With more than a million registered vehicles worldwide, there’s no doubt driving is a big part of everyday life. Whether movers are hauling a new homeowner’s furniture or Uber drivers are taking customers from Point A to Point B, or weekend fishermen are towing their boats and trailers for a day out on the lake, driving is a popular, if not an essential activity.
In recent years, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have continued to gain popularity, offering passengers a convenient way to get from here to there, especially in big cities. If you’re an Uber driver, you’re providing important transportation services, but it’s also important to make your car is in tip-top shape before you hit the road.
Why You Need Motor Vehicle Maintenance Repair
You may be wondering to yourself, why do I need car maintenance? Even if you’re the most careful and safe driver in the world, you need regular car maintenance. Just like people need regular appointments at a doctor’s office, cars need to be serviced on a regular schedule. Plus, it helps keep you safe, it reduces the risk of future car problems and keeps you driving.
As many as 50 million people are injured in car accidents each year across the globe. For that reason alone, one of the most important parts of regular car maintenance is so you can stay safe. Regular maintenance keeps parts from breaking and reduces the risk of any surprises.
Car maintenance is essential, but let’s be honest: no one likes sending their car to the shop for repairs every three months. By getting regular car checkups and scheduling appointments, you can spend a little bit of money now to avoid spending a lot of money down the road.
Better Car Performance
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the condition of your tires or fluid levels or brakes or the lights on your dash panel, regular car maintenance of all those things and other car operations will keep your car performing as it should in all manner of conditions.
Increasing Your Car’s Value
If you’re going to be selling your car in the new future or trading it in, another benefit of regular motor vehicle maintenance and repair is that it keeps the value of your car high. The better shape your car is in when you sell it, the more money you’re likely going to get.
Motor Vehicle Maintenance And Repair At Home
Fortunately, there’s also a lot of basic motor vehicle maintenance and repair you can do that will keep your car on the road and out of the garage. There may be some more involved maintenance such as exhaust service that may require professionals at a shop to take a look, but there are also many repairs and maintenance measures you can take at home.
These home car repair tips will not only save you some money, but they’ll also help you to get to know your car better.
It’s recommended that you change your windshield wipers every six months or at least once a year. Thankfully, you can pick up new blades from a local auto parts store and install them yourself. Once you find the blades that are compatible with your car, you can change them in as little as 20 minutes.
The key is to pay attention to how your blades are connected. Most of them have tabs on their underside that are pushed to remove the blades. By lining everything up and taking care to avoid scratches, you should be able to snap your new blades in place. If you get stuck, look at the instructions on the packaging.
Changing Your Oil
Odds are you probably live within minutes of several oil change locations. But if you’re a bit of a handyman and you’ve got patience, you can change out your oil at home.
Depending on what you read, you should change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If you’re going to do it at home, make your car is parked, the engine is off and sufficiently cooled. You’ll also want to jack up your car. You’ll start by getting underneath and finding the oil pan. Once you’ve found it, unscrew the drain plug and let the oil drain into a pan.
Once your oil is drained, put the plug back. You can then work on removing and replacing the oil filter and installing a new one. Once that’s applied and filled, you can add new oil to the engine and check the oil level with a dipstick.
One of the most important motor vehicle maintenance and repairs you can do at home is caring for your car battery. The last thing you want on the road is to have a dead battery at the worst possible time.
To keep that from happening, remove the battery terminals and clean them up. You can use a baking soda and water mixture, you can use Coca-Cola or you might ask employees at an auto parts store for a professional product. Once the terminals are cleaned up, reattach them.
Installing A New Air Filter
You should get a new air filter in your car about once a year and you can do it at home for about $10.
Once you locate the filter under your car’s hood—it’s usually in a black box—pop open the casing and look at which way the filter is facing. You can then remove the old filter, put a new one in facing the same way and put the lid and box clips back on.
Depending on your level of expertise, you can do just about any kind of car maintenance; everything from changing your brakes and brake pads to changing your spark plugs to changing your tires. If you’re going to be doing more extensive repairs, make sure to check around for quality used auto parts to keep your car and all its parts functioning at top levels.
Getting Good Auto Insurance
Doing regular motor vehicle maintenance and repair is important as is scheduling auto appointments, but what’s also important is to have a good auto insurance plan. You may think that car insurance is a nuisance, maybe even a little expensive, but you’re being foolish by driving without it.
These days, there are all kinds of auto insurance companies to choose from and they all promise different things that all sound enticing. But before you sign on the dotted line for any auto insurance policy, your best bet is to find the policy that works best for you.
As you search for your auto insurance policy, one of the best things you can do is to shop around. After all, when you’re in the market for a new car, used or new, you’re likely going to check out multiple dealerships, used car sites and just about anywhere else you can think of that’s going to get you what you’re looking for at an affordable price.
By doing some comparison shopping, you’re likely going to find that insurance premiums vary from company to company. Fortunately, you can also get quotes from multiple companies online in a matter of minutes.
Think About What You’re Driving
As you shop for insurance, one important thing to keep in mind is that what you drive is going to impact what your insurance premium is. This is again something you can check online before you buy a policy.
Think About Combining
If you own multiple vehicles and a motorcycle and a boat, one thing you can do to save some money is to combine policies under one company. It simplifies things and usually makes you eligible for discounts. You can also get discounts if you bundle home and auto insurance with the same company.
Look For Discounts
If you’re seen any advertisements for car insurance recently, then you likely know all about some of the discounts they offer; everything from combining policies to being a safe driver to having multiple cars to good student discounts. These discounts are nice to take advantage of and they might also encourage you to continue practicing safe driving habits to make sure those discounts stay in effect.
Getting Insurance Add-Ons
Depending on your financial situation, you may be tempted to look for the cheapest rates possible when shopping for auto insurance. But what you might not know is that many insurance add-ons can be very useful and might be worth paying a little more. Motor vehicle maintenance and repair is important, but so is having all the right insurance tools to deal with any situation that may arise.
When you think of roadside assistant, you may think of things like towing service. Having this add-on can certainly be very helpful, but roadside assistance can also incorporate jump starts, gasoline services, locksmith services, and even flat-tire changes. All these services can be added to a policy usually for $5 to $10 per month.
Another helpful add-on for some folks is personal injury protection (PIP). This acts as a form of health insurance by protecting you, the driver, and your passengers against personal injuries. PIP is a no-fault coverage and allows access to medication, surgical treatment, ambulance fees, and several other services in the event of an injury.
Let’s say you get into a car accident that leaves your vehicle in need of motor vehicle maintenance and repair. If driving plays an essential part in your work—as with ride-sharing services or food delivery—then you absolutely must have a vehicle to get around.
Fortunately on your insurance you can also add the option of getting a car for rent. This add-on will allow you to rent a car and cover a certain part of that expense for some time, such as 30 days. This way you’ll be able to get around and will still be able to work without missing a beat.
Knowing How To Read Your Car
There’s no doubt that motor vehicle maintenance and repair is important. But there may be times when you might not be aware that something’s wrong with your car. Being able to identify signs can help you save time, money and will help maintain the health of your vehicle.
Signs that something might be wrong include:
- The checking engine light comes on: This shouldn’t induce panic, but it’s good to get your car checked out when this happens because it could be an indicator of several different issues.
- Smoke under the hood: Any smoke coming from anywhere in your car isn’t good and this could indicate that your car is overheating.
- Noises: Over time, your vehicle is liable to make many noises and you need to identify what’s what for possible motor vehicle maintenance and repair. Grinds and squeaks usually have to do with your brakes; dragging and grinding usually involves the wheels.
- Leaks: If you notice any fluids coming from your car when it’s parked, you’ll need to take it in. Different colors can help you identify which fluid might be leaking. Coolant is bright green; engine oil, brake fluid and transmission is either red or a shade of brown.
When it comes to motor vehicle maintenance and repair, it’s best not to take any chances. If you hear weird noises, smell weird smells, or notice any leaks, get your car into a shop right away. If driving is an everyday part of what you do, you need to be proactive about having your car serviced regularly.
Whether you need your fluids checked, a crucial part serviced or replaced, or need a trailer alignment before hauling, get your car in for motor vehicle maintenance and repair. There are many maintenance jobs you can also perform at home, which will give you a better understanding of the inner workings of your vehicle.
By pairing regular vehicle maintenance with a good automotive insurance plan, you’ll have your car running like a top for a long time and won’t miss a beat whether you’re shuttling customers around for work or taking a leisurely drive down the coast.