Category: Tips and helpful hints

Things to have packed in your suv - don robinson blog

Keeping important items packed in your SUV is important to many drivers—you never know when disaster could strike, after all. Some SUVs, like the Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport, have plenty of room for drivers to store emergency supplies and other cargo. Here are a few things to have packed in your SUV as suggested by us here at Don Robinson Mitsubishi!

  • Spare Tire – While it should be obvious, it never hurts to remind drivers that a spare tire is incredibly important to keep in your SUV. The Outlander and Outlander Sport already come stocked with one, but it never hurts to check on it every now and then, if only to make sure it’s properly inflated. Having tools necessary to change a flat tire wouldn’t hurt either!
  • Emergency Kit – As parents know, kids will always find a way to hurt themselves. That’s why it’s important to keep a fully-stocked emergency kit in your SUV. Fill it with items like bandages, gauze, and other medical supplies.
  • Owner’s Manual – Something every driver should keep in their SUV is the owner’s manual. A literal guide to your vehicle, the owner’s manual offers all the information one could need about dashboard lights, changing a flat tire, and more. Stow the owner’s manual in your Outlander or Outlander Sport’s glove box until you need it!

It’s that time of year where it’s warming up enough for you to spring clean your car, so here’s a guide to getting your vehicle in tip-top shape.

Spring Clean Your Car

Clear Out Trash

This one’s simple – bring out a trash bag or two and just toss everything you need to stop carrying around in the vehicle with you. Fast food wrappers? Old receipts you said you’d use to make a budget and never did? Empty coffee cups? Throw it out.

Have a “Keep” Box

Sometimes we leave stuff in our car that we actually love, like an extra pair of shoes or something that we forgot to bring inside. Take a moment to collect these things and put them in a box for keeping. Don’t forget to check the trunk!

Scrub and Vacuum

Scrubbing happens first so you can get all the dirt stuck in nooks and crannies. Then, bring in the vacuum cleaning. It’s a good idea to take out the mats and power wash those, too.

Wash Everything Top to Bottom

Car wash time! Make sure you use a soap specially formulated for washing automobiles or else you could damage the protective coating on your vehicle. Make sure you wash the undercarriage too to get all the winter gunk off.

Maintenance

Wipers, oil change, fluids, tire rotation and checking for tread wear—just a few of the little details to keep up on when it comes to maintaining your car.

 

We at Don Robinson Mitsubishi know how important presentation is when it comes to a vehicle, so trust us when we say that it’s worth it to spring clean your car.

Hitting the road for a winter vacation isn’t like traveling during the summer months. Winter brings harsh weather that can dramatically change familiar roadways until they’re nearly unrecognizable. Sleet, snow, and ice are all factors that drivers have to be aware of. Here are some excellent travel tips for winter from us here at Don Robinson Mitsubishi.

Travel Tips for Winter

Watch the Weather

Keeping an eye on your local weather forecast and the forecast of where you will be headed is one way to avoid harsh weather. Knowing that snow or ice is incoming will help you prepare accordingly, both physically and mentally. Take a few minutes out of your preparations to look at the weather.

Slow Down

Everything takes longer on slick roads. Turning, braking, and accelerating all see significant delays depending on how bad the roads are. Take the time to slow down to give yourself more time to react to unexpected situations. Your car (and your heart) will thank you.

Familiarize Yourself with Roadside Assistance

In the event that you do end up on the side of the road, it always helps to have a roadside assistance service that can help. Some automakers provide a few years of roadside assistance with the purchase of a new vehicle. Independent organizations, like AAA, offer paid subscriptions as well.

It’s winter, which means you’re trapped inside, which means you’re probably starting to go a little stir crazy. Here are some tips for avoiding cabin fever until the weather warms up.

Plan Activities Ahead of Time

Make a list of books you want to read, print out crossword puzzles, find simple game apps, take on a new project—anything you can do to kill time. It has the bonus side effect of making you feel more accomplished.

Don’t Sleep In

This might seem counter-intuitive, as you might feel like you have nothing better to do and that sleep is something that will make time go faster. However, it’ll just make you feel sluggish and irritable. There is such thing as too much sleep.

Go Outside

Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, put on your coat and head outside for some fresh air and sunlight.

Eat Healthy Food

High-fat, high-carb foods—you know, the kind of stuff we snack on when it’s freezing outside – has the nasty side effect of making us feel terrible. Keep your energy and happiness levels up with a better diet.

Balance Social Time and Alone Time

If you’re alone all the time, you’ll get bored, and if you’re around people all the time, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Try to balance the two.

Avoiding fever isn’t that bad, huh? It may feel difficult to motivate yourself at first, but once you make yourself more active, keeping your own routine will come more naturally.

The holiday season can take a lot out of you. All that budgeting, running around searching for the perfect presents, decorating, and preparing food for family gatherings requires a lot of energy. However, if you want to go into the new year feeling refreshed and re-energized, here are some going tips for kicking off the beginning of January by getting back into the groove after the holidays.

  • Sleep More: With all that running around to attend friend and family events, you’ve probably exhausted yourself by having an inconsistent sleep schedule. Get back on a normal routine.
  • Minimize Stress: Fatigue builds up over the holiday season. Make a point to take some time out of the day just to meditate or have quiet time.
  • Exercise and Eat Right: Let’s face it—everyone’s diet takes a nosedive during Christmas. You probably didn’t have time to work out, either. Focus on a balanced diet and exercise plan, and you’ll feel better in no time.
  • Get Your Finances on Track: All those presents are expensive! Hold onto all those gift receipts, balance your checkbook, and give yourself a budget. You’ll be glad you did later.
  • Organize Your Life: While you were cleaning the entertaining areas of your home for the holidays, you may have let your other routines fall to the wayside. Stay on top of domestic chores and, now that you’re settled, make time for your family, too.

After the holidays, you might feel like you’re sliding down a slippery slope, but just a few more days of resting and preparing can make you feel brand new.

get in a car accident

If you’re ever unfortunate enough to get in a car accident, there are several steps you should take quickly to ensure the safety of yourself and anyone else involved in the crash.

First, try not to panic. It would be easy to in a situation like that, but just take a deep breath.  Also be sure to check yourself for injuries, then make sure any passengers in your car are awake and unhurt. If there are injuries beyond scratches and scrapes, call an ambulance—better safe than sorry.

For minor accidents, if no one is hurt and the damage isn’t bad, move your car off of the road.  This will keep you from blocking traffic and causing more accidents to occur.  Turn on your hazard lights and put out cones if you have them so oncoming cars know to avoid you.

Get the information of anyone else involved in the accident, and call the police. No incident is too minor for police to get involved. Then notify your insurance agent. Take notes while you’re on the scene so you have them for insurance claims. If other drivers are involved, don’t get into arguments with them about whose fault it was.  You can argue that later with the insurance companies. Talk to them as little as possible and give as much information as you can to the police and the insurance company.

If you are looking for a safe vehicle, check out some of the safest Mitsubishi models here at Don Robinson Mitsubishi!

windows down vs. air conditioning

There are still conflicting opinions on whether it’s more efficient to drive with the windows down or the air conditioning on. While some studies say it’s universally better to leave the windows down, others have concluded that AC uses less fuel when you’re driving at speeds above 45 miles per hour. Is there one true answer to the windows down vs. air conditioning debate?

Short answer: no. There is still disagreement. Business Insider wrote an article that showed fuel consumption at 31 mph, 50 mph, and 68 mph, and at all three speeds the air conditioning used more fuel than rolling the windows down. HowStuffWorks, on the other hand, maintains that the exponentially increased drag caused by rolling the windows down at high speeds uses more fuel than the AC.

The good news about the lack of end to the debate, though, is that the higher your speed is, the smaller the difference is between fuel use with the AC on vs. fuel use with the windows rolled down. So basically, you can do whatever you like best, and it probably won’t have much of an effect on your fuel use. At lower speeds, though, you’ll use a lot more fuel with the AC on than with the windows rolled down, so keep that in mind.

For more tips about saving fuel or best practices when driving your car, stop by and see our service team at Don Robinson Mitsubishi!

fuel economy on road trips

One of the biggest stresses of taking a long road trip is how much you need to put aside for gas, and how often you’ll have to stop. If you follow these tips on getting better fuel economy on road trips, you’re sure to make fewer stops at the pump and have more a little more pocket change.

The best thing you can do to save gas is to drive slower and more cautiously. It can be hard to do this, especially when you’re trying to get to your vacation destination, but going 65 instead of 70 will optimize your fuel use. Coasting more often instead of slamming on the brakes also helps, since braking and accelerating uses a ton of fuel.

If at all possible, try to avoid heavy traffic times and areas. Download an app with real-time traffic updates and see if you can take alternate routes. When you’re idling in a traffic jam, you’re getting zero miles per gallon.

Pack as light as possible. Don’t bring a bunch of extra stuff you don’t need, because the heavier your car is, the more fuel you’ll use. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before you leave! Under Inflated tires make your car work harder.

Finally, turn the air conditioning on as low as you can stand and roll the windows up on the freeway. The drag can really hurt your fuel economy.

To help get your car ready for your next road trip, make an appointment in our service department today!  You can’t beat our $9.88 Oil Change offers!

Summer pet safety

Everything overheats in the summertime — your car, your house, your kids, you. It seems like you can’t keep the air conditioning cold enough, ice cream melts too fast to enjoy, and the pool is too full with other people trying to regulate their temperature. However, you might be taking advantage of the warm weather by bringing your pet dog along for a ride when you’re running errands, but you need to be aware of the risks of your pet overheating, too. Summer pet safety is something that’s often overlooked.

The problem with dogs is that their fur holds in body heat. Even if you leave the windows cracked while you’re running into the grocery store, the heat inside of the vehicle can quickly skyrocket. Dogs need air conditioning and water just as much as humans do. Just a half hour of leaving your pet in a parked vehicle can cause the inside of the car to jump to 120 degrees. Shade, low humidity, and watching for heatstroke symptoms — heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and even vomiting — can help owners take care of their pet.

Summer pet safety may seem like common sense, but many people continue leaving their dogs in parked cars in the summer heat, assuming that it’ll just be a quick errand or cracking the windows will be enough to regulate the temperature. The truth is that’s not the case, and keeping your pet healthy will keep them with you for a long time.

We love pets here at Don Robinson Mitsubishi and want to do our part to help with Pet Safety.  For more information about our local Humane Society here in St. Cloud, stop by the Tri County Humane Society!

Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning can be a scary thing, even though it’s surprisingly easy to pull out of a skid in the rain. Still, it’s best to prevent hydroplaning altogether and avoid the panic that can result from the loss of control of your vehicle.  But, the question is, how can you do it? Here are some easy tips that will help you keep control of steering in the rainiest weather.

Preventative maintenance is the best way to prevent many kinds of accidents and driving issues, and hydroplaning is no different. If you regularly have your tires balanced and rotated, and you check your tire pressure and add air when necessary, you’re less likely to hydroplane. Also, the higher quality your tires are, the better they perform on wet roads. So taking proper care of your tires will help you in many cases, including hydroplaning.

When you’re driving in the rain, just go slower. Hydroplaning is most likely to occur at speeds above 35 miles per hour. Driving five or ten miles below the speed limit is a good idea when it’s raining anyway because it will help you to stop more easily, so drop your speed and avoid highways and high speed limit roads. And if you see a puddle, try to drive around it—the deeper the water, the easier it is for your wheels to lift off the road.

For more questions about your tires and which ones will help you in most severe weather cases, come see us at Don Robinson Mitsubishi!