With hurricane season comes Summer weather, and new challenges for keeping your vehicle in peak condition. While caring for your vehicle may not be the thing you’re most excited about this Summer, taking some time to perform a few simple checks will ensure that your vehicle can get you to all of your fun activities. Aside from Summer itself, the approach of hurricane season is reason enough to take some extra precautions. Below are a few car care tips to get you started!
Keep Your Car In Shape With Regular Maintenance.
Don’t skip scheduled maintenance if your car is due for a tune up. Make sure all fluids – especially coolant – are full. Also be sure to regularly check for leaks. The last thing you want in hot weather is for your car to break down due to overheating. This sort of thing is very possible when coolant levels are too low.
Make Sure You’re Prepared to Drive in Severe Weather.
Go back to Drivers Ed and refresh your memory on all those safe driving tips. When winds are high and rain is heavy, turn on your headlights so you have better visibility, and so other cars on the road can see you. Slow down. Failing to drive slowly in a storm puts both you and other drivers at risk for hydroplaning – or worse – a dangerous wreck. If the storm gets too bad, turn on your hazards and try to pull off to a safe area such as a gas station or other public place. Keep your radio tuned in to hear if a tornado warning is issued so you can take shelter if necessary.
Tend To Your Tires.
With rising temperatures come risks of tire blowouts due to pressure changes. You want to avoid under-inflation, over-inflation, and misaligned tires. It’s also very important to check the tread of your tires to make sure they have a good strong grip.
Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage.
Summer is the perfect time to review your auto policy and make sure it covers what you need. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from damages incurred by natural acts such as flooding, hail, and high winds, but it’s a good idea to review your policy details with your insurance agent to understand exactly what your policy covers, and what it won’t cover. If you have only liability or collision coverage, you should look into increasing it – but don’t wait until a storm is on the radar as most companies won’t issue new policies before a disaster hits. Ask about gap insurance, which will cover the difference between what your car is worth, and the payments you still owe on your loan or lease – or the “gap” during a hurricane.
A Word On Rates.
Did you know that weather can effect insurance rates? When insurance companies determine how much they will charge for insurance coverage, they consider things like weather, vandalism, and theft claims, and crash risks. In the event of a large storm, crashes are more likely to occur, and after a storm has done damage, theft and vandalism become increased risks. Rate increases happen after a storm or season and are determined by the amount of claims filed by customers. The insurance company decides whether they need to increase rates to stay in business, and if so, they must file rate updates with states for the increase to take place, so you won’t see your bill go up right away.
Stay Safe & Have Fun.
Storms require preparation, but there’s no need to let that preparation ruin your summer fun. Just a few careful steps taken toward preparing your vehicle will set you up for a safe, exciting Summer, and have you taking that car on an adventurous road trip in no time!