Global warming dominates the news headlines, but with good reason. Indeed, we only have one planet, and taking care of it is essential to humanity’s survival. On a more local level, climate change impacts your everyday drive.
As the Earth warms up, the weather changes dramatically. You have to think through things differently from the past, such as making sure you are practicing critical driving safety in rain and wet weather.
Climate Change And Your Car
Rising temperatures play a substantial role in our ability to regulate our body’s proper internal temperature. You sweat a lot more in the summer than in the winter, after all. However, your car goes through the same set of pressures to regulate its internal temperature. Your engine has to be able to run in any season, and higher temperatures mean more pressure on your car.
The same is the case with heavier rains. While most freeways, highways, and city streets are treated to help with rainfall, heavy rains create a very slick environment that is hard for local governments to manage effectively.
As you drive, this can become quite a dangerous situation. In heavy rain, it becomes incredibly important to see other vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, heavy rain often brings lower visibility, increasing the chances of an accident.
Do You Have A Real Car Maintenance Plan?
If you want to take good care of your vehicle, you have to have a real car maintenance plan. This means looking at a routine that not just fits your budget but also matches how you drive.
A driver that has a short commute close to home will have a different maintenance process than a driver that commutes half an hour or even an hour away from home in stop-and-go traffic five days a week.
Building a plan to address the repairs on a routine basis might sound expensive, but it’s actually much more cost effective than first realized. Since you’re working car repairs and maintenance into your budget, it isn’t an unexpected expense.
Juggling unexpected expenses is often at the root of why so many struggle with their finances. The best way forward is to look at the best car maintenance routine for your needs.
The Dangers Of Not Maintaining Your Vehicle
Even though basic car maintenance takes just a few minutes at a time, the consequences of not doing this essential maintenance are pretty severe. For example, if your tires continued to lose air pressure and you didn’t get the right level of traction on the road, you could lose control and crash into another vehicle.
Not every accident is major, but no one knows how severe an accident will affect their lives until the incident occurs. Some car accidents are minor, while others can involve a car that is too costly to repair (a totaled vehicle). In addition, accidents will negatively impact your driving record, which can affect everything from loans to life insurance.
Common Car Maintenance Tips
If you’re trying to practice smart car maintenance, there are a few tips to keep in mind. These points are designed to get you going in the right direction:
- Start with the tires. Underinflation is just as bad as overinflated tires. Look at the right pressure for your tires by checking the sticker inside the driver’s side door panel.
- Oil changes matter. Check your owner’s manual and see the exact type of oil your vehicle requires. Older vehicles with higher mileage benefit greatly from full synthetic oil.
- Check the brakes regularly. Heavy rain affects your vehicle’s ability to stop, and brakes that are well-worn make your car stop slower than it should.
- Refer to your owner’s manual regularly. You may have a separate manual just for common car maintenance, or it might just be one big manual for the whole vehicle. Either way, review your manual for when other services are recommended.
- Replace the wiper blades often. If you’re already in an area with heavy rainfall, change the wiper blades every three to four months. You wouldn’t skip cleaning your glasses, so you can’t skip keeping your windshield clean and clear, either.
Keep maintaining your vehicle regularly to ensure the safest possible driving.
Risky Maintenance And Car Insurance: Deep Connections
An accident, even a minor one, definitely affects your insurance rates. The insurance company is always looking at your driving history in terms of how likely you are to engage in risky activity. With more people hitting the road as vaccinations grow and
Americans feel more secure traveling during COVID, chances of auto accidents increase. Just one accident can change the picture the insurance company has of you as a consumer, and that costs you in the long run.
On a higher level, think about the number of accidents every day that proper maintenance prevents entirely. We all have to do our part to keep accidents down so that the monthly premiums charged across the industry are kept as low as possible.
Other Drivers Affect Your Monthly Premium
Remember that your monthly premium isn’t just based on how risky you are as a driver; the area that you garage your vehicle in is also brought into consideration. If you live in an area where accidents occur frequently, you’ll see higher monthly premiums.
It doesn’t feel fair, but the insurance company spreads the cost and risk across an entire area of drivers instead of just one or two troublemakers.
The Best Path Forward
Let’s face it: Nobody is doing absolutely everything in their life perfectly. So if you find that you aren’t maintaining your car the way you used to because life is getting in the way, don’t beat yourself up too much.
It’s never too late to get started maintaining your vehicle the right way. If you don’t already have a local mechanic that you trust, a quick search online through reviews will usually lead you to the right service shop. It’s a good idea to get a professional that you can return to time after time with any questions that you have.
Choose a mechanic that is not only supported by good reviews but can also guarantee their work. Things come up in car repairs, and you want to make sure that you have a real professional in your corner that’s always willing to make things right. Global warming is affecting your drive with heavy rain, rising temperatures, and a greater concern for the future we all share, but there are plenty of things you can do to maintain your car as well as your own peace of mind.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. His passions include writing about best practices for personal finance, insurance, and other ways people can save money, spend better, and drive with peace of mind.