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Tips for Changing a Flat Tire

Every motorist dreads it, but sooner or later you’re going to have a flat tire. Just in case you haven’t already faced this problem, here are a few tips on changing a flat from your friends at your Ford dealer in Wayne, Hawk Ford.

Prepare in Advance

Always have a lug wrench, a jack in good working order and a flashlight or headlamp for working in the dark. Check the air pressure in your spare from time to time to make sure it’s ready for use when needed.

Changing the Tire

1) Find a safe place to park away from traffic. Avoid grass or dirt because your jack might become unstable.

2) Secure your vehicle. Turn off the engine, turn on your emergency flashers and engage the emergency brake.

3) Get the tire ready. Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts slightly.

4) Raise the car. Check the owner’s manual for the best place to secure the jack, and jack up your car until the tire clears the ground.

5) Remove the flat. Completely unscrew the lug nuts and remove the tire.

6) Put on the spare. Once it’s in place, tighten the lug nuts and lower your car to the ground.

7) Remove the jack. Then tighten the lug nuts as much as possible.

Finally, the spare is probably a small, “donut” tire, so drive slowly to the nearest shop where the flat tire can be repaired or replaced.

Prepping Your Ford F-150 for a Road Trip

At Hawk Ford, home of the Ford F-150 in Elgin, we like to say that the F-150 is a tough act to follow. The F-150 is not only known for handling daily chores, but it’s also great for road trips as well, able to handle just about any challenge you throw at it.

If an F-150 road trip is in your future, here are some quick preparation tips.


Give your F-150 a good washing and then apply a coat of a high-quality polymer sealant to the front half of the truck to protect against bugs and assorted road grime.


These are the lifeblood of any vehicle, and you or your mechanic should check all essential fluids, including oil, coolant, and brake, power steering and transmission fluids. And don’t forget windshield fluid.

Belts and hoses

Under the hood check your belts by squeezing them to make sure there’s very little slack, and look for cracks, fraying or missing teeth, indicating a need for replacement. Make sure the hoses are not leaking.


Use the penny test to check for tread wear and replace if necessary. Gas mileage is affected by either over- or under-inflated tires, so check the pressure about every 1,000 miles.

With these basic preparations, along with a jack and lug wrench, flashlight and basic tools, you’re ready to hit the road. And when you’re ready for a new Ford F-150 in Elgin, come to Hawk Ford.

The Risk of Not Getting an Oil Change

Hawk Ford is your friend and Ford dealer near Wayne, near West Chicago, and we want to share some information with you on the importance of changing the oil in your car regularly. Just as your body needs blood to function, your vehicle needs clean oil to operate efficiently.

What oil does

Oil’s most important functions are to lubricate and help cool your engine. As the oil circulates continuously, it lubricates the hundreds of moving components in your engine. At the same time, it draws heat away from your engine to help prevent engine overheating.

Why you need to change the oil

As oil circulates through your engine it picks of particles of debris, and this is good and bad. While this collection of debris helps keep the engine free of these particles, over time the oil gets too dirty to be effective.

Oil also breaks down over time due to the high temperatures in the engine – a process called thermal breakdown – and it can’t provide the necessary lubrication, causing premature wear to your engine.

Finally, there’s sludge buildup. Sludge occurs when old oil begins to gel. As sludge builds up, it prevents the circulation of oil to vital engine components like crankshafts, bearings and camshafts, leading to major damage to your engine.

The good news is that changing your oil is one of the least expensive maintenance services, so come by your Hawk Ford dealer near Wayne and near West Chicago for that much needed oil change.

The Most Important Fluids to Your Car

If you’re looking for a car dealer near West Chicago to provide the very best vehicle maintenance, Hawk Ford is the place for you. To help you know when service is needed, here are the six fluids to pay attention to that are most important to your car.


Use the dipstick to check the amount in your engine, and if below the minimum, add oil immediately. Also smear some oil between your fingers to check for grittiness. And if it’s black, rather than amber or yellow, it’s time for a change.


Also known as anti-freeze, coolant keeps your engine cool and should be changed about every 50,000 miles.

Power steering fluid

To check, look for the dipstick in the engine bay and if it’s low, top off with the fluid type recommended in the owner’s manual.

Brake fluid

Many cars have a fluid reservoir in the engine bay. If the level is low, top off with the manufacturer’s recommended fluid. Also, if you can’t see through the fluid, get it replaced.

Transmission fluid

It lubricates and cools components in the transmission, and, frankly, checking the level of this fluid can be complicated and is best left to a professional mechanic.

Windshield washer fluid

Vital for safe driving. Keep a supply on hand and refill the reservoir as needed.

Finally, make a schedule for needed fluid checks and changes and come by Hawk Ford near West Chicago for expert service.