Archive for Tips and Tricks

Carpool Safety Tips for the School Year

carpool safety tips

Carpooling is a great option for busy parents whose kids need a ride to school. Check out these carpool safety tips to help organize carpool.

Communicate

First and foremost, all drivers involved should discuss their thoughts, concerns, and expectations up front. Staying in touch and having clear terms laid out for the whole group is important when sharing the responsibility of childcare.

Make an emergency call list

This fits in with “Communicate,” as it’s always a good idea to prepare in advance by putting together an emergency call list. Who should you contact if a child is sick or if your car breaks down? These are important situations to consider.

Organize the schedule in writing

Having carpool duty is one more task among many for a parent to take on in their busy schedule. Having the schedule written down in advance and shared among all drivers involved is a good idea and will help avoid those “I thought it was your turn” arguments.

Set rules for safe driving habits

This is an easy one. Everyone involved in the carpool should be held to certain driving standards to keep passengers safe, such as no distracted driving and no talking on the phone.

By following these carpool safety tips from Mountaineer Mitsubishi, you and your passengers will feel safer than ever on the road.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Staying Safe in the Heat During the Summer

With summer upon us, the heat can get absolutely unbearable and sometimes dangerous. Here are some helpful tips for staying safe in the heat this year.

staying safe in the heat

Work out in the morning or evening

If you typically work out in the middle of the day, you may want to switch up your routine and avoid those peak hot hours. The air is typically cooler in the early morning or late evening, so it’s best to change your schedule during the summer months.

Wear loose-fitting cotton in light colors

Light colors absorb less light (and heat) than dark colors and cotton is a very breathable fabric that doesn’t trap sweat against your body. Loose, light-colored clothing will allow air flow against your body and keep you cooler.

Put water bottles in the freezer

If you plan on being outside in the heat for a long period of time, place your water bottles in the freezer, rather than the refrigerator. The water/ice will be colder for a longer period of time and will cool you off a lot better than lukewarm water.staying safe in the heat

Eat small, cool meals

Avoid eating big, hot meals, like chili or stew, during the summer. Opt for items like salads, chilled fruit, or other small snacks to avoid being uncomfortable and to save your house from heating up from oven use.

Avoid caffeine

It may be tough to get through the day without your usual cup of coffee, but your body may thank you if you avoid it this summer. Caffeine is a natural stimulant and it raises your heart rate, causing you to warm up (even iced coffee). Not to mention, caffeine also dehydrates you, which is not ideal for those hot summer months.

We hope you stay safe this summer and, if you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and say hello to our friendly team here at Mountaineer Mitsubishi!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Home Landscaping Tips and Ideas for Summer

home landscaping tips

Summer is here, and that means people are going to be outside mowing their lawns and maintaining their gardens. Here are some home landscaping tips for the aspiring gardener and landscaper.

Use Native Plants

Not only is it less expensive to maintain plants native to your region, but it also gives you a cool way to learn more about the community you live in.

Just Add Water

Lately, more and more people are adding water features to their gardens and landscaping projects. Water walls, fountains, ponds, and urns reuse water, so they’re less expensive and cost less to maintain than a swimming pool. Plus, they’re relaxing and nice to look at.

Include Interesting Lighting

An often-overlooked element of landscaping is taking your lighting into account. It can add more visual interest to a garden after night falls. It also helps illuminate walkways so visitors don’t trip in the dark.

Don’t Overlook Ornamental Grasses

If you have any blank spots in your lawn or garden, or simply need to add some visual variety, consider adding ornamental grass here and there. Ornamental grasses are low-maintenance and versatile, so you can add them to many areas.

Use Planters in Tight Spaces

Ran out of room in your garden? No worries. Add a few potted plants and flowers around your deck or patio.

Keep these home landscaping tips in mind when you set out on your next big DIY project.

 

Photo by Akuppa John Wigham

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Tips for Financing a Used Car

financing a used car

If you’re in the market for a new car and you’re on a tight budget, financing may seem like the better option for you. However, there are plenty of things to consider before you make a decision on whether to buy new or used and, if you pick used, whether to finance it or buy it outright.

Financing a used car will have lower initial costs, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the costs will be less overall. Lenders consider used cars to be higher risk than new ones, so they often give shorter loan terms and higher interest rates. This means you pay a higher monthly payment and you pay more over the entire length of your loan.

The easiest way to avoid this is to talk to banks in advance whom you already have an established relationship with instead of letting the dealership find a loan for you. If you can get a loan through your bank or a bank who already knows you have a solid history of making payments on time, you may be able to get a longer loan term even for a riskier loan on a used car.

You can also check out dealership certified pre-owned programs, which will get better loan offers because they meet certain qualifications and are inspected and repaired so they’re like new. These easy options will help you save on costs, get a better deal, and avoid being taken advantage of at the dealership. Find out our used car financing options at Mountaineer Mitsubishi today.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

This Year, Spend Your Tax Return on Your Car for a Proper Investment

Spend Your Tax Return on Your Car

What do you do when you get your tax return? Though it may be tempting, try not to spend it too frivolously. In fact, you can put your tax returns toward something important—your car—right here at Mountaineer Mitsubishi.

One of the best ways to spend your tax return on your car is to pay for some serious car service. Proper vehicle maintenance is what keeps your car running safely and smoothly for years to come. Our service department will be happy to help.

We also offer original Mitsubishi parts and accessories. Aftermarket parts may sometimes be cheaper, but they certainly are not as reliable. Plus, our OEM parts frequently come with a valuable warranty.

Or, consider switching up your vehicle entirely! You can trade in your old model and get a huge discount on a lease. You’ll be cruising in style this spring behind the wheel of a brand new Mitsubishi model.

And lastly, while you’re at it, consider buying a new vehicle entirely. In the long run, this is the cheapest option. Initial payments may be high, but eventually, the payments will stop entirely, and the vehicle will be all yours.

If you would like to utilize your tax return in a manner that’s impossible to regret, come visit us here at Mountaineer Mitsubishi.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Resolutions for Your Car

Resolutions for your car

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to improve something about ourselves each year. And, unfortunately, many of us fail at making those resolutions. If you’re looking for something you can really achieve this year, consider one of these resolutions for your car.

  • Enforce a seatbelt rule. Tell every passenger, no matter their age, that they have to buckle up before you will start driving. You can include the family pet, too, to keep everyone safe.
  • Ditch the distractions. Put your phone away, stop eating, and doing anything else behind the wheel except for focusing on the road. Even using hands-free devices for phone calls can be just as bad as texting.
  • Fill up the tank. Commit to keeping your gas tank at least half full all the time. This will make sure you have enough gas in case of inclement weather and will protect your engine from the impurities sitting at the bottom of your gas tank.
  • Drive more efficiently. One of the biggest detriments to your fuel efficiency is aggressive driving (hard accelerating, braking, and speeding), which can increase your fuel consumption by up to 35%. Slow down and give yourself more time to reach your destination.

Are you planning to add any of these resolutions to your 2017 accomplishments?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

How to Identify Leaking Fluids

If you notice something dripping underneath your car, you need to figure out what it is as soon as possible to keep your car from becoming even more seriously damaged. Here are some ways to identify leaking fluids from your car.

Color, smell, texture, and even taste are all characteristics that can help you figure out what a fluid is. Engine oil, for example, ranges from light brown to black in color, depending on when it was last changed, and it feels oily to the touch. You can identify the smell by pulling out the dipstick and comparing.

Transmission fluid can be mistaken for engine oil if it’s brown or black, though newer transmission fluid may be pink or red. It also feels slippery to the touch. Power steering fluid is a reddish brown, also easy to confuse with transmission and engine oil, but its consistency is thinner.

Brake fluid is easily identified by its clear or light amber color that looks similar to vegetable oil. Coolant is nearly always bright green or red and usually has a sweet smell, though in recent years the formula for the smell has been changed to keep dogs from eating it.

If you notice plain water dripping from your car, don’t worry about it—it’s most likely dripping condensation from your climate control system.  As always, contact our service department with any questions!

identify leaking fluids

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Thanksgiving Driving Tips

Thanksgiving is the most traffic-heavy holiday of the entire year, partly because it isn’t a big vacation holiday like Christmas so everyone is out on the day of. Thanksgiving driving means major road congestion in addition to potentially slick roads, a car full of precariously packed food, and the usual holiday stress, so follow these tips for a safer drive.

Distraction is the enemy of safe driving, especially on busy roads. If you need directions to where you’re going, have a passenger navigate or put your GPS in clear view so you don’t have to look away from the road to check the directions. And seriously, do not text.

Don’t let holiday frustration get the best of you. Easier said than done, sure, but heavy traffic is not where you want to get impatient and make a stupid mistake. Getting somewhere on time is never as important as getting there alive.

Unfortunately, when you’re driving on a holiday, other drivers will be just as frustrated and distracted and impatient, so you have to account for their actions even more than you usually do. Be extra vigilant at intersections and exits where you could get cut off.

Otherwise, drive slowly, be cautious, and brake and accelerate gradually, and you’ll have a much safer trip!

Thanksgiving driving

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Halloween Car Tips: Preparing for the Fall Holiday

Halloween car tips

Halloween is right around the corner, which means you may want to work extra hard to protect your vehicle from tricksters. Whether you are worried about serious vandalism or you simply don’t want to take any chances, there are some important tips you can follow to protect your car during this fall holiday.

One of the best Halloween car tips is to give your car a fresh waxing. Although it might sound a little strange, Life Hacker notes that waxing adds a protective layer over your paint. Should any pranksters spray your car with silly string, your paint will likely remain intact thanks to wax. It also protects against most other substances that might find their way to your car.

Another important tip to remember is to park in a safe, enclosed area. If possible, you may want to park your car in a garage overnight during Halloween. Most cases of vandalism during this holiday are random incidents. If your car is parked off the street in a safe spot, it is much less likely to be a target.

Finally, if your car is hit by tricksters, be sure to clean it as soon as possible. Egg and other materials can stick to your car if left overnight, doing serious damage. Carefully remove any foreign materials using a clean, soft cloth.

These are just some of the basic tips to keep in mind during Halloween. It’s always better to stay prepared on this spooky holiday!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter While It’s Still Warm Outside

Is your car ready for the cold weather this year?

Prepare Your Car for Winter

It may seem like summer has only just ended, but cold, potentially hazardous weather will be upon us soon, creating dangerous driving conditions. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make sure that your car is ready:

 

  • Make sure that your current tires are in excellent condition, and consider replacing them with snow tires, if appropriate.
  • Replace any emergency supplies in your car that were used, and add both a blanket and some warm weather gear to your trunk.
  • Check to make sure that you have enough antifreeze, and test that your heater is working ahead of time, before it gets too cold.
  • Consider getting some windshield wiper fluid that is designed for winter weather, or at least make sure you have enough regular fluid.
  • Grab a quality ice scraper, some thick gloves, and small shovel and put them in you car, so you will be ready the very first time snow strikes.
  • Lastly, make sure your oil is at the right level and clean, and perhaps even switch to winter-grade engine oil.

 

For more information on how to prepare your car for winter, or to start the season behind the wheel of something totally new, contact us or visit us anytime at Mountaineer Mitsubishi.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather