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Low Rate Car Insurance - How to Increase the Life of Your Car

Depending on who you ask, the average life of a car is anywhere from 100,000 to a 150,000 miles, which on average covers about 10-15 years according to statistics. Of course there are many variables which can affect length of life including how hard you drive your car, quality of workmanship, location and weather, what kind of mileage you put on your car (highway vs. city driving), and more. Some of these things you have control over, others you don’t. But there is one pro-active step you can take that will almost always increase the life of your car over the long haul and that’s to focus on better preventative maintenance. Here are some maintenance tips and suggestions:

Check your engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant levels and tire pressure at least once per month.

3,000 - 5,000 miles: Change engine oil and filter, get chassis lubricated and inspect all belts and hoses.

6,000 miles: Have your suspension checked and have your tires inspected, rotated and balance checked. It’s also time for a brake inspection.

12,000 - 24,000 miles: Replace air filter.

24,000 miles: Replace your spark plugs and rotator cap. Change automatic transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket. Get wheel alignment check.

40,000 - 80,000 miles: Flush radiator and replace anti-freeze.

60,000 - 80,000 miles: Have belts and hoses replaced.

60,000- 100,000 miles: Replace timing belt if applicable.

The services listed above are typical and apply to most vehicles. You may need inspections and replacements more often depending on your driving habits and the quality of your car. In addition, your specific make and model may require some unique services specified by the manufacturer.

Whenever you have major repair to do, get at least three estimates. Ask your friends who they use and if they’re happy with them. Finding a qualified and cost-efficient auto mechanic is like finding gold. When getting an estimate, get everything in writing. Sometimes mechanics will want to inspect a car first. Don’t let them start replacing anything post-inspection without your written approval.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Should I Ever Buy Rental Car Insurance?

    Many rental car companies have a number of insurance policies they would love to have you sign off on. Under the right circumstances, one of their policies might benefit you. But what they don’t typically tell you is that you may not need one of their insurance policies if in fact you have car insurance coverage from your own company.

    Typically when you rent a car, the car insurance liability coverage you have remains in effect on the rental car, as does comprehensive and collision coverages. But before you say yes or no to rental insurance, it’s wise to double-check with your insurance agent first and find out if you would be covered and under what circumstances that coverage would be in effect. Let your agent know the company you’re renting from, the type of vehicle you’ll be driving, where you’ll be traveling (out of state?), and who will be driving the vehicle. Before you rent a car, you should understand what charges you would be responsible for if in fact you were in an accident or items were stolen from your car.

    If you happen to suffer a loss while using your rental car, and your normal car insurance policy doesn’t cover the loss, it’s possible that one of your other insurance policies may cover it. For instance, injuries may be covered by a medical insurance policy, or if your car was broken into and something was stolen, your homeowners or rental insurance policy may cover the property loss.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - Tire Safety and Longevity Tips

    According to the NHTSA (nhtsa.gov), maintaining proper tire pressure is the most important part of managing a car’s tires. Here are some more safety tips as well as tips to help reduce annual wear-and-tear on your tires:
     
    When driving on a rough or worn road, slow down if you have to go over a pothole or a damaged portion of road.

    Do your best not to run over a curb when driving and try not to hit or rub up against a curb when parking.

    Check tire pressure on all four tires about once per month including your spare tire. If you’re going on a trip, make sure you check the pressure before you go. When checking tire pressure, it’s better to do on a cooler day because of expansion. It is extremely difficult to tell just by looking if your tires are properly inflated so purchase an accurate tire pressure gauge.

    Inspect your tires for uneven wear-and-tear on the treads. This includes cracks or splits, damage to the sidewalls, etc. Remove bits of debris that is jammed down in the treads. Be careful of broken glass.

    Make sure all four tires have their valve stem caps on.

    Don’t overload your vehicle. Know what your specific cars load limits are, especially in relation to your tire pressure. Under inflation and overloading are major causes of tire failures. Remember if you’re towing a trailer, some of the “load” of the trailer will be transferred to your vehicle so adjust your load limit and tire pressure accordingly.

    Rotate your tires about every 10,000 miles. Rotating them from front to back or side to side can reduce irregular wear and tear. Your owner’s manual should specify how often you should rotate them and what type of rotation to do.

    If your steering wheel tends to shake when you drive, it could be that your wheels are out of alignment or your brakes need checking. To avoid the general shaking, make sure your wheels are balanced and the front end of your car is aligned.

    When tire tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, they can become very dangerous. At that point, it’s time to replace the tires.

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    Low Rate Car Insurance - America’s Most Stolen Cars

    Last year in 2005, CCC Information Services Inc., a technology provider to the automotive claims and repair industry, recorded the ten most stolen vehicles for the year 2005. They are as follows:

    1. 2001 BMW M Roadster
    2. 1998 Acura Integra
    3. 2004 Mercury Marauder
    4. 1999 Acura Integra
    5. 1995 Acura Integra
    6. 2002 Audi S4
    7. 1996 Acura Integra
    8. 1997 Acura Integra
    9. 2001 Acura Integra
    10. 2000 Jaguar XJR

    According to the CCC, the theft study is based on total loss claims received from more than 325 property and casualty insurers in the United States and Canada. The figures are extruded from comparisons between the number of cars stolen and the number of cars not recovered against vehicle registration volume information.

    Another study done by the HLD Insitute rates the Cadillac Escalade as one of the most likely cars to get stolen base on cars that are less than three years old.

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