Wednesday, December 7, 2016

5 Tips for Keeping Your Car on the Road This Holiday Season

With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, many of you will be traveling across the country to visit family and friends. In today's blog, your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent offers a few tips for keeping your car on the road this holiday season, and ultimately reducing the risk of needing to file an auto insurance claim.

1. Get an Oil Change. 

One of the easiest things you can do to prevent the need for costly car repairs is to have your oil changed regularly. Failing to change your oil regularly can cause debris and oil to build-up and can cause your engine to fail. Therefore, its recommended that you have your oil changed at least every 3,000 miles. In addition, its important that you check your oil levels before you head out on a long road trip. Running your vehicle with low oil can cause engine issues, and could even leave you stranded on the side of the road this holiday season. 

2. Check Your Tire Pressure. 

Tire problems are one of the most common auto issues you can come across when traveling. As the temperature drops outside, so does the air pressure in your tires. Before heading out on a long trip, be sure to check your tire pressure and fill them to the recommended pressure, which can usually be found on the door frame of your vehicle or in your owners manual. Low tire pressure can lead to a flat-tire or a blow-out, neither of which you want while traveling this holiday season. Aside from preventing bigger problems, proper inflated tires will ensure a smoother ride and better gas mileage.

3. Get a Tire Rotation.

Going long distances (or even short ones for that matter) on worn out tires can also lead to a blow out. The front tires tend to wear faster on the outside edges as a car leans into turns. A poor alignment or unbalanced tires can also cause uneven wear. About every 6-8 months, you want to have your tires rotated to promote even wear, and therefore a longer life for your tires. Easily check the wear on your tires by placing a penny in the thread; if you can see Lincoln's head, your tires are worn out.

4. Inspect Your Brake Pads. 

Aggressive driving can really put some major wear and tear on your brakes, especially if you live in an area with heavy traffic. Depending on your mileage, its a good idea to have your brake pads inspected every 3-6 months. If you haven't had them looked at in awhile, its particularly important to do so before heading out on a long trip with a car packed full of holiday items and family. Not checking for wear and tear, often and early, can lead to exorbitant rotor and disc repairs and replacements.

5. Check all your fluids. 

While this may seem like an easy one, its important that you remember to check all your fluid regularly, especially before heading out on a long road trip. This includes engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. Also be sure to check for any fluid leaks that may be the cause of low fluids. When you check the oil, not only should you check for proper levels, but also see how dirty it is. Chances are it might be time for that oil change from point #1.

Insure the Lake hopes you stay safe on the roads this holiday season! In addition to preparing your vehicle before you hit the road, be sure to drive defensively and use extra caution when driving in holiday traffic. Make sure your Lake of the Ozarks auto insurance policy is up-to-date by giving us a call at 573-348-2794.

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral