It is of utmost importance that you regularly look after your vehicle if you are planning on keeping it in use for an extended period. Maintenance keeps your vehicle in shape and helps in increasing the road life. It also helps your vehicle in maintaining an efficient performance status by minimizing fuel consumption and retaining the maximum resale value of the vehicle. It is worth noting that regular maintenance is much more valuable than just maintenance. Regular maintenance keeps your vehicle up to date and healthy while simple occasional maintenance just keeps your vehicle in running condition.
Some of the things that you must include in your regularly scheduled maintenance must include are:
Changing Oil and Filter:
It is important that you keep changing your engine oils and filters regularly. The most recommended time interval for changing the oils and filters are three months. However, you can also customize this range according to your use. If you leave the oils and filters unchanged for long, your vehicle's engine might suffer which would affect your vehicle's efficiency.
Changing Air/Cabin Filters:
If you are taking your vehicle to a mechanic for its maintenance, then he will clean the Air Filters on his own. For those who prefer doing the cleaning on their own, cleaning the air filters helps the smooth ignition in the engine, increases the gas burn efficiency, and helps in producing the maximum acceleration of the vehicle.
Flushing the Cooling System:
The cooling system can accumulate a considerable amount of dirt in them. This accumulation can cause problems for both the heating and cooling systems in your vehicle. The dirt can also reduce engine efficiency by clogging the various pipes that are responsible for better performance. Cleaning or replacement of the cooling system in your vehicle must be done after every two years or less, keeping the system untreated can affect the overall vehicle health.
Maintaining the Brakes:
Brakes are not only necessary for the vehicle but also for your safety. It is critical that you regularly check the brake drums and flush the brake fluids after certain time intervals. It is considered a good idea to keep checking the brake drums and cylinders regularly after two years. The brake fluids must also be drained and filled anew when you change your brakes.
Changing the Transmission Fluid:
The transmission system is related to the gearing system of your vehicle. Dust building up in the transmission system can affect the efficiency of the gearing in your vehicle. It is recommended that the oils in the transmission system should be replaced after every 30,000 miles for keeping it smooth and functioning. Not changing the fluids in the transmission system can lead to hardened gear change operations and reduced speed of the vehicle.
Replacing Spark Plugs and Wires:
Spark plugs are responsible for starting your vehicle's engine. They can gather a lot of carbon on them in a short time. This carbon cuts off their contact with the spark wire and can cause engine failure and misfires. Cleaning the spark plug is a common solution for a majority of the cases when your vehicle is not starting. It is recommendable that you should change the spark plug after the interval of each 100,000 miles.
Emergency Tips for You and Your Vehicle
Items to Keep in Your Trunk
Most people out there spend a fair amount of time in their car traveling, and there are some key items every person should keep in his or her trunk in case of a crash, stranded or emergency. You never know when or where disaster could strike, but it always pays to plan ahead of time and be prepared. Having the most essential equipment and items will help you survive until help arrives. So here are the 5 things you absolutely must always have in your trunk.
An Additional Power Source
having an alternative power source in your trunk is crucial, and every single person should have an additional battery no matter where he or she is traveling to. A jump starter pack or a 12-volt battery can do miracles and could make the difference. An additional power source can give your car a boost in cold weather and help you keep going or get warm. With an additional power source, you can also easily create a spark and start a fire to keep you warm. Being able to start a fire no matter what the conditions are is essential, and it can also draw attention and help you signal for help. Another advantage of having an alternative power source is the ability to recharge your phone. Your mobile device is useless if its battery dies, but it can be a lifesaver so being able to recharge it is vital.
First Aid Kit is a Must
Another important thing to have in your trunk is a first aid kit with a generous supply of bandages, cotton balls, and antiseptic. In addition, it should also contain gauze, scissors, tape, antibiotic cream, Benadryl, and plastic bags. Any injury and the wound can be properly treated if you have the right supplies, and with the help of Benadryl, you can counteract any allergic reaction that may occur while being stranded in a remote area. Some people are extremely allergic to bees, poison ivy, or certain foods, and the ability to address the reaction can even save your life.
Canned Food and Water
If you are stranded in a remote area, it may take days for search and rescue teams to find you and help you, so you must have enough food and water to be able to keep your strength and survive while waiting. You should always have a minimum of half a gallon of water in your trunk per person. In addition, you should have some food in your car – you don’t need anything fancy, just some canned goods as they can last for months, be heater over the fire and even eaten cold. You should have food and water for at least 3 days, and one full meal a day is the minimum.
Extra Clothing and Blankets
Keeping extra clothing and blankets in your trunk can also help you survive, especially if you are traveling through remote places in the winter or an area where temperature drops in the night are significant. Warm clothing and blankets can protect you from hypothermia and keep you warm, but they can also be used to make a bandage. In addition, you can use blankets to get your car moving again if it is stuck in mud or snow, and sitting on a blanket can help you mitigate the heat of the pavement during summer as you try to repair your vehicle on the side of the road.
Means to Attract Attention
Being prepared for an emergency situation and the ability to survive is always great, but being rescued is better. And the best way to ensure you will be rescued is by having the means to attract attention. You could always use the mirror of your car, but this is quite primitive and inefficient, so having a couple of flares or a marine flare gun in your trunk will ensure you will always be able to attract attention if a rescue team or another vehicle close by doesn’t spot you. However, you should know that marine flares are not designed for usage over land, and they could be quite dangerous, so always be extra careful when using them.
A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action, may require you to have safety precautions and things to carry in your vehicle. Here’s what you may or should have on hand. Even if you pay for a roadside assistance service. Breaking down in your car is a highly stressful thing to experience and can leave you sitting on the side of the road at night with other cars rushing past at high speeds while you struggle with the cold and with dwindling food and water.
Here are some essential items to keep in your car in case of emergency.
Having a spare tire in the car is one of the most important things to keep right away as this way you can get yourself back on the road in cases of a puncture or a tear. There should be a space in your trunk (often underneath the material at the bottom) or on the back of your car for a tire and you should ensure you always have one there.
Tire Repair Kit
You won’t always need to completely replace your tire – sometimes you will be able to simply repair one you currently have. For this you will of course need a tire repair kit. There very affordable and you can get them at any auto parts shop. They’re very handy to have on hand.
Tire inflator and sealer
Like the Fix-a-Flat, which can plug a leak (and help you avoid using the above tools) just enough to get you to the auto shop. An easy process that we get you out of a bind.
Tire pressure gauge
Checking tire pressure on a regular basis can improve handling, increase fuel economy, promote tire longevity, and even save lives. Take time in-between gas stops when you have to refuel to check your tire and even your oil level from time to time to prevent tire blow-outs and overheated engines.
A car jack is that device you use to raise your car off of the ground. A spare tire isn’t much good to you unless you are also carrying one of these unless you happen to be related to Hercules by blood. This will also come in handy in all of other scenarios in case you need to get to your brake pads, or remove a wedged stone etc.
You will need a wrench if you’re going to get the bolts off and back on to your wheel in order to make any changes. Again there should be space for one of these along with the jack in your boot.
Very useful for loosening bolts and can also help for lubricating hinges and various other procedures. One of those things that’s just handy to have around in a crisis.
Car Owner’s Manual
A car owner’s manual should come with every new car (if yours is second hand then you can order one online) and provides lots of very useful information for car owners and mechanics alike – helping you to find your way around the bonnet and to know things like the ideal tire pressure/where the battery is.
And why might you need to know where your battery is? So that you can get a jump start from someone of course. By keeping a pair of jump leads in your trunk you can get a charge off of any passers-by if you’re stranded on the road. At the same time this will also allow you to give other people a bit of a boost
Having an map with you for your country or state can ensure that no matter where you are you will have at least some guide to getting home.
Having some money in your car is a very good idea as a way to avoid being caught out if you need to use a payphone or parking somewhere, or if you need to buy any supplies/tools/food. Keep spare change and a couple of notes in a safe place in your car as insurance.
Having a portable gas can is incredibly useful for scenarios where you might want to top up your gas because you’re stranded. This way you can walk/hitch a ride to the nearest petrol station and then come back with fuel.
These could come in very handy in an accident, and if you have breakdown or 24 hour towing and roadside coverage for instance then you won’t want to be searching online on your phone while your car is stuck in the middle of the road. Make sure then that you have any information on hand and that you know where it is at all times. Here is a great article from our blog about the benefits of having 24 hour roadside and towing assistance added on and available to you. http://aautoandhomeinsurance.com/benefits-24-hour-roadside-towing-assistance/
If you break down at night then a light can be useful for seeing, for making your way around, and for signaling for help. Of course you should also keep spare batteries.
Having water with you can help to sustain you and your family if you are stranded for a long period of time. You can even keep some freeze dried food with you if you are worried about what you’ll eat during this time.
Pen and Paper
If you’ve hit another driver then this is very useful for taking down their details. In fact a pen and paper is generally incredibly useful and I would go as far as to say you should always have them on you even when you’re not in the car.
Blankets are obviously useful for keeping warm if your power is out or if you’re trying not to drain the battery, but they are also useful for recovering from shock, especially if you have young children on board and have had an accident.
In case of a serious accident, a medical kit can help you to tend to the wounds of anyone on board. At the same time you should also keep any medical supplies in here that are specific to the needs of you and your family – for instance keep some insulin if you have diabetic passengers, asthma inhalers etc.
Because dead batteries happen to the best of us. You should familiarize yourself with your engine just in case things are a little different. Alternatively, you can pack an emergency battery booster so you don’t have to rely on a Good Samaritan coming along as mentioned earlier.
What to do if You Have a Flat
Having a flat tire could be one of the most dreadful road events you never want to happen. Flat tire means being stranded along the road and delaying your important affairs.
But don’t fret! We’ve listed some valuable tips just in case you are stuck in this kind of dilemma. Read on and apply these points whenever needed.
Preparation is the Key
No one would want to have a flat tire. A flat tire is mainly caused by either a tire puncture, leaky valve system, damaged wheel or someone just intentionally did it to prank you. So, it is best to check your tires even before hitting the road.
Keep Spare Tire and Tools
Always have a spare tire in your vehicle and don’t forget some important tools like car jack, tire wrench, tire lug nut key and of course, safety gloves. Last thing you would want to experience is ending up with greasy and dirty hands.
Stay Calm and Focus
As much as you want to scream your heart out because of this unfortunate event, it is best to keep your nerves. Stay calm and focus on what needs to be done. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the incident. Some may use this unlucky road event as an opportunity to take advantage on you. So better be vigilant and keep your eyes on your car and your other belongings.
If you think you’ve heard the most dreadful flat tire sound, then slow down and pull over your car. Park your car in the side of the road and do not ever stop in the middle of the street. In this way, you only deal with your flat tire and not with further road mishaps. It is very important to keep you and your car safe from any passing vehicles.
Turn On Hazard Lights
Inform other drivers through turning on your hazard flasher or putting safety cones. Doing this means giving other drivers an extra warning. And this might also be a great way to ask for help.
Put On the Spare Tire
Here is a step by step guide in replacing the flat tire.
- Turn off your car’s engine.
- Prepare your tools and spare tire.
- Loosen the tire nuts of the flat tire using tire wrench.
- Place the car jack under your vehicle to elevate it about 2 inches.
- Ready the spare tire and place it beside jack.
- Remove tire nuts and flat tire.
- Replace it with the spare tire and put the tire nuts again.
- Tighten the tire nuts carefully.
- Remove the car jack to put down the car.
- Be sure to tighten the tire nuts for safety.
What to do if You have a Tire Blow Out
No matter how conscientious a driver you are, situations like a tire blowout can and will occur. They are just inevitable. The only thing that you can do is prepare for such situations beforehand and plan ahead. Most drivers do not know that right way for handling a tire blowout situation. Although sometimes such situations do not cause a lot of damage, it is important that you understand the seriousness of the situation.
A tire blowout situation is entirely different than a flat tire. Unlike a flat tire situation, you do not get much reaction time and control over your vehicle.
Prevention is better than cure! So, let's see some major factors which are can be directly responsible for a tire blowout.
Maintaining the tire's physical conditions is important. Most of the tire blowouts happen due to low pressure in the tires. When the tire pressure drops below a certain level it becomes dangerous to drive with them.
Low-pressure tires not only causes blowouts but also affects your vehicle's overall performance. Hence, keeping the pressure to an optimum level is a thing that you should always keep in mind.
For checking the pressure yourself, you can get a pressure gauge with which you can verify your tire's condition whenever you find it necessary.
Now, as low pressure can be hazardous to the tires, high pressure also causes tire blowouts. Overpressure in the tires make your tires stiff and they become vulnerable to all the pointed object on the road. When your tires are over-pressured, the heat generated in the tires gets trapped in space between the walls of the tire. This makes the pressure to grow even more and ultimately results in a loud blowout. So, it is important to keep the tire pressure to optimal.
As we stated earlier, it is just impossible to predict a tire blowout even if you are a vehicle wizard. So, it is good to gain some knowledge about what to do when you are caught in any tire blowout situation.
Let's suppose that you are going to someplace and you heard a loud roar of bursting air. Yes, it was your tire that burst open. Now the first thing that you would want to do is to calm down. If you have calmed yourself down, you would be able to tell which tires have given up on you. Your vehicle would be inclined toward the blown tire. In all such situations always remember that you should never apply breaks. Applying breaks will cause an utter loss of your vehicle control and your tiniest hope of minimizing the damage taken or given will fade away.
Keep moving with the flow, hold the accelerator, and smoothly decrease the acceleration. If you tried to leave the accelerator and tried to control the vehicle you'd only hurt yourself and the others in the vehicle or surrounding the vehicle. Never try to turn the vehicle around unless it's a dead end. Always try to move as straight as possible, slow down the vehicle steadily and you would be safe. Also do not forget to turn on your indicators while doing all this, letting others know about your situation is important. And even applying your hazards after a complete stop as to let everyone know of the caution.
How to Respond to Brake Failure
The single most essential part of your vehicle which you must always keep in perfect working conditions is the braking system. The life of the car, your safety, and that of other people in the car and on the road depending on the brakes. Ignoring to check how they are doing is as good as driving around with your death certificate. You should remember to check the entire system every year, but you need to regularly inspect braking elements like drums, pads, rotors, shoes, calipers, and the fluid every time you visit an automotive repair shop.
Braking Elements That Need Your Keen Attention
Whenever you press on the pedals, it is crucial to pay attention to the sounds your brakes emit. Any slight squeak could mean there is friction in the brake lining which under severe circumstances can cause serious damage to the rotors and the brake drum, the pads, and the lining.
If the brake pads are worn out, you will hear a grinding noise caused by metal contacting metal that can lead to rotor and drum damage. The only noise you should expect to come from the brakes is absolute silence. If your car pulls one way when you are braking, it could mean there is damage on the brake line or it could be due to uneven and worn linings, and if the brakes are poorly adjusted or if the brake fluid is contaminated you can experience a drag on the brakes.
But if you have to pump the brakes several times before the car stops, it could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or you should check your brake lines for air presence or a leak in the system. Worse still is to have pedals that sink completely to the floorboard when you are stopping at the traffic lights.
Any of the conditions mentioned above are indicators of faulty brakes, and because you should never be too careful with brakes, it is essential that you have a certified braking expert to examine your car.
A real horror situation that you must do everything possible not to confront is the realization that your brakes are flat out when you are driving. Noticing that your brakes are gone when the car is speeding on the road is the most terrifying emergency a driver can expect. While it is everyone’s prayer that this should not take place, it is equally imperative that you should equip yourself with a few basic skills and knowledge about how to respond when your brakes fail. Here are important tips from the Cheapest Auto Insurance in Dallas, TX that you need to always keep in mind.
A panic attack, while you are driving, can throw you into dangerous confusion. It is best to do everything to stay calm and think of how to safely remove your car out of the traffic. A clear and focused mind, which you cannot possess in a state of confusion, is all you need behind the wheels when your brakes refuse to respond.
Try to Nudge the Brakes into Action
Nearly all modern cars/vehicles have braking systems that independently work with the rear and front brakes. For your car to completely lose the power to stop, it means that the two systems have to totally fail, which is quite a rare but still a possible occurrence. Before you give up control of the car to the gods of miracles, you should try your brakes repeatedly by applying consistent and strong pressure to the pedals to try and slow the vehicle. Though it is not safe to have reduced braking power, it is better than losing all braking. So give your brakes several more trials before you begin thinking of evacuation procedures!
Implement Emergency Measures to Lower the Car’s Speed
You always have a different option of stopping the car by applying the emergency brakes even when the main brakes fail. The brake system for emergencies is separate and it works independently from the major hydraulic system. Use it if the main brakes fail. However, it is important to note that unlike the traditional pedal brakes, the emergency system will take a longer time to stop the car.
The engine can also slow down the vehicle if you remove your foot from the accelerator while you downshift to lower gears. You can significantly reduce the car’s speed by working your way down the gears if the vehicle has a manual transmission, but if it uses automatic transmission, taking your foot off the accelerator pedal will make the car to slow down by backing off to the low gears.
Some new models have both automatic and manual transmission systems. The pedal shifters that allow you to drive the car manually are levers located on the steering wheels. You can change to the manual transmission mode by downshifting to the lower gears. If you drive such a car, it is important to familiarize yourself with how the system works by reading the user manual. Just remember that you need a cool head to manipulate the car to a stop in these ways.
Maneuver the Car from the Traffic
To reduce the chances of a crash after the car has considerably slowed down; you should carefully maneuver it away from the traffic. This can be a bit tricky if you are driving on a major highway in which you may need to cross several lanes to get it out of the road. Do the following:
- All your senses should be alert to the surrounding cars as you are cautiously finding your way to the slow lane.
- Make sure your signals are correctly turned on and indicating your intention.
- Employ other measures such as using your horn and lights to notify the other drivers that something has gone awry with your car.
- Be on the lookout for any dangers and concentrate on steering around them.
- And when you have safely made it to the slow lane, switch on your hazard lights.
Don’t forget you are taking all these measures because you don’t have brakes. So direct the car to a safe spot like a parking lot or the road shoulder before shifting into neutral. Using the emergency or parking brakes will help stop the vehicle, but if the car threatens to skid, release and let it go. At the stage when even the emergency braking fails, you will need ingenuity and luck. If there is a soft shoulder, drive into it or you can try to scrub off some speed by rubbing the wheels on the curb. Just remember to keep your eyes and reflexes alert.
Keep the Engine Running
The worst mistake you should never make is to try to slow down by turning the engine off before the car has completely stopped. One of two things could happen if you turn off the ignition.
It can make the steering wheel to lock in place
When the engine is off, the power steering will also shut down leaving you with the difficult task of controlling or losing control of the car.
Try to Get Assistance
Of course not before the car has stopped! The safest thing to do is to get it off the road first and letting it stop before you can turn off the engine. Once you are safe and the car is out of the road, give indications that you have a problem by letting the hazard lights on and raising the hood. Increase your visibility by putting road flares or reflective triangles behind the car. While using your phone to get help, stand away from both your car and oncoming traffic.
Have the Vehicle Towed
It would be suicidal to try driving the car even if the brakes appear to function well again. The safest thing to do is to notify the nearest road assistance service to have you car towed to a mechanic or dealership for inspection and repairs.
Extreme Weather and Your Vehicle
How to survive a Winter storm
Stay inside your car or tent. When the snow starts piling up and it becomes clear that you’re stuck on the road or your campsite, your best bet is to stay there. Venturing out in the winter increases the mortality rate in this type of situation, since visibility is usually close to zero and the temperature and wind are unpredictable its not worth the risk. Hunker down and plan to wait out the storm.
If you’re with other people, do not send a person out for help. This is extremely risky and is not likely to end well. It’s important to stay together until the storm has passed or you’re rescued.
If you’re stuck outside without a car or tent, it’s imperative that you find some sort of shelter. Seek out a cave or an overhang, or look for a tarp or other materials you can use to fashion a shelter. If all else fails, build a snow cave to serve as insulation.
Keep warm and dry. Keep the windows rolled up or the tent flap closed while you’re inside. Wrap your coat, blanket, tarp, or any other type of material you have with you around your body to stay warm and to prevent frostbite. If you’re with another person, use each other’s body heat, too.
If you’re out in the wilderness, build a fire close by to keep warm and serve as a signal to attract attention.
If you’re in the car, let the engine run with the heat on to stay warm. However, it’s very important that you don’t keep the engine running if the exhaust pipe clogs with snow; this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly.
Stay hydrated. This is a very important way to keep your body healthy while you’re trapped. If you don’t have a water supply, stay hydrated by melting snow and drinking it. Put some in a container and melt it using the fire you built or your car’s heater.
Do not eat snow. This is harmful to the body. Melt the snow and drink it instead.
If you have food, ration it to make it last over several days. Do not eat full meals
Things to bring in your car for emergencies
A spare charged cell phone will allow you to call 9-1-1 in a pinch. Keep this wrapped up in the blankets so that it’ll be likely to survive a crash without suffering irreparable damage.
Flares will help rescuers see you. If they’re searching and all they can see is white, a flare will make all the difference in your discovery.
A wind-up radio lets you keep tab with the weather regardless of whether or not you have electricity in your car. A simple winding will do the trick and let you know when conditions have improved and what the state of roads are.
A first aid kit will be vital if someone is hurt in an accident. Perhaps just as important is knowledge of how to use it, because knowing how to apply a leg splint can be very, very important in such a moment.
Extra winter clothes will help you keep warm, especially if you need to leave the vehicle. Layers are key the more layers of clothes you can put on, the warmer you’ll be down at the surface of your skin.
Jumper cables come in extraordinarily handy on cold mornings when your car doesn’t start. Quite often, it’s the result of a battery that became overly cold overnight and can be started with the help of another vehicle and some jumper cables.
A bag of sand not only adds weight to your car (improving traction) but can be spread to help you get traction if you get stuck in a bad position.
An ice scraper preferably one with a brush to help remove snow comes in constant handy throughout the winter. Without it, it will be very difficult to keep your windows cleared.
Flashlights allow you to see what’s going on and also aid in signaling help. Although flashlights operated by human action exist, they’re not very bright get one with a very bright bulb and make sure it’s charged.
A small tool kit can allow you to fix minor problems yourself on your car. Make sure you have everything you need to (at least) change a tire and loosen or tighten some bolts.
Extra batteries for the flashlight and the radio (assuming you don’t have a wind-up one) are vital. The last thing you want to do is to get stuck, pull out the radio or the flashlight, turn it on, and find that they don’t work.
These tools will help you survive almost any winter weather accident, no matter how bad the storm. By keeping warm and safe and making sure that you can signal to help, you’re doing everything you can to ensure your future.
Here is his advice: if your car is stuck
Immediately ensure that the exterior exhaust on the car is clear of snow so you don’t get carbon monoxide buildup in the car.
Once you find yourself stuck in your car in a snowstorm, the best thing to do is stay put (unless you see a building nearby).
Then turn the car off. Turn it on every once in a while to heat it up, and then turn it back off to conserve gas.
Continue to check the tailpipe each time you turn the heater on.
Some of the ways to keep warm in the car are doing various exercises. Just do a set of pushups or flutter kicks every once in a while.
You also need to stay hydrated while you are out there. If you don’t have water in the car, you will need to melt snow. The more hydrated you are, the warmer you will be.
Keep your seatbelt on, and put on your hazard lights. Even if you’re pulled over, people can still hit you.
Turn on your hazard lights or place roadside flares near your car to alert other drivers and/or potential rescuers that you are there.
How to Navigate Through a Heavy Rain Storm
When roads are drenched and difficult, driving must be done with utmost precautions. Severe weather conditions could affect not just your physical being, but also the welfare of your car.
Here are some important tips for a successful navigation through a heavy rainstorm.
Whether you are driving on a dry or wet road, one of the most important car tips is to get your car insured. Accidents are more prone to harsh weather conditions. Keep an eye on yourself and your asset by getting auto insurance to secure you from some fortuitous events.
Being prepared is the best way to avoid accidents. Make sure you have done some preventive measures even before you hit the soaking wet road. The performance of a tire is significantly affected during a serious rainfall, so it is essential to replace your old tires with new ones.
Take a moment to know your route and anticipate some emergency alternatives. Pay attention to the weather news and updates to keep away from dangerous roads. It is advisable to avoid driving through areas prone to heavy rainstorms.
Most accidents occur because of reckless driving beyond limits. Always take your time especially during heavy rainfall. Your enemy is not just the irresponsible drivers, but also the force of nature.
When the road is wet and sleek, it is very vital to keep in mind to drive slowly and carefully. Drive at or below the speed limit or wherever you are comfortable. Slow down to put up with the difficult road condition and to give you enough time to make sensible driving decisions.
Disable Cruise Control
Never use cruise control during a rainstorm because you might lose command of your vehicle when your tires recover traction. Cruise control may be a great feature during long trips, but when it comes to wet roads, it can be very prone to accidents. It makes hydroplaning worse by trying to maintain the constant speed of your vehicle.
Switch on the Lights
Turn your headlights on. Headlights are very important warning signs. This will help you identify all four corners of the vehicle and help other vehicles see you. However, you don’t actually need to flip on your car brights. Flipping it could make your driving more difficult and eventually annoy other drivers.
When driving through heavy rain, it is wise to keep far from the car in front of you. It will give you and the cars behind you ample time to respond to traffic.
Avoid Unnecessary Trips
In a heavy rainstorm condition, it sensible to be less on the road. Apparently, take only important trips and avoid the unnecessary ones. It will put you in safer leverage than venturing the complicated road.
How to Keep Your Vehicle Safe in a Hailstorm
Hailstorms can be dangerous if not taken seriously. The largest hailstone that fell on Earth weighed 1.93 pounds or 0.88 Kg having a diameter of 8-inches. So, it is possible that you might get hailed-out by hailstones that are approximately 8 times larger than a standard golf ball. In hailstorms, it is your vehicle that is at the greatest risk. So here are some ways that can help you in keeping your vehicle safe during a hailstorm.
A shelter for your vehicle:
Always park your vehicle in a place that can protect it from above. Check out DisasterSafety.org and see if you live in one of those bright blue areas, if yes then it's prime time that you start evaluating where you should park or safe areas that are safe from hail. The bright blue regions are those which are considered at high alert zones for hailstorms.
Park somewhere safe:
If you are not able to find a safe space for your vehicle then drive to any nearby mall or complex or any other such thing with protective coverings. These places have covered parking spaces in the basements or parking garages. You can park your vehicle here until you find the right place for your car. However, not all the complexes let you park in basements/garages freely so see if you can talk to someone on duty and get their permission.
The car coverings:
There are many companies that sell specialized car covers that are made for protection against hailstorms. However, they can be a little expensive if you are keeping your expenses in check. An alternate method is to use blankets in place of regular or specialized covers. If the hailstorm ranges from small to medium scale then blankets are more than enough for protection against the hailstones. But, if you are going to use blankets for covering your car then we suggest you do it with extra care. Remember to tape the ends of the blanket to the car properly so that they don't get blown away by the wind.
Get it Insured:
This is more of a fallback that should always be kept in check. You must hold at least comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. Also adding rental car coverage is also beneficial. The comprehensive insurance must hold insurance against all-natural disasters that can cause damage to the vehicle. Protection against natural disasters is an optional choice that you get while filing your insurance, many people leave this option unchecked and suffer later. It is important that you consider all the options which are shown while purchasing insurance from any company. Also having a lower deductible in times of hail/rainstorms can be a great idea. In case you have to pay out a deductible to have your vehicle fixed in the event it does get damaged by hail or strong winds.
Rental car coverage helps in paying the rent of the rental car that you might be using while your car is being repaired or replaced. So, it is also important to get rental insurance for your car so that you do not suffer from all those extra rental expenses.
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How to Protect Your Vehicle from Excessive Heat in the Summer
Everyone looks forward to the summer weather and activities. Surly a bright sunny day makes for a more enjoyable drive than trudging through the snow. You might not realize, however, that excessive heat can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. Here are some tips for protecting your car in high heat so that you can make the most of one of your top investments.
Summer Protection For The Exterior Of Your Car
Dust and small hard particles from dry summer roads can cause microscopic scratches to your car which can lead to faded color and rust in the future. Wash and dry your car often in the summer months to keep your car looking new longer. Waxing the car can also help protect it from the sun. Excessive heat can also lead to a change in tire pressure to check your pressure often and adjust as needed.
Excessive Heat Protection For The Interior Of Your Car
A study conducted by State Farm revealed that when parked in direct sunlight on hot days the interior air of your can reach up to 145 degrees F and the interior surfaces like the dashboard and seats can reach a whopping 195 degrees F. Obviously this can cause a lot of damage to the inside of your car. Always try to park in the shade or covered parking. If that isn’t an option you can put sun protector screens on your car windows. Your dash and leather seats can also be wiped down with a summer heat conditioner to protect them from the sun and dry air.
Keeping Your Car Running Smoothly In The Hot Summer Sun
Extreme heat can cause your car engine to overheat and deplete your battery of water. Check your coolant levels often if you live in an area with harsh summers. Top off all fluids as they can evaporate in the heat. Doing these things can help you protect your car from the summer feat.
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Life is unpredictable that is a fact. Anything can happen at any time and in those moments you will be happy you have your vehicles insured. Having insurance can save you thousands of dollars. Our agents are ready to help you get a quote! Call us at 918-744-5145 or click here for an online quote!