Category: Car Service

How to Maintain a Car That's Not Driven Often | St. Cloud, MN

Whether you work from your home office frequently or prefer to use public transit here in St. Cloud, you may not be driving your car as often as it should be. Parking your car for long periods can cause it to slowly break down — if you don’t take some extra care to maintain it. Here’s some advice from Don Robinson Mitsubishi on how to maintain a car that’s not driven often.

Protect the tires

Parking your car for an extended time puts a lot of weight on the tires that can cause leaks, bulges, and deterioration. Redistribute the pressure by rolling the wheels every week so the same section of tread doesn’t shoulder all of the weight the entire time. You can also use jack stands to ease the weight off the wheels entirely.

Have the oil changed

The more often you drive your car, the more carbon and other contaminants build up, and thus the more frequently the engine will need oil changes. So if you don’t drive your car often, does that mean it doesn’t need oil changes? Certainly not!

MotorTrend recommends changing your car’s oil at least every six months since it can still become contaminated simply by breaking down chemically over time and coming in contact with the metal inside the motor.

Detach and recharge the battery

If you don’t drive your car at all for a long time, it’s a good idea to disconnect it from the vehicle and attach a trickle charger to keep it from draining. Driving once or twice a week should be enough to keep the battery’s charge up, but any less frequently than that, and you should manually keep it charged.

Whether you drive your car every day or only a few times a month, you still need to bring it to Don Robinson Mitsubishi for recurring maintenance. Schedule service appointments every season here at our dealership.

Holiday Traveling Tips | St. Cloud, MN

It’s that time of the year — the time for holidays and with it, road trips. With declining visibility, cold weather, and lots of other holiday travelers sharing the roads, going on a trip can be more dangerous than it seems. These holiday traveling trips can help you and your family stay safe.

Get a check-up

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important aspects of keeping your car in good condition. Call the Don Robinson Mitsubishi service department at (320) 281-2895 to schedule an appointment. Our expert, factory-trained technicians will ensure your ride has a clean bill of health and is ready for a holiday trip.

Update your emergency kit

In an emergency, it pays off to be over-prepared. You should always carry a standard emergency kit in your car, but when winter comes around, you may want to add a few more items, such as hand warmers, water-resistant gloves, a window scraper, blankets, and a small shovel.

Consider winter tires

You don’t need snowy weather to justify putting on winter tires. All it takes is cold temperatures. Even if your car has all-wheel drive and all-weather tires, winter tires will perform better in inclement weather and when temperatures approach freezing.

For more maintenance and holiday travel tips, please visit Don Robinson Mitsubishi in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

How to Save Money by Parking in the Shade | St. Cloud, MN

Here in Minnesota, it’s always a welcome sight when the sun is shining. But we should all take precautions when going outdoors for extended periods by applying sunscreen. This helps protect our skin from sun damage, but did you know that the sun can also harm your vehicle? Here are some ways the heat can damage your car and how you can save some money by parking in the shade.

 

Effects of the sun on your vehicle

The glass windows in your car can quickly make it feel like a greenhouse. The heat from the sun comes through the windows and keeps bouncing back, increasing the temperature. The high heat and rays from the sun can damage some interior components, like leather seats, the dashboard, or even electronics. Your car’s exterior also takes a beating when sitting in the sun. Over time, the sunlight can cause the paint to fade and crack.

Benefits of parking in the shade

When you park your car in the shade, your car is protected from the damaging sun. The shade will help keep the interior slightly cooler, meaning your air conditioning will not have to work as hard to cool you down. Another benefit is you can save money on gas by not driving around the parking lot looking for the closest spot. Shady spots are usually further from the door.

If you’re worried about the state of your vehicle after parking in direct sunlight, feel free to stop by Don Robinson Mitsubishi and we’ll get your car back in tip-top shape for maximum summer fun.

 

Mitsubishi has make impressive strides year after year, as seen in the scores from the J.D. Power 2020 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. The American branch of Mitsubishi has seen a 61-point growth on the CSI study since 2016. This year’s increases include high marks on performance and improved customer satisfaction for Mitsubishi drivers.

In the last 18 months, Mitsubishi of America has committed to better corporate and retail operations to aid you on the shopping, purchase, and service of your vehicle.

It has resulted in a 20-point increase for the last couple years on facility satisfaction, with notable improvements to dealership amenities and waiting areas to expand your family’s experience. Nearly half of customers surveyed gave their facility a “10” rating. That’s better than the non-premium average. The study looks at five areas: service initiation, vehicle pick-up, service facility, service quality, and service adviser.

For the second year in a row, Mitsubishi has placed first in the non-premium segment for its Fixed Right First Time ranking. That’s good news for your family, because when you take your Mitsubishi in to Don Robinson Mitsubishi for service, we take the stress out of maintenance. It’s fixed the right way, the first time.

With its high ratings from a trusted source like J.D. Power, your family can rest easy whenever you need maintenance from Don Robinson Mitsubishi in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Call or schedule an appointment online to service your Mitsubishi.

Tires are essential components of your Mitsubishi and need to be properly cared for so they can handle the road. If you want to help your tires last longer and prevent them from needing replaced, be sure to follow these tire care suggestions.

Inspect the air pressure

It’s a good idea to check your tires’ air pressure monthly to ensure they’re properly inflated. Under-inflated tires have more contact with the road, which can cause more wear and tear. Over-inflated tires can also be an issue since they increase your risk of a blowout. Stick to the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.

Get an alignment 

Regularly visiting our service department at Don Robinson Mitsubishi to get a tire alignment can help prevent your tires from wearing unevenly. If they haven’t had an alignment in a while and you notice that the tire tread is wearing down more on one side than the other, they are likely due for your next alignment.

Have your tires rotated

Tire rotations are an important part of your vehicle’s maintenance. Moving the tires to different positions allows the tires to wear more evenly, which can help them last longer. Depending on the Mitsubishi model, you may need to have your tires rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles.

These suggestions are simple ways to ensure you get the most out of your tires. When you need routine maintenance or tire replacements, we at Don Robinson Mitsubishi have a fantastic service department that can assist you.

Tire Safety | Don Robinson Mitsubishi | St. Cloud, MN

Some of the most important safety features on your car aren’t always an advanced automatic feature like emergency braking. Instead, your vehicle’s safety systems can be as basic as your tires. Without your tires, you are not going anywhere—they affect your vehicle’s braking, handling, and ride. That is why tire safety is so important.

One of the most important steps in tire safety is regular inspections. You should make a habit of thoroughly checking your tires once a month. Look for signs of wear, good tread depth, and proper inflation.

Excess wear on a tire can appear as cracks or bulges on the side wall or uneven tread wear. If you see any of these signs, schedule a service appointment at Don Robinson Mitsubishi for a closer look.

Another important factor in tire safety is how your car handles. If you feel any unusual vibrations or hear a thumping noise, this can indicate an out-of-balance tire or a tire with a flat spot. Furthermore, a tire that pulls your car to one side could be underinflated or damaged.

When you do perform your tire inspection, take a quarter with you. While many experts suggest the penny test, a quarter will give you better results. Place the quarter down into the tread with Washington’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, this means your tread is less than 4/32” and it is time for new tires.

If you need help installing a new set of tires, our service team at Don Robinson Mitsubishi is ready to lend a hand.

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!

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!