Category Archives for "Tips & Advice"

Ford F150: How to Check for Exhaust Leak

Dealing with exhaust leaks can be stressful. With this guide, we will teach you ford f150 how to check exhaust leak, so you do not have to waste your Saturday pinpointing a seemingly impossible-to-find leak.

Exhaust leaks are common and can happen for many reasons. Knowing how to find these leaks will save you time, money, and plenty of aggravation, especially if you are a DIYer who prefers handling repairs yourself.

Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak

An exhaust leak can affect your Ford F150 in different ways, and none of them are good. You must be able to recognize the signs of an exhaust leak and then learn how to take care of them. The following are the most common signs F150s will experience with an exhaust leak.

  • You will almost always find a louder than normal rumbling sound coming from the exhaust. It will sound like an unmuffled exhaust.
  • You may also smell foul smells coming into the cab. These can be dangerous!
  • Your check engine light is likely to light up.
  • Your gas mileage will begin to tank.
  • You may start to feel the gas pedal vibrate.

If you have noticed any of the above signs, it is time to start an investigation into where the leak is stemming from. Finding the exhaust leak and fixing it as soon as possible is critical.

Can You Continue to Drive with an Exhaust Leak?

It is not safe to continue to drive when you have an exhaust leak. While it may not damage your truck’s engine, exhaust leaks that are coming into your cab can be dangerous. Remember, carbon monoxide does not have a smell and may go undetected!

Causes of Exhaust Leaks

Exhaust leaks can have multiple causes. The following are some of the most common reasons for an exhaust leak in an F150.

  • Faulty exhaust manifold gasket
  • Faulty manifold to exhaust gasket
  • Manifold cracks
  • Rusted exhaust
Check for Exhaust Leak

How to Find an Exhaust Leak on Your Ford F150

You are going to need to check the following areas to determine where the exhaust leak is stemming from. Some of these are easier to check than others. If you find any of the following steps too difficult to perform, make sure to take your Ford F150 into the shop and allow the professionals to scope out the problem and save you the hassle.

  • The exhaust manifold gasket is one of the most likely to fail on a Ford F150. This is the exhaust gasket that connects the exhaust manifold to the cylinder head. To check this gasket, you will need to inspect the bolts that hold it in place. Are they still in sound condition? Are they in the right place? Missing? Are they still torqued to the proper specifications? If not, the gasket is inexpensive to replace.
  • Next, you will need to check the other side of your exhaust manifold. If the gasket on this side is failing, you will hear a loud sound coming from this area.
  • Check the manifold for any cracks. A cracked manifold will no longer be able to do its job properly and will cause exhaust leaks. If you do find a crack, there is, unfortunately, no easy fix. You will need to replace the manifold.
  • You should also check the exhaust system for rust openings. If the system has rusted out, it can allow for leaks, and this requires an exhaust repair or replacement, depending on the severity. Most Ford F150 owners take their trucks in when this issue is present, so it can be handled by the professionals.

Is There a Way to Prevent Exhaust Leaks on Your Truck?

Prevention is important but is not fool-proof. You will need to check your gaskets from time to time and ensure the bolts are torqued properly. It is also a wise idea to check your exhaust system for any signs of rust and take care of them promptly.

Even with proper care, your Ford F150 is likely to have a gasket failure at some point. This does not mean you neglected your truck. It simply happens after so many miles. Manifold gaskets will typically last between 50,000 to 75,000 miles, though this can vary. Replacing them accordingly will keep your F150 working as it should.

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Now that you know how to distinguish an exhaust leak and what causes them, you are ready to get started. The steps for finding these leaks are not difficult, though they can be frustrating if you are looking in the wrong areas.

With the above steps on ford f150 how to check exhaust leak, you are now prepared to find that annoying leak and take care of the necessary repairs, so your Ford F150 is running like a dream again.

Make Your Ride Faster: 7 Ways to Boost Horsepower in a Truck

Your truck will only be as powerful as the amount of horsepower it has. Unfortunately, not all trucks are equipped with a high amount of horsepower, and the lack can sometimes cause you to lose power. Thankfully, there are ways to boost horsepower in a truck, and they will not cost you a lot. Allow this information to guide you on improving the performance power of any truck.

7 Ways to Boost the Horsepower of Your Truck

So, your truck just does not seem to be as powerful as it should be, and you are having trouble reaching speed on the highway. Instead of panicking, there are some tried and true ways to boost the horsepower without breaking the bank or your back. Consider the following to get started.

  • One of the first things you should always do when horsepower is lacking is to get a tune-up. You must stay on top of maintenance to ensure your truck does not lose horsepower. Getting a tune-up will help you to see a return in horsepower.
  • Another problem truck drivers do not think about is carrying around excess cargo. For every pound of extra cargo, your horsepower and engine efficiency will reduce by 1 to 2%. Ditch extra cargo, and you will see improvements.
  • A cold air intake is also a good choice for improving the horsepower in a truck. Your truck need cannot be met fully without a cold air intake. A cold air intake will also improve the sound of your truck. It also provides your engine with more oxygen for better combustion.
  • An aftermarket exhaust system can also be beneficial in helping you gain horsepower. The best exhaust system for your truck may not be a stock model. A better exhaust system will deliver more airflow and gas escape, for a higher function.
  • Purchasing a new engine tuner and installing it can often help increase horsepower in most trucks. Unfortunately, stock engine tuners are not always ideal for creating a lot of horsepower. A tuner will make it shift better and you will see gains in performance.
  • You should also consider purchasing an STS turbo kit. On a big truck, you are going to want to install a turbocharger. Turbochargers help to make an engine more responsive, so the horsepower is greatly increased.
  • You should also consider an aftermarket supercharger. Superchargers have much less delay, so the engine performs much better and is supercharged, just as the name suggests. In fact, superchargers are often much more reliable than turbochargers, but you will have to go with what you prefer or your automotive specialist recommends.

Why Is Horsepower So Important?

Horsepower is extremely important because it is all about speed and keeping a truck running properly. The reason an engine’s power is measured in horsepower is that cars were invented to complete the work horses once did for people.

In its simplest of terms, horsepower is the amount of power your truck engine exhibits. If you are looking to go faster in your truck, more horsepower is what you need.

Understanding the Relationship Between Horsepower and Torque

Because both horsepower and torque lead to greater speed, many people confuse the two terms. It is wise to increase both to ensure your engine will perform at its highest level. Horsepower will better control your speed, while torque will help you pull those heavy loads without the engine beginning to sputter.


If your truck is not getting up to the speed you prefer, upping the horsepower is entirely possible. If you follow the above steps, it will be easy to increase the power and speed of your truck.

To get the best results make sure to choose the perfect air filter for car. With the above ways to boost horsepower in a truck, you will find your ride is performing better than ever before.

Even if you have a new truck, it may be helpful to boost the horsepower and torque because stock equipment does not always provide the highest level of horsepower. Do not be afraid to experiment with the above, and you will see major gains in power like never before.

How to Remove a Spare Tire from a Ford F150 Without a Key

Ford F150 owners know their spare tires are stored underneath the rear end of the truck. Ford placed a tire tool under the hood, to remove the spare. So, what happens if you have a flat tire and cannot find your tire tool? Are you forced to call a roadside assistance service?

Thankfully, there is a way to remove your spare tire, even if you do not have the key. With this information, we walk you through the process step-by-step so you can have your flat tire changed in no time at all.

How Can You Remove the Spare Without a Tool?

No Ford F150 owner wants to be stuck with a flat tire and no way to get their spare down. If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat, there are several ways to access your spare, even if you have lost the tire tool or it has become damaged.

Necessary Tools

If you do not have the tire tool, you will still need a couple tools to remove the spare. This method is easier if you have someone to help. You will need the following items to access the spare tire at the rear end of your truck.

  • Joint pliers
  • Small pieces of 2X4s

Help from a Friend

Having a friend on hand undoubtedly makes things easier, but you can also do it alone. Make sure your truck is on a level surface. You will need to make sure all the tires are on a flat surface and they are each secured. If possible, place a large rock or block behind each tire to prevent rollback.

Once you are sure the tires are secure, you can move to the rear of the truck and slide under it. Do not get under your truck until you are positive it is secure, or serious injuries could result.

Remove the Guide Tube

You will need to locate the guide tube, which will be at the rear of your truck. While turning it, you should also pull it. Doing these two moves simultaneously will remove the tube and allow you to have access to the drop assembly of the spare tire.

Remove the Spare

Once you have exposed the spare tire assembly, you can move to the passenger side because from here you can access the tire. Take your pieces of 2X4s and wedge them between the top of the tire and the frame of your truck. By putting the pieces of wood in place, you will create some working room, so removing the spare tire is easier.

Now, you will need to access the key. This is where your pair of pliers come in. Clamp down on the key with your pliers and jiggle it back and forth, moving towards the rear of your truck. Eventually, the key will loosen. It is important to note that you can use multiple tools for loosening the key. Even a pair of locking pliers will be sufficient.

You will next need to use the tire tools that came with your truck to remove the spare tire. Once the spare is down, you can change your flat and soon be on your way. This method will allow you access to your spare tire within about ten minutes.

Purchase a Spare Tire Key

Of course, you can always visit a local dealership to purchase a new tire tool key. The cost will vary. If you have ever purchased a part from a dealership, you know the cost is often high.

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Protect Yourself as You Change Your Tire

Although it is not always possible, you must pull your truck to a safe location before attempting to change a flat tire. Be mindful of your surroundings and stay away from the road. If it is dark, make sure to use a flare or flashlight. Also make sure to put your hazard lights on, to warn oncoming traffic.


Dealing with an unexpected flat tire can be stressful, especially if you cannot find your tire tool key to get the spare tire down from the bottom of your truck. By following the above steps, you should be able to remove the spare, as long as you have a tool, like pliers. You can also remove the tire with a metric bolt extractor, as long as you have the right size.

By taking your time and using the right tools, you can safely remove your spare tire, even if the Ford F150 tire tool is missing. Always practice proper safety whenever changing a tire, especially if you are near a busy road or it is nighttime. Never put yourself in danger by using unsafe methods, or you could be seriously injured.

How to Change the Spark Plugs on a Ford F150 4.6L Engine

Changing the spark plugs on your truck regularly is an important maintenance chore. Although spark plugs are durable and long-lasting, they need to be replaced when they go bad. It is important Ford F150 owners know the signs of a bad spark plug and how to change them, so they can keep their truck running smoothly and with the right level of power.

How Often Should Spark Plugs Be Changed?

The frequency of spark plug changes will depend on the vehicle and the amount of driving you do regularly. Ford F150s require changes about every 100,000 miles. Changing your plugs on schedule will help to ensure your Ford F150 does not experience power problems that could make its performance lag.

Signs Your Spark Plugs Need Attention

Unfortunately, a spark plug can go bad well before it is time to be changed. Some of the common reasons for premature failure include carbon buildup on the tip, overheating, and oil contamination. The following offers some signs that should alert F150 owners it is time to change their spark plugs.

  • Lack of acceleration
  • Hard starts
  • Reduction in gas mileage
  • Rough idle
  • Engine misfiring

If you have noticed any of these signs, it is time to pull the plugs and check each one for problems. If it has been close to 100,000 miles since your last change, pull them all and replace them.

How to Check a Spark Plug

Reading a spark plug is fairly easy, as long as you know what to look for. Consider the following information on how to read each spark plug for signs of fouls.

  • Dry black soot on the tip shows a plug has become carbon-fouled.
  • Black oily deposits on the tip mean an oil-fouled plug.
  • If the tip is wet, this can be a sign of engine flooding.
  • If the tip is burned, melted, or blistered, these are signs the plug is getting too hot.
  • When the electrodes become worn down, the plug is too old.
  • If the electrode is broken off, it is likely the wrong spark plug was installed.

If you have noticed a lack of performance with your Ford F150, it is a good idea to pull each plug and check the tips for the above signs. Now that you know what to look for, it is time to learn the steps involved in changing your spark plugs for a Ford F150 4.6L engine.

Plugs on a Ford F150 4.6L

How to Change Your Ford F150 Spark Plugs

The engineers over at Ford did not make changing spark plugs the easiest of tasks. They can be a little hard to reach. That being said, the job is not all that difficult with the right knowledge and tools. If this is your first time changing the plugs on your Ford F150, you may find it takes longer than you would have expected. After the first time, it is just like riding a bike, you never forget.

It is important to note that you will not be able to see each spark plug. You will have to remove them blindly, but if you know the correct positions, this will not be too difficult.

  • First, always remove the negative battery cable before removing any spark plugs. This protects you from accidental shocks.
  • Remove the plastic engine cover.
  • Unplug the fuel injector connectors and the ignition coil.
  • Remove the coil retaining bolt using a 7mm socket. Loosen it with the socket and then unthread it by hand the rest of the way, being careful not to lose the screw in the engine valley.
  • Pull the ignition coil upwards to remove it. This takes a rather firm tug. If the insulator boot separates from the coil, do not worry because this is normal.
  • Use compressed air to remove all dirt and debris from the bore. Failing to take this step could cause dirt and debris to enter the cylinder, and this is something you do not want.
  • Use a 5/8th inch or 9/16th inch spark plug socket with the correct extensions to remove the spark plug.
  • Verify the correct gap and then replace the old spark plug with the new one. Do not over-tighten. Repeat this until all spark plugs have been replaced.
  • Put the coils back in and bolt them. Then reconnect everything, with the last item being the battery cable.


Now, you know the steps involved in how to change the spark plugs on a Ford F150 4.6L engine. Although a couple of the plugs can be a bit tricky to get to, the process is not overly difficult.

With a little practice, you will find it to be a straightforward process. Besides following the steps above, it may be helpful to check out a few how-to videos for a visual.

The Battery Life of Ford F-150- Things You Need About

Ford F-150 is a series of pickup trucks that cater to load requirements. The range of trucks in this series comes with their features and mechanism and keeps changing as the evolving technology. A battery plays a vital role in the operation of these trucks, although it is a silent member.

A good quality battery cranks the vehicle’s engine at extreme temperature and keeps the electronics functional. It is necessary first to understand the car need and then get a battery. There are wide varieties of batteries available for Ford F-150 that perform according to their capabilities. It is crucial to choose the right battery for f-150.

How is battery essential for your vehicle?

The battery is a powerful component of an automobile. You may have the best exhaust system for a truck, but it is of no use unless there is a good quality battery present in your truck. The battery supplies power to a vehicle regardless of the weather. You enjoy the roar of your car with the first turn of the key.

How long the battery of Ford F-150 works effectively?

  • Under appropriate conditions, the Ford F-150 battery lasts for four to seven years.
  • Expect a battery to last between 30,000 -50,000 miles
  • The battery life depends on the place where you stay, the way you drive, the charging system, and other factors. Once the battery is out of order, your vehicle dies. It might be possible that your battery gives out before this time or lasts for several years because of the chemical cocktail present inside it.
  • A battery quality determines the time it holds a charge and how well it recharges. 
ford 150

How to know that Ford Battery needs replacement?

Some signs make you aware that the battery is not working as it should be. One of them is a sluggish, slow engine’s cranking when you try to turn it because it needs lots of energy to start your truck. So if your battery is dying, then it will take longer to start your vehicle.

Also, the check engine light of your vehicle will come on. If it is like, then pop the hood of your f-150 as long as it is safe. If you see swollen battery case, leakage, or low fluid level, get ready to change the battery in the coming days. There are higher chances of increased battery life if you keep it charged fully and drive daily.

Climate and Battery Life

  • Weather is vital when it comes to battery life. A battery performs fine when there is no extreme humidity or high temperature if you are an off-road enthusiast and thinking of buying a truck topper for camping than wait! A good battery must be your priority as you cannot enjoy camping without an efficient battery on your ford F-150.
  • In warmer climates, the automobile batteries wear down faster. The hot temperature will drain out the battery more quickly. So, any extreme temperature will harm battery life.
  • In general, a cooler climate is more favorable as a humid and hot climate will lead to water loss.
ford battery

How to take care of a battery?

Taking good care of your battery will extend its life.

  • Focus on battery check-up every time your vehicle goes for routine maintenance.
  • Keep the battery fully charged
  • Unplug the accessories from the power port
  • Switch off the radio, air-conditioner when not in use to keep the battery drain low

Use charger pack to jump-start your Ford F-150 battery

It is essential to keep some jumper cables or a portable battery pack all the time in your vehicle. These should be in proper condition.

  • There are two cables on a battery pack, i.e., red and black. These are the positive and negative terminals, as in your battery. Attach them correctly, or a battery explosion is possible if connected backward.
  • A portable charger must have a power switch. Turn it on, so that electric charges flow, giving enough power to the Ford model’s battery, and it attempts to turn on your vehicle.
  • Now, as the engine turns over, keep the battery pack off and disconnect the negative terminal first. Close the hood of your Ford model battery.
  • Once the vehicle starts, keep it running for about half an hour so that battery gets recharged.

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Simple Tricks to Make Exhaust Tips Clean and Shiny

Fast and loud Ford F-150 is exciting to drive. An aftermarket exhaust system for 3.5 Ecoboost F150 is an easy and appropriate way to get enormous power down to the wheels, along with providing it an intense tone. The engine is the heart of a vehicle, so it is essential to take care of it.

An air filter is a significant component, and it keeps the engine clean by providing clean air. It prevents contaminants from getting pulled into the vehicle’s engine and protects the engine from damage. If you are a proud owner of F-150, then it is necessary to use the best air filter for your truck.

Exhaust tips look great, but they quickly get dirty. A driving enthusiast is always bothered by a black exhaust tip. Let us find out why an exhaust tip gets dirty, and what are the ways to clean it for a shiny look?

What makes exhaust tip black?

Exhaust tip turns black because of black soot. The black soot contains hydrocarbons and is a byproduct of the combustion cycle.  This black stuff is an unburnt fuel that is caused by engine boost. These minute carbon particles get accumulated in the crankcase oil, and after some time, the soot builds up in the oil leading to many problems.

The accumulated soot in the oil completely traps the oil filter, and it is a challenge to keep the soot under control.  In the case of small turbo engines, manufacturers tune engines to make use of more fuel to escape from overheating. It is a processs of cooling.

Motor oil nourishes the engine; thus, it is essential to choose the oil for your car wisely. Moving engine parts are prone to wear and tear, and the oil prevents the engine from debris and dirt. Changing engine oil is necessary. The motor oil comes with extra additives that work as detergents in engine cleaning. Thus good quality motor oil keeps the vehicle’s engine clean for a long time.

Tricks to Make Exhaust Tips Clean

Way to clean exhaust tip for a shiny look

Cleaning the excessive black soot
  • The release of unburnt fuel during combustion results in carbon deposition, and it is challenging to remove. Let us discuss the steps to clean this stubborn soot.
  • First of all, put on gloves and eyewear. Now take the wheel bucket, wheel woolies, and brushes that you used for scrubbing your wheels.   
  • Use an all-purpose cleaner and spray it on the tips. Allow it to rest for two minutes, but make sure it should not dry. Now dip the scrubber in strong wheel soap and scrub the inner lip. Rinse and see the result.

Wash Routine

  • Avoid shooting/spraying water directly on the exhaust chamber. Once you cleaned the exhaust tip using the above process, check whether all the carbon is washed off or not. If it is not perfect, then again soak the tips with a cleaner. Use steel wool on carbon buildup.
  • Apply medium pressure and clean it by rotating the wool. Do not overdo as it can lead to scratch. Reassess again, and if more work is required, then generously repeat the above process.

Polishing for shine and luster

  • Using steel wool aggressively can sometimes result in scratches. So you can use metal polish to faint these scratches. Put this polish on a microfiber towel and rotate the towel on the surface.
Make Exhaust Tips Clean and Shiny

Protecting the polish

At last, protect the polish of an exhaust tip using a wheel sealant or metal coating. It makes cleaning easy in the future. Apply two to three layers for extra protection. This is an optional step but recommended because it keeps the exhaust tips protected for a long time.  Polishing the exhaust tips will always be necessary, but adding an extra layer of protection is not a bad idea.

Final Words

Many exhaust tips are now made of titanium, and they produce somewhat a bluish gradient color, which can be lost in polishing. If you love this look, then only use a degreaser and water for removing the soot and apply a sealant for extra protection.  In most cases, using the steel wool followed by a metal polish do the work and gives the desired result. Attentively cleaning your exhaust tips will keep them looking new for many years.

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How to Change the Ford F150 battery?

​Most of the vehicle enthusiasts have experienced a bad battery. The Ford F-series trucks are no exception. Many updates came over the years, but the battery removal remains the standard operation. A good battery is one of the significant components for vehicle operation as it assists in starting the engine and keeping the electronics in pace. It is because of a battery-only that you can play music and charge your phone even when the F-150 engine is not in use.

Like every component, the battery also loses power gradually over time, especially in the cold weather.  It is necessary to buy the best battery for f150 and get it tested from time to time.

How do F-150 batteries work?

The batteries of Ford F-150 produce energy to power your accessories, lights, and engine. Most of the automotive batteries rely on an acid-lead chemical reaction. These batteries come in the category of SLI means to start, light, and ignition. Once the energy from the batteries reaches the engine, the alternator provides power.

Changing the Battery of Ford F-150

Let us discuss the ways to change a battery of Ford F-150.

  • Know the details of the engine compartment

The first step is to carefully note down the battery dimensions and the connection types of the terminal. You must also see the amp-hour rating, which is the number indicated on the battery.  It is necessary to replace the battery that has a larger rating or the same size. 

  • Detach the battery

Now hold the rubber tubing and remove the negative terminal and then the positive terminal. Be aware of the metal terminal to avoid the shock.

Remove the battery

Take 8mm socket wrench and remove the battery by holding down clamp. Batteries have caustic sulfuric acid that emits hydrogen gas, which is extremely flammable and can lead to an explosion. Thus, it is crucial to handle the battery carefully.

Cleaning the battery terminals

Clean and carefully inspect the battery terminals. You can use any of the products that are made specifically for cleaning the battery terminals. Make sure to remove any dirt or acid buildup in the compartment. Now sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the battery compartment and then flush it with clean water.

  • Installing the new battery

Place the new battery of Ford F-150 in the tray and then tighten the clamps.  Attach the cable on the positive terminal.

How to Change Ford F150 battery

Important Points to Consider While Changing the Battery

  • When you install a new battery, make sure to connect the positive red-wired cable before the negative black cable. This reduces the chance of electrical sparks.
  • Ensure wearing safety goggles and gloves when you are ready to replace a battery. This is necessary to protect you from an unlikely event of a battery explosion.
  • Do not touch the wrenches between the terminal and other parts
  • You should discard the old battery as per the local laws
  • Carefully read and understand the owner’s manual to determine the reset process for a vehicle.
  • Collect all the necessary items such as a battery, 8mm socket wrench, wire brush, battery terminal cleaner,  water, and baking soda before starting the process of changing the battery.

When should you replace a Ford F-150 battery?

Choosing the best battery, an exhaust system for your truck and oil for your car is extremely important for the proper operation of your vehicle. The battery of Ford F-150 lasts for 3-5 years, and it is necessary to test the battery frequently. Typically an average battery of Ford F-150 carries 12 to 13 volts, and thus anything higher than 13 volts indicates that your battery is faulty. So once the period is over, or your battery begins to show inappropriate voltage ratings, you should replace the battery.

What are the signs that Ford F-150 needs a new battery?

The most common signs of bad batteries are if your f-150 is slow to start once you turn the key or if the battery connectors and cables are corroded. You may hear the clicking sound when you turn the key or if electronics work appropriately, but the vehicle does not start.