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7 Ways to Protect Your Vehicle During the Winter

Auto insurance can play a critical role during the winter months. From frozen and slippery roads to white-outs during a snowstorm, you want to have coverage in the event something happens.

However, insurance can only go so far. Your policy isn’t going to cover wear and tear or issues that happen from poor maintenance. While there are several ways you can winterize your car before it snows, what about during the middle of winter?

Let’s take a look at seven ways to help protect your car in the winter aside from proper insurance coverage.

1. Maintain the Battery During Winter Months

The colder months put quite a strain on vehicle batteries. First of all, low temperatures lead to less of an electrochemical reaction within the unit. This means the battery will perform worse during the winter.

It’s vital that you test your battery regularly and replace it before you find yourself stranded somewhere.

2. Keep Timely with Oil and Fluid Changes

Low temperatures cause liquids of all kinds to move slower. This means that any fluids that are dirty, contaminated, or at low levels will hurt the performance of your vehicle more so when it’s freezing outside.

Driving around in the winter while you’re several thousand miles past an oil change increases the strain on the motor.

3. Watch the Radiator and Hoses

Antifreeze is a crucial element for many cars on the road today. And if you’re levels are low or contain more water than actual antifreeze, your radiator and hoses can freeze up.

Frozen lines can lead to splitting, which then results in the engine overheating.

4. Make Sure Belts Are Not Worn

The last thing you want to experience is a belt snapping while driving on the freeway during a snowstorm. Never underestimate how much wear and tear your belts go through on any given day.

Be aware of any kind of fraying or worn-out sections of the belts that keep the motor turning. Just make sure your car isn’t running before you check them.

5. Keep an Eye on the Tire Tread in Winter

Snow, slush, and mud are common road hazards during winter months. You want to make sure your tire tread is apt to take on what nature throws your way.

This is one of the biggest reasons why many people have a separate set of snow tires available for the winter months.

6. Check Your Bulbs and Replace if Needed

Bulbs for your car are usually not that expensive. And depending on the make and model of your vehicle, they are very easy to replace. Make sure your headlights and brake lights are visible to everyone during a storm.

Also, pay close attention to any condensation within the bulb housing. If the bulbs are getting wet, you’ll need to find the leak and seal it before your new bulbs blow out.

7. Use a Car Cover

Car covers, while a bit inconvenient to put on and off in the winter, can save you a lot of trouble. They protect the car from a plethora of weather types. Not to mention some may even alleviate frost buildup on the windshield.

You can find a lot of car covers for less than $100, and they’ll probably save you more than that throughout the year in maintenance expenses. Especially if you spend a lot of money keeping the vehicle clean.

Car covers are a great option if you don’t have a garage.

Winter Months Can Wreak Havoc on Autos

Depending on where you live, the winter months are some of the most strenuous for an automobile. And if you break down on the side of a snowy freeway, it’ll be incredibly strenuous for you.

In the event something does happen, though, you want to make sure you’re properly covered. At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’ll help you find the best policies for your auto regardless of the weather. Contact us today to see how we can help you save money while keeping your auto covered during the coldest months of the year.

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6 More Tips to Winterize Your Car Before it Snows

One of my favorite sayings is, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.” This means the little things you do today may save you from a lot of headaches later on. In this case, it’s making sure to winterize your car before the snow starts to fall.

Now, we’ve provided some tips for winterizing autos in the past. But today, we’re going to expand a bit and offer a few more than can keep you and your family safe this winter.

1. Keep the Car Clean

A build-up of slush, ice, mud, and road debris can wreak havoc on your car. Not only can it damage the paint, but it can also lead to rust if not properly cleaned.

This is especially true in areas that utilize a lot of salt or magnesium chloride to melt icy roads. Prolonged exposure could ultimately damage the vehicle.

2. Winterize Your Car with Snow Tires

Keeping an eye on air pressure is helpful. But switching to snow tires can make a world of difference in severe weather. The tread on these tires is such that it improves traction, which reduces your risks of losing control.

If you don’t use snow tires, at least check the tread gap of your tires to ensure they’re still in good condition.

3. Check the Brakes on the Car

It’s bad enough that you can potentially slide through an icy intersection, but losing control because of bad breaks can make the situation far worse.

Having the brakes inspected now could save you a lot of hassle later on should the brakes fail during a snow storm.

4. Winterize by Using De-Icer for Your Car

De-icer fluid can come in a variety of packages. You’ll see a lot of de-icing windshield fluids as well as sprays for your door’s lock. In any case, methods to help de-ice your car shouldn’t be underestimated.

You could go as far as using anti-fog sprays on the inside of your windshield to prevent the glass from fogging up in the mornings. It’s the same spray that motorcyclists and skiers use on their helmets and visors, and it works wonders!

The anti-fog sprays not only help winterize your car, but they can do so much more for other outdoor activities. It’s worthwhile having a bottle on hand.

5. Have an Emergency Kit on Hand

You should always have an emergency kit in your car regardless of the weather. In the event of winter, though, it should include gloves, blankets, drinking water, and non-perishable edibles, such as nuts and/or other sealed goods.

Think of it this way; if you were to slide off the road somewhere, could you survive below-zero temperatures for several days with what you have in your car right now?

Sure, it’s a very rare occurrence this could happen. Yet, hundreds were stranded in eastern Virginia at the beginning of 2022, forced to stay the night in their vehicles.

6. Be Mindful of Driving Abilities

The way you drive in the winter is vastly different from how you drive in the summer. Obviously, there are greater threats to consider. Mostly, how you handle black ice and dense snow storms.

Practicing your driving skills in poor weather conditions can vastly improve your chances of avoiding accidents. In fact, a lot of businesses offer winter driving schools for this very reason.

Winterize Your Car with the Best Insurance Plans

Every year, roughly 39% of all weather-related auto accidents happen on roads experiencing everything from regular snowfall to icy pavement. Regardless of how much preparedness you commit to, there’s always a chance you’ll be involved in an accident yourself.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’ll help you find the best policies regardless of the weather. Contact us today to see what we can do for you this winter.

Just make sure you take steps to winterize your car before the weather gets too bad.

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Winter Driving And Car Accidents

Winter is a good and delightful time of the year. It brings snow to make a cute snowman and enjoy a snowball fight with our friends and family. However, these attractive aspects can make winters dangerous for drivers. As the days get colder, the risk of road accidents increases. Therefore, taking precautionary measures and driving with complete focus is important to save your life. The NHTSA mentions many tips on their website, and here are some tips and tricks to drive your vehicle during cold weather safely.

Winter Driving Tips

Drive Slowly and Super Smoothly

The trick to safe winter driving in snow is being smooth with your accelerator, steering wheel, and brakes. Every push of the brakes, turn off the wheels, or throttle movement needs to be gentle, deliberate, and gradual. It would help if you tried to be as slow as you could while driving the car.

Avoid Involving in Distractions

Most accidents happen when the driver is distracted doing other things while driving. Therefore, avoid talking to the passengers when driving in extremely cold weather, never use your phone, eat food, or listen to music at high volume. You need to avoid every type of distraction if you want to avoid an accident.

Turn On Your Lights

Turning your lights on will help other drivers on the road to see you from far. Headlights can also make your vehicle visible on extreme fog days. This way, whenever other drivers notice you on the road, they will drive carefully around you.

Avoid Driving in Harsh Weather

This is another very important winter driving tip. Driving in winters can be extremely challenging. So, if you find yourself not having to drive in dangerous weather conditions, don’t push yourself to drive in these circumstances. Cancel your journey as soon as possible and head back to your house. If the weather is too harsh to get back to the house, go to the nearest place to relax until the condition becomes appropriate for driving.

Do You Need to Report Accidents?

Many people don’t report accidents if they are not serious. But this is a wrong approach. Not only do you reduce your chances of getting insurance coverage, but you can also save others. Wondering how? Well, report accidents to the authorities in your area to find ways to solve the problem. They first try to find the cause of your accident and then opt for different ways to resolve the issue. So, even if you had a bad experience, you can save others from going through the same trauma.

Wrapping Up

Besides the mentioned winter driving tips, you also need to install high-quality tires in your vehicle. It’s also vital to check the weather conditions before stepping out of your house. If you can, keep some important things on you while traveling long distances at night. This includes extra batteries, a torch, water bottles, and snacks. So, if you have to spend the night in your car on the roadside, you will have all the essentials to pass the night. Click here to read more.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance understands that sometimes you may not be able to stay off the roads and things happen. That’s why, as a premier local independent insurance agency, we strive to build the relationships necessary to customize your insurance coverage to your needs at the right price. Contact us today.

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