how to maintain your car in The Treasure Valley

5 Ways to Increase the Longevity of Your Car

Do-It-Yourself Tips

how to maintain your car in The Treasure Valley Purchasing a car is a big investment. Some people keep cars for 10+ years, while others trade them in only after a few years of driving. Either way, taking pride in your vehicle and keeping it properly maintained is crucial for increasing the longevity of your car. Here are five key tips to keeping it maintained properly.

Wash Your Car Often

Some people are great at keeping their car clean, while others may let it go until someone writes “Wash Me!” on the window. Keeping your car clean is crucial for resale/trade in value because contaminants like dust, pollen, tree sap, bugs, bird droppings, salt and more damage your paint and finish.

Heat, rain and air pollution can also affect the longevity of your paint and finish.

When should you wash your car immediately? If newly splattered bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap appear on your car. If you have a long commute to work each week, consider washing it weekly since dirt, pollen, gravel or air pollutants can have an impact on your car’s paint.

When to wash your car 1-2x a month

If you have mild weather, if you don’t drive your car much where it wouldn’t be exposed to tree sap, bugs, and bird droppings or if your car stays in a closed garage most of the time.

Fill The Gas Tank Before It Gets Too Low

Gasoline can act as a coolant for your electric fuel-pump motor. When your gasoline level is very low, the pump sucks in air, which can create heat and cause the fuel pump to work harder. There is a chance the fuel-pump motor could wear prematurely or fail if you always drive your car when it’s near empty.

Don’t rely on your car telling you how many miles are empty. When your tank is ¼ full, fill it up.

Check The Air Filter

Look to replace your air filter once a year or every 20,000 miles. It’s fairly inexpensive and can actually benefit you by increasing your fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and prolong your engine life.

Check the Fluids

Fluids play an important role in your engine and car health. While most of us leave it to the professionals to check the different fluid levels, there are some you can do yourself on a monthly basis.

Check your windshield wiper fluid. Your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is typically a large, white plastic container with a windshield wiper image on it. You can always check your owner’s manual to make sure it’s correct. If the fluid level is less than the line shown or less than three quarters full, fill it up.

Check your oil. Once you’ve found your dipstick, pull it all the way out and wipe the end. Then, reinsert the dipstick. When you pull it out again, see where the oil level lines up on the line. It should be near the full line. If it’s not, add more oil.

Replace the Fuel Filter

Your fuel filter catches particles, debris and impurities in your gas tank before the fuel reaches the pump. This makes sure only clean gasoline reaches your engine. You want to avoid any debris clog up over time. Replacing your fuel filter may be different depending on the on the car and what the manufacturer recommends.  Check your owner’s manual to find out the timeline for your vehicle and leave this one to an expert unless you’re especially handy.

While we can’t help you maintain your vehicle, we can find you great rates on your home and auto insurance.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Tips Before Buying a Used Camper in The Treasure Valley

Seven Areas to Look Before Buying a Used Camper

Simple Tips to Prevent an Unwanted Repair

Tips Before Buying a Used Camper in The Treasure ValleySpring is a great season to start looking for good used campers. Whether you’re looking at a dealership or from a person off of Craigslist, it’s important to know how to look for possible damage or wear.

Look for these trouble areas to save yourself on repairs:

  1. Delamination

RV’s are typically made of a laminated plywood and adhered with an adhesive. This adhesive over time can become deteriorated and cause the side of the RV to delaminate. This delamination can become worse over time and unfortunately, there is not an inexpensive fix. Reasons for delamination can be moisture, heat or simply age. To look for delamination, look down the side of the RV. You’re looking for a change in the plane – it looks almost like a large bubble. Take your hand and press on it. Does it flex or feel like there is air between the exterior fiberglass shell and the interior plywood?

  1. Tires

Tires are easy to inspect. What you’re looking for is small cracks in between the tread. As RVs sit, they develop flat spots and weather cracks. These cracks while largely cosmetic in nature, can over time deteriorate the tire. If the tires are worn or cracked, consider this into the cost of purchasing the RV.

  1. Rodent Damage

Rodents get into everything. Your RV or trailer is no different. In fact, they make ideal homes for rodents because most of the year, they’re sitting undisturbed. When looking for signs of rodents, pull up some seat cushions and look in storage spaces. You’re looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rats leave droppings everywhere. This can both be a health hazard and also damage your RVs interior as they nest.

  1. Water Damage

RV’s are incredibly susceptible to water damage. Truth is many manufacturers in the US don’t build the RVs with as much quality as they could. Water damage is usually pretty easy to spot or smell. If the RV smells musty or feels damp, this is a big indicator. Look for mineral stains or water stains on wood, around skylights and air conditioners on the roof. Also, go around the RV or trailer and push in on all of the sides all the way around. If water got into the walls, it can quickly rot the structural portions of the RV. Pushing on the sides will identify any areas that may be compromised. An RV should be stiff and hard, if it flexes, it is possible there is water damage. Check closely around windows and on the roof.

  1. Appliances

RV appliances are incredibly expensive to replace because of their compact size. If you’re considering a used RV, have the owner or dealer fire up the refrigerator prior to you getting there so you can feel it cool. RV refrigerators can run on electricity, battery or propane. They take about 2 hours to cool down, so before your arrival, ask them to turn it on. Also, while there, test any water heaters and/or other systems that may be important to you.

  1. Canvas

If your trailer or RV has any canvas, look it over closely for mold and staining. Also, if any windows are plastic on your RV, check all zippers and windows for cracks. New canvas tops for a pop-up camper can cost upwards of $3,000.

  1. Floor

The floor of an RV is one of the most common places an RV, camper or trailer is damaged. The floor is typically made up of simple plywood and in older RVs was not protected by anything. Additionally, floors that were protected underneath often time trapped water that entered from above causing the floors to rot. When inspecting a trailer for a rotted floor, get on your hands and knees and push all over the floor looking for flex. If the floor flexes or feels mushy, it is likely rotten and may require replacement. You can also take a small screwdriver or pick and lightly push from underneath (for exposed wood floors only) and see if the material is rotted.

Taking these steps can save you a lot on costly RV repair. We hope you enjoy your camping season. Many memories can be made while camping so we hope we’ve been successful in helping you be an expert when shopping for a used RV.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you