Ford Unveils STEAM Machine Transit XL for National STEAM Day

Students in Classroom | Ford Unveils STEAM Machine Transit XL for National STEAM Day | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Ford has built cars for the American people for over a century because they assembled the brightest minds of the times to design, engineer, and craft all their vehicles. The automaker realizes the importance of cultivating a love of education among all children, so they can take the industry into a bright future. That’s why Ford built the STEAM Machine Transit XL, a mobile science lab, to appeal to younger generations and spread a passion for science and discovery.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. National STEAM Day is a time to honor those fields and stoke interest in them among youngsters. The day in 2019 saw the unveiling of Ford’s science lab on wheels, the STEAM Machine Transit XL, at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Ford partnered with the museum to give everyone free access for the day, meaning all people had an equal shot at enjoying the numerous educational activities happening throughout the day. Children played engaging games tha implicitly taught them laws of kinetic energy and motion.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf, known as Kate the Chemist, performed at the event and lauded the STEAM Machine Transit XL, saying, “[Ford’s] STEAM Machine allows kids to experience science in such a fun way- they don’t even realize they are learning!”

If you’ve got a growing family, we’ll help you find the perfect vehicle for your lifestyle. Just bring your family to Tropical Ford.

Meet the Ford F-750 EarthRoamer

Ford F-750 EarthRoamer

Ford makes a massive variety of vehicles, from the fuel-efficient Escape to the burly F-350 pickup truck. The automaker recently expanded its portfolio by creating the Ford F-750 EarthRoamer XV-HD, a four-wheel-drive F-750 chassis that supports a tiny home capable of sleeping six people. If you want to go on expeditions with your family without relying on a bulky RV with no off-road capabilities, the Ford F-750 EarthRoamer XV-HD is calling your name.

Besides containing sleeping room for six, the F-750 EarthRoamer boasts a bathroom with a shower, another bathroom with a toilet, a fully functional kitchen, a dining area, and a bed lofted above the cabin.

A 6.7-liter Powerstroke engine generates 330 horsepower and 725 pound-feet of torque. Plus, the EarthRoamer XV-HD ensures a smooth ride with massive 46-inch wheels, rear air suspension with shocks, hydraulic leveling, and LED lights, just to make sure other drivers can spot your house on wheels.

Tyler Tatro is the President and Chief Operating Officer of EarthRoamer and his words reflect the buzz and enthusiasm surrounding the revolutionary vehicle. “The HD is our most innovative product yet,” he stated. “It utilizes state-of-the-art construction and systems to bring comfort and functionality to the next level.”

While no dealership offers the F-750 EarthRoamer yet, Tropical Ford offers a massive selection of Ford models. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect Ford for your lifestyle.

How to Log Your Business Miles

If you own a small business and regularly put miles on your vehicle for business purposes — or even if you are an employee at someone else’s business and use your vehicle for regular business trips — you should be claiming those miles on your tax returns. But you must be able to prove every mile driven to the IRS, or else you’ll face potential hefty penalties.

Should you take the deduction for business mileage on your taxes, be ready to prove your mileage in the event of an audit. The IRS accepts proof in two forms: a daily log kept by you, as long as it has lots of information, or a mileage app that does the admin work for you.

If you’re creating a log of your business mileage, keep a journal in your car and immediately log each trip after the drive. You will need to include the date, your odometer reading at the start and end of the journey, along with the number of miles you’ve driven, and the business reason for the trip. It is also helpful to include the starting address and the destination address.

If you would rather rely on your smartphone, you can download one of several business apps for such a purpose. Many apps even let you log your personal and business miles separately. At Tropical Ford, you can find a massive selection of fleet vehicles to suit all of your small business needs.

Design Your Own 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 with This Online Configurator

Have you been dreaming of driving your own 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500? The time has come to make that dream more tangible by configuring your ideal model using the new GT500 configurator launched on Ford’s site.

By using the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 configurator online, you’ll be able to play around with different design elements, like color and stripes, as well as tack on different packages. You’ll then get the price for the specific Mustang you’ve designed.

For 2020, the colors include Ford Performance Blue, Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver, Kona Blue, Magnetic, Oxford White, Race Red, Rapid Red, Shadow Black, Twister Orange, and Velocity Blue. Rapid Red and Twister Orange come at additional costs. You can also add a painted black roof and/or tape side stripes in either Ebony, Kona Blue, or Bright White. For an additional fee, you can get racing stripes in either Kona Blue, Oxford White, or Absolute Black.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is available with a few packages: the Carbon Fiber Track Pack adds multiple exposed carbon fiber elements and gets ride of the rear seat; the Handling Pack, which can’t be purchased alongside the Carbon Fiber Track Pack, adds a couple of features, including the Gurney flap rear spoiler. For advanced interior tech, go with the Technology Package.

Want to see the 2020 Mustang in real life? Take it for a test drive at Tropical Ford.

Ford Super Duty Boasts Best-in-Class Figures

Ford Super Duty Boasts Best-in-Class Figures | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

The 2020 Ford Super Duty won’t arrive at Tropical Ford until the end of this year, but already it’s making waves in the news with its unbelievable number of best-in-class accolades for its three engine options.

The standard 6.2-liter gas V8, for example, delivers best-in-class max payload capacity at 7,850 pounds.

Need more power? Go with the new 7.3-liter gas V8 engine, which pumps out best-in-class 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, another best-in-class figure.

But the most impressive performance stats come from the available 6.7-liter Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel engine. This engine achieves best-in-class diesel gooseneck towing at 37,000 pounds, best-in-class diesel fifth-wheel towing at 32,500 pounds, and best-in-class diesel conventional towing at 24,200 pounds. It also cranks out best-in-class horsepower and torque — 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft respectively.

But that’s not all. Ford also promises that the new 2020 Ford Super Duty truck lineup will also offer best-in-class water fording capability thanks to the Tremor Off-Road Package.

“Ford truck customers are building a better world with Super Duty, and we’re helping them work even harder with the most available diesel towing, payload, torque, and power you can get in a heavy-duty pickup,” explained Mike Pruitt, Super Duty chief engineer. “We’re excited to be in the nation’s largest truck market at the State Fair of Texas announcing we’ve surpassed the kilotorque barrier and made it standard with every pickup truck featuring a Power Stroke diesel engine.”

Want to experience the raw power of the Super Duty? Check out this powerhouse of a truck at Tropical Ford.

Family-Friendly Games to Play at Thanksgiving

Family-Friendly Games to Play at Thanksgiving | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

A game of two-hand touch football outback after everyone has digested their meals is the traditional way to have some fun at Thanksgiving, but not everyone is crazy about playing football, especially after eating a massive dinner. Here are some fun games to play this Thanksgiving that the whole family will love:

  • Pin the Feather on the Turkey: Get crafty with construction paper to make a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey — only missing its feathers. Following the rules of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, let the little ones attempt to return the feathers to the turkey in time for the holidays.
  • Thanksgiving Mad Libs: Remember how fun it is to play Mad Libs, filling in the blanks with silly words to create a story? Consider creating your own story with missing nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, then letting everyone suggest words to complete the story. Then read it aloud.
  • Thanksgiving Relay Course: Set up space in the backyard for a fun relay course, breaking into separate teams. Sample legs for the relay could include a pumpkin roll, a sack race, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a corn shucking race. Whichever team finishes all their legs of the relay course first, wins!

These are just a few ideas to help keep the kids entertained while dinner is in the oven. At Tropical Ford, we’re excited to ring in the holidays with our local community.

Strange Car Smells and What They Mean

strange car smells | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

You loved the smell of your car when you first bought it. Many people fall in love with that “new car” smell. However, later in its life, your car might not have that same fresh scent. There are many strange car smells that don’t originate from dust and debris gathering in the cabin. Some could even mean that your car is having serious problems.

Gasoline

You are guaranteed to smell this after filling up the gas tank, but if you’re smell gas when you’re between visits to the pump, it could mean that your vehicle has a gas leak. It’s a good idea to have the fuel system inspected by a professional.

Rotten Eggs

This unmistakable smell indicates that your car’s engine is running poorly and due to problems with your catalytic converter. If you don’t get the problem resolved, it could ruin your catalytic converter and lead to costly repairs.

Burning Carpet

If you get a whiff of something burning when you press on the brakes, it could mean that your vehicle is having brake problems. Get them inspected as soon as possible.

Musty Basement

If turning on the heater or air conditioning yields a musty smell, you probably have mildew growing inside the HVAC system. A simple remedy is to swap the air conditioning for the fan, turned on high. This will help dry out any condensation. If you have persistent issues, your vehicle may need a new air filter.

Need a little extra help maintaining your vehicle? Bring it to our service department at Tropical Ford.

Differences Between Types of Oils

differences between types of oils | motor oil | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Your engine oil is one of the most important fluids in your car. That is why it’s critical to get regular oil changes as part of a routine maintenance program. One thing you need to remember is that there are three different kinds of oils for different kinds of engines in addition to different weights for each type. Here are a few differences between the types of oils.

Conventional

This is the least expensive type of oil as well as the most commonly used. It is a byproduct of the crude oil refining process. It deteriorates quickly and gives off more pollutants than the other types of oils.

Synthetic

As its name implies, synthetic oil is a man-made product from chemical compounds. It is more expensive than conventional oil; however, it lasts a lot longer and is a lot cleaner.

Synthetic Blend

This type of oil is a combination of both conventional and synthetic. It gives you many of the benefits of fully synthetic oil, but it keeps the costs closer to that of conventional oil. It is made from conventional oil, but it has additives that give it a cleaner burn and help it last longer under high temperatures.

Want to learn more about what kind of oil is best for your vehicle? Give us a call or stop by our service center at Tropical Ford.

Optimize Your Commute with Ford

Optimize Your Commute | Ford F-150 Interior | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

There are some great advantages to living in the greater Orlando area. Unfortunately, your commute time likely isn’t one of them. If you are looking for ways to optimize your commute, your Ford can help you out.

SYNC®

New Ford models are equipped with advanced SYNC® systems. This technology makes it easy to connect your smartphone through Bluetooth® and make hands-free calls and access music features using only your voice. If you have any audiobooks, your commute would be a great time to stream them through SYNC®.

Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto

Most Ford vehicles come with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With these systems, you can use many of your favorite smartphone apps directly on the SYNC® touchscreen. This includes apps for navigation, music, and contacts.

Ford + Alexa

Many new Ford models are available with Ford + Alexa. This technology lets you use your favorite Amazon voice assistant in your car. It gives you access to over 30,000 Alexa Skills, Amazon Prime shopping, and even control over your smart home devices, like lights and security systems.

Ford & Waze

If you frequently run into traffic jams or accidents, consider using the crowd-sourced navigation app, Waze. This app is available through SYNC® 3 AppLink® and can give you time-saving detour information to help save you time.

At Tropical Ford, our vehicles have all the technology you need to get the most out of your commute.

Ford Wants a Pickup Truck Emoji

Big Smile Grimace Emoji | pickup truck emoji | Tropical Ford | Orlando, FL

For many of us who love to text, emojis are a great way to say what we want in a fun, easy way. You know the cliche — a picture is worth a thousand words. While there are nearly 3,000 emojis to choose from, Ford thinks there a very important one missing: a pickup truck emoji.

Since last year, Ford has been talking with the Unicode Consortium about adding a pickup truck to the growing list of available icons. And, in an announcement on World Emoji Day, Ford celebrated its success by saying the pickup truck has been added to the list of potential emojis for early 2020.

Praise Hands Emoji | pickup truck emoji | Tropical Ford | Orlando, FL

“When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, automotive. “Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe.”

Ford said it worked hard to decide what kind of design the truck emoji should have. The team spent time sorting through message boards and social media feeds to understand what customers wanted. Ultimately, this research resulted in an icon of a blue pickup with a modern design.

Luckily, you don’t have to settle for an emoji. You can drive home in a real pickup truck from Tropical Ford.