The winter can be a treacherous season for our cars, especially those of us that live in areas that see significant amounts of snow during this time of year. While ice, snow, salt, and debris can cause a lot of damage to our vehicles if left unchecked, there are a few things that we can do to protect them against winter damage. Here, CARS Protection Plus includes a few common ways to keep winter hazards from harming your vehicle’s paint, glass, and undercarriage.
Wash and Wax Your Car
Washing and waxing your car before the first snow in your area is good practice for a few reasons. Waxing your car gives it a layer of protection against the elements, protecting it from rust and oxidation on the exterior. Washing is helpful because it rinses off slush and salt, which can be extremely damaging to the body, frame, and undercarriage of your vehicle. When washing in the winter, use lukewarm water, wipe with a soft material, and do not forget to clean the salt and debris that can accumulate under your car. For best results, always ensure that you are using high quality waxes and detergents to keep your car’s paint in the best condition possible.
CARS Protection Plus acknowledges that one of the best ways to protect against winter damage is to find ways to keep snow from making contact with your vehicle. Snow buildup can be damaging to your windshield, and a windshield snow cover can make a great barrier between snow and glass. When possible, protect your vehicle by keeping it out of the snow. If you do not have a garage or enclosure to prevent snow buildup, however, one solution can be to purchase a snow shelter. Snow shelters act as umbrellas for your vehicle and can protect it against direct contact with snow in addition to helping it maintain its interior warmth. CARS Protection Plus recognizes that an additional benefit to added protection is that it makes cleanup after snowfall much easier.
Consider Your Tires
Driving safety in the winter depends on how well our tires can keep traction and, for this reason, it can be helpful to examine your tires and consider replacing them with new ones if your current ones are worn out. Drivers in areas that only see occasional snow may only need all-season tires that perform well in snow traction tests. Drivers in areas that typically see a lot of snow in winter or where temperatures regularly drop below 45 degrees will fare better with dedicated winter tires. Even if your tires are well suited for winter conditions, CARS Protection Plus recommends regularly checking your tire pressure on a weekly basis to maintain traction on icy or wet surfaces while driving. This is an important step because tire pressure can decrease as much as one pound per square inch for every 10-degree temperature drop.
Are you considering buying a car? Have you created a monthly budget for yourself? Making a car expense budget can be difficult, especially when you don’t know what problems your vehicle might have in the future. The truth of the matter is, your car’s warranty will one day expire, and the older your car gets, the more problems its likely to have. For this reason, CARS Protection Plus offers the best vehicle service contracts within the U.S. to save their customers thousands of dollars in car repairs down the road. CARS Protection Plus has been around since 1998, and with more than twenty years of experience in the industry, they wish to inform their customers on what car issues to be aware of. Below, CARS Protection Plus will discuss three of the most common car repairs.
Spark Plug Replacement
When it comes to older cars, spark plug replacements are a common occurrence. When trying to start your ignition, your spark plug creates a spark that jumps the gap between electrodes. When this happens, the spark will burn off a small amount of metal. As your car gets older, this gap will grow, and over time, the spark will no longer be able to make the jump. Spark plug malfunctions can cause poor gas mileage, misfires, and bad acceleration. If your car is an older model and has a lite “check engine” light, it may be time to replace your spark plug.
Oxygen Sensor Replace
If your car was made before 1996, you won’t need to worry about replacing an oxygen sensor. However, for everyone, broken oxygen sensors can be a fairly common car issue. Oxygen sensors measure how much oxygen is being produced by combustion and is used to fine-tune the air-fuel mixture. When an oxygen sensor stops working, it can cause low gas mileage, misfiring, and other engine components.
A recent study showed that out of 2000 Americans, 25% know they should take their cars in for repairs but continue to drive them anyway. If you believe your vehicle is experiencing brake malfunctions, it is essential to take your car in for repairs immediately as brake failure can result in serious injury. The most common causes of brake failure are brake fluid leaks and worn out discs or drums. Over time, your car becomes more likely to experience these problems with their breaks, so if your vehicle is an older model, take measures to check your breaks frequently.
The logistics to consider when purchasing car insurance can be daunting for any driver, but first-time car insurance buyers certainly have it the hardest. While there are a lot of elements that go into buying quality car insurance that will keep you properly protected on the road, experts such as those at CARS Protection Plus maintain that purchasing car insurance can be made simple if it is broken down into manageable steps. In this article, CARS Protection Plus provides a few tips that can put first-time car insurance buyers on the fast track to finding the best car insurance coverage for them and their needs as a driver.
Know Your State’s Minimum Requirements
Most states require that drivers have lability insurance as a baseline for owning a vehicle, but it is important for first time insurance buyers to read up on their state’s minimum requirements as every state has different required limits. CARS Protection Plus acknowledges that, in many cases, the minimum coverage that is required by your state may not be enough to properly protect your finances in the event that you are involved in an accident so, while having at least the baseline requirements is crucial, an individual will likely need a higher level of coverage as a first time buyer.
Research Optional Coverage and Decide What Amount of Coverage is Best
Certain coverages are optional but may be nice to have for protection against the many issues that can occur with driving. For example, medical payment coverage can help you pay for medical bills that occur as a result of an accident. Other optional coverage includes things such as bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage that reimburses you if there is a hit-and-run or you are struck by an uninsured driver. Keep in mind that the more coverages you include in your policy, the more it will cost, but you may find that paying more is worth it for the protections that a thorough plan provides.
Evaluate and Compare Insurance Companies
While many individuals that are purchasing car insurance for the first time tend to think that all insurers are roughly created equal in terms of coverage and premiums, there can be large differences between plans from provider to provider. As a driver, it is of the utmost importance that you evaluate companies and compare their offerings and rates to find the highest quality insurance policy that you can for the price. When providers seem close in terms of pricing and offerings, CARS Protection Plus acknowledges that factors such as how good the providers’ customer service is are good metrics for comparing them.
There you are, sitting on the sofa watching an awesome movie portraying cars in the future, wondering to yourself if the automotive industry will ever produce a similar vehicle. Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle, featured in The Love Bug, drives autonomously and even has feelings. Bumblebee, the Chevrolet Camaro from the Transformers movie, has a mind of its own. The Delorean in Back to the Future flies and travels through time. The incredible vehicle in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang not only drives, but also flies and floats. Now, we don’t need to look at a screen to see the cars of our dreams.
It is finally happening: self-driving cars are becoming more of a reality. What many may not know is that the self-driving car has been in the works for decades. Since the 1920s, inventive minds have attempted to control vehicles with machines, but it has not yet become mainstream. Numerous automotive manufacturers are jumping on board and producing cars that drive themselves, which will make our commutes and road trips much smoother…or will they?
It is clear that there is a sense of hesitation surrounding the production of autonomous vehicles. Sure, it is an amazing advancement and can make our lives much easier. However, there are many drawbacks, and replacing humans is not always the best option. Driving is not without risks, and is in fact one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries. If a vehicle cannot make a human judgement and relies solely on technology, there are bound to be errors, and these cars will need major servicing.
If you do decide to jump on the self-driving bandwagon, you will need a service plan you can be confident in. One of Uber’s self-driving cars recently hit and killed a pedestrian because of malfunctioning. This is one of many potential examples for why these cars will need frequent repairs and inspections. They may be more prone to fender benders, which means having solid service protection on the vehicle, such as a plan from Cars Protection Plus, is essential. Cars today are very complex because of the multitude of advancements, so there are many more ways in which vehicles can malfunction. Regular maintenance, especially of self-driving cars, is critical to prevent issues. Just like your regular and unplanned trips to the doctor, your vehicle deserves Cars Protection Plus for both scheduled maintenance and emergency trips. The newest advancements in the automotive industry are exciting, but no car is without flaws and all should have dependable service plans.
The mechanical workings of your “daily driver” car aren’t always clear. We turn the key to start the engine, but what’s really going on within the electrical components that get starter motors churning and pistons pumping? CARS Protection Plus knows that motorists don’t always have the time nor interest to learn about the inner-most workings of their mode of transportation. What’s worth understanding (and what we’ll cover in this article) is the simple fact that parts wear out. Repair shops aren’t trying to take your money; there are indeed preventative maintenance issues worth addressing sooner rather than later.
Sinking Feeling: Most of us can “feel” when something about our car or truck isn’t right. Whether it’s a smell, sound or clear-as-day sight, it’s sometimes possible to get to the root of the problem with your senses alone. A failing suspension system is one that’s going to produce an uncomfortable ride at best and leave you on the side of the road at worst. CARS Protection Plus has warranty plans that account for ball joints and springs that keep vehicle suspensions from bottoming out. Drivers who picked up this vehicle protection plan and had work performed by a certified shop would thus be able to benefit from coverage.
Friendly Reminder: The warning lights that pop up on our dashboards aren’t there to aggravate us. Rather, intricate electronic systems pick up on unseen discrepancies going on under the hood and give us a crucial heads-up. The “check engine” light, while a bit general in its direction, lets mechanics employ various code-reading devices to further nail down what’s wrong. CARS Protection Plus warranty holders will undoubtedly save money when expensive automatic transmission components are failing. An overheating engine, which would also trigger a dash light, could be pinned down to low coolant levels, a clogged radiator or failed fan.
Strings Attached: A broken-down car needs to be towed to the garage. The garage will have clearly-stated labor costs per hour. While your car is in the shop, you’ll need a rental vehicle to get around. CARS Protection Plus has accounted for all of these elements and policyholders will benefit from reimbursements from towing, rental and labor. There will be some out-of-pocket costs, as there are with medical bills for insurance policy holders, but that’s just the cost of doing business on the road.
Even those in-tune with their cars can’t accurately predict which part is going to fail next. The best way to plan for this inevitability is by picking up a coverage plan and guarding yourself against expensive repair bills.
One of the most common questions the team at CARS Protection Plus receives involves what the state of the contract is if the vehicle is sold. The reason why motorists choose CARS Protection Plus is because the company accepts most vehicles on the road and offers coverage that fits the owner’s budget and needs. Since its inception over 20 years ago, CARS Protection Plus has worked hard to improve its services year after year.
Owning CARS Protection Plus coverage on a vehicle can be a significant selling point if you decide to sell the vehicle on the private market. And CARS Protection Plus makes the transfer as easy as possible to ensure all parties are satisfied. Here is how the process works for transferring your CARS Protection Plus service contract to the new owner.
First, you must confirm eligibility. You can do this by contacting CARS Protection Plus at 888-335-6838 and asking to speak with its transfer team. Once they confirm that your service contract is eligible for transfer, they will send you a transfer packet by email, fax, or mail depending on your preference. CARS Protection Plus says you will need to submit one of the following in order to complete the transfer:
A copy of the front & back of the original title with original owner and new owner signatures;
A copy of new owner’s temporary or permanent registration; or
A copy of the bill of sale agreement
The required documents along with a $99 transfer fee must be submitted to CARS prior to, or at the time of the sale in order to be valid. Once the transfer team at the CARS Protection Plus receives the completed transfer packet, it will review and approve the transfer and send an identification card to the new owner. CARS Protection Plus makes the transfer process as simple as possible to ensure a quick sale and allow the new owner of the vehicle to enjoy the same coverage benefits as the last owner.
You have found a reliable vehicle service contract provider in CARS Protection Plus, because you’ve done your research. Now it’s time to find a trustworthy mechanic. Doing your homework and selecting a great mechanic before you need major repair work can save you stress in the event of vehicle failure.
It would be great to be able to avoid taking your vehicle to the mechanic altogether. If you have seen consumer rip off report television specials, you know that there are some less than ethical car repair facilities in business. But establishing a relationship with one of the good guys before you need serious repair work will keep your car in good shape. The good news is that in order to sustain a business a good mechanic needs to build a positive reputation for keeping customers happy and their vehicles healthy. Look for a shop that has been in business for at least a few years. Although some smaller shops may not have an online presence, you should still be able to ask around your neighborhood and hear positive feedback about a shop that does business right.
Check out your local newspaper for an annual “Best of” or “Top 10” list to see if they have recognized a local repair shop for service excellence. Another resource for information is the National Institute for Automotive Excellence, using your zip code you can search their website for good shops in your area.
Once you have found a mechanic with a good reputation make an appointment for routine maintenance like an oil change and tire rotation. Your car will thank you and it is an opportunity to scope out the shop and see if it is a good fit. Hopefully with a little work you will find a great shop, close to home with a good attitude and convenient hours.
Buying an older vehicle can save you a small fortune in depreciation. But as the odometer creeps ever higher you may wonder if your savings will be depleted by unexpected vehicle repairs. This is why CARS Protection Plus is proud to be a leading provider of Vehicle Service Contracts. Sometimes referred to as an aftermarket warranty, a VSC is designed to provide financial assistance when a covered part has failed. Understanding the coverages available and selecting one that meets your needs can save you time and money as your vehicle matures.
Unlike a manufacturer’s warranty most vehicle service contracts allow you to take your vehicle to the service center of your choice. You do not need to go to an unfamiliar service department in a new car dealership. Another benefit of choosing a service contract from a third party provider is the ability to review several levels of coverage. Selecting the plan that covers the exact components that concern you, gives you the power to select as much or as little protection as you need.
When selecting your mechanical insurance provider it is important to know who you are dealing with. A reputable company should be fully insured. This is to make certain assistance will still be provided if the company goes out of business during the contract. Making a hasty decision to go with an uninsured provider, may leave you to pay for you own repairs if the company goes under. Another great resource for vetting your service contract provider is the Better Business Bureau. All businesses are bound to have a few bad reviews. The Better Business Bureau takes into account the company’s willingness to work through disputes and follow up on customer concerns. Choosing a company with an A+ rating is reassurance that you have found a great provider.
The best time to select your vehicle contract is when purchasing your vehicle from a reputable dealership. Check out some of our tips for buying used vehicles here. Once you have found a trustworthy dealer and selected your next dream car, adding a service contract is easy. Many dealerships don’t charge any upfront fees. Adding the contract to your financing is a smart decision for added peace of mind without having to come up the money all at once. The decision to add a vehicle protection plan can seem difficult. However, with a little reassurance from Cars Protection Plus, the choice is obvious.
It’s easy to fall victim to a false sense of security while on the road. By taking a moment to evaluate your driving habits you can avoid small annoyances as well as fatal accidents. Bad habits are easy to pick up but with our guide you can ensure your own safety as well as the safety of those around you.
Texting and driving is really so much more than just that. It is tempting to catch up on work emails or browse social media while cruising down a familiar stretch of road. Distracted driving is deadly and needs to stop immediately. You may save a few minutes at the office or feel more connected to your loved ones when you utilize your commute to stay in touch, but at what cost? The statistics are sobering. Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be in an accident. While that should be enough reason to put your phone down while you drive, click here for more information on the dangers of Texting and Driving.
Failure to adjust your driving for poor weather conditions is a major cause of accidents. As creatures of habit most of us leave home at about the same time each day. But when we don’t allow additional time for our commute due to inclement weather it can lead to an accident. Slow down when faced with fog, snow or potentially icy roads. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24% of accidents are weather related.
Driving in the left lane is annoying and sometimes illegal. Unless you are passing another vehicle or intend to make a left turn you should steer clear of the passing lane. Getting back into the right lane after passing allows traffic to flow as intended and avoid possible road rage incidents with speedsters.
Using your turn signals isn’t just a courtesy; it’s for your own safety. No one wants to get rear ended and using your turn signals is a must to avoid a rear end crash.
Driving an unsafe vehicle puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. Maintaining your brakes and tires is the most important thing you can do to ensure safe travels. Additionally consult your vehicle manual for advice on regular service intervals and proper fluid levels to keep your car or truck in tip top shape.
Tailgating should be reserved for the parking lot before the big game. Keeping a proper distance of 2-3 seconds behind the car in front of you can help avoid a crash in the event of a sudden stop. When weather conditions are less than perfect add additional seconds to your follow time.
Despite having accident insurance and a vehicle service contract with CARS Protection Plus, no one wants to deal with the issues that come along with a fender bender. By taking an honest look at your driving habits and using common sense, avoidable accidents won’t be a problem for you.
Children are our most precious cargo. While driving in neighborhoods, especially around schools it is important to observe safe driving habits and follow the laws in your area. Follow the guide below to ensure safe travel in school zones.
Being aware of the location of school zones in your area is important. Be mindful that pick-up and drop off procedures are underway at the beginning and end of each school day. Slowing down in a school area will allow you to adjust according to the goings on in that area. If you are picking up your own kids don’t double park. It makes it impossible to see children crossing the road. It may be helpful to arrange a carpool to reduce the amount of cars at the school if limited parking is available.
School buses follow specific procedures when exiting the school. Obey the crossing guard and allow all buses to exit the school together. Passing a school bus is dangerous and being in a hurry is no excuse to put the life of a child in danger. Obey the flashing stop lights when buses are stopped. Never pass a stopped school bus and allow ample space between you and the children exiting the bus. Proceed with caution once the bus begins to move again.
If you are picking up children at a bus stop try to park on the side of the road where the bus doors open. The area within 10 feet of the school bus is the most dangerous for children. Minimize the risk to your kids by making sure they are in that zone for as little time as possible. Exit your car and give your full attention to your child. Leave cell phones and other distractions behind and meet your child at the bus. Getting them into the vehicle safely should be main focus.
Often overlooked are kids that ride a bike to school. Beware of children unprepared for traffic situations on school zones. A kid on a bike may appear quickly from driveways or from between parked cars. Be vigilant making sure to allow a bicyclist at least 3 feet between your car and their bike. When getting out of your car check your mirror to be sure you won’t hit an unsuspecting child on a bike.
By exercising caution drivers can be sure to keep kids safe in school zones. At CARS Protection Plus, we want all drivers to put safety first. This is never more important than during the school year. Follow these helpful tips to ensure a safe environment for the kids in your neighborhood.