Preparing Your Car for Hurricane Season

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  • Maintenance
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Registration
  • Insurance papers
  • Extended Warranty contract, if applicable

The registration, title, and insurance papers are essential to your vehicle. But, so are the warranty documents. If a mechanical breakdown were to happen while you were on the road or away from your home, you will may need you factory warranty or extended warranty documents along with your maintenance records in order to obtain repairs that may be needed. Also, the warranty documentation will have the number to roadside assistance if needed.

If you have more than one vehicle and you decided to leave one at home, then your vehicle needs to stored correctly. Usually, an enclosed garage would be the first option. But if you do not have one, it is best to park your vehicle away from trees and low lying areas. Most damage from a hurricane is caused by wind and flooding. So, if a garage is not an option, find the highest point in your yard, that is away from trees and park your vehicle there.

Hurricane season is a time to prepare. When preparing for an upcoming storm and/or for evacuation don’t forget about your vehicle. Make sure that it has all it is up to date on maintenance, that you have all documentation regarding your vehicle, and if it is staying behind, make sure that it is stored correctly. Doing this can give you one less thing to worry about during a very stressful time.

 


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Brake Pads and Rotors
There are many components to the breaking system, and while all these components may seem daunting, the braking system is DIY friendly, especially the brake pads and rotors. Brake pads and rotors are two components of the braking system that need changing the most. Brake pads tend to wear down due to the friction that they encounter when the drive presses on the brake pedal. If they wear down enough, they can wear grooves into the rotors which will mean replacing or turning the rotors as well.

DIY Brake Pads

When it is time to change your brake pads, you don’t necessarily have to take the vehicle into the shop. A brake pad replacement is something that you can do yourself. While it may seem a little daunting, it is actually quite easy. Brake pads are easily accessible aren’t a hassle to change. They are the perfect maintenance item for a DIYer to tackle.


DIY Brake Rotor

When brake rotors are damaged by worn brake pads or road debris, they will either need to be turned or replaced. Sometimes turning rotors will be sufficient enough smooth out the grooves within the brake rotors. If the rotors need turning, then the vehicle will have to be taken to a repair shop to have a mechanic turn the rotors. But, if they need changing, then it is a task that you could do yourself. There are no special tools that are needed and as long as you have a jack, they are easily accessible.

By changing the brake pad and rotors yourself, not only can you save tons of money, but you can also help to maintain the validity of your factory warranty and extended auto warranty if applicable. If something within the braking system fails due to the lack of maintenance of your brake pads and brake rotors, then your warranty may not cover the cost of repairs. So, if you are up for the task, then tackle the brake pads and brake rotors and maintain your Do it Yourself (DIY) status.

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Recycle Your Motor Oil
Changing your own oil is a great way to save yourself a little bit of money. Plus, by changing your oil on a regular basis you will help to maintain the validity of your factory warranty and extended auto warranty, if applicable. But one of the hardest parts of changing your own oil is getting rid of the used engine oil. Thankfully,  this chore has gotten a lot easier in recent years. There are motor oil recycling programs that are sponsored by cities, auto parts stores and designated collection sites. Some cities even offer curbside pickup for used motor oil and old filters.
 
While there have been efforts made to recycle old oil, getting the used oil from here to there can still be a messy affair. Here are some tips to make recycling your oil quick and easy:
 
Before you begin to change your oil, check your communities website to see if they offer curbside pickup of oil. If they don’t, call you local auto parts store or go to 1.800.recycling.com to find recycling centers. 
 
Purchase an oil pan the can be sealed for easy transportation of the used oil. Usually, the center will dump the oil and return the drain pan so you have it for further use. 
 
Make sure you wear latex or plastic gloves while changing your oil and transferring the used oil into containers. Also, make sure you have plenty of rags on hand in case of spills. 
 
If you use a container that you have on hand for storing the used oil, make sure it is free of other liquids. If the oil becomes contaminated, it will be unfit for recycling. 
 
Use a drop cloth or newspaper to place under the drain pan while you are changing your oil. You can also use these to transfer the oil to the container.

Before you load the oil container into your car, cover the floor mats or trunk with plastic bags and old newspapers. The newspaper will help to absorb small spills and the plastic bag will help prevent the oil from soaking into your floor mats or trunk carpet. 
 
If you happen to spill any oil during recycling, you can use cat litter or oil absorbent to soak up the spills. If the spill is small, saw dust will work as well. 
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Best Driving Tips for New Drivers

When your teenager finally gets behind the wheel of a car, their main concern is driving without the supervision of an adult. As a parent, your main concern is their safety on the road. It is important for your teen to know that with the freedom of driving also comes significant responsibility. Here are some basic driving tips that parents and new drivers should keep in mind.

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

Many drivers, new and old, have trouble following this simple suggestion. Before you even leave the driveway, check and adjust your mirrors, seat, and anything else you may have to before taking off. Doing these steps before you even leave the driveway will prevent you from having to make these adjustments while driving, which can easily take your eyes off of the road and create a dangerous situation.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off

Like oil and water, texting and driving do not mix. Studies have shown that driving while trying to send out a text message is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Do everyone a favor and turn your phone off or on silent. Turning it off or putting it in silent will help you to avoid distractions from incoming calls or messages. If you should  need to use your phone in an emergency situation, pull over first.  Not only is talking on the phone while driving distracting,  in some states, it is illegal and a ticketable offense.

Wear Your Seat belt

Wearing a seat belt has been scientifically proven to help prevent injury in an accident. Plus, not wearing your seat belt is a ticketable offense in 49 states. Save yourself the hassle and just wear your seat belt- it could save your life.

Obey the Speed Limit

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. It’s no wonder that speeding is a major cause of traffic crashes. Plus, more drivers are convicted of speeding than any other offense. Always obey the posted speed limit and slow down in rain, fog, snow and ice.

Stay in Your Lane

Drifting into the other lane can cause several problems. You could run into another car, cause an accident by cutting another person off, or even backup traffic. Make sure you pay close attention to what lane you are driving in and cars in other lanes to avoid these issues. Also, be sure to check your blind spots before you switch lanes.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your destination safely. You’ll be safe and save money on traffic tickets and car insurance.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared for a roadside emergency. Have a well stocked emergency kit in your car at all times. You should also make sure that you have an inflated spare tire and jack, and know how to safely change a flat.

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