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…)
Having something go wrong with a car can result in a huge bill. Even if you have a great vehicle service contract, it will still drain your time to have to deal with a car that’s in the shop. So how can you avoid the majority of major repairs? Here are three maintenance tips that will save you both money and time. (more…)
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).
- 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.
- The Catalytic Converter – “Uh oh, that sounds expensive.” You’re right. The average repair cost was $1,190.18 in 2016.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- Catalytic Converter – Unfortunately, the second most common issue at 6.75% isn’t such a quick fix.
- Ignition Coil and Spark Plugs – 6.23%
- Loose Fuel Cap – 4.16% of the time this problem could have been fixed by tightening the gas cap. Whoops!
- 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.
An extended warranty can give you peace of mind whether you are the original owner of the car and your manufacturer warranty is running out or you are purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. But when you shop for an extended warranty, don’t forget to price add-ons that can increase the value of your contract. Here are the top 3 extended warranty add-ons, and why you should be interested in them.
#1 Roadside Assistance
Roadside assistance can get you out of all sorts of jams. A good roadside assistance program includes features like:
- Towing – Get your car to the shop without paying a bundle.
- Lock-out assistance – Both sets of keys ended up locked in the car? Roadside assistance to the rescue!
- Fuel delivery – Never make that embarrassing call to a friend or family member again.
- Battery boost – A dead battery can happen at any time. Don’t rely on the car parked next to you being able to give you a jump start.
- Tire assistance – Sure you can fix a flat tire, but who wants to do it on the side of the Interstate in your dress clothes?
#2 Trip-Interruption Benefits
Airlines are always trying to sell travel insurance, but what about if you are driving to your vacation destination? If you break down more than 100 miles from home, trip-interruption benefits can help cover hotel costs in whatever city you get stranded in. Now instead of being ruined, your road trip just took a little detour.
#3 Rental Reimbursements
If you are getting warranty-covered work done by the dealer, you may get a loaner car just to drive around locally. For any other long-term repair situation, you’re going to need a rental. Knowing you’re going to be reimbursed for the extra expense can remove the sting of not having your own car for a few days while the repairs are being done.
Vehicle Service Contracts and the Add-Ons You Need
For the top extended warranties and add-ons, call Vehicle Service Center today at 1-800-280-6708 and speak to one of our vehicle protection specialists. Not a phone person? Request your free quote online by submitting the contact form.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jumper Cables – Winter drains batteries and having your own cables may make it easier to get a jump start in a pinch.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- First-Aid Kit – In case of an accident or injury, you can get started on caring for the wounded before the ambulance even arrives.
- Cat Litter – Litter absorbs moisture and can help your car to get traction on an icy road if you get stuck.
- 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.
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.
If you need to get some work done on your car, even if it is considered normal maintenance, you don’t want to end up paying more than the service is actually worth. We’re going to take a look at four car repairs that are frequently overpriced so that you know to shop around.
- Oil Changes – Repair shops get a ton of money out of drivers by having you come in every three months or 3,000 miles. However, your owner’s manual may reveal that only need an oil change every 7,500 miles or so.
- Braking System – Most of the time, you only need brake pads, and your mechanic does the job in under half an hour. You pay for an hour of labor and double the price of the pads. Try to find a mechanic who will let you buy your own pads.
- Tune-Up – Never go into the shop and just ask your mechanic for a tune-up. You’re basically giving them carte blanche to do repairs on your car, and that can add up to $1,000 or more quickly. Instead, have the vehicle evaluated and get an estimate on what actually needs to be done.
- Fluid Top-Offs – If your mechanic tops-off the fluids in your car for free, that’s great! If not, beware that you are probably paying way too much for the little bit of fluid that gest poured into your car.
Protect Yourself with an Extended Warranty from Vehicle Service Center
At Vehicle Service Center, we offer service contracts to meet any driver’s needs or budget. To talk to one of our vehicle protection specialists, call us today at 1-800-280-6708 or request your free quote online.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Roadside assistance can be a real lifesaver, but it is also an added expense if you never use it. With that in mind, we’re going to address who will get the most benefit from a roadside assistance plan.
#1 The Absent-Minded Professor
If any of the following sounds like you, then roadside assistance is probably a great idea:
- You have trouble keeping track of your keys
- You’re unlikely to notice a light on your dashboard for hours
- You never remember to get your car serviced on time
Since roadside assistance can help with everything from locking your keys in the car and running out of gas to a dead battery because the lights we left on or a flat tire, you may want to invest in a roadside assistance package. Don’t feel bad though because these things happen to all of us from time to time.
#2 People with Stressful, Busy Lives
You don’t have time to deal with being stuck in a parking lot or on the side of the road. Plus, you’re always dressed up, so even if you know how to change a tire, you’re not wearing the proper attire to do so. Roadside assistance can remove the added stress of having to deal with car issues by giving you a simple number to call to make everything better.
#3 Anyone Who Doesn’t Already Have It
Let’s face it – car trouble can happen to anyone. Whether it is a dead battery or a flat tire, you never know when or where you may need assistance. Having a roadside assistance plan is just a part of driving a car unless you are a mechanic and you keep your tools in the trunk (and even that won’t help if you lock your keys in the car or run out of gas).
Roadside Assistance Packages, Service Contracts, and More!
Take the stress and hassle out of owning a car by calling Vehicle Service Center today. Our vehicle protection specialists will help you to customize an extended warranty with all of the services you need most. To get your free quote, call 1-800-280-6708 now!
One of the most expensive causes of a vehicle repair bill is a car accident. Even if you have collision insurance, you still likely have a deductible that has to come out of pocket for the repairs. Plus, an accident can often mean higher insurance premiums. Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting into an accident in the first place.
- Follow Traffic Laws – While some may seem overly restrictive, traffic laws are in place for our protection. Since most accidents occur while a person is speeding, obeying the speed limit is particularly important.
- Maintain Your Vehicle – If you hit the brakes and nothing happens, an accident is almost certain to ensue. Keeping brakes, tires, and other vital components of the car in proper working order is a must. Even headlights, brake lights, and signal lights help to prevent accidents.
- Never Drive Under the Influence – We get regular reminders never to drink and drive but remember that being under the influence of certain medications can be just as dangerous (and illegal).
- Don’t Text and Drive – Regardless of your state’s smartphone use laws, avoid texting and other distracting behaviors while driving.
- Set Your GPS While Parked – Start your GPS before you leave if you are driving alone. If you have a passenger with you, he or she should be handling the GPS while you drive.
Vehicles Break Down Enough Without Accidents
Even without an accident, your car is likely to need repairs now and then. That’s why we encourage you to protect yourself with an extended warranty. The right service contract can help ensure that your vehicle doesn’t cost you a fortune when turning the key doesn’t bring it to life. To get a free quote from one of our vehicle protection specialists, call Vehicle Service Center today at 1-800-280-6708.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.