10 Things Every Ford Bronco Owner Should Know

Owning a Ford Bronco is an adventure in itself. This versatile and rugged vehicle is designed for off-road thrills and daily drives alike.

To help you get the most out of your Bronco, we've compiled ten essential tips that cover everything from mastering off-road features to customizing your ride.

Ford Bronco Wildtrak on a scenic road in the mountains

1. G.O.A.T. Modes and Off-Road Techniques

The Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Terrain) Modes are a sophisticated terrain management system designed to optimize your vehicle's performance across various conditions. Here's a breakdown of each mode:

  • Normal: Ideal for everyday driving, balancing performance and fuel economy.
  • Eco: Maximizes fuel efficiency for longer drives.
  • Sport: Enhances throttle response and provides a sportier feel.
  • Slippery: Optimizes traction on wet or icy roads.
  • Sand: Adjusts throttle and transmission for loose, sandy terrain.
  • Mud/Ruts: Engages 4x4 Lock for maximum traction in muddy conditions.
  • Rock Crawl: Fine-tunes power delivery for precise control over rocky terrain.

Pro tip: Practice switching between modes in a safe environment to understand how your Bronco responds. This familiarity will prove invaluable when you're out on the trails.

2. Hidden Easter Eggs - Your Bronco's Secret Features

Ford has sprinkled the Bronco with delightful hidden features, adding an extra layer of enjoyment for owners. For example, the gear shifter features an American flag, a subtle nod to the vehicle's heritage. 

In the rear cargo area, there's a handy bottle opener perfect for post-adventure refreshments. Look closely at the roll cage to spot coordinates leading to Johnson Valley, California, home of the King of the Hammers race. 

Open the gas cap door to reveal silhouettes of first-gen Bronco models. The headlamps hide a bucking Bronco in the LED daytime running lights. 

Near the tie-down hooks, you'll discover a lasso engraving. Exploring your Bronco to uncover these hidden gems can be a fun weekend activity, deepening your appreciation for the thoughtful design.

A side view of the new 2021 Ford Bronco vehicle begins to arrive at dealerships. A Shadow Black and a dark brown color four doors shown.

3. Maintenance Tips for Optimal Performance

Maintaining your Bronco in top condition is important to make sure it's always ready for your next adventure. Follow Ford's recommended oil change schedule, typically every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, using the specified oil grade. 

Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear and extend their lifespan. Regularly inspect your brake pads and rotors, especially after heavy off-road use. If you frequently drive in dusty conditions, check and replace your air filter more often. 

Car mechanic or serviceman checking a disc brake and asbestos brake pads it's a part of car use for stop the car for safety at front wheel this a used old part for change at car garage

Keep all fluids topped up, including coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. After off-road trips, inspect your undercarriage for damage or debris buildup. 

Remember, your Bronco's maintenance needs may vary based on your driving habits and conditions, so always consult your owner's manual for model-specific guidance.

4. Removable Top and Doors 

The Bronco's removable top and doors are standout features that allow for a customizable open-air experience. Your Bronco may have a specialized tool kit conveniently stored in a branded cloth case inside the glovebox. 

This kit includes a 1/4-inch drive ratchet and necessary attachments, as well as a zip-up compartment for storing removed hardware.

For door removal, lower the windows first, then remove two bolts per door and disconnect the wiring harness. A useful feature is that the mirrors stay attached to the vehicle, unlike some competitors. There's a handle underneath each door to aid in lifting it off the hinges.

The hardtop removal process varies slightly between two-door and four-door models. On two-door Broncos, there are three roof panels (four on four-door models).

The front panels can be easily removed by releasing a few latches. To lift off the rear roof shell, four bolts on each side of the base must be removed, and it requires two people to do so.

An often-overlooked feature is the removable fender flares. Five plastic latches underneath secure them, making them quick and easy to remove for customization or replacement.

5. Fuel Efficiency Hacks

Maximizing your Bronco's fuel efficiency can significantly enhance your driving experience and reduce costs over time. Start with the basics: maintain proper tire pressure and reduce unnecessary weight in your vehicle. 

Every extra pound affects fuel consumption, so clear out any unneeded items from your cargo area. Your driving style also plays a crucial role.

Adopt smooth driving habits by avoiding rapid accelerations and hard braking. Instead, accelerate gently and anticipate traffic to maintain a steady speed. 

On highways, use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, which can lead to noticeable fuel savings.

When you're not using your roof rack, consider removing it to improve aerodynamics. This simple step can make a surprising difference in fuel consumption, especially during highway driving. 

roof rack

If you're stopped for more than a minute, turn off your engine to avoid unnecessary idling, which consumes fuel without moving you forward. For longer trips, plan your route to avoid traffic congestion and unnecessary detours. 

For even more ways to maximize your Bronco's fuel economy, check out our comprehensive guide on fuel efficiency hacks for all vehicle types.

6. Utilizing Built-in Trail Tools and Cargo Solutions

Your Bronco is built for adventure, featuring a range of built-in tools and clever cargo solutions to enhance your off-road experience. The cargo area has sturdy tie-downs and cargo nets to secure your gear during bumpy trail rides.

Use these to keep items from shifting or becoming projectiles during sudden stops or on uneven terrain.

The 120V power outlet in the cargo area is a game-changer for outdoor enthusiasts. It's perfect for powering tools, charging devices, or running small appliances at your campsite. Consider a power inverter to expand its capabilities for longer trips.

Don't overlook the Bronco's modular roof rack system. It's designed to accommodate various attachments, from bike racks to rooftop tents, allowing you to customize your cargo-carrying capacity based on your adventure needs.

Your Bronco's front fenders have marked water fording depths for water crossings. This helps you gauge safe crossing levels and prevents potential water damage to your engine.

The Bronco's hood features built-in tie-down points, which are useful for securing the hood when fully open to provide better access to the engine bay for trail repairs or modifications.

If you opted for the Sasquatch package, your Bronco comes with front and rear locking differentials. Learn how and when to engage these for maximum traction in challenging off-road situations.

Lastly, the Trail Turn Assist feature can tighten your turning radius on narrow trails by braking the inside rear wheel. This is incredibly useful when navigating tight spots in the wilderness.

SUV Bronco Foggy Mountain Ride through National Park Sequoia Redwoods

7. Troubleshooting Common Issues - Quick Fixes and When to Seek Help

While the Bronco is reliable, some common issues can arise.

Hardtop Issues: Some owners have reported problems with the hardtop, such as leaks or difficulty securing it. Make sure the latches are properly aligned and tightened. 

Engine Problems: Engine issues, like rough idling or poor performance, can sometimes be due to a simple issue like a dirty air filter. Regularly check and replace the air filter to ensure optimal engine performance. 

Battery Drain: If your Bronco’s battery drains quickly, check for any lights or accessories that might have been left on. Additionally, be sure that all doors, including the tailgate, are properly closed.

If the problem continues, a faulty battery or alternator could be the culprit, requiring a professional check-up.

Brake System Issues: Spongy brakes or reduced braking power can be a sign of air in the brake lines or worn brake pads. Bleed the brake lines to remove air bubbles and replace brake pads as needed.

Infotainment System Glitches: If the SYNC infotainment system freezes or behaves erratically, try performing a soft reset by holding down the power and seek buttons simultaneously.

Suspension Noise: Unusual noises from the suspension, especially when driving over bumps, can indicate worn bushings or shock absorbers. Inspect and replace any worn suspension components to maintain a smooth and safe ride.

Fuel System Problems: Difficulty starting the engine or stalling can be related to fuel system issues. Check the fuel pump and fuel filter for any clogs or malfunctions. Replacing these components can often resolve such problems.

4x4 System Malfunctions: If the four-wheel-drive system isn’t engaging properly, it could be due to low differential fluid or a faulty actuator. Regularly check fluid levels and ensure all 4x4 components are in good working order.

8. Personalizing Your Bronco

With a range of customization options, you can make your Bronco truly yours. Add a lift kit for better ground clearance and improved off-road capabilities.

Upgrade to LED headlights for better visibility and a modern look. Interior upgrades like custom seat covers and all-weather floor mats enhance comfort and style.

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For better performance, consider a performance exhaust system or a cold air intake to boost horsepower. Adding a winch to the front bumper provides a reliable recovery option for off-road adventures. 

Roof racks and rooftop tents increase cargo capacity and provide convenient sleeping arrangements for extended trips.

Heated seats and a heated steering wheel add comfort during cold months. Upgrading your infotainment system with the latest software ensures access to new features and integrations. Custom decals or wraps give your Bronco a unique look.

Installing rock sliders and skid plates protects the undercarriage during off-road adventures. Swapping out stock wheels and tires for more rugged versions enhances both look and capability

9. Tech Tips

Take advantage of the SYNC system's customizable home screen. It organizes your frequently used apps and features for easy access.

The Bronco’s SYNC system also supports over-the-air updates, so you always have the latest features and improvements. Make sure your system is connected to Wi-Fi to automatically receive these updates. 

Connecting your phone is straightforward. Press "Add Phone" on the screen, turn on Bluetooth on your phone, and select your Bronco from the list of available devices. Confirm the pairing code matches on both the screen and your phone, and you're set. 

Explore the FordPass app, which integrates with your Bronco’s SYNC system. The app allows you to remotely start your vehicle, check fuel levels, and even locate your Bronco in a crowded parking lot. The app also provides maintenance alerts and service scheduling.

For a personalized driving experience, use the SYNC system to set up individual driver profiles. Each profile can remember seat positions, mirror settings, and climate preferences, making it easy to switch between drivers without needing to readjust settings manually.

10. Key Fob Features and Tricks

The Bronco's key fob offers several useful features. The remote start function allows you to start your vehicle by pressing the lock button once, followed by the remote start button twice. To cancel, press the remote start button once more.

You can also use the key fob to roll the windows down by pressing the unlock button twice and holding the button on the second press until the windows start lowering. 

Press the lock button to stop the windows partway. Similarly, to roll the windows up, press the lock button twice, holding the second press until the windows are fully raised.

If these features aren't working, navigate to the vehicle settings on the infotainment system. Go to "Vehicle," then "Windows," and ensure both "Remote Open" and "Remote Close" are enabled. 

You can also customize the remote start settings, such as adjusting the cabin temperature, enabling heated seats and steering wheel, and setting the remote start duration to 5, 10, or 15 minutes.

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Making the Most of Your Ford Bronco

Using these tips, you can get the most out of your Ford Bronco. Regular maintenance and smart driving habits will keep your truck running smoothly, and knowing how to fix common issues can save you time and hassle. 

Using hidden features and customizing your Bronco can make it better suited to your needs.

Understanding safety features and optimizing off-road capabilities will enhance your driving experience. Follow these tips to keep your Bronco reliable, efficient, and enjoyable for years to come.

Our detailed guide to vehicle warranties explains how to make the most of your warranty and what it covers.

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