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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10 Songs Perfect for Road Trips

Vacation destinations can be a ton of fun! However, the trip to get to them can be quite boring. However, that trip doesn’t have to be dull when you burst out belting these 10 songs perfect for road trips!

Songs Perfect for Road Trips

  1. “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson- Willie Nelson’s tribute to traveling is the best way to start out a road trip.
  2. “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane- Jam out this this song while heading out on the highway.
  3. “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash- Compare everywhere that you have been with all of the places that Johnny Cash has been.
  4. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf- It might be a bit cliché, but you will never feel tougher on the road than you will while singing this song.
  5. “Take It Easy” by the Eagles- This relaxing song will get you through the more stressful moments of your trip.
  6. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman- You don’t need a fast car to get caught up in the infectious beat of this single.
  7. “Every Day Is a Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow- Sheryl Crow’s hit song has become synonymous with feel-good road trips.
  8. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers- You don’t have to understand what “haver” means to enjoy this road trip classic.
  9. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen- While you may not exactly be running in your car, you will still connect with this classic by the Boss himself!
  10. “Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham- Whether you are going to Walley World or not, this song will remind you that your vacation could always be a little crazier!

Don’t forget if you are heading out on the open road, get your car checked!

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Check Out These Non-perishable Foods for Your Car That Will Keep in Summer

One practical way to prepare for an emergency – or maybe just a hungry stomach – is to stock your vehicle with non-perishable foods and water, in case you ever find yourself in a pinch.

 

However, during the summer months, warm weather can cause food to deteriorate or spoil faster, which is why it’s important to consider exactly which foods to pack, to avoid bugs and sickness.

 

Here is a solid list of non-perishable foods for you car that could last you all summer long:

 

 

And of course, don’t forget to keep some fresh, drinkable water on hand, both for drinking or potentially even to rinse out wounds. You’ll be glad that you have it!

 

For more safety and driving tips, or to start the season behind the wheel of a new model, visit us anytime at Mountaineer Mitsubishi.

Non-perishable Foods for Your Car

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Fun Road Trip Games for the Whole Family

Summer is on the horizon — as is that family vacation you’ve been planning. A lot of families choose to drive to their summer getaway instead of taking an airplane in order to save on costs and avoid the hassle of going through the airport. Unfortunately, that also means the kids will be spending a lot of time bored on the open road, and let’s be honest, driving on the highway for hours on end can get monotonous even without the little ones asking, “Are we there yet?” Check out these road trip games to help your family stay happy and entertained on your next long trip.

 

I Spy: Possibly the oldest game in the book, just about everyone knows the rules for I Spy. One person in the car picks a random thing that they see, and the other people in the car have to guess what it is based on hints that the chooser gives regarding the object’s color, location, or other descriptors.

 

While You Were Sleeping: When one person in the car falls asleep, everyone else in the vehicle has to take turns telling a story of something outlandish happening. When the person who fell asleep wakes up, everyone in the car has to work together to make them believe the story they invented while they were sleeping.

 

The Alphabet Game: Everyone takes turns finding words in the order of the alphabet, using billboards, business signs, and anything you can see on the road with words on it — license plates don’t count! The first person to get to the end of the alphabet wins.

 

There are plenty of other classic games that people can play — Punch Buggy (for a less violent variation, have players simply tap one another when they see a VW Beetle), 20 Questions, and any game where players are required to count how many of a specific object they see. You can also come up with your own road trip games if you’re feeling creative!

Road Trip Games

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How to Spring Clean Your Car’s Interior


Spring has finally sprung, which means it is finally time to head outside! However, before you do, you may want to consider cleaning the inside of your vehicle. Over the course of winter, plenty of dust and junk can accumulate in the interior cabin of your vehicle. In order to get rid of it all, follow these steps on how to spring clean your car’s interior.

Step 1: Brush the Vents

The heating vents in your vehicle are certainly used quite a lot during the winter. This also means that dust can accumulate inside the vents. Use a fine brush to clean out the crevices of your vehicle’s vents. Also, keep a vacuum nearby so that the dust doesn’t just float away to somewhere else!

Step 2: Clean Your Interior Windows

Most drivers remember to clean their outside windows. Unfortunately, many forget to clean the inside of the windows as well. Be sure that you do clean them, using a rag in a circular motion.

Step 3: Polish the Leather

Leather is a nice feature to have inside your vehicle’s cabin. Therefore, it is important to keep it looking nice. Using the right cleaners and a gentle hand, polish the leather surfaces of your car to make them look good as new.

Looking for more DIY and FAQ?

Clean Your Car’s Interior

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