What’s the Difference Between Drum and Disc Brakes?

Difference Between Drum and Disc BrakesIt’s always good to know what’s the difference between drum and disc brakes and how it affects stopping distance and safety, but it’s also good to know that our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can repair and maintain either brake system.

According to an Edmunds article, manufacturers began switching from drum to disc brakes in the early 1970s. Most of a vehicle’s stopping power is in the front wheels, so during this time, only the front brakes were upgraded to disc. Now, many car manufacturers have four-wheel disc brakes on their high-end and performance models as well as their economy cars.

There have been times like in 1999 when the Mazda Protege’s manufacturer changed from the four-wheel disc to drum brakes for the rear wheels to cut both production costs and the purchase price. Brake technology has advanced with components like carbon fiber, sintered metal, and lightweight steel, along with the adoption of ABS, and have contributed to reduced stopping distances and generally safer vehicles.

Let’s examine the difference between drum brakes and disc brakes.

How Do Friction and Heat Stop the Car?

It’s important to understand how drum and disc brakes use friction and heat to stop your car. By applying resistance, which is friction, to a turning wheel, your car’s brakes cause the wheel to slow down and stop, creating heat as a result.

How much the car weighs, the total braking surface area, and the braking force all determine the rate at which a wheel can be slowed. It also relies on how well your braking system converts wheel movement into heat from friction and then how quickly this heat is removed from the brake components. This is where you can see the biggest difference between drum brakes and disc brakes.

Let’s compare the two types of brakes.

What are Drum Brakes?

The Edmonds article explains, after the early times of using hand levers to brake, cars moved to a drum design at all four wheels for a braking system. The components are housed in a round drum that rotates along with the wheel. Inside is a set of shoes. As you push on the brake pedal, it forces the shoes against the drum and slows the wheel down.

Fluid is used to transfer the movement of the brake pedal into the brake shoes movement. The shoes are made of a heat-resistant friction material similar to that used on clutch plates.

The drum brake design worked most of the time but during high braking conditions, like going down a steep hill with a heavy load or repeated high-speed slow downs, the drum brakes would regularly fade and lose effectiveness. Most of the time, this fading was the consequence of too much heat build-up within the drum.

Braking involves turning kinetic energy, the wheel movement, into thermal energy which is heat. Drum brakes can only work as long as they can absorb the heat generated by slowing a vehicle’s wheels. However, once the brake components become saturated with heat, they lose the ability to halt a vehicle. This can create a very dangerous situation.

What are Disc Brakes?

Disc brakes also use friction and heat to slow your car, but the disc brake design is much better than the drum brake design. With disc brakes, instead of housing the major components within a metal drum, they use a slim rotor and small caliper to stop the wheel movement.

Inside the caliper are two brake pads, one on each side of the rotor, which clamps together when you push the brake pedal. Fluid is also used to transfer the movement of the brake pedal into the movement of the brake pads.

Disc brakes are different from drum brakes, which allow heat to build up inside the drum during heavy braking. Instead, the rotor used in disc brakes is fully exposed to outside air. This constantly cools the rotor, which decreases overheating and fading.

These differences are shown during car racing. Racers with disc brake systems are able to carry their speed deeper into a corner and apply greater braking force at the last possible second without overheating the car’s components. This improvement in technology demonstrated by racing performance soon was used by other cars outside of racing.

Which One is Better?

Today it’s common to see four-wheel disc brakes as standard equipment on medium-priced, non-performance models. But a lot of new vehicles still use the front disc and rear drum combination brake setup.

Some people criticize the choice of car manufacturers for not using four-wheel disc brakes in all cars, saying that it compromises car safety just to save a few dollars by only installing disc brakes on only the front wheels. But according to the Edmonds article, the combination of disc and drum brake design is good enough for most new cars. Both designs have been vastly improved over the last 20 years, so much so, that today’s rear drum brakes provide better stopping power than the 1970s disc brakes.

It’s generally accepted that most of a car’s stopping power comes from the front wheels which are the disc brakes and provide exceptional stopping response and the advanced drum brakes are sufficient for the rear wheel brakes.

The Edmonds article points out there are some high-performance cars often used for racing, like the Viper, 911, and Corvette that do need a four-wheel disc brake system, but for most cars, the dual brake system is good enough. If all cars came with the four-wheel disc brake system, it would significantly increase the car’s purchase price.

It’s good to know what’s the difference between drum and disc brakes and how it affects stopping distance and safety, but it’s also good to know that our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can repair and maintain either brake system. If you notice any of these symptoms or have other problems coming to a stop, Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton is your trusted source for new brake pads and rotors, as well as repairs for any other issues your braking system might be having. We perform complete anti-lock brake diagnosis and repair, as well as provide on-site machining of rotors and drums to help get you back on the road quickly. If you have brake problems, we can help you.

Hybrid Vehicle Repairs Don’t Have to be Done at a Dealership

Hybrid Vehicle Repairs Don’t Have to be Done at a DealershipDid you know that hybrid vehicle repairs don’t have to be done at a dealership? Instead, you can bring them to our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton and we can do it all, from general maintenance to in-depth repairs.

You know us and trust us. Dakota Ridge is locally owned and part of your Littleton community. We always strive to be a friendly, honest, dependable auto shop, like the kind you grew up expecting. We focus on providing good, quality work at a very fair rate. So, if you’ve got a hybrid and it is still under warranty, you don’t have to take it to a dealership like many people think. You know we will take care of you and your hybrid. It’s what we’re all about.

Your basic hybrid warranty should cover everything for about eight years or 100,000 miles. If you bought a used hybrid the vehicle may almost be out of warranty. But that’s okay, we can provide the maintenance and repair that can keep your car running well. If you are interested, there is a certified used vehicle warranty from Toyota available that is extension coverage of the vehicle’s original factory warranty. It can protect you against mechanical failures and breakdowns.

If your car has problems, contact Dakota Ridge Automotive and our technicians can figure out what’s wrong and get it fixed quickly, with or without a warranty. We are conveniently located right here in Littleton. Not everyone can service hybrids, but we can. Hybrids have complex systems that need specialized experience, training, and expertise. Our certified technicians have been servicing hybrids since 2000. We offer bumper-to-bumper maintenance, diagnostics, and repairs to maximize efficiency and keep your hybrid safely on the road.

The Federal Trade Commission, our country’s consumer protection agency, says a dealer must honor the warranty that came with your new car even if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs. A dealer can’t deny your warranty coverage because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by another auto shop. In fact, that’s illegal.

One caution about hybrid service is be prepared for battery issues. Hybrids use a 12V battery like other cars and a costly Lithium-Ion or Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery that can degrade over time. If you have a hybrid car and notice a loss of performance, come to our experts for hybrid battery reconditioning before spending thousands on a complete replacement that dealers often recommend.

Thinking about buying a hybrid? Let us inspect it first and provide you with peace of mind.

Hybrid cars are expensive to buy. New or used, these cars will cost you more upfront but in the long run you’ll save on gas, possibly vehicle insurance, taxes, and more.

So now you know that hybrid vehicle repairs don’t have to be done at a dealership. Our auto technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can help you with any repairs or maintenance, with or without a warranty. Bring your car by the shop or make an appointment. Our team of professionals are right here in your neighborhood.

The Real Costs of Owning a Hybrid Vehicle

The Real Costs of Owning a Hybrid VehicleToday, our auto experts at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton break down the real costs of owning a hybrid vehicle. You’ve probably heard by now that hybrids can save you money, but we want to show you the benefits and typical expenses in a little more detail.

Let’s take a look at how hybrids work and the cost savings to run it and to maintain it. A hybrid can be partially or wholly powered by electricity. Hybrid cars release fewer emissions and use less gas. This can be an advantage to the environment and your budget.

There are different kinds of hybrids.

Conventional Hybrids

There are conventional hybrids like the Toyota Prius with power sources that can work together or drive the car separately.

At low speeds, the engine turns off and the hybrid is only driven by the car’s electric motor. When you want higher speeds, both the engine and the motor work together. But what about the in-between stages? The excess power from the engine recharges the batteries that power the electric motor. Toyota also uses this hybrid system in the Yaris and Auris hatchbacks and Prius+ MPV hybrids. Hybrid cars from Audi, BMW, Citroen, Land Rover, Lexus, Peugeot, Porsche, Mercedes, and Volkswagen also work in the same way. With the Honda cars, there is a relatively small conventional engine that uses an electric motor to provide extra help when it needs it. But the electric motor doesn’t power the car by itself.

Plug-In Hybrid

There is a different kind of hybrid called a plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid vehicles combine an electric motor and battery with a gas engine. This kind of vehicle is plugged into an electric outlet so the batteries recharge and it can also recharge when the car is moving. The plug-in hybrids have a regular gas engine but they also have bigger batteries. The larger batteries allow them to go longer distances on electric power alone. It’s possible to drive up to 30 miles on electric power.


No matter what kind of hybrid you decide to drive, the engine and electric motor components require the same maintenance.

According to a Driverside article, your hybrid will require basic maintenance on the internal combustion engine just like a regular car. Your vehicle will still need oil changes and other routine maintenance. However, the good news is that you won’t need any service on your electric engine until about 80,000 miles or 4-5 years, longer than any standard car.

Because it is a hybrid, some maintenance and repairs are going to be more expensive. But will it be enough to make a real difference?

Did you know that a mechanic can only work on your hybrid if they have special training? It’s true and there aren’t many mechanics or auto shops that have the training and can provide hybrid maintenance. We do. Our auto technicians are hybrid trained.

Okay, so what about the hybrid’s cooling system? It is much more technical than a regular cooling system and it takes more time and training to replace. That’s going to mean a higher cost. On the good side, it won’t have to happen until you reach about 100,000 miles.

On the hybrid’s side, the regenerative braking system, which uses the electric motor to assist in stopping the car will last a long time before maintenance and repairs are needed. Hopefully, this will help you save money.

So, there are some differences in the expense for maintenance and repairs for hybrids. But when you get down to the real costs of owning a hybrid vehicle you can see overall the hybrid’s maintenance doesn’t seem that much more expensive because you get some reduced costs like in the regenerative braking and daily gas savings. You’re also in luck because our auto technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton are trained to maintain and repair your hybrid. Simply bring it in for expert maintenance and repairs.

The Preventative Maintenance You Need to Do on Your Car (and When)

The Preventative Maintenance You Need to Do on Your Car (and When)Our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton know that you should pay attention to the preventative maintenance you need to do on your car (and when). This is very crucial if you want your car to perform well and last a long time. By taking good care of your car now, it can help you reduce your repair costs. We can even help you plan any preventative maintenance that’s needed for your car or truck, complete with reminders. 

When it comes to preventative maintenance, you should start by checking out your vehicle’s owner’s manual which will tell you how often you should change your car’s oil, filters, and timing belts and other maintenance schedules. It will also advise you about what kind of fuel to use. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual, you can usually find it online. 

According to a Life Hacker article, maintaining your car will benefit you in the long run. The first thing to do is inspect your vehicle. Checking your car periodically allows you to find any concerns before they become big problems. 

Your car’s cabin air filter should also be replaced periodically. It will allow you to enjoy being in the car. Consider replacing your car’s engine air filter to enhance your car’s performance, especially if you are in heavy traffic or sustained driving, the filter can get dirty quickly. 

Checking your tire’s air pressure in your tires and fixing it if it is not correct, helps your car get better mileage and saves gas. Take a look your tire’s treads. Without good tire treads, your car may be harder to handle. Your tires may need to be rotated and balanced and your alignment checked which will allow your tires to wear evenly, last longer, and give you a smooth ride. 

From time to time, check your lights to make sure they are working. Make sure you regularly check your antifreeze, power steering, coolant, or wiper fluid and fill it if is running low or you might need to get it changed. If you notice a fluid leak, bring your vehicle in to us right away. 

We can also schedule when you should replace the timing and serpentine belts. We will inspect your belts and if they show signs of wear, we can replace them for you. Replacing a belt is not very expensive and if you risk it, a bad belt can cause your car to break down and create additional damage. 

Have you ever been in a rain storm and you turn on your wipers and you still can’t see? It can be very dangerous. Replace your windshield wipers if you have wiper streaks. It can save you in a very hazardous situation. 

Checking your car’s oil level and the color of the oil is important. Your car manufacturer will recommend when the oil should be changed. Your battery should be checked and the battery contacts cleaned if there is mineral or other buildup. If your battery is leaking, let us know right away. We always recommend that you keep a set of jumper cables in your car. 

The article in Life Hacker suggests checking your spark plugs if they become covered in buildup or just wear out. This can reduce your engine’s efficiency, increases fuel costs, and can lead to your car’s breakdown. We can help you replace your spark plugs. 

These are some ways our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can help you decide the preventative maintenance you need to do on your car (and when) because if you don’t, it can lead to costly repairs that could’ve been avoided. We’re here to take great care of your car, so call or come by our location for better vehicle health and longevity.

What Does a Check Engine Light Mean?

What Does a Check Engine Light Mean?It’s telling you something, but what does a check engine light mean? At Dakota Ridge Auto, we know that the engine symbol on your dashboard will light up and either blink or remain constant, depending on the problem. Either way, it’s telling you it’s time to bring your car to our experts here in Littleton because a check engine light means your car may have a problem that could affect your car’s emissions systems.

Steady Light

According to a Motorist article, if the check engine light stays on, the vehicle’s problem is not an emergency but you should still bring your car in as soon as you can so our professionals can look it over.

You might want to try to tighten your gas cap first. Sometimes, this can fix the problem that is activating your engine light. You may need to try to get a new gas cap because the seal may be old and in need of replacement.

If your check engine light comes on, you should check the other dashboard gauges and lights because you could have low oil pressure or the car may be overheating. If this is the case, you need to stop driving as soon you can pull it over to some place safe and turn your engine off.

Sometimes when the engine light goes on, you might not even notice a change in your car’s driving because the car’s computer is trying to compensate for the problem despite the fact that your car is emitting a high level of hydrocarbons and your mileage is reduced.

Blinking Light

If you check engine light blinks or you feel a loss of power while you are driving, you should slow down and if you are pulling a trailer, lighten the load on the engine by unhooking it. Reacting quickly when the check engine light comes on can help you prevent expensive repairs.

But if the check engine light is blinking, that means there may be a severe engine misfire and that could mean unburned fuel is being dumped into your exhaust system. If that occurs, it can increase the temperature of the catalytic converter and cause damage and that can mean an expensive repair that you weren’t expecting. We strongly suggest reducing the power and bring your car in immediately so we can check it and find the problem.

The article in Motorist explains how your car’s computer gives codes to identify what is wrong with the engine. One of our qualified professional technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive can help locate which system or circuit to test in order to find the problem with your car by performing the test steps in the correct order provides exact measurements, like temperature, voltage, resistance, or time specifications. This will point us to the problem so we can fix it.

People sometimes mix up the maintenance service light for the check engine light. But they have different purposes. The maintenance service light illuminates when routine service is needed. It requires your attention but not immediately. On the other hand, what does a check engine light mean? It means your car has a problem that needs to be addressed. If you respond quickly and bring it to Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton, it could save you costly repairs.

Simple Answers from Dakota Ridge Auto for LITTLETON: Battery Replacement

When do I need to replace my battery?

Dakota Ridge Auto Answer:
That’s a good question for LITTLETON drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are replaced before their time.

Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery. But LITTLETON drivers should have Dakota Ridge Auto test the battery first to see if it’s actually bad. The problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery.

And LITTLETON drivers in this situation also need to have their service advisor their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into Dakota Ridge Auto in LITTLETON are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt tensioner. If the belt is slipping, it’s not spinning the alternator properly so it can’t fully charge the battery.

Hopefully, LITTLETON drivers can see that a dead battery can be the result of a chain of events: a worn serpentine belt, a worn belt tensioner, a bad alternator or a bad battery. If you don’t check the belt, tensioner and alternator you can just end up replacing batteries that are still good. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Dakota Ridge Auto .

That brings us back full circle to when batteries do fail. There’s a chemical cycle that takes place inside your battery: the battery is discharged when you start the vehicle and is recharged by the alternator when you drive. Short trips around the Englewood area with frequent stops and starts may mean that your battery is never fully recharged. When a battery isn’t fully charged parts of the battery harden and are no longer available to “store” electricity. Over time, your battery just can’t hold enough charge for the needs of your vehicle. This is to your alternator as it tries to keep up, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Batteries last longer in colder climates and wear out faster in warmer CO climates. We want to remind LITTLETON drivers that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many CO automotive experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will the chances of being stranded on a local with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator.

The Dakota Ridge Auto Guide To Wheel Alignment

It’s no surprise that your vehicle will drive better if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction.
That’s called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other.

Something that LITTLETON drivers won’t notice right away, but will if they keep driving when they’re out of alignment, is that their tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That’s because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out fast because you’re constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip in CO – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road.

Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn’t have to be a big shock, it can just be the regular bumps and bangs of daily LITTLETON driving that add up and eventually take your vehicle out of alignment. That’s why your or friendly and knowledgeable pros at Dakota Ridge Auto may suggest an alignment check periodically.

During an alignment service at Dakota Ridge Auto, we measure each
wheel’s alignment and to see where they are relative to factory specifications. While we have the vehicle on the alignment rack, we inspect the tires for wear as well as the suspension and steering components for damage or wear – things
that can contribute to alignment problems. With some vehicles you can adjust all four wheels so we bring all wheels into alignment. On those vehicles where you can only adjust the front wheels, we bring the front into alignment relative to the rear.

Cost varies by whether or not it’s two or four wheel adjustable. Four-wheel drive vehicles may have an additional charge because they’re more difficult to align. At any rate, it’s cheaper than having to replace tires every few months. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your wheels aligned, bring your vehicle to Dakota Ridge Auto in LITTLETON for an alignment check.

Give us a call today.  

How Often Should You Be Changing Your Car’s Oil?

How Often Should You Be Changing Your Car’s Oil?It’s important that you don’t forget about changing your oil. Maintaining your car and keeping it in good condition is very important. One of the questions we get asked a lot is how often should you be changing your car’s oil? Well, it all depends. But our auto technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can help you answer that question.

Changing your car’s oil is not very time-consuming, it’s fairly easy and it’s not too expensive. So, there’s no excuse not to do it. If you don’t, it will shorten the life of your engine. But we’re back to the same question, how often should it be changed?

The best thing to do is to look at the car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes for your model. They know what works best for your vehicle. If you still have the owner’s manual that came with your car, check there first. Most people just keep the manual in their glove box so it is handy for an easy reference. If your car is a used car or you don’t have the manual anymore, you can usually find the recommended oil change schedule online on the car’s manufacturer’s website.

Some people will recommend an oil change within a set period of time for all vehicles, but not all cars and trucks are the same. Different vehicles require different times for oil changes depending on the age of the vehicle, mileage, and vehicle usage. Of course, more frequent oil changes are fine.

One important reason to change your car’s oil is to cut friction. After some time, your car’s oil gets contaminants and loses its viscosity (the ability to flow). Those contaminants create friction when parts rub together. If your car has a lot of friction it can wear the parts out faster, sometimes causing major problems with your engine. You definitely don’t want this because the damage might require an engine overhaul or replacement.

You should always know when your next oil change is scheduled. Don’t wait for the low oil light to come on before you think about an oil change. When the light goes on it could already be causing damage to your engine.

It used to be that everyone got their car’s oil changed every 3,000 to 3,500 miles. But now, because of better engine mechanical parts and better oil, you can usually go twice as long between oil changes.

Some automakers recommend synthetic oil for some vehicles. It can cost a little bit more but it may help prolong your oil life. With synthetic oil, your car can usually last up to 7,000 to 10,000 miles between changes. Remember, you should always use the factory-recommended oil.

If you have a lot of cold starts, are in extreme heat, do a lot of towing, and go on multiple short trips under four miles, it may shorten the oil life. Any of these driving conditions could shorten your service interval by 25 to 40 percent.

Although some people don’t understand this, when to get your oil changed depends on more than just the number of miles you’ve driven. If you have a maintenance reminder on your dash it uses the car’s computers to track time and mileage.

Some dash maintenance reminders use an electronic sensor to measure the oil quality, and others use an algorithm based on driving metrics to determine your oil life. If your car doesn’t have the dash reminder, you can always go back to your owner’s manual for guidance. You can also check the little sticker in the corner of the windshield that tells you when to schedule an oil change.

Oil changes help your engine run better, but how often should you be changing your car’s oil is not cut and dry. It’s not just mileage, and you have to factor other things into answer your question. But our auto technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton are ready to help you with oil changes, complete maintenance, and any repairs. Bring us your car, truck, or SUV and we can get your oil changed quickly.

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles, Including the Super Duty Truck, Ford Escape, and Shelby Mustang

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles, Including the Super Duty Truck, Ford Escape, and Shelby MustangIt seems like there’s been a lot of vehicles recalled lately. And it was just announced recently that Ford recalls 400,000 vehicles, including the Super Duty truck, Ford Escape, and Shelby Mustang. But don’t worry, our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton say they are relatively easy fixes.

Ford says no crashes or injuries have been reported involving the safety recall, but if you have a Super Duty Chassis Cab truck, a Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle, or a Shelby Mustang sports car you’ll want to get it repaired soon at your nearest dealership. Let’s take a look at the vehicles recalled.

Super Duty Chassis Cab Truck

The recall affects a small number of Ford Super Duty trucks from the 2017 model year.

The problem has to do with the adhesive-mounted protective shield on the truck’s fuel conditioning module. Because of inadequate adhesion of the fuel shield it can be dislodged by road debris or water spray which could force open the drain valve on the module. This may allow air to enter the fuel system or cause a fuel leak. In the presence of ignition, it could cause a fire. It could also create enough liquid fuel on the road to cause a slip hazard which might increase the risk of a crash.

The fuel conditioning module bottom cover will need to be replaced with a bolt-on metallic protective shield if it is defective.

This recall is for the 2017 Ford Super Duty 6.7-liter diesel Chassis Cab vehicles with midship fuel tanks built at the Kentucky Truck Plant between March 21, 2016, and August 28, 2016.

There are approximately 182 vehicles recalled, including 170 in the United States and 12 in Canada.

Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner

The recall affects more than 400,000 vehicles, including Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners.

The problem is a defective fuel delivery module flange that may cause cracks in a vehicle’s fuel supply port, which could lead to fuel leaks. If there is an ignition source, it could cause fires.

The fuel delivery module flange assembly will need to be replaced if a defect is found.

The recall involves vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter engines built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant:

  • 2010-12 Ford Escape, built February 26, 2009, to April 29, 2012
  • 2010-11 Mercury Mariner, built February 25, 2009, to December 12, 2010

There are approximately 411,663 vehicles affected, including 329,018 in the United States, 69,576 in Canada, 7,477 in Mexico, and 247 in federalized territories.

Shelby GT350/R Mustangs

Around 8,000 Shelby Mustangs are also being recalled by Ford for possible oil leaks.

The problem is in the vehicle’s engine oil cooler tube assembly where insufficient crimps on the hose could cause a hose separation and an oil leak. The sudden loss of engine oil could cause engine failure and lead to a fire.

The engine oil cooler tube assembly will need to be replaced if a defect is found.

This recall is for 2015-17 Ford Shelby GT350/R Mustang vehicles built at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan from February 24, 2015, to August 30, 2016.

There are approximately 8,026 vehicles recalled, including 6,523 in the United States, 957 in Canada, 346 in Mexico, and 59 in federalized territories.

It’s important to know that Ford recalls 400,000 vehicles, including the Super Duty truck, Ford Escape, and Shelby Mustang, because if you have an affected vehicle you will want to get it repaired soon. Our technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton want to keep you informed about any vehicle recall that could affect your safety.

Problems with the Ford F150 Truck

Problems with the Ford F150 TruckIt wasn’t that long ago that Ford couldn’t produce F150 trucks fast enough. But that demand seems to have slowed, perhaps because certain issues have cropped up again and again. Let’s quickly examine a few of the more common problems with the Ford F150 truck – ones that our certified technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton are all too familiar with.

Now, we’re not saying the Ford F150 is a bad choice if you’re in the market to buy a truck. According to a Forbes article, it has received many favorable reviews, including five stars from Car and Driver. And its switch to an all-aluminum body has earned it bragging rights for having the highest tow rating, biggest payload and best gasoline fuel economy in the half-ton segment.

But, problems with the Ford F150 truck, spark plugs to brake issues, could be causing Ford fans to look elsewhere. Here’s a review of the issues from our experts at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton.

Spark Plug Gap Causes Ignition Coil Failure

When the check engine light on your F150 truck comes on, it might be because an excessive spark plug gap is causing an ignition coil failure. It could also lead to the engine sputtering or misfiring. The ignition coil transforms the Ford F150’s battery voltage into a higher voltage required to ignite fuel by the spark plugs. We can fix this problem by replacing the spark plugs, failed ignition coils and coil boots.

Spark Plug Ejection From Cylinder Head

The V8 F150 truck’s spark plug can get ejected from the cylinder head, damaging the spark plug hole threads. Ford issued a technical service bulletin about this issue, so if your truck is still under warranty, our Dakota Ridge technicians can replace the cylinder. If not, a thread insert repair can be authorized.

Brake Failure

Another one of the problems with the Ford F150 truck is currently being investigated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Issues that have been brought up in complaints regarding certain 2015 and 2016 truck models include brake loss, the brake warning lamp illuminating, the pedal going to the floor before the brakes engage, and low or empty brake fluid levels. This may actually be linked to a previous Ford recall of 2013 and 2014 F150 models with master cylinder and brake booster issues.

Head Gasket Oil Leak

If you’re smelling burnt oil, it could be your truck leaking oil from the passenger side head gasket onto the starter. This can be caused by improper assembly, overheating, erosion and more. Our Dakota Ridge technicians will diagnose the issue quickly and make the proper repair, whether it requires sealing the leaking seams with an industrial-strength epoxy or replacing the head gasket entirely.

Rough Engine Idling

The full-size F150 truck engine is supposed to idle smoothly. Rough engine idling can be caused by an exhaust gas recirculation(EGR) sensor malfunction which results in the EGR valve not closing properly. Dakota Ridge auto technicians can fix this problem by replacing the EGR sensor and valve.

There are a lot of great things about this truck as noted in numerous reviews, but becoming an owner may mean dealing with some of the common problems with the Ford F150 truck. Now that you know what to look for, you can make your decision either way. Of course, if you already own an F150 and have any of these issues going on with your truck, our highly trained and experienced technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton know how to fix them. Call or contact us today for an appointment.