What to Do If Your Car Overheats

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When the mercury begins to rise outside, it’s common for car engines to get overly toasty too. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure a temporary jump in temperature doesn’t lead to long-lasting trouble. To help you know what to do if your car overheats, here are 5 easy steps.

  1. First, always carry an extra bottle of coolant (also called antifreeze) in your car, as well as a jug of water. Engines typically overheat because the coolant’s low, so topping it off will usually solve the problem. Failing that, water will also temporarily do the trick. Plus, that water could be a lifesaver on long, sweltering summer drives. Just don’t drink it all.
  2. When you see the temperature gauge creeping into the red or a notification light glowing, immediately turn off your air conditioner (since the AC puts a lot of strain on your engine).
  3. If the problem persists, crank your heater up to full blast. It could make the next few miles a pretty brutal experience, but the transfer of heat away from the engine might just save its life.
  4. Should the preceding steps fail, pull over as soon as you can. Turn off the engine. If you can pop the hood from the driver’s seat, do so — but don’t risk opening it by hand until the engine has cooled, especially if you see steam wafting off the engine. It typically takes a solid 30 minutes for an engine to cool down enough for it to be safe to handle. If you’d rather let a professional handle the problem, it’s time to call for a tow truck.
  5. Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. It’s usually a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have sprung a leak. Take a quick look under the car. If you notice a drip or puddle, chances are the coolant tank is leaking.
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DIY: How to Change Windshield Wiper Blades

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Windshield wipers are an often overlooked part of your car’s safety system. If your windshield wipers are not working properly, it can be difficult to see when it rains or snows. Faulty windshield wiper blades can smear your windshield, creating visibility hazards. So, it’s important to make sure your wiper blades are in good shape.

What Needs To Be Done:

Windshield wiper blades need to be inspected and replaced, if needed, on a regular basis.

Why Do It?

  • Windshield wiper blades are made out of rubber, which can wear even with limited use.
  • By being certain that your windshield wiper blades are in optimum condition, you are ensuring the safety of your vehicle and its passengers.
  • If you are driving your car in pouring rain, snow or sleet, worn-out wiper blades can impede the wipers’ ability to clean the windshield, which can limit your visibility.
  • Making sure your windshield wipers are newly inspected and replaced, if necessary, can help ensure safety.

How Often?

The frequency at which your windshield wiper blades need replacement depends, in part, on the conditions where you live and drive.Some general information is listed below, but always defer to your car owner’s manual and the information that comes with your wiper blades for advice on maintenance.

Check? Replacement?
Sunny, Hot Climate At least every six months At least once yearly
Even if you use your wipers very little, the hot sun can damage the rubber on your wiper blades, making the wipers unusable,according to Autos.yahoo.com.
Cold Climate At least every six months At least once yearly
According to Autos.com, the grit and salt used in cold climates can wear out the rubber wiper blades quickly.
Dusty And Sandy Regions Every several months Every six months to a year
If you regularly drive in dusty or sandy areas, even if you don’t use your wipers often, grit and sand can accumulate around and on the wiper blade, resulting in fast wear.

How to Do It:

Changing your wiper blades is simple. If you’re unsure about your wiper blade-changing abilities, it’s always a good idea to leave it to the professionals. This is something that is often done when you take your car in for an oil change, so ask your car dealership or quick-lube shop about it the next time you go in. But, if you want to do it yourself, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Remove the old wiper.

How to check your wiper blades.

Lift the wiper arm away from the windshield, depress the small tab and slide the blade off the arm.

Lift the wiper arm away from the windshield and depress the small tab on the underside of the wiper where it meets the wiper arm. When the tab is depressed, slide the wiper blade off the arm by pulling the center toward the bottom of the arm.

Step 2. Line up the new wiper blade with the arm.

Move the hook on the arm over the plastic clip on the new wiper blade.

Step 3. Pull it tight.

Replacing windshield wiper blades.

Attach the new wiper blade, making sure it clicks into place.

Pull the wiper blade tight onto the arm. You will hear a clicking sound when it clicks into place. Now, simply lower the arm slowly back onto the windshield and repeat this process on the other wiper arm.


Seeing is Believing When it Comes to Road Safety

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It’s no secret that properly functioning vehicle lights, wipers and mirrors allow for better visibility while driving, yet these items are often forgotten or ignored when performing basic auto care.

Making sure that you can see and be seen on the road is essential to avoiding motor vehicle accidents, yet many motorists overlook simple maintenance steps that can improve driving visibility. For example, community car care events held throughout the country reveal that nearly one in three vehicles inspected had insufficient wiper fluid. This simple auto care service can make a world of difference on the road.

Following a few auto care visibility tips can be illuminating, helping to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and other vehicles around you.

  • Replace any exterior or interior lights that are dimming, rapidly blinking or non-functioning, and be sure headlights are correctly aimed.
  • Make sure that vehicle mirrors are clean and properly positioned.
  • Check windshield washer fluid level and when it gets low, replace it.
  • Replace wiper blades if they show cracking or if they chatter or streak when operating. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper blade.
  • When in doubt, turn your lights on to help you see and help other drivers see you. Some states have laws that require headlights to be on when windshield wipers are operating.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights. Maintain a speed that will allow you to stop within the illuminated area, otherwise you create a blind crash zone in front of your vehicle.

Holiday Road Trip

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With the holiday season upon us, many Americans are stretching their dollars to make a trip home for the holidays. While driving is the thrifty option, unexpected vehicle repairs can bust your budget this time of year. Motorists planning a road trip over the holidays should follow the three Ps – prepare, prevent and plan – to save money and avoid breakdowns.

  • Conduct a pre-trip vehicle inspection. If you find your vehicle needs repairs, be sure to address them in a timely manner so they can be performed by a trusted technician before your journey. While it may be tempting to put off repairs until after the holidays, it is not worth the risk and added expense of more extensive work down the road.
  • The last thing any driver needs is to break down in cold, harsh winter weather. A pre-winter vehicle check is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold as well as costly emergency towing and repairs.
  • Before traveling longer distances, plan your route and review the council’s steps to better fuel economyto maximize savings at the pump. Pack a road emergency kit, including jumper cables, a road atlas, first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, water, non-perishable food and blankets, and be sure your cell phone is fully charged.

Taking proactive steps to prepare, prevent and plan in advance of your holiday road trip will help you avoid the hassle and expense of unplanned car trouble away from home.

Five Steps Towards Better Battery Behavior

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Here’s hot news about your car battery that may seem surprising: It’s not so much the cold that gets it down as it is high heat. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, thus damaging the internal structure of the battery. That’s why it’s a good idea to check your battery as the seasons change from hotter to cooler or if you’ve been driving in a hot part of the country.

Another reason for shortened battery life is overcharging. That is, a malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, can allow too high a charging rate, leading to slow death for a battery.

In addition, colder temperatures can increase the thickness of the engine oil, making the engine harder to turn over, causing the battery to have to work more. These factors lead to harder starting.

What You Can Do

• Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
• If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly. Add distilled water when necessary.
• Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
• Have the battery checked if you notice headlights and interior lights dim, accessories that fail to operate, or the “check engine” or battery light illuminated.
• Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

Fast and Affordable Auto Repair and Maintenance

checking-oil-levelHere at Basin Mitsubishi, we strive to be the automotive home of drivers throughout Odessa, Andrews, Big Spring, Midland, TX and Hobbs, NM. For that reason, we not only sell high-quality cars, but provide auto repair and maintenance through our Service Center!

We invite you stop by our Service Center to take advantage of our many years of automotive expertise. We’re staffed with a team of expert technicians that are equipped to provide major repairs and maintenance services such as oil and filter changes, engine tune-ups, brake adjustments, tire rotations, state inspections and much more!

With the care of our skilled technicians, we’ll return your new or used vehicle to its like-new condition in no time at all! Of course, you don’t want to leave your car with just any mechanic when our trusted technicians have been trained to work with your specific Mitsubishi model.

We know that regularly-scheduled maintenance is simply the best way to ensure that your car retains its original quality throughout many happy years behind the wheel!  Before visiting dealership, you’ll want to browse our monthly Service Specials to enjoy discount pricing on many of our services!

Most importantly, you’ll enjoy the confidence of knowing that your vehicle is in the hands of a trustworthy dealership like ours!

Ready to take advantage of our services? Then, simply schedule your next service appointment online and bring your car down to our Service Center in Midland, TX. We’ll take care of the rest!