologies, AdvanceTrac, and more. The Fiesta is also practical. This model is one of the most affordable on the market, making it especially useful for college students and as a teen’s starter car. These are just some of the many reasons the new Fiesta is the perfect back-to-school car.

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Ford Escape the Room Game to Replace Test Drive in NYC

Ford has organized a massive game of Escape the Room, which is a popular style of game where the player must explore a room to figure out how to exit it. One version of Escape the Room took place inside a car, and Ford played on this in order to promote the 2017 Ford Escape.

The first ever drivable version of the game, the Ford Escape the Room game sold out in less than 24 hours, with over a thousand participants signing up. Participants were locked inside a 2017 Ford Escape and had to use the new features and technologies of the SUV to get out of the car.

Ford said the game was meant to appeal to millennials, who grew up with these games and gaming in general and have turned the economy toward experiential marketing. Ford designed the game in collaboration with the I LOVE NEW YORK campaign and with puzzle creator Victor Blake, who said it was challenging and fun to integrate the new 2017 Escape technologies into clues that have become iconic to Escape the Room Games.

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Summer Tire Maintenance Tips and Avoid Blowouts This Season

Summer Tire Maintenance

The summer months are notorious for causing blowouts – as evidenced by the many abandoned shards of tires that can currently be seen on highways nationwide. Take care of your tires this season by keeping these summer tire maintenance tips in mind:

  • Warm weather causes the air inside your tires to expand, so be sure to monitor your tire pressure more frequently than usual.
  • Purchase a quality tire gauge and tire pump so that you can evaluate and adjust tire pressure from home.
  • Be sure to keep an eye out on your tires’ tread, which can be easily done with “the penny trick.”
  • Every now and then, make sure that your tires are wearing evenly by driving straight in a line and looking to see if your car turns in either direction.
  • Lastly, if you are unsure about anything concerning your tires, see a professional.

For more summer driving tips, contact us or visit us anytime at Swant Graber Ford!

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Ford “Livin’ the Dream” Community Service Tour

This summer, Ford is teaming up with country music singer Drake White to make a difference in five major cities across the United States.

Drake White, who’s new single “Living the Dream” is currently at the top of the Country Music charts, has a passion for community service. Ford Fund, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, shares White’s interest, so the two are collaborating on a series of community projects. The locations and dates include:

  • May 19, 2016 – Foodshare, Hartford, CT
  • June 4. 2016 – American Red Cross, Los Angeles, CA
  • July 2, 2016 – Habitat for Humanity, Detroit, MI
  • August 14, 2016 –  Ford Driving Skills for Life, Dallas, TX
  • August 20, 2016 –  Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston, MA

“Ford, country music and community service have a long, rich history, dating back to Henry Ford, a big music fan and believer in making the world a better place,” said Yisel Cabrera, the Ford Fund’s community relations manager. “We are excited to join with Drake in fighting hunger, disaster relief, promoting safe driving and building stronger communities.”

Like Ford, White himself has a history of giving back, having previously worked with Outnumber Hunger and Feeding America through their partnership with Big Machine Label Group.

“Even before I had a public voice, giving back to the community has always been very important to me,” White said. “I used to volunteer in my hometown in Alabama and now that I have this platform it is more important to me than ever.”

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All-New Ford F-Series Super Duty Needed a New Dyno to Properly Test It

The all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty is so powerful that Ford had to construct a new dynamometer to properly test its capabilities.

A dynamometer, or dyno, is a kind of sled on wheels attached to the vehicle hitch and pulled behind it. It simulates steep grades by providing pull against the vehicle, using a series of coils wired together that, when energized, act like a large magnet and mimic the effect of gravity while driving up a slope.

The previous dyno was capable of a maximum drawbar pull of 2,000 pounds and was regularly used to simulate 7% grades. But for the new Ford Super Duty, that simply wasn’t enough.

“In more than 25 years of doing this work, we used the same dyno, which did the job, but the new truck is so powerful we needed new equipment to test out its capability,” said Jim Sumner, Ford product development engineer. “The fact that even under full load, Super Duty didn’t have any trouble at all is a testament to just how capable this new truck is.”

The new dyno is capable of a maximum drawbar pull of 5,620 pounds and can simulate up to a 30% grade. Now that’s the kind of capability we can get behind at Swant Graber Ford!

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