Archive for Tips and Tricks

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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Beat the EPA: Hypermiling Techniques

Some people are speed freaks. Other people are just frugal. And those slower people hypermile.

Hypermiling is simply a collection of techniques used to improve fuel efficiency. We’ve outlined a few hypermiling techniques below….

# 1 – Drive like you have all of the time in the world….

Speeding is the one thing you’ll have to give up when you hypermile. When you drive over somewhere around 60 mph (and it’s slightly different for each engine), your efficiency starts to go down exponentially.

Also, you want to find a balance between getting up to cruising speed as soon as possible while not accelerating excessively.

# 2 – I Brake For…Very Little.

Safety should be your priority so if you need to brake, by all means, brake, man, brake!. But to hypermile, you can’t brake excessively and unnecessarily because this requires additional acceleration. Use deceleration as often as you can too.

# 3 – Gamify it (yes, that is actually a word)

Gamifying means just what you think it does–turning an activity into a game with obstacles and goals. With hypermiling, the obstacles are speed limits and your desire to get somewhere on time. Your goal is to beat your previous mpg numbers.

So next time you are stuck behind someone going slow, don’t think about how they are wasting your time. Think about how much money they are saving you!

hypermiling techniques

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How to Change Your Oil

We at Mountaineer Mitsubishi are here for you whenever you have a service need. We are also here for you if you want to learn more about servicing your own vehicle. Although some things should be left to expert mechanics, changing your oil is something that can be done fairly easily. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change your oil.

Step 1 – Buy/gather the supplies you need. This includes the motor oil, tools you may need, rags, draining pan, etc.

Step 2 – Prepare your vehicle. Park your car on a wheel ramp to allow better access underneath. After allowing your car to idle for a few minutes, turn it off and remove the oil cap from under the hood.

Step 3 – Drain the old oil. Unscrew the oil drain plug, making sure the pan is underneath to catch the oil as it drains.

Step 4 – Remove and replace the oil filter. Be careful to dump the oil from the old filter into the drain pan. Wipe down the area and screw in a new filter.

Step 5 – Add clean oil. Add the new oil using a funnel into the filler hole by the engine.

Step 6 – Properly dispose of the used oil. Oil is highly toxic, so be sure to find a place to properly dispose of the used oil.

If this sounds too daunting, no problem!  Just give us a call and we will gladly schedule a service appointment to change your oil.

How to Change Your Oil

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