5 Facts You Should Know About Vehicle Service Contract

Have you ever kept yourself awake at night worrying about how you would pay for a sudden, unexpected car repair?

Below are five facts about vehicle service contracts (VSCs) to help you decide if such a contract could help provide you with financial peace of mind and a good night’s sleep!

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VSCs help people pay for unexpected car repairs, but not every repair is covered. You should read the contract carefully so that you understand what repairs are – and are not – covered, as well as your responsibilities, including car maintenance requirements, deductibles, and other terms.

VSC levels of coverage can vary based on the vehicle’s age and mileage. When you buy a new car, the manufacturer’s warranty typically lasts 3 years or 36,000 miles; however, the average car owner keeps their car for over 10 years. For an affordable monthly fee, you can purchase a VSC from Toco Warranty Corp. (Toco) to help minimize the financial burden of unexpected, covered repairs.

You do not have to pay up front fees for all VSCs. Many VSCs require pre-payment for the full cost of the contract. In contrast, Toco’s vehicle service contracts allow you to pay as you go, requiring a monthly fee with no down payment or up-front costs. An administrative fee may apply for cancellations. Decide what works best for you.

VSCs can be cancelled. Toco’s vehicle service contracts can be cancelled at any time, although an administrative fee may apply. Be sure you read your contract carefully to understand your cancellation terms.

VSCs are not the same as car insurance. VSCs offer coverage for repair of specified car parts as further outlined in the Terms and Conditions, but they do not cover collision repairs or routine maintenance services.

VSCs have helped thousands of people keep their cars – and their lives – on track and they may offer you financial peace of mind. But it is important to ask questions before you buy any auto repair protection plan, and read your contract carefully to understand all terms and conditions that may apply.

Article Resource – https://www.tocowarranty.com/knowledge-center/service-contracts/5-facts-you-should-know-about-vehicle-service-contracts

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How to Prevent Long Term Injury From Driving

drivers

Learn how to help your favorite driver avoid repetitive driving injury.

Taking good care of your vehicle makes a lot of sense, especially as the weather turns colder and wetter and the days darken and get shorter. And most people do a pretty good job of basic maintenance, scoring on average a 76 out of 100 on performing routine maintenance items on time, according to the Toco Car Maintenance Survey and Index of 2015. Take good care of your car and your car will take good care of you.

But there’s another factor at play in helping to ensure safety: you, the driver. In something known as “Repetitive Driving Injury,” drivers can develop long term joint, muscle and spinal injuries simply because they do not properly adjust their posture. How well you take care of yourself in the car, by improving driver posture and comfort, is a factor in reducing driver stress and fatigue. Here are 5 basic tips to ensure better driver posture and comfort.

  1. Of course, your basic position must enable you to fully and clearly see the road, your mirrors and instruments.
  2. Adjust your seat bottom so that your knees are not much higher than your hips. The seat cushion should evenly support your entire thigh without pressure. Do not sit on your wallet.
  3. Move your seat forward or back so that you can completely depress the pedals without coming away from the seat back.
  4. Adjust the seat back so that you are reclined just slightly more than vertical, at an angle of 100-110 degrees.
  5. Minimize reach by bringing the steering wheel down and toward you, 18-24 inches from your chest, and relax your shoulder muscles by holding the wheel lower at the 9 and 3 o’clock position, rather than 10 and 2 o’clock.

Need some extra help here and there, or just want to get even more comfortable? There are a number of products available that are designed to help relieve stress and reduce pressure points: massaging heated seat cushions, lumbar back supports, memory foam seat cushions, arm rests and steering wheel covers.

To further protect yourself, take breaks every couple of hours to stretch. To further protect your peace of mind, a vehicle service contract can help ease the financial burden of unexpected covered car repair bills. For an affordable monthly fee, you can help keep your budget intact.

Article Resource – https://www.tocowarranty.com/resources/knowledge-center/car-safety/tips-and-gift-ideas-for-the-health-and-safety-of-your-favorite-drivers

How a VSC from Toco Warranty Can Help Manage Your Budget

Toco Warranty Can Help Manage Your Budget

If you are worried about unforeseen auto repairs, a vehicle service contract may offer a smart solution to protect your car and your finances.

Let’s face it – most of us love our cars. They provide freedom, a way to get to work or school, to visit loved ones, or to take a much needed vacation. But cars can also keep us up at night, worried that a check engine light will lead to a costly repair that derails our budgets and gets our daily routines off track.

What is a vehicle service contract (VSC)?

Generally speaking, a vehicle service contract (VSC) is a contract for repair, or replacement for an operational or structural failure of a vehicle. VSCs can be used to protect not only the major components within your vehicle, like the engine and transmission, but also major parts within your air conditioning system, electrical system, and more. VSCs also may include roadside assistance, providing further peace of mind.

How can a VSC help me manage my budget and keep my car – and life – running well?

While the average family keeps their car for more than 10 years, the typical manufacturer’s warranty on a car lasts only three years. But when your warranty expires, you still need to rely on your car. For a low monthly payment, your VSC will pay for covered repairs* that inevitably come with owning a car, offering an affordable, reliable way to keep your car running well and your budget on track. Pricing for VSCs can vary based on the age, mileage, and/or model of the vehicle covered.

Your VSC will specify what repairs are and are not covered, whether a deductible is required, and other terms and conditions, so you can know what to expect, should your car break down. VSCs vary by provider, so you should ask questions to be sure the VSC you purchase covers what you need. For example, some VSCs have no down payment requirements or interest charges, so you can pay as you go and cancel at any time (though an administrative fee may apply).

Remember, your car may break down, but your life doesn’t have to. A vehicle service contract may provide you with the financial peace of mind you need to stay calm and drive on!

*Be sure to check terms and conditions for complete details.

Article Resource – https://www.tocowarranty.com/resources/knowledge-center/service-contracts/how-a-vehicle-service-contract-can-help-you-manage-your-budget

Tire Rotation Basics: Patterns, Frequency & Cost

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Learn about the importance of tire rotation and how to make it a part of your regular car maintenance schedule.

If you care about safety and saving money, regular tire maintenance and rotation should be high on your to-do list. Proper tire rotation and inflation can extend the life of your tires, lead to better fuel economy and improve the safety and handling of your car.

Unfortunately, tire rotation is an often-overlooked part of a regular car maintenance schedule – which is odd, considering that your tires are the only parts of the car that actually touch the road (hopefully).

While it may not be as easy to remember as getting your oil changed or checking your fluid levels, being vigilant about rotating your tires can have significant benefits down the road (pun intended). Luckily, rotating your tires is one of the easiest maintenance tasks to perform.

Why Rotate Your Tires

As you drive, your tires tend to wear out unevenly. Since your front tires lean when you take a corner, the outside edges usually wear out quicker than the edges of your back tires. Over time this can lead to significant differences in the amount of wear they receive.

By rotating your tires on a regular basis, you help to evenly distribute the wear and tear between all four tires rather than just the front two. This can extend the life of your tires significantly, which means you won’t have to buy new tires as often.

Safety

There are close to 11,000 tire-related vehicle crashes in the U.S. each year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, many of those accidents could have been prevented with proper tire maintenance (which includes regular tire rotations). When tires are underinflated or the tread has worn down, the likelihood of a crash increases significantly.

When getting your tires rotated, your technician will likely take a look at your tread depth and inflation pressure as well as inspect your tires for potential problems.

Fuel Efficiency

Uneven tire wear can lead to lower performance, which can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 3 percent. That extra 3 percent can add up quickly when it comes to filling up at the pump. By improving your fuel economy, proper tire rotation and inflation can also lower the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted.

Handling

If your tires are unevenly worn out, sudden turns and stops can become more unpredictable. When tires are rotated and balanced properly, it can mean more balanced handling and traction, which is especially important when driving in slick, cold-weather conditions.

How Often to Rotate Tires

A good rule of thumb would be to rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. But since every vehicle is different, make sure to check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations on how often you should be rotating your tires. In some cases, such as when your front and rear tires are different sizes, you may not be able to rotate your tires at all.

Tire Rotation Patterns

If you’re going to rotate your tires yourself, or just want to understand how tires get rotated to minimize wear, you’ll want to identify the proper tire rotation pattern for your vehicle. The pattern you choose will depend on a number of factors, including your car’s drivetrain type, wheel sizes and even the amount of tires on your vehicle.

Here are some of the most common tire rotation patterns.

FWD, AWD, RWD and 4X4 Tire Rotation Patterns

If your car has non-directional tires that are all the same size, you should use one of the following rotation patterns.

tire-rotation-pattern-illustration-4-wheel-rear-drive-vehicles.jpg

Front-to-Rear and Side-to-Side Patterns

For cars that have directional tires or non-directional tires of different sizes, the following patterns are advised.

tire-rotation-pattern-illustration-same-size-directional-wheels

5 Tire Rotation Pattern

If your car has a spare wheel that matches the other four wheels on your car (and isn’t just for temporary use), then you can consider adding your spare tire into the rotation. The following patterns are designed for this type of rotation.

tire-rotation-pattern-illustration-front-rear-wheel-drive-with-spare.jpg

Where to Get Your Tires Rotated

If you aren’t inclined or equipped to rotate your tires yourself, you can always have it done by a trained tire technician. Most auto repair, service and maintenance facilities offer tire rotation, either as a standalone service or bundled with another regular maintenance item such as an oil change or tire balancing.

If you take your vehicle to a dealership for regular maintenance, tire rotation and alignment are likely to be part of your normal service, although you should always make sure to verify if it’s included.

Some tire shops will offer free tire rotation for customers who bought their tires there, so if you’re on your second set of tires you might want to check with where you bought them to see if they offer that service.

How Much Does Tire Rotation Cost

As mentioned above, the cost of rotating your tires can vary widely depending on where you’re having the service done and whether or not it’s being bundled with another service. In general, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $50 for tire rotation, although you can probably find a lower price if you shop around.

Conclusion

Like a good pair of shoes, a well cared-for set of tires can give you the stability and comfort you need to keep going. From saving money to increasing safety to helping the environment, the benefits of having your tires rotated and maintained well are many.

Whether you decide to rotate your tires yourself or have it done at a local service shop, the key is to try and make it a regular part of your overall car maintenance schedule. Because when the rubber hits the road, you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your tires are ready to roll.

Article Resource – https://www.tocowarranty.com/resources/knowledge-center/car-maintenance-repair/tire-rotation-basics-patterns-frequency-cost

5 Signs of Worn Brakes

tocowarranty

Properly maintaining your car’s brake system is essential to keeping you and others on the road safe.

The last thing any driver wants is for their brakes to give out while driving, particularly in the ice and snow. Be sure to have your brakes checked at a licensed repair facility at least once a year and keep an eye out for signs that it may be time to replace your car’s brakes.

Warning signs that you should have your brakes inspected

The Car Care Council recently provided a list of warning signs that you should have your brakes inspected by an auto service professional. They include:

Noises: If you hear your car’s brakes squeal or make a grinding or clicking noise when you use them, your brakes may need to be adjusted or replaced.

Pulling: If your car pulls to one side when braking, that could also mean your brakes are not adjusted properly or need to be replaced.

Pedal Issues (low pedal, hard pedal and grabbing): If your brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging, or if you have to apply extreme pressure before your brakes engage, you should have your brakes checked. Another warning sign is if your brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.

Vibrations: If your brake pedal, or your steering wheel or car, shakes or vibrates when you apply the brakes, even under normal braking conditions, your brake rotors may need to be replaced.

Brake Warning Lights: If your brake or Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) warning light on your car’s dashboard comes on, you should take your car to a licensed repair facility.

Finally, it never hurts to check your brakes visually to be sure your pads are not worn. You can visually check for brake wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel’s spokes. You should have your brake pads inspected or replaced, if you see less than 1/4 inch of pad.

And if you are concerned about protecting your budget in the winter months ahead, consider purchasing a vehicle service contract (VSC) from Toco Warranty. For an affordable monthly fee, Toco’s VSCs can help avoid the financial burden of unexpected covered repairs and include 24-hour roadside assistance. The level of coverage you can purchase, however, will be based on the age and mileage of your vehicle, and a deductible may apply.

The Car Care Council is not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and has not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.

Article Resource – https://www.tocowarranty.com/resources/knowledge-center/car-maintenance-repair/5-signs-need-new-brakes

10 Tips for Car Travel with Pets

Traveling with pets in a vehicle.

Here are 10 tips that can help you to keep your pet safer on a long car trip.

Taking your dog, cat or other critter on the road with you can be a lot of fun – both for you and them. But it can also turn into a hassle (or even become dangerous) without some good ground rules. Here are a few suggestions for making sure that everyone stays safe and happy while traveling with pets in the car.

1. Use a Car Leash, Harness or Other Restraint

There are a lot of aftermarket products available for keeping pets safe in the car. Car leashes attached to seat belts or LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) systems are one option. There are also pet car seats and vehicle barriers to keep your pet out of the way while you’re driving. We mention this tip at the top, because it’s so important to keep your pet situated and secured to avoid some pretty scary risks on the road.

2. Watch the Windows and Sunroof

Don’t let your pet hang its head out of the windows. It’s just not safe. We’ve all seen those quaint pictures of a dog with its head sticking out of a car window with its ears flapping in the wind. But this can expose your pet to danger from flying objects, so make sure to control windows and doors and other apertures while you’re on the go.

3. Bring Along Familiar Items for Your Pet

If your pet is the anxious type, having a familiar pillow, toy or blanket on hand may help get them acclimated to the inside of the vehicle. If you brought a crate, keep these items inside to make your pet more comfortable during the drive.

4. Be Prepared for Poop

It’s also important to anticipate one of your animal’s other needs – waste disposal. This includes pit stops, poop bags and pooper scoopers. It also means trying to take your pet to the bathroom before you start out on the trip, just to get off on the right foot. It also makes sense to look at your route and make sure you have places to periodically pull off the highway for a little exercise and a potty break.

5. Exercise Your Pet First

If you have a rambunctious pit bull or a golden retriever or some other kind of dog or animal with a lot of energy, get some of that energy out before getting in the car. Play a game of Frisbee or fetch, or just let your pet run around for a while. Traveling with pets is a lot easier when they’re tired and they can relax in the car, rather than trying to get their energy out inside the vehicle.

6. Make a Veterinarian Appointment

Before a long vacation or other trip, take your pet to the vet to make sure that he or she is in good health. This can help eliminate some of the chances of running into problems where you find out while traveling with pets that your animal might have some kind of health problem.

7. Equip Your Pet with an ID Tag

Road trips are one of those situations where you want your pet to be easily identifiable in case he or she gets lost. You never set out thinking that your dog or cat or other pet is going to get lost, but it can happen – especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Having an ID tag can make all the difference in making sure that your pet gets returned to you.

8. Bring Food and Drink

Hydration is important for your pets. When traveling with pets, keep a supply of clean water to help them cool off and stay hydrated on the road. Don’t just assume you’ll find clean water wherever you go – even in this age of sanitation, your pet can still get sick from drinking from unclean water sources in foreign places.

9. NEVER Leave Pets in the Car!

You may have the best of intentions, but tragic news reports show how it only takes a short time for pets to become ill or die when subjected to extreme temperatures in a parked vehicle. In fact, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. Don’t leave yourself open to criticism and problems with good samaritans who only want to help your pet out. This one is pretty simple. When you leave the vehicle (even if only for a short time), take your pet with you.

10. Carry Vaccination Records

When traveling long distances, you might also want to bring along your animal’s vaccination records, in case you need them when traveling across state lines. Some states still have laws on the books about showing an animal’s vaccination record. It’s not a common thing, but again, it’s best to be prepared.

All of these simple tips can help you have a much better time with your pet on the road. While buying specialized products is a great start, good planning is just as important for ensuring animal safety on the road.

For more details about Toco Warranty feel free to visit: https://www.tocowarranty.com/resources/knowledge-center/car-lifestyle/10-tips-for-car-travel-with-pets

Best Road Trip Apps to Make Your Trip Memorable

Toco Joe from Toco Warranty using the best road trip apps on his phone

Download these top road trip apps to make your next adventure the most memorable one yet.

Technology has a lot to offer the modern traveler. There are so many ways that smartphone apps can help make your journey safer, more enjoyable and unforgettable. So what should you download on your mobile device as you head out on your next epic road trip?

While it all depends on your personal preferences, we’ve put together a list of some of the most useful travel apps for your road trip ahead.

Know How to Get There – GPS & Trip Planner Apps

Some of the most popular road trip apps are essentially GPS services, with the hottest one being the Waze® app. Everyone’s talking about this service, which is really disrupting digital map technology. The next-generation Waze system works on real-time, crowd-sourced traffic information.

Waze does a lot more than your standard GPS. It notes roadwork, accidents, weather conditions and everything else to accurately determine how long a particular route will take. We’ve been waiting for this new type of “super GPS” for a long time, and this innovative app is a must-have for your trip.

Know What’s Around You – Food, Gas & Lodging Apps

There are also a number of great apps that help you to be more discriminating when choosing where to stop as you barrel down the highway.

  • GasBuddy® App: lets you take a look at competitive gas prices before filling up your tank.
  • OpenTable® App: a popular restaurant finder app that will help you look at menus and prices for your next meal.
  • HotelTonight® App: helps you select the right accommodation.
  • Oh Ranger!® App: will help you with national or state park bookings.

All of these apps have a similar goal to give you more choices and make hunting for those necessities much more efficient than they were in the pre-smartphone age. You won’t have to put up with scratchy towels, unpalatable food, gross kitchens or anything else that used to plague those who went off-course without a guide.

Keep Yourself Occupied – Entertainment & Music Apps

Other apps are made to keep you occupied while you’re winding your way across the country. One popular app is the Audible® app, a service that has 150,000 audio books for iPhone and Android. Then there are music apps like the Spotify® app, which can be a lifesaver on a long road trip when spending time in the car is really painful without your favorite music.

Checking In & Staying Connected

The Glympse® app is a tool for status updates to help you show other users how close you are getting to your destination. It’s partially billed as a tool to help get parental permission for an adventure. But there are a wide range of situations where Glympse and other apps can be helpful in keeping communication between various parties on the road and elsewhere. Some people just like to advertise to their friend networks, where apps like the Foursquare® app can also be helpful.

See the Sights – Road Trip Attractions Apps

A road trip just isn’t the same without being able to stop and take a look at those places that make local communities unique and unexpected. From important natural and civic landmarks to eccentric museums and odd, out-of-the-way places, these quirky attractions are a great way to break up the monotony of particularly long stretches of asphalt.

Road Trippers and Roadside America are two popular apps for finding attractions along the way. Use the Road Trippers® app to keep track of destinations and blog about your happenings. Go to some interesting places with the Roadside AmericaTM app, which is billed as a “guide to uniquely odd tourist attractions.” Just enter a state or local area, and you’ll get a list of historic battlefields, natural features, local cultural spots and everything that the region is really known for.

SOS for Breakdowns

Just like you can use the above apps to source all kinds of things from restaurants to hotels, the OpenBayTM app allows you to look for mechanic shops in a particular area. That makes any kind of breakdown a lot less scary.

You may be able to change a flat, but when your starter or the alternator goes out, or you have battery trouble, or something just broke underneath the chassis, you’re going to be glad you have this app at your fingertips. It’s especially helpful for those travelers who don’t have a lot of experience with cars or who might be afraid of ending up in a tricky situation in some shade-tree mechanic’s backyard.

Charge On!

With all of the capabilities of these apps, it just makes sense to make your smartphone your planning command center on your next road trip. Make sure to remember your phone charger or be stuck doing things the old fashioned way.

Waze®, GasBuddy®, OpenTable®, HotelTonight®, Oh Ranger! ®, Audible®, Spotify®, Glympse®, Road Trippers®, Roadside AmericaTM, Foursquare® and Open BayTM are registered and common-law trademarks of their respective owners. The owners of these trademarks are not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and have not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.

For more details about Toco Warranty feel free to visit: https://tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/Best-Road-Trip-Apps-to-Make-Your-Trip-Memorable