I think what you’re looking for is stuff you can do to keep your car on the road and reliable as possible, right? Major jobs like taking the engine apart don’t fit the bill for a diy’er b/c they’d require the car be taken off the road for weeks or months. And you need to drive it, not look at it sitting there smug-looking on jack stands in your the driveway every day.
hmmm … and you’ve got some time available for doing routine maintenance and want to optimize the use of that time towards your goal? … OK, first off, change the oil & filter every 3000 miles. Either buy your filter from a Ford dealership, or at least use a name brand oil filter. Just doing that will go a long way towards what you seek. Beyond that, replace the coolant every two years. And the engine air filter at the same time.
You can look at the user’s manual to see other scheduled maintenance items Ford recommends for this car, and when they are supposed to be done. Some of those you can do yourself, some not. But most motivated folks can change the oil and coolant themselves.
If you’ve never done something like this before, suggest to ask someone who knows to show you how to do it correctly and safely the first time. And don’t skimp on safety equipment. You need a good reliable jack and jack stands for example. You don’t need the pro-version of tools in most cases. The diy’er versions you can buy at Sears or Harbor Freight will usually do what you need.
One last bit of advice. It’s a fool’s errand to go about this kind of enterprise without taking advantage of the knowledge of experts who’ve done it many times already. No need to re-invent the wheel. Suggest to buy a Chiltons or equivalent repair manual for your make/model/year, and read through the entire procedure step by step before attempting it. If you’d like a more general book about car maintenance for modern cars, more about how it works and the why it’s needed to be done rather than the how to do it, Popular Mechanics publishes a good one, Popular Mechanics Complete Car Care Manual . Your local public library might have one.
And of course there’s always Car Talk, a place you can ask for help. Suggest to read Tom and Ray’s list of objectives for diy’ers, use the search tool above, it’s somewhere on this site. Gives some perspective where you need to focus your time and att’n.
Best of luck.