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Main: 866-277-0159 Service: 866-312-0166 Parts: 866-418-5048
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Spring Car Care Tips From Joe Cotton Ford Your Local Chicagoland Dealer

SPRING CAR CARE TIPS FROM JOE COTTON FORD

 

As the temperatures finally beging to rise, you know spring has arrived. We here in Chicagoland know we have been through a very long winter and now that spring is here we need to take care of our cars that had to weather a crazy Chicago winter. All the cold, ice, snow and slush were hard on your car, so consider some of these spring car care tips from Joe Cotton Ford, to wash winter away.


As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, folks across Chicagoland will begin their annual spring cleaning. After a long, harsh winter, many items in and around your home will need a good, thorough cleaning, including your vehicle. This spring-cleaning checklist will help you give your vehicle the attention it needs while extending its life and making sure it’s ready to face the road ahead.

 

Top 10 Car Care Tips


1. Carpeting and Upholstery

 

During winter, nothing takes a beating more than your floor mats, which are flooded with everything from slush to road salt. Improve the appearance of your interior by removing floor mats and using a power washer to do a deep clean. Then, take the time to vacuum under the floormats, the upholstery, paying special attention to the seams of your seats – you never know what’s been hiding in them all winter long.

Get your car vacuum cleaner and start with the carpet, followed by the seats, the dash, and then the package shelf. A brush attachment is great for removing deeply embedded dirt, while a crevice attachment is ideal for cleaning hard-to-access areas, such as those under the seats. Removing this excess dirt, including hard-to-see dust particles, should improve the air quality of the cabin and help your air filter last longer.

 


2. Detail the Exterior

 

Your vehicle’s interior has been covered in salt and slush for months. Without a good wash and rinse, the finish can begin to deteriorate, resulting in costly damage. If you are hand washing your vehicle, make sure to use a PH-balanced soap designed to clean without stripping the finish.


Check for rust. Any small scratch or chink on your car’s exterior detail parts can invite rust. Winter is hard on exterior damage, so giving your car a once-over for signs of rust is worth the time. Repair scratches. Come into Joe Cotton's Parts Department and we will get you your Ford vehicle’s paint color that matches your vehicle.Serious body damage will require a trip to the body shop, but minor repairs can be done at home. Schedule a free estimate today.

 

But it is also advisable to wax the exterior of a car. Doing it once or twice a year—particularly in spring—is a good idea. Wax, after all, has many benefits. It seals the paint, adds a shiny coat, and repels water beads—getting rid of problematic water spots in the process. If you take your car to a professional car wash rather than clean it yourself, select a wash option that includes a wax spray or coating at the end. This can help your car as much as the soap and water that’s used to clean it. Of course, you can always find wax at your local hardware store or automotive garage and apply it yourself.


 


3. Wash the Headlights and Taillights

 

Few things on a car get as dirty during the winter as the headlights and taillights. Come spring, the headlights and taillights on most vehicles are pretty filthy and foggy. Yet, most motorists pay little attention to them. As long as the lights are on and a bulb isn’t burnt out, we don’t worry about them. Yet headlights and taillights are extremely important in terms of visibility at night, and for safety. Taking a warm, damp cloth and giving the headlights on the front of the car and the taillights on the back a wipe in spring can do wonders. The range of the light coming from your car will improve, and so will your vehicle’s visibility. Other motorists and pedestrians will be able to see you coming from a distance, and you will be able to see them better too. Washing the headlights and taillights is a simple thing that can pay big dividends. 


4. Inspect and Replace Windshield Wipers


During winter, wiper blades come into near-constant contact with ice, snow, and sleet, which can cause damage and breakage. Make sure they’re equipped to handle the significant rainfall that defines April & May in Chicagoland by checking and replacing them as necessary. You may even want to consider specialized wipers designed specifically to handle spring showers. 


5. Windex Is Your Friend


It’s amazing how simple cleaning a car can be. But it is often the simplest cleaning steps that can yield the biggest rewards, and improve the safety of your car. Just as it is important to clean the headlights and taillights on a vehicle, so too is it important to clean the mirrors—the side mirrors and the rear view mirror. And for this, we turn to Windex. A spray of Windex and a wipe with some paper towel, and Voila! Suddenly you can see what’s behind you when driving. This is critically important. Especially given how filthy side mirrors and rear view mirrors on a car get during the harsh winter months. There are many times when people can literally see nothing out of their mirrors, and that is never good. Taking a few seconds to spray the mirrors with some Windex will dramatically improve the safety of any vehicle and make the driver feel more at ease.


6. Replace Winter Tires


This might seem like a no-brainer, but plenty of people leave the winter tires on their car all year long. Kind of like people who never take down the Christmas lights on their house. But it can be extremely dangerous to drive on winter tires in the spring and summer. The tread on the winter tires will wear down quickly and make the tires practically useless when winter rolls around again. Also, winter tires do not grip the roads well when they are dry and clear of snow and ice. Taking the tires off yourself or having them taken off and stored at a garage is a good idea. It is always best to use all-season tires in the spring and summer months when pavement and asphalt are hot and tires are susceptible to melting.


We are your local NitroFill dealer in Chicagoland. Want to hear about the benefits? Visit our NitroFill information page.


7. Check Under the Hood


A lot can happen under the hood during winter. Debris such as dirt and leaves can easily collect on or near the engine, impacting your vehicle’s performance and efficiency. If you are conducting the inspection yourself, ensure your safety by turning off the engine and removing the battery cables. Then, use a wet towel to clean under the hood, and try baking soda to remove any oxidation from the batteries. 


While looking under the hood check for any nest squirrels may have left behind during the long winter and clean them out. Double check to see if they chewed any wires and get your vehicle into the shop to have them repaired now, better than later.


8. Clean Out the Trunk


During the winter, a lot of stuff tends to accumulate in your trunk: shovels, window scrapers, boots, blankets to windshield washer fluid bottles. As you clear these items, make sure to check your emergency kit. Is there anything that you used that might need to be replaced? Also, have a look at your spare tire to make sure it is good to go…you never know when you might need it. 


Make room for new things in the trunk, like picnic baskets, folding lawn chairs and beach umbrellas. But be sure and give the trunk a good vacuum as part of this transition. Trunks attract their fair share of salt, dirt and other debris. Keeping this seldom seen area of the car clean is important too.


9. Clean Underneath the Whole Car

 

The best way to avoid rust on a car is to clean underneath the vehicle. And cleaning beneath a car after winter is the best time to do this. All sorts of salt, dirt, gravel and mud get trapped underneath a car—around the muffler and exhaust as well as the axels and wheel wells. Blasting this crap off with a high pressure hose or having it cleaned off at a professional car wash is the way to go here. In fact, it never hurts to take your car through a professional, automated car wash at least once in the spring to ensure that the vehicle gets one thorough cleaning, and that the undercarriage gets clean of all the stuff that can be corrosive and cause rust to form and spread. Once rust gets hold, it is literally like a cancer on the body of the car. It spreads and eats the vehicle alive. Keep the underside of your car clean and the vehicle will last a lot longer.


10. Check Your Brakes


Check your brakes. Spring is a good time to determine if your brake pads need to be replaced, At the same time, your mechanic can assess the condition of your brake rotors. They shouldn’t need to be replaced if you’ve serviced the pads on schedule, but in some cases they’ll need be replaced as well.

 

Give us a call or schedule an appointment on this page and we can check your brakes for free.

 

$25 Rebate By Mail For Using Your Ford Service Credit Card :
$25 Rebate By Mail For Using Your Ford Service Credit Card

*Subject to credit approval. Rebate valid on qualifying purchase of $250 or more before tax; not valid on prior purchases. Complete purchase must be made on the Ford Service Credit Card. Offer valid 10/01/19 to 12/31/19. Submit rebate by 1/31/20 by mail-in rebate form or online at fordowner.com. Limit one $25 mail-in rebate per visit. Rebate by prepaid debit card. Cannot be combined with any other Ford Service Credit Card rebate/offer. Ford Service Credit Card is issued by Citibank, N.A. See Service Advisor for vehicle applications and rebate details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Be Sure You Have the Starting Power You Need. :
Be Sure You Have the Starting Power You Need.

*Visually inspect and test battery using tester. Hybrid battery test excluded. See Service Advisor for details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Brake Inspection Performed by an Expert Technician :
Brake Inspection Performed by an Expert Technician

*Inspect brake friction material, caliper operation, rotors, drums, hoses and connections. Inspect parking brake for damage and proper operation. See Service Advisor for details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Brake Installation :
Brake Installation

*Per-axle price on pads or shoes on most vehicles. Exclusions apply. Taxes extra. See Service Advisor for details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Brake Service :
Brake Service

BRAKE PADS OR SHOES! MACHINING ROTORS OR DRUMS! LABOR INCLUDED!

*Per-axle price on most vehicles. Exclusions apply. Taxes extra. See Service Advisor for details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Synthetic Blend Oil Change and More! *$49.95 :
Synthetic Blend Oil Change and More! *$49.95

TIRE ROTATION AND PRESSURE CHECK! BRAKE INSPECTION! VEHICLE CHECK UP! FLUID TOP-OFF! BATTERY TEST! FILTER CHECK! BELTS AND HOSES CHECK!

*Up to six quarts of Motorcraft® oil and Motorcraft oil filter. See Service Advisor for exclusions and details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

Why Buy Tires Anywhere Else? :
Why Buy Tires Anywhere Else?

16 MAJOR BRANDS! 30-DAY PRICE GUARANTEE! ALL MAKES AND MODELS!

*Valid on dealer-installed retail purchases only. Requires presentation of competitor's current price ad/offer on exact tire sold by dealership within 30 days after purchase. For online quotes, guarantee applies only to new tires sold on retailer websites. Excludes tires sold by third parties on marketplace sites and any resellers. See Service Advisor for details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

On These Name Brands: Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin,® Continental,  :
On These Name Brands: Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin,® Continental,

*Dealer-installed retail purchases only. $70 tire rebate and $70 credit card rebate by prepaid debit card. Subject to credit approval. Not valid on prior purchases. Complete purchase must be made on the Ford Service Credit Card for $140 maximum rebate. Offer valid 10/01/19 to 12/31/19. Submit rebate by 1/31/20 by mail-in rebate form or online at fordowner.com. Limit one rebate per account. Cannot be combined with any other tire manufacturer-sponsored or Ford Service Credit Card rebate/offer. Ford Service Credit Card is issued by Citibank, N.A. See Service Advisor for vehicle applications and rebate details. Offer valid with coupon. Expires 12/31/19.

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Testimonials

Cars.com - 5 Stars

10-14-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

"Fast, quick and never met nicer people to deal with. I don't believe I will go anywhere else."

Dealer Rater - 5 Stars

10-10-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

"Best sales and service at Joe Cotton Ford. Best Ford dealership to buy a new or used car. Best price and best service. Employees are all great."

Google - 5 Stars

10-4-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

"Everyone was very kind! I was in and out for an oil change in 45 minutes. Great service :)"

Google - 5 Stars

10-2-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I've been a customer for nearly 30 years. Most of my business is service now. I think they're honest and forthright people. The auto business is tough and very competitive. Joe Cotton continues to get my business because they know my car very well.

Google - 5 Stars

9-27-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

The entire buying process was easy to understand, there was no pressure and went smoothly. Rich the salesman was friendly, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would not hesitate to buy another vehicle from Joe Cotton Ford or to recommend them to family, friends or neighbors. I got a good deal from professional and friendly people!

Dealer Rater - 4.8 Stars

9-24-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

Brought vehicle in at 66800 miles for brake replacement. Vehicle was not having any problems. Replaced rear brakes same day. Zack in service was professional and knowledgeable.

Google - 5 stars

9-23-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

They were able to fit me in for an oil change last minute and was quicker than they said it would take as they were pretty busy. I will be back!

Dealer Rater - 5 Stars

9-5-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I went to Joe Cotton Ford to buy a 2019 Ford Edge because I liked the way they treated me when I bought a new Mustang last year. They really do treat you right like no other dealer I've ever dealt with before. Salesman Jason Conn truly cares about the customer, finding the exact car I wanted through dealer trade. I used to dread car buying in the past from other dealerships but I don't at Cotton Ford.

Google - 5 stars

9-5-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

Haven't bought a new truck in yrs! They made the experience fenominal!! Larry is a no BS salesman. I will shop at Joe Cotton Ford from now on!!! Also, they offer free oil changes for life with purchase!! Thanx guys

Google - 5 Stars

8-29-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

Best service, best sales. Mike krawec and mike diehl are exceptional they really work with you and really care about what you think and want

Google - 5 stars

8-13-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I love getting my car serviced here! Always quick and easy with lots of smiling faces!

Google - 5 Stars

8-4-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

These are the people you want to work with when you're buying a car, they aren't forcefull at all and genuinely want you to get the right vehicle for you. If you're local, it really pays off too because they throw in a years worth of free oil changes with the purchase of your car.

Dealer Rater - 5 Stars

7-27-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

The service department treated me and my ailing Ford Focus just like royalty. The clutch, transmission control module, and fuel system recall were all replaced in a timely manner. Every car dealership should be as professional as Joe Cotton Ford. The technician that repaired my car must be an expert.

Google - 5 Stars

7-19-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

The people at Joe Cotton Ford are great, so great that we purchased two vehicles from them in less than a week! A 2019 Ford Escape, and a 2019 Ford F-350 Pick Up Truck! Ken, Mike, and Bob were knowledgeable, curtious, and honest! You can't go wrong with these guy's!

Facebook - 5 Stars

7-13-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

They are a great dealer for sales and service. We got a great deal on our truck years ago.. Also their service center is good too fixing our (in warranty) ford focus and doing a great job of it.. thanks!

Facebook - 5 Stars

7-9-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I just bought my car from them and I had no problems .. and they was really good to me And my kids!!! And I got a great deal!!!!!!! Thank you all!!!! I'm loving my new car!!!!!!

DealerRater - 5 Stars

7-3-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I highly recommend Joe Cotton Ford. This very accommodating dealership with an absolutely laid back sales staff & a no pressure sales approach made this experience an absolute pleasure when purchasing my new F150 truck. I will be utilizing their service department for all scheduled maintenance in the future & can't wait to start customizing my truck through the parts department. Truly a pleasant car buying experience. Customer Care: Joanna Sales :Rick Financing : Steve Manager: Tracy

DealerRater - 5 Stars

6-26-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

My service for my car was done efficiently. I was kept informed of length of time it would take to complete. My husband’s family has bought over 33 cars from Joe Cotton Ford and one of the reasons they keep coming back to purchase is because of their service on their cars.

Facebook - 5 Stars

6-24-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

Dave Malloy & Zak are both 1st Class guys. Helped with some Issues that just seemed to be getting worse at another local dealership. They both listened to my concerns and went above and beyond to be sure my issues were addressed.

Google - 5 Stars

6-11-2019
Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star

I rarely go to a dealer. None of my 4 cars are in warranty so I do most of the work myself. When it is something I cannot do I have a friend who is a private mechanic and he solves the rest of the problems. My 2005 Ford GT was a special case and needed an expert to help with my issues. I am lucky enough to know Dave Malloy, Joe Cottons Service Manager and he encouraged me to bring the car down and he and his SVT certivfied mechanic Todd would help me out. I could not have been more pleased with the whole experience. I was treated like Royalty! My car received the best care of possible. It was fixed promply and properly. The charges were very much in line with the high quality of service I received. Dave was also MOST gracious in taking me around and interducing me the whole support team at Joe Cotton. Including Pam who runs the whole operation. I was impressed to say the least. Although I hope I don't need any serious service in the near future I will definately go back to Joe Cotton Ford when any events occur that require service for my Ford GT. I am convinced that they are the best. Also, should I need a new vehicle. Joe Cotton will be my first stop. I know the great treatment would continue. Sincerely Karl Ayer

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