Auto Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

What You Should Keep In Your Car In the Event of An Emergency

Are you the type of person who has a car filled with clutter? Maybe you have items scattered all over your car in different areas. Or maybe you have a trunk filled with items it would take you a week to organize. In the event of an emergency, there are a number of essential items you will want to have stored in your car. What are they?

You can buy various emergency kits that contain different items. Here’s what we recommend in terms of what you should keep in your car in case something unexpected happens that leaves you stranded.

  • Spare tire
  • Tire inflater & sealer
  • Jumper cables
  • Your car’s owner’s manual
  • A tire pressure gauge
  • Repair contact information

Not everyone is going to face the same challenges when it comes to their car. If you are the type of person that spends a considerable amount of time in your car, your needs may be slightly different from others. If you think you fall into this category, consider keeping the following items in your car just in case disaster strikes.

Safety Supplies: First-Aid Kit, Flashlight, Matches (or another tool you can use to start a fire)

Energy bars or MREs – energy bars are great to give you a quick boost if you have been stranded for a while. We understand you most likely are not going to find yourself in a military situation, but MREs (meals ready to eat) only need hot water to be ready for your consumption. If you are facing dire straits, these are an option for you.

Water bottles – It is recommended that men drink about15.5 cups of water every day (3.7 liters). It is recommended that women drink about 11.5 cups of water per day (2.7 liters). When it comes to storing water in your car, be careful not to store water in plastic bottles in hot temperatures as the chemicals in the plastic may seep into the water leaving it unsafe to drink. Glass bottles or gallon jugs are a better option.

For Winter Emergencies

  • Ice scraper
  • Blanket

In addition to the items mentioned above, you may consider keeping these other items handy:

  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Pen and notepad
  • Umbrella
  • Emergency cash
  • A change of clothes
  • Masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A portable phone charger

Emergencies can occur at a moment’s notice and it is important to be prepared.

 

 

 

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What Do I Do If My Car Engine Is Overheating?

We live in a day and age where the cars we drive have state-of-the-art cooling systems that allow for engines to maintain a safe temperature, so the car can perform at its highest level in any situation. However, there are instances when your vehicle may overheat. If you would like to learn how to prevent overheating or how to fix an overheating problem, please read on…

There are several reasons why an engine would overheat. Usually, this happens when there is a problem with the vehicle’s cooling system that does not allow heat to leave the engine compartment. More often than not, this is due to a leak or blockage somewhere within the cooling system or other components of the car.

Over time, parts of your car are going to suffer wear and tear. Rubber hoses, gaskets, and water pumps can leak. When this happens, your car’s cooling system may be affected. Also, if you have a consistent long commute for work every morning, eventually, the stop=and-go traffic has the potential put very serious strain on your car’s cooling system. This is why it is so important to have regular maintenance check-ups conducted by an experienced professional who knows what to look for.

When you are driving, it is extremely important to pay attention to any alerts your car may be giving you. If you see lights flashing or any indicators being illuminated, get to a repair shop as soon as possible. Putting this off could spell disaster for your wallet.

So, what should you look for to know if your car is overheating? Again, if any of these problems are occurring, seek professional maintenance assistance immediately:

If you any steam coming from underneath the hood of your car.

The temperature gauge for your engine is reaching “H” or is moving into the red area of the gauge.

If you smell any strong odors coming from the front of the car, get to a maintenance shop as soon as you can.

To combat the effects of overheating, it is a good idea to have some essential items on hand:

  • Tool kit
  • A few quarts of oil
  • At least 1 gallon of coolant
  • Towel
  • Gloves

If your car is overheating, take these next steps:

Turning off the heater will potentially lower the temperature of your engine. If you see the warning light turning off or if the temperature gauge goes back to neutral, you should be okay.

Pull over. If you are driving along and your car starts to overheat, it is best to pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine to give it time to cool. If you have the towing option on your Erie Insurance auto policy, you can contact their roadside assistance to come help you. Their number is 1-800-367-3743. You will want to select OPTION 2.

Be patient. If you do not have roadside assistance, it is best to stay calm and wait at least 15 minutes for the engine to cool. It is possible that the engine coolant has reached a scorching temperature, so please do not attempt to open the hood at this time.

Add coolant. Before you add coolant, please make sure you are wearing some heavy-duty gloves. You will want to unscrew the reservoir cap and, using a funnel, gently pour the coolant into the hole of the funnel. Using a funnel allows you to control how much coolant you are adding and prevents a mess.

Drive your car to a service station. Coolant does not directly address the problem you may be having with your car if it is overheating, but it may buy you enough time to get to a service station to have it looked at. A professional will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your car and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

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We all take risks every single day. Some of those risks, like driving, may be unavoidable. What can we do to ensure our own safety as well as the safety of others around us while we are behind the wheel? We can practice something called defensive driving.

What is defensive driving?

Defensive Driving is a set of skills one has to defend themselves from possible collisions with other vehicles on the road. Whether caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, or hazardous weather conditions, there are several steps one can take to make sure they remain safe while on the road.

Give yourself extra time to reach your destination: It does not matter where you are going. While we cannot control the weather, we can take it upon ourselves to anticipate poor weather conditions by paying attention to weather forecasts, so we can make an informed, educated decision about how to proceed with our days. For example, if you know you are going to have an important appointment with your doctor, you can be proactive in finding out what the weather is going to be like that day and plan accordingly. If weather conditions are going to be rainy or icy, it would be a good idea to leave earlier for your appointment, so you do not feel rushed. Stress can lead you to make poor choices while behind the wheel. Road rage is not your friend. Aggressive driving is what we are trying to avoid.

Be able to control your speed on the road: As mentioned earlier, road rage is not your friend. Stay calm and focused while you are operating a motor vehicle. Not only will you be keeping yourself safer, but you will also be protecting other drivers around you. If you have a long commute with long stretches of road in front of you, consider using your cruise-control option in your car. This will allow you to conserve your energy and maintain your focus on what is in front of you.

Be prepared to react to other drivers: This is important. While we cannot control other drivers on the road, we can help protect ourselves by anticipating actions of other drivers. In order to protect yourself, maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Stay in your lane. If you are able to maintain a safe speed and a safe distance, you should be able to give yourself ample time to react should another driver do something. Because you have taken steps to anticipate bad driving techniques, you will avoid a collision and a potential insurance claim.

Do not expect other drivers to do what you think he or she should do: As stated before, ways to keep yourself safe are to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Giving yourself that safe distance will buy you more time to react to a bad driver. If another driver is texting while driving, because you have maintained a safe speed and distance, it will not matter that they are not paying attention to the road. You will avoid a collision.

Use proper etiquette and driving techniques while on the road: We all learn how to properly operate a motor vehicle when we take our driver’s test. We all have to pass it before we get our learner’s permit. That is not to say that once you get your learner’s permit, you are suddenly an expert driver. We should all use our turn signals before switching lanes, maintain a safe distance between ourselves and the cars in front of us and around us, and stay calm behind the wheel.

Stay alert and avoid distractions: In most states, it is now against the law to hold your cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is against the law. Some police officers will pull you over just for having your cell phone in your hand. Eating behind the wheel can be another distraction because it, oftentimes, forces you to take at least one hand off of the wheel and your eyes off of the road. Finally, if you are listening to music or the radio, consider leaving the volume level at a place that allows you to hear other cars around you. For example, if a car is honking at you, you will be able to hear it. If a police cruiser or an ambulance needs to pass you, you will be able to hear it and move out of the way.

Defensive Driving is the best way to keep yourself safe while driving. You will be able to protect yourself as well as other drivers around you. And finally, you will be taking preventative measures to keep your insurance rates from increasing. No one wants to have their insurance rates go up or to have their insurance policy canceled altogether.

 

 

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The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

When we are little, we don’t necessarily spend a lot of your time thinking about maintenance. After all, oftentimes, our parents prepare our meals, help us to bathe, and drive us to get our haircuts. We are not required to think about the idea of maintenance because our parents maintain everything for us. Of course, they could teach us the importance of cleaning our room, brushing our teeth, and keeping an overall organized way of living. But, unless they are proactive in that area, we are left to fend for ourselves. As a result, many of us may not appreciate the importance of maintenance until we are old enough to drive or when we buy our own car.

Nearly every child has dreams of growing up and being independent. It may seem a little ironic because once they reach adulthood, children long for those innocent, childhood years when they could depend on their parents to do everything for them. We’ve all heard the expression, “Ignorance is bliss”. There is a certain sense of pride one feels when they reach the point in their lives when they are able to take care of themselves. A young adult feels that sense of pride when they are handed the keys to their first home or their first car. Once an individual is given the responsibility to live on their own, maintenance may just be one of, if not the most, important parts of their everyday life.

For many, cars are an enormous investment. And although cars depreciate in value overtime, as the owner of a car, one wants to do everything they possibly can to prolong the lifespan of their car. Additionally, keeping up with the maintenance for your car can greatly impact its resale value in a positive way.

Inspect and Maintain Your Tires: Have you ever been driving along on the road and it feels like your car is leaning to one side? If so, one of your tires may have low tire pressure. Ignoring this can cause severe and unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s engine. Always keep an eye on your tires’ pressure levels and adjust them accordingly. When you take your car in to get an oil change, ask the workers to check the tire pressure for all of your tires. They will tell you if you are in good shape or if you need an adjustment.

Change the Oil: It is a common thought that changing your oil every 3,000 miles is sufficient, but, you may be able to extend that time period if you choose a higher-grade oil. Some oils allow your vehicle to perform at a higher level for up to 5,000 miles. When you take your car in to get an oil change, ask about the different types of oil that are available. Also, not every type of oil is going to be suitable for your car. This is generally based on three factors: the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic or non-synthetic oil, and your car’s mileage. Ask a service team member for assistance if you are unsure.

Check the fluids: To make sure your car keeps running smoothly, you should check:

  • Engine oil – lubricates the engine
  • Coolant – helps to prevent your car’s engine from overheating
  • Power steering fluid – acts as the pass through which power is transferred from the steering wheel to the steering mechanism of the car. Also helps to lubricate and protect all moving parts of the system.
  • Brake fluid – keeps your brakes lubricated
  • Transmission fluid – lubricates the internal parts of your engine and dissipates heat.

Check the Air Filter:

Remove the air-filter element from your vehicle. To check its condition, hold it up to a strong light. If you can’t see any any light passing through it, it is time to replace it. Having a properly functioning air-filter will increase your car’s fuel efficiency. Additionally, it has been said that changing a clogged air filter has the potential to increase acceleration by 6 to 11 percent on modern fuel-injected cars. Other studies have indicated that doing this can save up to fifteen cents per gallon at the gas pump. Changing your air filter can help reduce emissions as well.

Inspect your Brakes: Unless you are an expert in vehicle maintenance and know exactly what to look for in this area, it is probably best to have an experience professional do a thorough inspection of your cars brake system. They can tell you if it is time to replace them.

Check the Battery: Look closely at the battery’s terminals and cables to ensure they are securely attached. If your battery has removable caps, check its fluid level every few months.

We learn a lot as we get older. How to properly maintain and care for our cars will not only make us more confident in leading a healthy and happy life; it will save us loads of money over time.

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