What to Do When Your Car Won’t Start

It can be especially stressful when you get in your car, turn the key, and your car will not start. You are obviously on your way somewhere which means that you might very well end up late and this is often more troubling than anything else. Here are some of the most common causes to consider when your car won’t start and some tips on how to deal with them.

Key turning but nothing happens:


Listen

car keyTake a moment to listen to your car. Even if it has not started, it could still be trying to tell you something with those little noises it makes or does not make. If you turn the key and the engine doesn’t crank at all or you hear a clicking noise, it might not be too bad. It could be the battery.  All batteries have a lifespan and it’s good to remember that the cold weather can seriously drain them. Batteries need to be recharged regularly and this is done by running the engine. If you do not start your car for a long period of time or even for just a few days in the winter, your battery can easily lose its charge.

Lights

In order to check for battery problems, you should try turning on the headlights. If the lights are dim, the battery could be dead or there are poor battery connections.  Take a moment to think whether or not you happened to forget the lights on the night before.

Connections

It’s also worth checking the battery connections. Clean and tighten them before you try to start again.

Jump-start

Call a friend, neighbour, or auto service to jump-start your car. If this works, you should have the battery tested and possibly replaced. If your battery is new, you might want to have the alternator checked. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery while your car is running. If it is faulty, then your car has been running purely on battery power and you will need a new alternator.

If you hear a click

If you hear a quiet click sound when you turn the key, you could try a technique called cycling the key to start the car.  Here’s how:
Turn the key from ‘off’ to ‘start’ ten times in a row.
Wait a few minutes.
Try to start the engine now.
If this does not work, repeat once more.
If it still does not work, it’s time for a different approach.

Some shifting

If you hear absolutely no sound when turning the key – not even a click – you can try this shift trick:
Apply your foot to the brake pedal.
Shift the vehicle into neutral.
Try to start the car.
If this does not work, shift into park and try again.
This trick can help reestablish electrical contact inside the transmission. If your car does start thanks to this trick, you should have it checked out by a professional urgently.

Other possible issues

your car in winterIf the engine cranks but the car won’t start, there could be any number of problems and it’s best to have a technician take a look. A frozen fuel line in the winter is common if your tank is running low. Keep your tank at least half full. That way the condensation from the fuel will not reach the fuel line. If it can’t reach the fuel line, it can’t freeze in the fuel line and you won’t have to worry about frozen lines in the winter. Driving in deep snow and wet conditions can also cause wet spark plugs and similar components. A trained technician will know just how to diagnose and repair such problems. Remember, if your vehicle is under any kind of warranty, you should always file your claim before hiring a mechanic in order to ensure that the repairs are covered.

Wear and tear are a given when it comes to all cars.  That is why it is so important to make sure that you are not caught by surprise. With A-Protect Warranty, you can enjoy the best used car extended warranty coverage designed to suit your needs. Call us today at 1-866-660-6444.

The Dos and Don’ts Travelling in the Winter

Winter driving is a skill that not all vehicle owners have mastered. There are so many more risks to consider when driving in such weather and the roads can be particularly tricky to navigate. Here are some of the most important Dos and Don’ts.

Dos for winter driving

Prevention is always best and you can avoid many problems by inspecting your car before winter.
Here’s what you need to check:

Have a mechanic perform a ‘winter check’ on your vehicle. This includes the coolant, brakes, and more.
Check for cracked or frayed belts under the hood.
Get any known repairs taken care of promptly.
Test the battery to make sure it will get you through the winter. Cold weather takes an extra toll on battery life.
Replace the battery if necessary.
Have snow tires or at least all-season tires fitted. If you live in an area that receives heavy snow, you should know that all-season tires are not ideal and snow tires are the safest bet.
car inspection Check the tire pressure since it will go down in winter.
Keep a set of tire chains in your trunk.
Top off your windshield wiper fluid. Consider using the winter blend for these cold months.
Check your windshield wiper blades for tears and other damage. Replace if necessary.
Check all the lights on your car and make sure they are working.
Keep an ice scraper in your car at all times.
Keep jumper cables in your car at all times.
Keep your gas tank at least half full during winter to prevent frozen fuel lines.

Now for the emergency kit:

Flashlight with spare batteries
Flares and/or reflectors
Warm blanket.
Small snow shovel, sand, salt, or something similar if you get stuck.
Basic tool kit
Emergency survival kit including warm clothes, medical supplies, non-perishable foods.
Mobile phone
Always tell somebody where you will be travelling and set a schedule for checking in if you are taking a long trip. They will call for help if you don’t check in and they will know where the authorities should look for you.

Driving advice:

Plan ahead and run errands before a storm hits
Check weather reports
Dress warm
Drive slowly for at least a mile to warm your car up. This is easier on the engine than warming up in the driveway.
Accelerate slower in the snow
Brake slower
Turn slower
Keep extra distance between yourself and other cars for braking purposes.
Anticipate turns and traffic lights.
Pick up momentum before approaching a hill.
Take your time and stay calm.
Keep your eyes open for pedestrians.
Practice winter driving in an empty parking lot and feel free to lose control a little so that you know how to bring your car back under control.

Don’ts for winter driving

winter driving Never warm your car up in a closed space due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t warm your car up by idling. Drive slowly for a mile instead.
Don’t tailgate.
Don’t brake abruptly.
Try not to stop completely unless you have to. It can be difficult to get going again.
Don’t stop your car while going uphill.
Don’t drive with summer, worn, or bald tires.
Don’t accelerate too much when going uphill, your tires will most likely spin.
Avoid sharp turns.
Don’t use your parking brake while driving. You could lose control because your car will start spinning.
Don’t use cruise control, you can lose traction.
Do not over-correct if you do spin out. Instead, steer into the skid.
Don’t brake if your car spins. It will be more difficult to regain traction.
Don’t assume that everyone else on the road knows how to drive in the snow.

These are some of the basic and most important winter travelling guidelines. It never hurts to use common sense and listen to that gut instinct too. If you are too nervous to drive during poor weather, have an experienced driver take the wheel or wait until the worst has passed. Remember that you should also always have an auto warranty that you can rely on should any unpleasant incidents occur while you are travelling. Contact A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 for the best and most affordable used car extended warranties to set your mind at ease.

Things You Need to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

The price of a new car these days is enough to make anyone’s knees feel weak. Add to this the rapid depreciation of value and it’s easy to see why so many people opt for used vehicles instead. Used, pre-owned or previously loved, no matter how you put it, these vehicles have all been driven and possibly put through their paces. From a buyers perspective, it is essential that you keep the following checklist in mind before you sign.

Physical inspection

buying a used carCheck the car inside and out. As you take a walk around, don’t be afraid to kneel down and look at the way the panels on each side, the front, and the rear of the vehicle are aligned. Check for dents, rust or any other signs of damage. Inspect the upholstery and trim with care. If there are seat covers, ask the owner to show you what’s hiding underneath. If possible, take a peek underneath the car. Again, look for any signs of damage or rust. Your inspection is best done during the day. At night you can easily miss a lot.

Test drive

You can test a new car before buying so why not test a used one? It’s important that you feel how the car handles and take note of every little detail. Do yourself a favour and don’t drive with the radio on. Try to encourage silence so that you can hear the motor, listen to the gears shift, and pay special attention when taking a corner. You should not only take gentle corners either. Try turning the car around completely (this is best done in an empty parking lot) and listen for sounds like knocking noises. A quick trip on a highway will also help you determine how the car handles at higher speeds and if any rattles or vibrations develop. Test all of the electronic and electrical features too.

Leak test

A leak test is done when you park the car in a clear area of a road or a clean parking bay and allow it to run for at least 30 seconds. Move the car, exit the car, and inspect the area for any fresh fluids that could be leaking from the vehicle. Remember, if the car has an air conditioner and you are using it, it could be nothing more than condensation. Green fluid can indicate an anti-freeze leak while black fluid is usually oil. Any leaks of this nature are a red flag.

Consider a mechanic

car mechanical testYou can always have your trusted mechanic perform these mechanical tests for you. Most cars can be connected to diagnostic machines and you can have them place the car on a lift to get a good look underneath. A mechanic’s trained eye can save you a lot of money and grief.

Know the make and model

Know what you are getting into by reading about the type of car you want to buy. Read about common problems, positive attributes, and customer reviews.

Price check

Used car shopping is definitely about negotiating. Don’t let yourself be fooled. Determine the official value of the vehicle (also known as the book value) before negotiating. Any damage to the car constitutes a lowering of the price. You can get estimates on how much the repairs would cost and have the seller lower their price by at least this amount.

Check the VIN

The VIN is the Vehicle Identification Number. Check the VIN to make sure that it is not a cloned number used to sell a stolen car. The VIN number will also help you find out more about repair and part replacement costs down the line.

Vehicle history

This report will reveal the ownership history, any title problems, service points, accidents, and so on. It’s best to know what the car has been through before you buy.

Don’t rush

You should not feel like you have to buy in a hurry. Your used car is still an investment and it’s worth considering your options wisely.

Don’t forget to make sure that your car is always covered by the right warranty. For extended auto warranties to suit your personal needs, contact A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 today.

Must-Have Items in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit

Never underestimate the power of Mother Nature during the winter months! She can send some pretty harsh conditions our way at the drop of a hat, which is why it’s important to always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This applies to all things in life, including the winter emergency kit you keep in your car. During these cold, snowy months, there many important precautions to take whenever you get behind the wheel. Having the necessary supplies can literally mean the difference between life and death in some cases! You never know when your car might get a punctured tire, run out of fuel, experience a technical or mechanical failure or even slip off the road. Here are some of the most important items to keep in your car at all times during the winter.

Top winter emergency kit essentials:

flashlight Flashlight with extra batteries or a hand-crank flashlight. Test your flashlight before you pack it and make sure that the spare batteries are in a sealed package to prevent loss of charge.
Jumper cables should you need to jump start your car or even help somebody else out.
First Aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic, gauze, adhesive tape, gloves, bandages, and so on.
Bottled water
Multi-purpose tool like a Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman.
Reflective warning triangles and/or road flares
Charged mobile phone and power bank for recharging if needed.

Other essential items:

A small fire extinguisher in the event of a car fire.
A tire gauge to check the pressure of your tires. Be sure to check the spare too!
A jack and lug wrench for changing a tire.
Rags, gloves, and hand cleaner (like baby wipes) to keep your hands warm and clean when performing any mechanical checks or changing a tire.
Duct tape for all its versatile uses.
Foam tire sealant for small tire punctures (just to get you from where you are to a tire professional),
A rain poncho or two.
Non-perishable high-energy foods like dried fruit, peanut butter, and granola bars.
A battery or hand-cranked-powered radio.
Box of matches and a lighter
Cash and spare change
Paper maps just in case you lose phone signal or you want to save your battery.

Items specific for winter trips:

Blankets, winter hats, and gloves
Ice scraper
Folding snow shovel
A bag of sand for traction if you get stuck
Tow strap and tire chains
Hand warmers
Sleeping bag(s) for long trips
Winter boots for long trips

winter emergency kit

It’s important to remember that your winter emergency supplies are not only for your safety. Not everyone leaves their home prepared. Some people think that, because they are just taking a quick drive to another town, they don’t need to lug all that stuff along. By being prepared, you could very possibly be the help a fellow driver so desperately needs. Many of the items on this list apply strictly to winter. Once the weather becomes warmer, you will no longer need things like your shovel or sandbag. That said, it is worth setting aside a special place for these items to be stored during the summer so that they are easy to find when winter comes around again. Each item should be checked and tested before packing it into your vehicle. You should also keep this list handy so that you can refer to it every year. Some items will need to be replaced if they are old or damaged. Some items expire (like your medical supplies). Your fire extinguisher will also need to be inspected by an authorized professional on a regular basis in order to ensure that it still works properly.

Apart from stocking your car with all the necessary emergency supplies, you can take it all one step further by ensuring that your car is covered by the best extended warranty. At A-Protect Warranty, our plans are designed to cater to the individual and to set your mind at ease every time you get behind the wheel. Find out more about our plans by calling 1-866-660-6444.

Winter Auto Maintenace: How to Protect Your Car if You Don’t Have a Garage

Winter can take quite a toll on your vehicle. While some vehicle owners are fortunate enough to be able to park in a garage, others have to park outside. If this is you and you want to know what you can do to protect your car, continue reading. Below, you will find out how to protect your car if you don’t have a garage.

Portable carport

This is an inexpensive way of keeping weather elements from taking too much of a toll on your car. There are various coverings, tents, and tarps from which to choose. They are available in several colours and sizes. When buying yours, make sure that it is the right size and easy to fit in a hurry.

Waxing and polishing

car waxingWax is excellent for sealing the paint on your vehicle. Not only is this beneficial during the hot summer, but it is also good to have that extra layer of protection during the winter. The added advantage of waxing is that it will help protect your car while it is parked and when you are driving. Many drivers agree that there is nothing like that professional wax. Shelf products work for a while but they don’t last as long or work nearly as well. Polishing your car regularly but not too frequently is also great for protecting the paint both in summer and winter.

Sunshades

During the warmer months, the sun can take its toll on the interior of your vehicle too. If you have ever parked your car on a hot day only to return to something that resembles a sauna, then you can benefit from sunshades. Sunshades reflect the light so that your car stays cool. It’s also a great way of protecting various interior features of your car like the upholstery, trim, and dashboard. Parts like your dashboard can become dry, brittle, and they can eventually crack. Special shades can also be fitted to your rear passenger windows which will help keep the sun and heat out even while driving.

Regular washing

Whether you drive your car all day or only to work and back, you can be sure that dirt and debris will accumulate over time. There is no way of avoiding this but regular car washing will get rid of this dirt and keep your car looking great. If you leave the dirt on your car, it will eventually cause light scratches and possibly even more severe damage. Professional detailing is often preferred because it is convenient, fast, and offers the best results. Automatic car washes can do more harm than good while hand washing is time-consuming and most car wash products are not of the highest quality.

Careful parking

Take care when selecting your parking spot. It’s not just about looking for some shade, but also being aware of the surroundings. Certain trees drop sap which can eat away at the paint on your car. Even sticks and leaves can cause damage. They can stick to your car and release harmful properties that damage the paint.

Dry after a wash

car cleaningAfter washing your car, it might be tempting to allow it to air dry. This might not be the case during the winter but many vehicle owners make this mistake during the summer. Even after washing your car in the shade, if you take it out into the sun, the UV rays are magnified by the water droplets. This will result in hard water deposits and the surface of your car will become etched. Not to mention the fact that your windows will also be difficult to see through. Dry your car thoroughly after every wash to prevent this from happening.

Carport

If you have the space, you could install a carport during the summer, this will offer protection from the sun and any debris from trees. The elements will eventually take their toll on the tarp-like cover but it’s better than letting them have their way with the paint on your car! Plus, who can resist having their very own shaded parking bay at home? It might not be a garage but it is the next best thing.


Protecting your car is not just about keeping it looking good. Mechanical maintenance and a safety net will certainly set your mind at ease. For an extended warranty plan designed to cater to your specific needs, contact A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 today.

Secure Drive This Winter

At A-Protect Warranty, we want you to keep your vehicle secured throughout the year. Few seasons put as many demands on our vehicles as winter can.

Winter Puts Our Cars Through a Lot

The worst part is that it’s a combination of things. Extreme temperatures, bad weather, and other elements can put a considerable amount of damage on your car throughout the season. Worse yet, the season also forces a certain additional strain on our cars. For example, did you ever consider just how much your battery goes through between December and perhaps February?

While our cars certainly take a beating during this time of the year, there are thankfully a number of things you can do. These items are certain to keep your drive secure through the winter.

Tips to Protect Your Car During Winter

It seems reasonable to say that after your house, your car is your most valuable investment. For many people, particularly those who rent, the car represents your biggest investment. To that end, you want to do everything possible to protect your vehicle. This can include investing some time and money in the present, but these things are quite minor, compared to how much you could spend for a dead battery in the winter.

Such problems are sometimes inevitable, but there are still numerous things you can do to protect this crucial investment:

•  Checking the battery: We just touched on this, and it might just be the most important thing you can do for your car or truck during the winter. Remember that if the temperature drops to thirty-two degrees, you’ve lost as much as thirty-five percent of your battery’s power. If your battery wasn’t at 100% to start with, you can see how this might be a problem. Get your battery checked out in the late fall.

•  Wash your carWash the car: On particularly cold days, a vehicle with a filthy exterior can be difficult to open. Handles and other parts can freeze, which can certainly create some headaches. The best thing to do is to have your car washed on a semi-regular basis. Ideally, as far as winter is concerned, you should try to get the car washed on days in which the temperature is above freezing. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on this. You can accomplish a lot with the basic wash at any local carwash.

•  Winter tires? This can be tricky to answer. The truth is that not all vehicles need winter tires. Deciding this is ultimately going to come down to what a typical winter brings to your area. Do you have a lot of snow and ice? If the answer is yes, then it is almost a certainty that winter tires are going to be ideal. Yes, these can run you as much as a thousand dollars, depending on what you need, but the investment is ultimately worth it.

•  Get the wipers replaced: To begin with, you should have your wipers replaced every six months to a year or so. Try to time your next replacement to late fall. You will also want to be on the lookout for any squeaking from your wipers, or if they are causing smears while they work. In either circumstance, you are going to need new windshield wipers.

Wipers replacing•  Know where to go for repairs: One of the smartest things you can do to protect your car during the winter is to know where the best mechanic can be found. Let’s be honest, and understand that things can happen during the winter. In such circumstances, it can be invaluable to know where to go for the help you need. You want someone who is reliable, and you certainly want someone who is going to charge reasonable rates. It may be helpful to do some research on the best auto mechanics in your area. You certainly don’t want to wait until you are dealing with an actual emergency.

In terms of how to care for your car during the winter, it also helps to have your warranty on hand. Make sure you can bring this information out, in the event of an accident, or some other serious event involving your vehicle.

Finally, consider joining AAA. While this is another measure that is going to cost some money, the value is going to be pretty apparent from the start. Membership can be extremely useful during the rougher months of the year. If you live in an area that deals with a lot of snow, high winds, freezing temperatures, and other hassles, the odds of running into problems can increase to a significant degree.

This isn’t something you should be particularly worried about. While we can’t plan for absolutely everything, there are always going to be things we can do to make sure we’re ready for the worst.

Car Safety Features You Need

One of the main concerns every time you drive is road safety. Not only do you need to consider possible risks that you may encounter out on the road, but you also need to make sure that your car is safe. Vehicle safety features help keep you, your travel companions, and fellow road users safe. The good news is that vehicle safety has come a long way over the years and regular improvements mean improved safety. It should go without saying that you should look for a vehicle with sufficient airbags and you should always buckle up even if you’re driving short distances. Here are some other features to look for.

Adaptive cruise control

adaptive-cruise-controlMost new cars have this feature. With the help of sensors and radar technology, this feature helps ensure that you keep a safe distance from any vehicles ahead. The throttle is automatically applied when needed and brakes when there is traffic ahead. This is a great feature for long distance drivers but it’s not something you would use in a busy city. This system will trigger sharp braking and tighten the seatbelts when used in high traffic situations.

Automatic Emergency Braking

While we like to believe that we have cat-like reflexes when behind the wheel, this is not necessarily always the case. When you are tired, you might not be able to react as quickly as you should. AEB technology senses a potential collision and, if you do not react in time, it will start braking for you. These crucial seconds can make all the difference. These systems tend to vary between different vehicle manufacturers and some claim to be superior while others have been reported to be a bit oversensitive.

Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep

These are two separate systems but they share a common purpose – to keep you in your lane. If you are crossing the lines and leaving your lane, the lane departure system will sound a buzzing noise. Lane Keep, on the other hand, helps steer you back into your lane if you have drifted out. The system can be turned off if the lines on the road are faint. This can save the lives of tired drivers and those who suffer from something called driver’s hypnosis.

Blind Spot Detection

Far too many accidents occur when drivers neglect to check their blind spots or even when they fail to do so correctly. With this Blind Spot Detection tool, you will be warned by small yellow or orange lights shining in your door mirrors. They let you know that there is a vehicle coming up behind you in one of the other lanes and it might not be safe for you to make a lane change at this stage.

Rear-view Camera

This is a fantastic tool to check what’s coming up behind you when reversing. It’s especially good for protecting animals and children from being accidentally run over. The wide-angle lenses of these cameras give you a full 180-degree view which makes reversing safer than ever.

Upcoming technologies

These features are all great but why stop there? Why not make our cars even safer by creating new technologies and improving the older ones? Well, this is the great thing about technology – it’s always evolving and we always have new things to look forward to. rear-view-cameraA feature known as Safety Exit Assist has already been installed on some vehicles but it could become the new standard for all cars. It temporarily prevents children from opening back doors when bicycles and cars are approaching from behind. It works in a similar way as the blind spot monitor and this feature is sure to become a must for parents. Facial Recognition Software can also be used in many ways including monitoring the alertness of the driver. For now, this kind of software is designed to alert the driver with some kind of buzzing noise but, in the future, we could see it take more of a proactive approach. Then there are also advancements like night vision to help warn drivers of pedestrians and bicycles on the road at night and smart headlights that automatically switch from hi- to low-beam when cars approach.

Remember, no matter how many safety features you have installed on your vehicle, it’s always important to make sure that you are as alert and responsible as possible. Never drive when tired, sick, on medication that can impair your ability to react, or if you have been drinking. At the end of the day, your decisions have the greatest impact. The same can be said for your vehicle coverage and insurance. To best protect your vehicle, make sure that you invest in the right used vehicle warranty plan. Call A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 for personal assistance choosing the perfect plan for you.

What To Do When Your Car Needs To Be Towed

If you are stuck on the side of the road, it can be quite distressing. The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that you will need to get your car towed. Before you do anything, be sure to remember the following important steps:

Pull Over to a Safe Spot

Is your car blocking the flow of traffic? If you are in the middle of the road, you will need to pull over so that you don’t cause an accident. If the engine is not running, you will need to push your car off the road. You should have a triangle in your car and you should put it out to warn motorists. If possible, turn your hazard lights on. If not, you should tie something red to your car to increase visibility.

Call in the Claim

loading-broken-car-on-tow-truckIt might be tempting to call a towing service as soon as you encounter a problem but you should first contact your warranty provider. If your vehicle has an extended warranty, it’s important for you to submit your claim and request instructions. They might allow you to choose any towing company or you may have to contact somebody on their approved list. In some cases, they could even contact a tow truck on your behalf. Make sure that you understand your obligations as well as what to expect on their part. You should also ask for a time estimate on the arrival of the towing service.

Call the Authorities

If you were involved in an accident, you will also need to contact the relevant authorities to report the incident. This is not only the case if you were involved in an accident with another motorist, but also when property is involved. Failing to report an accident can have serious legal implications. In addition, you will need a case number in order to claim from your accident insurance. Even if the other person is at fault, their insurance company will need the claim number.

Remove Your Valuables

While you wait, you should take the time to remove any important or valuable items from your vehicle. This goes for items of sentimental value too. Not only is this for your own peace of mind, but it’s also to ensure that you have all of your belongings and you don’t need to make a trip to the location your vehicle is being stored while awaiting repairs. Towing companies and repairers are not responsible for the loss or damage of personal items you leave behind in your car.

Stay Calm, Wait, and Do Not Dehydrate

Now, all you can do is wait and stay calm. Try not to wear the battery down on your phone. You never know when you might need to make another phone call and a low battery is not something you want. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and snack occasionally to keep your strength up. A tow truck might arrive within minutes if you are close to the city. If you are further away, it can take an hour, or perhaps even longer.

Where Will Your Car Be Taken?

broken-carWhen the tow truck arrives, make sure that you know where your car will be taken. The driver might be willing to drop you off somewhere along the way, or you can travel along with the car to wherever it will go. It is best to have the car towed to the place where it will most likely be repaired. If you have it towed to your home, you will have to pay to have it towed from your home to the repair shop. Make sure that the driver provides you with a collection slip that you can keep as proof that they towed your car. Your warranty provider will also need a receipt as proof of what you paid to have the car towed. You will then be reimbursed. Ask the driver for their name and feel free to take down the license plate number of the tow truck too. They should give you a business card or contact details of the tow truck company. You should also ask for the contact details of the repairer. If you decide to go along with your car to the repair shop, you could always ask them for a business card. Feel free to follow up with your warranty provider regarding the progress of your claim and, if necessary, inquire about a courtesy vehicle. Keep in mind, courtesy cars are usually only available for a certain amount of time. After this, if your car is still not fixed, you may have to rent a car while repairs are being completed.

For peace of mind, it’s important to ensure that your car is always covered by a suitable warranty. Contact A-Protect Warranty today at 1-866-660-6444 for professional assistance from our friendly team. Not only will we help you select the best extended warranty, but we will also keep your personal needs in your mind while we do so.

Essential summer maintenance tips for your vehicle

Car care is important throughout the year. Each season brings a fair bit of changes in terms of weather and driving conditions. It’s also important to make sure that your car is always in good driving shape. Here are some essential car maintenance tips for summer.

 

Tires

car-serviceYour tires are what keeps you on the road. It’s the only part of your car that is in contact with the road which is why it’s so important to choose the right tires and inspect them regularly. Your tires need to have enough tread, no bulges or cracks, and you should also check the pressure on a regular basis. Winter tires should only be used during the winter months and you need to fit summer tires as soon as the weather warms up and you get the green light from the local authorities.

 

Oil change

car-maintenance-tipsThe oil level and quality should be checked on a regular basis and oil changes should be done according to the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines. When checking your oil, you need to do so when the engine is cold. This is best done in the morning before you start your car. Remove the dipstick, wipe it off, and insert it again before removing it to check the oil level. Inspect the color and viscosity of the oil. Regardless, oil needs to be changed after a set amount of time or mileage. The oil filter also needs to be changed regularly.

 

Hose and belt check

There are several hoses and belts that experience wear and tear every time you start the engine. Sometimes these parts break unexpectedly but, if a regular maintenance schedule is followed, you can replace worn belts and hoses before they let you down.

 

Air filter

Your air filter needs to be changed regularly since it is bound to get clogged no matter what. In the winter, salt takes its toll on your filters in particular. So, when the warmer weather arrives, this is something you want your mechanic to check.

 

Windscreen wipers

Spring and summer rain tends to come down by the bucket load which means that you need reliable wipers to keep your windscreen clear. Inspect your wipers for cracks and wear. Test them regularly to make sure that they aren’t missing any spots. Replace them regularly and always choose quality wipers for your car.

 

Brakes

Your brakes are an essential part of vehicle safety. Each time you change your brakes, you will be informed that they will need to be replaced after covering a certain amount of mileage. If you notice that your brake pedal is soft or extremely hard; perhaps it rests too high or low or you notice an indicator light on your dashboard. These are all warning signs and you may even notice a strange noise. If you don’t have your brakes changed before you notice these signs, you should definitely have them tended to as soon as even the slightest issue arises.

 

Coolant and radiator

Your radiator and the coolant in your engine are needed for keeping your engine from getting too hot. This is even more important in the summer because of rising temperatures. Make sure that you check your radiator for any possible signs of damage and top up or replace the coolant before it gets too hot.

 

Battery cleaning

Your battery often loses some of its charge during the colder weather. On top of this, the summer heat speeds up the chemical reaction inside the battery which also shortens its lifespan. By keeping the terminals of the battery clean, you will help extend its life.

 

Air conditioner

You should have your air conditioner inspected before summer begins. This means that you should check the hoses, connections, and determine whether a refill is necessary. By doing this before it gets too hot, you will avoid a lot of unnecessary discomfort. Take note of any bad smells and make sure that you have your air conditioner checked if it starts to smell strange.

 

Emergency supplies

You might not need to keep a snow shovel in your car during the next few months but you will still need several emergency supplies. One of the most important ones is water. Now, when you leave a plastic bottle of water in your car, you need to take care not to consume it. This water is strictly for external use or to top up the water in your vehicle. If you want to keep drinking water in your car, you should take a fresh bottle each time you take a drive.

 

Having the right coverage for your vehicle is also essential for road safety and from a financial point of view. At A-Protect Warranty, we offer a wide variety of different warranty options to suit various needs and budgets. Call 1-866-660-6444 today for professional advice from our expert team.

Common early spring road hazards

Just as we think that the worst of the winter is over and we can finally enjoy safer driving conditions, we are faced with risks resulting from the changing weather. When you venture out in the spring, keep these common dangers in mind.

 

Potholes

The cold weather, snow, and salt on the roads can cause significant damage in just a few months. Small holes in the road can become quite large over the winter and, once everything has thawed out, it becomes even more evident just how dangerous they really are. Hitting a pothole can cause you to lose control. It can also cause serious damage to your vehicle. Pay close attention to the road and look out for such dangers.

 

Excess water on the roads

potholesNow that the snow and ice are melting, you can expect excess water on the roads. It will take time for the water to filter away and, no matter the temperatures, wet roads are always more dangerous than dry ones. Water can conceal potholes. if you happen to splash another driver, it can result in them losing control over the vehicle. Therefore, be careful and considerate of other road users too. Take a moment to inspect your tires as well. Make sure that they are in good condition. If they are excessively worn, they cause you to lose control when you encounter a large puddle. Reduce your speed and always keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.

 

Slippery slush

It’s not only the water that can cause you to slip and slide along the road. Half melted snow is one of the things people dislike about winter. That slush is both frozen and wet. Not to mention extra slippery! If you spot slush in the middle of the road or even on the side of the road, proceed with caution. Slush can also accumulate on your windshield and, if your windshield wipers cannot clear it away completely, you should pull over to clear it off yourself before you continue driving.

 

Black ice

Yes, black ice is still a concern during this time of year. The main reason for this is that snow and ice tend to melt during the day, but overnight, when temperatures drop again, the water freezes. Since the roads are mostly all wet, it makes black ice even more difficult to see. If you are venturing out early in the morning, this is probably one of the more dangerous times for driving. During the day, the ice will melt again and in the evening there shouldn’t be much (if any) at all. The more traffic, the lesser the chances of black ice. If you are driving along a road with minimal traffic each day, black ice can form whenever it’s cold enough for water to freeze on the road. Bridges and lower lying areas are usually more prone to black ice but, all the same, it’s best to be cautious no matter where you are driving. Reduce your speed and keep some extra distance between yourself and other road users.

 

Poor vehicle maintenance

Just as the winter takes its toll on the roads, so too does it cause significant wear and tear on your vehicle. This is why it is so important to inspect your vehicle before winter arrives. Once the worst is over, it’s time to give your car a thorough check once again to make sure that everything is in order. Check all of your fluids, inspect your tires, suspension, and have a technician check your suspension and other important mechanical parts too. Remember, if you find that your car struggles to start, it might be time to replace your battery. During cold weather, your car battery loses its charge faster than during warmer weather. Have a technician check your battery and your alternator. If your alternator is faulty, your battery will not recharge while the motor is running and, even if you replace the battery, it won’t be long before the new battery fails you too.

As for your tires, you should make sure that you find out when and if you are permitted to switch from winter to summer tires. Remember to also use a bit of common sense here because, even if you can technically change your tires, you might not want to just yet. The slush and ice risks discussed above are reason enough to hang on to those winter tires just a little bit longer. Provided they aren’t damaged or severely worn, there is no need to change them in the very first few weeks of spring. Once you have addressed both mechanical and maintenance issues, don’t’ forget to give your car a good wash! It might sound trivial but all that snow, ice, and salt can really do a number on your paint job. So treat your car to some much-needed pampering to say thank you for getting you through the worst weather of the year!

 

By taking the right driving and vehicle maintenance steps, you will make every trip that much safer! Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To avoid any unnecessary and high repair costs, make sure that your vehicle is covered by the right warranty. Call A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 for coverage designed to suit your needs!