How to Throw a Mardi Gras Party

How to Throw a Mardi Gras Party

There’s nothing as good at getting rid of the winter blues as a great, colorful party. Mardi Gras has been celebrated all around the world for many years, and it makes for a fun, thematic get together. Here’s how to throw the perfect Mardi Gras party this year.

 

Decorations

As with any great party, you’ll need to set the mood. Decorate using the Mardi Gras colors: purple, green, and gold. Hang streamers, blow up balloons, and be sure you have plenty of traditional beads. Encourage guests to dress up in masquerade wear to add to the ambiance.

 

Activities

Before your guests arrive, set up a playlist full of New Orleans jazz, zydeco and other music from the Big Easy. Clear a space where guests can dance and mingle. Create a craft station and invite guests to decorate their own masquerade masks with feathers, paint, glitter, and ribbon.

 

Food

Mardi Gras is all about one last indulgence before Lent, so the food is an important part! Turn New Orleans classics like Muffuletta sandwiches into bite size snacks. Serve Cajun classics like red beans and rice, fried catfish, or jambalaya. And don’t forget to bake a big, colorful King Cake with a prize inside. Traditionally, whoever eats the piece with the prize becomes King for the day!

 

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Follow These Tips to Get Your Christmas Tree Home Safely

When you have finally found the perfect Christmas tree for your home, it’s important to know how to get it home. To help make sure that you, your car, and your tree return home intact, follow these tips to get your Christmas tree home safely.

Get Your Christmas Tree Home Safely

Avoid Scratches

The needles of a pine tree can do a lot of damage to your car’s paint job. One of the best ways to avoid this from happening is to wrap the tree before placing it on your car’s roof. The best way of doing so is using netting, which many tree farms use when you purchase your tree. If you don’t have netting, simply wrap the branches in a blanket or tarp to keep both your tree and your car from getting damaged.

Point it the right direction

Choosing the perfect tree is hard work, and it’s likely you don’t want it to be ruined by the time you get home. Pointing the tree trunk towards the front of your car, though, is a great way to avoid any ruffled—or lost—pine needles. It cuts down on any possible wind damage that could occur.

Secure it well

You don’t want to lose your tree before you even get home, so strap it down securely. If your car has roof rails, use bungee cords or rope to secure it. For cars that don’t, there’s an easy fix. First, open your car doors. Then, tie the tree down by looping the rope through your car and up, over your tree. Do this multiple times, and then shut your doors. This should ensure your tree is safe for the ride home.

Learn These Fundamental Steps to Jump Start a Car Before You Need Them

Do you know how to jump start your car? It’s best to learn now, before it is too late. Here are the basic steps to jump start a car:

 

  1. Call a friend or make friends with a kind driver nearby that is willing to help.
  2. Grab your jumper cables, which – take note – you will want to have purchased and in your trunk ahead of time.
  3. Put both cars in either park or neutral and shut off their ignitions.
  4. Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal on your battery and the other red clip to the positive terminal on the other battery.
  5. Then, attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the other battery, and lastly, attach the last black clip to an unpainted, metal surface on your car.
  6. Try to turn on your vehicle.

 

This should solve your problem, and as long as you drive around for a bit without turning off your car again, your battery should be good to go. To learn more or for more tips, visit us anytime at Mountaineer Lincoln.

Steps to Jump Start a Car

DIY Maintenance: Replacing a Car Battery

Replacing a car battery is easier than it sounds, so don’t sweat it! If you for some reason need to do an emergency battery change, you should have no trouble.

First, assemble your tools—you’ll need a new battery, wrenches, a socket and ratchet, and a battery cleaner and a brush.

Turn the engine off and let things cool down for a bit so you don’t burn yourself on any hot metal. Get a wrench and loosen the negative battery cable—that’s the black one—then pull it off the rest of the way with your hand. Do the same with the positive (red) cable.

Use a socket and ratchet to remove the battery hold down clamp, and then carefully lift the battery out, making sure not to knock it against anything. Use the brush to clean off any corrosion left by the battery acid, and put the new battery in.

Put the hold clip back, then spray the terminal ends of the battery with anti-corrosion spray. Put the battery cables back in reverse order—red, then black—and make sure nothing moves. If it moves something isn’t hooked in properly. If not, you’re all done!

Looking for more tips and tricks when it comes to servicing your vehicle? We can help!

replacing a car battery

Setting Up A Carpool

Setting Up A Carpool

As school gets back into full swing, you may be more pressed for time (and money) than ever. One way to alleviate the responsibility of chauffeuring your kids to and from school and after school activities every day is setting up a carpool. Whether your kid’s school is just around the corner or across town, sharing the responsibility with other parents that you trust can free up serious amounts of time (and gas money) for everyone.

Start with your neighbors. Often, your neighbors are the best place to start when setting up a carpool. Because you all have the same origin and final destination, pick-ups and drop-offs become a breeze. Contact neighbors whose kids go to the same school as your kids. Joining forces is not only convenient, but you—and your kids—could make some new friends!

Ask the school. Sometimes afterschool programs offer options for parents looking to carpool. When buses aren’t an option, schools often facilitate carpool options or can at least point you in the right direction.

Once you have a carpool that works for your family, establish some basics to keep things running smoothly.

Set up a schedule. Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities, so there is no confusion. If the schedule involves multiple families and changing responsibilities, consider writing up a schedule for reference. Make sure emergency phone numbers and important information is included in the schedule. Also be sure your kids know who to meet, when to meet them, and where.

Establish rules. Basic rules, like being on time, buckling up, and no fighting should be clear. Work with the other parents to come to an agreement.

For more carpooling tips and resources, visit drivelessconnect.org.

Are you in need of a reliable, spacious, and safe vehicle for your carpool? Stop by Mountaineer Lincoln today!

How to Wax your Car

wax your car

One of the simplest ways to keep your Lincoln looking beautiful and new for years to come is by regularly washing and waxing your car. This will help protect the finish against dirt, water, and rust. One way to know if your car is in need of a wax is if water doesn’t bead up on the surface when it rains or when you hose it down. If it doesn’t, then you need to get out the wax.

Here are a few tips to wax your car the right way.

The first thing you need to do is the read your owner’s manual to make sure your car’s finish doesn’t need any sort of special treatment. If it doesn’t, choose the waxing method you prefer and get to work.

You then need to make sure your car is clean. Wash your car before you start. If you try waxing a dirty car, any particles on the surface could scratch the paint. Another tip is to not wax your car in the direct sunlight or on a particularly hot day.

There are a variety of waxes available, including liquid wax, soft wax, hard or paste wax, and then more advanced products, such as polymers and polyglycotes.

Liquid waxes are easy to use, but don’t last as long as other types. They work well as touch-ups after a wash or between professional waxings.

Soft waxes are easy to apply. Use the included applicator or a soft terry cloth rag. Work on one panel at a time. Let the wax dry to a haze and then wipe away the wax following the curves of the car using a lint-free cloth (cloth diapers work very well).

Hard or paste waxes will last the longest and provide the most protection. Save this type of wax for a semi-annual wax job. Read the instructions thoroughly and be sure to not let the wax harden too much so that it becomes difficult to remove.

Finally, the professional-grade polymers and polyglycotes are products you can apply yourself, but be sure to read the instructions before you begin.

Which is your preferred method to wax your car?

Forget the Tow Truck: How to Jumpstart your Car Fast

how to jumpstart your car

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and your car won’t start? We’ve all been there, so do not panic. Towing your vehicle can get expensive, so Mountaineer Lincoln wants to share these tips on how to jumpstart your car!

No matter who you are you should always keep a set of jumper cables ready in case of emergency. When you find another working car to help you, park it next to your dead one and make sure both cars are off. Now attach one end of the red cable to the positive side of the good battery, then the other side to the lifeless one.  Take the black cable and clamp it to the negative side of the working battery, then fasten the other end to an unpainted metal section of the car needing jumped. Do not attach the black cable to the negative side of the dead battery!

Now start the ignition of the functioning car and leave it running. Attempt to start the dead car and if it runs you can now disconnect the jumper cables and store them. You may need a new battery if it does not start within a couple tries.

How to Check a Vehicles Coolant

Under the hood of your car there is a radiator which is what cools down your engine. In order for the radiator to work properly, it needs water and coolant. Being able to check the coolant level is important in order to keep your vehicle running smooth.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to check your vehicles coolant level:

  • You don’t need to take off the cap on the radiator; you can simply look to see if the liquid reaches the “Full” line. If it does not, then you can add 50/50 mix of water and coolant to the radiator until it reaches the line. *Never add fluid to a hot engine.
  • Coolant is usually red, green, yellow, or blue. If you look at the fluid and it is colorless, rusty, and has things in it, then you should flush the coolant and put new in.
  • Something to look out for is if you look at the coolant and it has a sludgy and oily surface. This probably means that there is a internal head gasket leak and you should take you car to a mechanic immediately to have it checked.
  • Since you are already under the hood, now would be a good time to check the radiator hoses as well. If they feel leaky, cracked, bulgy or squishy, you should have them replaced.

For more tips on car maintenance, visit the Mountaineer Lincoln website!

coolant

How to Change A Flat Tire

flat tire

Maybe it has already happened to you, or maybe you just want to be prepared for the inevitable, but knowing how to change a flat tire is something that you will be thankful you know how to do when it happens to you. Hopefully you can avoid this situation by getting your car serviced regularly and having the tires looked at but sometimes a flat tire is unavoidable.

There are some items that you want to keep in you car so that you are prepared for when the flat tire happens. These items include: A flashlight, fix-a-flat spray foam, wrench, tire gauge, and tire blocks.

Here are the steps that you will need to follow:

  1. Find a safe spot to pull over.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights.
  3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts.
  4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground.
  5. Remove the lug nuts and take the tire off.
  6. Place the spare on the car.
  7. Put the lug nuts back on.
  8. Lower the car back to the ground.
  9. Pack up your stuff and you’re done!

Want more information on service and maintenance tips and tricks? Check out the Mountaineer Lincoln website.