Archive for October, 2011


Ford Suggests You Take a Coffee Break

October 31, 2011

(from Nick Kurczewski,

The new Ford Explorer wants to keep you caffeinated, or at least alert when behind the wheel. Early next year, the Ford Explorer will offer a Lane Keeping System and Driver Alert System that detects when a driver is becoming inattentive and drowsy. The systems monitor whether the vehicle is drifting into another lane. If it does, a vibration in the steering wheel and accompanying warning chime help alert the driver. The Lane Keeping Aid function also applies torque at the steering wheel to help guide the vehicle back into its lane. Best of all, a coffee cup light is illuminated on the instrument cluster.

The lane departure system features a small forward-facing camera. Mounted on the windshield behind the rearview mirror, the camera surveys the road ahead and predicts where the vehicle should be relative to lane markings. “Our engineering teams tested this technology for thousands of miles in many parts of the country to help ensure it performs on a wide range of roads with different lane markings,” said Michael Kane, vehicle engineering supervisor for Driver Assistance Technologies for Ford.

(read the entire article HERE)


Ford MyKey adds “Do Not Disturb” feature

October 28, 2011


Dearborn, Michigan – Ford’s MyKey technology, which allows parents to limit such things as speed and stereo volume on a vehicle when young drivers are behind the wheel, will add a Do Not Disturb feature that will block incoming phone calls and deter text messages when activated.

The feature, available on all 2011 vehicles featuring SYNC with MyFord Touch, will now be available as a feature parents can control through MyKey beginning with the new Explorer in early 2012.

When hooked up to SYNC, the new feature blocks incoming phone calls or text messages from a Bluetooth-paired mobile phone, diverting calls into voicemail and saving text messages on the device for viewing later. Unlike turning the phone off, drivers can still make voice-activated outgoing phone calls and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make calls in case of emergency.

“Adding Do Not Disturb to MyKey is yet another way Ford is helping parents to encourage their kids to drive safer,” said Andy Sarkisian, Ford safety planning and strategy manager. “We are continually listening to our customers and responding to parents’ desire to make sure their kids are paying attention to the road, not their cell phone.”



Ford announces new Canadian president

October 26, 2011


Oakville, Ontario – Ford Motor Company of Canada has announced that Dianne Craig has been appointed as president and CEO, effective November 1, 2011.

Craig replaces David Mondragon, who has served as president and CEO since August 2008.

“Dave’s contributions to Ford of Canada during the last three years have been significant,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas. “He led the team through one of the most tumultuous times in the industry and successfully grew the business, bringing new customers to Ford. This positive marketplace momentum will continue to build as Dianne shares her extensive dealer relations skills, sales background and marketing expertise with the Ford of Canada team.”

Craig was general manager for the Southeast Market Area in the U.S. from March 2009. In this role, she was responsible for all marketing, sales and service operations for 520 Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers in five states. She joined the company in 1986 in an entry-level field position and has held a variety of sales and marketing positions, including advertising, product marketing, contests and incentives, and field operations.



Ford will build new Transit van in U.S.

October 24, 2011


Kansas City, Missouri – Ford will build the Transit van, currently the best-selling commercial vehicle in  Europe, at its Kansas City plant when the new product goes on sale in North America in 2013.

The company is investing US$1.1 billion in the plant, including a new body shop, new tooling in the final assembly area, an upgraded paint shop and an all-new integrated stamping plant. A portion of the investment will also support production of the next-generation F-150 pickup at the plant.

The current SUV line at the Kansas City facility will be idled for retooling once the current Escape model is phased out in April but will reopen in 2013. The plant will continue to build the F-150 during retooling and will increase F-150 production to two shifts from one beginning in May.

The E-Series, Ford’s current commercial van, is built in Ohio. Ford said that certain E-Series body styles will continue to be available through most of the decade even after the Transit goes on sale.



How Many Recycled Plastic Bottles Does it Take to Make Carpet for a Vehicle?

October 21, 2011


While you still have a few weeks to wait to see the new Ford Escape, we thought you might find this bit of trivia interesting: The next Ford Escape uses 25 recycled 20-ounce plastic bottles in the carpeting of each vehicle. It’s also the first time Ford has used this type of carpeting in an SUV.

“It’s a good use of recycled product and keeps it out of landfills,” said Laura Sinclair, a materials engineer for Ford and mother of two young boys.

All materials – green or not – have to pass extensive durability tests. Sinclair and her team look for “chalking” during these tests – the fibers degrade and mash themselves in to form a white residue as they break apart. Chalking, or dusting, is the precursor to a hole forming in the carpet.

(read the entire article HERE)



Ford SYNC Features Expand to More Users

October 20, 2011


We’ll admit that when iTunes, Word or any of our computer software alerts us to an update, we tend to hit “agree” to said update and not always read what it’s about. For all we know, we might have agreed to wear hot pants and a monocle to the office. So, we know that some of you might also be tempted to go on autopilot when you hear the Ford SYNC® system has a free update and either not pay attention to the details or simply ignore it. But here’s why you shouldn’t.

The update – known by the frills-free name G1 V3.2.2 and tailored for owners of select SYNC-equipped 2011 and early-release 2012 vehicles – will allow more SYNC users to have text messages read aloud while driving. The big kahuna here is the Message Access Profile Bluetooth standard, which you might recognize by its more common term, MAP, which is custom made for the auto hands-free environment. It outlines a set of features and procedures used to exchange email, SMS and MMS between devices. Here, we mean SYNC and the smartphone.

Last year, Ford announced it was voluntarily integrating MAP into SYNC for all 2011 MyFord Touch®-equipped vehicles and is now extending the capability to the broader SYNC user community – with thousands of 2011 and 2012 vehicles equipped with the first generation SYNC system. According to Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), MAP adoption by mobile device manufacturers is still in its infancy, but it’s growing.

Here is a list of a few of the newer phones on the market that feature MAP:

  • Blackberry Style (9670)
  • Blackberry Curve (9300)
  • Motorola Atrix
  • Motorola Droid Bionic
  • Motorola Photon

Since SYNC launched in 2007, Ford has offered several significant and simple software-based updates. If you want to find out whether your SYNC-equipped Ford is eligible for this or any of the available SYNC updates, visit and enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If eligible, simply download the update to a USB memory stick and install it in your vehicle through the SYNC USB port.

Ford is working on extending MAP to even more SYNC customers, with the update for 2010 model year SYNC owners in development.

(read and post comments, read more Ford articles HERE)


Auto Tech: Direct versus port fuel injection

October 19, 2011

(from Jim Kerr,

With all the auto manufacturers working to reach new fuel economy standards set by the U.S. government for future vehicles, we are seeing new technologies, materials and techniques in current cars and trucks. One of these is direct fuel injection. It has actually been around for decades, but it was only recently that materials development and computer speeds have reached the point where it would not only work, but work within the strict emissions regulations that are in place.

So what is direct injection? Right now there are two types of injection systems common on gasoline powered vehicles: port and direct injection. Both systems use computer-controlled electric injectors to spray fuel into the engine, but the difference is where they spray the fuel. Port injection sprays the fuel into the intake ports where it mixes with the incoming air. The injectors are often mounted in the intake manifold runners, where the fuel sits until the intake valve opens and the mixture is pulled into the engine cylinder.

Direct injection has the injectors mounted in the cylinder head, so that they spray fuel directly into the engine cylinder, where it then mixes with the air. Only air passes through the intake manifold runners and past the intake valves with direct injection.

(read the entire article HERE)