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Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Ottawa, ON

Posted 2017-06-19 07:47:03

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our ON environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Ottawa drivers very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Ottawa area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to Ottawa drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.

Ottawa drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around ON  for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Ottawa roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Ottawa area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our ON roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

A quick word from Bank Street Mitsubishi about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Ottawa service technician at  Bank Street Mitsubishi is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at Bank Street Mitsubishi

Posted 2017-06-13 09:44:03

If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in Ottawa. At the same time, they are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell 'ya, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.

You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on Ottawa roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced ON cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she's climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.

Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a steep ON hill – forget about it.

Now let's add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed more quickly. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it's much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the Ottawa rider.

Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It's the vehicle transmission's job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are fairly common in Ottawa.

Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at Bank Street Mitsubishi keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Mitsubishi advisor if it's time for transmission service. Come see why smart Ottawa drivers trust their transmissions to Bank Street Mitsubishi.

Give us a call.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


Automotive Tips from Bank Street Mitsubishi: Causes of Wheel Misalignment

Posted 2017-06-06 09:42:03

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Ottawa drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major crash, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Ottawa driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your car can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.

When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an inspection every year or two.

Give us a call.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Posted 2017-05-31 06:54:03

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Ottawa car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Ottawa, ON, folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there's no reason a modern vehicle can't be made to last for a 150,000 miles (250,000 kilometers) or more for smart Ottawa drivers.

The old adage: 'a stitch in time saves nine' is really true for Ottawa residents when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Ottawa drivers have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule at Bank Street Mitsubishi.

Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Bank Street Mitsubishi is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

We know that this is a lot for busy Ottawa area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Bank Street Mitsubishi keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent repairs and maintain your warranty coverage.

Let us take good care of your car at Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa, and it'll take good care of you.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


The Bank Street Mitsubishi Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

Posted 2017-05-23 05:36:03

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Ottawa area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Ottawa can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.

Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.

Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Bank Street Mitsubishi will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.

Responsible Car Care

Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.

While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.

Your service advisor at Bank Street Mitsubishi will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa. The types of roads you drive on in ON, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.

And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Ottawa as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted 2017-05-14 12:30:03

The current vehicles in the market have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.

It's up to people in Ottawa to always use the right type of fluid for their vehicle. Your service advisor and your owner's manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.

Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it's hard to know exactly which one your vehicle needs.

Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among manufacturers, they require different additives, which means there are now several coolants on the market. The type of coolant your vehicle needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.

Most vehicles used to require DOT 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need DOT 4 or DOT 5. Some Ottawa drivers mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that DOT 4 is somehow better than DOT 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your vehicle is designed for just one of them.

Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Ottawa vehicles still need them to be highly durable.

That's the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.

Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your vehicle has 75,000 miles/120,000 km or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines, additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Ottawa drivers should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.

Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. ON vehicle owners should take care to learn their vehicle's fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Ottawa drivers is making sure your vehicle's fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our vehicles become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.

Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa.

 Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com

 


Breathe Deep in Ottawa With a New Cabin Air Filter

Posted 2017-05-09 12:38:03

Poor interior air quality is nothing to sneeze at, and Ottawa auto owners might be interested to know that more and more new cars are coming equipped with a cabin air filter. Check your vehicle owner's manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).

The filter is usually under the vehicle hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Mitsubishi service advisor take care of replacing them.

As we said, many Ottawa people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and come to Bank Street Mitsubishi saying "my vents are smelling bad." It usually turns out to be a dirty cabin air filter. A switch out and they're on their way, smelling sweet.

Ottawa residents who suffer from allergies can really benefit from a cabin air filter as it keeps irritants to a minimum. If you're one of them, you'll want to replace your filter regularly.

If you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted Ottawa conditions, you'll need to change your cabin air filter more often.

Give us a call.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com

 


Introduction to Diesels for Ottawa, ON

Posted 2017-04-30 09:28:04



Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around Ottawa, ON, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.

Most people in ON are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in Ottawa, ON. But that's about to change.

In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Ottawa, ON, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.

Why are so many Ottawa drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. The result? Better performance and improved fuel economy.

Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold in Ottawa with diesel engines?

If you think back to the late 1970's and early 1980's, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels sold in ON have evolved considerably.

They are quiet, clean – and powerful. They're so refined that many Ottawa drivers can't even tell they're riding in a diesel powered vehicle. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.

Another thing the Ottawa green crowd takes advantage of is the use of bio-diesel in diesel vehicles. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from Ottawa restaurants. There is a lot of buzz about hybrid cars in ON. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.

Every year, manufacturers introduce new diesel models. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import brands have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to ON as well.

New Ottawa diesel owners need to know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it's important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.

The good news is that Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.

When we tell you to look for more diesels on Ottawa streets, you won't be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won't be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won't be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Posted 2017-04-24 01:58:03



Like everything in the ON automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. ON drivers can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Ottawa roads, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the more quickly you can react to road conditions. This is because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Ottawa resident population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new vehicles sold in ON come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on some Ottawa roads; they're very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Ottawa drivers complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies - your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Your service advisor at Bank Street Mitsubishi recommends that they be changed out once a year. We suggest you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Saving Time. It's easy to remember; when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time; then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long ON winter nights.

If you have an older vehicle with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You'll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, Ottawa vehicles can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that's more like natural sunlight. This light's easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Ottawa vehicles to think you're running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn't she? Only her Bank Street Mitsubishi technician knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Bank Street Mitsubishi in Ottawa, ON, can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


Picking the Right Tires in Ottawa

Posted 2017-04-18 02:35:04

Shopping for tires in Ottawa can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Ottawa are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on ON roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Ottawa people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on ON roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Ottawa showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Ottawa roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Ottawa car owners. Talk with your Bank Street Mitsubishi tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

Bank Street Mitsubishi
2565 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1M8
613.739.0708
http://www.bankstreetmitsubishi.com


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