Bell Mitsubishi Blog

1500 Route 1 S Rahway, NJ 07065

Category: Car Maintenance

Routine Summer Car Maintenance

The summer heat is rolling in which means you’re running out of time to take care of some crucial routine car maintenance! Ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained is important to enjoying summer, especially if you plan on taking any long road trips. Here are a few routine summer car maintenance items to take care of from us here at Bell Mitsubishi!

Oil

Oil lubricates, cools, and protects the engine, and effectively works to prevent a major breakdown and costly repair later in the vehicle’s lifespan. The extreme summer heat can result in thinning of your old oil, and that won’t end well, especially if you’re in the middle of a family road trip. Save yourself both time and money by getting an oil change before summer arrives!

Tires

Keeping your tires properly maintained will result in better fuel economy, a smoother ride, and a pretty penny in savings. Start by checking to see if you have enough tread on your tires for optimal traction on wet roads. Next, check the tire pressure and inflate (or deflate) to the manufacturer-suggested level. Finally, look for any abnormalities, like bulges. Don’t forget to rotate your tires!

Wipers

Heavy spring rains after winter’s ice likely did a number on your windshield wipers. Fortunately, a new set is cheap and easy to install. Simply check your owner’s manual for instructions. It only takes a few minutes!

All-Season Tires vs. Summer Tires

summer tires in water

Winter tires are a popular option during the colder months, but one of the most rarely talked about kinds of tire is the summer tire. So what are summer tires, and what are the benefits of them?

“Summer tires” is kind of a misnomer. While summer tires aren’t ideal for winter, they’re great in spring, summer, and fall. They’re better at driving on wet and resisting hydroplaning than all-season tires, but they have little to no grip in the snow.

On the other hand, all-season tires, which most cars come pre-equipped with now, are mostly fine throughout the year, but they’re a compromise—they don’t perform as well during spring, summer, and fall as summer tires, and they don’t perform as well in winter as winter tires. If you don’t want to spend the money or take the extra time to switch over to winter tires when it gets cold, all-season tires are a good choice.

If you do want to take the time out, though, consider switching your all-season tires out for summer tires. You’ll experience better traction in the rain thanks to the softer grip, and when the cold weather hits, just spend an hour putting your winter tires on. You’ll be amazed how much better your car does in the snow with them!

For more information about tires or to schedule a service appointment, give us a call at Bell Mitsubishi!

Understanding Your Mitsubishi

Car Mileage

Car Mileage

Your car can be confusing, but we are here to help! Here are some tips on understanding how your Mitsubishi works and what you should do to take care of it.

If you see a service light pop up (described as “Routine Maintenance Required”), don’t ignore it! This light might tell you something about what’s going on under the hood under your car. Thankfully, Mitsubishi tells you exactly what maintenance you’ll need on your car with their mileage-based reminder system.

Your Mitsubishi will keep track of your mileage, and along with it, what specific service needs you’ll have. Of course, this isn’t set in stone. If you’re somebody who uses their car for towing or drives in particularly harsh weather conditions, the mileage-based system can be changed to allow for your driving style.

How and where you drive your Mitsubishi can affect how long you go between oil changes. In light driving conditions and mild temperatures, you’ll be able to go 7,500 – 10,000 miles in between oil changes while in moderate conditions you should go 5,000 to 7,499 miles. If you tow heavy equipment or do a lot of off-road driving, you should only go between 3,000 and 4,999 miles between oil changes.

No matter what your service needs are, Bell Mitsubishi will be here for you when those lights come on.

Regular Maintenance for Your Vehicle

Taking care of your car can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you aren’t sure what exactly going into regular maintenance. Fortunately, modern cars are advanced enough that they only need regular maintenance every few months. Here’s some crucial information on regular maintenance for your vehicle from us here at Bell Mitsubishi.

Oil Changes

Most quick-change oil outlets advertise the 3,000-mile rule as the general guideline for when you need to have your car’s oil changes. Modern vehicles and oil technology have come a long way since that rule first came to light. Today’s vehicles vary when it comes to oil change by mileage. Your owner’s manual can give you can exact number but a general rule to stick to is every six months or 5,000-7,500 miles.

Scheduled Service

Most automakers stick to a pretty consistent service schedule. The 15,000-mile mark should include an oil change, tire rotation, and inspection of important components.

The 30,000-mile mark should include a more thorough inspection and new fuel filter. Some vehicles may need new transmission fluid at this point.

The 45,000-mile mark is generally the same as the 15,000-mile mark with the addition of new transmission fluid, provided it hasn’t been changed already.

The 60,000-mile mark should include new belts, valves, and hoses as well as the items included in the 30,000-mile mark.

The 100,000-mile mark should include new spark plugs and a few other items that vary from vehicle to vehicle.

How to Remove Unwanted Odors

Unwanted odors can be one of the most uninviting things about a car, right after trash filling the passenger seat. Many stores sell “odor remover” that rarely works and can get expensive depending on how desperate you are. Believe it or not, you probably have everything you need to remove a nasty smell from your car lying around the house. Here are a few quick ways to remove unwanted odors, courtesy of us here at Bell Mitsubishi.

  • Cat Litter – Designed to remove smells, cat litter is a great way to remove odors if you already have a feline friend. Put a bowl of cat litter in the car with the windows rolled up and let it sit for a few hours. The litter will absorb the smell and leave your car virtually odorless.
  • Citrus Peels – If you’re a fan of fruit for breakfast, throw the peels in a cup and leave them in your car for the day. The peels will remove the smell and leave behind a fresh, fruity scent for your driving pleasure.
  • Dryer Sheets – Using a dryer sheet to remove an unwanted smell is as easy as wiping down your cloth seats. No matter what kind of seats you have, place a dryer sheet or two under them to ensure your car always smells fresh.

Spring Car Care Prep

Taking care of your car and prepping it for each season can increase its value in the long run. That’s why prepping for the warmer spring weather is a necessity for most drivers. It only takes one afternoon, and odds are you won’t have to buy anything to make sure your car is running in optimal condition. Here are some spring car care tips to prep your car for warmer weather from us here at Bell Mitsubishi!

  1. Tires – Starting from the ground up, checking your tires tread depth and pressure has plenty of benefits. Not only will the right amount of tread and the optimal tire pressure improve safety and handling; it can also improve fuel economy, ride smoothness, and more. Check your owner’s manual or inside of the driver’s door to see what the optimal tire pressure is for your car. If you added air during winter, make sure your tires aren’t overinflated!
  2. Exterior – A car wash and wax is exactly what your car needs after a harsh winter. Dirt, grime, and, worst of all, road salt likely built up all over your car’s exterior. Take advantage of the warm weather and give your car a good scrub!
  3. Interior – It’s the ideal time for some spring cleaning, and that includes your car. Remove all the trash, receipts, and bags you have no need for. Make sure to vacuum, and don’t forget to clean the windows as well!

How to Improve Your Fuel Economy

Sure, gas prices have dropped a little. But that’s no reason to drive like you have bottomless pockets! Here are a few tips on how to improve your fuel economy.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER.

By the far, the worst thing you can do for your fuel economy is to drive aggressively. According to HowStuffWorks, “Driving 60 miles per hour instead of 70 mph will save you 2-4 miles per gallon over the duration of your trip.” Your engine operates at optimum efficiency around 55 mph. Above or below that, your fuel economy suffers.

It’s not only how fast you go, but how quickly you get up to speed. Avoid unnecessarily aggressive acceleration. The time you’d save from stomping the gas pedal is negligible. Also, brake less and coast more.

 

DO MAINTENANCE

There are a handful of easy maintenance tasks that can improve your efficiency. Make sure your tires are properly inflated (under inflated tires create more friction and resistance). Have you air filter inspected from time to time and replace if dirty.

 

DO THE MATH

Start calculating your mpg. A lot of modern vehicles can provide you that information but in case yours can’t, it’s not difficult to do.

Fill up and reset your trip meter. Then the next time you fill-up, note the amount of gas you purchased. Divide that amount by the number of miles on your trip meter.

Do this every time you fill-up. As you implement more and more fuel-saving techniques, you’ll feel more and more of an incentive as your fuel economy improves!

how to improve your fuel economy

Are Automatic Car Washes Safe?

In the grips of winter, when it’s below zero outside, the idea of washing your vehicle at home is absurd. But you need to keep that road salt from building up and corroding and damaging your vehicle. Inevitably, you turn to automatic car washes. Are automatic car washes safe for your car?

Older car washes used brushes that could potentially be damaging to a vehicle’s finish. These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an automatic wash that uses brushes. Go to a newer automatic car wash and you should fine.

AutoBlog recommends that you be wary of the “after-wash wipe-down.” That’s when your vehicle gets wiped with towels by attendants. If you can, make sure they use clean towels to do it. On the weekend, when many automatic car washes get busy, attendants may be less likely to use fresh towels.

Should you go for the extra-super-deluxe-special car wash with all of the bells and whistles? AutoBlog recommends skipping the extras, as they are of “dubious value.”

are automatic car washes

Bell Mitsubishi Presents Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips

Tips for Saving Gas

Tips for Saving Gas

Do you feel like you’ve been spending too much at the pump lately? Have you been eyeing those new models with their high advertised mpg ratings?

You don’t have to invest in a brand new car to get better gas mileage. In fact, experts agree that mileage is less about the vehicle and more about the way you drive it.

And we’re going to tell you how. Here are Bell Mitsubishi’s top 5 fuel saving tips!

  1. Lift off the accelerator earlier. The more the gas pedal is pushed down, the more fuel is injected into the engine. If you lift off the accelerator earlier and giving yourself longer braking distances, you can save a significant amount of fuel—and increase the longevity of your brakes, too!
  2. Accelerate more smoothly. Following the logic above, you can also save fuel by getting up to speed at a slower rate. Unless you’re trying to cut off someone in traffic, there’s no need to get from 0 to 60 in four seconds! Do it in 10 seconds and your wallet will thank you.
  3. Slow down. Once you’re cruising on the highway at the highest gear, every extra mile per hour affects your mileage negatively. Stay at the speed limit and watch the fuel savings climb—and hey, it’s the law.
  4. Manage the air conditioning. If you need cool air, turn off the A/C at low speeds and open windows instead, or else the compressor will need to work too hard and hurt your gas mileage numbers.
  5. Keep your tires inflated. Okay, this one’s not actually a driving tip, but it makes enough of a difference that we just had to mention it. Properly inflated tires produce less friction with the road, resulting in up to 4% better mpg!

Winter Car Maintenance Steps

The worst time of the year has arrived, at least when it comes to driving—winter. To make sure you’re ready for the New Jersey winter, follow these simple winter car maintenance steps to help keep you on the road.

  • Get your regularly scheduled maintenance. If you’ve been avoiding an oil change or other routine maintenance like the plague, stop it! If you wait too long, these simple tasks can become big problems.
  • Check your tires. As snow and ice start to cover the road, you want to make sure you stay on it. Make sure your tires have adequate tread, or consider making the switch to snow tires if you regularly encounter the white stuff on your travels.
  • Change your wiper blades. If you didn’t already do this in the fall, do this now. Being able to see while the snow is drifting down is very important. Also be sure to switch out your regular washer fluid for the freeze-resistant type.
  • Check your lights. Not only do you need to see out your windows, but you want other drivers to see you, too. Make sure all your exterior lights are working and aimed correctly.
  • Check your battery. Freezing temperatures can cause a weak battery to fail. Check the battery posts and remove any corrosion. Always take extra caution when dealing with your battery.

If you need any assistance doing of these maintenance steps, please give us a call at Bell Mitsubishi and schedule an appointment with our friendly service department.

Winter Car Maintenance