Tips for Avoiding a Shocking Auto Repair Bill

The High Cost of Common Auto Repairs

The High Cost of Common Auto Repairs

A car that won’t run properly is not just a hassle, it can also be a major expense, especially if you don’t have an extended warranty to protect your vehicle. What are some of the most common repairs, and how much do they cost? We’re going to answer these questions and show you how to protect yourself from a huge repair bill. (more…)

Tips to Keep Drivers from Running Out of Gas

Tips to Keep Drivers from Running Out of Gas

Not only is it bad for your car to run out of gas but it can also leave you stranded for quite a while and feeling embarrassed. Even if you make the smart choice and pair roadside assistance with your extended auto warranty, you still want to avoid running out of fuel if at all possible. Here are a few helpful reminders to assist you. (more…)

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Owned Vehicle

If you are considering shopping for a pre-owned vehicle instead of buying your next car new, what are the advantages and disadvantages? We’re going to outline some of the pros and cons of shopping used rather than new, and then we’ll tell you where you should look for your extended auto warranty regardless of which option you decide is best for you. (more…)

An Extended Warranty on Your Chevy for Greater Peace of Mind

An Extended Warranty on Your Chevy for Greater Peace of Mind

Chevy drivers love the craftsmanship and attention to detail in these “made in the USA” cars, trucks, and SUVs. Still, when you buy a used vehicle, there is always that doubt in the back of your mind as to whether the car will really last without giving you a lot of trouble. Here’s the solution. (more…)

4 Ways to Reduce the Costs Associated with Vehicle Ownership

4 Ways to Reduce the Costs Associated with Vehicle Ownership

If you are a car owner, you know that everything from auto repairs to gasoline increase the costs of being a driver exponentially. We’re going to give you 4 tips for cutting your road costs. This will help you minimize how much it costs you to maintain your independence and get around town. (more…)

How Often Does the Average Person Get a New Car?

How Often Does the Average Person Get a New Car?

Are you thinking about trading in your vehicle for a new one, or is that completely out of the question? There was a time in US history when the average person owned 13 different vehicles over the course of his or her lifetime. Today, that statistic is down to 9.4.

How long are people keeping their vehicles? Why are they keeping cars longer and longer? What does hanging onto a car for a longer time mean for an owner when it comes to things like purchasing an extended auto warranty? (more…)

The Effect of Traffic Jams on a Car

The Effect of Traffic Jams on a Car

Traffic jams are a common issue all across the US. In fact, one report showed that commuters lose 42 hours of their life each year sitting in traffic (and if you ask a commuter who lives in a major city, he or she will probably tell you that figure seems low).

But drivers are giving up more than just shy of two days of life each while sitting in traffic. It can also take a toll on your vehicle. Why is traffic hard on a car? What are the US cities with the worst traffic? How can you protect yourself? (more…)

3 Myths About Extended Warranty Services

3 Myths About Extended Warranty Services

The extended warranty services industry has suffered a great deal at the hands of the truth behind the old saying, “A few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.” If you are wary of extended warranties because of a bad experience or something you’ve read online, we’d like the chance to respond to the three most common extended warranty myths.

Myth 1 – You’ll Never Use the Warranty

About half of people who buy extended warranty services end up using them. So unless you think 50/50 are good odds when it comes to thousands of dollars, this isn’t a valid reason to pass on a warranty. The fact is that some cars are far more likely to need repairs than others, so you may want to do some advance research if you are that worried about using the warranty. Remember that part of the reason for the warranty is peace of mind. You carry car insurance and health insurance even though you hope you never have to use them, right? Think of an extended warranty in a similar way.

Myth 2 – Your Coverage Will Cost More than the Repairs

First of all, labor is often over $100 per hour, and garages/dealers charge double what they pay for parts. Repair costs are skyrocketing, so you only need one major repair to have gotten a steal on your warranty. Remember too that you are also paying for the peace of mind that if your car doesn’t start one morning, you don’t have to decide between spending a few grand on repairs or using it as a down payment on something new.

Myth 3 – All Extended Warranties Are Scams

There are scammers in every industry. Most extended warranty companies are legit. But to be safe, make sure that your extended warranty provider is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau like Vehicle Service Center. We have affordable coverage options that can bring you peace of mind without breaking the piggy bank. Call 1-800-280-6708 to get your free quote today.

3 Reasons to Get an Extended Warranty on Your Lease

3 Reasons to Get an Extended Warranty on Your Lease

If you are leasing your car, you are limited in the number of miles you can drive. That means you’re not going to go beyond the manufacturer warranty. So why spend extra money on an extended warranty? Here are three important reasons to get an extended warranty on your lease.

  • Coverage for parts and repairs the factory warranty doesn’t cover – The factory warranty may cover a very limited number of repairs. An extended warranty allows you to know exactly what is covered and can easily save you money in the long run.
  • Get repairs at any licensed garage – Some factory warranties require you bring the car to the dealer. Then you get hit with all sorts of stuff that isn’t covered and the bill ends up being huge anyway. A third-party warranty lets you pick where the work is done so you can find an affordable shop that you trust for repairs and maintenance.
  • Trip interruption and roadside assistance – You can bundle your vehicle service contract with valuable extras like trip interruption insurance in case you break down in another town and need overnight accommodations. You can also get roadside assistance to protect you from a dead battery, lockouts, or running out of gas.

The Best Vehicle Service Contracts at Affordable Prices

Vehicle Service Center offers the best extended warranties at competitive rates. To get a free quote from one of our vehicle protection specialists, call us today at 1-800-280-6708, or fill out our online quote request form.

The 5 Most Common Check Engine Light Repairs and How Much They Cost

The 5 Most Common Check Engine Light Repairs and How Much They Cost

There’s nothing that gives a driver a bad feeling faster than seeing that check engine light come on. You may at first wonder how serious the problem is. Then you realize, no matter how serious or minor it is, you’re still going to be paying a lot of money out of pocket if you don’t have extended warranty coverage. Here’s a countdown of the 5 most common check engine light repairs and how much you can expect the bill to be (according to a study by CarMD).

  1. Oxygen Sensor Replacement – “Oh good, it’s only a sensor,” you think. Then you get a bill for $258.63. Between the rising cost of parts and the rising cost of labor, even simple fixes can be expensive.
  2. The Catalytic Converter – “Uh oh, that sounds expensive.” You’re right. The average repair cost was $1,190.18 in 2016.
  3. Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs – If you keep up with regular tune-ups, this shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, your average bill will be $401.22.
  4. Loose Fuel Cap – This one is more embarrassing than expensive, and it’s worth checking yourself when you see the light come on – especially if you were just at the pump. Some mechanics may feel bad for you and just charge a nominal fee for plugging your car into the computer. As a result, the average expense is a mere $16.88 plus your wounded pride.
  5. Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) – At this point, you know better than to think sensor repair will be cheap. MAF replacement is even more costly than the O2 sensor coming in at an average of $378.15.

Protect Yourself with a Vehicle Service Contract

The next time that check engine light comes on, you can play it cool and impress your passengers. After all, if you have a comprehensive service contract from Vehicle Service Center, you know what’s covered. Get a free quote from one of our vehicle protection specialists today by calling 1-800-280-6708, or request your quote using our online contact form.

2017 Study Shows Car Repair Costs Continue to Rise

2017 Study Shows Car Repair Costs Continue to Rise

Car owners may have been breathing a sigh of relief when 2014-2015 prices on auto repairs seemed to level off. However, a 2017 study by CarMD reveals that in 2016, repair costs spiked again. Let’s take a look at what you can expect next time you need to head to the dealer or local garage for repairs.

  • Parts Costs Have Increased – The average price of replacement parts for vehicles went up by 1.4% in 2016.
  • Labor Parts Increased More – The big difference, however, is in the price of labor. This increased by 4.7% in 2016. That’s a major increase when you consider the fact that many shops were already charging $100 per hour or more.
  • Engine Replacement Is the Biggest Expense – The biggest repair cost in 2016 was a full engine replacement. The total bill came to $7,600.

Your Check Engine Light – The 5 Most Common Causes

The study also shed some light on why your check engine light may have just come on. The top 5 reasons for that sensor being tripped are:

  1. Faulty Oxygen Sensor – You’ll be happy to know that 8% of the time you only need a sensor replaced. On the downside, the average bill for this quick fix is $258.63.
  2. Catalytic Converter – Unfortunately, the second most common issue at 6.75% isn’t such a quick fix.
  3. Ignition Coil and Spark Plugs – 6.23%
  4. Loose Fuel Cap – 4.16% of the time this problem could have been fixed by tightening the gas cap. Whoops!
  5. Mass Air Flow Sensor – 3.84%

Protect Yourself with an Extended Warranty

Vehicle Service Center is helping vehicle owners protect themselves against exorbitant repair bills by offering a wide array of coverage options. To learn more and get your free quote, call us today at 1-800-280-6708 or fill our online request form.

4 Auto Maintenance Services That Will Save You Money in the Long Run

4 Auto Maintenance Services That Will Save You Money in the Long Run

Auto repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars if the wrong thing breaks and you don’t have extended warranty coverage. There are, however, some general maintenance services that can help your car to continue running smoothly for as long as possible. We’re going to look at four of these services and how expensive the consequences can quickly become if these normal maintenance procedures are ignored.

  1. Oil Changes – First of all, you probably don’t need an oil change as often as you have been led to believe. Although the old standard was 3 months or 3,000 miles, many car manuals now say 4 or even 5 months and between 4,000 and 7,000 miles depending on the make and model. The consequences of failing to get regular oil changes can be a full engine replacement. That would run upwards of $4,000. A massive price to pay for skipping a $30-40 oil change.
  2. Tire Rotation – Not getting the tires rotated every 7,500 miles or so (some people just get it done every other oil change), can lead to early tire wear and the need for replacement. Since a new set of tires can cost upwards of $500, you want to put it off as long as you safely can, and tire rotation extends that safe period.
  3. Timing Belt – This can be a $1,000 expense in and of itself. The good news is that most cars only need it done every 90-100,000 miles. On the other hand, failure to keep the timing belt in good shape can result in it breaking. This often does a tremendous amount of damage to the engine. You’re talking $2,500 and up easily.
  4. Brake Pads – Replacing your brake pads can cost a couple of hundred dollars, but that’s a lot cheaper than the $600 it can cost if you need to replace your rotors too. Get your brakes checked at least once a year and sooner if you hear squealing when you brake or have to push the pedal down harder than usual.

Get the Protection You Need from Massive Repair Bills

Of course, taking care of your vehicle will only get you so far. The repair bills will eventually come. When they do, you will want an extended warranty from Vehicle Service Center to offset the costs. For a free quote, call us today at 1-800-280-6708 or submit the online request form.

Why You Should Purchase a Vehicle Service Contract for Your Used Car

Why You Should Purchase a Vehicle Service Contract for Your Used Car

Vehicle service contracts are often referred to as extended warranties. These contracts provide coverage in case of a major repair, much the way a warranty does when you initially purchase a vehicle. However, while many auto manufacturers include at least some measure of a warranty on a new car, warranties for used cars need to be purchased from a third-party. Here are two reasons to find an affordable vehicle service contract if you don’t already have one on your used vehicle.

#1 The Car Is Older

Manufacturers provide warranties on new cars because they are new and less likely to break. But once a car is already past its prime is when you need that protection more than ever. A vehicle service contract can help protect you against the major repairs that are usually unnecessary during the first 60-100,000 miles of driving a vehicle, but the become more common between 100-200,000 miles.

#2 Bundled Extras Like Roadside Assistance

How is the battery on your used car? Did your pre-owned vehicle come with brand new tires? Have you ever run out of gas or locked your keys in the car? Roadside assistance is a must for drivers, and it only becomes more important if a car is older. The gas gauge may not be functioning properly, or worn tires may be ready to go flat. Don’t get stuck looking for the person who owns the car next to you in the parking lot to see if you can get a jumpstart. Roadside assistance can be bundled with your extended warranty.

Get Peace of Mind Today with Auto Warranty Protection

The pros at Vehicle Service Center can help you to get the coverage you need to enjoy peace of mind while driving your pre-owned vehicle. Contact us today at 1-800-280-6708 to get your free quote now!

5 Ways to Save Money on Auto Repairs

5 Ways to Save Money on Auto Repairs

The cost of auto repairs has reached ridiculous levels, and there’s no reason to believe your mechanic is going to drop his or her prices in 2018. So what can you do to save money on auto repairs when they spring up unexpectedly? Here are five tips to help you.

  1. Ask Questions – Never let a mechanic work on your car without having a conversation first. Read our post about 5 Things to Ask Your Mechanic to learn about some of the most important matters to discuss.
  2. Check Reviews – If the repair shop is not qualified to work on your vehicle or has a lot of bad reviews from angry customers, it’s time to find a new shop.
  3. Second Opinion – Don’t let a shady shop tell you that you need $1,000 in repair work on things that are unrelated to what you came in for. Is it possible all that other damage existed and you really need the repairs? Sure. Just don’t take one person’s word for it – especially when he or she stands to gain a lot of money from making something up.
  4. Get Estimates in Writing – Don’t let the shop repair anything until you approve it and you have a document in writing stating how much you will be charged for both parts and labor on any given service.

Protect Yourself – A vehicle service contract can protect you against covered expenses when the need for repairs suddenly arises. Vehicle Service Center offers a wide range of coverage options so you can get the extended warranty you need while staying in budget. To learn more and to have one of our vehicle protection specialists provide you with a free quote, call 1-800-2806708 today!

9 Items to Keep in Your Car When Driving in Wintertime

9 Items to Keep in Your Car When Driving in Wintertime

The winter brings with it additional driving hazards. That calls for drivers to be extra prepared for anything. Here’s a list of 9 items you should keep in the car if you are driving during the winter.

  1. Snow Shovel – You probably don’t have room for a full-size shovel in your trunk, but they do make compact shovels specifically for keeping in the car for emergencies.
  2. Ice Scraper – Even if you are only in a store for a few minutes, a quick change in weather can leave your car dusted in snow or your windshield icy. An ice scraper and snow brush combo is a must for winter driving.
  3. Jumper Cables – Winter drains batteries and having your own cables may make it easier to get a jump start in a pinch.
  4. Flashlight – You should always have a flashlight in your car regardless of the season, but winter makes it more important because it gets dark so early, so you probably spend more time on the road after dark.
  5. Spare Tire – If you get a flat that can’t be aired up, a spare tire will allow you to get to a repair shop without needing to be towed.
  6. Air Compressor – Portable air compressors are affordable and can often be used to air up a tire with a slow leak so you can make it to the shop to get a patch.
  7. First-Aid Kit – In case of an accident or injury, you can get started on caring for the wounded before the ambulance even arrives.
  8. Cat Litter – Litter absorbs moisture and can help your car to get traction on an icy road if you get stuck.
  9. Warm Blanket – If you are ever stranded and waiting for help on a cold winters day, a warm blanket will be your best friend.

Add Roadside Assistance to Your Extended Warranty

Don’t forget to add a roadside assistance plan to your extended warranty from Vehicle Service Center. Then, if you end up with a car issue this winter, you can make one phone call and then just wrap up in your blanket to wait for help to arrive. Call 1-800-280-6708 today to speak to one of our vehicle protection specialists and get a free quote.

3 Advantages of Purchasing an Extended Warranty (Service Contract) for Your Car

3 Advantages of Purchasing an Extended Warranty (Service Contract) for Your Car

Whether the manufacturer warranty is running out on your new vehicle or you are purchasing a used vehicle, why does it make sense to purchase an extended warranty (also known as a vehicle service contract)? We’re going to give you three good reasons to think about a service contract for your new or used car.

#1 What Happens When Your Manufacturer Warranty Runs Out?

We’ve all heard of Murphy’s Law. One of the perfect applications of that saying occurs when things start to go wrong on a vehicle right after the warranty is up. It’s almost as though the car knows and is punishing us for not getting a longer warranty. An extended warranty fixes the problem by picking up where the manufacturer warranty leaves off.

#2 You Can Bundle Your Extended Warranty with Additional Features Such as Roadside Assistance

Not only are you covered if you need major repairs done on your vehicle, but you can also have someone come jumpstart the car if you left the lights on while at the grocery store. Other features may include gas delivery if you run out on the road or assistance if you lock yourself out of the car. Plus, some extended warranties can even be bundled with trip interruption insurance in case your car breaks down more than 100 miles from home.

#3 You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Peace of Mind

Whether you get stuck home or away and whether the repairs are major or minor, you know that you have a vehicle service contract in place and roadside assistance to get you out of a tight spot. In a world where peace of mind is so hard to come by, you shouldn’t have to worry about your vehicle too.

Let Vehicle Service Center Help Give You Peace of Mind

To find the perfect extended warranty for your car, talk to one of our vehicle protection specialists today by calling 1-800-280-6708. You can also request your free quote online by using our contact form.

4 Things to Check on Your Vehicle Before Winter Strikes

4 Things to Check on Your Vehicle Before Winter Strikes

It’s that time of the year again, and your car needs you more than ever. The winter can be particularly rough on vehicles, so we’ve compiled this quick checklist to help you get ready for the coldest months of the year.

  1. Get your battery checked – One of the biggest problems people run into during winter is a dead battery. If you get yours checked and it is borderline, you may be better off replacing it a little early than having to worry about it when you get stuck somewhere.
  2. Buy a portable air compressor – Your tires will drop about a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees the temperature dips. So some mornings you make wake up to find that all of your tires are 5-10 pounds low. Rather than driving on low tires to the gas station, a compressor will allow you to air up the tires at home.
  3. Check your wiper blades – Most wiper blades are really only meant to last a year. And that lifespan can quickly be shortened if you try to turn the wipers on before you defrost the windshield. Change old wiper blades and always turn them off before shutting your car, so they don’t kick on automatically when you start your car on an icy morning.
  4. Replace or clean lights – Any head or tail lights that are out on the car need to be replaced. Also, you will want to consider cleaning the headlights if they have grown cloudy, which happens over time. It is dark during the evening commute in the winter, so clean and working headlights are most important during this season.

Add Roadside Assistance to Your Service Contract

Another thing you can do to prepare for winter is to add roadside assistance to your service contract. Vehicle Service Center offers coverage options that can protect you from a dead battery, a flat tire, or many other hazards you may run into in winter. Request your free warranty quote online, or call us today at 1-800-280-6708.

Three Reasons to Purchase an Extended Car Warranty When Yours Runs Out

Three Reasons to Purchase an Extended Car Warranty When Yours Runs Out

A vehicle is a huge investment. That means you don’t automatically toss it away and get a new one just because the manufacturer warranty is up. Unfortunately, that’s usually right around the time when things start to go horribly awry. How can you protect your investment? Here are three reasons to purchase an extended warranty or service contract for your car.

  1. Murphy’s Law – Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. If you’ve ever kept a car past its warranty, you probably know how a saying like this came about. It’s almost like the car knows you aren’t covered anymore, and it seems like parts start to break immediately after the coverage expires.
  2. Peace of Mind – Stress and worry seem to be constant elements of modern life. An extended warranty is a simple way to get rid of one of those stressors because you know that if something goes wrong with your car, it is covered and won’t cost you a bundle.
  3. You Love Your Car – With some older cars, you may as well just use the money to make a down payment on something new rather than repair it when something big goes wrong. If you love your car and don’t want to have to think about giving it up, a service contract is a great way to protect it against repairs that would be too expensive to be cost-effective on an older vehicle.

The Best Extended Warranty and Service Contract Options

For the best extended warranty and service contract options, call 1-800-280-6708 and talk to the vehicle protection specialists at Vehicle Service Center today. You can also request your free quote online by submitting the contact form.

5 Mistakes that Can Lead to Major Repair Bills

5 Mistakes that Can Lead to Major Repair Bills

One of the biggest costs a car owner can have is a major repair bill. Some of those repairs, however, are avoidable. We’re going to look at 5 mistakes drivers make that lead to expensive repairs so that you can protect your vehicle and your wallet.

#1 Not Maintaining the Car

Getting an oil change on schedule may seem like a little thing, but this and other maintenance operations add up. If you don’t keep up with your car’s regular maintenance, you really can’t be surprised when major repairs follow.

#2 Poor Communication

Good communication with your auto mechanic can save you a bundle. You need to let the mechanic know what you hear, see, and even smell that lets you know something is wrong with the car. You should also provide any recent repair history if you got some work done at a different location prior to coming to the garage you are presently at.

#3 Diagnosing the Problem Yourself

If you are a mechanic and will be doing the work yourself, this is fine. If you are bringing your car in for work, let the repair person diagnose the issue and fix it. If you say that a belt is bad and should be replaced, you can’t complain later if the tech does exactly what you said but it doesn’t fix the problem.

#4 Ignoring Issues

Car issues don’t get better on their own. If something is wrong with your car, it is only going to grow worse with time, so don’t wait to get the repairs done. If a warning light appears on the dashboard, have it checked out as soon as possible.

#5 Not Shopping Around

If your car is drivable, you can take it to several different shops to see which experienced mechanic charges the best rate Don’t sacrifice work-quality for price but don’t pay extra just because you didn’t shop around.

A Vehicle Service Contract Can Reduce Repair Bills

Having the right service contract on your vehicle can shrink major repair bills to a manageable size. To get an extended warranty on your new or used vehicle, call Vehicle Service Center today at 1-800-280-6708.

3 Reasons to Get Trip Interruption Benefits Before You Travel This Holiday Season

3 Reasons to Get Trip Interruption Benefits Before You Travel This Holiday Season

We’re mere weeks away from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the true kickoff of the holiday season. If you are going to be traveling, especially if you plan to drive for your vacation or to visit friends and family, here are three reasons to add trip interruption benefits to your service contract:

  1. Hotel Costs Are at an All-Time High. Every year the cost of hotel rooms goes up. If you get stuck during your travels and need to spend the night in an unfamiliar area while your car is repaired, you want trip interruption benefits to help cover the costs of accommodations.
  2. Car Rental Rates Are Skyrocketing. Sometimes spending the night while waiting for your car to be repaired is not an option. You either have to rent a vehicle or miss the holiday celebration. Since car rentals can easily cost $45 day just for an economy car (and you probably need something with a little more room for bags if you are traveling), rental reimbursement is another important addition to your car’s service contract.
  3. Auto Repairs Can Cost a Small Fortune. You don’t want to spend your entire holiday worrying about how big the bill is going to be when you go back to pick up your car from the shop. That means having the right service contract so that when you get work done you know won’t be footing the entire bill yourself.


Protect Yourself and Your Wallet During the Holiday Season

If you’re going to break the bank this holiday season, it should be on getting gifts for loved ones and having a great time with friends and family. Emergency car stuff should be covered under a service contract so that you have peace of mind. To get a quote on an extended warranty and add-ons like trip interruption insurance and car rental reimbursement, give our vehicle protection specialists a call at 1-800-280-6708.

4 Ways to Keep from Getting Slammed with a Huge Car Repair Bill

4 Ways to Keep from Getting Slammed with a Huge Car Repair Bill

Auto repair costs are constantly on the rise. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of 4 smart things you can do to keep from getting taken for a ride by a mechanic.

  1. Get the Used Parts Back – If you ask the mechanic to give you the used parts, you can confirm that the parts were bad and needed to be replaced. You also know that the part was really changed out and that the invoice isn’t just being padded.
  2. See Two Mechanics – If something sounds funny, especially the estimated repair cost, be sure to seek a second opinion before letting anyone work on your vehicle. Sometimes you may get pressure to take care of something now when it’s not only not an emergency but not even really necessary.
  3. Cut a Deal – Negotiate with the shop to get the best deal possible, especially if you feel like the final bill doesn’t accurately represent the estimate or any additional services that you may have verbally added on later. You may be able to get a discount on the labor.
  4. Have a Service Contract – Many of the largest expenses you face as a car owner may be covered if you just have the right service contract on your vehicle.

Assistance in Acquiring the Service Contract that Meets Your Auto Repair Needs

The best thing to do is to get a service contract on your vehicle before you find yourself staring at a repair invoice with your mouth hanging open due to the exorbitant price. To talk to a vehicle protection specialist and get a free quote, call Vehicle Service Center today at 1-800-280-6708.

4 Helpful Hints that Can Save You a Major Repair Bill

4 Helpful Hints that Can Save You a Major Repair Bill

Auto repairs can be a major expense, but there are definitely a few things you can do to reduce the risk of getting a huge invoice from a mechanic. Here are 4 tips to help you reduce the likelihood of a major repair bill in your future.

#1 Drive Safely

Many of the largest auto repair bills come when a person is in a motor vehicle accident. Driving in a safe manner can reduce the likelihood of a crash. Unfortunately, you can’t account for how everyone else on the road will be driving, so occasional accidents happen even for safe drivers.

#2 Perform Regular Auto Maintenance

Everything from getting oil changes done on the correct schedule to keeping your tires at the proper pressure will help keep your engine, suspension system, and other more expensive car systems in working order for as long as possible. Your owner’s manual should tell you how frequently certain maintenance procedures are to be performed.

#3 Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

Whether it is a light on your dashboard or an odd sound coming from under the hood, most car problems only get worse if you ignore them. If there seems to be something wrong with your vehicle, the best thing to do is to find a garage you trust to check it out before a quick fix turns into a major repair job.

#4 Get a Service Contract

The right service contract can save you a bundle when you have an issue that may have normally costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars. To discuss which coverage options are the best for you and to get a free quote today, call 1-800-280-6708 and speak with one of our vehicle protection specialists.

The Top 5 Reasons People Require a Towing Service

The Top 5 Reasons People Require a Towing Service

Getting stuck on the road can be a miserable experience. Towing costs are often expensive, and that’s just the start of the expense if repairs are necessary. We’re going to take a look at the five most common reasons a person would be in need of a tow truck and then we will discuss how to protect yourself from these expenses.

  1. Car accidents – Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you drive, another driver may be negligent and cause an accident. As a result, you may find your car is no longer drivable without servicing. The tow truck will bring your car to the body shop where you want to have the work done.
  2. Overheating – When a car’s engine gets too hot, it could quickly cause major damage. That means shutting down the engine and having it towed to a place where it can be fixed. Driving those few miles to the shop may be enough to do serious engine damage, so it is better not to take a chance.
  3. Dead battery – Fortunately, the towing service doesn’t usually have to bring your car anywhere for this one. A simple jumpstart often does the trick. But if the battery is dead because of an electrical problem in the car such as a bad alternator, you may need to get some work done at a shop before charging or replacing the battery will help.
  4. Flat tire – If you have a spare, the tow truck driver will likely just help you replace the tire so you can drive yourself to a tire shop. If you don’t have a spare, your car will have to be towed to the shop.
  5. Out of gas – Rather than towing your car to a gas station, the tow truck driver is more likely to pick up gas and bring it to you. That is usually the faster and less expensive option.

Towing Coverage and Service Contracts

Vehicle Service Center offers towing and other roadside assistance options that you can pair with your vehicle’s service contract. To learn more and to get a free quote, call 1-800-280-6708 today.

5 Things to Ask Your Mechanic Before He Starts Working

5 Things to Ask Your Mechanic Before He Starts Working

If you run into car trouble, worries over getting ripped off can weight on your mind. Having a service contract can help to allay some of those concerns. However, it is always good to have a conversation with your mechanic beforehand as well. Here are 5 questions you want to be sure to ask.

  1. Do you have experience with this particular make and model? Some mechanics may not be happy to hear this question, especially someone with lots of general experience, but cars are so complicated nowadays that you really want to work with someone who knows your particular type of vehicle.
  2. Do you give free estimates in writing? This helps to ensure that the garage can’t pull a fast one on you and change the estimate. You have in writing what is to be worked on and how much it will cost, and that’s before you have to pay a cent.
  3. Can you explain why the repairs are necessary? If your mechanic can’t simplify the process enough to explain it to you, he or she probably doesn’t understand it well enough in the first place. That is not the person you want working on your car.
  4. Will you call me if you find something else while working on the car? You want to avoid two things. First of all, you don’t want to be surprised with a bigger bill because the mechanic found something else wrong while under the hood. Find out why it wasn’t caught while doing the estimate and how much extra it will be before approving the work. Second, you don’t want the mechanic to leave something that should have been repaired just because you weren’t at the shop to approve extra work.
  5. Is this covered by my service contract? You don’t have to go to the dealer for the work to be covered. Make sure your mechanic knows you have a service contract and find out what should be covered in advance.

Finding the Right Service Contract to Meet Your Needs

You want to be sure to have the right service contract long before you need a repair. To discuss your auto repair needs and to find a warranty that meets them, call our vehicle protection specialists at 1-800-280-6708. Your quote is always free!

5 of the Most Common Auto Repairs and How Much They Cost

5 of the Most Common Auto Repairs and How Much They Cost

A car breakdown can be a terrifying thing. Until you know what is wrong with your vehicle, you don’t know if you are looking at hundreds or even thousands in repair bills. Fortunately, some of the most common repairs are on the lower end of the spectrum. Here are 5 of the most common auto repairs and how much they cost.

  1. Oxygen Sensor – At some point between 65,000 and 100,000 miles of driving, the oxygen sensor is bound to go bad on an older vehicle. $250 is an average price for replacing this simple sensor.
  2. Catalytic Converter – This is a part of a vehicle that should never have to be replaced. So why is it on the list of most common repairs? Unfortunately, many exhaust system problems go unrepaired. After all, it’s just noise and that cloud of smoke behind you that another driver has to deal with, right? Wrong. It puts wear and tear on the catalytic converter that can mean a repair bill north of $1,150.
  3. Thermostat – When a car overheats, the problem is frequently the thermostat. The part doesn’t cost much, labor will run the bill up over $210. However, driving around with a bad thermostat could kill your whole engine, so it’s better to get this problem fixed immediately.
  4. Ignition Coil – If your car is having trouble starting, this may not be the problem you think of first, but it is fairly common. It is also fairly inexpensive at $235 or so on average.
  5. Spark Plugs – You probably get these changed regularly as a part of your tune up, but if your spark plugs go bad between changes, your car won’t start, so there’s no way around this repair. You’re looking at $330 or more for just the plugs to be replaced.

The Right Service Contract to Lessen Repair Costs

Of course, the prices above reflect finding a good repair shop. If you go somewhere dishonest, they can find all sorts of things that ‘need’ to be replaced to run that bill up. The best thing to do is have yourself protected by a service contract that will cover many of the common engine repairs and even some of the less common but more expensive ones. To get a free quote on a service contract from Vehicle Service Center, call 1-800-280-6708 now.

The Best Way to Handle a Breakdown When You’re Out of Town

The Best Way to Handle a Breakdown When You’re Out of Town

When you are on the road, especially for a vacation, a breakdown can seem like a nightmare. But if you are prepared for this possibility in advance, things can go a little better. While the smart thing to do is prep your car in advance for the long drive, you can’t account for everything that could possibly go wrong. Here’s a 3-step plan for dealing with a breakdown when you’re more than 100 miles from home.

Step 1 – Get to Safety

You’re going to want to get your car off the road in a safe location as fast as possible. Unfortunately, you can’t control where your car decides to quit, so sometimes that means giving it a push off the road and onto the shoulder. Be sure to put your hazard lights on to warn other drivers. Hopefully, you also have a road hazard kit with reflective triangles or road flares.

If it’s not too dangerous, stay with the vehicle. However, if the car is on fire, get to a safe distance and call the emergency services.

Step 2 – Call Roadside Assistance

Making sure you have roadside assistance is an important part of taking a long trip. Be sure to give the assistance provider all the information they need such as your location, a description of the vehicle you’re in, and what is wrong with the car (if you know).

Try to get a specific amount of time that it will take for help to arrive, so you aren’t waiting hours on end thinking help is coming when the tow truck driver is lost. You may also need to ask for suggestions on where to have the vehicle repairs performed if you don’t know the area well.

Step 3 – Rent a Car or Book a Room

If you need to continue on your way (perhaps for a business trip or to get to a reservation that can’t be canceled), then it is time to find a place to rent a car. If you can stay local until your car is repaired, you will have to find nearby accommodations.

The good news is that if you have trip interruption benefits paired with your service contract from Vehicle Service Center, your breakdown may not cost you much. To find out more about the coverage options we offer, call 1-800-280-6708 and request your free quote.

3 Myths About Auto Maintenance and Repairs

3 Myths About Auto Maintenance and Repairs

Auto repair and maintenance costs have skyrocketed in recent years, making it more important than ever to have a service contract for your new or used vehicle. It is also important to be able to tell truth from fiction when it comes to getting work done on your vehicle and maintaining it properly. We’re about to debunk 3 myths related to driving your car.

Myth #1 – If You Have a Warranty, You Have to Get All Your Repairs Done by the Dealer

First of all, warranties don’t cover maintenance, so there is no reason to go to the dealer for an oil change, tires, or anything like that. Second, if you have a third-party service contract, it may cover some maintenance as well as repairs depending on your plan, and it shouldn’t matter who does the work.

Myth #2 – Paying Extra for Premium Gas Will Make Your Car Run Better

Most cars run optimally on 87 octane fuel. The only reason to pay extra for a higher octane gas is if you have a car that requires it, such as some European luxury cars or sports cars. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what type of gas your car needs. If high octane is not required, you won’t get any more power out of your vehicle by spending the extra cash.

Myth #3 – You Should Warm Up Your Engine in the Driveway

This myth goes back to older model vehicles that needed time to warm up before driving. Most modern engines will actually warm up faster if you get in and start driving. The sooner an engine is warmed up, the sooner your performance and fuel economy are at their best too. So instead of wasting gas idling in the driveway, you can hit the road right away. Just take it easy, knowing that you won’t have full power from your engine until it does warm up after a couple of minutes of driving.

Finding the Right Service Contract for Your Auto Repair Needs

At Vehicle Service Center, we are committed to providing the best quality service contracts for our customers. To find the right package for your needs, talk to one of our vehicle protection specialists today by calling 1-800-280-6708.

The Secret Reason Auto Repair Costs Are Skyrocketing

The Secret Reason Auto Repair Costs Are Skyrocketing

If you have had any auto repairs lately, you know that exorbitant prices are commonplace. Most of the time, complex electrical systems in modern vehicles are blamed. This has also led to extremely high labor costs as techs need to have a wider variety of skills than ever before. However, there is something else driving up prices you may not know about.

Why Vehicle Replacement Parts Are So High

Auto manufacturers have been patenting more parts, and this prevents generic, less expensive parts from making it to the market for years. As a result, your repair shop has to pay a premium to get those parts, and that added expense gets passed on to you.

What Are the Most Expensive Repairs?

Of course, some repairs are far more expensive than others. Some of the worst include things like:

  • Damaged rod/piston/valve
  • Head gasket
  • Air conditioner system
  • Suspension system
  • Transmission replacement

Avoid Getting Scammed

Sometimes the problem really is the repair shop. For example, you don’t want to pay for the full amount of labor on two replacement parts if they can easily be changed at the same time. If you are getting your timing belt replaced, the water pump is right there. If the mechanic is charging you for more than just the cost of the part on the water pump to add this to a timing belt change, you are paying hundreds of dollars more than you should.

A Third-Party Service Contract Can Save You a Fortune

When major repairs arise unexpectedly, the right service contract may save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. For a free quote, call one of our vehicle protection specialists today at 1-800-280-6708.

The Right Protection for Your Summer Travels

Many of us wait all year long to enjoy a great vacation during the summertime. You may be ready to take off on a memorable road trip, but is your vehicle ready to get you there? Roadside assistance and trip interruption benefits are vital ways to keep your dream vacation from becoming a nightmare. Here are a few features you want to be sure your coverage includes.

Roadside Assistance

When you are on the road, and far from home, the unexpected can happen. For example, even though Google can help you find a nearby gas station, it can’t magically make gas appear close enough to stop you from running out on the open road. That makes fuel delivery an important feature for travelers. Other important forms of roadside assistance include towing, lock-out assistance, tire assistance, and battery boost/jump start assistance.

Trip Interruption

If your vehicle breaks down more than 100 miles from home and you are going to be stranded overnight on the road, you are probably already losing non-refundable time at your destination hotel on top of hotel expenses where you get stuck. Trip interruption benefits can help you to recoup some of your losses and turn that breakdown into an enjoyable one night stay in a new town (albeit unexpectedly).

Rental Reimbursements

Sometimes a breakdown on the road requires that you rent a vehicle for the rest of your trip. Rental reimbursement can help soften the otherwise expensive blow. This is especially true if you are traveling with a large family or group of friends and need to rent a van or SUV since vehicles with 6 seats or more come at an additional expense.

Vehicle Service Center Has You Covered

Travel with peace of mind this summer. Contact one of our vehicle protection specialists to get the coverage options you and travel companions need. For a free quote, call Vehicle Service Center at 1-800-280-6708 today!

Keep Your Car’s Fuel Delivery System in Good Shape

Fuel economy is important to most modern drivers. Whether you want to save money at the pump or you just don’t want to be responsible for adding to climate change, keeping your car’s fuel delivery system in good working order is a must. Unfortunately, repairs can be expensive, so it’s better to keep your car well-maintained. Here are a few tips.

Don’t Get Sucked in by Maintenance You Don’t Need

There are a lot of maintenance options offered by garages that don’t really do much to improve your fuel economy. For example:

Gas Savers – These additives and services rarely do anything.

Oil Additives – Motor oil already has everything it needs in

Injection Cleaning – Unless fuel injectors are clogged and affecting your ability to drive, there’s no reason to have this done (Hint: This is the kind of problem that should cause your check engine light to come on).

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

A clogged air filter can cause your gas mileage to plunge by as much as 10%. It should be changed annually or as needed if you drive more than 15,000 miles per year. A shop will charge you $20 or more to change this part out. You can get one for just a few dollars and change it yourself in a few minutes even if you’re not car savvy.

Keep Your Tires Inflated to the Right PSI

Most modern cars will alert you if tire pressure drops by even a few PSI. If not, check your tires regularly. You can lose up to 3% of your gas mileage by driving on tires that are just a few PSI low. Plus, you run the risk of damaging a tire and having a blowout.

Get Costly Fuel System Repairs Covered

If you do end up having a problem with your car’s fuel system, get ready for a big bill. That is unless you’ve got a service plan for your vehicle. At Vehicle Service Center, we offer service plan options that cover fuel delivery systems and just about everything else on your vehicle. For a free quote, call 1-800-280-6708.

Vehicle Service Center Rising Cost of Auto Repairs

The Rising Cost of Auto Repairs Makes Extended Warranty Services a Must-Have

If you have been on the fence about getting an extended warranty for your car, perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve had to bring your vehicle in for repairs. With costs skyrocketing since 2011, driving around without a warranty to cover major repairs is a losing battle. Here are a few figures you should know about.

Check Engine Light Repair Costs

Let’s take the simplest of things – the check engine light. The majority of the time, this comes down to one of two things:

  • A bad oxygen sensor
  • An incorrectly closed gas cap

These are simple fixes for an auto repair shop. But back in 2012, at the start of the recent extreme price hike, parts and labor on a check engine light fix averaged anywhere from $270 to $400 depending on the state (our home state of California was the 3rd most expensive).

Increasing Prices on a Nationwide Scale

In one recent year alone, replacement part costs for cars went up by 6% and labor costs rose by a shocking 17%. If you think getting a check engine light issue fixed is expensive, imagine needing a new transmission (which often means having an electronic module reprogrammed as well). Across the country, the cost of such a service averages over $5,000!

Why Are Auto Repair Costs Rising?

You may wonder why such a steep rise in repair costs is occurring. There are two lines of reasoning. The first is that newer cars are becoming more complicated and computer oriented, making repair an even more specialized field than it already was. The second is that people are keeping their cars longer (one study suggests that the average age of a decommissioned vehicle is now up to 11 years). As a result, these aging vehicles are experiencing the need for bigger repair jobs, bringing up the average cost of repairs.

Regardless of the reason behind the increase in repair costs, it is vital to keep yourself covered. After all, if you spend $5,000 on repairs, you may as well have had a car payment all year long. The cost-effective solution is an extended warranty.

Extended Warranty Services You Can Trust

Vehicle Service Center is a California-based extended warranty business that provides full coverage options for both new and pre-owned vehicles. Don’t get hit with thousands of dollars in expenses for a catastrophic repair bill. Get covered now by calling 1-800-280-6708.