Automobile

Being without your car is a hardship…even just for a day. You depend on your car to get you to work, take the kids to school, or run essential errands like grocery shopping. That’s why when your car breaks down, it’s critical to get it back up and running as quickly as possible. And if a breakdown isn’t bad enough, a repair bill that runs into hundreds or thousands of dollars can throw an extra wrench into the works.

Whether you own a new or used car, truck or SUV, a protection plan can cover the cost of future breakdowns and unexpected repairs and get you back on the road with minimal heartache. And many vehicle protection plans offer nice extras as well. Things like roadside assistance, car rental service and overnight expenses if your car breaks down while you’re away from home.

Claims for authorized repairs are paid directly to the repair facility so you don’t have to worry about bills or reimbursement hassles. When purchasing a vehicle protection plan, be sure to ask about flexible payment plan options so you can design the payment plan that works best for you.

Tips

  • Check fluids regularly, including oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the hoses and belts periodically for cracks or signs of excessive wear.
  • Replace your battery when necessary. Make sure connections are clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  • Check your brakes annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  • Inspect the exhaust system if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous.
  • Schedule regular tune-ups to help fuel economy and manage emissions.
  • Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  • Check your tires regularly, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving in rain and snow.
  • Always check your owner's manual for specifics on your vehicle.