Tag Archives | car

Image by StockSnap, pixabay.com

If you had a car in high school, there is a good chance you were on your parent’s insurance policy. However, if you are moving away to college or moving out after graduation, you may need to find your own insurance policy. Here are key points to keep in mind when determining whether or not you need car insurance after leaving your parents’ house.

Will You Be Driving Your Own Car?

There is no need to have insurance on your vehicle if you aren’t planning on driving it. This may be the case if you live on campus or move to a city that has a good public transportation system. If anyone else wants to drive your car while you are away, that person should insure the vehicle in their name.

Are You Moving Out of State?

If you are planning on driving your vehicle in another state, you will need to get your own car insurance policy. This is because insurance companies only provide policies within the state they operate in. In most cases, you have several days or weeks after you move to complete your switch to a new policy.

Can You Get Better Rates on Your Own?

Drivers under the age of 25 tend to pay higher rates compared to other drivers with similar records. However, there may be ways to show insurance companies that you are responsible and deserving of a lower rate despite your age. Getting married or having a good credit score may help you get a better rate on your own than you do on your parents’ policy.

The Consequences are Severe If You Don’t Have Insurance

Whether you choose to stay on your parents’ policy or buy your own, make sure you have adequate coverage. Failure to carry valid insurance is a crime in all 50 U.S. states. You may also be liable for any damages incurred in an accident if you don’t have auto insurance. If you are involved in an accident caused by a driver with inadequate coverage, it may be worthwhile to talk with a lawyer.

Moving out of your parents’ house can be both exciting and liberating. However, it also means you are now responsible for buying car insurance and other things on your own. Taking the time to compare policies from multiple companies may help you find auto insurance that fits your needs and your budget at the same time.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

Image by kaboompics, pixabay.com

Image by kaboompics, pixabay.com

Driving to and from a college campus can put a lot of extra strain on your vehicle. As a car owner, you have to take an active role in properly maintaining your ride. It can be difficult to juggle these responsibilities along with all your schoolwork, but if you know what to look for and can take a few preventative steps, it can make your college commute a lot easier. Here are the six basics of car care every commuter should know:

Oil Check
Checking your oil level is very easy and also one of the most important things you can do to care for your car. While the engine is off, grab the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Reinsert it to get a more accurate reading. Try to keep the oil level at the full line. If your vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, check your oil level every three weeks. Worn engines tend to consume oil more rapidly.

Tire Care
To extend the life of your tires, be sure to check the pressure on a monthly basis. Not only can low tire pressure impact your vehicle’s handling, but it can also cause a decrease in gas mileage. A digital tire pressure gauge is a device every driver needs to keep on hand. If your steering wheel has started to vibrate, take the vehicle to a place like Free Service Tire Company, since this means the tires likely need to be re-balanced.

Change the Air Filter
After around 15,000 miles, most air filters will need to be replaced. An extremely dirty air filter will drastically reduce your engine’s performance. The good news is, most replacement air filters are fairly inexpensive.

Wash the Vehicle
When you are busy attending class, it is easy to overlook washing your vehicle. However, the accumulation of grime and road salt promotes the formation of rust. It is also a good idea to wax the paint at least twice a year. The layer of wax will provide an extra barrier of protection from chip damage.

Keep an Eye on the Coolant Level
In order to prevent an overheated engine, there must be an adequate amount of coolant in the radiator. In the event that your temperature gauge suddenly approaches the danger zone, pull your vehicle over immediately. You could have a broken thermostat or a busted coolant hose.

Install New Brake Pads
Most modern braking systems feature a wear indicator. When the brake pads get extremely low, the wear indicator will begin to make a loud screeching sound. This means that your pads must be replaced within the next 50 miles.

Take a good look at these car care tips – if anything, they’ll give you an extra sense of security on your daily commute.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

Image by MattysFlicks, Flickr

Image by MattysFlicks, Flickr

Taking your car to a mechanic can be expensive. On a tight budget, you may feel like putting it off, but not performing maintenance on your car can quickly ruin its condition. Thankfully, there are a number things you can do yourself without taking your car to a mechanic.

Changing the Oil

An oil change is something that many people pay someone else to do for them. While this may save you some effort, it can also be expensive. Performing an oil change is one of the easiest routine maintenance tasks any layperson can perform. All you need is new oil, a container for the old oil, a funnel, an oil filter and a ratchet. Just make sure to wait to change it until a couple hours after driving or the oil will be hot. Here’s how to do it:

Replacing Air Filters

A second maintenance task that is very easy to do yourself is replacing your car’s air filters. Replacing an old air filter can increase your car’s gas mileage and power. To replace it, you don’t even have to drive to a store. Purchase some air filters from a website like Overstock that have discounted air filters. If you want to save more money, you can find promo codes and discounts such as free shipping from coupon sites like Discountrue. Here’s how to do it:

Replacing Windshield Wipers

Using worn out windshield wipers can be dangerous. It can seriously affect your visibility on the road during a rain or snow storm, but swapping out your windshield wipers for new ones is simple. If the strips on your windshield wipers seem worn and frayed, simply buy some new wipers. All you will need to swap them out is a screwdriver. Here’s how to do it:

Replacing Headlights

When your headlights stop working, it can be pretty distressing, especially if it’s dark outside. Like a lamp, all you usually need to do is swap out the burned out bulb for a new one. Replacing the headlight cover and putting it back in place usually isn’t too complicated either. Here’s how:

Replacing the Spark Plugs

Something that can affect the health of an automobile is its spark plugs. Replacing your car’s spark plugs when they become worn out can both increase your car’s gas consumption and allow it to run much smoother than before. Always check your owner’s manual to find out how you can replace them on your own – but here’s a quick tutorial:

You shouldn’t be afraid to work on your car. Most car owners are competent enough to perform basic maintenance – it will increase your understanding of your vehicle and save you money at the same time.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

Image by Gregg O'Connell on Flickr

Image by Gregg O’Connell on Flickr

You have just been accepted to college, and you’re daydreaming about your first day. Going to class, making friends, exploring the campus. But have you thought about how you’re going to get there? Now is the time to consider if you should be getting your driver’s license. Many people choose not to have a license because they live in the city and it’s less expensive to take public transportation than it is to pay for gas and insurance. However, not being able to drive can limit your freedom. It may be easier to live on your own with a driver’s license. Getting your license before college/university can be advantageous for the following reasons:

  • Safety – Taking public transportation can be risky. If you have night courses, you may feel unsafe taking the bus at late hours.
  • Moving or helping a friend move – Being able to drive makes it easier to borrow a truck or rent a U-Haul truck in the event you are moving or helping a friend move.
  • Partying – You’ll have more responsibility when out with friends as you can assign a designated driver.
  • Identification – A driver’s license is the most commonly accepted I.D. worldwide. You can present it when opening a bank account, going to a bar or club or applying for a passport.
  • Rite of passage – Many people look at getting a license as a milestone. It makes them feel proud, like an adult and gives them a sense of freedom.
  • Exploring the city – If you like day trips, having a license allows you to borrow or rent a car to explore the city you live in.
  • Convenience – Being forced to adhere to a bus or train schedule is not always practical. Having a license allows you the convenience of being able to go wherever you want at the time you want to.
  • Grocery shopping – Do you take a taxi or public transportation to carry your groceries home? That can become expensive. Driving can make it easier and a bit more affordable.
  • Significant other – If you have a partner that does not live with you, driving can make it much easier to see them more often. Let’s not forget you don’t have to worry about how you are going to get home – some buses stop running early in certain cities.
  • Sick family – If you are living at home with sick family, having a license makes it easier to attend to their needs, i.e. run errands for them or take them to doctor’s appointments.

Getting your license before college or university can make life more convenient. Although it is not crucial, it can make your college years much easier, so it’s worth considering!