Ford Reveals Next-Generation Driver Assist Technology

driver assist technologyIf you go out shopping for a new car, you’ll find the majority of vehicles for sale these days are loaded with tons of driver assist technology, whether standard or available, that helps drivers stay safer and more aware while driving. Ford has just introduced a few new next-generation features that expand the advanced safety capabilities of Ford nameplates even further, with systems that include parking assistance, collision avoidance, and even wrong-way alerts.

Parking tech includes cross-traffic alert with braking technology, which detects people and other vehicles passing behind you as you back up out of a parking space. Additionally, enhanced active parking assist parks your vehicle (parallel or perpendicular) without any interaction besides pressing a button. Evasive steering is a new system that automatically steers around slow or stopped vehicles to prevent a collision, while wrong-way alert uses navigation information as well as a camera to detect whether or not the vehicle is going the correct way.

Tons of other driver assist technology is currently in development and will roll out across Ford vehicles supposedly within the next two years, such as Traffic Jam Assist and a spot lighting feature that helps drivers detect cyclists, pedestrians, and animals crossing the road. Ford hopes these features will not only keep people safe but reduce the stress of driving.

Best Hiking Trails in Utah

Best Hiking Trails in Utah
Observation Point as seen from the top of from Angels Landing. By Aneta Kaluzna – Own work

Hiking is one of the best ways to get outdoors for some good, old-fashioned exercise! There’s little equipment involved and going for a hike is usually a free activity. Utah is home to several excellent hiking trails that are perfect for beginners and advanced hikers alike. Without further ado, here are some of the best hiking trails in Utah.

  • Buckskin Gulch – This hiking trail is one for experienced adventurers and will challenge hikers to their very core. This set of narrows is long and deep with few areas that allow hikers to exit. Check the weather before heading out for a hike and be sure to contact the Kanab BLM office for the most recent trail conditions. Bring plenty of water before entering Buckskin Gulch and be ready to feel the burn!
  • Angels Landing – Hikers with a fear of heights would do well to avoid Angels Landing. This day-trip trail is perfect for well-versed hikers and is rarely left vacant. Parts of the route can be dangerous so be sure to avoid hiking in bad weather!
  • Narrows of Zion Canyon – This trail is one of the most well-known in Zion National Park and follows the Virgin River through the Narrows of Zion Canyon. Experienced hikers would do well to bring enough supplies while beginners are advised to take on an easier trail first.

Ford’s Australia Production Ends

Ford’s Australia ProductionFord has been a main player in Australia’s automotive and manufacturing industry for nearly a century, but now the final Ford facility is closing its doors. While other carmakers like General Motors and Toyota are leaving Australia, Ford isn’t removing itself from the country entirely.

Ford’s Australia production had a 91-year run but, with the last model rolling off the Broadmeadows plant in Melbourne, that comes to an end as the year closes. 600 workers will lose their jobs.

The final model to roll off the line was a Falcon XR6 with a V6 under the hood. Nearly 3.5 million Falcons have been built since 1960, making it one of the Australia most popular models. Few Falcons were ever exported to other countries.

The final Falcon will find a home in the Ford Australia Museum.

Ford has cited high production costs, competition, and sheer distance from target markets as the reason for leaving Australia. The American carmaker will continue to service and sell imported models and engineers will design new vehicles to be manufactured elsewhere. In all, Ford will employ 2,000 people in Australia, ensuring that their presence will still be felt in communities abroad.

What Does Torque Mean?

Torque If you’ve ever been browsing automaker or dealership websites and asked yourself, “What does torque mean?” you aren’t alone. While most drivers know what horsepower is and does, torque is a bit more of a mystery to those outside of the enthusiast circle. Here’s a quick breakdown of what torque actually does in your car from us here at L&L Motors.

At its very basic, torque is the ability to do work while power is how quickly something can be reached. That doesn’t help much when it comes to modern engines though but don’t worry. We’ll skip the complicated mathematical equations.

Essentially, torque causes a car to accelerate and the number you see listed on specifications pages is the maximum torque the engine can produce. That number is usually higher than the torque the wheels receive but it’s still very telling about how fast a car is.

Odds are you’ve noticed that larger engines produce more torque but what you probably didn’t know is that the amount of torque produced is caused by the amount of air flowing through the engine.

Once in the engine, the air meets fuel in the combustion chambers where it’s compressed to produce a small explosion. That explosion ultimately results in horsepower and torque. A car with higher torque will accelerate faster than a car with lower torque. The combination of high torque and high horsepower, like that found in the Ford Mustang, leads to a very fast, incredibly powerful car.

Ford’s NFL Sponsorship Brings Tailgate Parties

Ford F-Series Now Official Truck of the NFL

Ford is the latest automaker to join the NFL’s growing list of automotive sponsors. To celebrate and kick off its sponsorship, Ford is offering tailgate parties and rides to football games via ride sharing service Uber. Ford’s NFL sponsorship is a three-year deal and officially makes Ford the official truck of the NFL.

The toughness of the NFL is perfect for the Ford brand which puts an emphasis on strength, durability, and toughness, as indicated by the “Built Ford Tough” motto.

According to Ford’s vice president of marketing, Mark LaNeve, Ford’s NFL sponsorship “put the spotlight on fans and players who show toughness, smarts and determination on and off the field, and who deserve to be recognized for that.”

In addition to becoming the official truck brand of the NFL, Ford’s sponsorship also comes with a few other perks. First, the automaker will develop a fleet of Super Duty trucks designed for tailgate parties. Second, pickups will be available to give customers a ride to the game and also features a ticket giveaway. Finally, Ford will hold a contest with tickets to the Super Bowl as the top prize.

We here at L&L Motors couldn’t be happier to see two of the toughest brands combining forces with a three-year deal!

How to Check Brake Pads

brake padsBrake pads are one of the most important parts of your car, and if you don’t check them regularly it can be hard to see early warning signs. It’s a good idea to check the thickness of the pads every six months.

The biggest sign that your pads are wearing down is a grinding noise when you hit the brakes. They’re designed to make this noise to warn you in advance so you can change the pads, but it’s nice to know before they start grinding.

When brakes are worn, you may start to see less brake dust on the wheels. This is kind of hard to spot, especially if you don’t know how much dust is usually on your wheels, so try keeping an eye on the amount of dust that’s normal and then see how much it increases or decreases.

Finally, you can look at the pad itself, which can usually be seen through the wheel. The pad should be at least a quarter of an inch thick—if it seems thinner than that, it’s time to have the pads replaced.

Remember, routine brake maintenance and part replacements could save your life! If you notice any signs that your brake pads are worn, get them changed.

Donated Ole Yeller Mustang Raised $295,000 to Support EAA Youth Education and Aviation

The Ford donated Ole Yeller Mustang given to a charity auction for EAA AirVenture on August 2 sold for $295,000, the proceeds of which went to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth programs. The Ole Yeller Mustang was aviation-inspired and specially designed by Ford engineers.

The winner of the auction was Hank Menke, a CEO from Indiana. Part of the nearly $300,000 will go to the Young Eagles, a program which has been giving free introductory flying lessons to children since 1992. This is the ninth unique vehicle Ford has had specially designed to auction in support of the EAA and has raised over $3 million over the years.

The Ole Yeller Mustang has a custom yellow exterior, custom accents and badging, mirrors that project images of aircraft, and airplane-inspired gauges in the cabin. It is a Shelby GT350 that generates 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, and the 6-speed manual transmission it’s mated to makes it “the most track ready road-legal Mustang ever produced.”

The Ole Yeller is meant to honor the P-51D fighter plane and the pilot Bob Hoover, who was considered by many to be one of the best pilots who ever lived. He flew a plane called Ole Yeller, which inspired the paint job and nickname of the special Mustang.

What to Do in an Animal-Related Accident

What to Do in an Animal-Related AccidentOne of the major causes of car accidents in the US are animals. Whether a deer totals your car or a squirrel causes you to swerve into a ditch, there are numerous types of animal-related accidents. There are also important things to keep in mind when you are involved in an accident with an animal.

You should always pull over to the side of the road and check to make sure if everyone is okay. This is standard protocol after any accident. The Esurance website also suggests setting up flares or road triangles to warn other drivers. Deer and other animals often travel in herds, so multiple and consecutive accidents are not uncommon.

Next, call the police. This is also mandatory after virtually every accident. In fact, fleeing the scene after you hit an animal is a serious offense in most states, which can lead to fines and other penalties. Document the crash with your phone if possible to corroborate the police report—something you can use for an insurance claim down the road.

Finally, keep an eye on the animal, especially if it is still alive. Most animals become violent when injured, so try and keep your distance. If you have small children, keep them in a safe area as well. Animals are most active during dusk and dawn, so always keep an eye out while driving during these times.

The Best SUVs for Vacation

Best SUVs for Vacation
The Ford Expedition’s three roomy rows make it an ideal SUV for vacations

When you’re going on a family vacation, there can be a thin line between a great trip and a catastrophe. That’s why it’s especially important to take the right vehicle, an SUV like the Escape, Explorer, Edge, or Expedition. Each of these model has tons of storage, a comfortable interior, great entertainment options, and a fuel-sipping powertrain.

Parents.com argues that space is very important—one reason you should always pack light. Many Ford models come with tons of space for storage and legroom, making them ideal models for long road trips. Below is a list of SUVs and their storage space and seating:

  • 2016 Ford Edge – 73.4 cu ft –  seating for five
  • 2016 Ford Escape – 67.8 cu ft –  seating for five
  • 2016 Ford Explorer – 80.7 cu ft – seating for seven
  • 2016 Ford Expedition – 108.3 cu ft – seating for eight

Depending on the size of your family, you can select the right Ford model for you. You’ll always have room for bags, as well as plenty of space for seating.

Ford models also come with great features for keeping the kids entertained. These include the advanced Ford SYNC with MyFord touch system, helping you to stay better entertained than ever before. Rear seat DVD systems are available, as well as integrated Wi-Fi and premium audio systems.

Best of all, Ford models are renowned for their fuel economy. The Edge and Escape get up to 30 highway mpg, while the Explorer gets an impressive 28 highway mpg. Finally, the Expedition can get up to 21 mpg—incredible for a full-size SUV. It’s undeniable that Ford models are the best SUVs for vacation.

The Road Trip of a Lifetime: Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway

Photo by Ken Lund
Photo by Ken Lund

Hop in your new car and check out the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway. This 68-mile drive consists of three different roadways, starting in Vernal, UT. Cutting right through the Ashley National Forest, you can experience a range of terrains, winding roads, and scenic views like nowhere else.

According to My Scenic Drives, this route is consistently voted one of the top drives in the region. Sometimes called the “drive through the ages,” you can see what the world was like before settlers arrived. The Byway goes through arid desert, aspen forests, and red canyon rocks, showing you the best of Utah.

Along the way you can see some truly fascinating exhibits and make some exciting stops. The Dinosaur National Monument is one of the prime sources for dinosaur bones in North America. With a visitor center and displays all across the canyon, you can see dinosaurs frozen in time right in the rock wall. Plus, there are scenic overlooks and whitewater rafting in the area.

The Byway will also take you past the Jones Hole Scenic Byway, a route that circles past a 2,000-foot-deep gorge. There is also a massive fish hatchery, hiking, and petrified forests in the area as well.

Whether you are a visitor or a Utah native, the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway is a must for any road trip. Simply get in your car and discover what makes this region so great.