You spring clean your home and office, but what about spring cleaning your car? Your car needs a little extra attention as it shakes off the winter and prepares for warmer weather. This season, it’s time to get your car to the auto “spa” for a spring tune-up.
A seasonal checkup not only protects your car from wear and tear, but it can also minimize your insurance spending.
Why do you need an auto spring tune-up for your car and your insurance?
1. Boosts performance
Even one malfunction in your car can cause a serious, life-threatening situation. During the winter, your car works in overdrive to function properly. By the time spring rolls around, your car has started to wear out. A tune-up helps ensure that your car is operating at peak capacity throughout the warmer months. Just like you only preform your best when you’re healthy, your car can only perform when it’s well taken care of.
Some common tune-up procedures include:
- Tire rotation/inflation
- Transmission check/repair
- Oil change
- Filter cleaning/replacement
- Fluid fill-up
- Radiator and gas cap sealing
- Gasket check/replacement
- Air conditioning check
- Hose, belt, and blade repair/replacement
- Battery check
- Wheel bearings and alignments
Try to find a mechanic who will provide a “full” car checkup at a flat fee. This will save costs on supplemental fees that can pile up for each procedure.
A well-tuned car also protects you and your family while driving. Maintaining your car helps prevent the risk that you’ll find yourself standing on the side of the road waiting for assistance to get your car towed. Get the problem fixed while it’s small before the small issues become big concerns.
Springtime puts different pressures on your car as opposed the winter. A spring tune-up can proactively protect against these weather and road changes.
For example, increasing heat can impact air pressure in the tires. A drastic change from cold to hot can cause tires to blow out or start leaking. The heat can also put greater pressure on your transmission and battery.
You also want to clean your car’s filters, which fill with dust from the winter and pollen in the spring. Fill your windshield wiper fluid as well to ensure your wipers don’t lock in the middle of a spring rainstorm.
3. Reduced insurance costs
Insurance companies love to see that you are taking care of your car and preventing disasters. Regular tune-ups reduce your likelihood of needing a more costly replacement—and thus making a claim with your insurance company. Some providers will even offer a “low-risk driver” discount if you provide proof of regular, seasonal tune-ups for your car.
You should also consider installing safety features if you car doesn’t already have them. Springtime is a great opportunity to install new features on your car because mechanics are usually not as busy as in the fall and winter. This often means you can get a more timely and cost-effective installation process.
4. Reduced gas costs
Mechanics estimate that a poorly tuned engine can increase gas consumption by nearly 50%. A tune-up helps ensure that your engine is working at its prime to use up less gas. Imagine filling your car half the time at half the cost.
Moreover, a mechanic will re-inflate your tires after dealing with the winter weather. This not only ensures safety while driving, but it also minimizes gas consumption. If your tires are under-inflated, your vehicle consumes more gas and oil. Bringing your car to the mechanic can help reduce your gas costs and minimize your impact on the environment.
5. Reduced long-term costs
A professional tune-up usually costs between $75 and $200 plus the cost of replacement parts. This prevention cost is drastically less than the cost of repair after the fact. For example, the cost to replace a transmission is generally between $4,000 to $8,000 and cost for new battery alone is in the $75 to $120 range. Not to mention that if something goes wrong and you need a tow, the tow itself is generally $35 to $125 with a $75 hook-up fee.
If you make these costly claims to your insurance, your auto premiums may increase in future months, if your policy will even cover these issues at all. A spring tune-up is the easiest way to be financially smart and protective.
The Bottom Line
As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Protect your car, family, and wallet with seasonal auto tune-ups. Regular checkups ensure that you repair parts before major incidents or replacements are necessary.
Part of your spring tune-up means also checking up on your insurance coverage. Are you up-to-date with the best coverage for you? Are you minimizing your premium costs with discounts and bundling?
Learn the 16 best ways to lower your insurance premium here.
Spring is a great time to start comparing insurance quotes and updating your coverage. Talk to an InsuraMatch agent today to tune-up your premiums and costs.
Happy spring and happy comparing!