FAQs—Ford E-300 Econoline
The power steering of the Ford E-300 Econoline seems faulty. Even when the vehicle is running slow, turning the steering wheel takes a bit of effort. What are the things to look at to determine the cause of this steering issue?
There are more than a few causes and possibilities here to consider. The first thing you may want to check is the power steering reservoir. See if there's still enough fluid in it. Lack of power steering fluid can make it difficult to turn the steering wheel and can make steering less responsive. If this fluid is contaminated, the system has to be flushed and topped off. The problem may also lie with a faulty power steering pump. It may not be providing enough pressure or it may already be weak. You'd also want to inspect the drive belt to see if it's broken or checl the steering lines for leaks. There could also be a steering linkage issue or tire pressure is low.
How am I supposed to check the brake fluid of my Ford? Aside from the fluid level, how can I tell if the brake fluid is still in good condition or if it's already in poor quality?
You can usually tell if the brake fluid is still in good condition or already contaminated through its color. Contaminated fluid will appear darker and dirty. The brake fluid can also be tested. Using a chemical test strip, you can check if there's any presence of copper in the fluid as the corrosion inhibitors start to break down. Just dip the strip into the fluid. For the moisture content, use an optical refractometer. Since the fluid is hygroscopic, it can eventually absorb moisture, which can weaken the fluid. With moisture or water in the fluid, its boiling point will drop. The fluid becomes less effective as the boiling point goes lower. To assess its boiling point, an electronic tester can be used. Just take note of the brake fluid specifications to determine if the results are normal or something to worry about.
How can I check the electrolyte in the cells of the car battery? How can I tell if the car battery needs to be recharged or needs to be replaced? How can I properly maintain the battery?
Use a hydrometer for testing the electrolyte in all cells. You just have to elicit some solution into the tester as you press the ball on this tool. Be sure to record each reading as you hold the test level and then bring back the solution into the cell. Consult the user manual or check the labels as you do the test for proper battery specifications. If the readings are all consistent, even if they're low or fair, the battery just needs to be recharged. But if one of the readings differs from the others significantly, then consider replacing the car battery. For battery maintenance, you should be cleaning off the corrosion from the cables with a post cleaner. You may also brush the cables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup of water. This should be flushed with cool water. Always check the electrolyte or water level. Make sure the cells won't overflow as you refill it. Use clean distilled water.