Timely Car Maintenance Tips Before Heading Out on the Road

Giving your car thorough maintenance before embarking on a road trip can save you a lot of trouble and disappointment. In addition to enjoying a safe and luxurious ride, you’ll rarely get inconvenienced by flat tires, dead batteries, engine knockouts, and more. Good car care, even on new and used SUVs near Cleveland, or your location, is so important. Get your mechanic to do a complete check-up to identify and troubleshoot existing or potential problems. 

Getting stranded in a remote area when your car breaks down can kill road-tripping morale. Check out these tips for readying your car for a great road-tripping expedition.

Check Engine, Differential, and Transmission Lubricants

Keep an up-to-date record of your oil change dates and ensure to check the oil level before the traveling date. If the current oil meets the manufacturer-recommended oil-change intervals, get it changed. To optimize engine lifespan and fuel economy, use top-grade, high-quality, and name-brand motor oils.

Additionally, check the condition and quality of lubricant in your drive and transmission axle. Your owner’s manual has details of the time intervals at which you should change the lubricants, especially 75,000 miles of car mileage. Stop by the nearby oil-change shop to have the fluids changed and refilled.

Tire Treads and Pressure

Maximum tire pressure is essential for fuel-efficient driving and reducing tire blowouts. The best tire pressure level is not listed on the tire but on the fuel filler door or glove compartment on the driver’s side door. Visit your auto store before or on the trip date to check the pressure of your tires and have flat tires repaired or replaced. Additionally, check the tire tread and replace tires with excessively worn treads.

Check Your Vehicle Batteries

Although new cars come with healthy and functional batteries, get them checked before you embark on that road trip. Even new batteries can fail you if they are not fully charged. Additionally, extreme summer heat or winter cold can have a depleting effect on your batteries.

The lifespan of many car batteries is between five and seven years. When your car fails to start, check if the expiry date is already on. If the battery works fine but has lasted over four years, get an expert to test its charging ability. You wouldn’t want a situation where the battery dies in the middle of nowhere, and you’ve to wait for your mechanic miles away to save the day. You can also carry a fully-charged spare car battery to avoid disappointments.

Check the Car Brakes

Braking system failure while road-tripping can spell doom to your expedition and life. The situation could be worse if you’re driving at high speeds. Get your braking systems checked and your failed systems replaced by a qualified mechanic. Your mechanic can replace old brake fluid and worn-out or rusted brake pads.

Check the Condition of Your Car Insurance Policy

When planning a multi-mile trip to your favorite destination, consult with your insurance provider to know the condition of your auto insurance policy. You can renew the insurance or upgrade to a comprehensive policy if it has expired. Consider other insurance policy add-ons such as passenger cover and breakdown assistance. You might want to buy or renew your travel insurance to cover your passengers’ medical expenses in case of unexpected accidents.

Top-Up Your Toolkit

Having checked and confirmed everything in your car is working fine, it’s time you equipped yourself for uncertainties. Getting everything in order doesn’t mean more problems won’t arise, especially after many hours and miles of driving. So, prepare yourself with hand tools for resolving minor repairs, including screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers.

Get a Bluetooth code reader for diagnosing pop-up error messages. A volt meter will enable you to check the battery’s charging state. Also, get jumper cables for jumpstarting your car when the battery goes exceptionally down. Other items to add to your toolbox include an air compressor and foam can for patching punctured tires.

This is the ultimate checklist for maintaining and preparing your car for road trips. Realize that the total number of repairs and the amount of money spend on readying a car for road trips depend on the condition and age of the car. Newly bought cars will often have fewer repairs so the maintenance cost will be lower.

How To Get Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Ontario

Auto insurance prices in Ontario are one of the costliest in Canada, making car insurance a huge financial liability for car owners. But, considering the increasing rate of accidents and theft, car insurance makes sense. So, efforts should be made to understand what to look for and how to get great discounts on auto insurance.

Whether it is liability insurance or comprehensive coverage, you must make some efforts to get the best deal. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to cut costs on auto insurance — you can start this journey by comparing quotes from reputed insurance companies in Canada with Surex.

Read on to know other ways to get a cheap Ontario auto insurance quote.

What is the average cost of an Ontario auto insurance quote?

The average cost of car insurance in Ontario is approximately $1,528. Depending on the type of vehicle, make, model, age, and the driver’s driving history, this figure can range from $1,300 to $2,000 annually.

Teenagers or young drivers end up spending two to three times more than adult drivers for auto insurance in Ontario.

How to get a cheap Ontario auto insurance quote

While the car insurance rates in Ontario are high, you can utilize the following tips to get cheap auto insurance in Ontario.

Compare auto insurance online

Sometimes small, private insurance companies can also beat national insurers in terms of coverage and rates. So, do not hesitate to compare quotes from multiple insurers while purchasing auto insurance.

Several online insurance providers offer personalized quotes from different insurance companies in one place. You can easily compare the coverage and rates of auto insurance on such websites.

Review your coverage limits

Do not purchase a fully-loaded policy blindly without assessing your situation. Depending on the type, age, and model of your car, there is always some scope to cut down on coverage limits.

For instance, full coverage, including comprehensive and collision coverage, is much costlier than liability auto insurance. For old car models, collision coverage is not feasible.

Consider a higher deductible

The quickest and most effective way to lower your monthly premiums is to raise your deductible. But, in the event of an accident, you may have to shell out the extra out-of-pocket costs. If you are comfortable taking this risk, it is the best way to reduce your premiums. However, it is important to note that do not choose a deductible amount from your budget.

Think about usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance (UBI) or telematics makes sense if you use your vehicle only for leisure or driving a few miles annually. When you spend less time on roads, the probability of accidents lowers. It has a direct impact on your monthly premiums. Through this policy, you can avail up to a 30% discount on auto insurance premiums.

You only have to show proof of the annual kilometres travelled by you. Fortunately, through technology, you can keep a complete track of your driving history.

Look for car insurance discounts

It is a good practice to ask your insurance provider whether you are eligible for any special discounts. Surprisingly, insurance companies provide several great discounts in the following cases:

  • Cars installed with anti-theft, airbags, and other advanced safety features

  • Winter tire discount

  • Students with good grades

  • Drivers who have undergone safe driver courses

  • Members of certain organizations

  • Loyalty discount

Bundle policies together

If your family owns multiple cars or you have a boat, homeowners, or jewelry insurance, you can bundle these insurances together to get extra discounts. When you combine all of your policies with one insurer, you can:

  • Easily handle all policies

  • Save on monthly premiums compared to having multiple insurers.

  • Save time spent on managing a variety of policies with different carriers.

Pay your premium in a lump sum

It is another great method to get a decent discount on auto insurance premiums. Instead of paying a monthly premium, you can choose to pay bi-annually or annually. Most insurance companies offer a flat discount on lump-sum payments. Moreover, you will be free from the risk of missing a monthly payment and incurring late fees.

Good credit

Your credit history can play an important role in deciding your auto insurance rates. A bad credit score signals your bad financial habits and greater liabilities. As a result, insurance companies categorize you as risky customers. Such customers do not get desirable insurance quotes.

Therefore, it is a good practice to check your credit report before inquiring about car insurance.

Have a good driving record

Drivers with a clean driving record tend to fetch a lower premium compared to risky drivers. Risky drivers mean drivers with traffic tickets, demerit points, accident records, and other traffic violations. It sends a wrong signal to insurers about your driving habits.

As a result, insurance companies spike car insurance rates for such drivers. So, if you want your auto insurance quotes in Ontario to be low, follow good driving habits and abide by the law.

Avoid bad claim history

The number of claims you have made and your past payment history greatly impact your premiums. Regularly missing monthly premiums or too many claims can elevate your premium.

On the other hand, some insurance companies also offer no-claim bonuses to customers with a no-claim history.

Choose your car wisely

Lastly, if you have not purchased your car, try to avoid high-end cars. These cars are costly to repair and replace. So, in the event of an accident, insurance companies have to spend a huge sum on the coverage. This directly affects your auto insurance rates. To put it simply, costly cars tend to fetch higher insurance rates.

What have you learned about finding a cheap auto insurance quote Ontario?

If you want to get a cheap auto insurance Ontario quote, there are multiple ways to accomplish this. All you have to do is access your needs and shop around. Furthermore, never forget to ask your insurer for an extra discount. While we have mentioned all the significant ways to get additional discounts on auto insurance quotes, your credit score and history are equally important.

Lastly, the thumb rule is to compare quotes from different insurance providers and countercheck the extent of coverage. Nobody knows you may hit the jackpot with some little effort.

AA Breakdown Cover: A Friend in Need to Ensure you a Safe Journey

While you are on the go, your vehicle can breakdown, due to mechanical problem and these situations can be really frustrating, especially when it occurs at an inconvenient time. You may have to wait for a considerable amount of time to find help or search for a mechanic with the least hope of possibility to find an actual one nearby. So basically, vehicle problems on the move can create sudden difficulty along with imposing a mental and financial strain.

AA Breakdown Cover is the perfect solution to address this issue effectively. Here, in this post, you will find all the important information related to AA breakdown cover. To know more, keep reading.

What is AA Breakdown Cover?

AA breakdown cover gives you peace of mind while you are travelling, providing you with roadside assistance in case you break down. The name ‘AA’ originates from the parent insurer organisation Automobile Association Developments Limited that provides insurance for vehicles under the trade name of AA breakdown services. After purchasing, you are covered immediately, and you will get an AA membership card within 28 days. However, AA offers its services only within the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

How to contact in case of breakdown:

If you have AA membership and your car breaks down on the road, you can directly dial the emergency AA breakdown number for assistance 24*7. After dialing, provide them your membership number and pinpoint your exact location. Representatives from AA will arrive as early as possible and try to repair your vehicle on the spot. If it becomes difficult to repair on the spot, they will take your car to the nearby registered garage and provide you alternate transport.

Basic features of AA breakdown cover:

Roadside assistance: If your car breaks down more than 0.25 miles from your residence, AA will provide roadside assistance where they will try to fix your car on the spot. If unable, they will repair your car on the nearby AA affiliated garage and provide transportation for up to 7 passengers.

Relay: It means AA will recover you wherever you are within the UK, if they fail to recover your car on the spot or provide a quick nearby repair. This is valid 24*7, right after opening your account with AA.

Home start: This benefit is the same as roadside assistance, except it covers your vehicle if you are within 0.25 miles of your home. 

Types of vehicles that AA covers:

  1. i) Vehicles irrespective of its age or mileage come under AA cover.
  2. ii) The maximum weight limit for vehicles is 3,500 kg.

iii) The breadth of the vehicles should not cross 2.55 m.

  1. iv) The vehicle types that AA cover includes are car, bike, minibus, caravan, motor home, etc.
  2. v) If you use your vehicle for passenger, goods delivery, or for commercial purposes, you will not come under parts and garage cover.
  3. vi) If you have requirements of cover for a business fleet of vehicles, you can opt for business breakdown cover.

Reasons why you should choose AA breakdown coverage:

  1. i) AA has a remarkable customer satisfaction rate. More than 95% of customer reviews recommended AA.
  2. ii) Independent quality evaluation organization Defaqto has awarded it with 5 stars.

iii) AA is the biggest breakdown company in the UK, with strong manpower of 2,900 mechanics.

  1. iv) On average, they fix 8 cars out of 10 on the spot.
  2. v) The skilled experts of AA rescue someone in every 9 seconds.


Tips to Increase Your Child’s Safety in the Car

Having a child no longer means you have to be tied at home until he or she is able to take care of themselves in various situations. Nowadays you and the new baby can enjoy a trip, you can have a nice family day outside in the park, or you can simply take them grocery shopping.

All these are possible because we now have safer cars, better roads, and ways to make sure the baby will be safe in the car. Here is where the car seat comes in, and even though some adults don’t seem to believe its amazing powers, this device will make your life easier.

This is true because the baby is securely strapped in the seat, which is tightly attached to the car’s regular seat, creating a protective cocoon from which your vivacious kid can’t escape by mistake. Furthermore, the seat will protect your fragile child in the case of an accident, keeping their head, neck and spine in alignment.

These aspects are very important, especially for a baby, and you can learn more about how a special car seat can protect your beloved children by taking a look at this amazingly detailed infographic below:

car seat info

Safety First with Volvo

When buying a new car what are the top features you look for? Maybe a sleek design, killer stereo? IF you have a family neither of those come before safety. Above all else you should know that your car is one of the safest on the roads and today we are going to look at a few safety features which could set your car a step about he rest and might one day, your deity of choice forbid, save your life.

1) What are the bones of your beast made from? Without a strong frame how can your car hope to survive a collision with a shopping cart let alone anything else on four wheels. The new XC90 from Volvo features over 40 per cent hot formed boron steel which increases strength significantly without adding mass or weight to the vehicle what this means is more zoom less boom.
2) How will your car keep you safe while on the road? Why the new Volvos come with Forward Collision Warning which is an accident avoidance system. It scans all objects within 500 feet in front of your car and if an accident is imminent it warns you and prepares the brakes. It can even brake for you should the situation require it. So instead of keeping you safe in an accident it keep you from getting into them in the first place.
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Traveling with the Kia Soul

When is a sporty fun car a bit more- when its got Soul, of course. The Kia Soul has just that, especially the new version of them.

20140726_111204The newest Kia Soul is built upon the concept design from Kia for the Trick’ster concept which first showed up at the Chicago 2012 auto show. The concept packed more power and all wheel drive traction into a nifty design showing promise of things to come. The new Soul is the next iteration toward that future with a sportier exterior closer to that of the Trick’ster.

20140728_072826Driving wise, the car is a dream. It is smooth and has pick up, but is not as sporty as the previous Soul. But something keep in mind is with the toned down engine from 6500 rpm’s to 6200 rpm’s, you do get a more automatic friendly vehicle.  It does very well on gas, only making me tank up roughly 4 times to Virginia and back to NJ.

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Avoid being scammed when buying a ‘new to you’ car

When you buy a used car rather than a brand new one you are making a smart financial decision. Brand new cars depreciate in value the minute they are driven off the forecourt and for anyone concerned with what they spend their hard earned cash on, you would be better to wait and buy a model that is a couple of years old as you will get much more for your money.

However, buying a used car doesn’t come without it’s challenges and potential pitfalls meaning it can be a scary prospect for anyone who isn’t a car mechanic! You want to avoid looking like a complete novice at the car garage but how do you know what defects to look for in order to avoid making a very costly mistake?

For anyone about to purchase a ‘new to you’ car from either a private seller or garage, take a look at the following guidelines to avoid inheriting a money drain:

Stick to a budget

Before even thinking about which car to buy, you need to know how much you have to spend. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a car to sell
  • Will you be taking out car finance
  • How much do you have available each month to cover fuel

In addition, you must remember to factor in the cost of insurance; it would be silly to purchase a car at the top end of your budget, only to realise your insurance premiums will financially cripple you. Take five minutes to perform a quick check on an insurance comparison site like Captain Compare for a range of  vehicles.

Research for the ‘right’ car

The next step to take in this process is to spend a little time researching the right car for you and your needs. Think about what you’ll be using the car for and work out your priorities from there.
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We are in the 100,000 Mile Club

Me and my baby! Yes, Little Man- but right now I am talking about my 2003 Mazda Protege 3, which has taken me all over the country (and out of it), on more trips then I can count, driven me to to my wedding, to the hospital to have my son, on his car ride home- and anywhere else [Read more…]