Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Now that winter is (FINALLY) behind us and spring has decided to make an appearance, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning – for your vehicle! Winters can be harsh on your car, which makes spring the perfect time to do some good maintenance and a deep clean.

Check out our Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist below, and stop by for our no appointment necessary oil change or see our service specials and let Monken help you with your spring chores!

Schedule an Oil Change. A good rule of thumb is to get an oil change approximately every 5000 miles.  It’s an easy and inexpensive part of your vehicle maintenance and it really helps extend the efficiency and reliability of your vehicle.

A GOOD Car Wash – Inside and Out. More than just the aesthetic of having a clean car, giving your vehicle a good wash at the start of spring is a step toward maintaining the overall health of your car. Road salt left on the exterior for too long can deplete the color and corrode the metal. (And spring rain showers are not enough to rinse off all that winter grime). Don’t forget the wash the undercarriage as well – this is where a lot of the road salt tends to sit and cause problems.

Don’t forget about the interior. Most car washes offer free vacuums after you’ve paid for a wash, so take advantage of them! Winter tends to encourage a trash buildup in the doors, nooks and crannies of vehicles. Take 20 minutes after your car wash and vacuum out the entire inside.

Replace Wiper Blades. Winter can be very harsh on wiper blades and small tears and cracks can appear without you being able to see them. With the onslaught of spring showers, you want to make sure that your wiper blades are up to snuff.

Check Tire Pressure and Alignment. Your tires are literally the cushion between you and the road, so it’s especially important to take care of them. We recommend checking your tire pressure monthly. Most newer vehicles will send you an alert when one or more tires has fallen below the recommended level.

Check the tread for wear and tear. Roads can be very slippery during spring rain storms, so you want to make sure you’re able to stop without sliding. You’ll want to rotate and align them in the spring as well.

Change Air Filters. You may not be using that AC just yet, but before it becomes an absolute necessity, make sure that your air filters are unclogged and replace them if necessary.

Review Your Insurance Policy. This is one of the vehicle maintenance items that people always forget about. Oftentimes, your agent will proactively reach out to you every so often, but if they don’t, spring is a good time to be proactive about it yourself. Are you in the most efficient policy for your family? Will you be adding a new teen driver to your policy soon? Call your agent and find out if there are any deals or discounts that you can get as well.

4 Teenager Insurance Tips

Since our oldest just turn 16, we have been reading articles about teenager insurance.  Here is a blog we thought we should share from insurancequoteauto.info.

Car insurance for teens is expensive because teen drivers represent a huge risk for car insurance companies. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. drivers ages 16 to 19, and drivers in that age group are nearly three times as likely as those ages 20 or older to be in a fatal crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute.

Tips:

  1. Get good grades. Good student discounts can range from 10% to 25%, depending on the insurance company and state.
  2. Take a professional training course. Insurers may offer discounts of up to 10% for drivers under 21 who complete an approved driving education course.
  3. Leave the car at home. Many insurers offer teen drivers a discount if they’re attending school at least 100 miles away from home and leave their car behind.
  4. Sign a driving contract. Some companies provide discounts or benefits for teens who sign a driving contract in which they promise to always wear a seatbelt, never text or eat while driving, call for a ride if impaired, pay any traffic or parking tickets, maintain good grades and contribute to the cost of car maintenance, gas and insurance. Discounts vary by state and insurance company.

It’s really important for teen drivers to compare prices from different insurance companies and look for discounts. For example, the following companies provide these discounts:

Nationwide:

Up to 15% discount for drivers ages 16 to 24 with a B average or better
Under the company’s Family Plan, relatives living in the same household can all share discounts

American Family insurance:

Good student discount available; percentages vary
Discount for drivers younger than 24 who attend school more than 100 miles away from home and leave their vehicles behind

State Farm:

Up to 25% discount for good students
Up to 15% discount for teen drivers who go at least three years with no tickets or at-fault accidents and complete an approved safety course

Geico:

Up to 15% discount for good students
Additional discounts available for car safety features
Teen drivers can also buy their own insurance policies, rather than being covered under their families’ plans. Teens can save by getting auto coverage on their parents’ policy. It costs teens and their families $3,053 less per year, on average, to be covered under a single car insurance policy than it does for teens to buy their own coverage.