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.

Ford Uses 1.2 Billion Recycled Plastic Bottles a Year

Ford uses 1.2 billion recycled plastic bottles | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, Fl

Recycling is one of the most important things we can do to help keep our planet thriving for as long as possible. But where do things like bottles go when they’re taken away in the recycling bin? You may not know that materials gathered from plastic bottles are a big part of today’s Ford vehicles. In fact, Ford uses 1.2 billion recycled plastic bottles every year for key vehicle components, helping keep our planet cleaner in the process.

According to Ford, it uses an average of 250 plastic bottles per vehicle to create parts like underbody shields and wheel liners. To get from point A to point B, plastic bottles are shredded, turned into fiber by suppliers, and mixed in with other fibers to create a sheet of lightweight yet durable material.

“The underbody shield is a large part, and for a part that big, if we used solid plastic, it would likely weigh three times as much,” said Thomas Sweder, design engineer, Ford Motor Company. “We look for the most durable and highest performing materials to work with to make our parts, and in this case, we are also creating many environmental benefits.”

That’s what you call a win-win.

Ford also uses around 470 plastic bottles for carpeting in the EcoSport; to achieve this, the fiber is spun into a yarn and woven into the carpeting. Sweder says it’s all part of Ford’s mission to use more and more recycled and renewable material in its vehicles.

To learn more about Ford’s efforts to keep the Earth cleaner, including new and upcoming electrified vehicles like the 2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid and the Ford F-150 Hybrid, stop into Tropical Ford.

Lesser-Known Family Fun Activities in Orlando

Lesser-Known Family Fun Activities in Orlando | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL
Mother, father and their two children pack the family car to go on vacation.

You already know the biggest destinations Orlando has to offer; our city is home to world-famous attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND®, and the classic thrills of Gatorland. While these make for great places to hang out with your kids, they can also be pretty crowded during the summer. If you’re looking for a lower-impact but no-less-fun outing, check out these lesser-known family fun activities in Orlando.

Whirly Dome

We know what you’re thinking: what is a Whirly Dome, exactly? The short answer is that it’s where you play WhirlyBall in your WhirlyBug, but that probably doesn’t help elucidate the matter. Whirly Dome is a family entertainment complex that offers laser tag, the Lazer Frenzy maze, an arcade, food and drink, and yes, WhirlyBall. Think a mixture of basketball, hockey, and Jai-alai played on bumper cars and you’re on the right track. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? The best way to find out is to visit the Whirly Dome.

Chocolate Museum & Cafe

Just say the word chocolate and the kids will start scrambling. If you tell them that you’re heading to a place where you can learn about how chocolate is made, taste chocolates from all over the world, and see 25 incredible works of art made entirely from chocolate, they’ll be in the car and ready to go before you know it. That’s just part of the allure of the Chocolate Museum & Cafe, the award-winning attraction that’s great for both learning and snacking. With packages including a wine and chocolate pairing or your choice of mimosa or champagne, it’s also a great spot to visit with your adult friends.

There’s so, so much to do in Orlando, so don’t miss out any of it because you’ve got a bum ride. Trade in and trade up by visiting Tropical Ford and we’ll get you behind the wheel of a great car you can rely on.

4 Fun Roadside Attractions in Florida

roadside attractions Florida | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Florida has a wealth of fun, quirky, and eccentric roadside attractions. Here are four that will brighten up your next road trip through the Sunshine State.

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee in Spring Hills have been a popular attraction since 1947. These performers are as close as you can get to a real mermaid — the ladies dazzle guests with underwater acrobatics and choreographed routines. Photo-ops allow you to take the memories with you.

Spongeorama Sponge Factory

The Spongeorama Sponge Factory claims to be the Sponge Capital of the World. It boasts the world’s largest collection of natural sea sponges. Stop in at Tarpon Springs to learn all about sea sponges and the industry around them.

Skunk Ape Research Headquarters

In Ochopee, Dave Shealy has spent the majority of his life looking for the elusive and mysterious Skunk Ape. Known in the south by names like swampsquatch, stink ape, and swamp cabbage man, Shealy set up the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters so visitors could learn more about the mythical Florida creature.

Potter’s Wax Museum

Potter’s Wax Museum, located in St. Augustine, is the oldest wax museum in the country. Come and walk with presidents and first ladies, mingle with legends like Michael Jackson, see famous characters like Harry Potter and Jack Sparrow, and get your picture taken with Einstein or Babe Ruth.

And with all good roadside attractions, don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave to grab a souvenir!

Ready for adventure? Come to Tropical Ford, and we’ll help you find the perfect vehicle for your needs.

Fun Ford Inventions

Fun Ford Inventions | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Ford has a history of designing creative inventions to aid with everyday life, many of which have nothing to do with cars. Each of these quirky designs demonstrates a technology feature the automaker has used to improve its vehicles.

The Self-Braking Shopping Cart

As Ford sees it, runaway shopping carts and overenthusiastic children can make a trip to the store potentially destructive. Kids can take the cart for a joy ride, or parents can lose control when distracted. To fix this dilemma, the engineers at Ford built a shopping cart with their Pre-Collision Assist technology installed. The sleek cart can sense obstacles ahead and brake before impact.

Max Motors Dream Cot

The old trick of taking a fussy baby for a drive to lull them to sleep comes condensed into a stylish, immobile cot. The Max Motors Dream Cot simulates an evening drive with soft engine noise, gentle movements like turns on the road, and soft orange lights to mimic passing streetlights.

Ford Kennel

Showcasing the Active Noise Control system used to reduce road noise, Ford developed a dog kennel to block out noises like fireworks to ease pets’ anxieties. The system, wrapped in an ultra-modern design, uses anti-vibration risers, noise-cancelling audio, and acoustic isolation panels to wrap pups in a cocoon of peace.

Want to see some Ford automotive innovations? Visit us at Tropical Ford.

New Trademark Filing Suggests Development of New “Baby Bronco”

2020 Ford Bronco | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Recently, car enthusiasts of all varieties have been increasingly excited over the return of the legendary Ford Bronco in the form of the all-new 2020 Ford Bronco. For 30 years, the Bronco was one of the world’s leading 4×4 SUVs, boasting now-classic styling and incredible capability. And now Bronco fans have even more to get revved up about, as a new trademark request filed by Ford might suggest the coming of a new “Baby Bronco” called the Ford Bronco Scout.

Ford recently filed to trademark the “Scout” and “Bronco Scout” nameplates. And while it’s not unheard of for auto brands to apply for trademarks simply to have rights to them, it makes a lot of sense to speculate that a reveal might be close at hand for the Bronco Scout.

With reports that Ford will soon release a smaller crossover styled after the all-new Bronco being dubbed the “Baby Bronco,” it seems likely that the “Bronco Scout” nameplate could be used to designate just such a vehicle. After all, the Scout name is unmistakably reminiscent of the International Harvester Scout, another 4×4 smiler to the original Ford Bronco. For now, though, we’ll have to content ourselves with the coming release of the all-new 2020 Ford Bronco while keeping an ear to the ground for what’s to come next.

Come check out the latest Ford innovations at Tropical Ford!

Check out These Awesome Orlando Lakes on your Next Road Trip

Best Lakes Orlando | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Incredible weather? Check. Amazing destination? Check. Huge variety? Check. The Orlando, Florida area has all of the ingredients needed for the perfect summer road trip. And now that you’ve for a new Ford to match, you’re all set. This summer, check out some of our favorite lakes near Orlando and get ready to fall back in love with the joy of driving.

Lake Eola

Whether you’re a yearlong resident or just visiting, Lake Eola is an Orlando mainstay, and for good reason. Located right in the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola is surrounded by great restaurants and other fun activities the whole family will love.

Lake Killarney

Located in Winter Park, just north of Orlando, Lake Killarney is the perfect single-day road trip behind the wheel of your new Ford. Bring the whole family and rent some paddleboat for a day of fun on the water or relax with a glass of wine and take in the great view.

Lake Tohopekaliga

Lake Toho is one of the largest lakes in all of Florida and is a famous fishing spot amongst locals and traveling sportsmen alike. Adjacent to the beautiful Brinson Park, you could easily spend days at Lake Toho taking in all it has to offer.

Lake Kissimmee

Another excellent lake for fishing and boating, Lake Kissimmee in Osceola County is a great place to fish, float around, or unwind on the shore. With a public boat ramp, you’re welcome to bring your own boat, but fishing is also great right from the marina.

Ready to begin your next adventure? Find the perfect vehicle at Tropical Ford.