Are you a proactive car owner? Considering how much a car costs, you want yours to last as long as possible. Being proactive about your car’s needs is key to ensuring you make the most out of its useful life. Here are five proactive car care tips for Vermont drivers.
1. Keep Your Driveway in Good Shape
Regular driveway maintenance is a key proactive car care tip that ensures the longevity and safety of these surfaces. Certain driveways are more prone to wear and tear and damage than others, necessitating various preventive maintenance solutions. The different driveway materials have different maintenance needs.
For instance, flagstone driveways need routine scrubbing and might not be suitable if you have a heavier vehicle. Concrete and asphalt driveway paving require resealing every few years to stop water from seeping in, freezing, and cracking the surface. Frequent weeding and cleaning may be necessary on brick driveways to keep the colors vivid. Whether you have a flagstone, brick, gravel, or concrete driveway, proactive car care through maintenance will help you make the most of its useful life.
Water expands when it freezes, which can cause cracks. Filling cracks will prevent costly driveway repairs down the road. Seal cracks as soon as you spot them to keep your driveway in good shape.
Potholes pose a safety hazard for people and vehicles as they cause concrete to fracture and break down. Address potholes promptly to prevent cracking and other forms of avoidable damage. A thorough wash involving scrubbing away built-up sand, dirt, and other debris helps keep your driveway in good shape.
Grease and oil spills can significantly discolor your driveway, altering its appearance. A power wash will quickly restore your driveway by removing tougher stains. Using salt and chemical de-icers can result in spalling and scaling. Opt for sand, coffee grounds, or even kitty litter to provide traction.
2. Have Trusted Professionals On-Call
Maintaining a car is no easy feat. While you may do everything to keep your car in good condition, you may still find yourself in unexpected situations on the road. In such circumstances, having a group of experts on call who can get you out of a pickle is important. An auto mechanic is one of the professionals you should have on call for proactive car care.
A skilled and seasoned mechanic can diagnose and fix car issues efficiently and promptly, ensuring it always runs smoothly. Having an auto glass shop on call is also a good idea. Accidents can occur at any time, and if the damage extends to your car’s windows and windshield, you need a professional to fix them to preserve functionality. An auto glass shop will perform necessary repairs and replacements, allowing you to return to the road quickly.
You should also have an accident attorney on call as part of proactive car care. Even if you’re familiar with all the best defensive driving techniques, you may still find yourself in accidents due to the negligence of other road users. In such cases, an accident attorney will guide you through the intricacies of the legal process to ensure you get fair compensation. They’ll also offer advice on other legal issues relating to auto accidents.
You should also have an insurance agent on call. Insurance is an important part of owning a car, and having an agent who understands your coverage and can assist you in the event of an accident can make all the difference. They’ll guide you through filing a claim and provide any information you need about your policy to ensure you don’t get caught off guard.
When you’re stranded on the side of the road due to a mechanical issue or flat tire, having a roadside assistance service on call will come in handy. Some services even offer towing, which can be a lifesaver if your car is not drivable. A car detailer you can count on is also a great asset as a car owner.
Regular car detailing can help maintain your car’s value and keep your car looking brand new. A tire specialist is also among the professionals you should have on call. One of your car’s most important components is the tires, and having a specialist you can count on will ensure you promptly address all your tire’s maintenance and repair needs.
3. Make Durable Upgrades
One of the best things about vehicles is they’re essentially empty canvases. With various modifications and custom auto supplies, you can select which aspects to concentrate on for your proactive car care efforts. However, for many unfortunate folks, all the money, energy, and time results in a mess of random components that make the owner look like an amateur.
A vehicle ceramic coating is a great upgrade to consider. It adds a protective layer that shields your car’s paintwork from the elements, such as dirt, rain, and sun. The coating creates a hydrophobic layer that repels water and other liquids, preventing them from damaging the paint.
Since dirt and grime slide off easily, this upgrade will also make cleaning your car easier. It’ll also provide a high-gloss finish to give your car that shiny showroom appearance. It’s a long-lasting and effective way to protect your car’s exterior and is a worthy investment for any car owner.
It’s easy to overlook your car’s suspension components because they’re out of sight. However, few systems directly impact your driving experience. When driving on a rough road or going over bumps, shock absorbers keep your tires firmly planted on the ground and reduce the up-and-down motion of regular driving by absorbing the shock. A new set and lower, firmer springs result in a ride that’s notably more stable and well-cushioned.
Quick-ratio steering racks also make for a great car upgrade. They’re typically not available for all cars or all versions of the same make. However, if you’re lucky enough to find one specific to your vehicle, this upgrade will give whatever it is you drive a sports car feel. It does so by shortening the turn ratio between the wheels and the steering wheel; minimal hand movements result in big swings in the tires.
Depending on your operating system, investing in Android Auto or Apple CarPlay will instantly update even the most basic automobiles with technology, automation, and connectivity. These systems offer distraction-free driving, better navigation, direct access to your music library, hands-free texting and calling, and better mobile connectivity, which you can access through a user-friendly interface.
Another popular upgrade is a performance exhaust system. A high-performance exhaust system can boost your car’s horsepower, torque, and acceleration. It can also improve your car’s sound, giving it a deeper, more aggressive tone. Additionally, a performance exhaust system can help reduce engine heat, increasing your car’s overall performance.
Upgrading your car’s air intake system will deliver a noticeable boost in performance. It does this by increasing airflow to your engine, improving acceleration and horsepower. It can also improve your car’s fuel efficiency by allowing your engine to breathe more efficiently.
Another great upgrade to consider is standard rubber brake lines. They flex under forceful braking, giving the brake pedal a mushy feel. When you reinforce those lines with stainless steel mesh, they won’t bend even during sudden stops, and braking will always feel solid and tight, much like it does in racing cars. According to FIXD, high-quality ones typically cost between $81 and $190, but you’ll enjoy the benefits for a long time.
4. Optimize Your Garage
You can use your garage for more than just storing your car. With the right approach, you can optimize it into a versatile space that accommodates various activities. Installing garage door screens is a great place to start.
With these screens, you won’t have to worry about insects or debris entering your home when you keep your garage door open. They can also improve ventilation and lighting in your garage, making it a more comfortable place to spend time. Garage door screens are easy to install and come in different sizes to fit various door types.
If you’re a Powersports enthusiast, using your garage as storage space for your equipment can be a game-changer. You can maintain the organization and accessibility of your Powersports equipment by installing wall-mounted hooks and storage racks. You may also want to invest in a lift or winch to help you easily move heavy equipment around your garage.
Garage doors often break down due to lack of maintenance, making routine garage door maintenance an important aspect of proactive car care. By lubricating the tracks, tightening screws, and checking for signs of wear and tear, you can extend the life of your garage door and prevent costly future repairs. For the best results, perform garage door maintenance at least twice a year or as recommended by your contractor.
Reinforcing your garage’s insulation is also a great way of optimizing the space. It’ll help regulate the temperature, making it a much more comfortable space year-round. Insulation also protects your belongings from extreme temperatures and lowers your energy bills. While you could install insulation yourself, hiring a professional is always best.
Any workspace needs good lighting; your garage is no exception. Consider installing bright overhead lights, task lighting for your workbench, and even motion-activated lights for added security. If you have the option, install windows or skylights to increase the natural light entering your garage.
5. Prepare for Accidents in Advance
Preparing for accidents in advance is a great example of proactive car care. While the prospect of getting into an auto collision can be unsettling, being unprepared can make the recovery process much harder. There are several ways to ensure you’re ready for emergencies.
First, review your car insurance policy every six months. Adopting a ‘set and forget’ mindset regarding your auto insurance is easy. However, while it may not be fun to read through, your auto insurance policy specifies the type of coverage and how much it covers in dollars if you suffer injuries in a crash.
The number of people who don’t receive compensation because of failing to buy the right coverage from a car insurance provider is astonishing. Note that while only buying the minimum insurance package may be cheaper, it likely won’t provide adequate coverage in the event of an accident. For a few extra bucks, you’ll get better coverage and enjoy greater peace of mind.
When you’re in a collision, knowing what information to gather is key to ensuring you get fair compensation. For example, the other car’s model, make, color, and manufacturing year may be vital during the claims process. Such information is vital if the other party leaves the accident scene.
It’s also important to know the other driver’s insurance policy number, address, name, and driving license number. Other than the driver’s details, there’s other information you should obtain. You’ll also want to get the name of passengers in both vehicles and witness statements.
Having an emergency kit in your car is also a good idea. It should include a first-aid kit, flashlight, blankets, extra batteries, and a phone charger. With these items, you can stay safe and comfortable while waiting for help.
Another valuable tip for proactive car care is ensuring your car is well-maintained. Routine maintenance can help prevent accidents by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal working condition. During maintenance, be sure to check your brakes, tires, and lights, and confirm that your oil and other fluids are at the appropriate levels.
It also helps familiarize yourself with the roads you’ll use. Plan your routes, and be mindful of potential dangers like construction zones or busy intersections. Ensure you have a GPS or map handy to find an alternate route when necessary.
There’s more to owning a car than ensuring it has enough fuel. Proactive car care offers several benefits. It saves you time, money, and energy and enhances your car’s performance. Unless you’re okay with taking your car to your local mechanic every month, observe the proactive car care tips for Vermont drivers in this read.