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

9 Best Car Buying Apps

panel1

Buying a car can be exciting, but it’s rarely a fun process. From researching your choices and deciding on the best options to chasing down the right vehicle and negotiating a final price, there’s a lot of legwork that needs to happen before you can drive off in your new ride.

Luckily, modern technology has a lot to offer the harried car buyer. With just your smartphone, you can download powerful applications that will help you research, configure, locate, price out and eventually buy the car of your dreams.

Here are some of the best free car-buying apps on the market.

1. Kelley Blue Book

No app provides as much basic pricing information as the Kelley Blue Book® app. With this app you can access real-time blue book pricing information on any vehicle. Use it at home or at the dealership to immediately input all the data of the particular vehicle you are looking at and get a ballpark estimate on price, or at least what an excellently cared-for option would cost. Car buyers will also appreciate the vehicle reviews, as well as buyer incentive information.

Download: AndroidTM App | iPhone® App | Windows® App

2. Edmunds

The Edmunds® app provides several search tools for finding the right vehicle at the best price. Its true market pricing tool can help you establish relative price points, and its car buying calculator app is one of the best available. Along with vehicle reviews, this app allows you to search cars, text dealers, compare prices of similar vehicles, calculate your monthly payments on a vehicle loan, and save searches and research information for later. With an inventory of millions of used and new cars, dealer reviews, in-depth photo galleries and, pricing and trade-in tools, there’s something for everyone to like.

Download: AndroidTM App | iPhone® App

3. CARFAX

Although the CARFAX® application does a lot of things, the vehicle history reports might be the most valuable. With this app you can get a free vehicle history report with every car listed for sale on their app. You can also run vehicle history reports for cars not listed on their site, and this could potentially save you from buying a vehicle with repairs you didn’t know about.

Download: Android TM App | iPhone® App

4. Credit Karma

Buying a car can put a strain on your finances, and a sub-par credit score can cost you thousands of dollars due to higher interest rates, not to mention potentially make it hard to find a loan. The Credit KarmaTM app is a free tool that’ll help you understand your credit score before applying for a car loan. This tool provides you with free weekly credit scores, crediting monitoring, help improving your credit with personalized recommendations and a convenient place to keep track of all your reported accounts. It’s invaluable for anyone, but especially so if you’re looking to improve your credit score before buying a new car.

Download: Android TM App | iPhone® App

5. CarMax

If the idea of negotiating makes you break out in a cold sweat, definitely check out the CarMax® app. This free app allows you to search for used cars in your area, access vehicle reviews, find the nearest CarMax location and scan window stickers on site to access real-time vehicle data. If you have a loan through CarMax, you can also access your finance information and make payments. Best of all, you can search CarMax inventory at your leisure without any pressure from a salesperson. CarMax car prices are typically fixed, so you’ll know ahead of time what the price is. When you’re ready you can use the app to contact your nearest dealer with questions.

Download: AndroidTM App| iPhone® App

6. AutoTrader

The Auto Trader® app is one of the many used car pricing apps with similarly designed features. Like the others, this app lets you search and shop for used vehicles, contact local dealers, save search information and so on. What we like most though is the advanced feature that lets you scan a VIN number and find comparable models in your area. If you’re looking to sell a car, it also gives you the ability to get an instant offer for cash or trade on your existing vehicle.

Download: Android TM | iPhone® App

7. Cars.com

Cars.comTM app is like the CarMax, Auto Trader, TrueCar and other used car shopping apps available, but this one also features a comparison tool which allows you to compare up to three vehicles at once. Combined with the filter options, this app is handy when you’re deciding between two or more similar vehicles. It also offers many of the same features you’re already getting with its competitors, like vehicle reviews, dealer contact information, new and used vehicle searches, on-lot comparison pricing, dealer reviews and various selling and trade-in options.

Download: Android TM | iPhone® App

8. Craigslist

If you’re looking to buy locally or from a private seller, the cPro Craigslist® Mobile Client app allows you to search the popular listings site with ease. You can sort by private seller if you don’t want to see the dealer options. The map browsing features GPS auto-location so you can easily find cars near you. There are also multiple enhanced search options, pictures, contact information, notifications and bookmarks to help make the buying experience easier and keep you up-to-date on inventory.

Download: AndroidTM App| iPhone® App

9. iSeeCars

The discerning buyer will like the iSeeCarsTM app. This app lets you search and sort cars using up to 59 different filters to find exactly what you’re looking for. With a price analysis tool, this app sorts vehicles by the best price using a system to calculate market value. Dealers are rated and scored to assist with pricing information. Best of all, you won’t be bombarded with any annoying advertisements while using this tool.

Download: Android TM | iPhone® App

Conclusion

It can be difficult to fight through the confusing vehicle rhetoric, high-pressure sales tactics and non-existent vehicle history information. But with your smartphone and a bit of patience you can at least come prepared. Eliminating confusion and arming yourself with the right information before buying a new or used car can go a long way towards maintaining your sanity during the car buying process.

We hope this list of free car buying apps helps save you some time, money and sanity when looking for your next new or used car. Let us know if we missed any of your favorite car buying apps.

Disclaimer

Kelley Blue Book®, Edmunds®, CarFax®, Credit KarmaTM, CarMax®, AutoTrader®, Cars.comTM, Craigslist®,iSeeCarsTM , iPhone®, Android®,  and Windows® 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  products and services Feel free to visit: https://www.tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/9-Best-Car-Buying-Apps

Tips and Gift Ideas for the Health and Safety of Your Favorite Drivers

123

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.
Of course, your basic position must enable you to fully and clearly see the road, your mirrors and instruments.

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.

Move your seat forward or back so that you can completely depress the pedals without coming away from the seat back.

Adjust the seat back so that you are reclined just slightly more than vertical, at an angle of 100-110 degrees.

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. To learn more, visit http://www.tocowarranty.com.

Article Resource: https://www.tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/bTips-and-Gift-Ideas-for-the-Health-and-Safety-of-Your-Favorite-Driversbspan

Repairs for better gas mileage

77

As gas prices rise and fall, many drivers are hoping to make their fuel last longer to save money. Many drivers know they may cut covered repair costs in the long run by investing in a vehicle service contract, but few know which repairs can help save money at the pump.

Gas cap

If you’ve ever been driving down the highway and seen another vehicle with their gas cap hanging out, the driver is likely losing fuel at the same time. According to AutoZone’s website, a missing fuel cap allows gas to evaporate. A missing gas cap is also a common reason for a check engine light to activate. To improve your mileage, be sure to screw on your gas cap until you hear a few clicks.

Maintenance

There are several maintenance practices that, if forgotten, can cause your car to run less efficiently. Unfortunately, many drivers forget to keep up with routine maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations. While some may think they are saving money by delaying vehicle maintenance, there could be bigger costs later on and reduced fuel efficiency – which means filling up more often. To keep your car running at its best, be sure to keep up with maintenance when your vehicle needs it.

Engine tune-up

An engine that is properly tuned will likely run better for longer. This means your gas can go further and you can save money over the miles. According to an MSN Autos article, an engine that is well-maintained can improve gas efficiency by an average of 4 percent. Be sure to follow what your owner’s manual recommends when it comes to oil and air filters.

AutoZone is a registered trademark/service mark of AutoZone, Inc. AutoZone is not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and has not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.

MSN Autos is a registered trademark/service mark of Microsoft Corporation. MSN Autos is not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and has not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.

Article Resource: https://www.tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/Repairs-for-better-gas-mileage

Preparing your car for a road trip

68

If you’re getting ready to head out on a road trip, there’s plenty to prepare for. Whether you’re planning to drive solo, with a partner or with a few kids in tow, you may find yourself preoccupied with packing, bringing along enough snacks for everyone or planning the perfect road trip playlist. However, don’t forget to make sure your car is ready to make the trip, as well. Here are a few steps you should take before hitting the road:

Check your manufacturer’s warranty

While you’re planning your trip, double check your manufacturer’s warranty to make sure it has not expired. If so, then consider purchasing a vehicle service contract to provide protection for covered auto repairs, You don’t want to be on the side of the road 1,000 miles from home when you realize you don’t have coverage,

Give it a once over

In the days leading up to your departure date, make sure you bring your car into a mechanic to have it checked out. While you’re there, be sure to tell the mechanic about your plans, including how far you’ll be driving so he or she can recommend any additional tune ups you might need, like your brakes, belts and windshield wipers.

Check your tires

Make sure all of your tires – including your spare – are in good condition. This means no bulges, bald spots or tears. Then, make sure they are all properly inflated. It’s a good idea to pick up a tire pressure gauge – they’re available at most convenience stores or gas stations – to keep with you. If your tires are underinflated, you will see your fuel efficiency drop dramatically, while if they’re overinflated, you run the risk of a blowout.

Be prepared

You never know what’s going to happen out on the road, so it’s important to be prepared for anything the trip can throw at you. Aside from packing your own belongings, make sure you bring along a few items that can help you out in a pinch:

Extra fluids for your car.

It’s always a good idea to keep extra windshield washer fluid with you. If you’re traveling during particularly warm weather, pick up a bottle of coolant, as well.

Water and food.

You never know when you will find yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic or a broken down car, so always have water and snacks on hand.

Emergency kit.

For the same reason, you’ll want to keep a first aid kit with you, along with a flashlight, blanket and basic tools.

Article Resource: https://www.tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/Preparing-your-car-for-a-road-trip

Getting the best deal on a car

63

Most Americans want to get the most from their dollar, especially when it comes to larger investments and purchases like a home or vehicle. Buying a car is not usually a matter taken lightly by many, but figuring out how to get the best deal or finding the right vehicle can be a challenge. For those who don’t plan on buying a house, a vehicle might be the most expensive purchase they ever make. There’s no clear cut way to tell whether a car price offers a good deal, but here are a few tips to figure out the car buying process:

Timing

There are certain times of the year when more Americans will be buying cars. Car prices may increase in response to higher demands during certain times of the year. There is some dispute over when the best time to buy a car is, but in general, purchasing during the late fall or winter might be a better bet to find a bargain.

Leave the emotion at the door

When walking into a dealership, it is important to forget feelings and start talking business. Buying a car is an expensive and serious business transaction. The car-buying experience can be an emotional experience, but it is crucial not to let your feelings get in the way of making a good investment decision. Don’t let the desire for a new vehicle or certain features cause you to overpay.

Be informed

The last method for getting the best deal is to walk into the dealership with a bit of knowledge on car prices and models. Doing research online will enable buyers to view the best price points and figure out which features they want. It is important to do some background work or else a buyer could be uninformed and get a not-so-great deal.

Article Resource: https://www.tocowarranty.com/TocoCares/Blog/Getting-the-best-deal-on-a-car