Have you ever had to deal with a totaled car? If so, you’ve probably heard of branded titles and the headache that goes along with them.
Branded titles can seem confusing, especially since every state handles them differently. But it’s important to understand what it means for you as the owner, or a potential purchaser of a vehicle, with a branded title status.
No one enjoys having to spend money on car repairs. But since they keep your car running and on the road, they are sometimes necessary.
If you aren’t saving up for unexpected repairs, the cost can seriously wreck an already tight budget.
So what should you do if you simply can’t afford to fix your car?
The good news is, you do have some options. Let’s explore a few of them.
Sometimes after an accident, the damage is so severe the vehicle is beyond repair. When this happens, the insurance company decides the car is classified as totaled.
They declare it a total loss.
But what exactly does that mean?
Are you a green car owner?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to drive a hybrid or stop driving altogether to make a difference. No matter what kind of vehicle you’re using here are seven ways, you can help protect the environment.
These ideas are simple to implement, and beneficial. They’ll help reduce pollution and keep the ground water clean. After all, we want this place to be around for the next generation to enjoy.
Winter’s snow and ice are quickly approaching. Is your car ready?
If not, here are six simple ways to prepare for the cold season.
1. Replace Your Wiper Blades
Winter’s precipitation means your wiper blades will be working overtime. To keep your windshield clean, take time to inspect them.
You’ll want to check each one for any signs of deterioration. If you see any brittle spots, tears, or cracks, it’s time to replace them.
2. Check Your Fluids
Are the fluids in your car rated for winter’s cold temperatures? Freezing weather means you need windshield washer fluid with a low-freezing point. Otherwise, it can freeze inside your vehicle and cause damage to your reservoir.
Check the freezing point of your coolant. If it’s not rated for freezing temperatures, you’ll need to drain it and replace it with the correct fluid. Remember not to use water in your cooling system over the winter.
3. Stock Emergency Supplies
You never know when an emergency will strike. If you end up stuck in the snow on the side of the road, are you prepared?
While you should keep emergency supplies in your vehicle year-round, you’ll need a few extras during winter. Here’s what you should include:
A snow brush
How will you brush off your car if you aren’t home when it starts snowing? By always keeping an ice scraper and a snow brush in your vehicle, you’ll be ready.
If you wind up off the road, you’ll need a little extra traction to help your tires grip the snow and ice. Throw a small container of kitty litter in your car, and if you’re stuck, you can sprinkle a little around each tire.
Food & Water
Canned food and bottled water can expand and burst when frozen. If temperatures routinely drop below freezing in your location, you’ll need to take some extra precautions.
You can wrap them in a wool blanket to help keep them from freezing. Placing them inside an insulated cooler also helps.
Consider replacing any canned food with dry-packed or freeze-dried varieties. These can withstand the temperature changes more easily.
Flares and a Flashlight
It gets dark much earlier in winter. Flares and a flashlight are crucial. Also consider throwing in an extra set of batteries for your light.
A Blanket, Hat and Gloves
If you have to change a tire in the frigid weather, you’ll want to keep your hands warm. Keep a pair of insulated gloves in your vehicle so you have them when you need them.
In the cold, a hat helps hold in your body’s heat. Keep a beanie or another warm hat in your car.
A blanket also provides extra heat if you break down. You can find emergency blankets in small pouches if you’re tight on space.
4. Ensure Your Heating System Works
Before winter hits, make sure your heating system works. You’ll want to ensure warm air blows through each vent. Remember to check your window defrosters as well.
If you have no heat, you might be low on engine coolant. It could also be a sign of a clogged heater core.
5. Inspect Your Tires
Do your tires have the tread needed to run on slippery roads? Some people prefer to switch to winter tires. Others run all-seasons. Whichever kind of tire you use, make sure they’re roadworthy.
Check for proper inflation, and use a penny to gauge your tread. Stick a penny into the tread. If you can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. Also, most newer tires have wear indicators. It’s a straight line going across the tread. If the tread is worn down to this indicator, your tires need replaced.
On icy roads, good tires can mean the difference between staying on the road and winding up in the ditch.
6. Test Your Battery
Get your car battery tested. If it’s testing below normal, you might consider replacing it. If it’s testing weak, you should replace it right away.
Cold temperatures kill car batteries. If your car has trouble starting on cold mornings, you could have a bad battery.
Is Your Car Ready for Winter?
If you need any parts to get your car ready for winter, stop by Tear-A-Part. We have the parts you need for a price you’ll love.
Getting scammed sucks!
Consumer education is a huge part of protecting yourself. Then you’ll know what red flags to watch for. There are scammers in every industry, so you’ve got to be on your toes.
If you’re in the market to junk your vehicle, it’s important to work with a reputable salvage yard. You don’t want to deal with a fly by night company that tries to take everything it can.
To help you avoid dishonest companies, here are five warning signs you may be getting scammed.
Is there an abandoned car on your property?
Whether you’re talking about a car that’s been rusting in the woods for decades, or a broken-down clunker that someone ditched on the street next to your house, you can legally get them removed.
Even if you don’t have the title.
But, there are a few steps you’ll have to take first. Before Tear-A-Part can remove the vehicle for you, you’ll have to have permission from the proper authorities. And have all the paperwork completed.
Deciding your car isn’t worth fixing is frustrating. No one really wants to deal with a junker.
It might be tempting just to park it somewhere and forget about it. If you own a lot of land, or don’t care about an eyesore, abandoning your vehicle might be the easiest option.
But just leaving your car sitting isn’t wise. If you leave it anywhere besides your land, without permission from the landowner, you’re violating Utah traffic laws.
Also no matter where you leave it, cars are full of pollutants. They never decompose. You’ll be dealing with a rusted hunk of junk decades from now.