Ford Drivers, your car locks might not be secure
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As always, we are continuously on the lookout for important information around motoring. We like to bring you both industry news and some analysis material. In today’s news, we bring you a News24 article that deals with the security challenges that FORD is experiencing.
We think that we all need to take this article seriously.
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Ford owners are fuming as criminals are able to gain access to their vehicles by manipulating door locks.
South African owners of Ford Fiesta and EcoSport models are affected by major security breaches: Criminals are breaking into their cars with ease due to manipulating 'door "locks", reports News24.
Ford South African posted in video response in which Craig von Essen, corporate transformation manager, said: "We at Ford take vehicle security very seriously. While newer EcoSport and Fiesta vehicles are not affected, we are aware of older models being targeted by criminals."
Ford SA said: "Ford takes vehicle security very seriously and continuously invests in security measures that are integrated into our vehicles to deter theft. Our security team routinely monitors and investigates new ways thieves are targeting our vehicles to maintain a high level of deterrence. We are constantly learning more about these latest theft techniques, and assessing the effectiveness of software, hardware and design counter-measures.
"We are aware of potential security risks to previous-generations of EcoSport and Fiesta models, specifically around manipulating the driver's door, which can ultimately provide access to the cabin if deliberately targeted."
How are criminals gaining access to affected vehicles?
Ford SA: "In many of the reported instances the alarm (if fitted) does not sound, when access is gained via the key lock barrel. The immobilisation of the vehicle is however still active until the correct key is placed in the ignition of the vehicle."
How is Ford SA planning to remedy the situation?
Ford SA: "Ford have been testing various options that we believe will give customers greater peace of mind and have already developed advanced action plans in response."The first is a reconfiguration that will ensure the alarm, if existing (dependent on spec-level), will remain active when entry to the vehicle is gained using the key lock on the driver's door.
"For models that do not feature a standard alarm, Ford is working with a supplier to offer an alarm system that can be retrofitted as an accessory to previous generation Fiesta and EcoSport models. These vehicles will also be configured to ensure the alarm sounds when the barrel lock is tampered with and perpetrators gain access to the vehicle.
"In addition, Ford is investigating a security replacement lock accessory that will only allow access via the remote key fob or a non-standard ultra-high security style 'Hykee' mechanical key. The accessory has been developed with our team in Europe and can be retrofitted to Fiestas and EcoSports."
When will the "fixes" be implemented?
Ford SA: "We hope to be able to finalise and implement solutions in the coming weeks and will communicate with customers accordingly.
"In the meantime, if customers have any concerns or queries, they can contact Ford Customer Service directly at 0800.204.688 / +27.12.843.5824 (international callers) or CRC3@ford.com"
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The secret power of plugs
Using spark plugs as engine diagnostic tools
For most motorists and many auto technicians, spark plugs are simple ‘plug & play’ components that ignite the fuel/air mixture in the engine’s cylinders to keep the pistons pumping. Beyond this knowledge, and the fact that they need to be replaced at specified intervals, very few people are wise to the other vital purpose of spark plugs (to remove heat from the combustion chamber), nor to their inherent diagnostic characteristics.
According to leading spark plug manufacturer, NGK, “Spark plugs are the ‘window’ into your engine (your only eyewitness to the combustion chamber), and can be used as a valuable diagnostic tool. Like a patient’s thermometer, the spark plug displays symptoms and conditions of the engine’s performance. The experienced tuner can analyse these symptoms to track down the root cause of many problems, or to determine air/fuel ratios.”
Here are three common engine issues that can be resolved by inspecting the spark plugs...
Hard starting: Look at the plug. Is it carbon-fouled? This could well be due to a too rich mixture, retarded ignition, low compression or a too cold spark plug. To fix, check float level, choke, ignition timing and air cleaner. Also check compression and replace spark plugs with the correct heat range.
Misfiring: Is the plug oil-fouled? This could be due to worn rings or worn pistons, a leaking valve stem seal or an over-filled oil sump. To remedy, replace worn components and, once again, replace plugs with the correct heat range.
Reduced fuel economy: Is the plug electrode abnormally worn? This could be due to fuel deposits like carbon, lead, additives and salt. Again, replace the plugs with the correct heat range.
Check www.ngksparkplugs.co.za for some excellent technical info and, visit www.startmycar.co.za for the latest range of NGK spark plugs and glow plugs, as well as quality tools to check the plugs and engine compression.
The take-away here is this - Knowledge is power, so why not let those little bright sparks plugged into the cylinder head tell you what the problem is?